Science & Technology - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Which of the following are drought resistant plants?
- Published on 20 Nov 17

a. Succulents
b. Aloe Vera
c. Cacti
d. Both a and c
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Drought-resistant plants such as cacti and succulents, make use of an enhanced form of photosynthesis to minimise water loss.

The research, published in journal The Plant Cell, could be used to help produce new crops that can thrive in previously inhospitable, hot and dry regions across the world.

Photosynthesis involves taking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to convert into sugars using sunlight.

Scientists at the University of Liverpool in the U.K. found that these drought-resistant plants, such as cacti, agaves and succulents, make use of an enhanced form of photosynthesis known as crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM).

Unlike other plants, CAM plants are able to take up CO2 during the cooler night, which reduces water loss, and store captured CO2 as malic acid inside the cell, allowing its use for photosynthesis without water loss during the next day.

CAM photosynthesis is regulated by the plant's internal circadian clock, which allows plants to differentiate and pre-empt day and night and adjust their metabolism accordingly.

Process of Drought-Resistant Plant Photosynthesis: Know More

  • However, relatively little is known about the exact molecular processes that underpin the optimal timing of CO2 being stored and released in this unique way.
  • Researchers looked at an enzyme called PPCK that is involved in controlling the conversion of CO2 to its overnight stored form.
  • They wanted to know if PPCK is a necessary component for engineering CAM photosynthesis and tested this by switching the PPCK gene off in the succulent CAM plant Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi.
  • They found that, for CAM to work properly, the cells must switch on PPCK each night driven by internal circadian clock.

2)   China launched world's first fully electric cargo ship in Guangzhou. What type of battery does it use?
- Published on 17 Nov 17

a. Lead acid
b. Manganese
c. Lithium ion
d. Nickel metal hydride
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Lithium ion

China launched world's first fully electric cargo ship in Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong province.

It is the first ship in the world to use lithium ion battery.

The ship will be mainly used to run in inland section of Pearl River for carrying coal for generation of electric power.

First Electric Cargo Ship: Know More

  • The 70.5-metre-long ship, which weighs about 600 tonnes, was launched in Guangzhou in South China's Guangdong Province.
  • The vessel, manufactured by the Guangzhou Shipyard International Company Ltd, is powered by a 26-tonne lithium battery. It can cruise at the top speed of 12.8 km per hour.
  • As the ship do not use fossil fuels, it has zero emission, including carbon, sulphur and PM2.5 and it could be used as a passenger liner or a working ship, state-run Global Times reported.
  • On its inaugural run, the vessel was loaded with thermal coal mainly for areas around the Pearl River in Guangdong Province.

3)   Under what mission has the Ministry of Railways advanced target for 100% completion of installing human waste discharge free Bio-toilets in coaches to December 2018?
- Published on 17 Nov 17

a. Swachh India
b. Swachh Aadhar
c. Swachh Bharat
d. Swachh Nirman
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Swachh Bharat

The Union Ministry of Railways has advanced target for 100% completion of installing human waste discharge free Bio-toilets in coaches to December 2018.

Earlier, the target to install bio-toilets in all its coaches as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission was by September 2019.

Ministry of Railways

  • The Ministry of Railways is a ministry in the Government of India, responsible for the country's rail transport.
  • Website:
  • Formed: 16 April 1853
  • Jurisdiction: India
  • Headquarters: Rail Bhavan, 1, Raisina Road, New Delhi
  • Cabinet minister: Piyush Goyal
  • Minister of state: Manoj Sinha, Rajen Gohain

4)   Which interactive service, a 24hr channel has DTH provider TATA Sky launched?
- Published on 17 Nov 17

a. Tata Sky Cars
b. Tata Sky Investments
c. Tata Sky Beauty
d. Tata Sky Movies
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Tata Sky Beauty

Direct-to-home (DTH) service provider Tata Sky launched its latest interactive service Tata Sky Beauty, in partnership with FTheCouch (FTC) Beauty Studio, a Suniel Shetty venture.

The 24×7 beauty channel will carry content around hair styling, make-up, fashion, and skin-care featuring celebrity artists.

