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NASA Scientist for first time sequences DNA in Space


NASA has successfully conducted the first genome sequencing in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The ability to sequence the DNA of living organisms in space opens a whole new world of scientific and medical possibilities, NASA said.
For the first time ever, DNA was successfully sequenced in microgravity as part of the Biomolecule Sequencer experiment performed by NASA astronaut Kate Rubins.
With a way to sequence DNA in space, astronauts could diagnose an illness, or identify microbes growing in the ISS and determine whether or not they represent a health threat, NASA said.
A space-based DNA sequencer would be an important tool to help protect astronaut health during long duration missions on the journey to Mars, and future explorers could also potentially use the technology to identify DNA-based life forms beyond Earth.

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Mahindra Unveils DiGiSENSE Platform to Track Vehicle Information

Automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) has introduced DiGiSENSE, a cloud based technology solution to track vehicle information in real time. 
•    With this, Mahindra has become the first OEM (original equipment manufacturer) in India to integrate its product line-up onto a cloud-based technology platform.
•    DiGiSENSE by its digitally-enabled sensing connects Mahindra range of pick up vehicles, tractors, trucks and construction equipment to the cloud. 
•    It will enable vehicle owners to have complete information on the location and usage their assets round-the-clock on their mobile phones. 
•    This inbuilt technology solution has been jointly developed in India in association with Tech Mahindra, Bosch India and Vodafone. 
•    DiGiSENSE allows vehicle owner to monitor the performance and location of vehicles, including the quantity of fuel used by the vehicles on real time basis. 
•    The key features include delivery tracking and route planning, vehicle utilisation reports, trip optimisation, alerts and machine hour operations and geo-fencing to prevent unauthorised use of the asset and theft.
 

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ISRO Successfully Tested Scramjet Engine

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 28 August 2016 successfully test launched the Supersonic Combustion Ramjet engine, called Scramjet, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta in Andhra Pradesh.
•    The experimental mission aimed at realisation of an Air Breathing Propulsion System (ABPS) uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen from the atmosphere air as the oxidiser.
•    Two scramjet engines were mounted alongside of a two-stage, solid fueled rocket called Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), which is an advanced sounding rocket. The national space agency said that its first ever experimental mission met all the specified goals. The rocket carrying Scramjet engines weighed 3277 kg at lift-off.
•    After a flight of about 300 seconds, the vehicle touched down in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 320 km from Sriharikota. The vehicle was successfully tracked during its flight from the ground stations at Sriharikota.
•    With this success, India joined the select league of four space faring nations that have demonstrated flight testing of Scramjet engines.
•    A scramjet (supersonic combusting ramjet) is a variant of a ramjet air breathing jet engine in which combustion takes place in supersonic airflow.
•    The scramjet engine is used only during the atmospheric phase of the rocket’s flight.
•    It uses hydrogen as fuel and the oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidizer.
 

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Japanese Scientists Detect Rare Deep-Earth Tremor S-wave Microseism

Scientists in Japan studying earthquakes for the first time have detected a rare deep-Earth tremor, known as an S (secondary) wave microseism. 
•    Microseisms are very faint tremors. 
•    The detection was made by scientists from the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention in Japan. 
•    The rare deep-Earth tremor S wave microseism was detected for the first time and traced its location to a distant and powerful storm. 
•    The storm in the North Atlantic known as a weather bomb which was a small but potent storm that gains punch as pressure quickly mounts. 
•    During the storm, groups of waves had sloshed and pounded the ocean floor which struck between Greenland and Iceland. 
•    Using seismic equipment on land and on the seafloor researchers found a tremor known as an S wave microseism. 
•    S wave Microseisms are very faint tremors compared to P (primary) wave microseisms and they occur in the 0.05 to 0.5 Hz frequency range. 
 

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Japanese scientists detect rare deep-Earth tremor S wave microseism

Scientists in Japan studying earthquakes for the first time have detected a rare deep-Earth tremor, known as an S (secondary) wave microseism. 
•    Microseisms are very faint tremors. 
•    The detection was made by scientists from the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention in Japan. 
•    The rare deep-Earth tremor S wave microseism was detected for the first time and traced its location to a distant and powerful storm. 
•    The storm in the North Atlantic known as a weather bomb which was a small but potent storm that gains punch as pressure quickly mounts. 
•    During the storm, groups of waves had sloshed and pounded the ocean floor which struck between Greenland and Iceland. 
•    Using seismic equipment on land and on the seafloor researchers found a tremor known as an S wave microseism. 
•    S wave Microseisms are very faint tremors compared to P (primary) wave microseisms and they occur in the 0.05 to 0.5 Hz frequency range. 

