Science & Technology - Current Affairs for March, 2016

Science & Technology Current Affairs for March, 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.

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  • Month & Year   
▼ India’s first indigenous sonar dome launched   [03-31-16]

India’s first indigenous composites sonar dome, a ship’s underwater eyes and ears, was on 30th March flagged off by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to be delivered to Mazgaon docks in Mumbai.

  • Designed and produced by a Defence and Research Development Organisation (DRDO) lab in Pune, the sonar dome is a first of its kind in the country and has been manufactured by a composites manufacturing company.
  • This marks the first time this technology has been indigenously developed in India

▼ Indian scientists discover sand eating tadpole   [03-31-16]

The researchers have discovered a sand-eating tadpole that lives in total darkness, until it fully develops into a young frog. S.D. Biju from the University of Delhi said in a statement: “We provide the first confirmed report of the tadpoles of Indian Dancing frog family. These tadpoles probably remained unnoticed all these years because of their fossorial nature, which in itself is a rare occurrence in the amphibian world.”

  • Researchers from University of Delhi, the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and Gettysburg College, California discovered and documented the tadpole in the peer-reviewed PLOS One, an open-access journal.
  • Tadpoles belong to Micrixalidae or Indian Dancing Frog Family
  • They are called so because of their habit of waving legs as a sign of territorial or sexual display while sitting on boulders in streams

▼ Asia’s largest general purpose optical telescope to be installed in India   [03-30-16]

PM Narendra Modi has activated Asia’s largest general purpose optical telescope installed in Devsthal 60 km from Nainital.

The telescope will be activated through Remote Technical Activation when the PM visits Belgium on March 30.

India-Belgium ARIES (Aryabhatta Research Institute for Observational Sciences) Telescope will soon be launched.

  • Any telescope undergoes three phases to become fully operational-Assembly, Integration and Verification. The ARIES has completed all the three phases on February 29.
  • The general purpose optical telescope of diameter 3.6 meter and with 150 tonnes will help in the study and exploration of starts, planets, magnetic field and astronomical debris.
  • The mirror of the 3.6 diameter optical telescope has been entirely 'coated' in by the scientists and technicians of ARIES in the coating facility which became operational in January 2015.
  • The second largest 'general purpose' optical telescope is also installed in India in Kavalur by Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru. The largest specific purpose telescope in Asia is in China with 4 meter diameter.

▼ PSLV C34 rocket to inject 22 satellites into orbit   [03-29-16]

PSLV C34 will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in May 2016. This signifies a giant leap for the Indian space mission because 22 satellites will be injected into orbit, making it the first such time in the ISRO’s history. Cartosat 2 carrying the primary payload will also carry on board 4 micro satellites weighing 85 to 130 kg and 17 nano satellites of 4 to 30 kg.

About the satellites

  • 18 satellites are being launched by foreign powers
  • This includes US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia
  • Two nano satellites have been developed by Pune Engineering College and Sathyabhama University
  • In April 2008, 10 satellites were launched into orbit by ISRO using the PSLV C9 rocket.

▼ Scientists discover female fish capable of reproduction through selfing   [03-28-16]

In a rare discovery, scientists have observed that cichlid female hybrid fish growing male reproductive organs has impregnated itself and given birth to offsprings in a process called selfing which is very rare in vertebrates. Researchers reported that selfing in cichlid females is not likely to happen unless parents have different sex determining genes.

▼ Researchers discover exoplanet using OGLE gravity lens   [03-28-16]

Researchers have detected a Saturn like planet residing near the galaxy bulge of the Milky Way. This exoplanet has a mass between Jupiter and Saturn. It orbits a star with half the mass of the solar system’s Sun. As the star moves in front of another star, light from the distant star is bent by the gravitational pull of the closest star and this causes magnification of the distant star. Researchers have used the gravitational microlensing technique not relying on light from host stars. Through planets can be detected, this is so even when the host stars cannot be detected. The method for detecting the gas giant orbiting the lens star of the microlensing event is called gravitational microlensing. Gravity lens is part of the OGLE collaboration called Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment.

