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Science & Technology Current
Science & Technology Current Affairs August 1st Week 2016
Author : priya
Category : Science & Technology Current
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Science & Technology Current Affairs August 1st Week 2016

1) NASA to explore asteroid Bennu during its close encounter with Earth.

  • A near-Earth asteroid that is coming towards our planet after being dislodged by a gravitational pull can indeed strike us and cause massive destruction, but according to experts, it has a only a one in 2,700 chances of hitting.
  • Such an event will not take place for 150 years and the people living in the year 2135 would know whether the asteroid named Bennu posed an actual threat to hit Earth.
  • The OSIRIS-REx Mission, headed by NASA and the University of Arizona, plans to launch an unmanned spacecraft on September 8 in the efforts to reach Bennu in August 2018.
  • OSIRIS-REx’s approach to Bennu will begin. It will use an array of small rocket thrusters to match the velocity of Bennu. 
  • The spacecraft will begin a detailed survey of the asteroid two months after slowing to encounter Bennu.
2) Government launches Twitter Sewa to address mobile users.
  • Telecom and postal service users can now file complaints with the government directly on social media platform Twitter.
  • Communications Minister Manoj Sinha launched Twitter Sewa for registration and resolution of complaints.
  • With this the department will be able to respond in real-time to complaints, assign it to relevant officers, assign criticality and track the complaints.
3) China to perform world`s first human genetic editing trial.
  • Researchers in China will be testing the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technique in a lung cancer trial.
  • Oncologists in China are about to be the first in the world to conduct a gene editing trial in humans based on the CRISPR–Cas9 technique.
  • A team led by Dr. Lu You at Sichuan University’s West China Hospital in Chengdu received approval to carry out the trial.
  • CRISPR, short for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. 
  • It allows scientists to selectively edit genome parts and replace them with new DNA stretches. Cas9 is an enzyme that can edit DNA, allowing the alteration of genetic patterns by genome modification.
4) IBM’s technology may help detect cancer early.
  • Scientists at IBM have developed a new lab-on-a-chip technology that can, for the first time, separate biological particles at the nanoscale and could help detect diseases such as cancer before symptoms appear.
  • Researchers showed size-based separation of bioparticles down to 20 nanometres (nm) in diameter, a scale that gives access to important particles such as DNA, viruses and exosomes.
  • Once separated, these particles can be analysed to potentially unveil signs of disease even before patients experience any physical symptoms and when the outcome from treatment is most positive.

5) Aadhar-linked eSignature facility launched.

  • Online legal documentation startup LegalDesk.com launched the electronic signing feature eSignDesk that allows people to sign documents digitally from remote places.
  • eSignDesk based on Aadhaar platform it is actually an initiative of the Union Government aimed at allowing all citizens (with Aadhaar) to remotely sign any document.
  • Its users need to have a registered mobile number associated with the Aadhaar card.
  • The service will be available on www.eSignDesk.com and will be offered for free to the first 1000 users.
  • The documents signed electronically using it will be legally valid in the country. It will take digital signatures to the masses beyond companies and corporates.
6) Scientists recycle carbon dioxide to create usable fuel.
  • American researchers have developed a mechanism to convert greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon monoxide (CO) that can be recycled into usable fuel.
  • It was developed by US Department of Energy`s Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • The mechanism is based on the photosynthesis process that trees uses to convert CO2 into sugars.
  • Carbon monoxide is also a greenhouse gas, it is much more reactive than carbon dioxide and scientists already have ways of converting carbon monoxide into usable fuel, such as methanol.
7) US startup Moon Express approved to make 2017 lunar mission.
  • Moon Express has become the first private firm to win US approval for an unmanned MX-1 lunar mission to the moon.
  • The two-week mission was given the go-ahead by the Federal Aviation Administration`s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.
  • Moon Express announced that it had been granted approval for its planned 2017 lunar mission.
  • With this landmark ruling, Moon Express has become the first private company approved to literally go out of this world as a pioneer of commercial space missions beyond Earth orbit.
8) Indian Scientists Develop A Healthy Ice Cream – Nutrice Cream.
  • The CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CSIR-CFTRI) Mysuru, has developed `Nutrice` cream. Cream was developed in association with M/s Oleome Biosolutions, Bengaluru and M/s Dairy Classic Ice Creams Pvt. Ltd.
  • Nutrice cream is an Omega-3 and Vitamin-E enriched frozen nutritional dessert from vegetarian source.
  • Omega-3 has been reported to have beneficial health functions including brain development in children and good health in elderly population.
  • This product will provide the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of omega-3 for children in one serving.
  • Using the knowledge of traditional Indian food habits, CSIR-CFTRI has developed a diverse array of food products such as Nutri-chikki incorporated with spirulina, Rice mix, high protein rusk, energy food, nutri sprinkle, sesame paste, and fortified mango bar etc. so as to address the varying nutritional requirements of people.

9) China launches first mobile telecom satellite.

  • China has successfully launched the first satellite dubbed as The Tiantong-01 for mobile telecommunication.
  • The Tiantong-01 satellite was launched at southwestern China`s Xichang Satellite Launch Center, with the Long March-3B carrier rocket.
  • It is the first satellite of China`s home-made satellite mobile telecom system.
  • It will operate in a geosynchronous orbit (GEO) and shall establish a mobile network with ground facilities, providing services for China, Middle East, Africa and other areas.
10) IIT Madras researchers develop instrumentation for cancer treatment.
  • One of the treatment modalities for cancer is hyperthermia. 
  • This is a technique by which the temperature of a region containing tumour cells is raised above normal levels. Exposing cells to elevate temperature leads to cytotoxicity.
  • Hyperthermia locally by using an external applicator or by placing probes inside cavities to treat small areas.
  • It may not be very effective as a standalone method but is good when used along with radiation therapy and chemotherapy but It is also time-consuming. 
  • A team from IIT Madras, led by Dr. Kavitha Arunachalam, which has been working on developing instrumentation, has made progress in designing and testing a prototype applicator.
  • There is an array of antennas, the heat may be focussed into a greater depth than is possible with a single antenna. A ``water bag`` attached to the surface of the applicator cools down the skin from outside.
  • Therefore, the resultant temperature profile shows a peaking at a certain depth which can be adjusted by the cooling process.
11) Chennai researchers prolong eggs` shelf life.
  • Scientists at the Chennai-based Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) have been able to increase the shelf life of eggs by at least 14 days.
  • This was possible by using silver nanoparticle-coated paper trays that killed both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria found on egg shells.
  • As much as 50 per cent of eggs gets spoiled due to microbes present on egg shells. These microbes enter the egg through the pores present in the shell. In India, E. coli is the most commonly found bacteria on egg shells.
  • Bacterial contamination of eggs causes disease outbreaks, reducing or preventing contamination would lead to reduced disease outbreaks and possibly increased shelf life.
12) New social network `Hello` launched by creators of Orkut.
  • Orkut’s creator Buyukkokten has launched a new social network called Hello, which is available on mobile only.
  • The new app based social network `Hello` comes in a time when social network landscapes is hugely dominated by Facebook.
  • Hello is designed to help you connect with people who share your passions. Hello is a social network built on loves, not likes
  • It is an app-only platform available on iOS and Android. 

 


 

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