Science & Technology Current
Science & Technology Current Affairs July 4th Week 2016
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) Scientists decide to launch field trials of oil-degrading bacteria in Kochi.

  • The Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute of Plant Sciences, Kozhikode, and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) joined hands to launch field trials of oil-degrading bacteria in Kochi.
  • The scientists will undertake the trail to establish the oil-degrading properties of three new strains of bacteria.
  • The oil-degrading properties of these bacteria will pave the way for the development of bioremediation agents to clean up petroleum pollutants from the environment.

2) Solar Impulse 2 completes first round-the-world journey.

  • The first round-the-world solar powered flight by Solar Impulse 2 was completed the aircraft landed successfully in Abu Dhabi.
  • The plane has travelled 26744 miles since setting off from Abu Dhabi. The aircraft has racked up 558 hours of flight time.

About Solar Impulse 2:

  1. Construction of Solar Impulse 2 started in 2011.
  2. The wingspan of Solar Impulse 2 is 71.9 m, slightly less than that of an Airbus A380, the world`s largest passenger airliner. It is made of carbon-fibre.
  3. It weighs only about 2.3 tonnes. It features non-pressurized cockpit 3.8 cubic metres in size and advanced avionics, including an autopilot. It has 17248 solar cells built into the wings that supply the plane with renewable energy, via four motors.
  4. Its inaugural flight took place on 2 June 2014, piloted by Markus Scherdel. The aircraft reached its maximum altitude during a flight on 28 October 2014.

3) NASA to launch spacecraft to near-Earth asteroid.

  • US space agency Nasa will launch a spacecraft in September to a near-Earth asteroid known as Bennu to harvest a sample of surface material and return it to the Earth to scan for signs of life.
  • To identify the regions in which the building blocks of life may be found, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) team equipped the spacecraft with an instrument that will measure the spectral signatures of Bennu’s mineralogical and molecular components.
  • Known as OVIRS (short for the OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer), the instrument will measure visible and near-infrared light reflected and emitted from the asteroid and split the light into its component wave

4) India, US discover major Natural Gas Reserve in Indian Ocean.

  • The Joint expedition titled Indian National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02 by India and the United States (US) have resulted in the discovery of large, highly enriched accumulations of natural gas hydrate (an icy form of the fuel) in Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean.
  • The international team of scientists was led by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited of India in cooperation with the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Japanese Drilling Company, and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
  • This is the first discovery of its kind in the Indian Ocean that has the potential to be producible.

5) Great Red Spot storm heating Jupiter`s atmosphere: Study.

  • Astronomers in a new study claimed that Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a storm three times bigger than Earth, is hundreds of degrees hotter than anywhere else on the planet. The study was published in Nature.
  • GRS, the largest storm in the solar system, was detected using an infrared telescope at Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Observatory. The storm is based in Jupiter’s lower atmosphere and spans 13670 miles by 7456 miles (22000 km by 12000 km). The top of its clouds reach altitudes of about 31 miles (50 km).
  • The storms on Jupiter fail in making a landfall and dissipate, due to unavailability of land on the planet that is made almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. Unlike hurricane on Earth, the storm on Jupiter is calm but farther out winds reaches 270 mph to 425 mph (430 kmph to 680 kmph).
  • Based on the process of elimination, the study concluded that the newly found hot spot must be heated from below.
  • However, the team concluded that the finding may fail to explain the real cause behind transfer of heat but provides a strong link between Jupiter`s upper and lower atmosphere.

6) Joint Indo-Thailand Military Exercise `Maitree` culminates.

  • The Indo-Thailand Military Exercise Maitree concluded at Krabi, Thailand. The exercise had commenced under the aegis of the Royal Thailand Army.
  • The aim of the joint exercise was to train contingents of both the armies on conduct of counter terrorist operations in an urban environment.

Exercise Maitree 2016:

  1. 90 soldiers of Indian Army and Royal Thailand Army had participated in the two week long Exercise.
  2. The exercise included combined training, familiarization with weapons & equipment used by both the countries.
  3. It also included processes of analyzing groupings, drills and tactics while operating in counter terrorism environment.
  4. The shared modalities for conduct of Area Domination operations in urban environment apart from operations like Cordon and Search, raids and Seek and Destroy Missions.
  5. During the exercise both the Armies were able to evolve common tactical procedures and drills to enhance inter-operability.

7) IMD to use supercomputer to forecast monsoon with Dynamical Model.

  • The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) announced that India Meteorological Department (IMD) will use supercomputer to forecast India’s annual summer monsoon.
  • The forecast made by a supercomputer will be based on a dynamical monsoon model. It will be operational from 2017.
  • The existing model relies on arriving at a prediction based on historical monsoon data coupled with data on sea-surface temperatures and winds.

8) WB tourism department launches app.

  • The tourism department of the West Bengal has launched a mobile app based on the theme of `Experience Bengal`.
  • The app would be loaded with other facilities like maps and directions of the tourist places in the state.
  • The state and the various places that can be visited and activities that can be taken up. There would also be information on the various festivals of the state.

9) New artificial leaf converts CO2 into usable hydrocarbon fuel using sunlight.

  • Scientists have developed "artificial leaves" - potentially game-changing solar cells that cheaply and efficiently convert atmospheric carbon dioxide directly into usable hydrocarbon fuel using sunlight
  • Unlike conventional solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity that must be stored in heavy batteries, the new device essentially does the work of plants, converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into fuel, solving two crucial problems at once.
  • A solar farm of such "artificial leaves" could remove significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and produce energy-dense fuel efficiently.

10) Space X Wins Second NASA Contract To Take Astronauts To International Space Station.

  • The US space agency has ordered a second mission from Elon Musk`s space transport services company SpaceX to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
  • Commercial crew flights from Florida`s Space Coast to the International Space Station will restore America`s human spaceflight launch capability and increase the time US crews can dedicate to scientific research, which is helping prepare astronauts for deep space missions, including the Journey to Mars.
  • This is the fourth and final guaranteed order NASA will make under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCTCap) contracts.