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Week in tech: James Webb Space Telescope spots ‘galactic teenagers'

Studying the DNA of these ‘galactic teenagers’ – spotted using the James Webb Space Telescope – will help researchers understand how young galaxies mature

FILE: A full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope model in Austin, Texas.(Nasa/Chris Gunn)

By Nitin Sreedhar

LAST PUBLISHED 26.11.2023  |  12:00 PM IST

Here's a weekly recap of what made news in the world of science and technology.

Webb telescope spots ‘galactic teenagers’

The James Webb Space Telescope continues to amaze scientists worldwide ever since it became operational in 2022. Earlier this week, on 20 November, researchers from the US’ Northwestern University published a paper in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, describing the chemical DNA of “teenage galaxies" that they discovered using the James Webb telescope. According to the researchers, these galaxies—which formed two-three billion years after the Big Bang—are unusually hot and contain unexpected elements, like nickel, which are very difficult to observe. By examining this DNA during a galaxy’s “teenage" years, researchers can better understand how it grew and how it will evolve into a more mature galaxy, a press statement from the university said.

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Light from 23 distant galaxies, identified with red rectangles in the Hubble Space Telescope image at the top, was combined to capture incredibly faint emission from 8 different elements - hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, oxygen, silicon, sulfur, argon and nickel - which are labelled in the James Webb Space Telescope spectrum at the bottom. (via Reuters)

OpenAI drops a new feature as Sam Altman returns

ChatGPT-maker OpenAI announced on 22 November that its ousted CEO, Sam Altman, will return to the company, with a new board of directors. This marked a whirlwind few days where Altman was fired from OpenAI on 17 November after losing the board’s confidence in leading the company. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella then announced on 20 November that Altman would join Microsoft to lead a new AI research team. But it now seems Altman will be back at OpenAI. In the midst of all this, the company also announced a new voice feature where users can now talk to ChatGPT. “ChatGPT with voice is now available to all free users. Download the app on your phone and tap the headphones icon to start a conversation," the company posted on X on 22 November.

Women in India picking up serious gaming fast

A new study, based on a survey of gamers and parents from across 15 Indian cities, says more women are now picking up serious gaming in the country. The HP Indian Gaming Landscape Study 2023, released on 23 November, said GenZ users in India, 58% of them women, are spending more time on serious gaming. The study also revealed that PC gamers are now more inclined towards a career in gaming. Most gamers in India either want to diversify as influencers, streamers or enter fields like e-sports management. The total sample size of the survey included 3,000 games, between the 15-34 age group, and 500 parents.

Also read: Nasa's James Webb telescope captures new details of Milky Way galaxy