Academic research is necessary, but not sufficient
By, R.B. Grover is Emeritus Professor, Homi Bhabha National Institute, and Member, Atomic Energy Commissioncan be done at higher education institutions and large laboratories.
Pursuing AR and PAR
Why is it that industries that have high technology intensity, such as aircraft and spacecraft, medical, precision and optical instruments, and communication equipment, have a low presence in India?
What should be done to increase value addition to raw materials in India?
National Cancer Grid
International Agency for Research on Cancer
National Digital Health Mission
What is National Digital Health Mission?
National Digital Health Mission: Key Features
How will Health ID cards work?
SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity prevents recurrent severe COVID-19 disease
Limitations of the Study
African Swine Fever (ASF)
Poor access to abortion drugs
Medical Abortion Drugs
Reasons for shortage:
‘Mega labs’ to boost COVID-19 testing
What is Next Generation Sequencing ?
‘Mega labs’ to boost COVID-19 testing
What is Next Generation Sequencing ?
Instrument Landing System (ILS)
Space X Capsule Returns
GS-Paper-3 Space (PT-MAINS)
Recently, two National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have returned to earth in their SpaceX Dragon capsule named Endeavour, in less than a day after departing the International Space Station (ISS). Their capsule parachuted into the Gulf of Mexico about 40 miles off the coast of Pensacola, Florida Panhandle (USA), which was one of the approximate locations.
Space X Crew Dragon:
Covishield: 2nd – 3rd Phase trails
Recently, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given approval to the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune to conduct Phase II/III clinical trials of Covishield in India. SII is the world’s largest maker of vaccines and it has a tie-up with AstraZeneca, the Swedish-British pharma giant, to manufacture the Covid-19 vaccine for low- and middle-income countries.
Background: The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) for Covid-19 related therapies of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) felt that the SII needed to take a ‘pan India’ approach while considering trial sites.
Current Trend in India: India continues to improve the Case Fatality Rate (CFR-number of deaths per positive case) and maintain its global position of having one of the lowest Covid-19 fatalities rates. The current CFR is 2.11%.
Grand Challenges India Programm
National Biopharma Mission
Why we need COVAX
Objectives of COVAX:
Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN)
China’s administration has officially commissioned BeiDou Navigation Satellite System constellation. It was initiated in 1994. It aims to integrate its application in different sectors, including fishery, agriculture, special care, mass-market applications, forestry and public security.
It now offers services including accurate positioning, navigation and timing as well as short message communication. BeiDou uses a network of satellites and can provide positional accuracies of under 10 meters, whereas GPS provides positioning accuracies of under 2.2 meters. Chinese military has employed Beidou-guided conventional strike weapons to counter a US intervention in a potential contingency, if access to GPS is denied.
Navigation Systems of other countries are as follows
Yellow fever is caused by a virus that is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. These mosquitoes thrive in and near human habitations where they breed in even the cleanest water.
It is endemic in 34 countries in the sub-Saharan African region, despite the existence of a vaccine for the disease. There are three transmission ‘cycles’ for the disease in Africa - Urban, zoonotic and intermediate.
The urban cycle mediated by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is responsible for explosive outbreaks. According to new study the disease is projected to shift to Central and East Africa from West Africa by 2050. The study also highlighted that vaccination is the most important and effective measure against yellow fever.
Aspirin to Prevent Cataract
Recently, scientists from the Institute of Nano Science & Technology (INST) have developed nanorods from the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) Aspirin to prevent cataracts in an economical and less complicated way.
Usage of Aspirin:
Aspirin nanorods due to their nano-size are expected to enhance bioavailability, improve drug loading, lower toxicity, etc. Hence, the delivery of the aspirin nanorods as eye drops is going to serve as an effective and viable option to treat cataract non-invasively. It is easy to use and a low-cost alternative nonsurgical treatment method and will benefit patients in developing countries who cannot access expensive cataract treatments and surgeries.
Antibiotic Use in Dairy Sector
GS-PAPER-3 Health (Mains)
Recently, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) held an online meeting on antibiotic use in the dairy sector. The meeting was attended by experts from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying), the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, (CDSCO) etc. The meeting highlighted that the milk sold directly to consumers and the processed milk sold in packets are not tested and stay largely unchecked for antibiotic residues.
Inadequate Focus on Testing: There is an inadequate focus on testing for antibiotic residues in the milk collected by State federations, which process it and sell it as packaged milk.
Easy Availability: The antibiotics are easily available without the prescription of a registered veterinarian and stocked at farms.
Antibiotic resistance analysis (RS TV)
GS-PAPER-3 Health (PT-MAINS)
Antibiotics are life saving medicines. But these very same medicines can threaten our lives, if used indiscriminately. Already, seven lakh people around the world die due to drug-resistant diseases each year. And if no radical changes are made, these drug-resistant diseases could kill 10 million people a year by 2050.
It is an online tool aimed at guiding policy-makers and health workers to use antibiotics safely and more effectively.
The tool, known as ‘AWaRe’, classifies antibiotics into three groups:
What is antibiotic resistance?
Antibiotics are medicine used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Antibiotic Resistance refers to resistance developed by bacteria against antibiotics or the ability of bacteria to mutate or change so as to resist the effects of antibiotics. The more we use them, and the more we abuse them, the less effective they become.
Antibiotics are unquestionably useful against bacterial infections. However, indiscriminate use has resulted in development of resistance in patients with bacterial infections thereby leading to long lasting illnesses.
