Science & Technology - Current Affairs for November, 2015

Science & Technology Current Affairs for November, 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.

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▼ IIT-M developing technology to combine weather models with satellite to predict cyclones   [11-30-15]

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras developed a technique depending on “data assimilation” method depending upon high quality data being processed from satellites on supercomputers. IMD meteorologists have followed a synoptic method for cyclone prediction where weather observations are taken from ships or on the ground and in the upper atmosphere with the aid of sensors attached to balloons.

▼ Moderate class antibiotics fail to treat Kliebsiella pathogen : Scientists    [11-30-15]

A bug which was earlier treated by moderate class antibiotics has now resisted treatment from third generation antibiotics or carbapanems. The Klebsiella pathogen has led to higher mortality in patients and has become colistin resistant. Colistin is the final antibiotic for treating infections which other antibiotics have failed to treat. Klebsiella has led to UTI and ventilator acquired pneumonias and blood stream infections.

▼ NASA installs flight mirror on James Webb Space Telescope   [11-30-15]

NASA has successfully installed the first of total 18 flight mirrors onto the James Webb Space Telescope, commencing a critical piece of the observatory's construction to replace the Hubble Space Telescope in 2018. This telescope will be the premier astronomical observatory of the coming decade.

▼ India successfully test fires Agni I   [11-30-15]

India on 27th November successfully test-fired indigenously built nuclear-capable Agni-I missile, capable of hitting a target at a distance of 700 kms, from a test range off the Odisha coast as part of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) training exercise. This is a surface to surface single stage missile powered by solid propellants. It was launched from ITR at Abdul Kalam Island. Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, is designed to carry a payload of more than one tonne.Agni-I was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory, the premier missile development laboratory of DRDO in partnership with Imarat and Bharat Dynamics Limited. The last trial of Agni-I, conducted on September 11, 2014 from the same base, was successful too.

▼ LRSAM successfully flight tested on 27th November 2015   [11-30-15]

Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM), jointly designed and developed by IAI, Israel and DRDO, has been successfully flight tested from an Israeli Naval Platform. DRDO has designed the Dual Pulse Propulsion System and other safe arm mechanisms for Solid Propulsion system for the first time. This test from Israel Naval Platform attained the major milestone in proving the missile system with complete participation of the Ship Borne Tracking Equipment. This missile will be inducted into Indian Naval Ships.

▼ New tree frog species Ghatixalus magnus discovered   [11-27-15]

A new tree frog species named Ghatixalus magnus has been discovered in Kadalar in the high ranges of Idukki district in the Western Ghats of Kerala.The frog belongs to Rhacophorid tree frog of the genus Ghatixalus. It was named as Ghatixalus magnus due to its large size making it the largest known tree frog from the Western Ghats. This discovery was a joint effort by researchers from US and India.

▼ Lightest gold nugget in the world discovered   [11-27-15]

Scientists have discovered a 20 carat gold nugget that is 1000 times lighter than traditional gold metal and can float on milk foam. It is the lightest gold nugget created and is 100 times lighter than conventional gold alloys. This gold nugget is soft and malleable. It is light because it contains 98 parts air and two parts solid material.

▼ Blue skies in exoplanet 100 light years away from earth: Scientists   [11-27-15]

Scientists have found that 100 light years away from earth, a small exoplanet with blue skies has been orbiting a red dwarf star. US astronomers used the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT), a set of small telescopes spread over Texas, Hawaii, California in the US and in Chile and South Africa to make this discovery. Scientists observed the Rayleigh Scattering or detection of light scattered by tiny particles indicating a blue sky in the exoplanet. A red dwarf star is a low mass star common in the Milky Way galaxy.

▼ More than 500 million unique mobile subscribers to be in India: GSMA   [11-27-15]

A study by global telecom body GSMA has found that India is set to have more than half a billion (500 million) unique mobile subscribers by the end of the year, thanks to affordable devices, easy tariff and digital literacy drives. The report, entitled "The Mobile Economy: India 2015", said that 13% of the world's mobile subscribers lived in India. The subscriber growth was forecast to outperform the regional and global averages in the coming years. India is currently positioning itself as the second largest mobile market after China.

