Science & Technology - GS questions based on daily current affairs

1)   Who introduced the electron pair bond?
- Published on 16 Jan 17

a. Irving Langmuir
b. John Dalton
c. G.N. Lewis
d. Neil Bohr
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: G.N. Lewis

Explanation:

  • In 1916, G. N. Lewis introduced the electron pair bond.
  • In chemistry, an electron pair or a Lewis pair consists of two electrons that occupy the same orbital but have opposite spins.
  • He proposed that two atoms may share from one to six electrons forming single, double or triple bonds.
  • He introduced the cubical atom and six postulates to understand their chemical behaviour.
  • That chemical bond decides the properties of molecules such as colour, reactivity, solubility, etc. all of which decide their applications.
  • Besides, it decides the physical properties of matter.
  • We can now design the bond at will and get desired properties from the material so produced.
  • Atoms can be assembled the way we want, to get the shapes we need.
  • Many of these capabilities have inputs from several branches of science, but the underlying reason is the understanding of the chemical bond itself.
  • Lewis wrote about the electron shell model and proposed that atoms acquire a configuration containing eight electrons in the process of forming chemical bonds.
  • He introduced a symbolism for the bond — A:B, where the colon implies the existence of an electron pair bond involving the sharing of two electrons between atoms A and B.
  • He symbolised this as A: B and A :B implying polar bonds, where electrons are closer to A and B, respectively.
  • He had, models for different types of bonds such as covalent and ionic — in the former, electrons are shared and in the latter, an electron from one atom is transferred completely to the other.


2)   What is Frankenfixation?
- Published on 13 Jan 17

a. Use of genetic modification to fix nitrogen and carbon dioxide into the soil
b. New technique to harvest organs from dead
c. New process to preserve and recuperate damaged organs
d. Use of genetic modification to fix carbon dioxide into the soil
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Use of genetic modification to fix carbon dioxide into the soil

Explanation:

  • Frankenfixation refers to the use of genetic modification to fix carbon dioxide into the soil.
  • It derives from term popularised by critics of genetically modified foods, ‘Frankenfoods’.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute recently oversaw an effort to piece together an artificial metabolism from the bits and pieces of biosynthetic pathways that were once scattered across the three kingdoms of life.
  • What they found was a novel pathway based on a new CO2-fixing enzyme that is nearly 20 times faster than the most prevalent enzyme in nature responsible for capturing CO2 in plants by using sunlight as energy.
  • Were such pathways to be perfected, new species of plants, trees or entirely new organisms, could be grown that are specifically designed to take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and hold off the looming crisis of rising global temperatures.


3)   What is BILI?
- Published on 13 Jan 17

a. Only 1
b. New process of cleaning pollution
c. Instrument of NASA
d. New gene
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Instrument of NASA

Explanation:

  • The Bio-Indicator Lidar Instrument, or BILI is a fluorescence-based lidar, a type of remote-sensing instrument similar to radar in principle and operation.
  • Instead of using radio waves, however, lidar instruments use light to detect and ultimately analyse the composition of particles in the atmosphere.
  • Although NASA has used fluorescence instruments to detect chemicals in Earth’s atmosphere as part of its climate-studies research, the agency so far hasn’t employed the technique in planetary studies.
  • It is a sensing technique that the US military currently uses to remotely monitor the air to detect potentially life-threatening chemicals, toxins, and pathogens.
  • The beauty of BILI is its ability to detect in real-time small levels of complex organic materials from a distance of several hundred meters
  • Therefore, it could autonomously search for bio-signatures in plumes above recurring slopes - areas not easily traversed by a rover carrying a variety of in-situ instruments for detailed chemical and biological analysis.
  • This can be used to detect signatures of life on Mars.


