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Science & Technology Current
Science & Technology Current Affairs January 4th week 2016
Author : uppy
Category : Science & Technology Current
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Science & Technology Current Affairs January 4th week 2016

1) Mosquito-borne Zika virus created a panic over thousands birth defects in the Latin America countries.

  • Mosquito-borne Zika virus has created a panic over thousands birth defects in the Latin America countries. New case of child born with the virus has been reported in these countries.
  • However, Brazil is experiencing the largest known outbreak of Zika with most cases in the north-east region.
  • In this region, babies have been born a with abnormal condition called microcephaly i.e. with abnormally smaller heads which can cause brain damage.
  • To avoid the spread of Zika virus some Latin American countries viz. Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica have warned women to avoid getting pregnant.
  • The virus also has been reported in the United States (US) after three cases were detected in Florida in people who had recently travelled to Latin America.
About Zika virus:
  • Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
  • Virus family: Flaviviridae.
  • Genus: Flavivirus.
  • The virus was first identified in 1947 in Uganda and its name has been derived from Zika Forest.
  • Transmission: Zika virus is not contagious but it is mainly transmitted by daytime-active Aedes aegypti mosquitoes after it bites someone infected with the virus and transmit it by biting another human.
  • Most common symptoms: Headache, muscle and joint pain, mild fever, rash, pinkeye and inflammation of the underside of the eyelid.
  • Treatment and Prevention: There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites and clearing stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.
 

2) A total of five minor planets have been named after top Chinese scientists.

  • A total of five minor planets have been named after top Chinese scientists, including the country’s first Nobel laureate scientist Tu Youyou.
  • The naming was suggested by the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Minor Planet Center (MPC). Chinese vice premier Liu Yandong awarded scientists certificates at the ceremony.
Details:
  1. Minor Planet No. 31230 was named after Tu, who won 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering artemisinin to treat malaria and saved millions of lives.
  2. Minor Planet No. 12935 was named after Zheng Zhemin, a prominent dynamicist and one of the founders of the field of explosion mechanics.
  3. Minor Planet No. 19282 was named after Zhang Cunhao, who is the founder of the field of high-energy chemical lasers in China and one of the pioneers in the field of molecular reaction dynamics.
3) Scientists spotted the potential planet by seeing the disturbances that it is causing in the gravitational field of the far solar system.
  • Scientists spotted the potential planet by seeing the disturbances that it is causing in the gravitational field of the far solar system. There appears to be a great perturber upsetting the movement of other objects in that far away region.
  • Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown, the researchers at the California Institute of Technology claimed it as a possible ninth planet and their research papers were published in The Astronomical Journal with the title ‘Evidence for a distant Giant Planet in the Solar System.’
  • As for their Study, The Planet is surrounded by much brighter lights even the distant Pluto could be about 10000 times brighter.
  • So, they opined that the planet might have made its way out to the edge of the solar system when it was thrown out there by the gravity of Jupiter or Saturn.
  • The only recent addition solar system was Pluto. It was found in 1930 and was considered as its most distant and smallest planet for most of the 21st century, later it was controversially downgraded to just a dwarf planet and the solar system went back to having eight Planets.s
4) India is all set to build a satellite tracking and imaging centre in southern Vietnam.
  • India is all set to build a satellite tracking and imaging centre in southern Vietnam. It is decided to provide Hanoi a full time access to pictures from Indian earth observation satellites that cover the region, including China and the South China Sea.
  • The move is set to deepen ties between India and Vietnam, who both have long-running territorial disputes with China.
  • Billed as a civilian facility earth observation satellites have agricultural, scientific and environmental applications security experts revealed that the improved imaging technology meant the pictures could also be used for military purposes.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will fund and set up the satellite tracking and data reception centre in Ho Chi Minh City to monitor satellite launches.

5) India and France signed a Memorandum of Understanding towards an IGA over the purchase of 36 Rafale jets.

