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T. rex dinosaur not as intelligent as monkeys, reveals study

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New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Dinosaurs like T. rex, previously thought to be smart, were not as intelligent as monkeys, a study revealed on Monday.

A study, published last year, claimed that dinosaurs like T. rex had an exceptionally high number of neurons, which could directly inform on intelligence, metabolism, and life history. It also said that T. rex was rather monkey-like in some of its habits.

In the new study, researchers from the UK, Germany, and Canada took a closer look at techniques used to predict both brain size and neuron numbers in dinosaur brains.

The findings, published in The Anatomical Record, showed that the dinosaur’s brain size as well as neuron counts had been overestimated — especially that of the forebrain.

Instead of neuron count estimates, the team stressed the need to look at multiple lines of evidence, including skeletal anatomy, bone histology, the behaviour of living relatives, and trace fossils.

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“The possibility that T. rex might have been as intelligent as a baboon is fascinating and terrifying, with the potential to reinvent our view of the past,” said Dr Darren Naish from the University of Southampton.

“But our study shows how all the data we have is against this idea. They were more like smart giant crocodiles, and that’s just as fascinating,” he added.

–IANS

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Debate on EVMs heats up between Elon Musk, Rajeev Chandrasekhar on X (Lead)

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) The debate on whether electronic voting machines (EVMs) can be hacked further heated up between Elon Musk and Rajeev Chandrasekhar on X social media platform on Sunday, with the former Union Minister saying that we both can finally “agree to disagree”.

When Chandrasekhar told the tech billionaire that Indian EVMs are custom-designed, secure and isolated from any network or media, the Tesla CEO replied: “Anything can be hacked”.

Chandrasekhar replied, saying anything is possible with quantum compute and “I can decrypt any level of encryption”.

“With lab level tech and plenty of resources, I can hack any digital hardware/system including flight controls of a glass cockpit of a jet etc. But that’s a different type of a conversation from EVMs being secure and reliable vis a vis paper voting. And we can agree to disagree,” the former minister argued.

Earlier in the day, Chandrasekhar debunked Musk’s take on eliminating EVMs from voting as a “huge sweeping generalisation statement”.

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“Electronic voting machines can be architected and built right as India has done. We would be happy to run a tutorial, Elon,” Chandrasekhar told the tech billionaire. Musk had alleged that EVMs should be eliminated as the “risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high”.

“This is a huge sweeping generalisation statement that implies no one can build secure digital hardware. Wrong,” replied the former minister.

According to Chandrasekhar, Musk’s view may apply to the US and other places where they use regular computing platforms to build “Internet-connected Voting machines.”

Musk had reacted to Puerto Rico’s primary elections which allegedly experienced voting irregularities.

Chandrasekhar further rejected Musk’s statement, saying that Indian EVMs are custom-designed, secure and isolated from any network or media.

“No connectivity, no bluetooth, wifi, Internet; there is no way in. Factory-programmed controllers that cannot be reprogrammed”, informed the former minister.

–IANS

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CBIC launches awareness campaign against fraud in name of Indian Customs

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) As various incidents of fraudulent individuals posing as Indian Customs officers cheating the public of their hard-earned money across the country have come to light via news portals/social media platforms, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Sunday launched a multi-modal awareness campaign to counter these frauds through public awareness.

The campaign will include — newspaper advertisements, SMS/Emails to the general public, social media campaigns, and public awareness campaigns by CBIC field formations across the country in coordination with local administration and trade bodies to spread awareness on this issue, CBIC mentioned.

The CBIC also advised the public to take certain measures to safeguard themselves from becoming a victim of such scams.

It said that Indian Customs officers never contact the public via phone, SMS, or e-mail for payment of duty in private accounts.

“Disconnect calls and never respond to messages, if you suspect fraud or encounter any irregularities”.

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CBIC also advised not to share or disclose personal information such as passwords, CVV, Aadhaar number, etc., or send money to unknown individuals or organisations without verifying their identity and legitimacy.

It further mentioned immediately reporting such cases to www.cybercrime.gov.in or helpline number 1930, if anyone comes to know about such scams.

–IANS

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New device to help doctors spot life-threatening infections in cancer patients remotely

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San Francisco, June 16 (IANS) US-based firm Leuko, founded by a research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has developed a device that will give doctors a non-invasive way to monitor cancer patients’ health during chemotherapy — without the need of blood tests.