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World’s first self-driving taxis launched in Singapore

World's first self-driving taxi service was on 25 August 2016 launched in Singapore. With this, Singapore became the first
country in the world to launch such service, beating Uber Technologies Inc by mere days to public road tests of a
technology that could revolutionize the transport industry.
•    The trial, although small, illustrates how intense the global race to develop autonomous driving vehicles has
become.
•    Singapore based nuTonomy began testing a free taxi-hailing service in a small business district in Singapore called
one-north, a campus-like space dominated by tech firms and biotechnology companies. 
•    The trial was given the approval of the Singapore government, which has long sought to turn the city-state into a
hub for disruptive technology through firms like nuTonomy.
•    NuTonomy’s test vehicles, a Renault Zoe and Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car, will have a computer engineer and
backup human driver during the trial phase in case anything goes wrong.
•    These vehicles can be hailed by select members of the public using a smartphone app. 
•    The company will also test its vehicles on a 6 kilometer (3.7 mile) route.
 

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World's first leprosy vaccine developed in India

GP Talwar, the first Director of the National Institute of Immunology, has developed the world’s first leprosy vaccine. 
•    A pilot run of the indigenous vaccine will be conducted in Bihar and Gujarat in a few weeks, and the government has already started screening people for the disease in high-prevalence districts. 
•    According to research data, leprosy affected 1.27 lakh Indians in 2013-14.
•    Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Union Health Minister, added that a vaccination programm will be implemented in high-prevalence districts across the country if the pilot phase is successful. 
•    The government had begun screening in 50 high prevalence districts and the next phase will cover 165 endemic districts including Erode. 
•    About 7.5 crore people have been screened, out of which 5,000 were diagnosed with leprosy.
•    According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, leprosy affected 1.27 lakh Indians from 2013-14. Let’s hope that this novel invention creates awareness about this disease across India.
 

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CSMCRI developed photocatalyst that can completely degrade three industrial dyes in the presence of sunlight.

Researchers from the Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavanagar, Gujarat have developed photo catalyst that can completely degrade three industrial dyes in the presence of sunlight. 
•    This photo catalyst is able to completely degrade three industrial dyes — methyl orange, methylene blue and reactive black-5. 
•    The photo catalyst was developed using titanium dioxide doped with red seaweed polymer carrageen an (a substance extracted from purple and red seaweeds). 
•    So the researchers from CSMCRI doped titanium dioxide nano particles with sulphur and carbon by treating it with carrageen an.
•    The nano composite was found to behave as an excellent photo catalyst that degraded the industrial dyes quickly in a single-step process. 
•    The nano composite photo catalyst is thermally stable. It can be reused up to 6 times with the degradation efficiency remaining at over 97%. 
 

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Mr. Narendra Modi and Putin launch Unit 1 of Kundankulam Nuclear Plant

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on 10 August 2016 dedicated Unit 1 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to the nation.
•    Besides, PM Modi announced that five more reactors of 1000 megawatt each will come up in the same location.
•    The reactors are being built jointly by Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Atomstroy export company, a subsidiary of Rosatom (the regulatory body of the Russian nuclear complex).
•    The power plant is updated with most modern Russian technologies.
•    The first reactor of the plant attained criticality on 13 July 2013 at 11:05 P.M.
•    Unit 1 was operating at 73% capacity by April 2014.
•    Unit 1 attained its maximum capacity of 1000 MWe at 1:20 P.M. on 7 June 2014.
•    It started commercial operation from 31 December 2014.
•    Almost 85 per cent of the funding of the project has come from the State loan of the Russian Federation.

Government Job Preparation and Test Series

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Researchers in India discovered endosulphan responsible for DNA damage

Indian researchers, for the first time, have found that endosulfan, an organochlorine pesticide, causes DNA damages in animals. 
•    The results were published on 4 August 2016 in the journal, Carcinogenesis.
•    Mice and rats exposed to endosulfan generated reactive oxygen species, a potent DNA damaging agent.
•    The reactive oxygen species, in turn, caused DNA damage in the form of breaks in DNA strands.
•    Five animals per group were studied and the experiment was repeated many times.
•    Three different concentrations of endosulfan were tested on animals and four doses of each concentration were given at 24 hours interval.
•    Lungs and testes of the animals were used for the study. These two organs show very proficient DNA repair mechanism.
•    Endosulfan is an off-patent organ chlorine insecticide.
•    Endosulfan sulfate is a product of oxidation containing one extra O atom attached to the S atom.
•    The ban took effect in mid-2012, with certain uses exempted for five additional years.
•    It is still used extensively in India, China, and a few other countries.
•    It is produced by Makhteshim Agan and several manufacturers in India and China.
 

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