Science & Technology - Current Affairs for December, 2015

Science & Technology Current Affairs for December, 2015

Month wise coverage of Science & Technology Current Affairs helps you improve your general knowledge and prepare for all competitive exams like IBPS, Bank PO, SBI PO, RRB, RBI, LIC, Specialist Officer, Clerk, SSC, UPSC, Railway etc. This section is updated daily with the most important events.

Preparing Science & Technology Current Affairs December, 2015

1. Read the most important Science & Technology Current affairs and facts here. 2. Take practice test of our Science & Technology MCQ and Objective type questions. 3. Clear any quiz, GK, job interview or competitive exam on current affairs.
  • Month & Year   
▼ CBSE launches latest mobile app e-CBSE   [12-31-15]

CBSE has launched its latest mobile application e-CBSE for providing e-learning material for teachers and students. This is part of the Digital India initiative which seeks to provide learning and teaching resources for complementing and supplementing curriculum transactions. This is in addition to students provided resources by NCERT.

▼ China launches observation satellite Gaofen-4   [12-30-15]

Gaofen-4 Earth observation satellite China on 29 December 2015 successfully launched Gaofen-4 Earth observation satellite toward a geostationary orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the south-western province of Sichuan aboard a Long March-3B carrier rocket. Launched as a part of the China High-resolution Earth Observation System (CHEOS), Gaofen-4 is located at the orbit 36000 kilometres away from the earth and moves synchronously with the earth. 7 high definition satellites have been targeted by 2020 by China.

▼ Guinea declared Ebola free   [12-30-15]

Guinea has been declared Ebola free on 29th December 2015 after more than 2500 persons died from the virus in the W. African nation. Liberia is the only country still awaiting the countdown towards the close of the epidemic. Ebola has orphaned 6200 children in Guinea where there have been 3,800 cases of which more than 26,600 cases were global with 11,300 deaths as per a WHO figure. Massive number of deaths have been in the following countries- Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

▼ Astra successfully test fired   [12-29-15]

Indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range air to air missile, Astra on 25th December 2015 has been successfully test fired off the coast of Odisha near the ITR of Balasore. The missile also underwent successful ground based trials in December 2015 near Pune. Tests validated the ECCM or Electronic Counter-Counter Measure feature of the missile to overcome jamming. The missile will be inducted into the Air Force in 2016. Astra is India’s first BVRAAM or Beyond Visual Range air to air missile that can engage in targets at 37 km or beyond with operational range of 60 km. The 3.8 m long missile is the smallest to be developed by DRDO.

▼ LED lighting treatment helps to lower energy cost without affecting fruit quality   [12-29-15]

Supplemental light emitting diode lighting treatment can assist greenhouse tomato growers to reduce energy cost without impacting fruit quality attributes, as per new research. Findings indicate that energy savings LED could be an alternative to HPS or high pressure sodium lamps in greenhouse operations. LEDs have a potential for influencing phytochemical and labour profile of numerous high value crops.

▼ 3 clusters of bacteria discovered during LOHAFEX experiment   [12-28-15]

Three clusters of bacteria having no phylogenetic relationship to any other bacteria have been discovered by chance by Indian scientists. Discovery occurred during the LOHAFEX experiment in the Southern Ocean, Antarctica which aimed at raising CO sequestration through ocean iron fertilisation as part of global warming mitigation. LOHA means iron in Hindi and Fex stands for fertilisation. Director, National Institute of Oceanography, S. W. A. Naqvi was the principal investigator in the experiment. Authors pointed out the oceans are a major source and carbon sink with marine phytoplankton fixing up to 40% CO. The three clusters discovered were as following. First was related to class of bacteroidetes while the second and third belonged to firmicutus. Distinct feature of the three clusters was the differentiated response for presence of iron in the ocean. Organisms in cluster 1 did not respond to iron levels while those in cluster 2 increased with additional of iron and those in cluster 3 disappeared with the addition of iron. Hence clusters 2 and 3 could be indicators of iron in the ocean waters.

