Competitive Exams: Science Current Affairs 2009 (Part 1 of 4)

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January

  1. World's First Internet Car Radio Unveiled The Australian researchers have developed a new internet car radio for the first time which enables the users to access 30, 000 stations including online broadcasts and AM and FM stations from all round the globe. The internet car radio developed by Melbourne-based online radio aggregator miRoamer was launched in prototype form at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. MiRoamer has signed a deal with German-based Blaupunkt which is one of the largest producers of car radios in the world. Under the new deal, Blaupunkt will produce internet radios which will be fitted in latest models by car manufacturers such as Ford, Holden, Mercedes, BMW and Audi. The internet radio will also be sold separately for those who want to install it in their cars. It is very imperative that radio lovers will prefer internet car radio to traditional broadcasters as it offers a huge number of stations from all over the world. The new product is expected to be launched in the US and Europe in the second half of 2009. In more ways than one, the internet car radio is going to revolutionise the way people listen to radio.

  2. Motorola Unveils Cellphone Made From Recycled Water Bottles Motorola has unveiled a new kind of mobile phone called MOTO W233 Renew which is made from recycled plastic water bottles. According to the handset manufacturing company, MOTO W233 Renew is also a carbon neutral phone. The company is said to have collaborated with Carbonfund. Org to manufacture the new mobile phone. Interestingly the container that holds the phone is also made from recycled material. In order to uplift its recycling program for mobile phones and accessories, Motorola has also entrusted another postage-paid box with the MOTO W233 Renew which can be used by customers to mail their old phones back to the company for recycling. The postage-paid box is also made from recycled paper, claimed Motorola. The new MOTO W233 Renew offers nine hours of talk time with ChrystalTalk technology and has messaging capabilities. The new mobile handset from Motorola is expected to be launched at the 2009 International CES in Las Vegas. The phone will be available in the market by the first quarter of 2009. MOTO W233 Renew has been designed for eco-conscious consumers as well as for those who loves to make phone calls. The recycling program of Motorola is ready to accept any mobile phone or accessory for recycling which it feels will help to recover valuable materials for reuse that will reduce environmental impact.

  3. UK Doctors Deliver Cancer-Proof Baby The first British baby genetically selected to be free of a breast cancer gene has been born. She grew from an embryo screened to ensure it did not contain the faulty BRCA1 gene, which passes the risk of breast cancer down generations. According to the sources of University College Hospital in London the mother, a 27-year-old Londoner, and her little girl were in very good condition. Women in three generations of the father's family have been diagnosed with the disease in their 20s, including his mother, grandmother, sister and cousin. A girl born with the altered BRCA1 gene have a 50 − 80% chance of developing breast cancer-but screening can prevent this. The technique used is known as Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which involves taking a cell from an embryo at the eight-cell stage of development, when it is around three-days old, and testing it. The treatment follows the green-signal given by Britain's Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority in 2006, which said doctors could test for ‘susceptibility genes’ such as BRCA1. A properly functioning BRCA1 protein helps stop cancer before it starts but faulty genes greatly increase the risk of cancer. BRCA1 and a related version of another gene, BRCA2, account for around 5% of breast cancer.

  4. Sony To Launch World's Lightest 8-Inch Notebook PC

In a bid to capture the rapidly growing market for ultra-portable personal computers, Sony Corp of Japan decided to launch 8-inch notebook PC which is considered to be one of the lightest laptops in the world. The new Sony Vaio PC will have Microsoft Corp's Windows Vista operating system. Windows Vista operating system incorporated in Sony laptops will support all the software programs found in full-sized notebooks.

While revealing the plan, Sony said that the new notebook weighs only 1.4 pounds and it is as thin as a mobile phone. The notebooks will available for pre-orders and were released in the market in the first week of February 2009. The Sony notebook is priced at about $900, setting itself apart from Netbooks.

The Red Planet Of Mars May Have Life On It

NASA, the space agency of USA, may be ready to announce alien microbes living below the Martian soil are the cause of a methane haze surrounding the Red Planet of Mars.

Researchers from around the world have shown a greater interest in the Red Planet, as possible traces of water and ice dust have raised hopes of discovering signs of life on or underneath the planet's surface. Even though methane is created on Earth by volcanoes, scientists haven't found any active volcanoes on the Red Planet.

In addition, it seems NASA researchers found high levels of methane in the same regions as water vapor clouds, which are absolutely necessary for life. The study was conducted during a seven year examination of the planet.

Indian Scientists Conduct Anti-Warming Experiment In Antarctic Ocean

A group of scientists from India and Germany jointly conducted an anti-warming experiment in Antarctic Ocean. It is believed that the experiment may find out a possible solution to on-going global warming crisis. The scientists began their experiment by scattering iron powder on hundreds of square kilometres of the Antarctic Ocean. The iron powder will fertilize the growth of phytoplankton which will eventually remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and take it deep under the ocean surface.

The technology of iron fertilization is likely to stop global warming at a very little cost. About six tonnes of iron are to be scattered on 300 sq km of sea. The group of scientists which left Cape Town on board the Polarstern on January 7 includes thirty Indian and 18 from other nations. The tiny organism called phytoplankton can eliminate carbon dioxide which is the main greenhouse gas contributing to global warming. The technology used by the Indian and German scientists can be path-breaking one in curbing global warming which stands out to be a major threat to mankind.