In Brief – September 2021


Tom Daley knits a medal case for his gold medal

After winning gold in the synchronised 10m platform diving at the Tokyo Olympics, Tom Daley, an LGBTQ icon, was spotted knitting while watching the women’s 3m springboard final. Pictures of the star diver watching the action while knitting went viral on social media. A photo of Daley knitting purple yarn shared by the official Olympics Twitter account got over 1.6 lakh ‘likes’ in a day. He shared a glimpse of the little woollen pouch he knit for his Olympic gold medal on his @madewithlovebytomdaley Instagram account which has over 4.2 lakh followers.



Take Covid vaccination, urges Jennifer Aniston

Hollywood actor Jennifer Aniston pleaded with her 37.7 million followers on Instagram to wear a mask and has cut ties with a few people over their vaccination status. Saying “it’s a real shame,” she called out “a few people in my weekly routine who have refused or did not disclose (whether or not they had been vaccinated), and it was unfortunate.” Vaccination, she said in an interview with InStyle magazine, is “your moral and professional obligation. It’s tricky because everyone is entitled to their own opinion — but a lot of opinions don’t feel based in anything except fear or propaganda.”



Emperor Penguins in endangered list

In a bid to save the Emperor Penguins the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) has proposed that the species be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Although the species is not found within the United States, a listing under the Endangered Species Act would help federal agencies minimise harm to them from activities in their habitat, for example, from fishing. The USFWS study shows the decline of sea ice at the rate projected by climate models under current energy system would dramatically reduce penguin colonies making them quasi-extinct by 2100.



New hydrogel to treat Parkinson’s

The Australian National University (ANU) in collaboration with The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health have developed a new hydrogel that could help in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Made from natural amino acids the gel will act as a gateway to safely transfer stem cells into the brain and restore damaged tissue by releasing a growth-enabling protein called GDNF (Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor). The cost-effective technology is said to be easy to manufacture on a mass scale and could undergo clinical trials soon.




Solar buoy to test sea water

National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), Chennai, has a placed a high-tech buoy off the coast of Puducherry. Fitted with sensors, the buoy will automatically measure and transmit oxygen, water temperature, conductivity (salinity), depth, blue-green algae, turbidity, pH and chlorophyll levels in the sea through a computer model and the quality readings can be viewed through a smartphone app by anyone near the coast. The solar-powered buoy, anchored 1.5km from the coast, will also study atmospheric temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, besides wave speed and direction of currents, and can withstand rough weather including six-metre high waves.

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