Expected Questions for Science Technology and Space Part 1 (Set - 3) (Download PDF)

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IIT Kharagpur Scientists Introduce New Technology to Manufacture Biofuel Scientists at IIT Kharagpur come up with a new technology of manufacturing Biofuel known as ‘soil-to-soil’ cheaper, quicker and pollution-free.

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

• The technology is in the process of being patented.

• This plant contains up to 50 % hemicelluloses which can be used as an economic and abundant source of Biofuel.

• Biofuels are fuels derived from biomass indirectly.

• Biofuel includes solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases and along with this it also signifies Biodiesel, Bio alcohol and bio-gasoline.

What is Ash Content in Indian Coal? Difference between Drift Theory & In-Situ Coal Seam

• Quality of Coal (ash content in the coal) is one of the important factors, which directly affects the power generation in the thermal power plant.

• Ash content of coal produced in the country is generally 25 to 45%.

• Average ash content of imported coal varies from 10 to 20%.

• Indian Coal has comparatively higher ash content than imported coal due to drift theory of formation of coal deposits in India.

• There are two theories proposed for accumulation of the plant materials transforming to coal:

• In-Situ theory

• Drift theory

Setting up of a High Altitude Cloud Observatory Near Munnar, Kerala

• High altitude cloud physics observatory was established at Munnar (Kerala), in Western Ghats - gateway for the monsoon of India to observe cloud and rain processes over that region with state of the art instruments.

• Enable understanding of rainfall distribution allowing better characterization of rainfall processes in the numerical models used for monsoon prediction.

• Long term monitoring of cloud and rainfall to enable accurate representation of cloud micro-physical process in forecast models improving severe weather prediction - heavy rainfall, thunderstorm etc.

Minor Planet Named After Indian Girl Sahithi Pingali

• Minor planet in Milky Way will going to named after the Bengaluru girl Sahithi Pingali.

• She has developed an integrated mobile phone app and lake monitoring kit which monitors pollution in water bodies, so this is the reward for her achievements.

• Sahithi Pingali presented her paper which is titled as “An Innovative Crowdsourcing Approach to Monitoring Freshwater Bodies” at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

• She got 2nd rank as well as three special awards in the Earth and Environment Sciences category.

What Makes Golden-Crowned Manakin Special? Scientists Discover First Hybrid Bird

• Scientists discovered the first known hybrid bird species in the Amazon rainforest - a golden-crowned manakin with yellow feathers.

• Such hybrid species among vertebrates are exceedingly rare.

• A hybrid species forms when two parental species mate to produce a hybrid population, which then stops being able to freely interbreed with the parental species.

• Hybrid plant species are very common but hybrid species among vertebrates are exceedingly rare.

• Coalescent theory is a model of how gene variants sampled from a population may originate from a common ancestor.

MERIT App, Merit Order Stack and E-Bidding Portal for Utilization of Domestic Coal

• MERIT app or Merit Order Dispatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency.

• The e-bidding portal provides e-Bidding solution to States to select Independent Power Producers (IPPs) for procurement of power by transferring their domestic coal under the scheme of flexibility in utilization of domestic coal.

• Optimum utilization of Coal through these app/web portals would save the consumer close to Rs. 20, 000 crores five years down the line.

• Merit Order Dispatch of Electricity (MERIT) app and website developed in association with POSOCO.

Excitonium is the Latest New State of Matter - What Are Other States of Matter?

• Physicists from University of Illinois discovered a new form of matter called excitonium.

• This condensate, made up of excitons, was theorized almost 50 years ago.

• Term ‘excitonium’ was coined in the 1960s by Harvard theoretical physicist Bert Halperin.

• Excitons are a type of boson formed in a semiconductor.

• The laws of physics at the quantum level are very different with a form of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate bridging the gap between macro and quantum worlds.

• Like other bosons, excitons have a “ground state, ” named excitonium.

Indian Lego Program and Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 for Lego

• 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics paper (discover paper) has 39 Indian authors and scientists.

• The contributions came from nine institutions:

• CMI Chennai

• ICTS-TIFR Bengaluru

• IISER-Kolkata

• IISER-Trivandrum

• IIT Gandhinagar

• IPR Gandhinagar

• IUCAA Pune

• RRCAT Indore

• TIFR Mumbai

• Primarily funded through individual and institutional grants by Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Science & Technology and Ministry of Human Resource Development AE, DST and MHRD, who are co-authors of this discovery paper.

• India took leadership in this field with LIGO-India mega-science project granted ‘in principle’ approval by the Union Cabinet on Feb 17 2016.

