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Image Credit: Visual Capitalist

GLOBAL GDP PER CAPITA

Gross Domestic Product measures the market value of all the final goods and services produced in an economy within a year. While GDP per capita provides an understanding of how each country’s citizens live on average, showing a representation of the quantity of goods and services created per person. And currently, it provides one of the best metrics to measure a country’s wealth.

The standard of living in tandem with the GDP per capita has improved immensely over the past three decades with the recent pandemic creating a temporary roadblock. Projections for global growth in 2021 and 2022, covered earlier…


This cutaway view of Saturn’s moon Enceladus is an artist’s rendering that depicts possible hydrothermal activity that may be taking place on and under the seafloor of the moon’s subsurface ocean, based on results from NASA’s Cassini mission — Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

MICROBIAL LIFE

NASA’s landmark Cassini mission provided us with a treasure trove of data from the two gas giants, Jupiter & Saturn, and their moons. The 13-year mission provided valuable insights into the atmosphere and composition of the two biggest planets and their satellites. Astronomers have been short-listing candidates for the possible existence of microbial life on these alien worlds. One of the promising candidates is Enceladus — Saturn’s sixth-largest moon.

Earlier in 2019, I wrote about plumes of ice vapor that were discovered in the moon’s atmosphere — hydrothermal vents pull materials from the moon’s core, mix them through its massive…


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CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY

Immunotherapy has shown great promise to treat different kinds of cancers. Doctors around the world using it as an additional tool to treat the deadly disease in addition to conventional treatments. Back in 2019, I wrote about a major breakthrough in cancer immunotherapy which involved removing the patient’s T-cells & programming them to target individual cancer cells before injecting them back into the body. Researchers have continued to improve immunotherapy techniques and make them more effective.

Scientists at Karolinska Institute in Sweden have made another significant breakthrough in cancer immunotherapy. The team has blocked a protein that silences an important…


Image Credit: Visual Capitalist

WEEKLY BUSINESS ROUNDUP

After a massive sell-off to begin the week last Monday, the major U.S. averages reached new heights as they posted four straight sessions of gains. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all closed at all-time highs, with the Dow finishing above 35,000 for the first time ever — bringing its 2021 gain to 14%, and rising 1% for the week. The S&P 500 rose 2% for the week and the Nasdaq Composite added 2.8%. The 10-year Treasury yield rebounded to 1.29% on Friday, easing concerns about the economy.

The change in sentiment from the beginning of the week, when worries…


CYBERSECURITY BULLETIN

Ransomware attacks have been rising exponentially this year and security researchers & law enforcement officials have a race against time when it comes to identifying and nabbing these cybercriminals. Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack was one of the rare examples where law enforcement agencies in the U.S were able to recover most of the bitcoin that the company paid out as ransom to the hackers.

A security expert has now launched a site to keep a publicly trackable record of bitcoin payments to key ransomware gangs, such as ‘REvil’. The ransomwhe.re site has been created by Jack Cable — a security…


Image Credit: Visual Capitalist

BUSINESS INNOVATION

One thing that hasn’t changed with the pandemic-induced priorities is innovation and the development of highly successful mRNA-based vaccines is a testament to the fact why it is so important. If anything innovation has become a priority for global corporations. Keeping that in mind Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has ranked the top 50 most innovative companies in 2021. The ranking was based on a poll of 1,600 global innovation professionals.

BCG used four key metrics to create the ranking (infographic above):

Global “Mindshare” — Voting numbers from all innovation executives

Industry Peer Review The number of votes…


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COSMIC DISCOVERIES

After Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos took off for sub-orbital space in Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft this morning, the space race has officially begun — with both Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic & Bezo’s Blue Origin vying for supremacy in the fledgling space tourism industry.

I would also like to mention SpaceX here, which is Elon Musk’s ambitious venture and is eyeing a manned mission to Mars, apart from landing some lucrative contracts from NASA for future space missions. The company also has the “dearMoon” mission planned for 2023 — a private SpaceX flight around the moon carrying 8 people.

The…


A schematic of a two-dimensional superconducting qubit chip — Image Credit: The University of Science and Technology of China

QUANTUM COMPUTING

Supercomputers are great at performing complex calculations in a fraction of the time that traditional machines can accomplish — minutes to hours rather than weeks or months. Although Supercomputers have greatly enhanced our computing capabilities, quantum computers are really the holy grail of next-gen computing. The crown for the most powerful supercomputer is currently with the Japanese computing behemoth ‘Fugaku’ — the title that it took from IBM’s Summit last summer.

Coming back to the quantum side of things, we have seen some significant breakthroughs this year. I have already reported on World’s First rudimentary Quantum Network, World’s First Multi-chip…


WEEKLY BUSINESS ROUNDUP

Better than expected U.S retail sales report & quarterly earnings were not able to outweigh the investor concerns emanating from rising inflation and a global resurgence of the delta variant in the current pandemic. The sentiment was echoed all day on Friday as all three major U.S indexes ended the day in the red. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury perked up a bit, but nearly all major asset classes were under pressure throughout the session.

The major market averages all snapped three-week winning streaks, with the Dow dropping 0.5%, the S&P 500 slipping nearly 1% and the Nasdaq…


3D PRINTING APPLICATION

Nothing gives me greater pleasure than reporting on such ventures where technology is used to improve the lives of people. Late in 2019, I wrote about a similar venture where two non-profits came together to bring shelters to the homeless in Mexico — utilizing 3D printing technology. The 3D Printed Neighborhood was the first of its kind. The tech has come a long way from its inception, more recently I talked about how researchers have developed a rapid 3D printing technique to further improve the tech.

In yet another breakthrough endeavor, An affordable housing venture in Africa named 14Trees has…

Empowering you with Technical, Scientific & Financial…

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