Science & Technology Current
Science & Technology Current Affairs March 3rd Week 2016
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) Monster stars discovered by British astronomers.
  • British astronomers have discovered a cluster of nine ``monster`` stars 30 million times brighter than the Sun.
  • Nine monster stars named as R136 and using NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.The cluster is the largest group of very massive stars ever identified
  • The star cluster located about 170,000 light-years away.
  • It is located in the Tarantula Nebula within the Large Magellanic Cloud – a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way.
  • The young cluster hosts many extremely massive, hot and luminous stars whose energy is mostly radiated in the ultraviolet (UV). 
2) IMD deploys Drishti for providing real time visibility information to pilots.
  • India Meteorology Department (IMD) has deployed indigenously developed Drishti.
  • Drishti has been developed by the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bengaluru.
  • An instrument that will provide real time visibility information to pilots.
  • The instrument will help pilots in quick decision-making during critical landings and take-offs of aircraft particularly during foggy or rainy days.
  • The system transfer the crucial visibility updates to the pilots in real time who can now use this information that will be updated every minute.
  • Drishti is a transmissometer that takes in account the real time weather parameters like humidity, wind speed, temperature conditions, etc
  • It is cost-effective mandatory system required at all airports as per International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). 
3) Three astronauts launched to the International Space Station.
  • One American and two Russians blasted off for their six-month stay on the International Space Station from Kazakhstan.
  • The Russian Soyuz spacecraft lifted off with 9,000 pounds of thrust carrying the three astronauts from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
  • The Expedition 47 and 48 crew include veteran NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin.
  • Williams will take command of the station starting on June 4 beginning Expedition 48 and marking his third Space Station expedition, also a record.
  • Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka holds the world record at 878 days.
  • This will be Ovchinin’s first flight to the space station.
  • Soyuz was successfully captured and docked at the Space Station with the trio on time.
4) Chinese artificial Sun discharges UHT of 50 million degrees for 102 Seconds.
  • `man-made` sun experiment in China has successfully produced long pulse plasma discharge at a temperature of more than 50 million degrees - the longest discharge at such a high temperature.
  • The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), an artificial sun experiment developed by Hefei Institute of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Science.
  • The artificial sun realised a ultra-high temperature (UHT) long pulse plasma discharge for 102 seconds.
  • An artificial sun can provide limitless clean energy through controlled thermonuclear fusion.
  • The light and heat of the Sun come from two of hydrogen’s radioactove isotopes – deuterium and tritium.
  • These release a huge amount of energy during the process of fusion into a helium atom.The artificial sun imitates this fusion process. 

5) YouTube India Partners OML, Qyuki, TVF to Launch New Originals.

  • YouTube its content partners, Culture Machine, OML, Qyuki and The Viral Fever (TVF), are set to launch four original properties.
  • Culture Machine will be launching a beauty and style-centric programme Beauty Hunt, while OML will launch the second season of Comedy Hunt.
  • LaughterGames will launch in April, where nine comedy creators will launch their own comedy web series, featuring among others, YouTube comedians such as East India Comedy, Put Chutney and Kenny Sebastian.
  • YouTube has started to invest big in India. And the numbers presented at an event in Mumbai was proof of the fact that India is moving at a pace which nobody could have imagined.
  • Presenting statistics around video consumption in India, YouTube says 400 hours of video content is put up every minute on the website.
6) India`s defence lab develops thermal imaging radar to look through walls.
  • To Strengthen Indian forces in dealing with hostage situations, India`s premier government R&D body DRDO has developed a radar that can look through a wall.
  • The Through Barrier Imaging Radar, named `Divyachakshu` (divine eye), has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation`s (DRDO) Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) based in Bangalore and is going through development trials now.
  • It can look though walls of 20-30 cm thickness made of any material, by using thermal imaging.
  • The radar can produce images from the other side of the barrier up to a distance of 20 metres. It catches the thermal signatures and movements in a room can be clearly seen.
  • The radar tracks heat on the other side of the wall and gives real time thermal image, which can disclose the movement, number of people and other important information about the situation on the other side of the barrier.
7) Researchers have developed a new Gravity Map of Mars.
  • Researchers have developed a new map of Mars’ gravity with three NASA spacecraft that is the most detailed to date, providing a glimpse into the hidden interior of the Red Planet.
