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Health Top Stories

Researchers Spot Key Brain Region For Navigating Familiar Places

UCL scientists disclosed that they have spotted the key brain area for navigating familiar places. This research might assist in explaining why brain damage observed in the initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease can lead to such critical disorientation. The latest study can be accessed in the journal Cerebral Cortex. This research is said to be the foremost to spot the specific brain areas employed in guiding the navigation of well-known places.

Scientists observed that a brain area long-known to be engaged in new learning, the hippocampus, was as well involved in tracking distance to a destination in a “recently learned” environment. But, while navigating a well-known place, another brain area, the retrosplenial cortex, was noted to “take over” tracking the distance to the destination. Hugo Spiers, Professor, Experimental Psychology, UCL, is the senior author on the research. He stated that the latest findings are important as they disclose the presence of two diverse areas of the brain that direct navigation.

On a similar note, a novel study on non-human primates highlighted that the intense use of alcohol amongst teenagers and young adults can slow down the rate of brain development. Scientists from the Oregon National Primate Research Center measured brain development via magnetic resonance imaging in about 71 rhesus macaques that consumed alcoholic beverages or ethanol. To rule out other possible elements, the scientists monitored the animals’ exact alcohol intake, daily schedules, diet, and overall health.

The outcomes of the latest research suggest that heavy alcohol consumption minimized the rate of brain development by about 0.25 Millimeters per year for each gram of alcohol taken per kilogram of body weight. For a human, heavy alcohol consumption equals about 4 beers a day. As reported in the journal eNeuro, the standard brain development in teenager rhesus macaques is 1 Millimeter per 1.87 Years.

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Technology Top Stories

Shotgun-Firing Drone By Russia Is Developed To Take Down Enemy Drones

In recent days, a video emerged online regarding scary concept—a drone mounted in its airframe with a shotgun. But it does not seem like it is developed to hunt users. The video is a representation of a Russian device that has developed to take on tiny aircraft, such as other drones.

The drone appears to have started development earlier in 2016 (through Foxtrot Alpha) at the Moscow Aviation Institute from a bunch of candidates. While there have been examples of individuals mounting chainsaws and firearms to drones, there are some disadvantages—the recoil from a gunshot makes it unrealistic for actually turning into an effectual weapons platform.

As per the media, the students seem to have resolved that issue by designing a stabilizing method to enhance its accurateness. Almaz-Antey (the Russian arms manufacturer) has since been approved of a copyright for the design, and most probably developed the prototype.

The drone itself is equipped with a Russian-created Vepr-12 shotgun. In addition to this, an operator with the help of a visor from the ground can manage the drone. The aircraft vertically takes off and can fly for almost 40 Minutes, and as per media, is developed as a mean to attack tiny drones from above.

On a related note, the US Air Force has tested successfully a jet-powered, enhanced drone dubbed as the XQ58-A Valkyrie. This drone can someday help human-controlled fighter jets on missions. The idea is a bit like something we have witnessed in video games. A drone can fight together with a human pilot or can take enemy fire for the human-controlled jets.

The drone was designed as an association between the Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems and Air Force Research Laboratory as a comparatively affordable platform that can fill an electronic strike, warfare, and surveillance role on the battlefield.

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Science Top Stories

Ethiopia Asks Boeing To Evaluate Its Control Systems

Ethiopia has stated that Boeing must analyze the “controllability” of its 737 MAX 8 airplane model and those aviation officials should confirm that the flight control system was “sufficiently addressed” by the U.S. airplane maker. The Boeing 737 Max 8 plane killed 157 people on the board on March 10 just a few minutes after its flight’s take off from Addis Ababa. Dagmawit Moges—Ethiopian Transport Minister—outlined an initial report into the crash and stated pilots onboard had performed flight procedures as stated by Boeing. The U.S. FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and Boeing have proposed that the collapse might have been averted if the pilots just followed instituted safety procedures.