▼ Blowing tiny bubbles through seawater can help protect coral reefs   [03-28-16]

Blowing tiny bubbles through seawater may help protect coral reefs and oyster farms in acidified oceans, through transfer of excess carbon dioxide from coastal marine environments to the atmosphere, according to scientists. Technique will provide inexpensive solution for threats facing the coral reef. Around 30 to 60 percent of the coral reefs have perished since the advent of the industrial revolution and consequent ocean acidification. Ocean acidification makes it tough for corals to calcify and erode skeletal remains thereby harming the integrity of the entire reef.

▼ Holes and cracks have developed in Mount Everest: Ice fall doctors   [03-28-16]

Numerous cracks and holes have developed in Mount Everest region due to massive earthquakes that killed close to 9000 people across Nepal as per a specialist team for maintaining the climbing route on the world’s highest peak. Ice fall doctors are sherpa mountaineers who repair the climbing route on Mount Everest. They have notified the authorities regarding the damage to the world’s highest peak.

▼ India to be home to world's largest telescope project   [03-28-16]

India is home to the biggest telescope project in the world - USD 1.47 billion Thirty Metre Telescope International observatory in Hanle, Ladakh. The first choice for the project had been Hawaii but there were problems with this. India is building edge sensors, system support assemblies and actuators apart from contributing to the software of TMT.

▼ Brown skuas can recognise people: Scientists   [03-28-16]

Scientists in South Korea have studied brown skuas in Antarctica and found that just like crows, magpies and mockingbirds, they too can recognise individual persons. They recognised people who had previously measured their nest. Birds knew these people regardless of clothes change. Brown skuas who have lived in human free habitats recognised individual humans after just 3 to 4 visits. They have high level of cognitive abilities.

▼ American scientists create smallest viable genome in nature   [03-25-16]

American scientists have created the smallest viable genome existing in nature with adequate essential genes for organisms to function and reproduce on their own. Synthetic genome of this bacteria called JCVI-syn3.0, only carries 473 genes, compared to about 20,000 for a human being. Leader researcher Craig Venter and Clyde Hutchinson and colleagues have not determined the function of a third of the total genes amounting to 149.

▼ Telltale patches of water ice reveal Earth’s orbiting Moon once spun on different axis   [03-25-16]

Patches of water ice on opposite ends of the earth’s moon indicate that Earth’s orbiting companion once spun on a differing axis as per a study released on 23rd March. This 6 degree title happened several billion years ago. It was mostly used by ancient volcanic rock formation on the Moon’s heart side. Team led by M Siegler of the Planetary science Institute in Tucson Arizona has termed this the Moon’s “polar wander.”

▼ Gene known to repair DNA when mutated causes breast cancer :Scientists   [03-25-16]

It is now known that a gene with the ability to repair DNA when mutated instead causes breast cancer. Gene GT198 when mutated by nature or nurture factors can diagnose breast cancer early and serves as a new treatment target. Medical College of Georgia Augusta University said in a press release. The net effect is a tumorigenic environment filled with what scientists calls inappropriate offspring. "Here is a cause-consequence relationship," they opined.

▼ Agartala becomes India’s third largest Internet gateway   [03-25-16]

After PM Narendra Modi and Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the internet connectivity project from Bangladesh’s Akhaura to India;s Agartala, the state of Tripura gained connectivity. After Chennai and Mumbai, Agartala is now India’s third largest gateway for the internet. The leasing of the internet bandwidth by Cox’s Bazar Internet port by BSNL has opened doors for improving internet connectivity in the entire NE region.

▼ Detailed map of Mars’s gravity to date mapped   [03-23-16]

Scientists have come up with the most detailed map of Mars gravity to date using data from three NASA spacecraft. This provides a view of the hidden interior of the red planet. New gravity map will aid in future Mars exploration as better knowledge of the gravity anomalies could help mission controllers to be more precise about orbiting into Mars.

▼ CBNAAT test released by Union Health Ministry   [03-22-16]

The CBNAAT/Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test is a revolutionary rapid molecular test which detects Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin drug resistance, simultaneously. This test is completely automated and provides results within two hours. Currently 121 CBNAAT machine are functioning and five hundred more such machines were launched by the Minister.

