Science & Technology Current
July 4th week 2015 current affairs
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) NASA just discovered an Earth-like planet.

  • Earth-like exoplanet Kepler 452b was discovered by Kepler Mission. It resides in a year-long orbit in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star in the constellation of Cygnus some 1400 light-years away.
  • The planet is a near-twin of Earth orbiting Sunlike Star and is estimated to 1.6 times (60 percent) larger than Earth.
  • It is likely rocky and could have a mass of anywhere between one to five times that of our own planet. This discovery seems to mark the end of a long road.
Other Discoveries:
  1. In addition to Kepler 452b, the Kepler Mission also discovered 11 yet-to-be-confirmed candidate planets that appear to be small, rocky and potentially suitable for life.
  2. One of them, presently known only as KOI-7235.01, looks to be only 15 percent larger than Earth, and orbits right in the middle of its star’s habitable zone. If confirmed, it would surpass even Kepler 452 b to become the most Earth-like world astronomers have ever found beyond our solar system.
2) China launches two new Navigational Satellites into space.
  • China launched two new satellites into space as it builds a homegrown satellite navigation system to rival the US`s Global Positioning System.
  • A rocket carrying the satellites was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan province.
  • The satellites are the 18th and 19th launched by China as it develops its domestic navigation system Beidou, or Compass. They take the total number launched this year to three.
  • Beidou is currently centred on the Asia Pacific region but is slated to cover the whole world by 2020.
  • The Beidou system is currently used for civilian services such as navigation and messaging, as well as in the transportation and weather forecasting sectors. It also has military applications.

3) China successfully tests new carrier rocket.

  • China has successfully tested the power system of a fifth generation carrier rocket scheduled for flight next year carrying twice the capacity of the payload by the present carrier.
  • State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence said that Development of the rocket, the fifth-generation Long March-5 launch vehicle of the Long March family, has entered a "runoff" phase.
  • The rocket will have a payload capacity of 25 tonnes to low Earth orbits, or 14 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit, about twice the current capacity. The would-be capacity will be equivalent to that of mainstream carrier rockets now in use around the world.
  • The Long March rocket family has completed more than 200 missions since 1970, when a Long March-1 rocket sent China`s first satellite, Dong Fang Hong 1, or "the East is Red", into Earth orbit.
4) CSC and HCL forms joint venture to provide technology services, solutions to banks.
  • Computer Science Corporation (CSC) and Hindustan Computer Limited (HCL) to big IT companies have signed an agreement to form a new company to provide technology services and solutions to the banking industry.
  • In the joint venture the main focus will be on platform modernization, product functionality enhancement and to capitalize their capabilities in addressing global core banking software market.
  • According to the agreement CSC that serves in 15 countries with 100 premier banking and financial services clients, will provide its core banking expertise for software and product development.
  • Whereas, HCL will provide funds, it’s banking sales and client engagement expertise and also its experience in product engineering and application implementation services in order to modernise the banking industries.
5) EU bans 700 generic drugs for manipulation of trials by GVK Biosciences.
  • The European Union has banned the marketing of around 700 generic medicines for alleged manipulation of clinical trials conducted by India`s pharmaceutical research company GVK Biosciences.
  • This is the largest suspension imposed on the sales and distribution of generic drugs ordered by EU which will come into effect on August 21, 2015 and it will be applicable to all 28 member nations.
  • European commission had taken decision in this regard in response to a recommendation given by the EU’s nodal drug regulator European Medicines Agency (EMA).
  • In its recommendations EMA had mentioned that the marketing authorisations of these drugs were based on clinical trial data which was allegedly manipulated by the Indian company.

6) South Korea declares end of MERS outbreak.