• LIGO-India is being funded by:

• Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)

• Department of Science and Technology (DST)

Bakhshali Manuscript: How Old is Zero? 500 Years Older Than Previously Believed

• Scientists traced the origins to zero considered as greatest breakthroughs in history of mathematics to an ancient Indian text- Bakhshali manuscript.

• Bakhshali manuscript was housed in the UK since 1902.

• Bakhshali manuscript written in 3rd or 4th century- thus origin of zero is 500 years older than scholars previously believed.

• Manuscript also has world’s oldest recorded origin of the zero symbols used today.

• Bakhshali Manuscript: Translation revealed that it was a training manual for merchants trading across the Silk Road.

What Are Biosensors? Biosensor to Detect Kidney Disorders Developed by IITs

• Researchers from IIT Bombay and Indore jointly developed a biosensor to detect kidney disorders in less than eight minutes measuring both the pH and urea concentration with a single drop of urine.

• Biosensor is an analytical device that converts a biological response into an electrical signal.

• They typically use enzymes as the biologically responsive material.

• Device is made up of a transducer and a biological element that may be an enzyme, an antibody, or a nucleic acid.

• Bio-element interacts with analyte and biological response is converted into an electrical signal by the transducer.

Breakthrough Listen Project: Dwarf Galaxy Send 15 Radio Bursts

• Breakthrough Listen project detected 15 fast radio bursts (FRBs) coming from a dwarf galaxy about 3 million light years away from earth with Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia.

• Total of known fast radio bursts from this strange object is 150.

• First burst was extremely intense observed across a 288 MHz radio band near the location of the Small Magellanic Cloud.

• There are following components:

• Breakthrough Listen

• Breakthrough Message

• Breakthrough Watch

• Breakthrough Starshot

Largest Volcanic Region on Earth under Antarctica

• Scientists uncovered the largest volcanic region on Earth two kilometers below the surface ice sheets covering West-Antarctica.

• Found almost 100 volcanoes with the highest as tall as the Eiger stands at almost 4, 000 m in Switzerland.

• Huge region much larger than east Africa’s volcanic ridge, currently rated the densest concentration of volcanoes in the world.

• Newly discovered volcanoes range in height from 100 to 3, 850 meters- covered in ice sometimes more than 4km thick.

Nanotechnology-Based Drug Delivery System Developed by All-Women Team of IIT Delhi Researchers

• All-women team of researchers from IIT Delhi developed a new drug delivery platform based on nanoparticles with ability to boost efficacy of antibiotics at the cellular level.

• Improve chances of recovery from cancer-related bacterial infections.

• Traditional drug delivery system leaves bacterial infection in cancer untreated infecting the host even after the cancer cells are killed by chemotherapy.

• New nanotechnology-based drug delivery system uses sushi-peptide conjugated to gold nanoparticle able to kill E. coli and Salmonella typhi bacteria more efficiently at lower dosages at much lower concentration than free peptides.

IISc Researchers Develop Low-Cost, Sensitive CO Sensor

• Indian Institute of Science (IISc) researchers developed a highly sensitive, low cost miniature nanometer-scale carbon monoxide (CO) sensor for pollution monitoring using novel fabrication technique not involving costly lithography technology.

• Smog -

Lancet Commission on Pollution & Health; Great Smog of Delhi

Dr. Manishika Jain explains Lancet Commission on Pollution & Health & Great Smog of Delhi

• CO is a colorless, odorless gas found in fumes of cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces.

• CO can build up indoors and poison people breathing it.

• Breathing CO reduces amount of oxygen transported in the blood stream to critical organs like the heart and brain.

Scientists Identify Four Bacterial Strains to Remove Sulphur from Fossil Fuels

• Scientists from CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology (CSIR-IMMT) found 4 bacterial strains.

• That removes sulphur from fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal.

• Sulphur is one of the major pollutants emitted during the combustion of fossil fuels.

• 4 bacterial strains are:

• Rhodococcus rhodochrous

• Arthrobacter sulfureou

• Gordonia rubropertinita

• Rhodococcus erythropolis

Researchers Develop Potent Molecule to Treat Chikungunya

• Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee identified two small potent molecules Pep-I and Pep-II, for their inhibitory activity to treat Chikungunya disease.

• Currently, there are no drugs to treat chikungunya or any vaccine to prevent it.

• Antiviral activity was tested by adding molecules directly into virus culture.

• During studies it was confirmed that both molecules have significant ability to kill virus.

• Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne virus that causes a disease.