▼ Astronomers over the world keep high end telescopes set in sky to observe comets flyby   [03-22-16]

Astronomers all over the world trained their high end telescopes on the sky on Monday to observe the closest flyby of two comets that may be twins of some sort. Comet 252P/LINEAR, approximately 750 feet in size, will zip past Earth on 21st March at a range of about 5.2 million kms. On 22nd March, comet P/2016 BA14 will safely fly at a distance of about 3.5 million kms. This will be the third closest flyby of a comet next to D/1770 L1 (Lexell) in 1770 and comet C/1983 H1 (IRAS-Araki-Alcock) in 1983.

▼ NASA reveals new facts about Pluto   [03-21-16]

NASA scientists linked to the New Horizons probe have revealed the former astronomer’s planet with its intriguing system of small moons transforms the view of Pluto. The planet was revealed to have active geology, exotic surface chemistry, a complex atmosphere and an intricate system of small moons. Pluto is the largest brightest and most explored planet in the third zone or the Kuiper belt.

▼ Scientists develop new blood test to facilitate Alzheimer’s detection at early stage   [03-21-16]

Scientists have developed a novel blood test to facilitate detection of Alzheimer’s at an early stage. The test gives people up to 15 years warning before the disease developed. Novel test can pick up tell tale proteins called amyloid beta peptides to characterise the disease as it seeps through the bloodstream. In association with the immune chemical analysis using the infrared sensor. Surface is coated with specific antibodies that extract biomarkers for Alzheimer’s from the blood or cerebrospinal fluid. Infrared sensor analyses shows if there are pathological changes in the biomarkers.

▼ New ultra sensitive test designed to detect diseases developed   [03-21-16]

This test has been designed to detect deadly diseases including HIV and cancer, and it may prove 10,000 times more efficient than current diagnostic tools, according to Stanford scientists. The disease whether it is a cancer or virus like HIV begins growing in the body, so human beings respond by producing antibodies. Identifying the related biomarkers is a key to correctly diagnosing the disease. This involves designing a molecule which the biomarker is adorned with an identifying flag and through specialised chemical reactions called immunoassay, researchers can find the flag and the biomarker associated with it, providing proxy measure of the disease. The new technique developed by Professor C. Bertozzi of Stanford University replaces standard flag with short strand of DNA which can be treated out of sample using DNA isolation technologies far more sensitive than those possible for traditional antibody detection.

▼ Astronomers study new images of star, find out more about planet formation   [03-21-16]

Astronomers studied fresh images of a young star taken by the KarlG. Jan sky Very Large Array which reveals early stages of planet formation. Scientists used VLA for observing unprecedented details of inner portion of dusty disk surrounding the star located 450 light years away from earth. Star and its disk were studied in 2014 with Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array that provided the best image of planet formation in progress.

▼ Britain’s highest mountain becomes taller   [03-21-16]

Cartographers have said that Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands is 1345 m high as against 1344 m. Mountain has not physically grown…merely technology has advanced to make an accurate reading possible. The exact reading is 1344.527 which has been rounded off to 1345.

▼ 9 Monster Stars 20 times more brilliant than the sun discovered   [03-21-16]

In a new discovery British astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope to find 9 monster stars which are 30 times more brilliant than the sun. Sheffield University researchers led the astronomer and the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit in 1990. It is now nearing the end of its life. The cluster is called R136 and measures a few light years across. None of the stars are 100 times the sun’s mass while dozens are 50 times larger.

▼ King Tut’s burial chamber has 2 hidden rooms: Scientists   [03-18-16]

Scans of King Tut’s burial chamber have revealed two hidden rooms. Experts say chambers contain the remains of the famed Queen Nefertiti. Chambers may contain metal or organic material.The discovery could shine new light on one of ancient Egypt’s most turbulent times, and one prominent researcher Nicholas Reeves has theorised that the Nefertiti’s remains could be inside.

▼ Man made experiment in China produces longest plasma discharge at 50 million degrees   [03-18-16]

In a massive breakthrough, a man made sun experiment in China has produced long pulse plasma discharge of more than 50 million degrees which is the longest discharge at such a high temperature. Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak, an artificial sun experiment realised a ultra high temperature long pulse plasma discharge for a full 102 seconds. The artificial sun can therefore provide unlimited clean energy through controlled thermonuclear fusion. Light and heat of the sun comes from two hydrogen radioactive isotopes- tritium and deuterium.