▼ Arachnid species named after Tolkien character   [11-27-15]

An eyeless cave swelling arachnid species was recently discovered by Brazilian scientists and named after a character in Lord of the Rings called Smeagol/Gollum as Iandumoema smeagol. This species belongs to the opiliones (harvestmen) order of the arachnid class, distant relatives of spiders but different from them due to the lack of narrow waists and poison glands. This is the third species of Iandumoema found across the globe and differs from the other two because it is eyeless.

▼ Mars to lose its largest moon & develop ring   [11-26-15]

Mars’s largest moon Phobos is falling towards the planet and will soon disappear to form a ring much like Saturn and Jupiter. Phobos is set to be destroyed in 20 to 40 million years and the ring will exist from 1-100 million years. Phobos will not be able to resist tidal forces pulling it apart when it nears Mars, scientists have said. Mars’s other moon Deimos will remain. Scientists have also found the Sun’s UV rays caused Mars, which was once warmer and wetter, to lose its atmospheric CO2.

▼ 2015 is hottest year on record: World Meteorological Association   [11-26-15]

2015 is set to be the hottest year on record with 2016 set to be hotter on account of the El Nino weather pattern according to World Meteorological Organisation . Decisions taken at the soon to be held Paris summit could keep global temperatures rising within 2 degree celsius over pre-industrial times.

▼ Japan conducts first dedicated commercial satellite launch   [11-26-15]

The launch was conducted on 23rd November 2015. Japan launched Canadian communications spacecraft Telstar 12v into orbit abroad the H-IIA rocket that blasted off from Pad 1 of the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre. The launch was jointly organised by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. This is Japan’s first mission to carry a commercial satellite as primary payload and the second to carry a large commercial satellite.

▼ New acid, toxic molecules produced when salt mixes with chlorine in cooked food: Scientist   [11-26-15]

As per researchers, chlorine or chloramines in tap water can react with the iodised table salt added to food, creating a kind of acid called hypoiodous acid. The acid reacts with food and other organic material to lead to the generation of cooking iodinated disinfection byproducts (I-DBPs) - molecules that are almost completely new to researchers and now found to be toxic.

▼ Smt. Sushma Swaraj launches online quiz for Indian Diaspora   [11-26-15]

MoIA and MEA Union Minister S. Swaraj has launched an online quiz program for the Indian Diaspora entitled Bharat Ko Janiye. This quiz seeks to educate them regarding India’s progress in numerous fields such as manufacturing, IT, science and technology. Quiz is open for PIOs and NRIs between 18 to 35 years of age.

▼ ModPOS, most sophisticated POS malware detected   [11-26-15]

The most sophisticated point of sale malware to date, ModPOS has been detected by iSight Partners that has released a technical report about this. Some of the biggest breaches to data in the past years have been the attack on Target Corp and Home Depot Inc.

▼ Malaria blocking mosquito genetically engineered by scientists   [11-25-15]

A stephensi is a leading malaria vector in Asia.Researchers packaged anti-malaria genes with an enzyme (which can cut DNA) and a guide RNA to create a genetic "cassette" that, when injected into a mosquito embryo, targeted a highly specific spot on the germ line DNA to insert the anti-malaria antibody genes in this strain. Close to 99.5 percent of offspring exhibited this trait of blocking malaria.

▼ China to build world’s largest animal cloning center   [11-25-15]

This centre will produce one million cattle embryos annually and rapidly improve the quality of livestock, a report said.The $31.3 million commercial cloning centre will be built in Tianjin's Tianjin Economic Technological Development Area (TEDA), a government-sponsored business development park.