4)   Which of the following is true regarding ‘nanogenerator’ recently in news?
- Published on 13 Jan 17

a. It is developed by IIT Mumbai researchers
b. It produces 14 volts on thumb print
c. It is smallest electricity generator
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: It produces 14 volts on thumb print

Explanation:

  • The nanogenerator, which was fabricated by Pune’s Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and the National Chemical Laboratory, produced 14 volts when thumb pressure was applied.
  • To demonstrate the potential of the nanogenerator to power small electronic devices, pressure equivalent to thumb pressure was continuously exerted on the nanogenerator for 20 minutes by using a vibration producing motor.
  • About 28 micro watt per square cm power and 14 volt that was generated was stored in a capacitor and used for charging a mobile phone.
  • Piezoelectric materials, which can generate electrical power locally through stress or flexing, are a great proposition for wearable electronics.
  • The researchers electrospun a piezoelectric polymer [P(VDF-TrFE)] directly onto a flexible, conducting carbon cloth. The carbon cloth was produced by the researchers by heating a piece of cotton cloth at 800 degree C for several hours in an inert atmosphere.
  • To improve the piezovoltage of the polymer fibres, the researchers coated the fibres with a stronger, inorganic ferroelectric material (BaTiO3) paste.
  • The voltage of 14 volt with a current of several microamperes is the highest power output reported for wearable type of nanogenerator using conducting cloth as the electrode


5)   India’s first augmented reality institute will be setup in
- Published on 13 Jan 17

a. Nagpur
b. Mumbai
c. Varanasi
d. Mysuru
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Varanasi

Explanation:

  • This institute will be established in a tie-up with Eon Reality.
  • The total cost will be around Rs. 130 crore with Eon contributing to 2/3rd of it.
  • India will have its first augmented reality education and training institute in Varanasi.
  • It will be a virtual manufacturing shop floor.
  • It will give students training on virtual versions of equipment which may not be affordable to the institutions.
  • The institution will be established by the central government in partnership with Eon Reality, an augmented reality company which is based in the US.
  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-BHU) in Varanasi will join in the project, along with NSDC and Eon Reality.
  • Each trainee will be able to unpack the machine part by part and learn through virtual dissection.
  • Like a real machine, it will throw new problems to trainees and, depending on your problem-solving capacity, it will allow you to move further.
  • The institutions and the software deployed will be able to create virtual machines of many sectors - from car design to the assembly line of an automobile firm, from textiles to heavy engineering machines.
  • It can dissect aeroplane engines and show how 3D designing works.
  • It would be like apprentice learning on shop floor


6)   Which of the following parts or secretions of animals are used in Ayurvedic medicines?

1) Feathers
2) Excretions
3) Flesh

- Published on 13 Jan 17

a. 2, 3
b. 1, 2
c. 1, 3
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:

  • Horns, antlers, teeth, nail, quill, feathers, hair, flesh, skin, beak, blood, and a number of soft parts of animals are used in Ayurveda.
  • Secretion of animals, which include milk, civetine, musk, bile, honey, lac, and excretions also find a place in Ayurvedic treatment.
  • Most of these substances are used in various formulations and applications ranging from thailam, ghrutham, lehyam, gulika, and bhasmam.
  • The non-availability of animal products due to scarcity and legal hassles involved was a matter of concern for both the practitioners and the beneficiaries.
  • Practitioners had recommended that the Chief Wildlife Warden of State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) of Kerala should invoke Section 64 of the Wildlife Protection Act to frame rules for permitting the use of antlers, quills, horns, and feathers and also the rearing of small Indian civet for secretions.
  • The demand is in focus with the State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) considering a request from Oushadhi, the government Ayurveda medicinal company, for antlers of spotted deer and sambar.
  • The production of Yakrithari Vatika, which had the pelt of deer, Kasthuriadi Gulika, made out of glandular secretion of a deer, and Mahabhootharava Ghritham, made using urine of camel, horse, donkey, and elephant, has been stopped.
  • Antler of deer was used in Shringabhasmam.
  • Ivory is used in Hasthidantha Mashi, which is prescribed for hair loss.
  • Horns of five animals, including rhino, deer, goat, buffalo, and cow, are used in Kombanchadi tablets.
  • The ash of peacock feathers is used in Mayoorapicha bhasmam.
  • Bile and gall bladder stones of cattle are used in Gorochanam.
  • It was also recommended that the Ayurveda manufacturers could be permitted to rear small Indian civet for secretion.
  • Vana samrakshana samithis may be empowered to rear the animal for supplying civet secretions, especially to practitioners of traditional Indian systems of medicine.
  • It also proposed that the pharmaceutical industry should adopt modern techniques of synthetic biology as a substitute for the traditionally used medicines.


7)   What is ‘non-photochemical quenching’ related to?
- Published on 11 Jan 17

a. Electric car battery manufacturing
b. LPG drilling
c. Respiratory system of animals
d. Photosynthesis
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Photosynthesis

Explanation:
Non-photochemical quenching is process of releasing heat from plants to protect itself from absorbed sunlight.

