New York: Indian-American student Indeveer Madireddy has become the first person to successfully sequence the genome of a freshwater angelfish after his pet Calvin fish died in early March this year.
Madireddy, a 17-year-old BASIS Independent Silicon Valley student, did the sequencing at BioCurious, a community lab in Santa Clara that makes advanced equipment available to anyone for a small membership fee.
“Even though my fish was dead, I wanted to keep it forever… So I decided to sequence the angelfish genome in hopes of bringing that information to the scientific community, while also paying a little tribute to my pet!” Madireddy told Newscientist.
In March of this year he lost Calvin, a specimen of angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare), a tropical freshwater fish from the cichlid family.
Angelfish, with a lifespan of 10 years, are one of the most commonly kept freshwater aquarium fish, as well as the most commonly kept cichlid.
They are kept in a warm aquarium, ideally around (27 degrees), with soft, acidic water. They are known for their unique shape and color, and are native to the Amazon Basin, Orinoco Basin, and various rivers in the Guiana Shield in South America.
Although angelfish behaviors have been well studied, very little is known about their genetics and their genome has not been fully sequenced.
In his research paper, Madireddy explained that angelfish genomic DNA was extracted using the NEB Monarch Genomic DNA Purification Kit.
Sequencing was performed over the course of two weekends with a small sequencer made by Oxford Nanopore. These sequencers read the sequence of DNA molecules as they pass through tiny pores.
Nanopore sequencers can sequence individual pieces of DNA much longer than competing methods. This makes it easier for sequencing software to assemble the genome by putting all these pieces back together, like a puzzle with fewer and larger pieces, reported Newscientist.
The sequencing cost around $2,000, says Madireddy, of which he managed to raise nearly $1,000 through crowdfunding.
Cichlids are important in biomedical research and have been used as a model to investigate craniofacial variations and neurobiology. That is why Madireddy believes that “research on the angelfish genome can allow it to be used as a model organism for future biological research.”
The high school student has more than 100 fish in his home’s indoor aquariums and outdoor ponds. Some of his favorites include Senegal bichir and Benigoi koi.
In his spare time, he shares his fishing experience and gives advice to new enthusiasts. He also plays tabla and hand drums.
Through her nonprofit organization Fireworks, Madireddy works with a number of elementary and middle school kids interested in writing articles, public speaking, and STEM projects.
Madireddy is also a recipient of the prestigious Davidson Fellows Scholarship Program, which supports projects by students under the age of 18 in STEM, literature, and music.
When India was celebrating Constitution Day, terrorists attacked Mumbai 14 years ago: PM
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that 14 years ago, when India was celebrating Constitution Day, it faced the biggest terrorist attack in Mumbai, in its history, by the enemies of humanity.
The prime minister spoke at Constitution Day celebrations at the Supreme Court. Recalling the dark day in Indian history as the country celebrated the momentous occasion of Constitution Day, the Prime Minister recalled that on November 26, 14 years ago, India faced the biggest terrorist attack in its history by the enemies of humanity. .
He paid tribute to those who lost their lives in the cowardly Mumbai terror attacks.
The Prime Minister recalled that in the current global scenario, the world looks with hope to India amidst its growing economy and international image. He said that defying all initial apprehensions about its stability, India is moving forward in full force and taking pride in its diversity and credited the Constitution for this success.
He referred to the first three words of the Preamble, ‘We the people,’ and said: “’We the people’ is a call, a trust, and an oath. This spirit of the Constitution is the spirit of India, which has been the mother of democracy in the world.” “In modern times, the Constitution has encompassed all the cultural and moral emotions of the nation,” she added.
Underlining the youth-focused spirit, the prime minister said that the Constitution is known for its openness, for being futuristic and for its modern vision. He recognized the role and contribution of youth power in all aspects of India’s growth story.
The prime minister expressed his happiness that, as the mother of democracy, the country is strengthening the ideals of the constitution and pro-popular policies are empowering the country’s poor and women. He added that the laws are becoming easier and more accessible for ordinary citizens and the judiciary is taking many steps to ensure timely justice.