▼ 4 new exoplanets discovered   [03-17-16]

The newly detected worlds are enormous and have very long orbital periods ranging from nearly two to slightly more than 4 Earth years. The researchers used the 1.5 m telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory and the 2.2 m telescope at La Silla observatory in Chile, and the 3.9 m Anglo-Australian telescope in Australia. 4 giant stars were studied— HIP8541, HIP74890, HIP84056 and HIP95124 for having planetary companions.

▼ British scientists discover organs have minds of their own   [03-17-16]

British scientists have discovered that organs may have 'minds of their own,' by growing at different rates as body sizes change. University of Sussex researchers revealed in a study published in Biology Letters that different animal organs, and even different parts of a single organ, can change sizes at different rates.

▼ Red flashes brighter than 1000 suns detected from black hole   [03-17-16]

The black hole, named V404 Cygni, is 7,800 light years away from Earth (or about 46 quadrillion miles). It is believed to be flashing after spitting out jets of matter which it could not swallow. This rare astronomical phenomenon has been spotted by University of Southampton researchers. Using the William Herschel Telescope in the mountains of the Canary Islands, the team took ultra high-speed images of the flashes in July 2015, poring over them before eventually publishing their research this month.

▼ Astronomy students from Leiden University estimate 58 billion dwarf stars in Milky Way   [03-17-16]

Leiden university astronomers have for the first time estimated there are 58 billion dwarf stars in the entire Milky Way galaxy. This results in a more comprehensive model for distribution of stars. Milky Way primarily comprises prominent, relatively flat disc with closely spaced bright stars, and a halo, a sphere of stars with a much lower density around it. Astronomers assume that the halo is the remnant of the first galaxies that fused together to form our Galaxy. About seven percent of the dwarf stars reside in this halo.

▼ New model to predict dark matter   [03-16-16]

Researchers have presented a new model for what dark matter might be. 27 percent of the universe is dark matter. Only five percent is the matter of which all known materials consist: from the smallest ant to the largest galaxy. For decades, physicists have been working on the theory that dark matter is light and therefore interacts weakly with ordinary matter thereby producing particles as colliders. Theory's dark particles are called weakly-interacting massive particles (WIMPs), and they are theorised to have been created in an inconceivably large number shortly after the birth of the universe 13.7 billion years ago. Sloth and his colleagues call their version of such a heavy particle a PIDM (Planckian Interacting Dark Matter) particle. In their new model, they calculated how the required number of PIDM particles could have been created in the early universe.

▼ IISc researcher transforms smart phone into powerful microscope   [03-16-16]

This was done by transforming a single smart phone into a powerful microscope by replacing the camera with high resolution optics of a microscope. The smart phone can now detect diseases like malaria without much difficulty.

▼ Scientists at a US university design wearable that is versatile, unable and self actuated   [03-14-16]

The material can change size, shape and volume to fold flat to withstand the weight of even an elephant without breaking and can pop right back to prepare for the next task. This wearable was inspired by the paper folding technique of Origami. Much like origami, the cube can be folded along edges to change shape indicating snapology.

▼ Researchers identify new innate immune pathway offering protection from cancer   [03-14-16]

Researchers have identified a new innate immune technology pathway protecting mammals from viral oncogenesis through a process by which viruses cause normal cells to become cancerous. This discovery could open new frontiers for cancer treatment. Autphagy related protein beclin 2 discovered by researchers can damage key oncogenic viral protein associated with Kapok’s sarcoma, a certain kind of cancer. Autophagy is a cellular housekeeping process where the cells of the body destroy damaged proteins and organelles. In addition to mediating autophagy, beclin 2 is also part of an immune pathway that promoted degradation of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), and thereby suppress its cancer-causing signalling," said Dong.

▼ Aussie scientists create world’s thinnest lens   [03-14-16]

Australian scientists have created the world’s thinnest lens 2000 times thinner than human hair and a breakthrough for revolutionising nanotechnology. Finished lens is 6.3 nanometers in size as against a previous smallest lens which is 50 nanometers in thickness. Lens has been created by a team of researchers led by Yeurui Larry Lu from Australian National University. Scientists have said lens could have revolutionary applications in medicine, technology and science, even creating bendable computer screens.

