Science & Technology - Current Affairs for January, 2016

Science & Technology Current Affairs for January, 2016

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 January, 2016

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  • Month & Year   
▼ Widest planet system discovered   [01-29-16]

The planet 2MASS J2126 is about 1 trillion kilometres from its parent star, or about 7000 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun. This takes around 900,000 years to complete a single revolution of the parent star. TYC 9486-927-1 and 2MASS J2126 are moving through space together and are both about 104 light years from the Sun. The planet found in the infrared sky survey is a member of the 45 million year old group of stars and brown dwarfs known as the Tucana Horologium Association.

▼ India test fires surface to air Akash missile from ITR at Chandipur in Odisha   [01-29-16]

India on 28th January 2010 test fired the indigenously built surface to air Akash missile from complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range at Odisha’s Chandipur. This comprises part of the user trial mission.The Akash (sky) is a mid-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system and was developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. It is also involved in deploying Nag, Agni and Trishul missiles as well as Prithvi ballistic missile.

▼ Google computer program sets milestone for artificial intelligence   [01-29-16]

A Google computer program has beaten the human champion Fan Hui, 5 games to nil at a Chinese game of Go, in what is largely seen as a milestone for artificial intelligence. First game mastered by the computer was nought and crosses in the 1950s. During the 1990s, IBM’s Deep Blue computer famously beat Garry Kasparov at chess.

▼ NASA radar has located areas of disturbance in NASCA Lines World Heritage Site   [01-29-16]

Within the 10 minute overflights, an airborne NASA radar has located areas of disturbance in Nasca Lines World Heritage Site in Peru. Data can be obtained to catalogue the 1000 year old designs drawn on the ground in and around the site for the first time. This is a fresh tool for protecting fragile constructions from careless human and natural disturbances such as floods. A shape referred to as the Hummingbird is visible above the left of the scale line below a road that cis diagonally from the right edge of the image to the centre.

▼ Stockholm, capital city of Sweden, becomes the first to get 5G mobile network   [01-29-16]

Stockholm, Sweden’s capital has become the first city in the world to get ultra high speed 5G mobile network by 2018, as Swedish-Finnish telecom operator TeliaSonera, and Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson will jointly roll out 5G network at Stockholm and Tallinn, which is in Estonia. Stockholm and Tallinn are two of the most connected cities in the world and now we’ll take them to the next level.

▼ Voxie: Selfie with Voices   [01-29-16]

Adding voices to selfies makes them voxies and people have been shouting, murmuring or laughing to create this type of selfie. When actress Priyanka Chopra used a voxie to thank her fans for winning People’s Choice Award or the speaking poster of Wazir was released by Amitabh Bachchan, the trend of creating voxies was born. For creating a Voxie, user can use VoxWeb camera for taking photo and add close to 11 seconds of audio. These are speaking pictures.

▼ An international team identifies 10 new genes associated with lupus   [01-27-16]

A global team led by Indian American scientist has found 10 new genes associated with autoimmune disease lupus that is a debilitating condition where the immune system of the body becomes unbalanced and attacks its own tissues. Scientist Swapan Nath and colleagues have analysed more than 17,000 human DNA samples from blood associated with volunteers in 4 nations- China , Malaysia, Japan and South Korea. Knowledge base for lupus genes has undergone significant advancement on account of this.

▼ Malpe beach, Udupi - First to have Wi-Fi connectivity   [01-27-16]

Malpe beach in Udupi district is one of the top tourist attractions in southern Karnataka to become the first beach to have Wi-Fi connectivity in India. Facility will be available to tourists free of cost for 30 minutes during any time of the date of their visit. Udupi MLA Pramod Madhwaraj launched the 24/7 facility at a beach function previously. Duration of free Wi-Fi access will be extended later.

▼ 5 planets visible from earth since January 22nd   [01-25-16]

The close of January has brought a sky show for the star gazers at 5 planets close to the naked eye- Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury. These have aligned in the southern sky for a fortnight starting January 22nd prior to the sunrise. The brightest planet of the system is Venus. Around 80 to 40 minutes before the commencement of sunrise is the best time to view planets before early rays fade into the scene.