▼ Technology using amino acid identified for determining fingerprints differences between men and women   [11-24-15]

A test performed at a crime scene may now help forensic scientists determine if a fingerprint belongs to a woman or man based on certain amino acids found in the fingerprints. Levels are double that of men than women in their sweat, according to scientists. It is now possible to tell if the fingerprint belongs to a man or woman through testing of levels of residual amino acids.

▼ US Engineers develop new technology to isolate drug delivery nanoparticles from blood   [11-24-15]

A group of US engineers have developed a new technology using the electrical field to isolate drug delivery nanoparticles from the blood. The electronic chip can also serve to separate and recover nanoparticles from complex fluids for medical, industrial and environmental applications. Nanoparticles are 1000 times smaller than the width of a human hair and are difficult to separate from plasma on account of their small size and low density. This is the first instance of isolation of a wide range of nanoparticles out of plasma with least amount of manipulations.

▼ Scientists develop an electronic rose   [11-24-15]

Scientists have discovered an electronic rose through implant of circuits inside the vascular system to distribute water and nutrients in the plant. Swedish researchers have created digital and analog electronics circuits inside living plants. The scientists used the vascular system of living roses to built key components of electronic circuits. Researchers have fabricated wires, digital logic and display elements to develop new applications for organic electronics and fresh tools in plant science. Controlling and interfacing with chemical pathways within the plants could lead the way for photosynthesis based fuel cells, sensors and growth regulators plus devices that modulate the internal functions of the plants.

▼ DBT and Research Council UK sign letter of intent   [11-23-15]

A letter of intent has been signed by Research Council UK and Indian government’s Department of Biotechnology in the field of climate change, agriculture, antimicrobial resistance and vaccine development. The letter of intent was signed in events leading up to 30th Foundation Day celebrations of the DBT.

▼ First IISF to be held in IIT-D   [11-23-15]

First India International Science Festival is being organised at IIT Delhi from 4th to 8th December 2015 organised by the Ministries of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, TIFAC has been chosen as the nodal government institution to organise the mega event in partnership with Vijnana Bharati a science linked NGO.

▼ Scientists discover anti-cancerous injectable bio-gel   [11-23-15]

Scientists have developed a new injectable bio-gel which can deliver anti cancerous agents directly into the tumour and eliminate them. Technology developed by University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre scientists will revolutionise treatment for different forms of cancer. Bio-gel is a liquid at room temperature and a gel at human body temperature. This bio-gel is compatible with anti-cancer immune cells.

▼ Humans vulnerable to deadly superbugs   [11-21-15]

Researchers in China have found a gene mcr-1 enabling bacteria to be resistant to last line of antibiotic defence- polymyxins. This means the last line of antibiotic defence has been breached and this has left humans prone to deadly superbugs. The mcr-1 gene was found on plasmids, which are mobile DNA that can be easily copied and transferred between different bacteria.

▼ PoWiFi system developed by researchers   [11-20-15]

Power Over Wi-Fi systems is an innovative and game changing technology which has won the Popular Science Best of What’’s New 2015 award. This WiFi device can power camera and other device sensors and can coexist with power source as a WiFi router in that it doesn't degrade the quality of your Wi-Fi signals while it's powering devices. This innovation will find application in IoT.

▼ Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers announces establishment of NIPER   [11-20-15]

National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research has been launched in Jhalawar, Rajasthan. GoI will invest INR 500 crore in this international level institute which will be established in two years. INR 100 crore will also be invested in CIPET Jaipur for upgradation.

▼ New Vaccine for Ebola effective   [11-20-15]

A new clinical trial of an Ebola vaccine has been found to stimulate strong immune system responses in adults in West Africa, US and Mali. The first testing of this vaccine has yielded positive results in terms of finding out dose to be used in subsequent clinical trials and for large-scale manufacture of the vaccine. As per researchers from WHO, if larger trials yield positive impact, this vaccine will attain regulatory approval to prevent future outbreaks of the disease.