The minister said that the preliminary review suggested that the airplane company must analyze the aircraft flight control systems of the Boeing 737 Max 8 prior to releasing the airplane to operators. And those officials must examine if the flight control system was correctly reviewed sooner than that plane is released back to airlines. Moges further added that the inquiry of the crash was not about culpability but was related to ensuring air safety. She asserted she expected the final report in a year. Ethiopia Airlines in a statement stated that in spite of their hard work and full obedience with the disaster procedures, it was very fateful that they cannot recover the aircraft from the perseverance of nose diving.

Recently, the FAA was in news as the authority is planned to join with UAE’s aviation body on Boeing 737 Max. Ismael al Blooshi—Assistant Director at the GCAA (General Civil Aviation Authority)—stated to Reuters that the UAE has accepted a request to join the U.S. FAA’s review body on the Boeing 737 Max. The MAX has been suspended globally from last month after two deadly crashes in 5 Months engaging the same airplane type, killing all 346 people. Boeing has stated a software upgradation to prevent flawed data from activating an anti-stall system—which is under scrutiny after the fatal nose-down collapses—will be submitted in the upcoming weeks.

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Health Top Stories

Teenage Psychotic Encounters More Ordinary In Areas With High Air Pollution

A new study from KCL (King’s College London) offers the first evidence of a link amid air pollution and psychotic encounters in adolescence. The study provides a possible explanation of why growing up in cities is a peril factor for psychosis. This is the very first-time scientists have associated detailed environmental air pollution information with a representative illustration of young people in the U.K. The study was published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Psychotic experiences—like intense paranoia and hearing voices—are quite less extreme kinds of symptoms encountered by people having a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia. While psychotic encounters are more normal in adolescence compared to adulthood, young people who account psychotic encounters are more possible to go on to grow psychotic disorders, plus a range of other psychological health issues and suicide attempts. The scientists discovered that psychotic encounters were considerably more widespread amid adolescents having the highest exposure to NO2 (nitrogen dioxide), NOx (nitrogen oxides), and very small PM2.5 (particulate matter), even after reporting for known jeopardy factors for psychosis. NOx and NO2 together summed up for 60% of the link between residing in an urban environment and experiencing adolescent psychotic experiences.

Recently, KCL was in news for its study that stated that the “blue” in blueberries could aid in lowering blood pressure. The latest study was issued in the Journal of Gerontology Series A. The study has discovered that consuming 200 Grams of blueberries daily for a month can improve in the function of the blood vessel and lower in systolic blood pressure amongst healthy people. Scientists from KCL studied 40 healthy individuals for 1 Month. The team tracked chemicals in blood and urine plus their blood pressure and FMD (flow-mediated dilation) of the brachial artery, an evaluation of how the artery expands when blood flow surges that is considered a susceptible biomarker of heart disease risk.

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Business Top Stories

Trump Government Plans To Cut Foreign Aid For Northern Triangle

The Trump government stated in recent time that it plans to trim foreign assistance programs for Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, a step that Democrats stated as “reckless and counterproductive” in dealing the problems that lead people to flee to the U.S. The State Department representative said, “On Secretary’s instructions, we are conducting the President’s direction and ending FY 2017, FY 2018 foreign aid programs for the Northern Triangle.” Northern Triangle refers to the three nations. The representative said “We would be involving Congress in the course of this process,” which can mean it requires Congress’ support to end funding.

The assistance impacts around $500 Million in 2018 funds and millions additional left over from the preceding fiscal year. The money was meant for Central America but was not been spent yet, The Washington Post declared. A senior Democratic aide engaged in the talks said they think the cuts external the law and unauthorized and that they will require Congressional approval. Senator Bob Menendez—Top Democrat on the Republican-chaired US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations—stated the verdict as “irresponsible and reckless” and he asked Republicans and Democrats to reject it. Menendez said, “The U.S. foreign aid is not charity; it boosts our strategic interests and supports initiatives that guard American citizens.”

On a similar note, recently, Trump threatened to shut “large sections” of the U.S.-Mexico border in the next week due to illegal immigration. Trump has intimidated to close the U.S.-Mexico border in the next week if Mexico does not “instantly” stop illegal immigration. In a sequence of tweets, the president expressed his thoughts. He alleged closing off border crossings, important roads for trade with a key partner. However, his threat came at a principally delicate time, as his administration anticipates Congress will sanction a substitute of the 1994 NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) by the end of summer.