List of Contents
- INCOIS to go for bathymetric study of Andaman and Lakshadweep
- What is “Einsteinium”?
- DRDO hands over MotorBike Ambulance Rakshita to CRPF
- INSPIRE Faculty produced heat-tolerant wheat varieties resulting in improved grain yield
- Scientists got clue to origin of fluctuations in active matter systems like fish schools
- Technology Transfer Agreements signed to bring India’s first indigenous Flow Diverter Stent
- BARC Develops India’s First Ruthenium 106 Plaque For Effective Eye Cancer Treatment
- Union Minister to launch “Khadi Prakritik Paint” developed by KVIC
- Swasth Vayu Non-invasive Ventilator receives regulator nod
- PM launches India’s first driverless metro train in Delhi
- What is 3D Printing?
- Indian Railways to use LIDAR Technique for ground survey
- What is Havana Syndrome?
- China turns on ‘artificial sun’
INCOIS to go for bathymetric study of Andaman and Lakshadweep
What is the News?
Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services(INCOIS) will conduct a bathymetric study of Andaman and Lakshadweep. INCOIS will take the help of the National Remote Sensing Centre(NRSC) for airline mapping of the ocean floor around islands.
What is the need for this study?
- The study is needed in view of the recent tsunamis near the Indonesian coasts. The damage was more due to High tides by underwater landslides compared to the earthquake.
- These landslides caused sudden wave surges leading to much damage without giving sufficient time to alert people.
- By this study, INCOIS will map the landslide vulnerable areas on the ocean floors.
Why has INCOIS planned to take help from NRSC for this study?
- NRSC has already conducted a similar high-resolution topographic Airborne Laser Terrain Mapping (ALTM) for entire coastal areas of the country.
- Ministry: It is an autonomous organization. It was established in 1999 under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
- It is a unit of the Earth System Science Organization(ESSO).
- Mandate: Its mandate is to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community.
- Location: Hyderabad, Telangana
Other studies by INCOIS:
Tide Gauges for Monitoring of Sea level:
- INCOIS has installed tide gauges for better monitoring of the sea level and more accurate prediction of disasters like cyclones. It has already installed 36 tidal gauges in the Bay of Bengal.
- Further, it has identified ‘gaps’ across the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha for the installation of more tidal gauges.
- INCOIS had deployed a Flux Buoy in the Bay of Bengal in 2019.
- The buoy was deployed into the sea to monitor the temperatures, pressures, salinity, radiation and geochemical changes at various depths.
- It is one of the primary centres of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO),Department of Space(DOS).
- Functions: It is responsible for remote sensing satellite data acquisition and processing, data dissemination, aerial remote sensing, and decision support for disaster management.
- Location: Hyderabad, Telangana
Source: The Hindu
What is “Einsteinium”?
What is the News?
A team of scientists at the Berkeley Lab has reported some properties of the element “Einsteinium”.
- Einsteinium, named after Albert Einstein is a synthetic element with the symbol Es and atomic number 99.
- It was discovered in 1952 in the debris of the first hydrogen bomb (the detonation of a thermonuclear device called “Ivy Mike” in the Pacific Ocean).
Properties of Einsteinium and key research findings:
- Einsteinium is difficult to create and is highly radioactive. Therefore, very little is known about this element.
- Einsteinium-254 is one of the more stable isotopes of the element that has a half-life of 276 days. The most common isotope of the element, einsteinium 253 has a half-life of 20 days.
- The element was present on earth during its formation. However, because of its high radioactivity and short half-life of all einsteinium isotopes, it has most certainly decayed.
- The element is not visible to the naked eye. After it was discovered, it took over nine years to manufacture enough of it so that it could be seen with the naked eye.
- The usage of the element is also limited except for the purposes of scientific research.
Source: Indian Express
DRDO hands over MotorBike Ambulance Rakshita to CRPF
News: Defence Research and Development Organisation has handed over MotorBike Ambulance Rakshita to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
- Rakshita: It is a bike-based casualty transport emergency vehicle. It has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS),Delhi based DRDO laboratory.
