Expected Questions for Science Technology and Space Part 1 (Set - 2) (Download PDF)


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IISc scientists develop first super critical carbon dioxide (S-CO2) Brayton Test Loop facility - Scientists from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru have indigenously developed country’s first super critical carbon dioxide (S-CO2) Brayton Test Loop facility.

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Expected Questions on Science & Technology 2018 - UPSC IAS Prelims (Part 1) (In English)

Dr. Manishika Jain discusses Expected Questions on Science and Technology 2018 for IAS Prelims Part 1

  • Facility was inaugurated at the IISc campus.

  • It is first test loop technology coupled with solar heat source in world.

  • That will generate clean energy from power plants, including solar thermal.

  • The facility is part of Indo-US consortium- Solar Energy Research Institute for India and United States (SERIIUS).

Lunar Occultation: 3 Planets Behind the Moon

  • In September 2017, moon blocked Venus, then Mars and then Mercury in the sky in an event called a lunar occultation.

  • Occultation occurs when moon passes in front of a celestial object.

  • Solar eclipses is an example of the moon occulting the Sun.

  • Lunar occultation are beautiful- in 2007 when the moon occulted Saturn.

  • Moon will also interrupt the light from Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo, a few hours after it passes Venus.

  • Last time the moon slide past three planets within 24 hours was on March 5, 2008

Fast Breeder Reactors Now In Indian Power Plants

  • Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) carrying out a R&D on sodium cooled fast breeder reactor technology for the past 30 years.

  • A test Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR), is in operation from 1985 onwards which has provided valuable feedback.

  • Based on this 500MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is now in advanced stage of commissioning at Kalpakkam.

  • Designed peer reviewed by international design agencies.

  • India mastered the design and manufacturing of sodium cooled Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR).

Flexible and Strong Artificial Silk Developed

  • Scientists from the University of Cambridge developed super-stretchy and strong artificial (synthetic) spider silk, almost entirely composed of water.

  • The synthetic spider silk mimics properties of spider silk, one of strongest natural materials.

  • It has range of applications from eco-friendly textiles to sensors.

  • Spun from hydrogel a soupy material 98 % water.

  • Remaining 2 % composed from silica and cellulose

Urja Ganga Launched in Varanasi

  • Urja Ganga, the highly ambitious gas pipeline project in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

  • He also launched other schemes worth of Rs. 5000 crore in his Lok Sabha constituency.

  • Gas pipeline would provide piped cooking fuel to residents of the eastern region and CNG gas for the vehicles.

  • Seven East India cities will benefit greatly: Varanasi, Jamshedpur, Patna, Ranchi, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar & Cuttack.

NSDC & Google India Launches Mobile App Development Program

  • National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Google India jointly launched Android Skill Development program for improving mobile developer ecosystem.

  • NSDC’s partners will design and deliver 100-hour course outside the formal education system.

  • Objectives of Scheme

    • Aims to impart mobile development training on android OS and web platform

    • Improve the quality of mobile app development ecosystem in India.

    • Introduce specific courses on creating applications for mobile platform for Android OS smartphones and tablets.

Scientists Have Found a Way to Produce Methanol Using Oxygen in the Air

  • Researchers from Cardiff University in U. K. discovered process to produce methanol from methane through simple catalysis.

  • That allows methanol production at low temperatures using oxygen and hydrogen peroxide.

  • Methanol is also known as methyl alcohol. It is a chemical with formula CH3OH (often abbreviated MeOH).

  • Cleaner, greener industrial processes worldwide.

Windy Venus is Revealed for the First Time

  • For the first time, the night side of the Venus is observed and how the atmosphere circulates on the night side of Venus on a global scale.

  • Primarily focus on night side because it has remained poorly explored.

  • Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on European Space Agency (ESA) ’s Venus Express spacecraft was used to observe the clouds in the infrared.

  • There is wind and cloud patterns in the night side of planet Venus.

  • Behave very differently from the part facing the Sun.

  • For the first time, night side of Venus observed and how the atmosphere circulates on the night side of Venus on a global scale.

  • There is wind and cloud patterns in the night side of planet Venus and behave very differently from the part facing the Sun.

Editing the Genes of Human Embryos: Moral Issues

  • Oregon Health and Science University scientists’ successfully edited genes of human embryos correcting defective DNA that can cause inherited diseases.

  • They used the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to alter single-cell human embryos allowing specific sections of DNA to be altered or replaced.

  • Scientists used sperm donated from men who carried inherited disease mutations to demonstrate the correction.

  • One-celled embryos only allowed to develop for a few days using a process called “germline engineering”.

Cancer Research: System to Predict Treatment Outcome of Chemotherapy

  • Scientists developed a new system to non-invasively identify the breast cancer patients who would respond to chemotherapy within two weeks of beginning treatment.

  • The novel dynamic “optical tomographic breast imaging system” generates three-dimensional (3-D) images of both breasts simultaneously.

  • Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment using one or more anti-cancer drugs given as curative intent, prolong life or reduce symptoms.

  • Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells, but they also affect the vasculature inside the tumor.

New Fossil Breaks Assumptions on How Human Race Spread- Oldest Known Human Fossil Outside Africa

  • Discovery of prehistoric jawbone in a cave in Israel and tools suggest that human ancestors left Africa far earlier than previously thought prompting scientists to rethink theories of how the earliest human pioneers came to populate the planet.

