Science & Technology Current
Science & Technology Current Affairs May 1st Week 2016
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) Kalvari India`s first Scorpene class submarine undergoes maiden sea trial.
  • Kalvari`, Indian Navy`s first indigenous Scorpene-class stealth submarine, sailed out for first sea trial in the Mumbai naval dockyard.
  • INS Kalvari is also known as Tiger Shark (or S50).
  • It is a diesel-electric attack submarine which is built under the strategic Project 75 by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in collaboration with French naval defence and Energy Company DCNS.
About INS Kalvari:
  • It has superior stealth capability and is designed to operate in all theatres including the tropics.
  • It can undertake various operations including multifarious warfare, Anti-submarine warfare, Intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance etc.
  • It can launch attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons and attack can be launched from underwater or on surface.
  • It is equipped with Weapons Launching tubes (WLT) that can carry weapons on board and can be easily reloaded at sea.
2) CBEC Launches Mobile App For Baggage Rules Information.
  • The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has launched mobile app ``Indian Customs- Guide to Travellers`` for dissemination of information about Customs Baggage Rules.
  • `Indian Customs- Guide to Travellers` mobile app has been developed by Bengaluru Customs to inform international travelers - who may be traders, exporters or importers about the customs baggage rules.
  • It is available on Android Play store, Apple Store and Windows Store.
  • The app serves as a useful tool for quick information on the baggage rules and entitlements and thus serves to clarify doubts and concern of international passengers.
3) Hubble spots galaxy hiding within the night time sky.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a galaxy hidden in the night sky, located just over 110 million light-years away in the constellation of Pisces.
  • The galaxy UGC 477 is a low surface brightness (LSB) galaxy. LSB galaxies like UGC 477 are more diffusely distributed than galaxies such as Andromeda and the Milky Way.
  • With surface brightnesses up to 250 times fainter than the night sky, these galaxies can be incredibly difficult to detect.
  • Many of the matter current in LSB galaxies is within the type of hydrogen fuel, somewhat than stars.
  • The centres of LSB galaxies don’t include giant numbers of stars.
  • Astronomers suspect that this is because LSB galaxies are mainly found in regions devoid of other galaxies, and have therefore experienced fewer galactic interactions and mergers capable of triggering high rates of star formation.
  • LSB galaxies reminiscent of UGC 477 as a substitute look like dominated by darkish matter.
4) Astronomers discovered 3 Earth like planets using TRAPPIST telescope.
  • An international team of scientists have discovered a trio of Earth-like exoplanets using the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory.
  • These planets were found orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth and are likely comparable in size and temperature to Earth and Venus.
  • Michael Gillon-led team of astronomers of the University of Liege in Belgium used the TRAPPIST telescope to observe the ultra-cool dwarf star 2MASS J23062928-0502285, now also known as TRAPPIST-1.
  • TRAPPIST-1 is about one eighth the size of the Sun (barely larger than Jupiter) and significantly cooler.
  • Two of the planets have orbital periods of about 1.5 days and 2.4 days respectively, and the third planet has a less well-determined orbital period in the range 4.5 to 73 days.
  • Three planets were found to orbit very close to their host dwarf star, the inner two planets only receive four times and twice, respectively, the amount of radiation received by the Earth.
  • The third, outer, planet’s orbit is not yet well known, but it probably receives less radiation than the Earth does. 
5) Researchers create world`s smallest thermometer from DNA.
  • Scientists have developed world’s Smallest (Nano) Thermometer using DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) structures that can fold and unfold at specifically defined temperature functions.
  • The University of Montreal researchers created a programmable DNA thermometer that is 20,000 times smaller than a human hair.
  • It was developed using basic idea of the DNA molecules which unfold when heated to certain temperatures. RNA, proteins and other bio-molecules in the DNA fold and unfold.
  • It can help in understanding of natural and human designed nanotechnologies by enabling to measure temperature at the nanoscale.
  • Play a crucial role in answering a number of debatable questions in the field of science and technology. It may be used to create super-strong structures, repair cells and help nano-computing become more efficient.
6) World`s tiniest nano-engine is powered by LIGHT.
  • A group of researchers from University of Cambridge have built the world’s smallest (nanoscale) working engine.
  • They have named the microscopic engine as ANTs (Actuating Nano-Transducers).
  • The prototype engine was made of tiny charged particles of gold. It was bound together with temperature-responsive gel-like polymer called pNIPAM.
  • The nanoscale engine is just a few billionths of a metre in size and uses light to power itself.
About nano-engine:
  1. On heating the engine above critical temperature with a laser it stores large amounts of elastic energy in a fraction of a second.
  2. The elastic energy is mainly produced after the gold particles are bound tightly together with the polymer through intermolecular attraction. When it falls below critical temperature, the polymer suddenly absorbs water and expands and the gold particles are pushed rapidly apart like a spring.
  3. This stored energy generates a propulsive force on a microscopic scale that is a hundred times greater per unit weight than any known motor or muscle.
  5. This engine can help to navigate in water, even enter living cells to fight disease or sense the environment around them.
7) US Navy tests world’s largest unmanned surface vessel.
  • The US Navy conducted an initial test run of the world’s largest unmanned ocean-going vessel, 132-foot ship designed to travel thousands of miles at sea with no human crew.