- Purpose: The bike ambulance will help in overcoming the problems faced by Indian security forces and emergency health care providers. It will also provide life-saving aid for evacuation of injured patients from low intensity conflict areas.
- Key Features:
- It is fitted with a customized reclining Casualty Evacuation Seat (CES), which can be fitted in and taken out as per requirement.
- Other major features are the head immobilizer, safety harness jacket, adjustable footrest, physiological parameter measuring equipment with wireless monitoring capability and auto warning system for the drive.
INSPIRE Faculty produced heat-tolerant wheat varieties resulting in improved grain yield
News: Researchers of the INSPIRE Faculty under the Department of Science and Technology(DST) are studying to develop a variety of wheat that does not lose its productivity under heat stress.
- Wheat and Heat Stress: Wheat is affected severely by Heat stress as it causes a dramatic reduction in yield as well as quality of wheat which is the staple for more than one-third of the world’s population.
What are the researchers studying and developing?
- The researchers are studying the role of DNA methylation (a biological process by which methyl groups are added to the DNA molecule) patterns as it plays a significant role in plant development as well as in heat stress tolerance during different grain filling stages.This study is carried out through a process called epigenomic mapping.
- It will explore the epigenetic route to modify gene expression in a manner that is stably transmitted but does not involve differences in the underlying DNA sequence so that the heritable genes do not buckle under heat stress and non-stress conditions during different grain filling stages.
Scientists got clue to origin of fluctuations in active matter systems like fish schools
News: Scientists have found a clue to the dynamic origin of fluctuations in systems like fish schools, swarms of insects, flocking birds and bacterial colonies. These are called active matter systems.
What are Active Matter Systems?
- It is composed of large numbers of self-driven components that extract energy from their surroundings to generate mechanical work. Due to continuous energy input, such systems are driven far from equilibrium and exhibit fascinating collective behaviors like clustering, giant mass fluctuations and anomalous transport.
- Example: The anomalous behavior of active matter systems can be understood by considering a cup of coffee stirred with a spoon. If one stops stirring, the coffee will eventually come to rest due to the internal viscous forces which resist the fluid motion.
- In contrast, imagine stirring a bacterial solution which under suitable conditions (bacterial concentration), can exhibit perpetual or unceasing collective directed motion. This is called Active matter. In cases like this, the viscosity would vanish.
- Significance: This understanding can be useful in nanotechnology applications like building small-scale energy-efficient bio-devices as well as biomedical applications like characterising infection spread in organs, antibiotic resistance and so on.
Technology Transfer Agreements signed to bring India’s first indigenous Flow Diverter Stent
News: Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) has entered into Technology Transfer Agreements with Pune based Biorad Medisys for flow Diverter Stents.
The cost of the Chitra Flow Diverter stent is expected to be priced significantly lower than the currently imported ones.
What are Flow Diverter Stents?
- It is a endovascular technique used for diverting blood flow away from an intracranial aneurysm or localized ballooning of arteries in the brain, helping reduce chances of its rupture and related stroke. Currently, India does not manufacture flow diverters stents,
- Flow diverters have the advantages of being flexible and adaptable to the shape and course of the vessel. Also, flow diverters promote healing of the vessel wall by removing the constant stress of blood flow on it.
What are Technology Transfer Agreements?
- Technology transfer is the process by which a technology, expertise, know-how or facilities developed by one individual, enterprise or organization is transferred to another individual, enterprise or organization.
- It may happen from country to country, from industry to industry or from research laboratory to an existing or new business.
BARC Develops India’s First Ruthenium 106 Plaque For Effective Eye Cancer Treatment
News: Bhabha Atomic Research Centre(BARC) Mumbai has developed an Eye Cancer therapy. It was the first indigenous Ruthenium 106 Plaque for the treatment of Ocular Tumors.
- Ruthenium-106: It is a radioactive form of the rare heavy metal ruthenium. It is a “platinum group” metal similar to platinum.
