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Science & Technology 2018

  • Hidden reserves of water found in Moon: Scientists have found a mineral in a lunar meteorite pointing to the presence of abundant hidden reserves of water ice under the surface of the Moon. A team from the Tohoku University in Japan found the mineral, called moganite, in a lunar meteorite discovered in a desert in northwest Africa. Moganite, a crystal of silicon dioxide, is known to form on Earth in specific circumstances in sedimentary settings from alkaline fluids. It has never before been detected in samples of lunar rock. Researchers believe the mineral formed on the surface of the Moon in the area called Procellarum Terrane, as water originally present in lunar dirt evaporated due to exposure to strong sunlight."For the first time, we can prove that there is water ice in the lunar material," said Masahiro Kayama from Tohoku University, who led the study.
  • Atomic clock: It is a clock device that uses an electron transition frequency in the microwave, optical, or ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum of atoms as a frequency standard for its timekeeping element. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), has developed an atomic clock to be used in navigation satellites to measure the precise location data. This clock is currently undergoing a series of qualification tests. Once it successfully clears all tests, the desi atomic clock will be used in an experimental navigation satellite to test its accuracy and durability in space.
  • Plastic eating enzyme: A group of international scientists have accidently developed a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks. The accidental break through could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles. The new bacterium was found eating plastic at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug. Prof John McGeehan, at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who led the research said, What we are hoping to do is use this enzyme to turn this plastic back into its original components, so we can literally recycle it back to plastic. It means we wont need to dig up any more oil and, fundamentally, it should reduce the amount of plastic in the environment.
  • Odilorhabins: It is new class of antibiotics, discovered by a team of scientists from the University of Illinois, Chicago (US). Odilorhabdins are produced by a symbiotic bacterium found in soil-dwelling nematode worms. Called Xenorhabdus nematophila, the bacterial symbiont produces toxins and immuno-modulators, enabling the nematode to colonize and kill insects. The bacteria further benefit the host nematode by releasing antibiotics that prevent the invasion of the insects carcass by other competing bacteria and fungi.
  • IRNSS-1I: It is a navigation satellite launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 12 April. IRNSS is launched to create India's own navigation system which would be quite similar to the US' GPS or Global Positioning System. IRNSS can also provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary. IRNSS-1I also carries two types of payloads for navigation and ranging. The navigation payload will transmit navigation service signals to the users, while the ranging payload consists of a C-band transponder, which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite.
  • GSAT-6A: It was the India's largest communications satellite and carrying a 6-metre antenna for enabling more efficient ground communication. The satellite itself was successfully placed into a geosynchronous orbit, but has lost communication. When the satellite was on course to normal operating configuration for the third and final firing, scheduled for April 1, 2018, communication from the satellite was lost. Efforts are underway to establish the link with the satellite. The second orbit raising operation of GSAT-6A satellite has been successfully carried out by LAM Engine firing for about 53 minutes on March 31, 2018, in the morning.
  • TRAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is a statutory body set up by the Government of India under section 3 of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997. It is the regulator of the telecommunications sector in India. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has mooted a concept of open architecture-based public Wi-Fi grid to bring down the cost of internet by 90 per cent. This will allow small entrepreneurs like tea stalls, grocery shops and vendors to set up and maintain access points. Device manufacturers, payment companies, ISPs/telcos and consumer internet companies can provide the remaining pieces to set up public data offices (PDOs). The regulators concept involves PDOs much like PCOs of yesteryears that galvanised connectivity. The PDOs will be companies, or even small merchants, interested in providing Wi-Fi hotspots to public either free or on payment model. According to the report submitted to telecom ministry, the products available for consumption should begin from sachet sized, that is, low denomination, as low as ₹2. It said users should be able to easily discover the network, do one-click authentication and payment and connect their devices in Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Eel

    Eel is any of more than 800 species of teleost fishes characterized by elongate wormlike bodies. Researchers have discovered three new kinds of species of eel along the northern Bay of Bengal. Describing the species, Anil Mohapatra, the scientist at Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) said, Dark brown with white dots on the dorsal side known as Gymnothorax pseudotile was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal. The other two species, Gymnothorax visakhaensis (uniformly brown) and Enchelycore propinqua (reddish brown body mottled with irregular creamy white spots), were discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal. While Gymnothorax pseudotile is about 1 feet to 1.5 feet long, Gymnothorax visakhaensis is about a foot long. Enchelycore propinqua is the smallest of them measuring less than a foot. A description of all the three new species was published in the journal Zootaxa.