Energy from sunlight is captured by the green pigment called chlorophyll in the leaves for photosynthesis. But this energy can also damage the leaves (the way we can get sun-burnt).

Plants protect themselves from such light-induced damage by releasing heat (like we use sun-tan lotions or dark glasses for protection). Such “quenching” of excess solar energy must be quick.

If it takes too long (often as long as half an hour) to “relax” and resume the cycle, it may be thought of as a “waste of time.”

If only we can hasten this process (termed non-photochemical quenching, abbreviated as NPQ) of recovery safely, we may be able to improve crop productivity.

Researchers studied how plants “fix” or adjust their photosynthetic cycle as their leaves experience light and shade- as in a natural environment.

In full sunlight, NPQ is activated so as not to harm the chlorophyll too much. But as clouds shade the sunlight, in such a low-light situation, NPQ is reduced. Such a switching of NPQ levels is governed in plants by the action of three proteins.

One protein, ZEP, speeds up the NPQ rate.

A second one, termed VDE, balances ZEP activity, acting as a moderator, while a third one called PSBS adjusts the NPQ level.

Hastening the NPQ process, could increase the efficiency of the photosynthesis cycle by anywhere between 8 per cent and 30 per cent.

This, in turn, could be a promising strategy for improving crop yield.


8)   Which of the following are uses of Ginger?

1) Tranquilizer
2) Bee repellant
3) As a spice

- Published on 10 Jan 17

a. 2, 3
b. 1
c. 1, 3
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
Ginger (Zingibers) is used in cooking food. It is a spice.

It also has medicinal value. Some tribes use it for treating abdominal pain and as anti-helminthic troubles.

As per scientific information available, there are 141 species of genus Zingiber are distributed throughout tropical Asia, including China, Japan and tropical Australia.

Of these, 20 are reported from India, which include seven from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Most of the species of these Gingers are endemic to India.

The tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have interesting usage of other species of Zingibers.

For instance, Shompen and Nicobari tribes use various plant parts of another species of Zingiber (Hornstedia fenzlii) as bee repellent and, tranquiliser.

Rhizome extracts and leaf pest are applied on body during extracting honey from honeycomb.

Ginger has a sialagogue action, stimulating the production of saliva, which makes swallowing easier.


9)   High Bilirubin levels is sign for
- Published on 09 Jan 17

a. Hyperthyroidism
b. Jaundice
c. Swine Flu
d. Japanese Encephalitis
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Jaundice

Explanation:
When a person has jaundice, the bilirubin gets deposited on the skin surface.

Gold nanoclusters that have been functionalised [using chitosan and mercaptopropionic acid] show yellow luminescence under UV light.

But when copper salt (copper sulphate) is added to it, the yellow luminescence gets quenched or reduced.

When bilirubin is added to the medium, the copper preferentially interacts with it, forming a complex and the luminescence of the gold nanoclusters gets restored.

This quick test has been developed by team of IIT Guwahati.

They just need a thumb imprint for detecting hyperbilirubinemia, a condition in which the amount of bilirubin in the blood is in excess and turns the sclera of the eye, urine and even the skin yellow.

Hyperbilirubinemia is commonly seen in people with jaundice and newborns. A person is said to have jaundice when the bilirubin concentration in the blood typically exceeds 12 ppm in adults and 50 ppm in a newborn.

While visual observation of yellow colour of the sclera and/or urine is routine for detecting jaundice, it is confirmed by a blood test. This new test is quicker.


10)   What is bio-fortification?
- Published on 09 Jan 17

a. Breeding crops to increase nutrition value
b. Add nutrients to food while processing the food
c. Using natural fertilizers to protect crops
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Breeding crops to increase nutrition value

Explanation:
Biofortification is the idea of breeding crops to increase their nutritional value.

This can be done either through conventional selective breeding, or through genetic engineering.

Biofortification differs from ordinary fortification because it focuses on making plant foods more nutritious as the plants are growing, rather than having nutrients added to the foods when they are being processed.

It has proposed as a strategy to counter malnutrition ‘Nutrition gardens’ (botanical gardens with plants considered rich in vitamins, iron, iodine etc.) along with


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