- How is it produced? It is produced from the fission or splitting of uranium-235, the type of uranium used in nuclear fission reactors, so it’s found in spent nuclear fuel.
- Uses: It is used in medicine for cancer radiation therapy, especially for eye and skin tumors. It is also used in radioisotope thermoelectric generators that power satellites.
- Harmful to Humans: High doses of ruthenium are toxic and carcinogenic when ingested. The material is strongly retained in the bones.
Union Minister to launch “Khadi Prakritik Paint” developed by KVIC
News: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways will be launching an innovative new called “Khadi Prakritik Paint”.
- Khadi Prakritik Paint: It has been conceptualized by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and later developed by Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute, Jaipur (a KVIC unit).
- Key Characteristics:
- It is a first-of-its-kind eco-friendly, non-toxic paint with anti-fungal, antibacterial properties.
- Based on cow dung as its main ingredient, the paint is cost-effective and odorless and has been certified by Bureau of Indian Standards.
- The paint is free from heavy metals like lead, mercury, chromium, arsenic, cadmium and others.
- Forms: The paint is available in two forms – distemper paint and plastic emulsion paint.
- Production of Khadi Prakritik Paint is aligned with the Prime Minister’s vision of increasing farmer’s income. The paint is estimated to generate additional income of Rs 30,000 (approx) per annum per animal to farmers/ gaushalas.
- It will be a boost to the local manufacturing and will create sustainable local employment through technology transfer.
- This technology will increase consumption of cow dung as a raw material for eco-friendly products and will generate additional revenue to farmers and gaushalas. Utilization of cow dung will also clean the environment and prevent clogging of drains.
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Swasth Vayu Non-invasive Ventilator receives regulator nod
News: Swasth Vayu Ventilator has received the approval of the expert committee constituted by Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
- Swasth Vayu: It is a ‘Made in India’ non-invasive (involves use of masks or similar device) ventilator developed by the National Aerospace Laboratories(NAL),Bengaluru.
- Key Features:
- It is a microcontroller based precise closed-loop adaptive control system with a built-in biocompatible 3D printed manifold and coupler with HEPA filter (Highly Efficient Particulate Air Filter).
- It also has several advanced features like Bi-level mode(BiPAP), Continuous Positive Airway Mode(CPAP) and Spontaneous modes with provision to connect Oxygen concentrator or Enrichment unit externally.
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- The ventilator is ideal for treating Covid-19 patients in wards, makeshift hospitals, dispensaries and homes.
- The major advantage of this machine is also that it is simple to use without any specialized nursing, cost effective, compact and configured with majority of indigenous components.
PM launches India’s first driverless metro train in Delhi
Source: The Hindu
News: The Prime Minister of India has flagged off the country’s first ‘driverless’ metro in Delhi.
- Delhi driverless Metro train: It will be rolled out on the 38-km Line 8 or Magenta Line of the Delhi Metro which has a 390-km-long network spread across the national capital and adjoining cities.
- Significance: After this inauguration, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has entered the elite league of 7% of the world’s Metro networks which can operate without drivers.
- How will it benefit the citizens?
- Operational flexibility & efficiency
- Inspection/testing to be done remotely ensuring Higher reliability with no human intervention
- Improved safety and quality of service
- Save Train Operators’ time & effort and improve the quality of his/her job.
What does Driverless Metro Train mean?
- Driverless technology does not mean that there will be no driver – at least that is not going to be the case to begin with. It does mean though that slowly the role of the driver will get more and more limited as the technology and its systems expand.
- Grades of Automation: The driverless train technology has set standards for automation known as Grades of Automation(GoA).
- In GoA 1, the train is run by one driver.
- In GoA 2 and GoA 3, the driver only needs to operate doors and take over if there is an emergency.Trains start and stop in automated mode in GoA2 & 3.
- The last level is GoA 4, where trains run on complete unattended mode.
What is 3D Printing?
Source: The Hindu
News: L&T Construction has 3D printed a G+1 (Ground plus one) building for the first time in India at Kancheepuram, Chennai with indigenous concrete mixture.
