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17bn Earth-sized planets in galaxy

world Updated: Jan 08, 2013 23:29 IST

Astronomers using Nasa’s Keplerspacecraft have discovered that one in six stars hosts an Earth-sized planet in a close orbit, suggesting there are at least 17 billion such planets in our galaxy.

A new analysis of Kepler data showed that about 17% of stars have an Earth-sized planet in an orbit closer than Mercury.

Since the Milky Way has about 100 billion stars, there are at least 17 billion Earth-sized worlds out there.

Kepler detects planetary candidates using the transit method, watching for a planet to cross its star and create a mini-eclipse that dims the star slightly. The first 16 months of the survey identified 2,400 candidates. PTI

Coca Cola treats tummy problems

London: Doctors are sparing patients from undergoing surgery by using Coca-Cola to treat a painful stomach condition.

Doctors say that it is highly effective at dealing with a condition known as gastric phytobezoar, which is a stomach blockage that, unless successfully removed or destroyed, could lead to a bowel obstruction.

Various treatments are available for the condition — from lasers and non-surgical endoscopies to full surgery.

But new research showed that Coca-Cola has a success rate of more than 90% in treating the condition, as its chemical ingredients do a similar job to gastric acid in helping to digest fibre, while the bubbles help speed up the process, the Mirror reported.

Even the Diet and Coke Zero options work, as they have the same ingredients. ANI

6-year-old saves diabetic dad’s life

London: A quick-thinking British girl of six saved her diabetic father by feeding him jelly babies, a type of soft confectionery, and calling an ambulance when he had a seizure.

Dave Fitzpatrick, 41, started to feel unwell as his blood sugar levels dropped but daughter Lilly recognised he was slipping into a coma.

She rubbed a special glucose gel on his cheek as she knew it gave sufferers a jolt of sugar into the body. But when that failed, the quick-thinking Lilly remembered the sweets in her lunchbox, the Mirror Online reported. PTI

Chinese hires men to ‘kill’ son online

London: A man in China hired virtual “assassins” to track down his son in online video games and kill off his avatar, as he was concerned about his son’s gaming addiction, according to a media report.

The man, named by the Kotako East blog as Feng, was concerned about the amount of time his 23-year-old unemployed son was spending online.

He hoped his actions would deter his son from playing the games, BBC News reported.

His son eventually asked one of the gamers why they kept targeting him. PTI