Chemotherapy and other treatments that take down cancer cells can also destroy patients’ immune cells.

In some cases, the patient’s white blood cell (WBC) count gets dangerously low, a condition known as neutropenia, and the only way for doctors to monitor their patient’s white blood cells is through blood tests.

However, this new device will help doctors spot life-threatening infections in cancer patients remotely, according to MIT.

According to MIT, rather than drawing blood, this device uses light to look through the skin at the top of the fingernail and artificial intelligence to analyse and detect when WBCs reach dangerously low levels.

“Some of the physicians that we have talked to are very excited because they think future versions of our product could be used to personalise the dose of chemotherapy given to each patient,” said Leuko co-founder and CEO Carlos Castro-Gonzalez, a former postdoctorate at MIT.

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“If a patient is not becoming neutropenic, that could be a sign that you could increase the dose. Then every treatment could be based on how each patient is individually reacting,” he added.

The technology was first developed by researchers at MIT in 2015. Over the next few years, they created a prototype and conducted a small study to validate their approach.

In a study of 44 patients in 2019, Leuko’s team showed the approach was able to detect when WBC levels dropped below a critical threshold with minimal false positives.

The company has been working with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the last four years to design studies confirming their device is accurate and easy to use by untrained patients, MIT said.

Later this year, they expect to begin a pivotal study that will be used to register for FDA approval.

–IANS

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India's textile exports surge by 9.6 pc despite global headwinds

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) India’s textile exports grew by 9.59 per cent in May this year compared to the same month of the previous year, despite unfavourable economic conditions in major markets such as the European Union (EU), the US and West Asian nations, according to a report by the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI).

In addition, the country’s apparel exports saw an increase of 9.84 per cent during the same period, the report points out.

CITI’s report highlighted that the combined exports of textiles and apparel in May 2024 registered a 9.70 per cent growth over May last year. India’s overall exports for May 2024 surged to $68.29 billion, marking a substantial year-on-year increase of 10.2 per cent, according to the figures released by the Commerce Ministry.

The CITI analysis shows that during April-May 2024, Indian textile exports grew by 6.04 per cent over the previous year, while apparel exports increased by 4.46 per cent during the same period. The cumulative exports of textiles and apparel during April-May 2024 saw a 5.34 per cent rise compared to the same period last year.

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The recently released export data also showed a strong performance in sectors such as electronic goods, pharmaceuticals, organic and inorganic chemicals, engineering goods and petroleum products.

Electronic goods exports shot up by as much as 22.97 per cent, underlining the change in India’s export goods basket contributed by the growth in the manufacturing sector.

Similarly, petroleum products (15.75 per cent year-on-year) and engineering goods (7.39 per cent) exports also registered high rates of growth.

Ashwani Kumar, President of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), said that there is a positive trajectory in May 2024, driven by robust order bookings. Among the top 10 export markets for India were the US, UAE, Netherlands, UK, China, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Germany and France, with exports to these markets registering double-digit growth rates.

India’s overall merchandise exports jumped by 9.1 per cent to $38.13 billion, while service exports climbed by 11.7 per cent, reaching $30.16 billion.

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–IANS

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India's electronic manufacturing likely to reach around $250 bn in next 5 yrs: Report

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) India’s electronic manufacturing is likely to reach around $250 billion in the next five years, according to media reports.

At present, the electronic exports of the country stand at $125 to $130 billion.

The government also plans to address the issue of unemployment by creating jobs in the electronic manufacturing sector. Presently, 25 lakh people are employed in this sector.

In the next five years, the government intends to double the number of jobs in the sector, according to media reports.

As per Invest India, technology transitions such as the rollout of 5G networks and IoT (Internet of Things) are driving the accelerated adoption of electronics products.

“Initiatives such as ‘Digital India’ and ‘Smart City’ projects have raised the demand for IoT in the electronics devices market and will undoubtedly usher in a new era for electronic products,” it mentioned.

At present, India’s domestic production has grown at a CAGR of 13 per cent from $49 billion in FY17 to $101 billion in FY23.

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During April 2024, electronic goods exports were recorded at $2.65 billion as compared to $2.10 billion during April 2023, registering a growth of 25.80 per cent, according to the Invest India data.

Mobile phone production surged from Rs 18,900 crore in 2014-15 to an estimated Rs 4.10 lakh crore in FY24, registering an increase of 2,000 per cent, as per top electronics industry body India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA).

–IANS

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