▼ New LED developed by scientists    [11-19-15]

This LED uses organic-inorganic hybrid paving the way for cheaper and brighter lights and displays in the future. Materials called organometal halide perovskites have been used to build a highly functioning LED. Perovskites are any materials with the same type of crystal structure as calcium titanium oxide. Such brightness is due to the inherent high luminescent efficiency of this surface-treated, highly crystalline nanomaterial.

▼ Scientists use laser to refrigerate water   [11-19-15]

Scientists have used lasers to refrigerate bayer and other liquids under real life conditions. Infrared laser has been used to cool water by 2 degree C and could help industrial users "point cool" tiny areas with a focused point of light. Microprocessors can even be used for cooling specific components in computer chips to prevent overheating.

▼ Chemical laptop invented by NASA   [11-19-15]

For exploring life outside Earth, Nasa is developing a `chemical laptop' -the first portable, miniaturised laboratory built to detect both amino and fatty acids on other worlds. The battery-powered device analyses samples for materials linked with life. Chemical laptop is roughly the size of a regular laptop and thicker to make room for chemical analysis components.

▼ Number of internet users to reach 402 million by December 2015: IAMAI   [11-18-15]

According to a report by Internet and Mobile Association of India/IAMAI and IMRB, around 402 million people will have access to the internet by December 2015 registering a growth of 49% over the previous year. 306 million of these will have access to internet from mobile devices up from 276 million in October 2015 and internet in India has taken a decade or more to move from 10 to 110 million and 3 years from 100 to 200 millions. It has taken only one year to move from 300 to 400 million users according to the report. Currently, India has the 3rd largest internet user base in the world. China currently leads the world with over 600 million users.

▼ Scientists discover world’s first porous liquid   [11-18-15]

Scientists have made a scientific breakthrough to discover the world’s first porous liquid which can be used for capturing harmful carbon emissions and eliminate them from entering the atmosphere of the earth. Queens University and University of Liverpool researchers along with global partners developed the new liquid and found that it can dissolve unusually large amount of gas, which are absorbed into the `holes' in the liquid. Research could pave the way for greener chemical processes. Till recently, porous materials have only been solid

▼ India tops in mobile connections: Ericsson Mobility Report   [11-18-15]

India has added over 13 million consumers in July to September 2015, as per an Ericsson Mobility report. Every second, a mobile connection gets activated in India. Global mobile subscriptions are rising by 5% Y-O-Y and Indian markets grew the most followed by China, the US, Myanmar and Nigeria. The report also found that total number of mobile subscriptions from July to September 2015 stood at 7.3 billion with 87 million new subscriptions. By 2016, the report predicts that smart phone usage will exceed mobile usage.

▼ Astronomers discover new Venus type exoplanet    [11-17-15]

Astronomers have discovered a new rocky exoplanet 39 light years away which can host an atmosphere. Though the aim was to find a twin earth, a Venus type exoplanet has been discovered instead. The planet-GJ 1132b -orbits a red dwarf star only 1/5th the size of the Sun. The star is also cooler than the Sun, emitting just 1200th as much light. GJ 1132b circles its star every 1.6 days at a distance of 1.4 million miles. It has high temperature of 232 degree C.

▼ Explanation: Scientists devise rapidly heating mechanism to power temperatures hotter than the Sun’s core   [11-16-15]

Imperial College London physicists have devised a rapid heating mechanism which can heat certain materials to to ten million degrees in much less than a million millionth of a second. The method, proposed for the first time, could be relevant to new avenues of research in thermonuclear fusion energy, where scientists are seeking to match the Sun's ability to produce clean energy. The heating is 100 times faster than current rates used in fusion experiments.

