First News
Volume:8, Number:05
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Google's parent company Alphabet and scientists in the US have teamed up to release 20 million machine-raised mosquitoes to shrink the numbers of the disease-carrying ones. According to the plans, millions of sterile male mosquitoes will be released in Fresno county in California, which will then mate with wild female mosquitoes. The eggs the females lay will not hatch. Scientists said the goal is to cut the numbers of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes – the species responsible for spreading zika, dengue, and chikungunya. For 20 weeks, the company plans to release a million of the sterile, nonbiting male mosquitoes in two neighborhoods in Fresno county. The male mosquitoes are bred and infected with Wolbachia, a bacterium that is naturally found in at least 40 per cent of all insect species, said the report.

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Earth Have Used Up Its Allowance of Resources for 2017

Humanity will have used up its allowance of planetary resources such as water, soil, and clean air for all of 2017 by this week, said a report on July 25. Earth Overshoot Day arrived on August 2 this year, according to environmental groups WWF and Global Footprint Network. This is a day earlier than in 2016. It means humanity will be living on “credit” for the rest of the year. The equivalent of 1.7 planets would be required to produce enough to meet humanity’s needs at current consumption rates. Calculated since 1986, the grim milestone has arrived earlier each year. Greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal, oil and gas make up 60 percent of mankind’s ecological “footprint” on the planet, said the groups.

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Student Designs Third Thumb

If you are overworked and always resent that you have only got one pair of hands, design student Dani Clode has the answer. She is suggesting that it could be possible to have more, with a prosthetic third thumb to aid productivity. The brainchild of this product design student at London’s Royal Academy of Art, the 3D-printed Third Thumb is called a human hand extension. The thumb sits below the little finger, opposite its natural counterpart, and straps on a like a watch. The device is controlled wirelessly by sensors worn on the feet. Clode says she was fascinated with the idea of using prosthetics to augment the human body, rather than to replace a lost appendage.

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Seventy-three Percent Indians Willing to Swap Personal Info for Free WiFi

A whopping 96 percent of Indians put personal information at risk while using public Wi-Fi for checking bank accounts, sharing personal photos and videos, said a report by Norton by Symantec. According to the 'Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report 2017' by Symantec, consumers are unable to resist a strong, free Wi-Fi network and their online behavior may be placing their personal information at risk. The report says that 73 per cent of Indians will do or swap something for a strong Wi-Fi signal including watching a three minute advertisement (35 percent),to something as critical as allowing access to personal emails (19 percent), personal photographs (22 percent), online dating profiles (16 percent), contact lists (19 percent) and giving permission to access and even edit personal social media profiles (19 percent).

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Amid Turning Tide, AIDS Claimed 1 Million Lives in 2016

AIDS claimed a million lives in 2016, almost half the 2005 toll that marked the peak of the deadly epidemic, said a UN report on July 20 proclaiming "the scales have tipped". Not only are new HIV infections and deaths declining, but more people than ever are on life-saving treatment, according to data published ahead of an AIDS science conference opening in Paris on July 23. This marked the first time that more than half of infected people were receiving antiretro viral treatment, which subdues the AIDS virus but does not kill it. In total, 76.1 million people have been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, since the epidemic started in the 1980s. Some 35 million have died.

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