▼ US Astronaut Scott Kelly to retire   [03-14-16]

The astronaut who holds the American record for the most time spent in space will retire on April 1, according to the US space agency. Kelly along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Komienko has returned to earth after a year on ISS. This is the longest US space mission on record intended to pave the way for human travel to Mars. Kelly’s 240 day mission broke the previous record of 215 days held by former astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria aboard the space station in 2007.

▼ New frog species has been found in southwest China Yunnan province   [03-14-16]

New frog species is unlike ordinary frogs and only lives in clean water. It produces a special sound during the mating season. Leptolalax tengchongensis, commonly known as the Asian litter frog, was spotted in the Tengchong section of Gaoligong Mountain National Nature Reserve in the west of Yunnan and was named after the county of Tengchong. New frog has relatively small size of 2-3 cm.

▼ Interactive web portal of Kendriya Sainik Board secretariat launched   [03-14-16]

This interactive web portal of the KSB secretariat was launched by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar under the Department of Ex Servicemen Welfare. This website contains workflow software for all secretariat schemes apart from saving time through real time tracking of ESM applications.

▼ Researchers focus on alternative to PET called polyethylene furandicarboxylaxte   [03-11-16]

PEF is made from ethylene glycol and a compound FDCA or 2-5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). PEF is an attractive replacement for PET, because FDCA can be sourced from biomass instead of petroleum. Researchers have also been experimenting on a compound made from agricultural waste called furfural.

▼ Plastic from Carbon dioxide, agricultural waste and grasses   [03-11-16]

Scientists have found a new way to make plastic from agricultural waste, grasses and carbon dioxide in a bid to lower the carbon footprint of the plastic industry. Plastic produces are generally made from a polymer called PET or polyethylene terephthalate which is also called polyester and generated through the use of fossil fuel feedstocks.

▼ Researchers alter immune system, kidneys can be accepted from incompatible donors   [03-11-16]

Researchers have changed the immune system of the patient to permit them to accept kidneys from donors who are incompatible. More of the patients were still alive through this method called desensitisation which has the potential to save many lives. Recently the World Kidney Day was celebrated and researchers add the procedure could mean the difference between receiving the transplant and spending the rest of the life on dialysis. Researchers have estimated close to 1,00,000 people in the IS alone are on waiting list for kidney transplant. Some transplant patients are so sensitive that finding a compatible organ is next to impossible. Desensitisation involves filtering antibodies out of the blood of the patient and patient then is infused with other antibodies to provide protection while the immune system regenerates its antibodies. Process is cheaper than dialysis in the long run and takes time.

▼ India’s sixth satellite INRSS-IF launched   [03-11-16]

The satellite carries two types of payload- navigation and ranging. India’s satellite launch vehicle PSLV- C32 has successfully placed the satellite into orbit. While the navigation payload will remit navigation service signals to users, the ranging payload comprises C band transponder facilitating accurate determination of satellite range. IRNSS-IF is the sixth in a series of 7 satellites under Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System. IRNSS is also known as the own GPS of the country.

▼ India to launch 25 foreign satellites in 2016-2017   [03-11-16]

India will be launching these satellites using PSLV with 12 of these belonging to the US and remaining 13 from 6 other countries such as Germany, Canada and Japan. PSLV with its string of successful flights has emerged as one of the most reliable launch vehicles in the world. Till date 47 foreign satellites have been launched from as many as 21 different countries on board the PSLV, under an arrangement between commercial arm of ISR Antrim and foreign clients.

▼ Bacterium species capable of breaking down PET discovered   [03-11-16]

The bacterium which has been discovered by Japanese researchers uses two enzymes in sequence to break down the highly biodegradable-resistant polymer PET. With the exception of rare instances of fungi found to grow in mineral medium of PET yards, no reports are there of bacterial biologically degrading PET before this. From the microbial consortium that has been found to degrade PET, the researchers isolated a unique bacterium — Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 — that could almost completely degrade a thin film of PET in a short span of six weeks at 30°C. “The PET film was damaged extensively and almost completely degraded after six weeks at 30°C,” they noted. Bacterium has two enzymes, the first of which produces a substance through hydrolysis while another produces two monomers - ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid — that are used for making PET through polymerisation.