▼ Indian scientist develops new MRI technique to predict survival of GBM patients   [12-28-15]

An Indian scientist, Dr. Pallavi Tiwari, in the US has developed a new MRI based technique for predicting survival of patients with aggressive brain tumours and provision of personalised therapy. Dr. Tiwari’s work is based on recent clinical findings that 90% of Glioblastoma Multiform recurrences occur within proximity of the tumour margin. This indicates that malignant cells are present in the periphery of the tumour yet not visually discernible. GBM is a most common and aggressive form of cancer which starts in the brain.

▼ Scientists developed Darwin neural chip which mimics human brain   [12-24-15]

Scientists at Beijing have discovered a Darwin neural chip which is a kind of information processing system mimicking the human brain. advances which would lead to the development of AI systems and IoT.

▼ Scientists discover ANN system   [12-24-15]

Beijing scientists have discovered an Artificial Neural Network system. This is a type of information processing system that replicates the functioning of the biological brain and has application ind domains such as AI, decision support system, signal processing and automatic control. SNN or Spiking Neural Network is the biologically inspired ANN that reforms processing associated with discrete time spikes. It is more biologically realistic than classic ANNs. Researchers from 2 Chinese universities have developed the Darwin Neural Processing Unit (NPU), a neuromorphic hardware co-processor based on Spiking Neural Networks, fabricated by standard CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) technology.

▼ SpaceX mission Falcon successful   [12-23-15]

SpaceX has sent a Falcon rocket soaring towards the orbit with 11 small satellites on 21st December and it landed on the 15 storey leftover booster back on earth safely. This marks the first time an unmanned rocket returned to land vertically at FLorida’s Cape Canaveral. Company was led by billionaire Elon Musk.

▼ New material for de-icing roads   [12-21-15]

Driving in winters could become easier courtesy a new material developed by scientists for de-icing snow covered, slippery roads. The new material delays the formation of ice as against conventional materials and local governments can use this composite material for delaying ice formation. This is a salt polymer composite.

▼ Massive black holes in galaxies   [12-21-15]

Black holes at the heart of galaxies have reached 50 billion times the mass of the sun before losing gas discs needed to sustain themselves. Scientists have explored supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies which are regions of space where gas settles into a disc that is orbiting. Gas could lose energy and fall inwards, feeding the black hole. The black hole would grow 50 billion times the size o the sun until the star happened to fall straight in or another black hole merged with it.

▼ IIT-Madras researchers develop carbon nanotube that kills cancer cells without affecting nearby cells   [12-21-15]

Indian Institute of Technology- Madras researchers have developed a carbon nanotube that kills cancer cells without impacting the neighbouring cells. Team has found carbon nanotubes measuring less than a single micron in length made by rolling graphene sheets used in photodynamic therapy. This type of therapy involves killing cancer cells without any toxic effect to the human body.

▼ NASA’s Mars Curiosity finds high concentration of silica   [12-21-15]

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover has found high concentrations of silica- a rock forming chemical seen on earth as quartz that could help scientists acquire information about the wet environment on the red planet. Curiosity also found higher concentrations of silica at some sites studied in the past 7 months. Recent findings on Mount Sharp link to findings by earlier River which discovered sulphuric acid.

▼ ZSI Scientists discover new species of eel   [12-21-15]

Scientists at the Zoological Survey of India have discovered a new species of eel alongside the Digha coast in Purba, Medinipur District West Bengal. The species has been named Gymnothorax mishrai, and is 32.4 cm long, and brown in colour. It has a body is without any patterns and is a marine species which is edible.

▼ China launched DAMPE satellite    [12-18-15]

China launched the first space telescope in search of signals for dark matter on 17th December 2015. This DAMPE or Dark Matter Particle Explorer Satellite has been given the name Wukong after the kind in the classical Chinese fiction Journey to the West. This satellite was launched on a Long March 2-D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre and will enter a sun-synchronous orbit at a height of 500 km to observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space.