▼ British scientists have attained breakthrough in transformation of human cells   [01-25-16]

British scientists have attained the perfect breakthrough in transforming human cells paving the way for fresh treatments for numerous medical conditions. Ability to produce numerous types of human cells leading to tissue therapies of different kinds for treating conditions from macular degeneration to arthritis as well as heart disease. This shows a massive breakthrough in regenerative medicine paving the way for life changing medication and the use of medication for prolonging life. Fuller understanding at the molecular level of cell production may allow researchers to grow massive organs from someone’s own cells. Pluripotent stem cells can be used for treating medical conditions and diseases. Researchers have tested new human cell conversions and succeeded the first time for both. Mogrify is a system used in this technique for predicting human cell type from any other cell type directly.

▼ Mosquito borne Zika virus infects thousands of people   [01-25-16]

Mosquito borne Zika virus has swept through South America and could infect close to 100s and 1000s of people. Virus has common symptoms such as joint pains and headaches. Disease has infected 1000s of people across Colombia and Brazil where numbers could reach into hundreds of thousands.

▼ Computer helps scientists find largest prime number ever   [01-25-16]

Computer has assisted scientists to find the biggest prime number with close to 22 million digits cutting down on the previous record by close to 5 million digits. The University of Central Missouri headed by Curtis Cooper has broken the record a total number of 4 times. Cooper and his team are part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search collaboration, an effort to find the largest prime number — or, more specifically, a particular class of prime numbers that are called Mersenne, where it is one less than a power of two.Prime number, written as 2^74,207,281 - 1, had been found using this method.

▼ Newly discovered bird species named after Dr. Salim Ali   [01-25-16]

Bird species found in eastern Himalayas has been identified as a new species and this species from NE India and associated parts of China is called the Himalayan Forest Thrush. This is the first Indian bird which has been named after Late Dr. Salim Ali closely associated with BNHS India as a researcher, honorary secretary and president. A new bird species was discovered in science with the shrinking of natural habitats. Since 2000, around 5 new species have been discovered on an international basis each year. Himalayan Forest Thrush is the 4th new bird species described from India since independence by modern ornithologists.

▼ India develops 3 lentil varieties previously banned   [01-25-16]

India has developed 3 lentil varsities of a particular strain banned 50 years ago amidst concerns of nerve damage and paralysis. Government backed Indian Council of Agricultural Research has developed a lentil known as pulses after India lift the 5 decade ban on the grade. New varieties are perfect for human consumption. Each year, Indians have around 22 MT of lentils to make dal. A fifth of the volume is imported from nations such as Canada, Austria and Myanmar.
- Three new varieties of Kesari dal released for general cultivation are: Ratan, Prateek and Mahateora.
- The botanical name of Kesari dal is Lathyrus sativus. It is also called as grass pea.
- The new varieties developed by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) contain low p-N oxalyl- L-p-diaminopropionic acid (P-ODAP).

▼ 2015 Earth’s hottest year on record : NOAA and NASA   [01-22-16]

Last year was not just the hottest year on record as it has left a century of high temperature marks within the dust. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and NASA have announced 2015 as the hottest year in 136 years of record keeping. NOAA has indicated that 2015 temperature was 58.62 degrees Fahrenheit passing 2014 by record margin of 0.29 degrees. This is 1.62 degrees above the 20th century average. NASA indicated that 2015 was 0.23 degrees warmer than the record set in 2014. On account of the wide margin over 2014, NASA calculated 2015 was a record with 94% certainty and double the certainty in 2015 when announcing 2014 as a record. 2015 marks the fourth time in 11 years that earth broke annual marks for high temperature. Scientists have said the combination of El Nino and man made global warming together have added a third of the degree of warming to Earth’s temperature.

▼ Carnivorous dinosaur species uncovered in Wales   [01-22-16]

A new carnivorous dinosaur species uncovered in Wales dates back to 200 million years and is the oldest known Jurassic dinosaur from the UK as per a new study. Researchers have analysed dinosaur skulls and bones discovered in 2014 on a beach close to Penarth Wales and a new species named Dracoraptor hanigani. Dinosaur species were identified by David Martill from the University of Portsmouth, U.K., and colleagues from National Museum Wales and University of Manchester. The new specimen represents the most complete theropod from Wales, and may possibly represent one of the oldest known Jurassic dinosaurs in the U.K. or even in the world.

