TNPSC - Current Affairs in English Medium Date: 26.08.2016

Singapore gets World's First Driver Less Taxis
  • The world's first self-driving taxis began picking up passengers in Singapore from Thursday . Developer nuTonomy invited a select group of people to download their app and ride for free in its “robo-taxi“, hoping to get feedback ahead of a planned launch of the service in 2018. 
Research team stumbles on rock art of `dancing images'
  • Proto-historic rock art of dancing images was discovered inside a rockdwelling in Teppampatti, a remote village near Andipatti in Theni district. It was while conducting a survey as part of his PhD research that P Jothiswaran found the ancient piece of art depicting figurines of humans and birds painted in white and red ochre. The human figurines are shown in a group dance, as pairs and in a solo dance.Couples standing and images with upraised hands are also illustrated. Some of the human heads resemble a bird's head, which bears close similarity to the Palarpatty and Erasakkanaickkanur rock-paintings of proto-historic period (period between historic and prehistoric) found in Theni district. 
Kerala govt firm on plan to kill stray dogs
  • The state cabinet (Kerala)  has decided not to concede to the Animal Welfare Board of India's demand to drop its move to kill stray dogs.It observed that there was no legal issue in killing violent dogs
Navtej Sarna likely to be next US ambassador
  • India's high commissioner to UK Navtej Sarna is likely to take over from Arun Singh as India's ambassador to the US. Arun Singh, who steered India's Washington outreach for the past year and half is scheduled to retire at the end of the month.
Scientists discover dark side of `happy hormone'
  • It is known as one of the “happy hormones“ and its discovery led to the development of what were hailed as depression “wonder drugs“ like Prozac. But, despite being prescribed as a treatment for anxiety , these “SSRI“ drugs designed to boost levels of serotonin (a happy hormone) in the brain had a strange and mysterious side-effect. In some cases, they initially made people feel more anxious or even suicidal.
Ultrasound used to revive man in coma
  • In a first, US scientists have used low-intensity ultrasound to jump-start the brain of a 25-year-old man recovering from coma. The advance may lead to a portable device that can non invasively “wake up“ patients in vegetative state. The technique uses sonic stimulation to excite neurons in the thalamus, the brain's central hub. “Until now, the only way to achieve this was a risky surgical procedure known as deep brain stimulation, in which electrodes are implanted inside the thalamus,“ said Martin Monti from University of California.
‘Krishi Bhagya has become a model for the country’
  • The Krishi Bhagya scheme, introduced by the government to help farmers by making dry land farming not only sustainable but also lucrative, has become a model for the country, Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister for Agriculture (Karnataka ), has said.
Jim Yong Kim to continue as World Bank chief
  • The Obama administration is nominating current World Bank President Jim Yong Kim for a second term leading the 189-nation international lending organisation.
Courtesy: The Times of India / The Hindu

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