The prime minister said that within a week, India will attain the G20 presidency and stressed the need to promote India’s prestige and reputation in the world as a team. “It is our collective responsibility,” he said, adding: “India’s identity as the mother of democracy must be further strengthened.”
Emphasizing the need to raise awareness of the Constitution among youth for a better understanding of issues such as equality and empowerment, the PM recalled the time when the Constitution was drafted and the circumstances the country was facing. “What happened in the Constituent Assembly debates at that time, our youth should be aware of all these issues,” he said.
Naming the Amrit Kaal as ‘Kartavya Kaal’, the Prime Minister emphasized that in the Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal as the nation is completing 75 years of independence, and as we embark on the journey for the next 25 years of development, the mantra of duty to the nation is first and foremost. “The Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal is the time of duty to the country. Whether they are individuals or institutions, our responsibilities are our first priority,” the Prime Minister commented. He stressed that by following one’s ‘kartavya path’, the country can reach new heights of development.
The Prime Minister set the example when India had 15 women members in the Constituent Assembly and singled out women like Dakshayani Velayudhan among them, who came from a disadvantaged society to get there.
The Prime Minister said that the contributions of women like Dakshaini Velayudhan are rarely discussed and reported that she made important interventions on many Dalit and worker related issues. She gave examples of Durgabai Deshmukh, Hansa Mehta and Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and other women members who also made significant contributions to women’s issues.
Since 2015, Constitution Day has been observed on 26 November to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly in 1949. The Prime Minister also launched several new initiatives under the e-court project during the program , including Virtual Justice Clock, JustIS 2.0 Mobile App, Digital Court, and S3WaaS websites.
The event was attended by the Chief Justice of India, Dr. DY Chandradud, Union Minister for Law and Justice, Kiren Rijiju, J. Sanjay Kishan Kaul and J. S. Abdul Nazeer, Minister for State for Law and Justice of the Union, Prof. SP Baghel, Advocate General of India R Venkataramani, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Vikas Singh, together with the High Court Judge and members of the Bar of Lawyers.
‘Need to do something for poor people’, President raises issue of overcrowding in prisons
New Delhi: President Droupadi Murmu raised the issue of prison overcrowding on Saturday, stressing that something needs to be done for the poor in prisons.
In her farewell speech at the Constitution Day celebrations organized by the Supreme Court, the President said: “I come from a very small town. Where I was born, people considered three people to be God: teachers, doctors, and lawyers.”
He added that in order to overcome their problems, people were even willing to give away all their money and property to doctors and lawyers.
“It is said that the prisons are becoming overcrowded and that it is necessary to set up more prisons,” said the President.
“Are we going towards development? What is the need to set up more prisons? We have to reduce their number. The poor people imprisoned for many years for petty crimes need help,” said Murmu.
He pointed out that people are even jailed for slapping someone or for some other minor offense, while there are people who do many things, even kill others, but walk free.
The event was attended by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Minister of Justice Kiren Rijiju, Attorney General of India R. Venkataramani, Attorney General Tushar Mehta, Supreme Court Justices and members of the Bar Association.
The President emphasized that there are poor people in prisons and something must be done for them.
“You have to do something for these people. Who are these people in jail? They don’t know fundamental rights or fundamental duties,” said Murmu, who recommended decongesting prisons.
The President said that people do not act to free their relatives, who are languishing in jails, because they feel that they would have to sell their utensils and goods.
The president said the legislature, executive and judiciary must have “one thought” for the country and its people, adding that the checks and balances must be there, but somewhere “we need to work together.”
“Our job is to think about the people (poor defendants who languish in prisons). We all have to think and get out somehow… I leave it all to you,” she said.
India successfully orbits Indo-French collaborative EOS 6/OCEANSAT, 8 other satellites
Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh): India successfully placed the Indo-French EOS 06 ocean observation satellite and eight other nanosatellites into orbit on Saturday with its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket numbered PSLV-C54.
Announcing the success of the mission, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Space Department Chairman and Secretary S. Somanath said all the satellites have been launched.