▼ A fresh genus of tree frogs extinct since a century rediscovered   [01-22-16]

A fresh genus of tree frogs which have died out more than a century ago have been rediscovered in India. Old World tree frog family has over 380 species and includes some frogs with ambiguous classifications associated with shared characteristics. During NE Indian states fieldwork. DU researchers discovered several populations of tree frogs with unusual characteristics, including tadpoles, that feed on the mother's eggs. To study the phylogenetic relationship of these new frogs has compared molecular data with known tree frog general.

▼ ISRO launches Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System I-E satellite   [01-21-16]

ISRO on 20th January 2016 has launched the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System I-E satellite which will provide navigation, tracking and mapping services within the Indian subcontinent. Satellite is the fifth of the IRNSS constellation launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in AP onboard the PSLV-C31. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle was the 32nd consecutively successful mission of the PSLV. XL configuration of the PSLV was used for this mission. This is the 11th time XL configuration was flown earlier ten being PSLV-C11/Chandrayaan-1, PSLV-C17/GSAT-12, PSLV-C19/RISAT-1, PSLV-C22/IRNSS-1A, PSLV-C25/Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, PSLV-C24/IRNSS-1B, PSLV-C26/IRNSS-1C, PSLV-C27/IRNSS-1D, PSLV-C28/DMC-3 and PSLV-C30/ASTROSAT missions.

▼ Union Cabinet chaired by Narendra Modi approves MoU   [01-21-16]

Cabinet chaired by Narendra Modi has approved MoU between Department of Space/ISRO and Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research for the cooperation and exploration of outer space for purposes which are peaceful. The MoU will enable pursuing potential interest areas in both cooperative and commercial mode, namely: (1) Use of data from Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites by KISR for initiating a few research and application projects; (2) Training; and (3) Building and launching of remote sensing and communication satellites on commercial terms.

▼ Government sets up institution for predicting earthquakes   [01-20-16]

GoI has established a state of the art institution Shillong Geophysical Research Centre for studying seismic processes and generation of processor model for predicting earthquakes. Centre was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences within the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism. The newly formed centre at Shillong will decipher pre and co seismic signatures in numerous NE regions. Indian Institute of Geomagnetism is a leading research organization under DST involved in geomagnetism and associated fields.

▼ Researchers find water ice on comet 67P   [01-19-16]

Researchers including that of Indian origin have identified 2 large patches of water ice on the surface of comet 67P which is the most studied comet in the history of mankind. Elusive ice was detected using data collected through ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft on the lower region of the comet in a region called Imhotep. Bright patches in visible light is located on cliff walls and debris falls. The surface of 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, like most comets, is mainly covered by materials so dark they appear almost black.

▼ NASA has commenced new programme for NEOs   [01-18-16]

NASA has commenced a new programme for detection and tracking of near Earth objects - comets and asteroids passing by the orbit of earth- to ward off threats to the planet. Close to 13,500 near Earth objects of differing sizes have been discovered to date with 95% of them since NASA funded surveys commenced in 1998. Close to 1,500 NEOs have been detected each year.

▼ First flower has bloomed in outer space   [01-18-16]

First flower has bloomed in outer space namely an orange Zinnia. Flower is native in the southwestern United States. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly has released a photo of the first every flower grown in space.

▼ LCA Tejas has been launched by DRDO   [01-18-16]

History has been created when the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas which has been indigenously designed and developed by DRDO touched the foreign soil at Bahrain’s Sakhir Airbase. For the first time, LCA Tejas has flown into foreign space to participate in the Bahrain International Airshow during 21 to 23 January 2016.

▼ Tim Peake is the first ever British person to walk in space   [01-18-16]

Tim Peake is the first person to walk in space from the UK when he jumps out of the International Space Station. Major Peake will set out alongside NASA’s Tim Kopra for repairing broken power unit within the space station. Two will be outside of the space station on what is referred to as EVA for six and a half hours. The walk will commence at 12:55.