▼ Scientists breach BBB to non invasively deliver cancer fighting drugs to patient’s brain   [11-16-15]

Scientists have successfully breached the blood brain barrier in a non invasive manner to deliver cancer fighting drugs into the patient’s brain. Every person has a protective blood barrier lining blood vessels in the brain to restrict the passage of massive toxic substances from the bloodstream to the brain. Scientists can open the barrier in the patient’s brain to deliver chemotherapy directly to the brain tumour. MRI-guided focused low-intensity ultrasound waves were used to target blood vessels in the blood-brain barrierBBB) area near the tumour. Waves repeatedly compress and expand the micro-bubbles, loosening tight junctions of the cells comprising the BBB. Following the breach of the barrier, the chemotherapy flowed through and deposited into the targeted regions.

▼ Exoplanet located 63 light years away has wind velocity 20 times faster than earth: Scientists   [11-16-15]

An exoplanet located 63 light years away has winds which have reached a velocity of 8690 km per hour which is 20 times faster than that recorded on Earth, as per the first ever weather map of this planet. Weather system on the planet outside Earth’s solar system has been measured and mapped. Wind speed recorded is 7 times the speed of sound. On exoplanet HD 189733b, researchers measured the velocities on the two sides and found a strong wind moving at over 8,690kmph blowing from its dayside to its night side. The wind velocity was measured through high resolution spectroscopy of the Sodium absorption featured in its atmosphere.

▼ SMB, Mareech developed by DRDO released   [11-16-15]

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar dedicated the Seakeeping and Manoeuvring Basin as well as Advanced Torpedo Defence System Mareech developed by the DRDO for the Indian Navy. SMB facility is a one of its kind initiative set up as a collaboration between DRDO and Indian Navy. SMB will also help in constructing and designing state of the art naval combatants while the latter project is a state of the art indigenous system for torpedo detection and countermeasures. Two production grade Mareech systems have been developed so far.

▼ IITM researchers discover how to strengthen structures   [11-16-15]

A series of tests conducted on various kinds of concrete by the civil engineering department, IIT-M has found that proportion of byproducts such as fly ash and ground granulated blast furnace slag added to concrete mix can reinforce structures and make them more durable. The researchers have recommended that cement used for durable construction should be replaced with or contain 15% fly ash/30% slag along with low water content use in the concrete. Thermal power plants in the nation generate 200 million tonnes of fly ash within a year, yet only 30 million tonnes have been utilised.

▼ Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar launches Poseidon Eight India   [11-16-15]

Providing a boost to the firepower of the Indian Armed Forces, India’s defence minister dedicated Boeing P 8 I (Poseidon Eight India) Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft to the nation on 13th November 2015. The aircraft was unveiled at Southern India Naval Air Station, INS Rajali around 70 km off Chennai.P-8I aircraft is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft that Boeing developed as a replacement for the US Navy P-3 fleet. Indian Navy became the first global customer for this aircraft with a conclusion of a USD 2.1 billion contract with the US.

▼ American Space Agency NASA discovers cloud of frozen compounds on Titan   [11-16-15]

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has discovered a new could of frozen compounds in the stratosphere of the largest moon of Saturn, Titan. The cloud system has been found at the stratosphere’s lower part at an altitude of 200 km. It detected by Cassini's infrared instrument - the Composite Infrared Spectrometer/ CIRS - which obtains profiles of the atmosphere at invisible thermal wavelengths. The cloud has a low density like Earth’s fog and has a flat top. Each Titan season lasts for 7.5 earth years and the south pole of the moon will be covered by winter when the mission ends in 2017. Ice clouds at Titan's pole don't form in the same way as Earth's familiar rain clouds.

▼ Oldest known stars discovered in Milky Way   [11-16-15]

Scientists have discovered the oldest known stars at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy dating back to when the universe was 300 million years old. Stars are pure but contain material from an earlier star which died in the hypernova, an enormous explosion. The discovery of these 9 pure stars has changed theories about the environment of the early universe.