USFDA Approves World’s First Contact Lens That Automatically Darkens when Exposed to Bright Light

• US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved use of Acuvue Oasys Contact Lenses with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology.

• World’s first contact lens that automatically darkens when exposed to bright light.

• It is first of its kind contact lens to incorporate same technology that is used in eyeglasses that automatically darken in the sun.

• These contact lens are soft contact lenses indicated for daily use to correct vision of people with non-diseased eyes who are nearsighted (myopic) or farsighted (hyperopic).

Indian Mosquitoes Susceptible to Zika Virus

• National Institute of Virology (NIV) study found that Indian Aedes aegypti mosquito transmits dengue and chikungunya viruses are easily susceptible to zika virus.

• Also found that Indian Aedes aegypti mosquito infected with African strain MR-766 of Zika virus (ZIKV) can easily transmit infection.

• This study shows that Indian mosquitoes pick up ZIKA in natural way.

Indian Origin Scientist Develops World’s First Microfactory for E-waste

• IIT-trained Australian scientist of Indian origin Veena Sahajwalla launched world’s first micro factory.

• That can transform components from electronic waste items into valuable materials for re-use.

• E-waste micro factory uses green manufacturing technologies to turn many types of consumer waste such as glass, plastic and timber into commercial materials and products.

RH300 Sounding Rocket Launched for Atmospheric Studies

• RH-300 MKII sounding rocket developed by IRSO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) was successfully launched from Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

• Rocket launched by VSSC under Sounding Rocket Experiment (SOUREX) program for atmospheric studies.

• It utilizes this rocket to study Equatorial and lower ionosphere regions of atmosphere.

• It was overall 21st launch of RH300 sounding rocket.

Government Bans Imports of Hormone Oxytocin

• Union government banned imports of hormone oxytocin to stop its misuse in livestock industry, where it causes hormonal imbalances and shortens the lives of milch animals.

• Government decided to rely on domestic production to satisfy requirements of hormone.

• It has asked customs officials to step up vigilance against those likely to try and smuggle oxytocin into India.

• Oxytocin, often called love hormone, is released naturally in human bonding activities such as sex, childbirth and breastfeeding.

K2 - 229b: Hot, Metallic Earth-sized Planet Discovered

• Scientists using Kepler 2 telescope discovered hot, metallic, Earth-sized planet named K2 - 229b orbiting dwarf star located 260 million light years away.

• They had employed Doppler spectroscopy technique also known as wobble method to discover and characterize this faraway planet.

• K2 - 229b planet is almost 20 % larger than Earth but has mass which is over two-and-a-half times greater.

• K2 - 229b orbits its star every fourteen hours.

Fluorimeter: DAE Develops Device to Measure Uranium Traces in Water

• The Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), an Indore-based unit of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) developed an instrument called Fluorimeter, to measure traces of uranium in water.

• The device is capable of examining traces of uranium in sample of water from 0.1 PPB (Parts-per-billion) unit to 100 PPB.

• It costs around Rs. 1 lakh.

QOL-2C: AYUSH Drug Developed by CCRAS for Cancer Patients

• Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) undertaken development of coded drug AYUSH QOL-2C for improving quality of life in cancer patients.

• It had conducted clinical studies of the drug in breast cancer patients at St. John’s Medical College, Bengaluru and AIIMS, New Delhi and in lung cancer patients at Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur

India-UK Joint Team Wins Newton-Bhabha Fund for Groundwater Arsenic Research Project

• India-United Kingdom (UK) Joint Team won Newton-Bhabha Fund for project on Groundwater Arsenic Research in Ganga River Basin.

• Project was undertaken by DST in collaboration with Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK to find solutions to water challenges faced in pervasively arsenic-affected Ganga River Basin.

• Newton-Bhabha Fund provided by the British Council.

Silver Copper Telluride (AgCuTe): Researchers Develop Thermoelectric Compound

• Researchers developed silver copper telluride (AgCuTe), a novel compound that exhibits poor thermal conductivity but shows good electrical conductivity.

• It was developed by researchers from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru.

• New material having thermoelectric properties is made from silver, copper, and tellurium.

• It shows high levels of thermoelectric performance.

Light Transport Aircraft SARAS Successfully Completes Second Test-flight

• India’s indigenous developed light transport aircraft SARAS PT1N successfully completed 2nd test-flight.

• It was the 2nd of the 20 test flights planned for SARAS PT1N, before it is frozen to production version.

• First successful test was carried out in January 2017.

• Indian Air Force (IAF) committed to induct 15 aircrafts initially.

