[Revision] Science-Tech Highlight from The Hindu 2011 G to N (Part II)

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Pavan Kumar

Click Me if you didnot see Part I. Now continuing from where I had left…

  1. Gagan
  2. Nasa’s glory spacecraft
  3. Graphene
  4. Heartbeats
  5. Robot
  6. Bee colony
  7. Supercomputer
  8. Stem cell
  9. Earthquakes
  10. Power project
  11. Microwave
  12. CRT monitor flickering
  13. Moon ownership
  14. Nanotech for water filtering
  15. NICRA
  16. Ndm-1

 

Gagan

  • GPS aided geo augmented navigation’ (gagan), a joint effort by the indian space research organisation and the airports authority of india.
  • To help pilots land their aircraft in bad weather and poor visibility, several airports in the country are equipped with ground-based instrument landing systems (ils).
  • When two strains of bird flu infect the same host, they can readily swap genes, a process known as reassortment. The 2009 h1n1 pandemic virus was itself a triple reassortant, with its genes drawn from bird, human and animal strains.
  • This mix of genes created a virus that readily infected humans, was easily transmitted from one person to another, and to which most people had no immunity.

Nasa’s glory spacecraft

  • Data from the glory mission will allow scientists to better understand how the sun and tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols affect earth’s climate.
  • The taurus xl also carries the first of nasa’s educational launch of nanosatellite missions. This auxiliary payload contains three small satellites called cubesats, which were designed and created by university and college students.

Graphene

  • The world’s thinnest and toughest material, could spur the development of next generation computer chips, besides revolutionising materials science.
  • Its amazing properties open the way to bendable touch screen phones and computers, lighter aircraft, paper thin hd tv sets and lightning-quick net connections, and more.
  • Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, whose discoverers shared the 2010 nobel prize for physics for work on the material.
  • Why does graphite conduct electricity but diamond doesn’t, though both are made of carbon?
  • Whether a substance is an electrical conductor or not is not decided by the type of atoms or the kind of element or compound alone but is by the way the atoms of an element or molecules of a compound are joined together to form a condensed matter (liquids and solids). Such a formation should allow passage of electrons from one end to the other
  • Haemoglobin a1c (hba1c) test has become the preferred way to diagnose diabetes among the millions of americans who have diabetes but show no symptoms. The simple test measures longer -term blood sugar levels — without requiring patients to fast overnight.

Heartbeats

  • As a general rule a heart rate between 60 and 100 is considered normal.  The heart is a pump. It pumps blood into the system at about 72 times pm. In other words to keep the system adequately supplied with blood, the heart has to work around 72 times a minute.
  • Heart has two sides, the right and the left. The right side pumps blood to the lungs and the left side to the various parts of the body through the aorta, the largest artery.
  • The output of the heart per minute is called the cardiac output (co). Co = sv x hr and is about 5 litres per minute in a resting man.
  • That is, when at rest, about 5 litres of blood is necessary and enough every minute. The demand for blood will naturally rise in an exercising man.
  • In an exercising man the heart beats at a higher rate, with more force and deals with more blood than in a resting man.
  • As a result the heart becomes stronger and increased in efficiency. In course of time it learns to pump more blood per beat; that is the stroke volume increases. Such a heart can pump 5 litres of blood in less number of beats.
  • Thus, in the case of an athlete the heart is able meet the target with less number of beats per minute. What a non-athlete’s heart achieves with 72 beats an athlete’s heart can manage with 60 beats.
  • In comparison to a non-athlete, an athlete’s heart may beat at a slower rate by virtue of his emotional stability. But as the stroke volume is more, it will not affect the blood supply to the system

Robot

  • Honda’s human-shaped robot can now run faster
  • Asimo, first shown in 2000, had been of little practical use so far, proving to be nothing more than a glorified toy and cute showcase for the honda motor co. Brand
  • Asimo’s technology was used to develop a robotic arm in just six months with the intention of helping with the nuclear crisis in northeastern japan.
  • The mechanical arm can open and close valves at fukushima dai -ichi nuclear power plant, which went into meltdown after the march tsunami, according to honda.

Bee colony

  • Have a single queen (fertile female), few hundreds of drones (males) and thousands of worker bees (unfertile female).
  • Worker bees, three weeks after emergence, visit flowers. During this visit, the entire body of bees gets smeared with pollen.
  • Apart from pollen, bees collect nectar from flowers and store them in their stomach (crop). Honeybee stomach is technically called crop
  • Bees, when they return to hive, vomit (regurgitate) the stomach contents into the comb cells meant for that
  • How best to measure a kilogram
  • At present, this unit is defined by a lump of platinum cast in 1879 and located in a safe at the office of the international committee on weights and measures in paris.
  • Before 1889, the metre was judged to be one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the north pole.
  • Iceland’s capital city is reykjavik.

Supercomputer

  • Fastest supercomputer with a computing speed of 2.7 petaflops is said to be in china.
  • Petaflop is 1,000 trillion sustained floating-point operations per second.
  • One exaflop is 1,000 times faster than a petaflop — performing 1 million trillion calculations per second.
  • Maitri, india’s second permanent research station on the antarctica

Stem cell

  • Usa -in several states, abortion is illegal. Indeed the issue of a woman’s right to abortion went all the way up to the nation’s supreme court in the year 1973, and its landmark judgment gave a woman the right to terminate her pregnancy in the first trimester as a constitutional right.
  • The unborn child is not legally classified as a person; the u.s. Supreme court also noted then that “if the “personhood” of the preborn is established, then the case for the right to abortion collapses, because the foetus’s right to life is then guaranteed specifically in the constitution”.
  • The debate thus turns to the issue of “is a foetus a person”.
  • George w. Bush stopped the u.s. Federal government funding for research involving human embryonic stem cells, on the ground that since it can give rise to a human, we should not be tinkering with it, since that would be equivalent to man playing god
  • What then is a person?
  • French thinker rene descartes insisted on thinking or cognition as a must, stating “je pense donc je suis” (or “cogito ergo sum” in latin, or “i think, therefore i am” in english).