▼ New species of spiders discovery announced at 9th annual World Science Festival in Brisbane   [03-11-16]

Spider has been named Dolomedes briangreenei, and was unveiled at the ninth annual World Science Festival in Brisbane, Australia. It was named after famous string theorist and Columbia University professor Brian Greene. About the size of the palm, this arachnid locates its prey by detecting vibrations and tiny waves in water while skimming around on the surface. Found in Australia’s east coast off the waters of Brisbane, this spider can even catch toads.

▼ First Uterus transplant in the US fails   [03-11-16]

The organ was surgically removed after the 26 year old woman recipient developed serious complications. This was one of 10 uterine transplants planned by the Cleveland Clinic. A successful transplant would have meant that women could give birth without being originally with a uterus. The recipient was a woman born without a uterus.

▼ Google run AI programme defeats legendary Chinese player   [03-10-16]

In a rare feat, Google run AI programme AlphaGo has defeated legendary player Lee Se-Dol in a complex Chinese board game called Go. The win came in a first tie of 5 match series being held in South Korea. Se-dol is a South Korean Go player ranked second in international titles. Google’s AlphaGo combines advanced tree search with deep neural networks. The first game ever mastered by a computer is noughts and crosses.

▼ Through the use of engineered microbes, MIT researchers convert power emissions and biomass to fuel   [03-10-16]

In what is the first innovation of its kind, MIT researchers have turned emissions of power stations, garbage dumps and steel mills into liquid fuels. This process has been tried in a pilot plant in China and energy dense liquids are vital to transport but are derived from oil currently which is a fossil fuel causing air contamination. Biofuels have been seen as a possible replacement yet current biofuels compete with food production and are driving up food prices. Using waste gases to create low carbon liquid fuels is a major battle against global warming if low cost and large scale can be replicated. MIT process uses bacteria to convert waste gases into acetic acid that an engineered yeast can be used to produce oil.

▼ Scientists find Australasia butterfly species has 15 classes of light detecting cells/photoreceptors   [03-10-16]

This enables the species (Common bluebottles or Graphium sarpedon) to observe fast moving objects better than even humans and differentiate between UV and polarised light. Earlier, no known insect had more than 9 classes of photoreceptors according to researchers. Such photoreceptors are like the rods and cons in the human eye. Having multiple photoreceptors is indispensable for observing colour. A similar system was found in another butterfly studied by this research group, the Asian swallowtail or Papilio xuthus. This has around 6 photoreceptors.

▼ First Zika case diagnosed with paralysis   [03-10-16]

In a first, a 15 year old girl has been infected with Zika virus leading to paralysis causing acute myelitis. This marks the first case of acute myelitis or inflammation of the spinal cord in association with Zika virus according to a research team from Pointe-a-Pitre university hospital and University of Antilles in French West Indies. Young patient in the acute phase of the Zika virus infection presented motor deficiency in 4 limbs and was associated with intense pain and acute urinary retention. Presence of the virus was confirmed in cerebrospinal fluid, urine and blood according to researchers.

▼ New snake species discovered in Gujarat   [03-7-16]

In what is one of the rarest moments in the reptilian history of the nation, a new snake species has been discovered by Mumbaikar researchers Zeeshan A. Mirza and Rajesh Sanap, along with three wildlife enthusiasts from Gujarat; Raju Vyas; Harshil Patel and Jaydeep Maheta.New snake genus, Wallaceophis is named after Alfred Russel Wallace for his pioneering work on biogeography, and for also founding the theory of natural selection. The species has been named gujaratensis.
Based on scalation, tooth number, bone morphology and DNA, the snake was identified as belonging to a group of colubrid snakes that include racers, royal snakes and whip snakes, which are present in the form of 1800 species and the number will most likely rise. Wallaceophis gujaratensis has been found in 7 locations in Gujarat.