- 3D printing or additive manufacturing(AM) is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
What is the process of 3D Printing?
- The process starts with making a virtual design of the object that has to be created.
- This virtual design is made in a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file using a 3D modelling program (new object) or using a 3D scanner (existing object).
- Slicing software slices the final model into hundreds or thousands of horizontal layers. When this prepared file is uploaded in the 3D printer, the printer creates the object layer by layer.
- The 3D printer reads every slice (or 2D image) and proceeds to create the object blending each layer together with no sign of the layering visible, resulting in one three-dimensional object.
- Applications of 3D Printing: The 3D printing technology is used for both prototyping and distributed manufacturing with applications in architecture, construction, industrial design, automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, biotech (human tissue replacement), fashion, jewellery, education, geographic information systems and many other fields.
What are the advantages of 3D Printing?
- Low cost: 3D printing is cheaper than traditional methods of manufacturing.
- Less Time: Printing of the 3D object can be done directly, differing from the traditional manufacturing where different components had to be joined to form the final product.
- Efficiency: Generating prototypes with 3D printers is much easier and faster with 3D printing technology.
- Flexibility: Different materials can be used in the 3D models. This makes it very easy to create construction models or prototypes for a wide variety of projects within many industries.
- Reduced wastage: AM process produces less waste in comparison with other traditional manufacturing techniques
Issues with 3D Printing:
- Limited size: The size of objects created with 3d printers is currently limited
- Limited Raw Materials: With 3D printing being an additive method (layer after layer), the materials available suited for it are limited- ceramics, resin, plastics, etc.
- Effect on employment: Jobs in manufacturing will be rendered obsolete which will have a negative impact on developing economies.
Indian Railways to use LIDAR Technique for ground survey
Source: Click here
News: National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited is adopting Light Detection and Ranging Survey(LiDAR) technique for conducting ground survey for the proposed Delhi-Varanasi High Speed Rail(HSR) corridor.
- LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging): It is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges & variable distances.
- Working: These light pulses combined with other data recorded by the airborne system generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.
- Instrument: LiDAR instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver. Airplanes and helicopters are the most commonly used platforms for acquiring LiDAR data over broad areas.
- Applications: LiDAR is used for agriculture, hydrology and water management systems, geology-related applications and also in archaeology.
What is Havana Syndrome?
Source: Click Here
News: National Academies of Sciences(NAS) has found microwave radiation to be the cause for the “Havana syndrome”.
- Havana Syndrome: In 2016, US diplomats in Havana reported feeling ill after hearing strange sounds and experiencing odd physical sensations in their hotel rooms or homes.The symptoms included nausea, severe headaches, fatigue, dizziness, sleep problems, and hearing loss which have since come to be known as “Havana Syndrome”.
- Microwave weapons: These are supposed to be a type of direct energy weapons which aim highly focused energy in the form of sonic, laser, or microwaves, at a target.
- Effects: People exposed to high-intensity microwave pulses have reported a clicking or buzzing sound, as if seeming to be coming from within your head.It can have both acute and long-term effects without leaving signs of physical damage.
China turns on ‘artificial sun’
Source: Click here
News: China has successfully powered up its artificial sun nuclear fusion reactor named “HL-2M Tokamak reactor”.
- HL-2M Tokamak reactor: It is China’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device that can potentially unlock a powerful clean energy source.
- It uses a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma and can reach temperatures of over 150 million degrees Celsius approximately ten times hotter than the core of the sun.
- Hence, the reactor is often called an “artificial sun” on account of the enormous heat and power it produces.
- Nuclear Fusion: It is considered the Holy Grail of energy and is what powers our sun.It merges atomic nuclei to create massive amounts of energy — the opposite of the fission process used in atomic weapons and nuclear power plants which splits them into fragments.
- Advantages of Fusion: Unlike fission, fusion emits no greenhouse gases and carries less risk of accidents or the theft of atomic material. But achieving fusion is both extremely difficult and prohibitively expensive.