▼ GSAT 15 launched by European launch vehicle Ariane VA-227   [11-12-15]

GSAT 15 was launched on 11th November 2015. This spacecraft weighs around 3164 kgs and will replace INSAT 3A and 4B in the same orbital slot when they expire. This is India’s latest communication satellite. Its 24 transponders in Ku band will serve public and private DTH broadcasters apart from VSAT operators. The lone augmentation or GAGAN transponder in the L1 and L5 bands will ensure GPS based satellite navigation across the region. ISRO has indicated GSAT15 was put into space by European launch vehicle Ariane VA-227 which had ARABSAT 6B as the co passenger. Initial elliptical orbit was close to the intended one. GSAT-15 has cost over INR 850 crore inclusive of fees to European launch company Arianespace.

▼ Himalayas came about 47 million years ago: Scientists   [11-12-15]

Himalayas were born 47 million years ago after India and Eurasia smashed into each other. Scientists unearthed the first oceanic microplate in the Indian Ocean and stumbled across this discovery. Currently, there are close to 7 microplanes known in the Pacific Ocean. This is the first ancient microplate to be discovered in the Indian Ocean region. Radar beams from orbiting satellite have highlighted the age of the collision and the precise date has divided scientists for over a decade. Researchers have also made the discovery that crustal stresses caused by initial collision cracked the Antarctic Plate far away form the collisional zone and broke the fragment of a size equalling Australia’s Tasmania in a remote patch of the C. India Ocean. The microplate has been named Mamerickx Microplane after Jacqueline Mammerickx, a seafloor mapping pioneer. Mammerickx Microplate rotation is revealed through rotating pattern of grooves and hills turning the ocean topography into a jagged landscape called “abyssal hills”. These hills have recorded crustal stress indicating Himalayas came into being 47 million years ago.

▼ Google Maps goes offline   [11-12-15]

Google Maps has gone offline with an update for Android phones by 10th November. Users will now be able to search locations and obtain driving directions including voice prompts even if the internet connection is not working. A version for iPhones will soon be launched. This is an ideal feature for those who are indoors and looking for a certain location. Mapping apps on Windows phone have long had this feature.

▼ 3 educational portals launched   [11-10-15]

Union HRD Ministry has launched the e-Pathshala, Saaransh and Shaala Siddhi web portal and initiatives for hosting educational resources and providing evaluation instruments across schools as well as identifying areas of improvement respectively.

▼ Indian SFC successfully test fires Agni-IV missile   [11-10-15]

Indian Army’s Strategic Force Command on 9th November successfully test fired Agni IV missile. This is a surface to surface missile and the 4000 km range nuclear capable missile was test fired from Odisha’s Wheeler Island. Agni is 20 m long and 17 tonnes in weight. It carries a payload of 1 tonne has two stages of solid propulsion and a payload with re-entry heat shield. Developed by DRDO, it was earlier known as Agni II prime.

▼ Highly encrypted Army Cloud System launched   [11-10-15]

A highly encrypted Cloud System of India Army was inaugurated by defence minister Parrikar in line with the aim to be a digital army. Named Army cloud, it includes a central data centre, a near line data centre and a disaster recovery site for replication of critical data in line with virtualised serves and storage in an environmentally controlled complex. This is akin to Meghraj, the NIC cloud System. Another Digital Army initiative Digi Locker has also been launched.

▼ CISF launches new mobile app m-Power   [11-9-15]

CISF has launched new mobile application for troops enabling them to assess pay related queries and register grievances. This Android based app is called ‘m-Power’. This is an extended technology facility of the current computer facility for those who guard civil aviation , aerospace and nuclear power domain. This is the first stage of mobile based application which enables one touch access to information about locations and contact details of force units. This internet based app has been developed by the technical wing of the paramilitary and was launched by CISF DG Surender Singh.

▼ Astronomers discover rare gigantic galaxy J021659-044920   [11-9-15]

Astronomers working at National Centre for Radio Astrophysics have discovered a rare galaxy of massive size located close to 9 billion light years away. Such galaxies with extremely large 'radio size' are called giant radio galaxies or GRG. Galaxy was known by the name J021659-044920 discovered using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope led by IISER pune Scientist P. Tamhane.