▼ Scientists discover new sail backed dinosaur Morelladon beltrani   [12-18-15]

Scientists have discovered a new species of unusual, sail backed dinosaur in Spain called Morelladon beltrani. Researchers from UNED, National University of Distance Education in Spain have discussed the discovery of this specimen which is a partial skeleton mainly composed of dorsal and sacral vertebrae and pelvic bones, researchers said. Morelladon, a medium-sized styracosternan ornithopod of around 6m long and 2.5m high, is similar in body length and proportions to its relative Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis.

▼ Hubble Space Telescope captures first ever predicted supernova explosion   [12-18-15]

Hubble Space Telescope has captured the image of the first every predicted supernova explosion offering scientists the capability of testing how mass- especially of dark matter- is distributed within the cluster of a galaxy. Few stellar explosions have been caught in the process and on December 11, astronomers not only caught the supernova in action, but also saw it was exactly when and where they predicted it would be for the first time. The supernova, nicknamed Refsdal, has been spotted in the galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+2223. The supernova itself had exploded nearly 10 billion years ago.

▼ CERN scientists discover what could be traces of new fundamental particles   [12-18-15]

Physicists working with LHC at CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research have found traces of what could be a new fundamental particle of nature. One possibility is that it is a heavier version of Higgs boson while another is that it could be a graviton, the quantum carrier of gravity.

▼ Chandrayaan II to land on moon in 2017, first solar mission slated for 2019   [12-17-15]

In an LS reply, it was announced that India’s second lunar probe Chandrayaan II would land on the moon in 2017. Also, its first solar mission Aditya L1 will be launched in 2019, as per the information released in the LS. Chandrayaan II is the second lunar mission and it will explore possibilities of extra terrestrial life on the moon. Aditya L1 mission will study the sun from the orbit around the sun earth L-1 or lagrangian point. This point is 1.5 million kms from earth. Approved cost of this solar mission is INR 378.53 crore.

▼ ISRO PSLV-C29 set to launch 6 Singapore satellites   [12-16-15]

ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is set to launch 6 Singapore satellites from Sriharikota on Wednesday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The 59 hour countdown of the PSLV began on 14th December 2015. Of the 6 satellites, TeLEOS-1 is the primary satellite weighing 400 kgs whereas the other five satellites comprise two micro-satellites and three nano-satellites. TeLEOS -1 is the first commercial earth observational satellite.

▼ Pakistan test fired Shaheen-1A   [12-16-15]

Pakistan on 15th December 2015 successfully test fired a nuclear capable ballistic missile with a range of 900 km. This comes after testing a similar missile capable of hitting targets as far as 2750 km away bringing many Indian cities under its range. Shaheen 1A ballistic missile was also fired from an undisclosed location impacting the Arabian sea. It can deliver different types of warheads to the range of 900 kms.

▼ Researchers discover a connection between earth’s tilt & its ITCZ   [12-16-15]

Researchers have discovered a connection between earth’s tilt called obliquity and shifts every 41,0000 years and the movement of a low pressure band of clouds that is the largest source of heat and moisture for the earth namely the ITCZ or Intertropical Convergence Zone. Study reveals that earth’s tilt plays a much larger role in ITCZ migration than previously determined. This will enable climate scientists to better predict extreme weather events.

▼ Scientists create new low cost, non toxic material mimics lotus   [12-15-15]

Scientists have created a new low cost, non toxic material mimicking the lotus leaf to repel water droplets which could create environment friendly water proof surfaces. The superhydrophobic nanomaterial can be applied to numerous surfaces through spray or spin coating. Hydrocarbon based material can be a green replacement for costly, hazardous fluorocarbons.

▼ Archeologists : Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia much larger than previously thought   [12-14-15]

Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia is much larger than previously thought, according to archeologists who discovered buried towers and remains of huge structure near the largest religious monument in the world. Team also found more components than previously envisaged and bounded on the south side by a unique, massive structure. Researchers also found that Angkor Wat included an entire ensemble of buried towers built and demolished during construction and initial use of the temple.