Earthquakes

  • New zealand sits on the ‘pacific ring of fire’, a vast zone of seismic and volcanic activity stretching from chile on one side to japan and indonesia on the other.
  • Wellington has always been considered much more at risk because it straddles the plate boundary.
  • A place called l’aquila in italy, which suffered an earthquake on april 5, 2009, causing large scale damage to property
  • Astrono mical units (au, the distance from the sun to earth)

Power project

  • Koodunkulam to add 2000 mwe to grid of the 2000 mwe power to be generated by kudankulam nuclear power project units 1 and 2, the allocation of power to tamil nadu is 925 mwe. State’s industrialisation plans will be hit if project is reversed

Microwave

  • When we heat a cup of water in a microwave oven why is the upper part hotter than the lower part?
  • Substances, with polar molecules such as water, alcohols, oils, etc, absorb microwave radiation to elevate the rotational movements of their molecules. When foodstuffs to be cooked by microwave oven are kept in this kind of kettle, the majori ty of the microwave power reaches the water and tends to hasten the molecular rotations
  • When we heat a cup of water alone in a microwave oven, the water gets all the microwave energy and becomes hot. But the upper part of the water is hotter than the lo wer part because
  • Hot water moves to upper regions of the container because its density is less than normal water’s. Therefore, as and when water is getting heated, the hot water moves upward due to lower density through convection
  • As the cup of water kept in microwave oven is hardly stirred, the temperature gradient is more obvious.
  • It is by the combined effect of uneven distribution of microwave energy and differential densities of hot and cold water that the upper part is hotter than the lower part when we heat a cup of water in a microwave oven.

CRT monitor flickering

  • Why does a crt monitor flicker when shot with a digital camera?
  • Working of crt is based on a principle called scintillation. In simple words, scintillation is the process by which some atoms emit light when they are excited by ionized or charged particles (typically electrons)
  • In a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, there are 1024 x 768 = 7,86,432 electrons involved to display one static flash of image.
  • When a camera snaps a picture (or covers a video) there may be some particles which do not emit light during the short time gap when the shutter opens and closes (in videos between intervals when light is sampled, called as frame rate). This causes loss of light in those areas or pixels, which we refer to as flickering

Moon ownership

  • 1967 outer space treaty makes it clear that the lunar surface has no owner.
  • Nasa is expected to come up with a set of “recommendations” for spacecraft and astronauts visiting the “u.s. Government property on the moon.”
  • Despite the lack of ownership, nasa is hopeful that other countries will respect the u.s. Sentiments. Incidentally, the restriction list contains more than the historical sites. For instance, the list includes studying discarded food and abandoned astronaut faeces.
  • For example, studying the discarded food will reveal the viability of bacteria on the moon and, if present, how they have mutated and survived after years of exposure to solar radiation.

Nanotech for water filtering

  • Both water molecules and bugs are so tiny that they are measured by the nanometre, 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.but at the microscopic level, the two actually differ greatly in size.  A single water molecule is less than a nanometre wide, while some of the littlest bugs are 200 nanometres.
  • New nanotechnology is likely to make drinking water a lot more safer and keep infections at bay by filtering out deadly bugs at the source.
  • Nanomembrane containing pores about 55 nm wide, large enough for water to slip through, but too small for bacteria

NICRA

  • National initiative on climate resilient agriculture (nicra) project was launched
  • Nicra has been promoted in the xi five year plan by icar
  • This project is being implemented in 100 districts in india
  • The project aims to enhance the resilience of agriculture
  • Manually operated weather station to record daily rainfall, minimum and maximum temperature, relative humidity and wind speed.
  • Stocking of fish fry in temporary water ponds.
  • Artificial insemination centre for cows and buffaloes. Improved water harvesting structure

Ndm-1

  • Gram-negative bacterial strains with ndm-1 (new delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1) gene, also called the superbug,
  • The lancet infectious diseases journal. The ndm-1 gene enables gram-negative bacterial strains to become resistant to carbapenem, a powerful antibiotic.
  • People living in the northern hemisphere have bigger brains than those staying near the equator, says a study
  • This is because living in low light conditions means the eyes and brain need to work harder in order to process images to a good level of detail, or “high resolution”
  • As you move away from equator, there’s less light available, so humans have had to evolve bigger and bigger eyes. Their brains also need to be bigger to deal with the extra visual input. Having bigger brains doesn’t mean that they are smarter, it just means they need bigger brains to see well where they live.

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14 Comments on “[Revision] Science-Tech Highlight from The Hindu 2011 G to N (Part II)”

  1. thank u….gr8 job…

  2. thanks. can you upload more like this on technology like led and lcd,

  3. GLORY satellite was lost on March 4, 2011, when its Taurus XL carrier rocket malfunctioned

  4. Fastest supercomputer with a computing speed of 10 petaflops is said to be in Japan (K computer)

  5. Pingback: [Analysis] CSAT Paper I (General Studies) 2012 « Mrunal

  6. Pingback: [Revision] Science-Tech Highlight from The Hindu 2011 OtoZ (Part III, The End) « Mrunal

  7. thanx alot

    than

    x alot…..

  8. this is some very good work you are doing here. Keep up the service.

  9. sir it is very important to the compatative student

  10. It’s really useful

  11. Valuable information

  12. Maitri is the older operational base since 1989. Bharati is the second base commissioned in 2012.

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