News Feed 25-July ‘2016

Narsingh Yadav Fails Dope Test

  • India’s ace wrestler Narsingh Yadav has failed a doping test and have tested positive for a banned substance; and may miss out on participating in the upcoming Rio Olympics.
  • NADA Director General Navin Agarwal has confirmed that, Narsingh’s ‘B’ sample tested positive for a banned steroid.
  • The 74kg freestyle wrestler had won a bronze medal in last year’s World championship to qualify for the Olympics, tested positive for a forbidden steroid in an out-of-competition test held by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
  • NADA had collected Yadav’s samples at the National camp in Sonepat a few weeks ago.
  • The Union Sports Ministry, without naming the wrestler, confirmed the positive result. “One wrestler has been detected by NADA as dope positive. An Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) has been constituted by NADA, under its rules, for hearing the case. The first hearing was held on Saturday, in which the wrestler was given an opportunity to defend himself.
  • If Yadav is found guilty by the disciplinary panel, then he may face a four-year suspension.

India Registers Biggest Test Win Overseas

  • India’s showcased their supremacy in the ongoing test series against West Indies as they rode on Ravichandran Ashwin’s 7/83 to outplay the West Indies by an innings and 92 runs. It is India’s biggest win outside Asia, in a Test to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
  • India spin maestro Ashwin produced an outstanding display of off-spin bowling and triggered a second-innings collapse of the hosts from 88/2 to 132/8 on the fourth and penultimate day.
  • A bold ninth-wicket stand of 95, West Indies’ highest in the game, between Carlos Brathwaite (51 not out) and Devendra Bishoo (45) delayed the inevitable before Ashwin came back to seal the issue by bowling the hosts out for 231.
  • This was also the Tamil Nadu spinner’s first five-wicket haul outside the Asian continent.
  • India bowled out the West Indies for 243 in their first innings, having amassed 566 for eight declared after opting to bat. Forced to follow-on after conceding a massive lead of 323, the hosts failed to cope up with strong pressure created by Ashwin and Co on a pitch that offered assistance to slow bowlers.
  • India looked to wrap up the innings quickly, but a calm 69-run stand for the ninth wicket between Brathwaite and Bishoo thwarted their efforts to wrap up the match before tea. The pair played some attacking strokes and brought up the 200-mark going into the break.
  • In the morning session overnight batsmen Chandrika and Darren Bravo (10) looking to play on for time as well as score runs whenever possible. India started the proceedings with Ishant Sharma (1-27) and Umesh Yadav (1-34), the duo looking sharp and bowling fuller deliveries, especially the former who was a marked improvement from his first innings’ outing.
  • Ashwin recorded his 17th five-wicket haul in Tests, ran through the West Indies batting line-up after Samuels and Chandrika defied India in the first session.

Scientists Work Toward Storing Digital Information in DNA

  • According to recent scientific development, it has been proved that Genetic material could become a durable format to archive data in the future.
  • Karin Strauss claimed that her computer contains her “digital attic” a place where she stores that published math paper she wrote in high school and computer science schoolwork from college.
  • Strauss works at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington and is working to make that sci-fi fantasy a reality.
  • She along with other scientists are not focused on finding ways to put high school projects or snapshots or other things an average person might collect, at least for now. Rather, they aim to help companies and institutions archive huge amounts of data for decades or centuries, at a time when the world is generating digital data faster than it can store it.
  • Into this world comes the notion of DNA storage. DNA is by its essence an information-storing molecule; the genes we pass from generation to generation transmit the blueprints for creating the human body. That information is stored in strings of what’s often called the four-letter DNA code. That really refers to sequences of four building blocks abbreviated as A, C, T and G found in the DNA molecule. Specific sequences give the body directions for creating particular proteins.
  • Digital devices, on the other hand, store information in a two-letter code that produces strings of ones and zeroes. A capital ‘A’, for example, is 01000001.
  • Converting digital information to DNA involves translating between the two codes. In one lab, for example, a capital A can become ATATG. The idea is once that transformation is made, strings of DNA can be custom-made to carry the new code, and hence the information that code contains.

Feather in the Cap: India Home to 12% of World’s Bird Species.

  • A community of ornithologists has come up with the first authoritative checklist of Indian birds, putting forth the number of species across the country at 1,263. Now India accounts for 12 per cent of the total number of bird species in the world, amounting to 10,135.
  • “A Checklist of the birds of India”, authored by Praveen J, Rajah Jayapal and Aasheesh Pittie and published this month by the journal Indian BIRDS, has painstakingly compiled the list of all avian fauna and categorized and standardized them by their English names, scientific names and modern taxonomy.
  • Amongst the 1,263 species, Himalayan Forest Thrush (Zoothera salimalii) is the newest species discovered to science, while White-browed Crake Amaurornis cinerea is the latest admission to the country’s bird list.
  • Taxonomically, the bird population in the country is divided into 23 orders, 107 families and 498 genera.
  • Among the bird families, Muscicapidae (comprising chats, robins and flycatchers) are the most varied, having as many as 97 species.
  • Raptors or birds of prey, which comprise vultures, eagles, and kites, are represented by 57 species and typical babblers by 53 species. Of all the birds known to occur within the geographical boundaries of India, 61 species are endemic, found only in India, and another 134 species are near-endemic, meaning these are largely restricted to India with small populations found in neighbouring countries.
  • Among the other authors of the paper, Praveen J, is a software engineer by profession and Associate Editor of Indian BIRDS, and Aasheesh Pittie, a businessman and the editor of the journal. They are both India’s leading ornithologists.

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