Science & Technology Current
Science & Technology Current Affairs August 3rd Week 2016
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) Hubble spots two dwarf galaxies Moving into the Milky Way.

  • Researchers have found two, faint dwarf galaxies that traveled from the remote hinterlands of space to the brighter lights of the more ``cosmopolitan`` Milky Way. 
  • Two dwarf galaxies discovery by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
  • The Hubble observations advise that galaxies, called Pisces A and B, are late bloomers since they have spent many of their existence in a Local Void, a segment of a star frugally populated with galaxies. The Local Void is roughly 150 million light-years across.
2) Banks to start ITR e-verification without netbanking.
  • Punjab National Bank and United Bank of India, more banks are likely to soon start a facility wherein an account holder can verify his income tax return on e-filing site even without having netbanking.
  • Electronic Verification Code (EVC) can be generated by pre-validating the bank account on the e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department.
  • Customers of State Bank of India, Axis Bank and Canara Bank can generate EVC through the respective bank’s automated teller machines. Other banks are also expected to offer this facility soon.
3) China launches quantum satellite for `hack-proof` communications.
  • China has successfully launched the world’s first quantum satellite dubbed as Quantum Experiments at Space Scaler (QUESS) satellite.
  • The satellite was launched on board of Long March-2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the remote northwestern province of Gansu.
  • The satellite will help China to establish hack-proof communications system by transmitting uncrackable keys from space to the ground.
  • The QUESS satellite has been nicknamed as Micius after a 5th century BC Chinese philosopher.

4) World’s largest aircraft embarks on its maiden flight.

  • The world’s ``largest aircraft`` the Airlander 10 embarked on its maiden flight after a previous attempt was abandoned due to technical issues.
  • The Airlander 10- part plane, part airship took to the skies at an airfield in Cardington, central England. 
  • The Airlander 10 can fly at up to 4,880 metres and reach speeds of 148 kilometres per hour. Filled with helium, it can stay airborne for more than two weeks unmanned and up to five days if manned.
  • The US army as a surveillance aircraft, the 92-metre-long Airlander 10, also has potential uses in the commercial sector, such as carrying cargo.
  • It is a hybrid airship made by Hybrid Air Vehicles in United Kingdom.
5) BARC develops portable kit to detect chromium in water.
  • The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has developed a kit for onsite determination of toxic Hexavalent Chromium Cr(VI) in drinking water.
  • Chromium, which is widely used in industries such as leather, steel, chrome plating, paint manufacturing and wood preservation, is one of the major effluents found in water in several parts of the country.
  • Chromium in the environment primarily exists as Trivalent Chromium Cr(III) and Hexavalent Chromium Cr(VI). The Cr(VI) is more toxic compared to Cr(III). 
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Cr(VI) as carcinogenic and can cause stomach ulcers, cancers and severely damage kidneys and liver.
  • BARC’s kit is simple, user-friendly, quick and cost-effective for onsite determination of Cr(VI) and meets IS10500 as well as US Environmental Protection Agency criterion.
  • Department of Atomic Energy, adding that it provides the much needed solution to measure the level of chromium contamination in drinking water and tap water, lakes, rivers as well as ground water.
6) Sunshine, seaweed help to break down dye waste.
  • Researchers from the Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavanagar, Gujarat have Gujarat have been able to completely degrade three industrial dyes methyl orange, methylene blue and reactive black-5 in the presence of sunlight.
  • The researchers developed a photocatalyst using titanium dioxide doped with red seaweed polymer carrageenan to degrade the industrial dyes quickly in a single-step process.
  • The photocatalyst was found to degrade the dyes when exposed to direct sunlight. When a solar concentrator is used, the intensity of the degradation process of dyes also increased.

7) MEA launches Ministry of external affairs launches app integrating various social media handles.

  • The Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has launched a mobile app that integrates various social media handles of over 170 Indian missions on a common platform.
  • The app, developed in cooperation with social media giant Facebook, will help people connect with Indian missions abroad and the ministry of external affairs through a range of social media platforms without having to access individual websites.
  • The MEA uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Gplus, Youtube, Soundcloud, Flickr to reach out to people as part of its social media engagement.
8) Chinese scientists discover molecule to repair organs.
  • Chinese scientists have discovered a small molecule (new drug) named XMU-MP-1 that can regenerate tissue. It has potential to eliminate transplants of some organs.
  • The research was led by professor Zhou Dawang and Deng Xianming of the School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, and professor Yun Caihong of Peking University.
  • The XMU-MP-1 has proven to inhibit the activity of MST1/2, the central component of this pathway and promote cell growth in four different mouse models of acute and chronic injuries, including acetaminophen-induced injury, which is a common cause of liver failure worldwide.
  • The drug, XMU-MP-1 can promote repair and regeneration in the liver, intestines and skin.
9) Intel unveils `merged reality` with Project Alloy device.
  • Intel has unveiled Project Alloy, a device that creates merged reality.
  • The merged reality is more dynamic and natural, and allows people to do things that are now impossible. 
  • It goes beyond virtual reality, in that it digitises the real world and allows people to experience the virtual world without coming into conflict with the real world.
  • Project Alloy, a device that creates merged reality. It is a headset that uses the RealSense technology enabling people to use their hands to interact with elements of the virtual world. There is no need for cables to connect to the computer.
10) Scientists develop new laser from jellyfish proteins.
  • Scientists have, for the first time, developed laser from fluorescent jellyfish proteins that were grown in bacteria.
  • The first of its kind represents a major advance breakthrough in so-called polariton lasers operating at room temperature.
  • To develop the fluorescent Polariton laser, scientists had engineered barrel-shaped fluorescent proteins from jellyfish DNA.
  • These lasers have the potential to be far more efficient and compact than conventional ones.
  • It can be used for the purpose more efficient optical communications or in medical lasers that are less destructive to living tissue.
11) Scientists Predict Brain Activity Patterns.
  • Researchers have, for the first time, decoded and predicted the brain activity patterns of word meanings within sentences, an advancement that may help brain injury and stroke patients communicate better.
  • The brain activity patterns were predicted using functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to measure human brain activation.
  • The study makes key advances towards understanding how information is represented throughout the brain. With this, researcher can now predict 70% brain activity patterns`.