Science and Technology Current affairs in November 2020

Science and Technology Current affairs in November 2020

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 30th November 2020

Australia shall temporarily host the  ISRO satellite tracking facilities

India and Australia are working together to temporarily position the Indian tracking facilities in Australia. This move comes as a part of deepening cooperation between the two nations in civil space activities. This shall include earth observation and data analytics, robotics, and space life sciences. India’s human space flight program Gaganyan is expected to gain benefit from this cooperation.

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 29th November 2020

Hassyan clean coal power station

The 2,400MW Hassyan clean coal power station is the first-ever coal-based plant being set up in an Arab Gulf country.

Key Point:

  • The first coal-based power plant in Arab Gulf country is being developed in Saih Shuaib, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • The 2,400MW Hassyan clean coal power station will be built at an estimated cost of $ 3.4 billion.

Deep Ocean Mission has been launched by India.

India is to launch a deep-sea exploration exercise

Key Point:

  • Department of Earth Sciences, ISRO, and DRDO will collaborate on the mining project
  • India now plans to launch an ambitious ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ to explore polymetallic nodules, energy, etc
  • This will be under the aegis of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  •  The International Seabed Authority earlier approved 10,000 sq. km for India with a 15-year PMS exploration.
  • Poly-Metallic Sulphides contain iron, copper, zinc, silver, gold.

IISc researchers develop wastewater treatment, recycling systems 

Researchers from IISc, Bangalore have developed wastewater treatment, recycling systems for rural areas

Key Points:

  • The Assistant Professor in IISc, Lakshminarayana Rao, announced that the water treatment system demonstrated by them is economical & enables reuse of wastewater
  • This shall reduce the dependence on freshwater resources.
  • This demonstration was performed in Berambadi Primary school, Karnataka.
  • The study was published in the Journal of Water Process Engineering.

Russia successfully tests the Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile  

The Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile  was successfully test-fired recently

Key Point:

  • The Russian military successfully test-fired a Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile in the Arctic on 26 November 2020.
  • The missile was fired from the frigate Admiral Gorshkov in the White Sea.

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 27th November 2020

Zero-Emission Electric Mobility technology

Key Point:

  • Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. has successfully conducted a "Proof of Concept" feasibility study.
  • This is for the "Zero-Emission Electric Mobility" at one of its fuel stations in Bengaluru. 
  • Zero-Emission Electric Mobility is a concept that allows the electric vehicle(EV).
  • EV charging system designed is designed by Hygge Energy.

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 25th November 2020

Panel to study the feasibility of ultrahigh-speed travel using hyperloop technology

A high-level panel has been formed regarding hyperloop technology in India.

Objective:

To explore the :

  • Technological feasibility
  • Commercial viability

 of the Virgin Hyperloop technology for ultrahigh-speed travel in India.

Key Point:

  •  The committee is constituted by Niti Aayog 
  •  VK Saraswat, a member of the NITI Ayog is its Chairman.
  • The first test run conducted in Las Vegas; USA

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 24th November 2020

The free-space optical communication system

A novel free-space optical communication system has been developed for information transfer. 

Developed by:

IIT Guwahati 

Key Point:

  • In free-space communication, the data in the form of voice, text, or image is transmitted using light wirelessly.
  • This replaces the usage of optical fibers.

Unmanned self-driving survey craft for ports

Researchers from IIT-Madras have developed an Unmanned self-driving survey craft for ports.

Key Points:

  • Researchers have made a Solar-Powered Unmanned Autonomous Survey Craft for Indian ports and inland waterways. 
  • It can undertake autonomous hydrographic and oceanographic surveys
  •  The survey craft providing real-time data transmission over long distances.
  • The survey craft can be equipped with a 360° camera and LiDAR.

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 23rd November 2020

ANANDA-Business Application

The ANANDA Business App was recently launched.

Objective:

The application is to convert physical formats into digital.

Launched by:

Life Insurance Corporation of India

Key Point:

  • The Atma Nirbhar Agents New BusinessDigital Application - ANANDA was launched by LIC of India.
  • This shall enable an agent to complete the policy without physically meeting the customer.
  • A prerequisite would be the customer’s mobile number should be linked to his Aadhar Card.

