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17-Year-Old Boy Discovers a New Planet on His Third Day of Internship at NASA

GREENBELT, Jan 12: A summer internship for a 17-year-old high school boy from New York turned out to be a remarkable discovery, that has gone to make headlines worldwide.

Wolf Cukier of Scarsdale was doing his internship at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he discovered a new planet that reloves around two stars.

It was his third day as an intern in the space research centre when the planet, which has been named as TOI 1338b with a mass which is 7 times larger than Earth and is located 1300 light-years away.

On the other side, one of the stars happens to be 10 per cent more than the size of the sun and another only a third of the sun's mass and less bright, according to NASA.

As per reports, Wolf was working for NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (Tess) programme, which for the first time discovered a planetary system with two stars.

Wolf went on to co-author a journal along with the other scientists from different US universities based on his discovery in the month of June. The work eventually went on to be featured at a panel at the 235th American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu, this week.

As reported by The Washington Post, Wolf was placed under the guidance of research scientist Veselin Kostov, who admitted to have never had a high school intern before.

He added that Wolf's finding has proven to be a "positive sign" for the Tess programme as he believes that this will lead to the discovery of more planets in the future.

The entire process of confirming Wolf's research was concluded within two-three months.

Wolf now awaits to finish his last year at high school and looks forward to studying physics or astrophysics at either Stanford University, MIT University or Princeton University in the state.

The Telegraph reported that Wolf could be back in NASA after his study programmes and possibly indulge in more discoveries. “Future research would involve finding more planets,” Wolf said.

Pope apologises for ‘bad example’ of slapping arm of pilgrim who tugged him

VATICAN CITY, Jan 2: Pope Francis apologised on Wednesday for having angrily slapped a woman’s arm when she had grabbed hold of his hand and yanked him towards her, saying he had lost his patience and set a “bad example”.

His unusual apology came after he used his first homily of the new year to denounce violence against women, which he compared to profaning God.

Pope Francis, 83, had a sharp encounter with a woman on Tuesday evening during a walkabout in St. Peters Square.

The pilgrim, who has not been identified, unexpectedly seized his hand and pulled him towards her, causing him evident alarm. A clearly disgruntled Francis wrenched himself free by slapping down at her arm.

“So many times we lose patience, even me, and I apologise for yesterday’s bad example,” the pope told thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday at the end of the traditional New Year Mass.

He had used the service to issue a forthright condemnation of the abuse of women in modern society.

“All violence inflicted on women is a desecration of God,” he told a packed St. Peter’s Basilica.

“How often is a woman’s body sacrificed on the profane altar of advertising, profit, pornography,” he said, adding that the female body “must be freed from consumerism, it must be respected and honoured”.

Despite creating life, women “are continually offended, beaten, raped, forced into prostitution” and made to have abortions, he said. “We can understand our level of humanity by the way we treat a woman’s body,” he told the congregation.

During his homily, Francis also addressed another theme close to his heart, immigration, saying women who moved abroad to provide for their children should be honoured, not scorned.

“Today even motherhood is humiliated, because the only growth that interests us is economic growth,” he said.

“There are mothers, who risk perilous journeys to desperately try to give the fruit of the womb a better future and are judged to be redundant by people whose bellies are full of things, but whose hearts are empty of love.”

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church, which allows only unmarried men to be ordained as priests, also said women “must be fully involved in decision-making processes”.

The pope said last April the Church had to acknowledge a history of male domination and sexual abuse of women. A month later, he appointed for the first time four women to an important Vatican department that prepares the major meetings of world bishops.

UN declares Malala decade’s ‘most famous teenager’

ISLAMABAD, Dec 26: The UN has declared Pakistani education activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai as “the most famous teenager in the world” in its ‘Decade in Review’ report.

In part one of its review series, which takes into account events that happened between 2010 and the end of 2013, the UN highlighted the devastating Haiti earthquake in 2010, the beginning of the ongoing Syrian conflict for 2011 and Malala’s work in favour of girls’ education for the year 2012.

In 2014, Malala became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her efforts for children’s rights which started even before she was shot in the head two years ago by Taliban militants.

“The attack made waves around the world, and was widely condemned. On Human Rights Day that year, a special tribute to Malala was held at the Paris headquarters of the UNESCO, pushing for action to ensure every girl’s right to go to school, and to advance girls’ education as an urgent priority,” the UN wrote in the review report.

“Malala’s activism and profile have only grown since the assassination attempt. She became a UN Messenger of Peace in 2017, with a special focus on girls’ education,” it added.

The 22-year-old was also recently chosen by Teen Vogue as its cover person for its last issue of the decade.

The magazine announced it had decided to “reflect” the last 10 years with the education activist.

Many makeup products contain deadly superbugs: Study

LONDON, Dec 3: The vast majority of in-use make-up products such as beauty blenders, mascara and lip gloss may be contaminated with potentially life-threatening superbugs, including E. coli and Staphylococci, according to a study.

The study, published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, shows that make-up products are contaminated with potentially deadly bacteria because most are not being cleaned and are used far beyond their expiry dates.

Bacteria that can cause illnesses ranging from skin infections to blood poisoning if used near eyes, mouth or cuts or grazes were found in nine out of ten of the products, said the researchers from Aston University in the UK. This risk is amplified ...

This risk is amplified in people with a weak immune system, who are more likely to contract infections from opportunistic bacteria, they said.

"Consumers' poor hygiene practices when it comes to using make-up, especially beauty blenders, is very worrying when you consider that we found bacteria such as E.coli - which is linked with faecal contamination - breeding on the products we tested," said Amreen Bashir, who co-led the study.

"More needs to be done to help educate consumers and the make-up industry as a whole about the need to wash beauty blenders regularly and dry them thoroughly, as well as the risks of using make-up beyond its expiry date," Bashir said in a statement. The relatively new beauty blenders - sponges used to apply skin foundation products - were found to have the highest levels of potentially harmful bacteria, with the vast majority (93 per cent) not having ever been cleaned the researchers said.

This was despite more than two thirds (64 per cent) of beauty blenders being dropped on the floor at some point during use, they said.

The study is the first to look at beauty blender products - hugely popular make-up sponges used to blend foundation and contouring on the face, the researchers said.

Often endorsed by celebrities, these sponges are estimated to have sold over 6.5 million worldwide, according to the researchers. They found these products are particularly susceptible to contamination as they are often left damp after use, which creates an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

The findings reveal that consumers are unwittingly putting themselves at risk and that manufacturers and regulatory bodies should do more to protect their customers by making expiry dates and cleaning requirements more prominent on packaging, the researchers noted.

 



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