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World Facing ‘Largest Humanitarian Crisis’ Since 1945: United Nations

World Facing 'Largest Humanitarian Crisis' Since 1945: United Nations

 

UNITED NATIONS:  The world is facing its “largest humanitarian crisis” since 1945, said the United Nations (UN), further issuing a plea for help to avoid “a catastrophe”.

Stephen O’Brien, UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that more than 20 million people are facing the threat of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria, as reported by the BBC.

“We stand at a critical point in history,” O’Brien told the Security Council on Friday.

“Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the UN.”

UNICEF has already warned that 1.4 million children could starve to death in 2017. Mr O’Brien said $4.4 billion is needed by July to avert a disaster.

“Now, more than 20 million people across four countries face starvation and famine. Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death. Many more will suffer and die from disease,” he added.

According to the UN, a child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen from a preventable disease, while half-a-million children under five are suffering from acute malnutrition. Some 19 million people – or two thirds of Yemen’s population – are in need of some sort of humanitarian help.

In South Sudan, 4.9 million people – or 40 per cent of the country’s population – are “in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance,” BBC quoted the UN as saying.

The UN has described the unfolding disaster in north-eastern Nigeria as the “greatest crisis on the continent”.  Estimates in December 2016 showed that there were 75,000 children at risk of starving to death. Another 7.1 million people in Nigeria and the neighbouring Lake Chad area are considered “severely food insecure”.

Six years ago, when a famine was declared in Somalia, nearly 260,000 people died. At the beginning of March, there were reports of 110 people dying in just one region in a 48-hour period, the UN added.

dedicated by

Kavignar Thanigai.

thanks: NDTV

 

 


unfortunate woman is said to be the most fertile woman ….Kavignar Thanigai.

She was just 40-years-old (Photo: AFP)

 

Gaza: Motherhood is supposed to be a wonderful experience of life, but with lack of awareness and certain societal pressures giving birth can actually turn out to be an ordeal for some women that can even result in death.

A similar shocking incident has surfaced from Gaza, where a woman died bearing the brunt for lack of awareness about contraception and family planning. She lost her life after giving birth to her 69th child at the age of just 40 years.
While the unfortunate woman is said to be the most fertile woman as per statistics, a woman from Russia going by the name Vassilyeva holds the record of giving birth to 69 children, which involved 16 twins and seven sets of triplets with four quadruplets.

she was just 40

dedicated by :Kavignar Thanigai

thanks: Deccan Chronicle




Indian-American teen boy makes drinking saltwater a possibility!

Indian-American teen boy makes drinking saltwater a possibility!

 

thanks: Z news

dedicated by: Kavignar Thanigai.

New Delhi: Environmental scientists have been concerned with regard to drying water bodies as a result of severe climate change. Many areas around the world are slowly falling short of drinking water, leaving scientists in a tizzy.

 

Of course, oceans are full of it and they soon might be the only respite, going by the rate at which climate change is working. But drinking saltwater has never been even a remote consideration. How do we separate the salt from the water?

Well, an Indian-American teenage boy has the answer! Chaitanya Karamchedu has made that possible by finding a cheaper and easier method to turn salt water into drinkable fresh water!

Karamchedu’s research, which began as a science experiment in his high school classroom, is turning quite a few heads and has caught the attention of major technology firms and universities.

The Jesuit High School Senior told KPTV that he has big plans of changing the world.

“1 in 8 people do not have access to clean water, it’s a crying issue that needs to be addressed,” said Karamchedu.

He made up his mind to address the matter himself.

“The best access for water is the sea, so 70 per cent of the planet is covered in water and almost all of that is the ocean, but the problem is that’s salt water,” said Karamchedu.

Isolating drinkable water from the ocean in a cost effective way is a problem that has stumped scientists for years.

“Scientists looked at desalination, but it’s all still inaccessible to places and it would cost too much to implement on a large scale,” Karamchedu said.

Karamchedu figured it out, on his own, in a high school lab.

“The real genesis of the idea was realising that sea water is not fully saturated with salt,” he was quoted as saying.

By experimenting with a highly absorbent polymer, the teen discovered a cost effective way to remove salt from ocean water and turn it into fresh water.

“It’s not bonding with water molecules, it’s bonding to the salt,” said Karamchedu.

“People have been looking at the problem from one view point, how do we break those bonds between salt and the water? Chai came in and thought about it from a completely different angle,” said Jesuit High School Biology Teacher Dr. Lara Shamieh.

“People were concentrated on that 10 per cent of water that’s bonded to the salt in the sea and no one looked at the 90 per cent that was free. Chai just looked at it and said if 10 per cent is bonded and 90 per cent is free, then why are we so focused on this 10 per cent, let’s ignore it and focus on the 90,” Shamieh said.