▼ NHAI on 13th January 2016 signed MoU with NRSC under ISRO and NECTAR   [01-15-16]

NHAI on 13th January 2016 has signed an MoU with National Remote Sensing Centre under Indian Space Research Organisation and North East Centre for Technology Application and Research to use spatial technology for monitoring and managing National Highways. NHAI will receive satellite data and geospatial technology acquired by domestic and foreign satellite product companies from National Remote Sensing Centre under ISRO.

▼ WHO declares Ebola outbreak over   [01-15-16]

WHO declared an end to the deadliest Ebola outbreak on 14th January 2016 after no fresh cases emerged in Liberia. There will be several more months before the world is considered free of the disease. It has claimed more than 11,300 lives over a span of 2 years. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are some of the areas affected.

▼ NASA’s Juno Mission becomes the world’s most distance solar powered emissary   [01-15-16]

NASA”s Juno mission to Jupiter on 13th January 2016 broke the record to become the most distant solar powered emissary of humanity. The spacecraft reached 793 million km from the Sun. Previous record holder was ESA’s Rossetta spacecraft. Juno will arrive at Jupiter on July 4th. Over the next year, the spacecraft will orbit the Jovian world a total of 33 times. This skims to within 5,000 km above the planet’s cloud tops every 14 days. Launched in 211, Juno refers to the first world powered spacecraft to operate at massive distances from the Sun.

▼ New method to detect dark matter in dwarf galaxies found   [01-14-16]

A global team of scientists led by Indian- American Sukanya Chakrabarti devised s new method called galactoseismology for detecting dwarf galaxies dominated by dark matter. Method also explains ripples on the external disk of the galaxy. Chakrabarti, an assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY has presented her findings whereby the discovered method employs the use of the waves in the galactic disk to map inner structures and mass of galaxies. This is similar to seismologists who use seismic waves to gather details about the inner part of the earth. Method will be used for hunting mysterious space phenomenon. Team uses the spectroscopic observations for calculation of the speed of three Cepheid variables in the Norma constellation. Cepheid variables are stars used as yardstick for calculating the galaxies’ distances. Study tracks Cepheid variables travelling at the speed of 450,000 MPH.

▼ Country’s first vascular surgery within the womb performed   [01-13-16]

Country’s first vascular surgery within the womb was performed by doctors at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science department of maternal and reproductive health. Doctors blocked the blood supply for giant tumor over the placenta that caused anaemia in the baby apart from enlarging her heart. Head, maternal and reproductive department has discussed this method called percutaneous embolization of a giant placental chorioangioma. The case relates to a seven month pregnant woman named Vandana whose belly was bigger than expected. The process was done over a 4 mm spot for 15 seconds to deal with the problem.

▼ Web based system to monitor track maintenance by Indian Railways   [01-12-16]

In a major step towards digitisation, Indian Railways on 11th January 2016 launched a web based system for monitoring track maintenance on real time basis by replacing close to one lakh registers pertaining to it. Web based management of track maintenance will be implemented in 68 divisions of the Indian Railways. Various activities including track inspection, maintenance and monitoring.

▼ Moonlight drives migrations of tiny marine animals through the Arctic winter   [01-12-16]

Sans any sunlight, it is the moonlight which drives migration of tiny marine animals through the dark and frigid Arctic winter. As per the researchers, zooplankton which are tiny animals found at the surface of the aquatic environments, keep on moving during the Arctic winter. Migration have taken place with the moon rising above the horizon, as per the findings. Researchers have explained behaviour is likely an attempt by zooplankton to prevent run ins with predators with hunting by the moonlight. Findings have value for the carbon cycle important in the event of climate change.

▼ NASA’s Kepler discovers more than 100 planets during K2 mission   [01-11-16]

NASA’s revamped planet hunting Kepler spacecraft has found more than 100 confirmed planets orbiting other stars.The campaign looking at different parts of the sky have located close to 100 validated planets. Kepler has discovered more than 60,000 stars and located 7000 transit like signals at the time of the first 5 80 day observation campaigns.

▼ Chinese scientists develop shape shifting polymer   [01-11-16]

Chinese scientists have developed shape shifting polymer used to produce heart brackets or surgical equipment that can help to eliminate blood clot thrombosis. Polymer developed at Zhejiang University can differentiate between different preset shapes under specific conditions. Shape shifting polymer was formed by dunking material into water heartened to 60 degree C. Shape shifting materials have been developed for years, but this new polymer developed by scientists is able to snap between different shapes opening applications for shape changing materials.