▼ Chinese scientists decode Panda vocalisations    [11-9-15]

Scientists in China have discovered the meaning of as many as 13 different Panda vocalisations during a 5 year study of the language. They have studied the calls made while mating, when pandas are unhappy and how baby pandas indicate the are hungry. Scientists of China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda will now develop a Panda Translator using voice recognition software.

▼ Cotard’s Syndrome recognised as a disease of human health   [11-9-15]

Also called “Walking Corpse Syndrome”, this disorder is a condition where patients have the belief system that they are dead and/or do not exist. Any evidence to the contrary is explained away by them. This disorder has been recognised as a disease of human health under ICD though it has not been classified under DSM-V. French neurologist Jules Cotard discovered the first such case in 1800s.

▼ Endangered tree species taxus chinensis found in Hunan province   [11-6-15]

An endangered tree species more than 1,300 years old has been found during a census of ancient trees in central China's Hunan Province, in Shunhuangshan National Forest Park in Dong'an County in the city of Yongzhou. With a height of 35 m and diameter of 2.2 m, it is one of the oldest trees in the country and became extinct because taxol is extracted from it to treat cancer.

▼ Department of Telecom issues guidelines to liberalise 2G spectrum   [11-6-15]

DoPT has issued guidelines for liberalising 2G spectrum in that operators will be able to offer mobile services such as 4G using the same radio waves. "Existing CMTS/UAS/UL with access service authorisation licensees may liberalise their entire administratively allotted spectrum holding in 800 Mhz and 1800 Mhz band in a service area for the balance validity period of right to use spectrum," the guidelines indicated. This will benefit telecom operators like Reliance Communications, Aircel, Airtel and Vodafone.

▼ Astronomers discover largest galaxy cluster 8.5 billion light years away   [11-5-15]

Astronomers discovered a giant galaxy in the remote parts of the universe said to be the most massive structure found 8.5 billion light years away. This cluster was spotted using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). These clusters are galaxies bound together by gravity. As they acquire new members, clusters increase in size over time. The galaxy cluster called Massive Overdense Object (MOO) J1142+1527 was present 8.5 billion years ago, long before Earth was formed.

▼ A new species of Dracula ant discovered in Kerala   [11-5-15]

A new species of the Dracula ant of the Stigmatomma group of predaceous ants has been discovered by citizen scientists in Kerala. This first photographic record of the ant was compiled by Manoj Vembayam, Kalesh Sadasivan and Vinay Krishnan, members of the TNHS Ant Research Group, a wing of the Travancore Natural History Society. This species is known as Dracula because it feeds on its own larvae at the time of scarcity and this species is known to have a hypogaeic lifestyle as predators of chilopods.Three of these ant species have earlier been discovered in WB, HP and Karnataka.

▼ ISS turns 15, NASA celebrates event   [11-4-15]

The International Space Station turned 15 on November 2nd and NASA celebrated the event with an amazing musical video detailing facts about the lab station and explaining the logistics of the station. Close to 200 persons have lived on the space station since its inception in 2000. Close to 1700 science experiments have been conducted on the lab.

▼ Honey bees turn aggressive depending on who raised them: Scientists   [11-4-15]

University of Illinois researchers have found that honey bees are tuned into the social culture of the hive as larvae depending on who has raised them. The researchers studied young bees weeks away from adulthood. The scientists cross fostered adult bees from gentle to more aggressive colonies and vice versa and measured their gene expression. The bees were found to have a complex pattern of gene expression influenced by personal genetic identity and environment of the colony they reside in.

▼ Internet major Google launches Project Ballon   [11-3-15]

Internet major Google has worked with the government of India for a pilot project for providing internet connectivity under Project Ballon. Google is using big ballons at the height of 20 km above Earth’s surface for transmission of internet services. This type of technology has also been tested in Brazil, US and New Zealand. According to Google, each balloon can provide connectivity to ground area about 40 km in diameter through wireless communications technology named LTE or 4G.