TATA Sky: Know More

  • Tata Sky is a direct broadcast satellite television provider in India, using MPEG-4 digital compression technology, transmitting using INSAT-4A and GSAT-10 satellite.
  • CEO: Harit Nagpal (Aug 2010-)
  • Headquarters: Worli, Mumbai
  • Founded: 10 August 2006
  • Number of employees: 100,000 (Approximately)
  • Parent organization: Tata Sons

5)   Which artificial protein is being said to block cancer cells and birth defects?
- Published on 16 Nov 17

a. Amino acid Protein
b. G Protein
c. C Protein
d. T Protein
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: G Protein

A team of researchers has come up with an artificial protein that may block malignant properties of cancer cells as well as correct certain birth defects.

The findings may lead to identifying new molecular targets suitable for therapeutic intervention.

Cells in the human body need to communicate with each other to function properly. This is accomplished by a molecular mechanism called signal transduction and its dysregulation leads to human disease.

A group of molecules called G proteins act as a signalling mechanism that enables cells to change their behaviour when they are activated by surface receptors.

According to the researchers, the G proteins can be activated via alternative mechanisms independent of surface receptors that also impact normal cell behaviour and pathogenesis.

Scientists have engineered an artificial protein that when expressed in cells can specifically blunt receptor-independent G protein activation and subsequent changes in cell behaviour.

They have implemented this to block malignant properties of cancer cells and to correct birth defects associated with the aberrant dysregulation of cellular communication.

The clinical implications for this discovery are indirect - since the engineered protein cannot be delivered to patients - it does represent a significant advance in the identification of a new class of molecular targets in cancer or neonatal malformations.

6)   Scientists have approved the first drug in the US with which type of tracking system?
- Published on 15 Nov 17

a. Blood sugar tracking
b. Digital ingestion tracking
c. Heart rate tracking
d. Both a and b
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Digital ingestion tracking

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug in the United States with a digital ingestion tracking system, in an unprecedented move to ensure that patients with mental illness take the medicine prescribed for them.

The drug Abilify MyCite, developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, was first approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat schizophrenia.

The ingestible sensor, made by Proteus Digital health, was approved for marketing in 2012.

The digitally enhanced medication works by sending a message from the pill's sensor to a wearable patch.

Being able to track ingestion of medications prescribed for illness may be useful for some patients.

Abilify MyCite's labelling asserts the ability of the product to improve patient compliance with their treatment regimen has not been shown.

Abilify MyCite should not be used to track drug ingestion in 'real-time' or during an emergency because detection may be delayed or may not occur.

In a portion of the statement to address privacy concerns, the FDA said the wearable patch that comes with the medication "transmits the information to a mobile application so that patients can track the ingestion of the medication on their smart phone.

Patients can also permit their caregivers and physician to access the information through a web-based portal.

Proteus Ingestible sensor "activates when it reaches stomach fluids and communicates with the patch."

The product is designed for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with a bipolar disorder and for use as an add-on treatment for depression in adults.

7)   Which region in India is set to get the country's first ever Air Dispensary?
- Published on 14 Nov 17

a. Deccan Plateau
b. Northeast
c. J&K, Leh and Ladakh
d. Western Ghats
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Northeast

Northeast is all set to get India's first-ever "Air Dispensary" based in a helicopter and the Union Ministry of Development of Northeast (DONER) has already contributed INR 25 crore as part of the initial funding for this initiative.

DoNER Ministry had been exploring the idea of introducing a helicopter based Dispensary/OPD service in such far flung and remote areas, where no doctor or medical facility was available and the patient, in need, also did not have any access to any medical care.

The proposal put forward by the Ministry of DoNER, he said, has been accepted and is in the final stages of process in the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The Union Ministry of Northeast/DoNER, Dr Jitendra Singh said, is keenly pursuing the proposal so that by the beginning of 2018, this could be the Union Government's gift to the people of Northeast.

Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that even today, nearly 1/3rd of India's population did not have access to proper hospital bed care, as a result of which, poor patients living in remote areas remained deprived of crucial medical care.

The experiment being introduced in the Northeast, at the behest of the Ministry of Northeast/DoNER, can also be emulated in other hill states having difficult topography like Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, he added.

Air Dispensary in North East

  • As per the envisaged plan, to begin with, helicopter will be based at two locations, namely Imphal in Manipur and Meghalaya in Shillong.
  • Both of these cities have premier postgraduate medical institutes from where specialist doctors, along with the necessary equipment and paramedical staff, would be able to move into the helicopter and hold a dispensary/OPD in different locations across the eight States of North Eastern Region.
  • On its way back, he said, the same helicopter can also transport a sick patient, requiring admission, to a city hospital.
  • Giving an account of other new helicopter service plans for Northeast, three twin-engine helicopters are planned to be placed for initial operation on six routes in the region around Imphal, Guwahati and Dibrugarh.