  • South Korea declared the effective end to a deadly outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that killed 36 people, triggered widespread panic and stymied growth in Asia`s fourth-largest economy.
  • It was announced by South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-Ahn.
  • Severity of outbreak:
  • It was the worst medical outbreak faced by South Korea originated from the alien virus from Saudi Arabia. It had killed 36 people and infected around 186.
  • The MERS outbreak was the biggest outbreak of the deadly virus outside Saudi Arabia. It had taken a toll on South Korean economy which is Asia’s fourth largest economy by stifling consumer spending.
7) Sri Lanka inks MoU with Google to launch Project Google Loon.
  • Government of Sri Lanka inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with search engine giant Google to launch the Google Loon project in the country.
  • As per the MoU, Google will place 13 high-altitude balloons over the island nation to provide affordable high-speed 3G (3rd Generation) internet services to the entire country.
  • It is also expected that this project will provide free Wi-Fi connectivity across Sri Lanka.
  • Successful implementation of this project will make Sri Lanka the first country in the world to have Internet access covering the whole country with the government support.
About Google Loon project:
  1. It is Google’s ambitious research and development project with the mission of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas.
  2. Under this project, Google will install high altitude `floating telecom tower` balloons in the sky which will provide full broadband internet coverage.
  3. These balloons have transceivers which can connect to cell phone networks filling gaps in their networks especially in remote areas such as mountains and deserts.
8) Microsoft launches Windows 10.
  • Microsoft will start rolling out its new operating system Windows 10 around the world, including India, with a host of new features as the long-time leader in PC software tries to lure back consumers who gave up on Windows for mobile devices.
  • Armed with new innovative features like Cortana, an Xbox app and Microsoft Edge, the long-awaited Windows 10 would be available to computers and tablets in 190 nations.
  • India, a critical market for Microsoft, will be among the 13 countries where the technology giant will host mega events.
  • The technology giant’s India-born CEO Satya Nadella will have the Windows 10 launch party in Kenya.
  • It is being described as one of the biggest launches in the company’s history. According to a Microsoft statement, upgrading to Windows 10 is easy for customers running a genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 PC or tablet.
  • People who reserved their upgrade to Windows 10 will be notified in waves when their upgrade is ready to be installed.
9) Mumbai’s dabbawalas go online.
  • The iconic dabbawalas of the city are now just a click away with going live on the auspicious Ashadhi Ekadashi day.
  • The dabbawalas are famous for delivering lunchboxes to employees in offices across the metropolis, taking the crowded suburban trains, with little or no error, a feat that has won them a six-sigma rating.
  1. It is to expand their services and enrol customers fast that the dabbawalas have gone online.
  2. To utilise the service, a customer has to enter name, contact number and address on the website, and the dabbawala in that area will get in touch.
  3. The service of delivering lunchboxes, dabbas in Marathi, at workplaces started 126 years ago, when a Parsi banker wanted to have home-cooked food in office.
10) SALt, a lamp that runs eight hours on water and salt, developed.
  • A start-up in Philippines developed a lamp named SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) that runs on a glass of water and two tablespoons of salt.
  • The lamp is named after the company SALt that was founded by Aisa Mijeno and Raphael Mijeno.
  • This cost effective lamp burns for eight hours at a time to lighten a room and will also be able to generate enough energy to charge a smart-phone through a USB cable.
  • The lamp can also be lit by using ocean water and would be of great help for people living along the coastline.
About working of lamp:
  1. The lamp works with a galvanic cell battery, which consists of an electrolyte solution - the salt and water - and two electrodes. The electrodes, after being placed in the electrolyte, generated energy that can light an LED light.
  2. The battery will work for eight hours a day for six months, which is a considerable upgrade from the constant refills required by paraffin lantern.
  3. The idea to develop such a lamp was conceived during their stay with the natives of the Butbut tribe of Philippines for days that relied only on kerosene lamps and moonlight to do evening chores.
11) Ola launched new app called ``Ola Store`` on-demand grocery delivery services.
  • App promises to deliver all groceries from the local vendors within 60 minutes at the door step of the customers.
  • Initially launched for Android users and will soon be launched for iPhone.
  • Peppertap and Grofer currently provide on-demand grocery delivery service like Ola Store.
About Ola:
  1. Ola initially started as cab service provider mobile app launched in 2010 by Bhavish Aggarwal (currently CEO) and Ankit Bhati.
  2. It runs total 2 lakhs cabs in over 200 cities in India. Daily more than 150,000 bookings are placed and commands 60 percent of the market share in India.
  3. Ola acquired TaxiForSure for $200 million; later its service was also available on Ola mobile application.
  4. It is already in food delivery service under name Ola Cafe.