  • World's smallest satellite - Japan successfully launched on the world's smallest satellite-carrying rocket following a failed attempt in January last year. According to a release from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 'The rocket about the size of a utility pole, measuring 10 meters in length and 50 centimeters in diameter, lifted off from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture and delivered its payload to its intended orbit'. The No. 5 vehicle of the SS-520 series carried a microsatellite weighing about 3 kilograms developed by the University of Tokyo to collect imagery of the Earth's surface. The launch was aimed at verifying JAXA's technology used to launch small rockets made with commercially available components at lower cost amid growing global demand for microsatellites. The agency used components found in home electronics and smartphones for the rocket. JAXA launched the No. 4 vehicle on Jan. 15 last year, but terminated its flight shortly after liftoff due to a communications problem. The agency found that vibrations during liftoff caused a short circuit, leading to a loss of power in the data transmitter. For Saturday's launch, the agency made more than 40 improvements to prevent a recurrence.

  • Science & Technology 2014

    • Indian Spacecraft Orbiter Halfway To Mars

      India's maiden mission to Mars is on course, with its spacecraft Orbiter crossing the halfway mark on its voyage to the red planet, four months after it left Earth Dec 1.

      "The spacecraft Wednesday at 9.50 a.m. crossed the halfway mark of its journey to Mars along the designated helio (sun)-centric trajectory in the solar orbit," the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement here.

    • Indian Navigation Satellite's Orbit Raised

      The Indian space agency Saturday raised further the orbit of its second navigation satellite by around 4,200 km by firing the space craft's onboard motor for around seven minutes, said a senior official.

      "The satellite's motor was fired for around seven minutes today (Saturday) evening. Post raising the satellite's elliptical orbit is 292.7 x 24,830 km," an official of the space agency told IANS preferring anonymity.

    Current Affairs [April 2014]

    Science & Technology 2013

    Current Affairs [November 2013]
    • 'India Must Be Part Of Global Mega-Science Projects'

      Stressing on the importance of critical research relevant to the country, eminent physicist and principal scientific advisor to the Indian government R. Chidambaram Friday said the nation needs to be a part of global mega-science projects.

      Speaking at Calcutta University's annual convocation here, Chidambaram referred to the studies regarding the recent path-breaking discovery of the Higgs Boson, and advocated India's participation in projects relating to origins of the universe.

    • India to sling Mars craft into Sun orbit Sunday

      ndia's maiden Mars craft will sling into Sun orbit early Sunday for a 280-day long voyage to reach the red planet Sep 24, 2014.

      "The Orbiter entered the final orbit of earth early Wednesday for its trans-injection into the Sun orbit Sunday at 00.49 a.m. for a nine-month journey to Mars through the interplanetary space, a senior space agency official said here.

    • India Leaps Into Interplanetary Space With Mars Mission

      India will be the first Asian country and the fourth entity in the world to leap into interplanetary space Tuesday with an exploratory mission to Mars, about 400 million km from planet Earth.

      "So far, only Russia, the US and the European Space Agency (ESA) have undertaken such missions to Mars. India will be the fourth and first in Asia," a top space agency official told IANS ahead of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) launch from Sriharikota spaceport, about 80km northeast of Chennai.

    Current Affairs [October 2013]
    • India's Mars Mission To Blast Off On November 5

      India's ambitious Rs.450 crore space mission to Mars has now been fixed for blast-off Nov 5, said a top Indian space agency official Tuesday.

      "The Mars mission has been fixed for Nov 5. The heat shield of the rocket (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-PSLV) has been closed and the final electrical checks will be carried out Wednesday," K.Radhakrishnan, chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told.

    • High Speed Rail Corporation of India launched

      Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge Tuesday launched the High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd (HSRC), a subsidiary of Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL) and tasked to develop High Speed Rail (HSR) Corridors in India to run passenger trains at speeds up to 350 km per hour.