8)   Which is regarded as one of the world's hottest hotspots of biological diversity?
- Published on 09 Nov 17

a. Rann of Kutch
b. Western Ghats
c. Eastern Ghats
d. Sunderbans
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Western Ghats

Researchers have discovered a new species of ant in the Western Ghats, recognised as one of the world's 'hottest hotspots' of biological diversity.

The new species was found in the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The research, published in the latest issue of peer-reviewed journal Zootaxa.

Belonging to Tyrannomyrmex, a rare tropical genus of ants, the species was discovered by the team from the Vallakadavu range during an expedition a year ago.

Paying tribute to their mentor and eminent myrmecologist Musthak Ali, who is regarded as the country's 'ant man', the authors of the study have named the new species Tyrannomyrmex alii (or T. alii).

Tyrannomyrmex is a rare myrmicine (subfamily of ants) ant genus that is distributed in the Indomalayan bio-region that extends from southern India and Sri Lanka to southeast Asia.

The particular genus had been erected in 2003 with the discovery of the species, Tyrannomyrmex rex Fernández, in Pasoh Forest Reserve, Malaysia. Later, two more species that were under the same genus had been discovered; Tyrannomyrmex dux (or T. dux) from the Ponmudi hills in 2007 and T. legatus from the Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka in 2013.

T. alli has thus become the four species of the rare genus and the second one from India. Notably, both of the Tyrannomyrmex species that have been described from the country are known from the Western Ghats range in Kerala.

Tyrannomyrmex alii: Know More

  • The new species can be distinguished from the other species of the same genus through its morphological characteristics.
  • While it differed from T. dux by the petiolar shape, it became dissimilar to T. legatus and T. rex by surface sculpture and pilosity.
  • There are detailed morphological descriptions of the gyne and the worker castes, images from scanning electron microscopy, a key to all four known species of Tyrannomyrmex, and a note on the ecology of this rare genus.

9)   Where does the Banaganapalle mango hail from?
- Published on 09 Nov 17

a. TN
b. Andhra Pradesh
c. Kerala
d. Karnataka
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Andhra Pradesh

The famous Banaganapalle mangoes of Andhra Pradesh and Tulaipanji rice of West Bengal are among the seven commodities that have been granted Geographical Indication (GI) this fiscal year by the Indian patent office.

A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.

Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.

Darjeeling tea, Tirupati laddu, Kangra paintings, Nagpur orange and Kashmir pashmina are among the registered GIs in India.

The other five products which have received the GI tag this year include Pochampally Ikat of Telangana; Gobindobhog rice of West Bengal; Durgi stone carvings and Etikoppaka toys of Andhra Pradesh; and Chakshesang shawl of Nagaland, according to the Indian patent office website.

In 2016-17, as many as 33 items got GI registration.

Experts said that this tag gave protection to the producer of these genuine products, which commanded premium pricing in the markets, both domestic and international.

Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.

10)   DIPP and Anna University are set to establish the ____ Technology and Innovation Support Centre under a WIPO program.
- Published on 09 Nov 17

a. Third
b. Fourth
c. Second
d. Fifth
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Second

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, has signed an Institutional agreement with Anna University to establish India's second Technology and Innovation Support Centre (TISC) at the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (CIPR), Anna University, Chennai, under the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) TISC program.

WIPO's Technology and Innovation Support Centre (TISC) program provides innovators in developing countries with access to locally based, high quality technology information and related services, helping them to exploit their innovative potential and to create, protect, and manage their Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).

CIPR: Know More

  • CIPR has an experience of filing more than 185 Patents, 29 Trademarks, 39 Copyrights, 25 Industrial Design and has also assisted in filing 12 International Patent Applications.
  • Anna University has been accredited with 6th rank among Universities, 8th rank among Engineering Colleges and 13th rank in the overall category in India, by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranking of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • CIPR has also organized IPR awareness programs as well as six certificate courses on IPR related subjects.
TISC: Know More
  • The objective of the TISC is to stimulate a dynamic, vibrant and balanced Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system in India to foster creativity and innovation, thereby promoting entrepreneurship and enhancing social, economic and cultural development by establishing a network of TISCs in India.
  • Over 500 TISCs operate worldwide and establishing a TISC in India will give the host institutions access to the global network.
  • TISC will give an impetus to knowledge sharing, sharing of best practices among the TISCs, capacity building, generation and commercialization of Intellectual Properties.

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