  • A series of recent discoveries, including a trove of 1, 00, 000 years-old human teeth found in a cave in China.

  • It have clouded straight forward assumption of humans dispersing from Africa into Eurasia:

    • Human fossils in Sumatra from about 70, 000 years ago

    • Archaeological evidence from Northern Australia at 65, 000 years

    • Latest find, at the Misliya cave site in northern Israel added to the conflict.

Plastic Converted to Petrol and Bio-Glue for Wound Healing

  • CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun in collaboration with GAIL Ltd. developed a process to convert waste polyethylene and polypropylene into petrol and diesel.

  • One kilogram of waste polyethylene and polypropylene can be converted to either about 600 - 650 ml of petrol or 700 - 750 ml of diesel along with LPG.

  • The process has been developed at the bench scale.

  • Scientists developed a super strong, flexible bio-glue for wound healing without causing toxicity.

  • Inspired by an adhesive material (glue) secreted by slugs when threatened, making it difficult for a predator to pry it off its surface.

TRAPPIST-1 May Have Water-Rich Planets

  • Planets around the faint red star TRAPPIST-1, 40 light-years from Earth, may host significant amounts of water.

  • Shifts of TRAPPIST-1 planets depend on the planets masses, their distances, and other orbital parameters.

  • Scientists at University of Bern led by Simon Grimm in Switzerland applied complex computer modelling methods to all the available data to determine that the planet densities with better precision.

  • Based on these densities the conclusion of water on planets was drawn.

  • TRAPPIST-1 planets are so close together that they interfere with each other gravitationally, so the times when they pass in front of the star shift slightly.

Gelator to Remove Oil from Spills: IISER

  • Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Thiruvananthapuram developed hydrophobic and oleilophilic gelator that can take up oil on contact.

  • It is a cost effective method to recover marine oil spills.

  • Gelators use glucose as a starting material

  • Gelators are produced through several chemical reactions.

  • IISER gelator can recover oil from oil-water mixture and be reused several times except in case of crude.

Government’s 2030 Vision for EVs is Huge Challenge

  • Meeting the government’s vision of 100 % electrification of public transport and 40 % of personal mobility by 2030 is a huge challenge.

  • It is expected that Indian passenger vehicles market would touch around 10 million units annually by 2026, around 20% (2 million) could be EVs, and the rest ICE, with a good portion hybridized.

Why are Incentives Required for EVs? To make EVs attractive (for buyers) to spend more for possibly a small car, which is probably less aspirational in its appearance or in its segment that the same money on a hybridised larger car.

School of International Biodesign Develops SOHUM: Indigenous Low-Cost Hearing Screening Device

  • School of International Bio design (SIB) startup Sohum Innovation Labs India Pvt. Ltd. developed SOHUM, an indigenously developed low-cost hearing screening device for newborns.

  • Sohum aims: To make this battery-operated non-invasive screening device available across India to minimize or reverse the hearing loss damage.

  • Features of SOHUM:

    • Battery-operated non-invasive screening device to minimize or reverse the hearing loss damage.

    • Uses brain-stem auditory evoked response for hearing screening choice.

    • Built-in algorithm filters out ambient noise from the test signal.

3D Printing- 3D-Printed Soft Silicone Heart

  • Scientists from ETH Zurich in Switzerland developed a 3D-printed soft silicone heartresembling and functioning like human organ.

  • Not exact replica but can still save lives and serve as an artificial heart while waiting for heart transplant.

  • 3D-printed soft artificial heart a silicone monoblock with complex inner structure.

  • Weighs 390 grams and has a volume of 679 cubic centimeters.

  • Made of silicone using a 3D printed mold most advanced replicas created of most important organs.

  • Chamber is inflated and deflated by pressurized air required to pump fluid from the blood chambers.

  • Present can only work for several thousand beats, lasting around 30 to 45 minutes.

CancerSEEK- Detection of Surgically Resectable Cancers with a Multi-Analyte Blood Test

  • A new blood test that can now detect eight common cancer types through assessment of the levels of circulating proteins and mutations in cell-free DNA.

  • Cancer SEEK is the name of the blood test, which is used to detect the eight types of cancers in the early stage.

  • Tests were positive in a median of 70 % for the eight cancer types.

  • Sensitivities ranged from 69 % to 98 % for the detection of five cancer types (ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, and esophagus).

  • CancerSEEK localized the cancer to a small number of anatomic sites in a median of 83 % of the patients.

What is Super Blue Moon? Observed on January 31 to Mark Last of Trilogy

  • January 31 full moon was special due to three reasons:

    • It was last in a trilogy of “supermoons”.

    • It is about 14 % brighter than usual.

    • It is the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon”, which happens every two and a half years, on average.

  • A supermoon is a new or full moon closely coinciding with perigee.

  • The moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit is known as perigee.

  • When there are two full moons in a month, it is commonly known as a “blue moon”.

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Expected Questions on Science & Technology 2018 - UPSC IAS Prelims (Part 1) (In Hindi)

Dr. Manishika Jain discusses Expected Questions on Science and Technology 2018 for IAS Prelims Part 1

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- Published/Last Modified on: May 16, 2018


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