Indian American professor gets USD 1.6M grant to protect kidneys from obesity
• Tahir Hussain, an Indian American professor of Pharmacology at the University of Houston, received a grant of USD 1.6 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to examine a kidney cell that could prevent damage from inflammation caused by obesity.
• The targeted cells express a protein called the angiotensin type 2 receptor (AT2R), which has anti-inflammatory and reno protective actions.
• If activated, the AT2R will protect against chronic and acute kidney injury.
Indians accounted for more than 74 percent of H-1B visas in 2016, 2017: USCIS report
• In 2016, India accounted for 74.2 percent of the total number of H-1B visas issued by the US and the figure increased to 75.6 percent in 2017, as per United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
• However there has been a drop in the number of new H-1B beneficiaries from India. The number of beneficiaries approved for initial employment from India decreased by 4.1 percent in fiscal 2017, while the number of beneficiaries approved for continuing employment increased by 12.5 percent in 2017.
• The data was revealed in a report titled ‘Characteristics of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers’.
Increasing global warming leading to fish mortalities in Arabian Sea: Indo-US study
• A new joint Indo-US study has found that global warming is leading to large-scale fish killings in the Arabian Sea by fuelling the growth of harmful bioluminescent algae.
• The green algae, Noctiluca scintillans are indicators of fish mortality. Scientists highlight that their growing abundance is a cause of concern, because they adversely affect fish.
• Currently, the western coast, Persian Gulf, and Oman are largely affected, but if it keeps on increasing, it will have drastic effects on fisheries along the Indian coast.
• The study was jointly conducted by scientists of INCOIS, Hyderabad, and those of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under the US Department of Commerce.
Google launches Android Things for IoT platform
• Alphabet Inc’s Google launched Android Things (codenamed Brillo), a variant of Android operating system for Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as smart home appliances and other smart machines.
• Its goal is to enable IoT machines developers to be built faster, cheaper and more secure.
• It is Android-based embedded operating system (OS) platform that is aimed to be used with low-power and memory constrained Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Government to set up additional 100 One Stop Centres for women safety
• The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) approved setting up of additional 100 One Stop Centres (OSCs) for women affected by violence.
• These OSCs will be set up in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
• The initiative will be funded from Nirbhaya Fund.
Russian President chooses to retain Dmitry Medvedev as Prime Minister
• Russian President Vladimir Putin chose to retain Dmitry Medvedev as Prime Minister for his new term.
• Putin submitted the proposal for premiership to the lower house of parliament after he was sworn in for his 4th term yesterday.
• Medvedev has been serving as Russia’s Prime Minister since 2012 when Putin started his 3rd term as president.