It is a breakthrough that is estimated to impact millions of lives if ever implemented on a mass scale.

“What this is compared to current techniques, is that it’s cheap and accessible to everyone, everyone can use it,” said Shamieh.

Scientists across the country are taking note. He won a USD 10,000 award from the US Agency for International Global Development at Intel’s International Science Fair and second place at MIT’s TechCon Conference where he won more money to continue his research.

“They were very encouraging, they could see things into it that I couldn’t, because they’ve been working their whole lives on this,” said Karamchedu.

Back in January, Karamchedu was also named one of 300 Regeneron Science Talent Search Semifinalists. The STS is thought to be one of the most prestigious competitions in the country for high school seniors.


moon is older than we thought

 

This makes the Earth’s satellite up to 140 million years older than previously thought.

The Moon is at least 4.51 billion years old — up to 140 million years older than previously thought, according to a new study of minerals called zircons brought back from the lunar body to the Earth by the Apollo 14 mission in 1971.

The Moon’s age has been a hotly debated topic, even though scientists have tried to settle the question over many years and using a wide range of scientific techniques.

“We have finally pinned down a minimum age for the Moon; it is time we knew its age and now we do,” said Melanie Barboni, research geochemist at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the United States.

Head-on collision created it

The Moon was formed by a violent, head-on collision between the early Earth and a “planetary embryo” called Theia.

The new study would mean that Moon formed “only” about 60 million years after the birth of the solar system, providing critical information for astronomers and planetary scientists who seek to understand the early evolution of the Earth and our solar system, researchers said.

That has been a difficult task, Ms. Barboni said, because “whatever was there before the giant impact has been erased.”

While scientists cannot know what occurred before the collision with Theia, these findings are important because they will help scientists continue to piece together major events that followed it.

How it was arrived at

It is usually difficult to determine the age of Moon rocks because most of them contain a patchwork of fragments of multiple other rocks. However, Ms. Barboni was able to analyse eight zircons in pristine condition.

She examined how the uranium they contained had decayed to lead and how the lutetium they contained had decayed to an element called hafnium.

The researchers analysed those elements together to determine the Moon’s age.

Zircons are the best clocks

“Zircons are nature’s best clocks. They are the best mineral in preserving geological history and revealing where they originated,” said Kevin McKeegan, a UCLA professor of geochemistry and cosmo-chemistry.

The Earth’s collision with Theia created a liquefied Moon, which then solidified. Scientists believe most of the Moon’s surface was covered with magma right after its formation.

The uranium-lead measurements reveal when the zircons first appeared in the Moon’s initial magma ocean, which later cooled down and formed the Moon’s mantle and crust; the lutetium-hafnium measurements reveal when its magma formed, which happened earlier.

Previous studies concluded the Moon’s age based on Moon rocks that had been contaminated by multiple collisions.

Professor McKeegan said those rocks indicated the date of some other events, “but not the age of the Moon.”

dedicated by

Kavignar Thanigai.

 


Boy or girl? Mother’s BP may predict sex of baby

thanks: Times of India

Image result for boy or girl

 

Toronto: The sex of a baby may be predicted by the mother’s blood pressure, according to a new study which found that women with lower BP before pregnancy are more likely to give birth to a girl.

Researchers led by Dr Ravi Retnakaran, endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Canada found that while higher blood pressure was an indication that a boy was more likely to be conceived, women with lower blood pressure tended to give birth to a girl.

This “suggests that a woman’s blood pressure before pregnancy is a previously unrecognised factor that is associated with her likelihood of delivering a boy or a girl,” said Retnakaran.

“This novel insight may hold implications for both reproductive planning and our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying the sex ratio in humans,” he said.

The possibility of predicting the sex of the baby in early pregnancy has long been a topic of public fascination, spawning numerous theories of maternal characteristics associated with the presence of a male or female foetus.

These observations raise the possibility that there may be underlying differences that relate to a woman’s likelihood of sex-specific fetal loss and hence her likelihood of delivering a boy or girl. However, little is known about such factors in humans.

Researchers established a unique pre-conception cohort consisting of young women who were planning to have a pregnancy in the near future and used the model to evaluate the relationship between maternal pre-pregnancy health and the sex of the baby.

Participants underwent baseline medical assessment at recruitment and then, whenever they subsequently became pregnant, were followed across the pregnancy up to delivery through their clinical care.

Beginning in February 2009, researchers recruited 3375 women in Liuyang, China. Of these, 1,692 women were assessed for blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose.

After the exclusion of 281 women who were potentially pregnant at their baseline assessment based on back-dating of the length of gestation at delivery, the study population for the analysis consisted of 1,411 women who were assessed at median 26.3 weeks before pregnancy.

dedicated by: Kavignar Thanigai.