China sending unmanned spacecraft to the moon

China is launching a probe to the moon

Objective:

Retrieval of lunar rock

Key Points:

  • China is planning to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the moon to bring back lunar rocks in its 1st attempt by any nation since 1970.
  • This shall make China the 3rd nation to have retrieved lunar samples.
  • The USA and the Soviet Union have done it previously.
  • Additionally, China plans on retrieving the samples from Mars by 2030.

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Mission

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Mission was launched recently.

Launched by:

  • NASA 
  • SpaceX
  • ESA
  • The EUMETSAT
  • NOAA

Objective:

To measure sea-level change from space, which has been measured without interruption since 1992.

Key Point:

  • Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was launched using the Falcon 9
  • The spacecraft is named after Dr. Michael Freilich, the former director of NASA's Earth Science Division and a tireless advocate for advancing satellite measurements of the ocean. 
  • It is a radar altimeter
  • The Sentinel-6 program includes two identical satellites, which are to be launched five years apart 
  •  Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, which launched on 21 November 2020,
  •  Sentinel-6B, which is to be  launch in 2025

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 22nd November 2020

MoU on Bio-Methanation:

An MoU has recently been signed to bolster a robust technology for Bio-methanation. 

Mou signed between:

  • Ministry of Of Petroleum and Natural gas, and
  •  Indian Oil

Key Points: -

- IndianOil R&D Center has developed robust technology on Bio-Methanation.

- This technology will be provided by them to the upcoming CBG plants as has been approved by the Government of India

- Indian Oil is the first company to market compressed Bio-gas

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 21st November 2020

IRNSS recognized by  World Wide Radio Navigation System

  • The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System has been accepted as a component of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS) 

Key Point:

  • It has been accepted for operation in the Indian Ocean Region by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Significance:

  • This will enable the merchant vessels to use IRNSS for obtaining position information 
  • It will function similar to GPS of the USA and GLONASS of Russia
  • IRNSS shall assist in the ships in navigation in ocean waters within the area covered by 50°N latitude, 55°E longitude, 5°S latitude, and 110°E longitude.
  • This makes India only the 4th country to be recognized by IMO

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 20th November 2020

Treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

 

Sandeep Eswarappa, Assistant Professor at IISc, Bengaluru has proposed to provide a novel genetic treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Key points:

  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe type of muscular dystrophy that primarily affects the male population.  
  • It is caused by a mutation in the gene for the protein dystrophin which is important to maintain the muscle fiber’s cell membrane
  • Females carrying a single copy of this defective gene may manifest mild symptoms.
  • The muscle weakness usually presents around the age of four and then worsens quickly. 
  • The muscle loss typically occurs first in the thighs and pelvis, followed by the arms.
  • This can manifest as trouble in standing up.
  • Most patients are unable to walk by the age of 12. 
  • Scoliosis is common occurance. 
  • Some patients may present with an intellectual disability.
  • Presently, there exists no known cure for dystrophy.
  • Physical therapy, braces, and corrective surgery may help with some symptoms.

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 19th November 2020

Param Siddhi ranked 63rd in most powerful supercomputers 

Param Siddhi, an Indian supercomputer,  has achieved 63rd rank in the list of 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world.

Concerned Ministry:

Department of Science and Technology 

Key Points:

  • Param Siddhi is the high-performance computing-artificial intelligence also called HPC-AI supercomputer
  • It was established under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) at C-DAC.
  • The top 500 non-distributed computer systems are ranked by ‘The Top 500 Project’ in the world is published twice a year.
  • The first update always coincides with the International Supercomputing Conference in June, 
  • The second is presented at the ACM/IEEE Supercomputing Conference in November.
  • The Param Siddhi supercomputer with Rpeak of 5.267 Petaflops and 4.6 PetaflopsRmax (Sustained) was conceived by C-DAC 
  • It was developed jointly with the support of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Electronics, and the Information Technology (MeitY) under NSM

ISRO is to launch the first crewless Gaganyaan flight by end of 2021

Indian Space Research Organisation will also be eventually launching a second crewless flight in 2022 before launching the humans into space.