      Inaugurated a two-day international technical conference on "High Speed Rail Travel; Low Cost Solution" here, the minister also unveiled the logo of HSRC that has been designed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.

    Current Affairs [September 2013]
    • Indian Nuclear Plants Notch Top Performance In 2012

      The performance of Indian nuclear power plants as well as several fuel cycle facilities reached their highest levels last year, a top official said Wednesday.

    • Indian Satellite's Transponders Switched On

      All the 11 transponders of India's advanced multiband communication satellite (GSAT-7) have been switched on and are performing well, the space agency said late Wednesday.

    • Indian 'military' satellite put into earth's orbit

      India's first 'military' satellite was Wednesday put into the geosynchronous orbit, about 36,000 km above the earth, five days after it was launched Aug 30 on board an European rocket from Kourou in French Guiana off the Pacific coast.

    Current Affairs [August 2013]
    • Eastern India to get its first bio-bank by 2016

      Eastern India's first biobank, aimed at storing cancer tissues for further research and analysis, is slated to come up here by 2016, an official said Saturday.

      The Tata Translational Cancer Research Centre (TTCRC) will come up on a two-acre plot near the existing Tata Medical Centre-Cancer Hospital in New Town, Rajarhat, on the north-eastern fringes of the Bengal capital.

    • India gets its own national media centre

      A state-of-the art National Media Centre comparable to those in capitals across the world was inaugurated Saturday, with an impressive conference hall, workplace for the media, a library, cafeteria and high-speed internet.

      The four-storied Rs.60 crore facility, built over three years, is located at the heart of the capital, on Raisina Road – with many important government buildings a stone's throw away and in the vicinity of the Parliament House and Rashtrapati Bhavan.

    Current Affairs [June 2013]
    • Genetic Engineering Approval Committee Gave Approval for Field Trials of 5 GM Crops

      The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) permitted certain companies as well as the research institutes for conducting the field trials of 5 GM (genetically modified) crops. The trials for development of genetically modified cotton, maize, castor, wheat and rice were permitted.

      The specialty of GM crops is that they are formulated for getting protection against the insects. Also, these crops are resistant to salinity and water. Also, they are more resistance to the use of nitrogen which is required by them for growing efficiently.

    • Early Tsunami Warning System installed in Rangachang

      Chief Scientist of the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Vinith Kumar on 11 June 2013 announced that the Early Tsunami Warning System (ETWS) installed at Rangachang in Andaman and Nicobar Islands can predict a tsunami immediately after an earthquake. Vinith Kumar claimed that the new technology installed can predict the Tsunami within 3 minutes after the initial tremors are felt and can send alerts.

    Current Affairs [May 2013]
    • US Scientists created first Cloned Human Embryo

      A group of US Scientists in second week of May 2013 declared that they have succeeded in creating a cloned human embryo using the technique that helped in developing the cloned sheep in 1996. The scientists took fifteen years to create the cloned embryo.

      The team of scientists developed the embryo using skin samples of a woman's egg to develop an early cloned human embryo. Aim of this research is development of a source of stem cells not a baby. These can be helpful in repair of damage created after heart attack or brains of patients of Parkinson's disease.

    • Superbug H041 can be more deadly than AIDS

      Doctors have warned that the new sexually transmitted Sex-Superbug named H041 can be much more deadly than the AIDS virus. Recently, two cases of the sex-superbug were confirmed in Hawaii. Doctors have claimed that the superbug is the antibiotic resistant strain of gonorrhea.

      In 2011, the superbug was discovered for the first time in Japan and then it spread to Hawaii and now visible in Norway and California. As per Doctors, the H041 bacteria can be much more deadly than the AIDS Virus because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly and effect is more direct.

    Current Affairs [April 2013]
    • Scientists developed Device to detect Gastro-Intestinal Cancers

      Scientists developed a prototype of an advanced multi-bending cholangioscope to detect and cure Gastro-Intestinal Cancers. Earlier, most patients used to visit a physician when the disease was in an advanced stage. This new equipment has a video camera and can bend easily. It could detect cancers of bile duct, liver and pancreas. It will help in detecting the disease in early stage.