▼ Sun Pharma inks agreement with Israeli & Spanish institutes    [12-11-15]

- Scientists at Israel based Weizmann Institute of Science and Spain’s health research institute have joined hands with Sun Pharma to develop products for treating neurological diseases such as brain stroke.
- Scientists at Weizmann have developed a recombinant enzyme currently undergoing animal studies for indications of brain stroke and glioblastoma. Further studies of this enzyme will be conducted at the Health Research Institute in Spain.

▼ Scientists in US create first test tube litter of puppies   [12-11-15]

US scientists have created the world’s first litter of puppies conceived in a test tube. This could spur disease eradication in dogs as well as humans. The advance through IVF opens avenues for conserving endangered canid species, using gene-editing technologies to eradicate heritable diseases in dogs and for study of genetic diseases. Canines share more than 350 similar heritable disorders and traits with humans.

▼ World’s first dengue vaccine receives regulatory approval in Mexico   [12-11-15]

The first dengue vaccine in the world has won regulatory approval in Mexico raising hopes of preventing more than 100 deaths there in a year and millions across the world. Dengue affects 400 million people each year according to WHO. The vaccine is being manufactured by French pharma giant Sanofi.

▼ ISRO lunches IRSS in thematic series   [12-10-15]

This includes the Resourcesat, Cartosat and Radar Imaging Satellite. These satellites along with field observations have assisted in the mapping and monitoring of agricultural crops. Astrosat was also launched recently to study stars and galaxies in ultraviolet, optical and X-ray wavelength bands.

▼ Japan’s maiden mission to Venus Akatsuki is successful   [12-10-15]

Following its first failure on December 6, 2010, Japan’s maiden mission to Venus, Akatsuki or Venus Climate Orbiter has zoomed into the Venusian orbit according to Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency Jaxa.

▼ Online digital portal e-Nivesh set up by Cabinet Secretariat    [12-9-15]

Project Motoring Group in Cabinet Secretariat has set up an online digital platform (e-Nivesh) through which it proposes to monitor 88 different types clearances/approvals granted by various Central Government Ministries/Department. From the 88, 83 clearances have been digitised and 4 in respect of MHA and MoD will not be digitised due to security concerns. In addition, 5 clearances are available on the portal of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

▼ United Launch Alliance Atlas V launches cargo spacecraft headed to ISS   [12-9-15]

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V (401 configuration) rocket carrying the OA-4 Cygnus cargo spacecraft with much needed supplies blasted off towards the International Space Station (ISS) on 6th December 2015. Rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and it will be the first US delivery of cargo since April 2015.

▼ Scientists harness molecular machinery of living systems to power integrated circuits   [12-8-15]

They worked towards integrating a conventional solid-state complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuit with an artificial lipid bilayer membrane containing adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-powered ion pumps.Within living systems, ATP is used to transport energy from where it is generated to where it is consumed in the cell. The innovation has opened the door for new artificial systems containing biological and solid state components.

▼ GAIL India launched surveillance geo portal   [12-7-15]

Bhuvan-GAIL, this portal is for monitoring pipeline right of use through space technology. The portal was launched in partnership with National Remote Sensing Centre a unit of ISRO. The company is also looking for advanced methods like UAV which can be integrated with the system.

▼ China’s first domestically developed electric aircraft approved   [12-7-15]

RX1E was approved for production on December 4th 2015 by the Civil Aviation Administration of China. This electric light sport aircraft was put together by Shenyang Aerospace University and will be the first manned electric light aircraft of China. This two seater plane is powered by lithium batteries.

▼ Researchers locate how water ions escape from Saturn’s environment    [12-7-15]

Scientists have found how water ions escape from the environment of Saturn after a point has been located from where the ions leave the planet’s atmosphere. Cassini has been in orbit collecting data since 2004 regarding this planet. An instrument on this space probe measures the charged particles called plasma trapped in space surrounding Saturn through a magnetic field. Cassini had earlier discovered that Saturn’s plasma comprises water ions derived from its moon Enceladus. The scientists also discovered reconnection, a holy grail of plasma physics.