  • The new gravity map will be helpful for future Mars exploration, because better knowledge of the planet’s gravity anomalies helps mission controllers insert spacecraft more precisely into orbit about Mars.
  • The improved resolution of the new gravity map suggests a new explanation for how some features formed across the boundary that divides the relatively smooth northern lowlands from heavily cratered southern highlands.
  • Also, the team confirmed that Mars has a liquid outer core of molten rock by analysing tides in the Martian crust and mantle caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and the two moons of Mars.
  • The map was derived using data collected by NASA’s Deep Space Network from three NASA spacecraft in orbit around Mars: Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), Mars Odyssey (ODY), and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
  • The gravity field was recovered using about 16 years of data that were continuously collected in orbit around Mars.
  • The better resolution of the new map helps interpret how the crust of the planet changed over Mars’ history in many regions.
8) Nadda launches CBNAAT machines for quick diagnosis of TB.
  • Accelerating the efforts to combat Tuberculosis (TB) in the country, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda launched Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CBNAAT) machines for the quick diagnosis of TB within two hours.
  • The CBNAAT is a revolutionary rapid molecular test which detects Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin drug resistance, simultaneously. This test is fully automated and provides results within two hours.
  • At present 121 CBNAAT machine are functioning and five hundred more such machines were launched by the Minister.
  • Nadda also launched a new anti-TB drug Bedaquiline, which is a new anti-TB drug for treatment of Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis.
  • This drug is indicated for use in the treatment of drug-resistant TB. The drug will be made available in six public hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati and Ahmedabad.
9) Indian Coast Guard ship Arnvesh commissioned at Visakhapatnam.
  • The fast patrol vessel (FPV) of the Indian Coast Guard ICGS Arnvesh was commissioned at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The ship is primarily intended to undertake coastal patrol, surveillance at sea, anti-smuggling, anti-piracy operations and search and rescue operations.
Important Features of ICGS Arnvesh:
  • The vessel among the 20 FPVs indigenously built by Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). It is capable of carrying a crew of five officers and 34 men on board.
  • The ship is 50-metre long, 300-tonne vessel. The vessel is propelled by triple Rolls Royce Kamewa water jets. It can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots.
  • It has been fitted with the state-of-the-art communication and navigational equipment including night vision capabilities. Its main armament comprise 40/60 Bofors guns.
10) Indian Navy deploys P8I maritime surveillance aircraft to Seychelles.
  • The Indian Navy for the first time has deployed a P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft to Seychelles for surveillance in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Seychelles.
  • The deployment has been done in accordance with the MoU signed between India and Seychelles. This is the first time that Indian Navy has deployed its latest and technologically most advanced maritime reconnaissance aircraft in Seychelles.
  • The deployment will provide Professional assistance to the Seychelles People’s Defence Force (SPDF) in curbing illegal activities and piracy as well as contribute towards security and stability in the IOR.
  • Besides India is also supplying naval vessels and aircrafts and supporting the oceanic countries such as Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles with training, hydrographic surveys, surveillance operations and counter-terror patrols as part of its maritime security and diplomacy.
11) Microsoft shuts Artificial Intelligence Robot.
  • Launched on Twitter as an experiment in ``conversational understanding`` and to engage people through ``casual and playful conversation``, Tay was soon bombarded with racial comments and the innocent bot repeated those comments back with her commentary to users.
  • The AI chatbot Tay is a machine learning project, designed for human engagement.
  • Some of the tweets had Tay referring to Adolf Hitler, denying the Holocaust, supporting Donald Trump’s immigration plans, among others.
About Robot Tay:
  1. Tay is an AI project built by the Microsoft Technology and Research and Bing teams was coded with information which can tell users jokes or offer up a comment on a picture you send her.
  2. Microsoft has since deleted some of the most damaging tweets from nearly the 96,000 that Tay tweeted.
  3. However, a website called made screenshots of several of Tay’s comments before they were removed.
12) India among five nations creating Zika vaccine: WHO.
  • India is among five countries where projects are underway to develop vaccines to fight the deadly Zika virus affecting newborns in 38 countries.
  • Zika virus is posing severe public health implications and is linked to neonatal malformations and neurological disorders affecting newborns.
  • The WHO had in February declared the Zika virus outbreak as an ``international public health emergency``.
  • For vaccines, 23 projects are being worked on by 14 vaccine developers in the US, France, Brazil, India and Austria. The virus is currently circulating in 38 countries and territories.