Key Points:

  • The first crewless Gaganyaan Flight was earlier scheduled to launch in 2020.
  • Due to the ongoing pandemic, it was earlier pushed to be launched in the first half of 2021 
  • This will now be launched only by the end of 2021.
  • The crewless flight is a part of ISRO’s ambitious Gaganyaan Project
  • ISRO will also eventually launch a second crewless flight in 2022 before launching humans to space
  • The process of human rating has been progressing and is expected to be complete in the second half of 2021.

Human Rated S200 motor case launched:

  • In November 2020, ISRO also flagged off the first human-rated S200 motor case for the first crewless mission of Gaganyaan.
  • The high thrust solid propellant strap-on boosters- S200 motor case-will be playing a significant role in human-rated GSLV Mkll.
  •  Many new design features, in order to human rate the booster, have been introduced in the hardware.
  • The first critical booster segment of the motor case with a length of 8.5 meter, a diameter of 3.2 meter, and weighing 5.5 tonnes has been indigenously developed and delivered by L&T.
  • The heavy-lift launcher of ISRO, GSLV Mkll has been identified for the Gaganyaan Mission and is in the process of being human-rated.

Crewless Gaganyaan Flight:

  • As part of the unmanned Gaganyaan Flight, ISRO has planned on sending a humanoid which has been developed indigenously
  • In June 2020 once it became clear that the first crewless flight will not be launched this year
  • The possibility of two unmanned missions will be launched in 2021 will depend on the emerging situation

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 17th November 2020

Chapare Virus

Recently a rare Ebola-like illness has been discovered by the researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is believed to have first originated in rural Bolivia in 2004.

Naming:

  • The name of the virus is Chapare based on the province in the northern region of central Bolivia.

 Virus: 

Family: Arenavirus family
Disease caused: Chapare Hemorrhagic Fever (CHHF).

Vector:

    • Rodent: - Direct contact with  urine, and droppings, of infected rats, or 
    • Through direct contact with an infected person.

Symptoms of Chapare Hemorrhagic Fever


- Hemorrhagic fever much like Ebola.
- Viral hemorrhagic fevers

They can be life-threatening 

It affects multiple organs and damages the walls of blood vessels.

    • Abdominal pain,
    • Vomiting,
    • Bleeding gums,
    • Skin rash,
    • Pain behind the eyes.

Transmission:

    • Person to person - only through direct contact with bodily fluids.
    • Sexually transmission.
    • Researchers also found fragments of RNA associated with Chapare, in the semen of one survivor 168 days after he was infected.

Diagnosis:

    • Chapare spreads only through direct contact with bodily fluids and not respiratory route, making it more difficult to be diagnosed than even Corona Virus
    • An RT-PCR test will be developed using new sequencing tools — similar to the one used to diagnose Covid-19 to help detect Chapare.

Treatment:

    • There exist no specific drugs as of yet for the treatment of the disease
    • Patients are generally provided with palliative and supportive care such as intravenous fluids and transfusions.
    • Maintenance of hydration.
    • Management of shock through fluid resuscitation.
    • Pain Relief Medicines

Ariel Space Mission 

The European Space Agency (ESA) has formally adopted Ariel.

Aim:

  • Ariel will perform a large-scale survey of over a thousand exoplanets over a period of four years.
  • This explorer will study the formation, nature, and evolution of exoplanets

Key Point:

  • Ariel stands for Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey
  • It will be launched in 2029.

Significance:

  • Ariel is the first mission of its kind dedicated to measuring the chemical composition and thermal structures of hundreds of exoplanets.
  • It will also help to answer one of the key questions of ESA’s Cosmic Vision Plan, which is, “What are the conditions for planet formation and the emergence of life?”.

 

Phase III trial for COVAXIN

The Phase III trial of COVAXIN will involve 26,000 volunteers all over the country and will be the largest clinical trial conducted for the vaccine of Coronavirus in India.

