Science & Technology Current
August 2011 Science and Technology
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August 2011

Scientists achieved a major breakthrough in the fight against Type 1 diabetes by developing a treatment which would save the sufferers from a lifetime of insulin injections.The new treatment was codenamed DiaPep277. It will block the process which causes the body`s immune system to attack the pancreas in people with Type 1 diabetes. The treatment will be available in the markets within three years. 

Planetary scientists have discovered the closest young star to Earth. An international team carried out a research and showed that the star, named AP Columbae, is the closest so-called pre main sequence star. Scientists used the telescopes in Coonabarabran, Chile, Hawai and California to show that the red-dwarf star AP Columbae is the closest to the Earth. Scientists added that for decades it was believed that young stars only resided in vast star-forming regions like Orion Nebula. These regions are usually hundreds of light years away from Earth. Scientists have carried out accurate, all sky surveys to find young stars much closer to home. 
A 10-meter long periscope, indigenously developed for a nuclear reactor at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Kalpakkam and claimed to be the longest in the world, was dedicated to the nation on 22 August. The Rs. 3.9-crore periscope, manufactured by Chennai -based Visual Education Aids (P) Ltd (VEA) in collaboration with IGCAR and others, was handed over to Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam (Bhavini), Kalpakkam, by IGCAR Director S.C. Chetal. The periscope is the longest in the world and would be used in the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor to view objects inside the reactor during maintenance. 
Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California who analysed lunar rock samples, thought to have been derived from the original magma, found that the moon could be about 200 million younger than thought. It is believed that the moon took its birth from a giant impact between a large planet-like object and Earth. The energy of the impact was so high that the moon formed from melted material that was ejected into space and as it cooled down, the magma solidified into different mineral components. The rock they analysed is called ferroan anorthosite, or FAN, and it is believed to be the oldest of the moon`s crustal rocks.

 The Zoological Survey of India will establish five DNA laboratories in Dehradun, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune with the objective of restraining wildlife poachers. The laboratory set by the country’s premier organisation in zoological research and studies will carry out the DNA test of animals listed under Wildlife Protection Act, in order to keep a tab on poaching of these species. The main aim behind setting DNA test centers is to help the wildlife experts in the investigation of dead animals and body parts smuggled to different countries for therapeutic and spiritual purposes. By DNA test it will also become easy to trace out that the dead animal found was being poached or killed by another animal. 

Two teams of astronomers discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The water in the reservoir is equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world’s ocean. The water surrounds a huge feeding black hole, called a quasar more than 12 billion light years away. A quasar is powered by an enormous black hole that consumes a surrounding disk of gas and dust. Astronomers studied a quasar called APM 08279+5255. This quasar harbors a black hole 20 billion times more massive than the sun and produces as much as energy as a thousand trillion suns.
Scientists at the University of Columbia in New York developed a portable blood test device which can diagnose an infection within minutes. The device could be used effectively to prevent HIV and AIDS. The device is in the form of mChip, costing 1dollar and looks like a credit card. 

 Astronomers discovered that the planet named TrES-2b which is darker than any planet or moon in our solar system. This planet reflects less than one percent of the sunlight falling on it. The astronomers used NASA’s Kepler spacecraft to make this observation. It orbits its star at a distance of only three million miles. The star heats TrES-2b to a temperature of more than 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. TrES-2b orbits the star GSC03549, which is located about 750 light-years away. It can be observed near the constellation Draco. 

NASA scientists announced that they had found the first evidence of flowing water on Mars. NASA confirmed that the evidence gathered by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter would be the first discovery of active liquid water in the ground on the red planet.