      The multi-bending peroral direct cholangioscope (PDCS) cannot be inserted free-hand into the bile duct. But a high success rate of direct insertion will be achieved if the endoscope is passed over a guide-wire and an anchoring balloon. In fact, pancreatic cancer is the third most prevalent gastro-intestinal cancer in India whereas liver cancer is the most common.

    • Union Government Approved Project for National Optical Fibre Network Creation in Gram Panchayats

      The Government of India approved the project for creation of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) connecting all the 250000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country through Optical Cable (OFC). The Union Government decided to fund the project through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

      The State Government on the other hand, will have the role of providing free Right of Way (RoW) for laying OFC. The project envisaged signing a tripartite MoU for free Right of Way (RoW) among the Union Government, State Government and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL).

      16 States/UTs signed the MoUs on 26 October 2012. These states and UTs were Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Manipur, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and 3 Union Territories viz. Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Puducherry. Under the MoUs, 140727 GPs will be facilitated with Optical Fibre Network in these States and UTs.

    Current Affairs [March 2013]
    • Astronomers Discovered Six Speeding Stars Racing Through Milky Way

      Astronomers in the third week of January 2013 discovered six speeding stars which were racing through the space at a speed of 3.2 million kilometers per hour. These stars were ejected from the huge black hole which sits in the middle of Earth's galaxy, Milky Way.

      These stars represented the first-known hypervelocity stars that have mass just like that of Earth's Sun. The discovery is said to be very important because it would reveal how stars were formed in the dust-cloaked core of Milky Way.

    • First Complete Bionic Man of the World Unveiled at London's Science Museum

      First bionic man of the world called Rex was unveiled on 7 February 2013 at London's Science Museum. The bionic man was created using 1 million US dollar limbs as well as organs.

      Prosthetic legs and ankle came from MIT, synthetic blood from Sheffield University, spleens, pancreas and artificial kidneys from University College London, retinas from Oxford University and artificial lungs came from Swansea.

    Current Affairs [Febraury 2013]
    • Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Sanctioned Remote Village Electrification for 6033 Villages

      Remote Village Electrification (RVE) for a total of 6033 villages as well as hamlets was sanctioned during 11th Plan by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Additionally, work on 5211 villages as well as hamlets, was in its completion stage in various states such as Odisha and Tamil Nadu.

      Two proposals of 61 hamlets as well as 161 hamlets of UP along with one proposal of 14 villages of Rajasthan and one proposal of 24 villages and 274 hamlets of Jammu & Kashmir, were in all received and were under initial stage of appraisal. It is important to note that the Remote Village Electrification (RVE) programme as well as projects is usually sanctioned on the case-to-case basis after these proposals are submitted by the state notified implementing agencies according to the guidelines of this scheme.

    • Indian-origin science writer wins British Physics journalism prize

      Washington, Mar 1 (IANS) Anil Ananthaswamy, a London based Indian origin writer, has won the inaugural Physics Journalism Prize sponsored by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

      The prize is designed to inspire the next generation of physicists by encouraging journalists to grapple with often complex topics and help spread excitement about the subject, according to an IOP release forwarded by the American Astronomical Society.

    Science & Technology 2012

    Current Affairs [September 2012]
    • Infosys Ltd made some news by announcing the 'Cloud Ecosystm Hub’ platform which will allow large companies to manage all their IT resources and supplementary cloud services from a single platform. They are charged fee on a usage basis.

      The medical and health science fraternity watched in excitement a noble Bluetooth technology enabled instrument was unveiled in Texas. Called the Diabetois, this instrument is capable of transferring glucose level readings from any ordinary gluco-meter into a special Android application. Then, the readings can be easily analyzed using the app, and can be mailed to a doctor as well. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of deaths in the world, and this invention will surely interest patients of Diabetes.

      Apple's CEO Tim Cook issued an apology to the customers of the newly launched iPhone 5. Customers have been reporting frustrations with the erroneous operation of the new Maps service. In a startling statement, Tim Cook directed users towards services from rivals, notably Google's Maps service. Cook also convinced Apple customers that the company was desperately trying to the set the issues right.