Conducted by:

  • Bharat Biotech 
  • in partnership with ICMR -Indian Council of Medical Research

 

Key Points:

  • The trials will also be India’s first phase 3 efficacy study for the COVID-19 vaccine
  • It will be the largest efficacy third phase trial ever conducted in the country. 
  • The phase 3 trial has been registered at www.ctri.nic.in 
  • It has also received approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
  • The participating volunteers in trials will receive two intramuscular injections about 28 days apart.
  • The allotment of Participants for receiving either COVAXIN or the placebo will be done a random basis.
  •  The trial will be double-blinded,
  • This will ensure that neither the participants, nor investigators, and neither the company will be aware of who has been assigned to which group.
  • Participants volunteering in the phase 3 trial of COVAXIN must be adults or above 18 years of age.

Phase 1 and Phase II trial of COVAXIN:

  • The vaccine in the initial phase has been evaluated in about 1000 subjects 
  • In the evaluation, it has successfully shown promising immunogenicity and safety data. 
  • These trials were conducted by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR.

COVAXIN:

  • India’s indigenous COVID-19 vaccine by Bharat Biotech 
  • COVAXIN has been developed in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology (NIV) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  • The inactivated COVID-19 vaccine is developed and manufactured in the BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) biocontainment facility of Bharat Biotech. 
  • COVAXIN is a highly purified vaccine which is also inactivated.
  •  It is manufactured in a Vero cell manufacturing platform that has an excellent safety track record of more than 300 million doses supplied.

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 16th November 2020

Emergency Retrieval System (ERS) for Power Lines

An indigenous technology, Emergency Retrieval System (ERS), for quick retrieval of power transmission in the event of failure of transmission line towers has been recently developed. 

Developed by: 

  • Structural Engineering Research Centre 
  • SERC is a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

Key Points:

  • The ERS systems, at present, are imported from other countries and therefore cost is relatively high.
  • The technological development will enable manufacturing in India for the very first time, which will act as an import substitute. 
  • It will cost about 40% of the imported systems.

ERS:

  • It is a lightweight modular system
  • ERS is used as a temporary support structure to restore power immediately after the collapse of transmission line towers.
  • This temporary collapse can be during natural calamities such as cyclone/earthquake or caused by manmade disruptions.
  • ERS is made of structurally highly stable box sections. 
  • It is modular, lightweight, and reusable.
  • It can also be assembled easily and quickly at the disaster site for restoration of power in 2-3 days. 

Leonid Meteor Shower

The Leonid meteor showers are making their annual appearance in India and will reach their peak in India on November 17 and 18.  

Leonid Meteor 

  • Meteor showers are named after the constellation they appear to be coming from.
  • The Leonid meteors originate from the constellation of Leo the Lion
  • Leonids emerge from the comet Tempel-Tuttle.
  •  This comet revolves once around the Sun in 33 years
  • These meteors are bright and travel at a speed of 71 km per second thus are among the fastest moving.
  • Around 10 to 15 meteors are expected to be seen every hour during this year’s showers’ peak.
  • The Leonid showers include fireballs
  • Fireballs- they are the bright and large meteors than usually last longer than average meteors,
  • Earthgazers– meteors that appear close to the horizon with colorful and long tails.

Meteor shower

  • The earth, during its revolution around the Sun,  passes through large swathes of cosmic debris.
  • The debris is primarily the remnants of erstwhile comets. 
  • As the Earth travels through this huge cloud of comet waste, the bits of debris create what appears from the ground to be a fireworks display in the sky which is known as a meteor shower.

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 12th November 2020

Apophis expected to hit Earth in 2068

The Asteroid Apophis might hit the Earth in the year 2068 because of a phenomenon called the Yarkovsky effect.

Calculations performed by:

Astronomers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa

Highlights:

This effect has eventually accelerated the asteroid’s flow and also changed its path.

This asteroid will be extremely close to Earth on April 13, 2029

It is deviating from its original orbit and may crash into Earth in the year2068.

Key Points:

  • The sun can heat up an asteroid in a non-uniform way
  • This causes the space rock to radiate heat energy in an asymmetric way.
  • This can cause a thrust or a small push in a particular direction, sometimes changing the trail of the asteroid.
  • This effect is called the Yarkovsky acceleration.

