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Science & Technology Current
August 2012 Science and Technology
Author : shanu
Category : Science & Technology Current
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August 2012 Science and Technology, Current affairs, August 2012 Current affairs

August 2012 Science and Technology

August 2012

  • The Union Cabinet on 3 August, cleared the Indian Space Research Organisation’s mission to Mars next year. The project, which comes on the heels of the Chandrayaan mission to the moon, envisages putting a spacecraft in the red planet’s orbit to study its atmosphere, with the help of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).India joins the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and China in undertaking such an effort. The launch is slated for November next year from Sriharikota. The Space Commission gave its clearance in December last. The spacecraft will have a scientific payload of 25 kg and is proposed to be placed in an orbit of 500x80,000 km around the planet. Sources in the ISRO said November was chosen, as the planet would be closest to the earth that time. The next such opportunity will come only in the summer of 2018. NASA is also said to be working on a Mars mission for November next year. The mission is estimated to cost about Rs.450 crore.
  • A group of researchers in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh has claimed to have found traces of a paleo-river near Narmada. A paleo-channel or paleo-river is an inactive river or water stream buried under sediment. Vishal Verma of the Mangal Panchayatam Parishad said, due to geological activities, the nearly 65 million year-old river might have been covered under basaltic lava. The current course of the Narmada is about 10 km from the site of the paleo-river, parallel to it.
  • Russian Ecologists said, Heavy forest fires spurred by hot and dry weather have vanished vast areas of Siberia, and ruined the region’s ecosystem. Fires have destroyed 100,000 sq km of forests across Russia , an area bigger than Bihar since the start of the summer season this year, The situation is worst in central Siberia, where fires have ravaged 50,000 sq km of forests. More than 6,000 fire-fighters; a dozen aircraft; and hundreds of volunteers are fighting the fires in Siberia, but have so far failed to contain the calamity.
  • Scientists at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) in Pilani have developed a new bio-sensor device to detect arsenic content in drinking water. The device can be operated by a layman and is based on a rare combination of bio-engineering and electronics. The hand-held device, the size of a mobile phone and presently undergoing field testing, promises to be immensely useful for millions of people inhabiting the river basins of the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna in India and Bangladesh reported to be affected by arsenic contamination. Nearly 50 crore people are estimated to be at risk across Utttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Bangladesh due to high arsenic content in drinking water. High intake of arsenic along with malnourishment and lack of medical care worsens the life of people, especially children, in the arsenic-affected regions.  


 

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