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Submission + - New data about the parasite worm causing "river blindness" published

rahultyagi writes: "River blindness" and Onchocerciasis are diseases of tropical countries in Africa and South America that are caused by the tiny roundworm O. volvulus. Millions of people in these countries carry this worm, with some of the symptoms being devastating impact on quality of life, health and economy in these poor and developing countries. Large scale drug administration has shown promise over last few decades but new drugs are always in demand because of possibility of development of drug resistance. Two new papers in "Nature Microbiology" describe the genome sequence and the genomic diversity that existed before current drugs modified the genomic landscape. This data will hopefully accelerate the demise of this terrible affliction.

Comment Re:Its... (Score 1) 559

I think you have completely misunderstood the scale of time dilation. you really should do the math! Time dilation doesn't matter at all at the orbital speeds of planets that we are talking about, and the gravity wells aren't deep enough either for any realistic configuration of habitable planets (there is a reason "Interstellar" had to put that planet in orbit around a supermassive black hole)

Comment Re:Gravity leak from other dimensions? (Score 1) 274

I know what you mean, but saying "For light, dark matter just isn't there" isn't quite right. It isn't there in terms of electromagnetic interaction. The gravity, on the other hand, can't be escaped even by photons. Otherwise you wouldn't have seen the lensing effects that are some of the best evidence for dark matter's existence.

Comment Re:Where did that 3600 cubic miles figure come fro (Score 1) 67

wait, what? How small do you think the earth is! I can only guess that you think 3600 cubic miles is the volume of a cube of side 3600 miles. Usually this is meant to be the volume. so, for example, the volume of a cube of side 15 miles is around that much.

Comment Re:I'm probably too cynical (Score 1) 260

How does you Occam's Razor calculation change when you consider that this is based on chemical analysis of the same suspected flowing water streaks that were observed years ago (and published in Science 4 years ago ). These streaks (called RSLs) have been continuously studied - and results published - since then with everyone being almost sure that the best explanation (Occam's Razor!) has to be flowing water. And yet, the scientists and NASA waited for the final clinching confirmation based on spectroscopy before making this announcement. You think they hastily concocted some story to get funding? You have no idea how these things work!

Comment Re:Do they really mean "chaotic"? (Score 1) 92

I had never bothered to make this calculation, but always sort of assumed that the Sun would look like a disc from those distances... very small but still with a disc shape easily discernible by naked eye. This made me do the calculation. Turns out that the Sun looks almost exactly the same size from Pluto (at perihelion) as Venus does from Earth (at their closest distance)! However, venus at its closest is bright enough to cast discernible shadows and Sun's absolute brightness is a LOTTTT more than venus. So, yes, you are right. just another star in the sky that is however *much* brighter than anything else. For religions starting on pluto, you can easily bet against anything other than the Sun or Charon being their chief deity.

Comment Re:Wait.. HALF THE WORLD?!? (Score 1) 48

I agree that it is a bit confusing. That number seems impossibly large. Perhaps they mean "number of passengers" which means that the same person making 2 return trips might be counted as 4 passengers? It is like saying "New York City's subway serves X million passengers per week", where every single person is probably counted multiple times based on the number of trips they make.

Submission + - India enters its deep space exploration era successfully (

rahultyagi writes: With Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission) successfully completing the final stage of its voyage to the red planet, ISRO — Indian Space Research Organization — now joins the US, Russian and European space agencies in a small club of deep space exploration capable entities. Entering Martian orbit just 2 days after NASA's MAVEN, Mangalyaan cost only about a tenth of the cost, thus demonstrating India's capability to successfully complete space missions at highly competitive costs to exploit the fast expanding space industry.

Comment Re:Is this the missing "dark matter"? (Score 1) 85

Here is something to boggle your mind. You think your argument is strong with Sun containing 98% of the Solar system's total mass? It is actually something like 99.8%!! to think that stray jupiter-size brown dwarves can weigh anywhere near the total stellar masses that we see betrays complete lack of understanding of the difference of scales involved.

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