Apophis

  • It was discovered in 2004.
  • The asteroid has been named after the Greek God of Chaos.
  • It is a 340-meter-wide asteroid, about the size of three-and-a-half football fields.

Crew-1 mission launch


NASA has certified the Crew Dragon capsule and the Falcon 9 rocket of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, making it the first spacecraft certification provided by the space agency.
Objective:
SpaceX will now be capable of operating regular flights to the space platform.


Highlights:

 
       SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft will take off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 14.


Crew-1

  • The mission is a component of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Its objective is to access the space in a cost-effective way to allow the easy transportation of cargo and crew to and from the ISS
  • This shall help in enabling greater scientific research.
  • This is the first of the three scheduled flights scheduled over the course of 2020-2021.
  • The Crew-1 team is expected to conduct microgravity studies.


SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule:

  • It is to carry four astronauts on NASA missions
  • Thus maintaining a space station crew of seven
  • This shall help maximize the time dedicated to scientific research on the orbiting laboratory.

Energy-efficient smart screen from groundnut shells

 An eco-friendly smart screen from discarded groundnut shells has been developed by a group of Indian researchers from Bangalore's Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS) 

 

Key Point:

  • This is a  cellulose-based smart screen. 
  • The technology will play an important role in helping preserving privacy
  • It also helps in energy conservation by regulating the light and heat passing through it and reducing the air conditioning load.
  • This device can be developed from any cellulose or agricultural waste
  • The smart screen developed from groundnut waste was found by the researchers,  to be most efficient due to certain properties of groundnut waste.
  • The device can be utilized for an entire range of possible applications such as energy conservation by controlling the amount and window of infrared light that is allowed to pass.

Current Affairs on Science and Technology- 11th November 2020

China launches world’s first 6G experimental satellite

Recently, China has launched the first 6G experimental satellite named UESTC satellite (Star -Era 12) 

 

Aim:

The satellite is expected to test the technology of Terahertz waves in space.

 

Key Highlights

  • 12 other satellites were launched along with this satellite using the Long March 6 rocket. 
  •  The weight of the satellite is approximately 70 kg. 
  • The technology used for forest fire prevention and crop disaster monitoring is onboard the satellite.

 

6G

  • The 6G band lies between the 5G millimeter-wave frequency and terahertz frequency. 
  • The 6G in terms of speed and transmission loss, especially in space is much more advantageous than 5G.

Secreted Protein with Altered Thrombospondin Repeat (SPATR)

Dr. Satish Mishra the Principal Scientist, Division of Molecular Parasitology and Immunology, has been selected by the National Academy of Medical Sciences for “Dr. Tulsi Das Chugh Award 2020”

Research work:

  •  Malaria parasite’s life cycle
  •  The  complex process involving two hosts and three invasive stages of Malarial parasite

Key Points:

  • The invasion in both mammals and mosquitoes, i.e. the host and the vector requires a coordinated sequence of events to be played out successfully. 
  • “Secreted Protein with Altered Thrombospondin Repeat (SPATR) is the main focus of his work.
  • SPATR  is Essential for Asexual Blood Stages but is not required for Hepatocyte Invasion by the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium Berghei”.
  • This study demonstrates the dispensability of SPATR in P. berghei sporozoites
  • The fallibility of the importance of the establishment of blood-stage infection is mentioned.
  • Further Studies and investigation are necessary to unravel its precise role during this process.

 

Virgin Hyperloop has 1st human trial 

Virgin Hyperloop has “successfully” completed the first-ever human trial in the hyperloop pod at the DevLoop test facility in the US

Highlights:

  • The first-ever test was conducted on the ultra-fast transportation system with human passengers.
  • The test took place at the DevLoop test track in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • The first two passengers on the Hyperloop were - Virgin Hyperloop’s chief technology officer and co-founder, Josh Giegel, and head of the passenger experience, Sara Luchian.
  • They traveled the length of a 500m test track in 15 seconds, reaching 107mph (172km/h).