  • The vessel is called as ``Sea Hunter``, will allow the US to patrol waters without the risk of casualties should the ship come under attack.
  • "Sea Hunter" has the potential to revolutionize not only the military`s maritime operations but commercial shipping, according to military officials.
  • It could usher in the arrival of unmanned cargo vessels moving between countries.
  • The military’s research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in conjunction with the Navy will be testing the ship off the San Diego coast
  • ``Sea Hunter`` relies on radar, sonar, cameras and a global positioning system.Unmanned ships will supplement missions to help keep service members out of harm’s way.
8) 34 satellites are operational in India: Government.
  • India has 34 Indian satellites are operational in the space.
  • Which 13 are for communication, 12 for the purpose of earth observation and seven for navigation purpose and two space science satellites namely the Mars Orbiter Mission and Astrosat.
  • It was also mentioned that about 30 service providers are utilising Ku-band (a part of K band) transponders onboard indigenous communication satellites for various communication applications.
  • These applications include Direct-To-Home Television (DTH), Digital Satellite News Gathering, telecommunication, VSAT services for banking, tele-education and business communication etc.
About 34 satellites:
13 Communication Satellites: INSAT-3A, INSAT-3C, INSAT-4A, INSAT-4B, INSAT-4CR, GSAT-6, GSAT-7, GSAT-8, GSAT-10, GSAT-12, GSAT-14, GSAT-15 and GSAT-16.
12 Earth Observation Satellites: Resourcesat-2, RISAT-1, RISAT-2, Cartosat-1, Cartosat-2, Cartosat-2A, Cartosat-2B, Oceansat-2, SARAL, Kalpana-1, Megha-Tropiques and INSAT-3D.
7 Navigational Satellites: IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F and 1G.
2 Space science Satellites: Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) and Astrosat. 
9) Aurobindo Pharma cholesterol drug gets final USFDA nod.
  • Aurobindo Pharma has received final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to manufacture and market Fenofibrate tablets in 48 milligram (mg) and 145 mg dosage forms.
  • Fenofibrate is used to treat high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
  • The approved abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) is the generic version of AbbVie Inc.’s Tricor tablets.
  • This is the 75th ANDA to be approved out of the Unit VII formulation facility in Hyderabad for manufacturing oral non-antibiotic products.
  • Aurobindo now has a total of 259 ANDA approvals, including 222 final and 37 tentative approvals from FDA. 
10) Offshore patrol vessel IGCS Shourya launched.
  • The south Goa-based defence shipyard, Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) launched Shourya.
  • The fifth of a series of six Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) designed in-house and built by GSL.
  • It was launched by the Governor of Goa, Mridula Sinha, in the presence of GSl and ICG officials.
  • The vessel is 105-metre long and is capable of cruising at a speed of 23 knots. It has a range of 6000 nautical miles.
  • It is powered by twin diesel engines and carries four boats for boarding party operations. It is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment.
  • The ship’s weaponry package has one 30 mm gun and two 12.7 mm guns associated with fire control system.
  • It will also be deployed for monitoring sea lanes of communication and ocean surveillance.
11) Japanese JCSAT-14 mission marks third successful landing for spacex falcon 9.
  • United states (US) based private space transport service company, SpaceX has successfully launched Japanese JCSAT-14 communication satellite into space.
  • The satellite was place into its intended preliminary geostationary transfer orbit by SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket which was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US.
About JCSAT-14 Satellite :
  1. JCSAT-14 Satellite is owned by Sky Perfect JSAT Corporation. The satellite will boost the company’s fleet of relay stations to 17.
  2. The satellite is built by Space Systems/ Loral and is equipped with 26 C-band and 18 Ku-band transponders.
  3. It has design life of 15 years and replaces the aging JCSAT-2A.
  4. Sky Perfect JSAT Corporation is the only non-governmental provider of multi-channel pay television and satellite communications in Japan.
12) Atomic oxygen detected in Martian atmosphere.
  • NASA researchers have detected atomic oxygen in Mars` atmosphere for the first time since the last observation 40 years ago.
  • It was detected using an instrument onboard the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).
  • SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 100-inch diameter telescope. It is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Centre.
  • The detected atomic oxygen was found in the upper layers of the Martian atmosphere known as the mesosphere.
  • The observations were possible due to SOFIA’s airborne location, flying between 37,000 - 45,000 feet, above most of the infrared-blocking moisture in Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Atomic oxygen in the Martian atmosphere is notoriously difficult to measure as far-infrared wavelengths are needed to detect it.
  • However SOFIA help to detect it as it has highly sensitive instruments including spectrometer.
13) NASA Releases First-Ever Global Topographic Model Of Mercury.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has unveiled the first global digital elevation (topographic model) of Mercury.
  • The model was unveiled by NASA’s MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) mission
  • The MESSENGER mission shows stunning detail the topography across the entire innermost planet of our solar system.
  • The model was created using more than 100,000 images acquired by the MESSENGER mission.
  • These images were acquired with a large range of viewing illumination and geometries conditions, which help to determine the topography across Mercury’s surface.
  • The new topographic map provides an unprecedented view of the region near Mercury’s North Pole which was earlier not available.