▼ Defence Research and Development Organisation has conducted the test firing of ew    [01-11-16]

DRDO has conducted test firing of Penetration Cum Blast and Thermobaric Ammunition designed for Arjun Tank in Chandipur, Odisha on 6th January 2016. Trials were found to be very effective and the damage was devastating with ammunition firing destroying the target tank successfully and damaging its turret, barrel, tracks and more.

▼ Two space industry enclaves launched   [01-11-16]

Two space industry enclaves or parks have been conceived at Sriharikota and Bengaluru spacecraft campus indicating privatisation of the space programme of the nation within the next 5 years. ISRO aims to groom and engage the domestic industry in the launch vehicle areas from integrating sub systems to assembling and launching the PSLV. Well established rockets have placed Indian and foreign satellites of 1600 kg within space.

▼ Massive churning galaxy found 10 billion light years away   [01-11-16]

This massive, churning galaxy cluster 1000 times more massive than the Milky Way galaxy has been discovered by astronomers some 10 billion light years away. This cluster is unique is formed when the Universe was 3.8 billion years old. Scientists have found that super giant structures could form much later after billions of years of clumping matter. MIT, University of Missouri, University of Florida have found the cluster using NASA’s 3 great observatories- Hubble Space Telescope, Keck Observatory and Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Cluster called IDCS 1426 is the most massive cluster of galaxies yet discovered during the first 4 billion years following the Big Bang. IDCS 1426 appears to be undergoing a considerable amount of upheaval. Researchers observed a bright knot of X-rays off center in the cluster, indicating the core of the cluster might have shifted some 100 thousand years ago from its centre. Core may have been dislodged from a massive collision with another galaxy cluster causing the gas within the cluster around, much like a wine in a glass that has been immediately moved. Galaxy clusters are conglomerates of 100s to 1000s of galaxies bound together by gravity. They are the most massive structures within the universe. Some like the Virgo cluster nearly are bright and easy to spot in the sky.

▼ Globular star clusters hold key to life in space: Scientists   [01-8-16]

A globular cluster holding million stars in a ball about 100 light years ago could be the place to look for intelligent life identified in the galaxy. Milky Way galaxy hosts about 150 globular clusters, most of them orbiting in the galactic outskirts. They formed about 10 billion years ago on average, researchers said. Some scientists have argued that this makes globular cluster stars less likely to host planets. In fact, only one planet has been found in a globular cluster to date. Interstellar communication becomes easy for stars within the cluster called global customer opportunity.

▼ Karnataka Police launches free mobile app to help people send an SOS   [01-8-16]

Karnataka Police on 7th January 2015 launched a free mobile phone application called First Immediate Response that will help people to send an SOS. App was inaugurated by the Karnataka CM at Hassan on 7th January 2016. App works on both Android and iOS.

▼ 5 Minor planets named after top Chinese scientists   [01-7-16]

Total of 5 minor planets have been named after top Chinese scientists including the nation’s first Nobel laureate Tu Youyou. Naming was assigned by National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences and approved by International Astronomical Union Minor Planet Centre. Minor planet 31230 was named after Nobel laureate Tu while minor planets 12935, 19282, 32928 and 9221 were named after Zheng Zhemin, Zhang Cunhao, Xie Jialin and Wu Liangyong respectively. All the scientists except Tu are winners of the country’s top science prize, State Top Scientific and Technological Award. 5 minor planets were discovered between 1995 and 1999 by Beijing Schmidt CCD Asteroid Program in N. China.

▼ NASA’s Chandra X- Ray Observatory finds evidence of powerful gas blasts   [01-7-16]

NASA's Chandra X-ray observatory has located evidence of powerful gas blasts produced by super massive black hole 26 million light years away from earth. This is one of the nearest super massive black holes to the earth currently undergoing massive outbursts. Outburst was in the super massive blackhole centred in the small galaxy NGC 5195. Companion galaxy is merging with large spiral galaxy NGC 5194 known as “The Whirlpool.” The galaxies are located in Messier 51 galaxy system 26 million light years from earth. The Chandra data detected 2 arcs of x-ray emission close to centre of NGC 5195.