▼ NASA explores mystery behind pattern formations in Kazakhstan   [11-3-15]

These huge formations called Steppe Geogylphs are a step towards understanding how early humans lived. There are 260 such designs carved into the ground and made into piles of earth assembling into shapes such as rings, squares and swastika shapes, the oldest of which are 8,000 years old. Patterns were first spotted in 2007. Some speculate a possible link of these patterns to solar observations akin to Stonehenge.

▼ Scientists identify cGAS enzyme as major cause of autoimmune diseases   [11-3-15]

Inhibition of enzyme cGAS will be effective therapy for autoimmune diseases such as SLE and AGS linked to the same inflammatory pathway. The immune system turns against the body rather than protecting it in these diseases. Scientists have said that cGAS enzyme’s activation plays a key role in these diseases. Researchers also found legal autoimmunity as a result of inability to degrade lysosomal DNA through lack of DNA digesting enzyme referred to as DNase-II.

▼ Scientists invent battery to power movement across distances on a single charge   [11-3-15]

Scientists have made a breakthrough in Cambridge University for solving issues pertaining to the battery that can enable a car to drive from London to Edinburgh on a single charge. The team has overcome obstacles in the development of lithium air batteries which have the ability to store 10 times more energy than lithium ion batteries. Till now, unwanted chemical reactions and problems associated with lithium air batteries had created an issue.

▼ India launches BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile   [11-3-15]

India has test fired BrahMos Supersonis Cruise Missile from INS Kochi off the west coast on 1st November 2015 in a 49th test firing and it successfully destroyed target ship Alleppey which was stationed 290 km away, the missile’s full range. INS Kochi is the latest stealth destroyer of the nation. It was inducted into the navy in September 2015. This ship can carry a total of 16 BrahMos Missiles. This missile is the first supersonic cruise version known to be in service and can carry conventional and nuclear warhead of 300 kg. It can be launched from land, sea, sub sea and air.

▼ Researchers identify gene variation implicated in obesity   [11-2-15]

NICHD Researchers have found that single variation in BDNF/ Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor predisposes persons to obesity by lowering levels of BDNF, a protein regulator of appetite in the human brain. Researchers also found that raising BDNF protein levels may offer a therapeutic strategy for people with the genetic variation, which tends to occur more frequently in African Americans and Hispanics, than in non-Hispanic Caucasians. BDNF plays a role in feeling of satiation and they have identified an area of the gene where single change has lowered BDNF levels within the hypothalamus. Genetic changes are a variation that take place in the general population. There are 2 copies, or alleles, of each gene, inheriting one copy from each parent. Overall, the study suggests that the C allele of the BDNF gene may be linked to obesity in people.

▼ British archeologists discover 6000 year old eco home    [11-2-15]

British archeologists have discovered an eco home which is 6,000 years old close to the prehistoric Stonehenge monument. This shelter at Blick Mead was used from 4336 BC for a period of 90 year. It dates back to 4336BC to 4246BC, making it about 6,000 years old. Archaeologists are looking to discover clues about the ancient stone circle through this latest discovery.

▼ Researchers have identified new Pliobates cataloniae species of ape   [11-2-15]

Before the evolutionary great split of humans/great apes or hominids and gibbons 11.6 million years ago, a new genus and species of small ape called Pliobates cataloniae was found to have roamed earth 11.6 million years ago. This species has important implications for creating the last common ancestor of the two groups namely the living hominids. This fossil discovery provides the clue to the missing link at the start of ape and human history.New evidence reveals large and small apes may have co-existed since hominoids originated. Discovery filled a gap in fossil record providing researchers information about evolution of apes. The partial skeleton was discovered in Barcelona, Abocador de Can Mata, in 2011. It was composed of 70 fossil remains and scientists concluded the fossil remains belong to an adult female that weighed between 9 and 11 pounds.