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News Roundup: Myanmar Protests, India’s Vaccine, & Glowing Sharks

Protests Against Myanmar Coup Continue Despite Violence

For nearly a month, people in Myanmar have been protesting a military coup. As the number of protesters has grown, the military has become more violent in its response. Wednesday was the deadliest day yet – at least 38 people were reported killed.

On February 1, Myanmar’s military took over the country, driving army vehicles into cities and cutting off the internet. They arrested the country’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and many members of her political party.

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For nearly a month, people in Myanmar have been protesting a military coup. As protests have grown, the military has become more violent. At least 38 people were reported killed on Wednesday. Above, police run to break up a protest on Wednesday.

The military say that last November’s elections, which Ms. Suu Kyi’s party easily won, weren’t fair. Many people think the military were scared that Ms. Suu Kyi’s popularity might weaken their power.

Many protesters support Ms. Suu Kyi. But most protesters are also fighting for bigger ideas, like freedom and democracy.

Police have used tear gas, rubber bullets, and, recently, real bullets on the protesters. Still, the protests continue. Leaders around the world have condemned the military’s actions. So far, neither side seems likely to give up.

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Many protesters support Ms. Suu Kyi. But most protesters are also fighting for bigger ideas, like freedom and democracy.

New Results Show That India’s Covid-19 Vaccine Works

In January, India approved Covaxin – an Indian-made vaccine against the new coronavirus.  The move made many people nervous, since the vaccine hadn’t been fully tested. But now there’s good news, the first large tests of the vaccine seem to show that it’s safe and works well.

Though there’s been a huge push around the world to develop Covid-19 vaccines quickly, it’s very dangerous to release a vaccine that isn’t safe. So India’s government was taking a big chance when it approved Covaxin in early January.

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In January, India approved Covaxin – an Indian-made vaccine against the new coronavirus. Now there’s good news, the first large tests of the vaccine seem to show that it’s safe and works well. Above, a health care worker holds up Covaxin.

Now early results from testing show that Covaxin is about 81% successful at protecting people from the coronavirus.

But the government’s early approval of Covaxin has hurt its efforts to vaccinate all 1.3 billion of its people. Questions about the vaccine caused many people to delay getting vaccinated. So far, the country has only vaccinated about 16 million people.

On Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other government leaders got the Covaxin vaccine. They hope that doing so will show people that the vaccine is safe, and encourage others to get it.

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On Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other government leaders got the Covaxin vaccine. They hope that doing so will show people that the vaccine is safe, and encourage others to get it.

Scientists Discover World’s Largest Glow-in-the-Dark Shark

Scientists have discovered that three kinds of sharks that live in the deep ocean have an unusual ability – they glow in the dark.

When a living thing gives off a glow, it’s called bioluminescence. Bioluminescence is fairly common in the sea. But before this, no one knew that the kitefin shark, the blackbelly lanternshark, and the southern lanternshark were bioluminescent.

Two images of a kitefin shark show it in normal light, and emitting bioluminescence.
Scientists have discovered that three kinds of sharks that live in the deep ocean glow in the dark. The kitefin shark (shown above in normal light, and glowing) is the world’s largest known glow-in-the-dark vertebrate. It can grow to nearly 6 feet (1.8 meters).
(Source: Mallefet, Stevens and Duchatelet [CC BY 4.0], Frontiers in Marine Science.)

The scientists say the sharks seem to glow mainly on their lower bodies. It’s not clear exactly why. Still, the researchers have a couple of ideas.

All three of the sharks live deep in the ocean where its fairly dark. The scientists think that the glow might help the sharks blend in with the dim light coming from above. Another possibility, for the kitefin shark at least, is that it may use its glow to help it find food on the sea floor.

The kitefin shark is now the world’s largest known glow-in-the-dark vertebrate. It can grow to nearly 6 feet (1.8 meters).

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