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Indian Express Explained 16/05/2020

1)Explained: Why is the International Day of Light celebrated?

The United Nations marks the International Day of Light (IDL) — 16th May, an annual initiative held globally to raise awareness on the critical role played by light-based technologies in everyday life

The IDL highlights the contribution of such technologies in various avenues such as science, technology, art, and culture, thus helping achieve the UNESCO goals of education, equality, and peace.

Why 16th May is Chosen :- The day selected, May 16, marks the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer Theodore Maiman. “The laser is a perfect example of how a scientific discovery can yield revolutionary benefits to society in communications, healthcare and many other fields,”.

The IDL is administered from the International Basic Science Programme (IBSP) of UNESCO, and its Secretariat is located at the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP) at Trieste, Italy.

2) Explained: A new species discovered on Twitter, named after Twitter

A new species has just been discovered — on Twitter. It’s a type of parasitic fungus, which researchers have described in the journal MycoKeys. Its name: Troglomyces twitteri.

What the Species Like : – Troglomyces twitteri belongs to an order called Laboulbeniales — tiny fungal parasites that attack insects and millipedes. look like tiny larvae. These fungi live on the outside of host organisms; in this case, on the reproductive organs of millipedes.

3) Explained: When does a disease become endemic?

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a disease is endemic when its presence or usual prevalence in the population is constant. When the cases begin to rise, it is classified as an epidemic. If this epidemic has been recorded in several countries and areas, it is called a pandemic.

Some examples of endemics include the chicken pox and malaria, where there are predictable number of cases every year in certain parts of the world.

The dictionary of epidemiology defines an endemic disease as, “the constant presence of a disease or infectious agent within a given geographic area or population group; may also refer to the usual prevalence of a given disease within such an area or group.”

What if a Disease becomes Endemic:-According to an article published in the journal Science, when epidemics become endemic, they become “increasingly tolerated” and the responsibility of protecting against it shifts from the government to the individual. This means, rather than government agencies actively engaging in tracking and identifying cases, the individuals themselves will be responsible for managing risk from the disease and seeking care.

When does a disease becomes Endemic:-If R0, which is the rate at which the virus is transmitted is equal to 1, then the disease is endemic. When R0>1, it implies that the cases are increasing and that the disease will eventually become an epidemic. If R0<1, it implies the number of cases of the disease are decreasing.

4) Explained: How tropical cyclones are named

In 2000, a group of nations called WMO/ESCAP (World Meteorological Organisation/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), which comprised Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, decided to start naming cyclones in the region. After each country sent in suggestions, the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC) finalised the list.

The WMO/ESCAP expanded to include five more countries in 2018 — Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The list of 169 cyclone names released by IMD last month, in April, were provided by these countries — 13 suggestions from each of the 13 countries. The new list included the last name from the previous list (Amphan) as it remained unused at the time of release.

Incidentally, the IMD has issued an alert for Cyclone Amphan, which is forming over the southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman sea.

Guidelines for Naming :– * The proposed name should be neutral to (a) politics and political figures (b) religious believes, (c) cultures and (d) gender
* Name should be chosen in such a way that it does not hurt the sentiments of any group of population over the globe
* It should not be very rude and cruel in nature
* It should be short, easy to pronounce and should not be offensive to any member
* The maximum length of the name will be eight letters
* The proposed name should be provided with its pronunciation and voice over
* The names of tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean will not be repeated. Once used, it will cease to be used again. Thus, the name should be new.

The 13 names in the recent list that have been suggested by India include: Gati, Tej, Murasu, Aag, Vyom, Jhar (pronounced Jhor), Probaho, Neer, Prabhanjan, Ghurni, Ambud, Jaladhi and Vega.


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