    • A court in the United States gave some respite to Korean electronics manufacturing heavyweight Samsung by ordering a lower court to reconsider the sales ban slapped on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 after arch rival Apple Inc. won a patent dispute against them.
    • The Guinness World Record for the lowest roadworthy car was made by ‘Mirai’, which translates into ‘future’ in Japanese. Faculty and students from Automobile Engineering Course of Okayama Sanyo High School created ‘Mirai’, which measures just 17.79 inches in height.
    • Investors had to rethink their estimates about RIM’s prospects in the highly competitive smartphones’ market with RIM recording highly stable financial position and quarterly results better than anticipations. The company is now expected to invest heavily in producing and marketing the next line of smartphones.
    Current Affairs [February 2010] Our Milky Way in Midst of life crisis
    • Planetary scientist say that our Milky way is in its mid life crisis as a result of which it will slow down its process of production of stars in the next billion years. As per the aeronautics the galaxies are classified under two categories namely- energetic blue galaxies and the lethargic red galaxies. The blue galaxies produce stars at a massive rate while the other one are slowly dying. But a team of scientist from the Swinburne University of Technology says that our Milky Way falls into neither of the two categories. It is in fact a green valley galaxy that lays half way between the blue galaxy and the red galaxy.
    • This is the first time ever that scientists have compared both the galaxies with our Milky Way as the Astrophysical Journal reported. Though we are in our own galaxy and to determine its state was a tough job to accomplish was reported by the Astrophysical Journal.
    Indian communication satellite GSAT-8 successfully launched
    • India’s communication satellite GSAT-8 was launched successfully. The satellite was launched by Arianespace from Kourou in French Guiana. The satellite was launched to enable powerful services direct to our home. The satellite weighs 3100kg and is one the heaviest and high powered satellite developed by the Indian Scientist at the Bangalore- headquarters ISRO. The ISRO team that launched the satellite showed extreme pleasure at the successful launch of the satellite.
    • "I am extremely delighted and happy to announce that ISRO successfully launched the satellite and we are happy to confirm that we have taken the charge of the satellite immediately after its injection into the orbit” ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said.

    Science & Technology 2010

    Current Affairs [February 2010]
    • USA Space agency NASA launched Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to discover the causes of extreme solar activity such as sun spots and solar winds & flares.
    • ‘GANGES’- Global Advisory Network Group on environmental sciences. It was created by Govt for environment research work.
    • Agni-III ballistic missile with a range of 3500 Km was successfully launched from Wheeler Island, Orissa.
    • Ht Cotton – Herbicide Tolerant Cotton. The variety of Ht Cotton in MON 1445. The variety can withstand herbicides (weed killers) for better productivity and is under trail.
    • Cervical cancer is caused by HPV- Human Papilloma Virus.
    • South Korea has world’s highest average connection speed at 14.6 Mbpd in Internet links. Japan has 2nd highest average speed.
    • Scientist deciphered the genetic blueprint of South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Titu.
    Current Affairs [January 2010]
    • 97th Indian Science Congress held at Tiruvananthapuram in Jan 2010. The theme of this year congress was ‘ Science & Technology of 21st Century- National Perspective’.
    • The longest annular solar eclipse on the third millennium occur on 15 Jan 2010. The next annular solar eclipse will be visible in year 3043. Annular eclipse is occurred when the sun is visible like a ring of fire, with the moon darkening its centre. The last annular solar eclipse visible from India was occurred in 1976. In July 2010 also, a total solar eclipse will be occurred.
    • There are three strains of wild Polio virus namely P1, P2 & P3. Type 2 wild Polio virus (P2) was eliminated from the world in 1999.
    • First public hearing on the introduction of Bt Brinjal (First Genetically Modified Food Crop in India) was held in Kolkatta. Seven such public hearing are being organized by Centre for Environment Education, for opinion of public in respect of introduction of Bt Brinjal. 2nd hearing was held at Hyderabad.
    • 50th anniversary of creation of LASER is being celebrated in 2010. Theodore Maiman constructed the first LASER in May 1960. LASER stands for Light Amplification for Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Charles H Townes was father of MASER.

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