▼ ISRO to open a 100 acre space park in Bengaluru   [01-7-16]

Indian space agency ISRO is set to open a 100 acre space park in Bengaluru where private industry players will be setting up facilities for making subsystems and components for satellites. Space Park is coming up near Whitefield for the private industry. This is going to be the country’s first park.

▼ Scientists create cheap and efficient biomaterial catalysing the formation of hydrogen   [01-6-16]

Scientists have come up with reasonably priced, efficient biomaterial which catalyses the formation of hydrogen leading to eco-friendly ways to produce the biofuel. The biomaterial was produced by Indiana University Researchers which is 150 times more efficient than unaltered form of enzyme and attains strength from being protected with protein shell or capsid of bacterial virus. The genetic material used to create the enzyme, hydrogenase, is produced by two genes from the common bacteria Escherichia coli which is inserted inside the protective capsid. Resulting biomaterial is called P22-Hyd and is produced through a simple fermentation process at room temperature and it breaks the chemical bonds of water to create hydrogen and also works in reverse to recombine hydrogen and oxygen to generate power.

▼ World’s largest blue star sapphire found in Sri Lankan mine   [01-6-16]

World’s largest blue star sapphire weighing 140.49 carats valued at USD 100 million has been found in a Sri Lankan mine. Sapphire was found in the city of Ratnapura, in southern Sri Lanka, which is known as the ’City of Gems.’It could fetch $175 million. It has been valued at less. Current record for blue star sapphire is 1395 carats. The sapphire has been named the ‘The Star of Adam’ based on the belief that Adam arrived in Sri Lanka after being sent away from the Garden of Eden. It is claimed he then lived on the slopes of a mountain now known as Adam’s Peak. Blue star sapphires are so named because of the distinctive mark found at their centre.

▼ ARDE successfully test fires MBRL Pinaka II   [01-5-16]

Armament Research and Development Establishment during the last week of December 2015 successfully test fired multi barrel rocket launcher Pinaka II. The trials were conducted at Pokhran in Rajasthan. Pinaka is an unguided rocket system which can neutralise large areas with massive salvos and its range is 20 km more than Pinaka 1 version which has a 40 km range. System acts as a force multiplier and as used during the Kargil war.

▼ Periodic table gets 4 new elements- 113, 115, 117 and 118   [01-5-16]

Periodic table has been given 4 new elements changing one of the most fundamental pieces of knowledge in science. The elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 will now be added to the 7th row of the table making it complete. The new elements were discovered by team from US, Russia and Japan and verified by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. All of the 4 new admissions are man-made. The new elements are the first to be added since 2011 when table got elements 114 and 116. New discoveries filled the 7th row or period of the table and existence and even properties of these elements have to be discovered before they can be added to the table. Elements are named after mythological concept, mineral, place, country, scientist or property.
Presently, the elements are named after their number: element 113 is referred to as ununtrium (which means 113-ium), and has the symbol Uut. Element 115 is called as ununpentium or Uup; While 117 is called ununseptium or Uus, 118 is called ununoctium or Uuo.

▼ PSLV to carry 8 micro satellites: ISRO   [01-5-16]

In a new global era, vehicle configuration of the PSLV of 400 km Space Shuttle Orbiter is around 1200 kgs. Number of micro satellites can be carried in a single mission namely 8 each weighing 120 kg with total payload capacity 960 kg. Currently, domestic satellite communication is dominated by DTH and fixed satellite services. Thematic missions such as tele-medicine and tele-education as well as satellite aided navigation are also on the rise.

▼ China’s Supreme People’s Court launches online service platform for lawyers   [01-4-16]

China’s Supreme People’s Court has launched an online service platform for lawyers regarding judicial justice, rule of law and rights of the media. Via this platform, lawyers will be able to file cases, submit material, contact judges or follow cases. Digital recordings of past cases can also be accessed through this online service. Currently, 21,000 law firms and 81,000 lawyers are recorded in the database of the platform.