▼ 4 species of Impatiens rediscovered in Western Ghats   [03-7-16]

4 species of Impatiens called Kasi Thumba believed to have gone extinct were rediscovered from the Western Ghats by researchers led by K.M. Prabhukumar and Indira Balachandran, taxonomist and director respectively of the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research, Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, who made the rediscovery during explorations at Dhoni Hills of Palakkad and Nelliampathy. The 4 plants- Impatiens concinna, Impatiens sasidharanii, Impatiens neo-modesta , and Impatiens sasidharanii var hirsuta , were found to have great medicinal values.Impatiens concinna , found 6,000 ft above sea level, was discovered for the first time in Kerala. Two other Impatiens species found from Nelliampathy forests have been named after N. Sasidharan, former scientist of the Kerala Forest Research Institute.

▼ New snake species discovered in Western Ghats   [03-7-16]

Team of researchers from UK and India have discovered a new species of snakes named after N. Khaire as Khaire’s Black Shieldtail. Khaire is the founder of Pune’s Katraj Snake Park and Indian Herpetological Society. Researchers from Natural History Museum (NHM), London, UK; National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore, India, the Indian Herpetological Society (IHS), Pune, India and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) took part in the study and this marks the first discovery since 144 years. Snake belongs to family of Uropeltldae and is burrower that lives underground.

▼ Curious Marie which helped form the solar system discovered   [03-7-16]

Team has found evidence of curium in an unusual ceramic inclusion referred to as Curious Marie taken from carbonaceous meteorite. Researchers from the University of Chicago found that a rare element named curium was found be be present when the solar system was formed. Curium was found on the ceramic inclusion called Curious Marie taken from the meteorite. Both curium and the phenomenon Curious Marie have been named after Marie Curie, a pioneer in the field of radioactivity theory. Curium is one of the heaviest known elements to man.

▼ Scientists discover new species of octopus   [03-7-16]

This octopus was found by NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer. This light coloured small octopus was found at the depth of 2.5 miles in the ocean close to Necker Island and it lacked fins and muscles. The octopus which has been likened by scientists to Casper, the Friendly Ghost also has all of its suckers on one row on each arm.

▼ Scientists find new way to kill cancer cells   [03-7-16]

This new method which uses the own immune system of the person can kill affected cells and end the use of toxic chemotherapy to a large extent. Scientists have developed a unique way of using special markings within the tumour to permit the body to target and fight the disease. Instead of toxic chemotherapy, patients could now be given protein based vaccines made from their own tumour to activate the immune system and wage war against cancer. As the particular biological signature will be there in the tumour cells, healthy tissue will be attacked by immune system response. Tumour antigens can be targeted in every cell. Personalised medicine will touch a new frontier with this discovery. Two approaches are there for targeting trunk mutations. While the first is to develop cancer vaccines for patients training to immune system which spots it, second is to fish for immune cells targeting these mutations and swelling their numbers in the lab and placing them back into the body.

▼ Scientists discover galaxy farthest from earth   [03-7-16]

Scientists have discovered the farthest thing seen by humans and the galaxy 13.4 billion light years away has been spotted by Hubble telescope. New galaxy could lead to changes in understanding how the universe has evolved. Distance from the galaxy is measured through the splitting of light into colours it is made of. As the universe is expanding, distant objects are associated with the red colour spectrum- the greater the red shift, the further away the galaxy is. Newly discovered gallery GN z-11 has beaten EGSY8p7 which had a red shift of 8.68. The new galaxy has a red shift of 11.1. Distance means light left the galaxy when the universe was just forming. Light came 400 million years after the universe commenced 1.8 billion years ago. GN-z11 is 25 times smaller than the Milky Way yet it is throwing out stars 20 times faster than our universe.

▼ Scientists hear FRBs, attempt to explore mysteries of the universe   [03-4-16]

Scientists have heard a long, repeated sound deep from within space and this 10 millisecond long fast radio bust is an example of a mysterious radio wave coming from outside the galaxy. Previously, these bursts were thought to be singular events yet a new study found that these sources send out messages which are repeated. This FRBs are coming from far away indicating they are likely neutron stars within other galaxies

▼ Delhi becomes first state in country to launch HPV Vaccine   [03-4-16]

Delhi has become the first state in the nation to launch the HPV or Human Papillomavirus at a public health programme for school children.HPV vaccine protects persons against 150 odd HPVs many of which are associated with cervical cancer. As part of the programme, girls studying in government schools from Class VI onwards will be targeted. Programme will target 1-1.5 lakh girls during the first phase and a third booster will be provided within 240 days of the first vaccine.