▼ Scientists discover faintest object seen in early universe   [12-7-15]

Through the combined power of Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, scientists have unearthed the faintest object seen in the universe which existed 400 million years following the big Ban 13.8 billion years ago. The object has been named Tayna which stands for "first-born" in Aymara, a language spoken in the Andes and Altiplano regions of South America. This object represents a fainter class of newly forming galaxies which had escaped detection till now. The remote object is part of a discovery of 22 young galaxies at ancient times located nearly at the observable horizon of the universe.

▼ Novel protein mechanism for new drug therapy for TB discovered   [12-4-15]

With identification of suitable drug targets and candidate vaccines to control TB remaining a challenge and most of the studies focusing on strategies to prevent TB infection, scientists from the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics here have looked at the interaction between pathogenic mycobacteria and the human cell during infection to develop a new form of targeted drug therapy. The discovery could not only be a potential drug target against mycobacterial infections but also help in developing a new biomarker for identification of M tuberculosis infection in humans.

▼ UK researchers find super flares from planet can destroy earth   [12-4-15]

UK researchers discovered stellar superflare on a star with wave patterns similar to those that have been observed in solar flares. Found in the Milky Way , the binary star, KIC9655129, is known to produce superflare. Researchers suggest due to the similarities between the superflare on KIC9655129 and the Sun's solar flares, the underlying physics of the flares might be the same.

▼ Scientists uncover Q-Carbon which is harder than diamond    [12-4-15]

Diamond was once the hardest known naturally occurring material. Carbon has been used with a new process to create a substance called Q-carbon which is harder than diamond and graphite. This showcases the third phase or distinct form of carbon alongside graphite and diamond. The process of creating Q-carbon produces minuscule synthetic diamond "seeds," which can yield gems. Opportunities for creating synthetic gemstones pales next to possible applications of Q-carbon which the researchers said is magnetic, fluorescent and electroconductive.

▼ New method to turn stem cell into retinal nerve cells discovered   [12-2-15]

Death and dysfunction of the retinal never cells cause loss of sight in conditions like glaucoma and multiple sclerosis (MS). Stem cells can now be converted into retinal never cells and this could lead to the development of cell transplant therapies that restore vision in patients with glaucoma and MS. Through a genome editing laboratory tool, investigators inserted a fluorescent protein gene into the stem cells’ DNA using a method called called fluorescence-activated cell sorting to separate newly differentiated retinal ganglion (nerve) cells from a mixture of different cells into a highly purified cell population for the study.

▼ Chinese professor discovers two and half million year old peach fossils    [12-2-15]

A Chinese professor made the first discovery of fossilized peaches. The discovery was made in Kunming, capital of Yunnan in southwest China. The fossils were found to be dating back to more than 2.5 million years. This sheds new light on the evolutionary history of peaches which were thought to have originated in China.

▼ Fish may show emotional fever : Scientists   [12-2-15]

Fish have been found to display emotional fever or slight rise in body temperature in stressful situations linked by emotions and consciousness. Researchers from University of Barcelona and Stirling as well as Bristol have observed an increase in body temperature of 2-4 degrees in zebra fish when subject to stress. Phenomenon is known as emotional fever and is related to what animals feel in face of external stimulus.

▼ IPV launched in 6 states with oral polio vaccine    [12-1-15]

IPV has been introduced along with oral polio vaccine. It will first be introduced in 6 states namely Assam, Gujarat, Punjab, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. IPV injection will be given to children below one year of age along with the third dose of the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) at the routine immunisation sessions free of cost.

▼ Scientists design new kind of keyboard    [12-1-15]

This keyboard utilised the benefits of rubber devices that flex and stretch. Keyboard was made from a single laminated structure with two sensing layers oriented at 90 degrees apart utilising mechanical coupling while at the same time still provided an electrical separation. A total of 9 different positions were distinguished within the sensor keyboard.