  • India and France signed a Memorandum of Understanding towards an Inter-governmental agreement (IGA) over the purchase of 36 Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation.
  • The deal, announced in April by Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi, has been in limbo after negotiations hit a roadblock over price issues.
  • The purchase of the 36 Rafale jets from France would cost India around Rs 60,000 crore. Indo-French cooperation in defence is part of strategic partnership.
  • It is based on trust, a very strong trust between both countries. The purchase of jets will boost the Indian Air Force assets and provide India with a strategic edge over neighbours. However, some “financial issues” regarding deal are yet to be sorted between both the countries.
Background:
  • French President Francois Hollande visited India as chief guest for the 67th Republic Day. Hollande visited Chandigarh.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been to France twice in 2015, on a bilateral visit in April and for the Climate Change Summit in November.
6) Astronomers discovered the largest known solar system.
  • Astronomers have discovered the largest known solar system in the form of gas giant located one trillion kilometres away.
  • This solar system has large planet known as 2MASS J2126-8140 that takes nearly a million years to orbit its star.
Key facts :
  • The newly discovered solar system is 140 times wider than Pluto’s path around our Sun.
  • The planet 2MASS J2126-8140 has mass between 12 and 15 times of Jupiter and is located about 100 light-years away from Earth.
  • Astronomers by using lithium signature have estimated the age of planet somewhere between 10 million and 45 million years old.
7) Intelsat, the commercial satellite giant announced that Inteslat 29e, the first of the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites, was successfully launched.
  • Intelsat, the commercial satellite giantannounced that Inteslat 29e, the first of the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites, was successfully launched. The satellites were launched from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 vehicle.
  • The high throughput platform should provide customers with superior connections at a lower cost.
  • Designated Intelsat 29e will be placed into service at 310° east and replace Intelsat 1R. Intelsat 29e will bring high throughput capacity in both C-band and Ku-band to North and Latin America and the North Atlantic region.
  • At least six more Epic spacecraft will follow, to cover other regions and to provide back-up.
About the Intelsat 29e
  • Intelsat 29e is the first satellite of Intelsat’s next generation, all digital EpicNG satellite platforms, which combines wide beams and spot beams with frequency reuse technology and the sector’s most advanced digital payload.
  • The digital payload will provide customers with unprecedented security and flexibility, enabling customers to seamlessly access and shift capacity to match their usage needs in a particular region or timeframe.
  • Intelsat EpicNG is optimized to provide satellite connectivity for applications including the Internet of Things, enterprise, wireless infrastructure, aeronautical and maritime mobility, and government, which are expected to provide a combined 3 billion dollar incremental opportunity by the year 2020.
8) A permanent memorial of India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant has been unveiled in Mumbai.
  • A permanent memorial of India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant has been unveiled in Mumbai by Vice Admiral S.P.S. Cheema, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command, and Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta.
  • The memorial stands at a traffic island opposite the Lion Gate near the Naval Dockyard in south Mumbai.
  • The sculpture of INS Vikrant was designed by great metal sculptor Arzan Khambatta.
  • The sculpture was made by using the pieces of metal recovered from the breaking up of INS Vikrant.
Journey of INS Vikrant:
  • INS Vikrant was originally built under the name of HMS Hercules for the British Royal Navy in 1943. She was laid down on November 12, 1943 by Vickers-Armstrong.
  • HMS Hercules was launched on September 22, 1945. However, with the end of World War II, the construction of HMS Hercules was suspended by British Royal Navy in May 1946. It was bought by India in 1957.
  • The Government of India paid about £67 million for the ship.
  • INS Vikrant was commissioned on March 4, 1961 in Belfast by Mrs Vijayalakshmi Pandit.
  • Captain Pritam Singh was the first commanding officer of the carrier.
  • The first jet landed on the deck of INS Vikrant by Lieutenant Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani on May 18, 1961.
  • INS Vikrant was also used during 1971 India-Pakistan war. During the war, the crew of INS Vikrant earned two Mahavir Chakras and 12 Vir Chakras.
  • INS Vikrant was decommissioned on January 31, 1997. It served as a maritime museum till 2004 after it decommissioning.
  • INS Vikrant finally broke up in November 2014.
9) Indigenously-built surface-to-air Akash missile was successfully test fired.
  • Indigenously-built surface-to-air Akash missile was successfully test fired from complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipuri in Odisha.
  • Test: It was as part of a user trial mission in which 3 rounds of test were carried out by Indian Air Force (IAF) aiming at para-barrel targets.
About Akash Missile:
  • Akash (in English it means sky) is a mid-range surface-to-air missile (SAM). Indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
  • The missile has supersonic speeds ranging from Mach 2.8 to 3.5. It has capability to carry warhead of 60 kg.
  • It can engage aerial targets up to a range of approximately 25 kms.
  • It is powered by Ramjet-rocket propulsion system (RRPS) which renders thrust for the missile to intercept the target at supersonic speed without any retardation.
  • It is capable of neutralising aerial targets like cruise missiles, fighter jets and air-to-surface missiles. 

 


 

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