▼ Solar powered ferry (India’s first) to be launched in Kerala   [03-3-16]

India’s first solar powered ferry will be launched at Aroor in Alappuzha district. The boat is to be commissioned within the next three months. It is being built by Nav Alt, a Kochi based venture in collaboration with the French company and the 20 m long, 7 m wide boat has maximum cruising speed of 7.5 knots and will be deployed in the backwaters of Alapuzha by the Kerala State Water Transport Department.

▼ 8 academic institutions contribute to scientific collaboration of Belle II experiment in Japan   [03-3-16]

8 Indian academic institutions including 4 IITs have made a contribution to the world of science after assisting in the Belle II experiment at the SuperKEKB accelerator in Japan.The project received a major boost after SuperKEKB, a particle collider located at the KEK laboratory in Tsukuba in Japan, achieved 'First Turns' and reached test operation stage recently. SuperKEKB is the first new "atom-smasher" since the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) - the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator - located at CERN laboratory in Switzerland. Belle II detector was built through an international collaboration of over 600 students, scientists and engineers from over 23 nations. Around four IITs (Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Madras), IISER Mohali, Panjab University, Punjab Agricultural University and TIFR, Mumbai are associated with the project.

▼ Astronauts Scott Kelly, Mikhail Komienko break American record for longest space flight   [03-3-16]

Astronauts Scott Kelly, Mikhail Komienko break American record for longest space flight. Both traveled 144 million miles through space and circled the world 5,440 times. They experienced 10,880 orbital sunrises and sunsets during the longest single spaceflight by an American. The next longest spaceflight is 125 days less. But when it comes to longest space flight, a Russian doctor holds the record with 438 days.

▼ China launches first self-propelled floating dock   [03-3-16]

This dock called Huachan No.1 enables the navy to return damaged ships to fighting capability in short time and was designed for being taken into combat zones. Dock can handle cruisers, submarines and destroyers but not aircraft carriers. This low cost technology is extremely innovative.

▼ Government sets up NMPB, 2 CSS schemes for conserving endangered medicinal plants   [03-2-16]

Government of India has set up National Medicinal Plants Board under the Ministry of Ayush since 2000 and it has been working for the conservation and development of medicinal plants alongside promotion of medicinal plants cultivation on farmer’s land to meet every growing demand. Currently, the following two CSS schemes have been implemented under this board:

1. Central Sector Scheme for Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants
2. Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM)

Botanical Survey of India has found of 8000 species, 53 types of medicinal plants are in threatened categories such as Vulnerable and Critically Endangered.

▼ Central Government to set up CCRYN at Odisha state capital   [03-2-16]

Central Government has approved the proposal for establishing a Central Research Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy at Bhubaneswar, Odisha called CCRYN or Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, Funds have been released to CPWD by government for construction of the same.

▼ WhatsApp to withdraw support for BlackBerry and Nokia   [03-1-16]

Facebook led firm WhatsApp has over billion users per year globally and major chunk of these users are from markets such as India. At the time when OS was basically associated with Blackberry and Nokia, the service was associated with WhatsApp. Mobile OS offered by Google, Microsoft and Apple account for 99.5% of sales, were less than 25% of mobile devices sold at the time. In February 2014, WhatsApp was acquired by social networking giant Facebook which marks its largest buyout till date for USD 19 billion.

▼ Rare fossil discovered in Narmada valley river bed   [03-1-16]

In a massive discovery, paleantologists have gone on to discover a 9 crore year old rare coral fossil in the Bagh beds of Narmada Valley region. This indicates the presence of marine life and sea in Central India during the period of evolution. Discovery of coral fossil also enables experts to get a view of the environment of that particular era. The fossil has been discovered in Man River Basin in Dhar district of the state by palaeontologist VIshal Verma. This is one of the oldest evidence of sea incursion in Narmada valley. This is a rare discovery from Narmada valley and presence of this coral had earlier not been confirmed in earlier times in India. Palaeontologists have confirmed coral presence in Mesozoic era divided into 3 major periods- Cretaceous, Triassic and Jurassic.