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October 1st week 2015 Current Affairs
Author : uppy
Category : Science & Technology Current
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October 1st week 2015 Current Affairs

1) World’s Largest Catalogue of Human Genomic Variation created.

  • An international team of scientists has created the world’s largest catalogue of Human genomic variation among humans, providing researchers with powerful clues to help them establish why some people are susceptible to various diseases.
  • For the 1,000 Genomes Project, the investigators examined the genomes of 2,504 people from 26 populations across Africa, East and South Asia, Europe and the Americas.
  • In the end, the scientists identified about 88 million sites in the human genome that vary among people, establishing a database available to researchers as a standard reference for how the genomic make-up of people varies in populations around the world.

2) WHO removed all limitations on eligibility for Antiretroviral Therapy among HIV infected people.
 
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) in its Treat-All recommendation made on 30 September 2015 removed all the limitations on eligibility for Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) among people living with HIV. With this, all populations and age groups will now eligible for treatment.
  • The expanded use of antiretroviral treatment is supported by recent findings from clinical trials confirming that early use of ART keeps people living with HIV alive, healthier and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to partners.
 
Future prospects of this change in the HIV policy
 
  1. Expanding access to treatment is at the heart of a new set of targets for 2020 with the aim to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. These targets include 90 percent of people living with HIV being aware of their HIV infection, 90 percent of those receiving antiretroviral treatment, and 90 percent of people on ART having no detectable virus in their blood.
  2. This change in the Global HIV policy could help avert more than 21 million deaths and 28 million new infections by 2030.
3) NATO launches its biggest military exercise since 2002.
 
  • NATO launches its biggest military exercise since 2002, putting 36,000 alliance soldiers through their paces in Italy, Spain and Portugal to boost preparedness against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis.
  • "Trident Juncture" runs from October 3 through to November 6 and involves personnel from more than 30 countries. The exercise will also involve Canada, Norway, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, together with operations in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
  • The 28-nation alliance, led by the United States, has also increased its preparedness levels in the face of a whole series of evolving threats exemplified by events in the Ukraine and conflict and upheaval across the Middle East and North Africa.
  • For its part, Russia has also staged a series of large military exercises, citing increased security concerns on its western borders and to the south.
4) Inaugural India – Indonesia Bilateral Maritime Exercise.
 
  • The expanded version of the coordinated patrol (CORPAT), with the first ever bilateral India-Indonesia Bilateral Maritime Exercise, is scheduled from 17-18 Oct 15 in the Andaman Sea. INS Saryu, an indigenously built NOPV based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command, along with a Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft, shall participate in the 26th edition of the CORPAT.
  • Under the broad ambit of this strategic partnership, the two navies have been carrying out Coordinated Patrolling (CORPAT) along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) twice a year since 2002, with the aim of keeping this vital part of the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure for commercial shipping and international trade.
  • The importance of this bilateral cooperation has increased significantly with the scheduling of the first Bilateral Maritime Exercise along with the 26th edition of the CORPAT being held this year. The Bilateral Maritime Exercise and the CORPAT would see participation by one warship and one Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both sides.
 

 

5) The Defence Research and Development Organisation inaugurated an Extreme Altitude Research Centre at Changla.

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation inaugurated an Extreme Altitude Research Centre at Changla in Jammu and Kashmir at 17,600 feet above mean sea level, the world`s highest terrestrial Research and Development centre.
  • It has been established by Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), Leh, a constituent establishment of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • The centre was inaugurated by DRDO chief S Christopher, who highlighted its utility for R&D work in frontal areas of food and agriculture and bio-medical sciences for well being of the soldiers deployed in high-altitude cold desert.
 
6) US authorities have approved a "breakthrough" drug to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
 
  • In the largest study published to date using immunotherapy to treat lung cancer, the drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) was tested on approximately 500 patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
  • Because so many of the patients in the study showed significant long-lasting responses, in October 2014 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the drug “breakthrough therapy” status for use in lung cancer, allowing it to be fast-tracked for approval.
7) New mobile app to help people with autism.
  • British researchers have developed a new mobile app that could involve people with autism in the development of new technologies for their own use.
  • The app called "ASCmeI.T." enables people with autism spectrum conditions - as well as families, teachers, professionals and anyone who supports someone with autism - to share their ideas on what kind of new technology would best help.
  • Through the app, users can upload a one-minute video explaining their idea, which will be shared with researchers, so that new developments in digital technologies for autism can be matched to support the needs of users.
  • "This project is totally unique and encourages ‘citizen science’. ASCmeI.T is a simple yet highly effective way to enable people with autism to get their voices heard and to allow the creativity of a previously neglected group to be realized".

8) INS Astradharani was commissioned into Indian Navy.

  • INS Astradharani was commissioned into Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is Indian Navy’s first totally indigenously-designed and built Torpedo launch and recovery vessel (TRV). It is advanced replacement for INS Astravahini which was decommissioned from India Navy in July, 2015.
 
Key features of INS Astradharani:
 
  1. The unique design has been formulate by a collaborative effort of Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), IIT Kharagpur and Shoft Shipyard.
  2. It is 50-metre twin-hulled warship with maximum speed of 15 knots (28 km/h). Fitted with Catamaran Hull configuration design i.e. consisting of two parallel hulls (twin hulled) which significantly reduces its power requirement.
 
9) New `habitability index` to help find alien life.
 
  • The hunt for alien life may get easier,thanks to a `habitability index` created by scientists that can point out which of the thousands of exoplanets discovered so far have a better chance of hosting life.
  • Traditionally, astronomers have focused the search by looking for planets in their star’s "habitable zone", more informally called the “Goldilocks zone”, which is the swath of space that’s “just right” to allow an orbiting Earth like planet to have liquid water on its surface, perhaps giving life a chance.
  • But so far that has been just a sort of binary designation, indicating only whether a planet is, or is not, within that area considered right for life.
  •  
  • The new metric, called the “habitability index for transiting planets``, is more nuanced, producing a continuum of values that astronomers can punch into a Virtual Planetary Laboratory Web form to arrive at the single number habitability index, representing the probability that a planet can maintain liquid water at its surface.

10) China launches commercial remote sensing satellites.
 
  • China launched four satellites for commercial remote sensing services. The "Jilin-1" satellites, launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China’s Gansu province, include one optical remote-sensing satellite, two satellites for video imaging and another for imaging technique testing.
  • All four satellites were developed and produced by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. Ltd. The satellites were carried by a Long March-2D rocket. It is the 213th mission carried out with Long-March-series carrier rockets.
  • Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. Ltd, sponsored by the Jilin provincial government, the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and some privately-owned companies, plans to launch 60 satellites by 2020 and 137 by 2030.
  • Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co. Ltd, sponsored by the Jilin provincial government, the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and some privately-owned companies, plans to launch 60 satellites by 2020 and 137 by 2030.

 

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