Hyperloop

  • The Hyperloop is a proposed high-speed transportation system 
  • Specialized pods are accelerated through a low-pressure tube to achieve speeds near the speed of sound.
  • These passenger pods or capsules travel through a tube, either above or below ground.
  • This would help to reduce friction as a vacuum is created and by removing the air from the tubes by pumps.
  • This would help overcome air resistance and be more energy in high-speed travel.
  • In the original proposal of Mr. Elon Musk’s model, the pressure of the air inside the Hyperloop tube is about one-sixth of the pressure of the atmosphere on Mars.
  • This will reduce the drag force of the air by about 1,000 times relative to sea level conditions.
  • This will be similar to flying above 150,000 feet.
  • Velocity will be provided from an external linear electric motor, around induction motor rolled flat.
  • The Hyperloop will be powered by solar panels placed on the top of the tube 
  • This will allow the system to generate more energy than it needs to run.

Virgin hyperloop

  • The concept is based on a proposal by Tesla founder Elon Musk.
  • It was originally founded as Hyperloop Technologies
  • Its name was changed to Hyperloop One in 2016,
  • after being acquired by Richard Branson’s company it was renamed Virgin Hyperloop One 
  • Now, it is just referred to as the Virgin Hyperloop

 

Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT):

Astronomers from India have collaborated with Nobel laureate on Thirty Meter Telescope Project.

Key Points:

2020 Physics Nobel Laureate Prof. Andrea Ghez and Indian Astronomers have collaborated on the design of back-end instruments.

TMT:

  • TMT is an astronomical observatory 
  • It is attached to an extremely large telescope (ELT).
  • It is an international project being funded by scientific organizations of China, India, Canada, Japan, and the USA.
  • The planned location for the TMT is Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii in the US state of Hawaii.
  •  The TMT is for studying the near-ultraviolet to mid-infrared observations, featuring adaptive optics to assist in correcting image blur.

Significance:

  • This TMT will be enabling scientists to study fainter objects far away from us in the Universe
  • This will give information about the early stages of the evolution of the Universe.
  • The telescope will give us access to finer details of not-so-far-away objects like undiscovered planets and other objects in the Solar System and planets around other stars.

mRNA vaccines:

The novel mRNA vaccine candidate of the Pune-based Genova Biopharmaceuticals was approved by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

 

Key Points:

  • Being a biological product that requires genetic manipulation, 
  • This needs to be cleared by the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM), a DBT body, 
  • It is then approaching the Drug Controller General of India for human trials.
  • This vaccine may be ready in March.

Working of the mRNA vaccine

  • Vaccines function by introducing the body to a mild form of the pathogen, then helps them to recognize and respond to the proteins produced by disease-causing organisms, such as a virus or bacteria.
  • mRNA vaccines work by  tricking the host body into producing some of the viral proteins
  • They utilize the messenger RNA, which is the molecule that essentially puts DNA instructions into action.
  • Inside a cell, mRNA is used as a template to build a protein.

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Current Affairs on Science and Technology10th November 2020

BioNTech vaccine

BioNTech, the first in the race to produce evidence of a working COVID-19 vaccine, is planning to price its vaccine below the typical market rates.

Key Points:

  • The BioNTech organization is also planning to differentiate pricing between countries or regions.
  • The vaccine is being co-developed with Pfizer 
  • The vaccine is yet to win regulatory approval.
  • The price tag of this vaccine would reflect the financial risks that its private-sector investors have incurred.
  • The vaccine as of November 9, 2020, has shown to be 90 percent effective, as per preliminary trial results.

Significance:

The lower price cap for the vaccine would ensure broader access to the vaccine across the world.

Current Affairs on Science and Technology 7th November 2020

EOS-01

EOS-01 is an earth observatory satellite launched by ISRO’s, the first mission this year since the launch of RISAT-2BR1, on December 11 last year.

Detail:

EOS-01

  • It is an earth observation satellite.
  • PSLV-C49 was used to launch it.
  • EOS-01 is actually a RISAT also known as  Radar Imaging Satellite that will work with the  RISAT-2B and RISAT-2BR1 which was launched last year.
  • From now on all the earth observation satellites would be called EOS-series.

