Science & Technology Current
Science & Technology Current Affairs April 1st Week 2016
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) Scientists reveal Zika structure for first time.
  • US researchers have for the first time determined the structure of the Zika virus, revealing insights critical to the development of effective antiviral treatments and vaccines for the deadly disease.
  • Researchers from Purdue University in the US studied a strain of Zika virus isolated from a patient infected during the French Polynesia epidemic and determined the structure of the virus.
  • The structure details vital differences on a key protein that may explain why Zika attacks nerve cells while other viruses in the same family do not, the scientists maintained.
  • The structure of the virus provides a map that shows potential regions of the virus that could be targeted by a therapeutic treatment, used to create an effective vaccine or to improve our ability to diagnose and distinguish Zika infection from that of other related viruses.
2) ISRO Sign An MoU With The Airport Authority Of India.
  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), The department of space (DoS) has signed a MoU with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to provide scientific parameters for construction of airports.
  • Under the agreement, DoS will provide data on the landscape around the airports. The DoS will also sign a MoU with postal department to provide space technology helpful in tracking the parcel movements.
  • The DoS has already signed a MoU with Ministry of Urban Development where the space technology will be used in projects like smart cities and housing.
  • ISRO informed the last satellite of the IRNSS series will be launched in April 2016 which will complete the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System,that will provide navigation facility in and around India.
3) India’s first cash giving app `CASHe` launched.
  • Tslc Pte Ltd., a fin-tech company announced the launch of its all new mobile-only lending platform - CASHe, providing users a personalized experience to borrow cash anytime, anywhere within minutes.
  • CASHe uses sophisticated proprietary technology that mines the borrowers` social network and requests basic documentation to arrive at a Social Loan Quotient (SLQ) and a loan eligibility amount.
  • Using multiple unique data points to arrive at a distinct credit profile for the customer, CASHe will transform traditional credit measurements, providing financial inclusion to underserved young professionals who are kept out by traditional credit rating and banking systems.
  • CASHe`s target clients are young professionals between 20-35 years old. Upon confirming eligibility, these employed individuals can avail of a loan of up to 40 percent of their monthly income instantaneously at a rate of interest on par with credit cards. 
4) Reusable Blue Origin rocket makes third successful vertical landing.
  • American space firm Blue Origin successfully completed the third launch and vertical landing of its reusable New Shepard rocket.
  • Flawless BE-3 restart and perfect booster landing referring to the BE-3 engine used to land the rocket back at the company`s testing site in Texas.
  • The breakthroughs by Blue Origin and parallel efforts by rival Internet mogul Elon Musk`s SpaceX open up the potential for cutting costs for space travel and making rockets as reusable as airplanes.
  • The New Shepard can reach an altitude of 333,000 feet, considered the boundary between Earth`s atmosphere and space.
5) Indian Scientists develop biopolymer for water purification.
  • Scientists from the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology in Assam have made a biopolymer from shellfish that could help in water-softening applications.
  • The eco-friendly biopolymer has been created using a naturally occurring substance, called chitosan.
  • The chitosan has been obtained naturally from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish including crab, lobster, and shrimp as a backbone for the carbon nanoparticles to sit on.
  • In this biopolymer, nanoparticles are the functional parts of the technology as they remove calcium and magnesium components of water through ion exchange. Thus, it shows the same process that is used by common water purifiers.
6) World’s first public dengue vaccination programme launched in Philippines.
  • The world’s first public dengue vaccination programme was launched in the Philippines as nurses began injecting the first batch of a million children with a French drug to combat the sometimes deadly disease.
  • Mexico was first country in the world to approve first-ever Dengvaxia Dengue fever vaccine for the public use and Philippines was the first county in Asia to allow it.
  • However with the launch of first public dengue vaccination programme, Philippines became first country to introduce, adopt and implement the first-ever dengue vaccine through the public health system and under public school settings.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Dengue or haemorrhagic fever is the world’s most common mosquito-borne virus. 
7) New planet with triple-star system found.
  • A rare triple-star system named KELT-4Ab planet is discovered by Scientists with a gas giant planet similar in size to Jupiter.
  • It was discovered by the researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in the United States.
  • Known planets with three stars appearing in their sky are rare and the new discovery is just the fourth and the closest one yet.
  • In KELT-4Ab triple-star system, the main star named KELT-A is brighter than the other stars that serve as suns for their planets.
  • It has a gas giant planet, similar in size to Jupiter takes approximately three days to make its way around its sun (star) KELT-A.
8) China launches SJ-10 retrievable space science probe.
  • China has successfully launched a bullet-shaped retrievable scientific research satellite SJ-10 (Shijian-10).
  • In a cloud of brown smoke, the satellite, SJ-10, roared into the air on the back of a Long March 2-D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China’s gobi desert.
  • The satellite was launched with an aim to help scientists in their study of microgravity and space life science.
  • The bullet-shaped probe will house 19 experiments involving microgravity fluid physics, microgravity combustion, space material, space radiation effect, microgravity biological effect and space bio-technology.
  • SJ-10 is the second of four scientific satellites under a CAS space program.
9) HP unveils world’s thinnest laptop.
  • Personal computers and printing major HP Inc launched eight new personal products including the world’s thinnest laptop at 10.4 mm thickness, a calling device and a business notebook.
  • According to the company ‘Spectre’ is the world’s thinnest laptop.
  • HP’s new notebook looks like a sleek, general purpose laptop, with an advertised nine-hour battery life.
  • 13-inch HD 1920x1080 resolution display and sixth generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor.
  • The Spectre doesn’t come with any hybrid features like similar offerings from other companies, some of which include screens that can detach from their keyboards or twist and turn to function like a tablet.
  • Spectre’s simplicity and premium design make it a potential competitor to Apple’s MacBook Air. 
10) Google annouces Android Auto in India and 17 other countries.
  • After completing a year of its global launch, Google’s Android Auto has finally come to India, along with 17 other countries.
  • Android Auto, Google’s in-car operating system, is now available in eighteen new countries, including Brazil and India. It is launched in Puerto Rico.
  • Three of them Brazil, India, and Russia are among the fastest growing auto markets in the world (though of course not all cars purchased there will be compatible with Android Auto).
  • Google’s Android Auto allows users to connect their smartphones, and thus provides access to apps like Google Maps.
  • Medium of connectivity includes Google Now voice assistant, steering-mounted controls, and dashboard touchscreen controls to the drivers.
  • To be able to use Android Auto, folks will need a compatible infotainment system, a USB port, an Android smartphone with version 5.0 (Lollipop) or above, and finally a USB cable.
11) Supermassive black hole, weighing 17 billion Suns found in an unlikely place.
  • The astronomers at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) discovered a supermassive Black Hole which weighs about 17 billion times the mass of Sun.
  • The biggest supermassive black holes those with masses around 10 billion times that of our Sun have been found at the cores of very large galaxies in regions loaded with other large galaxies.
  • The lead discoverer is Chung-Pei Ma, a University of California-Berkeley astronomer and head of the MASSIVE Survey, a study of the most massive galaxies and supermassive black holes in the local universe.
  • The newly discovered supersized black hole resides in the center of a massive elliptical galaxy, NGC 1600, located in a cosmic backwater.
  • It is located about 200 million light years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Eridanus.