▼ Telangana government accords recognition to electronic motor insurance policies   [01-4-16]

For the first time, an Indian state has commenced the recognition of e-Motor insurance policies in partnership with Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India and Insurance Information Bureau of India.The initiative was formally launched b state IT minister KT Rama Rao.Telangana was the first state to recognise electronic motor insurance policies adding to citizen’s convenience and enhancing compliance levels. Quick Response Code will also be issued in digital format.

▼ PNB launches host of digital banking solutions   [01-4-16]

State owned Punjab National Bank has launched numerous digital banking solutions including a green PIN and enhancement of mobile app. PNB has launched mobile apps enabling customers to locate PNB ATM with PNB ATM Assist and the Android app facilities the customer to use GPS. Moreover, customers will be assisted to instantly lodge operational issues and reduce resolution time. Bank has also launched another Android App for basic banking. Green PIN facility was also launched under which customer can get duplicate PIN for debit card through SMS request.

▼ Irish researchers uncover first genomes sequencing of ancient Irish humans   [01-4-16]

This genome sequencing is now being used for answering pivotal questions regarding the origins of the country’s people as well as their culture. Geneticists from Dublin Trinity College and Queen’s University in Belfast sequenced the genome of a woman living 5200 years ago near Belfast and three men from the Bronze age around 4,000 years ago in this region. Evidence within the genomes sequenced provides clues to massive migration.

▼ Surface gravity of stars can reveal possibility of life on orbiting planets   [01-4-16]

To assess if distant stars with planets orbiting them can harbour life, an international team of astronomers have discovered a new method to measure pull of gravity at the surface of distant stars. New method allows scientists to measure surface gravity with accuracy of 4%. Understanding the surface gravity of the star is an important determinant of how much you would weigh on the star. Surface gravity depends on the mass and radius of the star and this technique will also enable astronomers to better gauge the mass and sizes of distant stars. The new technique called autocorrelation function timescale technique or timescale technique uses subtle variations in brightness of distant stars recorded by satellites like Kepler and MOST.

▼ New metamaterial that refracts light in unusual way discovered   [01-4-16]

A new metamaterial that refracts light in unusual ways can be used for speeding up computers and creating invisibility cloaks. Scientists from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Russian Academy of Sciences have proposed a 2-d metamaterial comprising silver elements which can be used to develop compact optical devices and create invisibility cloak. This will be a high performance material for light with wavelength from 4 to 500 nanometers. Metamaterial has properties created by artificial periodic structure. Principle of operation of the metasurface is based on the phenomenon of diffraction.

▼ Scientists discover new way to develop lithium batteries that are safer   [01-4-16]

Scientists have discovered a new way to develop all solid state lithium batteries which will not explode or burn with ease. Method involves melting solid electrolyte and coating the melted electrolyte around the electrodes. Organic liquid electrolyte used in existing lithium ion batteries can get easily gasified or burned. All solid state lithium batteries are an alternative option which is non-flammable.

▼ 2016 to be year of Habit Commerce   [01-4-16]

2016 is pegged to be the year of habit commerce with more people getting into the habit of completing online transactions. Habit commerce is driven by multiple use cases, personalised communication, rapidity of payment and easy delivery service. Significant growth in C2C platforms like Alibaba’s Taobao has come prior to Business-2-Consumer platforms in India.

▼ Scientists discover new method to test Einstein’s theory of General Relativity   [01-4-16]

Scientists have discovered a new way for testing basic principles of Einstein’s theory of general relativity through brief blasts of rare radio signals from space. This new method has been described using radio waves called Fast Radio Bursts which is 10 to 100 times better than previous method using gamma ray bursts. This method is a tribute to Albert Einstein on the 100th anniversary of the first formulation of equivalence principle. Fast Radio Bursts are super-brief blasts of energy lasting just a few milliseconds caused by events beyond the Milky Way.

▼ LRSAM launched successfully.   [01-4-16]

Long Range Surface to Air Missile, a missile co-developed by India and Israel was successfully test fired on December 30, 2015 and the missile was fired from INS Kolkata. It was successfully intercepted as an aerial target at extended ranges and was test fired by DRO and Israel Aerospace Industries. LRSAM is called BARAK 8 missile in Israel. The length of this missile is 4.5 m, diameter is 0.54 m and wingspan of 0.94 m. Weight is around 275 kg including a 60 kg warhead and maximum speed is Mach 2.