Earth-observation satellites

Are used for

  • Land and forest mapping and monitoring, 
  • Mapping of water or minerals or fishes and other resources
  • Weather and climate observations, 
  • Soil assessment,
  • Geospatial contour mapping

Advantages of radar imaging 

  • Radar imaging is not affected by weather, cloud or fog, or the lack of sunlight. 
  • Radar Imaging can capture high-quality images in all conditions and at all times.

WhatsApp announces Ephemeral Messaging feature

The WhatsApp application has officially announced a new feature of Ephemeral Messaging (disappearing messages) to the platform. 

This will be available to the users globally by November 2020.

Details:

Ephemeral messaging 

  • Ephemeral messaging is the mobile-to-mobile transmission of multimedia messages that automatically disappear from the recipient’s screen after the message has been viewed. 
  • The word “ephemeral” refers to something that only lasts for a short period of time.
  • A few other encrypted messaging apps like Telegram, Signal, Wire already offer such an option.
  • By turning on this feature of disappearing messages, users will get some autonomy over which chats are getting saved.
  • It has decided the time limit of all users is seven days

Current Affairs on Science and Technology 6th November 2020

Fast radio bursts detected within the Milky Way for the very first time

Intense pulses of radio waves known as fast radio bursts (FRB) have been found in the Milky Way for the first time.

So far, such waves have been frequently detected only in other galaxies.

Significance :

  • The FRB wasn't only the closest such signal ever recorded near the planet. 
  • It was also 3,000 times brighter than the other magnetar radio wave detected till 

Generation of FRBs

The new study has confirmed that FRBs are generated by a rare type of neutron star known as a ‘magnetar’.

Magnetars

  • A magnetar is a type of neutron star.
  • Magnetars are the foremost powerful magnets within the cosmos. 
  • Their magnetic fields are 5,000 trillion times more powerful than that of the planet earth.

The source of the latest FRBs:

  • From a magnetar known as SGR 1935+2154
  •  It is located about 30,000 light-years from the earth.
  • It lies in the center of the Milky Way, in the constellation Vulpecula.

Current Affairs on Science and Technology 4th November 2020

India’s 1st solar-powered miniature train launched in Kerala

India’s first of its kind solar energy-driven miniature train was inaugurated at the Veli Tourist Village, Kerala 

Highlights:

  • The train  would be an attraction for children especially
  • This was part of a string of projects totally worth Rs 60 crore 
  • This was taken up to elevate the facilities at the panoramic destination to international standards.
  • The train is eco-friendly as it is solar-powered 
  • It covers a distance of 2.5 km 
  • It has three bogies that can accommodate around 45 people at a time.
  • The train system has a  fully- equipped rail system, a tunnel, station, and a ticket office.
  • This will enable visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature.

The scheme on Fortification of Rice:

Centrally Sponsored Pilot Scheme on Fortification of Rice is being implemented in 15 States and its distribution is through the Public Distribution System.

Key Point:

This Scheme has been approved on a pilot basis for a period of three years beginning 2019-2020.

Fortification

  • Fortification is the practice of deliberately increasing the content of essential micronutrients, i.e. vitamins and minerals in food
  •  This is to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health.

Need:

  • Rice is the world’s most important staple food. 
  • Regular rice is a primary source of carbohydrates and is low on other micronutrients.
  •  The fortification of rice is a big leap towards providing nutrition to the masses.

Fortified rice contains :

  • Vitamin A, 
  • Vitamin B1,
  •  Vitamin B12, 
  • Folic Acid, 
  • Iron, and
  •  Zinc.

Current Affairs on Science and Technology 1st November 2020

 

Futuristic Solutions

Banglore based Dynamatic has signed an MoU with  CSIR-CSIO for joint development of futuristic solutions

Highlight:

This Memorandum of Understanding was signed to extend collaborative activities in the areas of research for  Multi-spectral surveillance payloads of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

Significance:

  • This will help in the development and manufacturing of futuristic solutions for the defense and aerospace, healthcare, and agriculture industry. 
  • Aligns with AatmaNirbharBharat with a partnership between the private sector and government research labs
  •  It will also help develop spraying technologies including electrostatic techniques for agricultural purposes using UAS Instrumentation for ventilators and respirators, and instrumentation for homeland security applications.