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Mar 2023

Sep 23, 2023

Scientists Find New Virus at Depths of Pacific Ocean

  • A team of scientists from China and Australia exploring the Pacific Ocean have found a new type of virus 8.9 kilometres below sea level.
  • They found the virus in sediments taken from the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean.
  • According to the scientists, the virus is part of a previously unidentified family of viruses that's distributed throughout the oceans, which the team is calling Suviridae (or 'Siphoviruses').
  • It's also a bacteriophage, which means that this virus uses bacteria to make more of itself and cannot make humans its host. They have named this bacteriophage 'vB_HmeY_H4907'.

Sep 22, 2023

OpenAI Launches DALL-E 3 Image Generator with ChatGPT Integration

  • OpenAI released the third generation of DALL-E, its latest AI art tool. DALL-E 3 uses OpenAI's chatbot- ChatGPT, to create more complex and carefully composed works of art by automatically expanding on a prompt to give the generator more detailed and coherent instruction.
  • DALL-E 3 allows users to make accurate prompts for generating desired images through ChatGPT's conversational interface. It also lets users refine a creation through prompts generated by ChatGPT. Text generating ability of the AI-chatbot removes some of the complexity required to refine the text that is fed to the program.

Sep 20, 2023

NASA's Parker Solar Probe Gets Closest to Sun

  • NASA's Parker Solar Probe marked a historic milestone by becoming the first spacecraft to fly through a coronal mass ejection (CME) directly from the sun — a colossal eruption which expels billions of tonnes of plasma.
  • The audacious probe that was launched in August 2018 now holds the distinction of being the closest human-made craft to the sun.
  • NASA's Parker Solar Probe spent two days at a mere 5.7 million miles (9.2 million kilometres) from the sun's scorching surface.

Sep 19, 2023

China Reportedly Develops 'Artificial Liver' That Works Outside the Human Body

  • Chin has reportedly approved clinical trials for a stem cell-based 'artificial liver'. This development offers hope for millions suffering from liver failure.
  • This bio-artificial liver, created by a team of Chinese researchers, operates outside the body, performing functions such as detoxification and protein synthesis typically carried out by the liver.
  • Currently, liver transplantation is the only effective treatment for liver failure. However, the treatment is often limited by a shortage of donors, complex surgeries, high cost, and finally, the need for lifelong immunosuppressants.
  • The stem cell-based artificial liver aims to support the diseased liver until it regenerates or a suitable graft for transplantation becomes available.

Aditya-L1 Begins Collecting Data

  • ISRO's Aditya L1 solar mission spacecraft started collecting data that will help scientists analyse the behaviour of particles surrounding the earth.
  • It said STEPS instrument, one of the seven payloads aboard Aditya L1, began measuring supra-thermal and energetic ions and electrons at distances greater than 50,000 km from Earth. The mission started 110-day journey toward Lagrange Point 1.

Sep 18, 2023

NASA's OSIRIS-REx Mission Set for Historic Asteroid Bennu Sample Return

  • NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission is set to create history on September 24, 2023, by bringing back samples from the asteroid Bennu after spending seven years in deep space. Asteroid Bennu is a potentially hazardous, near-Earth space rock that has a nearly 1 in 1,800 chance of colliding with Earth in the next 300 years. It makes a close approach to Earth every six years.
  • Launched in 2016, the spacecraft reached Bennu in October 2020 and successfully collected samples from its surface.
  • As NASA eagerly anticipates the landing, scientists are preparing for the spacecraft's return to Earth, which involves a high-speed entry into the Earth's atmosphere, followed by the deployment of parachutes to slow it down to a manageable 10 mph. The spacecraft will then head to Apophis, another potentially dangerous space rock, for a rendezvous in 2029.
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