He also said that the EOS 06 satellite’s solar arrays had been deployed and the satellite was in the precise orbit as expected and congratulated the ISRO team.
The XL variant of the PSLV rocket carrying the 1117kg EOS-6 as the lead passenger and eight others lifted off from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) here at 11:56am.
Overlays include satellites from two Indian startups: Syzygy Space Technologies Pvt Ltd, commonly known as Pixxel (Anand-16.51 kg), and Dhruvaspace’s two Thybolt satellites: 1.45 kg, Spaceflight USA’s Astrosat (four number 17 .92 kg) and ISRO’s INS-2B ( 18.28 kg).
Approximately 17 minutes into the flight, the rocket ejected EOS-6. The orbit was then changed using two orbit change thrusters inserted into the ring of the rocket propulsion bay. The passengers in tow were ejected on Orbit-2.
The entire mission lasted about two hours.
With this, the PSLV rocket has put 349 foreign satellites into orbit to date.
If you factor in the 36 UK-based OneWeb satellites that were launched into orbit by another LVM3 rocket this year, the total number of foreign satellites launched by ISRO would rise to 385.
At the end of the final countdown, the four-stage, 44.4m-tall expendable XL variant of the PSLV rocket weighing 321 tons slowly rose into the skies with a thick orange flame on its tail.
The rocket gained speed as it ascended while making a rolling thunder sound.
The PSLV rocket runs on solid (first and third stage) and liquid (second and fourth stage) fuels alternately.
The rocket that flew Saturday was PSLV’s 56th mission and the 24th mission with the PSLV-XL variant that has six auxiliary engines with six tons of fuel.
ISRO said the Indo-French EOS-06/Oceansat collaboration will provide continuity services from the Oceansat-2 spacecraft with enhanced payload capabilities and application areas.
EOS-06 payloads include Ocean Color Monitor (OCM-3), Sea Surface Temperature Monitor (SSTM), Ku-Band Scatterometer (SCAT-3), and ARGOS, a French payload.
According to France, ARGOS will reinforce the existing fleet of Indo-French satellites working in meteorological monitoring that are already in orbit (MEGHA-TROPIQUES and SARAL-ALTIKA), thus enhancing the contributions related to the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The Indian space agency said the satellite will ensure continuity of ocean color data and wind vector data to support operational applications. It will also improve applications, accommodating some additional data sets such as sea surface temperature and more bands in the optical region for fluorescence and in the infrared region for atmospheric corrections.
The satellite will also develop/improve related algorithms and data products to serve well-established application areas and to enhance mission utility.
INS-2B is ISRO’s second nanosatellite for Bhutan with two payloads, namely NanoMx and APRS-Digipeater. The NanoMx is a multispectral optical imaging payload developed by its Space Applications Center (SAC). The APRS-Digipeater payload is jointly developed by DITTBhutan and ISRO’s UR Rao Satellite Center (URSC), ISRO said.
Bhutan’s Information and Communication Minister Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi, who had witnessed the mission from here, said ISRO’s commendable record in launching satellites leaves no doubt about the mission’s success.
He said the mission is another key milestone of the close relationship between India and Bhutan.
Wangdi said that the satellite was built during the covid-19 pandemic.
Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishakar said ISRO is working to set up a ground station in Bhutan.
Pixxel’s Anand Nanosatellite is a technology demonstrator to demonstrate the capabilities and commercial applications of a miniaturized Earth observation camera for Earth observation using a microsatellite in low Earth orbit. This is a three-axis stabilized satellite consisting of a satellite bus, which accommodates all subsystems such as telemetry, telecommand, electric power system, Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS), on-board computers and others and a unit of payload, ISRO said.
Dhuruvaspace’s Thybolt satellites have a communication payload that enables rapid technology demonstration and multi-user constellation development. It also demonstrates Store-and-Forward functionality for authorized users on the amateur frequency band.
Astrocast, a 3U spacecraft, is a technology demonstration satellite for Internet of Things (IoT) payload.
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