Malacidins: New Class of Antibiotics from Soil

• Scientists from Rockefeller University in New York have reported discovery of a new class of antibiotics called malacidins.

• It has been produced by microorganisms living in soil and dirt.

• It is capable of killing off several antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

• The new family of antibiotics comes from molecules present in large variety of soils.

Scientists for First Time Grow Human Eggs to Full Maturity in Laboratory

• Scientists from Britain and US for first time succeeded in growing human eggs in laboratory from earliest stages in ovarian tissue all way to full maturity.

• This is the first time human eggs have been developed outside the human body from their earliest stage to full maturity.

UK Allows Doctors to Create Three-parent Babies through Mitochondrial Donation

• Britain’s fertility regulator Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) allowed doctors to create country’s first ‘three-parent’ babies through mitochondrial donation therapy (or MRT).

• This move aimed: At preventing passage of incurable genetic diseases from mothers to offsprings.

• HEFA approved procedures to be applied on two women in the city of Newcastle in northeast England.

Rotavac: First India-designed Vaccine to Pass WHO Test

• Rotavac became first indigenously developed vaccine from India to be pre-qualified by WHO.

• It means that vaccine can be sold internationally to several countries in South America and Africa.

• So far, several vaccines from India have been pre-qualified by WHO.

• Rotavac is first vaccine entirely developed locally to get this status in safe.

MIT Scientists Create Plants That Can Glow in Dark

• MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

• Scientists from MIT, US found a novel way to induce plants to give off dim light by embedding specialized nanoparticles into their leaves.

• Purpose of this experiment: To make plant function as a desk lamp, powered by the energy metabolism of the plant itself and not by electricity.

Improved Samba Masuri: CCMB-IIRR Develop Low Glycemic Index Rice

• Hyderabad based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in association with Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR) developed Improved Samba Masuri (ISM) variety rice with low Glycemic Index (GI).

• Rice with low GI is considered suitable for people with diabetics.

• Consumption of food with low GI results in slow release of glucose into bloodstream reducing the ill-effects of diabetes.

Scientists Link New Virus to Kala-azar

• Scientists found that parasite called Leptomonas seymouri hosting virus called Lepsey NLV1.

• It may be also responsible for spread of kala-azar (visceral leishmaniasis).

• Earlier, it was believed that parasite Leishmania donovani (sandfly) alone is responsible for spread of the dreaded infection.

• Discovery portends new kind of treatment regime and may aid attempts to eradicating disease.

Ichthyosaur Fossil Discovered for First Time in India

• Geologists for the first time discovered 152 million-year-old fossil of Ichthyosaur, an extinct marine reptile in Kutch desert region of Gujarat.

• Specimen belongs to Ophthalmosauridae family of ichthyosaurs.

• That lived in oceans between 165 and 90 million years.

• Detail examination fossil’s teeth suggested that it was top-tier predator in its ecosystem and ate animals.

CSIR-NIIST Scientists Develop Organic Near-infrared Filter

• Scientists from Thiruvananthapuram based CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST) developed organic filter that allows only near-infrared (NIR) light to pass through it.

• Found to absorb light from 300 - 850 nm and transmit NIR light from 850 - 1500 nm.

• Researchers developed filter by mixing organogel with transparent polymer (polydimethylsiloxane).

CarbFix Project

• World’s first negative emissions carbon-capture plant begins operations in Hellisheidi, Iceland.

• It is intended to lock away carbon dioxide by reacting it with basaltic rocks.

• Work on the project began in 2007.

• In it $\mathrm{C}{\mathrm{O}}_{\mathrm{2}}$ is captured from ambient air, bound to water and sent to more than 700 meters underground.

World’s Largest Combustion Research Centre Inaugurated at IIT Madras

• National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) was inaugurated at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras in Tamil Nadu.

• World’s largest combustion research centre.

• One of best diagnostic centres in the country to understand combustion.

• NCCRD is supported by state-run Science and Engineering Research Board (SERN) of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of S&T.

• Established at a total cost of Rs. 90 crore.

Sibir: World’s Biggest and Most Powerful Nuclear Icebreaker Ship Launched by Russia

• Russia launched Sibir (Siberia).

• World’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker ship built under Project 22220 into the water at the Baltic Shipyard in St Petersburg.

• Sibir is second of three icebreakers of new class of biggest nuclear powered icebreakers ever constructed under Project 22220.

• First one was Arktika (Arctic) was put in service in June 2016.

• Third icebreaker Ural is set to be completed in 2019.

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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