Science Technology Summary: April 2019 – May 2019
IAF- ISRO MoU
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for astronaut selection and training for ambitious Gaganyaan Programme, scheduled for 2022.
ISRO announces Seven Mega Missions
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced its planned seven mega missions which will be conducted over a period of next 10 years. These include:
- Chandrayaan -2: Scheduled July 2019,
- Defined Missions:
- XPoSat (2020): or the X-ray Polarimeter Satellite, will study polarisation
- Aditya-L1 mission (2021): To study solar corona
- Undefined missions, which are in the planning stage, are:
- Mangalyaan-2: in 2022
- Venus mission: in 2023
- Lunar Polar Exploration: or Chandrayaan-3 in 2024
- Exoworlds: Exploration outside the solar system in 2028.
ISRO Chairman Dr K. Sivan inaugurated ISRO’s Young Scientist Programme called ‘Yuvika 2019’ at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
Yuvika or ‘YUva VIgyani KAryakram’ 2019 is a two week (14 days) summer vacation residential training programme, which will be conducted by ISRO from 13 May to 26 May 2019. It was launched by ISRO in tune with the Centre government’s vision of Jai Vigyan Jai Anusandhan. It is being held for the very first time.
The program aims to get young school children interested in emerging areas of space science, space technology and various space applications by imparting basic knowledge about it. It also seeks to inculcate scientific temper in students.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched an electronic intelligence satellite – Emisat for the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) along with 28 third party satellites.
My Circle App
Bharti Airtel launched my Circle App, in collaboration with FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO). My Circle app aims to help women in case they face any problem or a panic situation. The app enables women to send SOS alerts to any five of their family or friends in 13 languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Assamese, Oriya, and Gujarati.
Cheaper Haemophilia A Test
Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) National Institute of Immunohaematology (in Mumbai) has developed a cost-effective Point-of-Care (POC) rapid diagnostic test for severe genetic disorders Haemophilia A (also called factor VIII (FVIII)) and Von Willebrand Disease (VWD).
Asiatic Lion Genome Sequenced
The scientists from Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s (CSIR)-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, for the first time sequenced the entire genome of Asiatic lion. The population of Asiatic lion, an endangered species is very low. At present only 523 animals are found in the Gir forests in Gujarat.
The genome sequencing of Asiatic lions would enable scientists to better understand their evolution. Genome study which will identifying characteristics which are specific to Asiatic lions will enable better population and disease management of endangered big cat
South Korea launched the world’s first nationwide 5G mobile networks on 11 pm April 3, 2019. Three top telecom providers SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus launched the 5G services.
5G will provide smartphones with near-instantaneous connectivity, 20 times faster than 4G. 5G networks will operate in a high-frequency band between 28 GHz and 60 GHz. This range is known as the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum and the sub-6 GHz range that LTE calls home will also be used. As a result, a lot of bandwidth will be available to users.
Researchers in the Philippines have discovered a species of ancient human Homo Luzonensis which was previously unknown to science. Homo Luzonensis lived on the island of Luzon at least 50,000 to 67,000 years ago.
Scientists from the University of Edinburgh of Scotland using powerful computer simulations have discovered the existence of the state known as the chain-melted state. At the chain-melted state, atoms are both solid and liquid at the same time.
The world’s largest aircraft ROC, developed by aerospace venture Stratolaunch has successfully completed its first flight test.
World’s first privately funded lunar Mission Beresheet crashed on the Moon. Beresheet crashed during a landing attempt. It was an Israeli mission launched by a partnership between nonprofit SpaceIL and government-owned aerospace company Israel Aerospace Industries. It is said that the spacecraft had problems with its main engine during its descent that left it unable to slow down in time before it smashed into the lunar surface.
3-D printed Heart
Researchers from the Tel Aviv University, Israel have printed the world’s first 3D vascularised engineered heart using a patient’s own cells and biological materials.
Oil eating Bacteria
Scientists from Ocean University in Qingdao, China and the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England have discovered a bacteria that eats oil. The expedition was organised by marine explorer and film director James Cameron.
African Nation, Malawi will be undertaking large scale pilot tests for the world’s most advanced experimental malaria vaccine in a bid to prevent the disease that kills hundreds of thousands across Africa and Asia every year.
The vaccine has been named RTS,S (trade name Mosquirix).
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched ‘MERA (Malaria Elimination Research Alliance) India with aim of eliminating Malaria from India by 2030. It is a collective group of partners working on malaria control. It was launched on occasion of World Malaria Day 2019 (Observed on 25 April).