Thanks to that annoying thing called evolution, bacteria are constantly adapting to counter-attack antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant threats to patients’ safety. It is driven by overusing antibiotics and prescribing them inappropriately.
Therefore, rational use of antibiotics is essential in order to minimize antibiotic resistance.
Antimicrobial Resistance in India
AMR is of particular concern in developing nations, including India, where the burden of infectious disease is high and healthcare spending is low. The country has among the highest bacterial disease burden in the world. Antibiotics, therefore, have a critical role in limiting morbidity and mortality in the country. The 2015 WHO multi-country survey revealed widespread public misunderstanding about antibiotic usage and resistance.
This tussle — between increasing antibiotic use among those who really need them, and decreasing misuse among the irresponsible — has kept India from imposing blanket bans on the non-prescription sale of these drugs.
When policymakers did propose such a ban in 2011, it was met with strong opposition. Instead, India turned to fine-edged tools such as the Schedule H1, a list of 24 critical antibiotics such as cephalosporins and carbapenems, whose sale is tightly controlled.
How can we prevent antibiotic resistant infections?
It is important to understand that, although they are very useful drugs, antibiotics designed for bacterial infections are not useful for viral infections such as a cold, cough, or the flu.
Why is antibiotic resistance one of the biggest health challenges:-
Excessive use of medicines in poultry:-
Unregulated sale of the drugs for human or animal use accessed without prescriptionor diagnosis has led to unchecked consumption and misuse. Of tested birds destined for meat consumption, 87% had the super germs based on a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
The mutated robust microbe strain can invade the body and cause diseases that are difficult to treat. Even mild infections require stronger dosage. Annual healthcare cost due to antibiotic resistanceis estimated to be as high as $20 billion, with an additional productivity loss of up to $35 billion in the US.
Poultry:- Ban the use of antibiotics for growth promotion and mass disease prevention. It should only be used to cure the sick animals based on prescription of veterinarians. There is a need to introduce a labelling system wherein poultry raised without use of antibiotics should be labelled through reliable certified schemes to facilitate consumer choice.
Rationalizing antibiotic use to limit antibiotic resistance in India. Improving regulation of drug production and sale. Encouraging behavior change among doctors and patients are of immediate priority.
Regulation of the medical sector, particularly in the prescription of medicines. Improved management of the health care delivery systems, both public and private, will minimize conditions favourable for the development of drug resistance.
Improved awareness of antimicrobial resistance through effective communication. WHO’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week is one such event. Reducing the incidence of infection through effective infection prevention and control. As stated by WHO, making infection prevention and hand hygiene a national policy priority.
Discourage non-therapeutic use of antimicrobial agents in veterinary, agriculture and fishery practices as growth-promoting agents. Promoting investments for antimicrobial resistance activities, research and innovations Strengthening India’s commitment and collaborations on antimicrobial resistance at international, national and sub-national levels. Regulate the release of antibiotic waste from pharmaceutical production facilities and monitoring antibiotic residues in wastewater.
AIM-iCREST: NITI Aayog
GS-PAPER- 3 S&T (PT-MAINS)
Recently, the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has launched an incubator capabilities enhancement program ‘AIM-iCREST’. Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is a flagship initiative set up by the NITI Aayog to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
AIM’s Atal and Established Incubators:
Business incubators are institutions that support entrepreneurs in developing their businesses, especially in initial stages. Incubation is usually done by institutions which have experience in the business and technology world.
Atal Incubation Centres: AIM intends to support the establishment of new incubation centres called Atal Incubation Centres (AICs) that would nurture innovative start-ups in their pursuit to become scalable and sustainable business enterprises.
Established Incubation Centres: In recent years, academia, industry, investors, small and big entrepreneurs, government organizations, and non-governmental organizations have taken an initiative to set up incubation centres across the country. AIM envisages to upgrade these Established Incubation Centres (EICs) to world-class standards.
Atal Innovation Mission
According to a new study on Covid-19, pharmacological inhibition of PLpro blocks virus replication and also strengthens immune response in humans. Usually, when a virus attacks human cells, the infected body cells release messenger substances known as ‘type 1 interferons’ which attract the killer cells in human bodies. These killer cells kill the infected cells and save humans from getting sick.
When the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) enters a human cell, it hijacks the cell mechanism and fights back by letting the human cell produce PLpro. PLpro is a protein which suppresses the development of type 1 interferons. Due to which, killer cells are not informed about the infection. Hence, PL pro plays a crucial role in the replication of the virus.
Significance of the Research: Researchers can now monitor these processes in a cell culture (artificial environment). By blocking PLpro, virus production can be controlled. In the absence of the PLpro, type 1 interferons will be released informing the killer cells and thus, strengthening the innate immune response of the human cells.
Recently, researchers from the S.N. Bose National Centre For Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata have developed a device called “AJO-Neo '' to measure neonatal bilirubin level. SNBNCBS is an autonomous research Institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
AJO-Neo is a non-contact and non-invasive spectrometry-based technique for measurement of neonatal bilirubin level without limitations of other available bilirubin meters. Bilirubin is a yellowish substance in the blood. It forms after red blood cells break down, and it travels through liver, gallbladder, and digestive tract before being excreted.
It is a necessary process in the body's clearance of waste products that arise from the destruction of aged or abnormal red blood cells.
Significance: The screening of bilirubin level in new-borns is necessary to reduce incidents of a type of brain damage called kernicterus that can result from high levels of bilirubin in a baby's blood. Kernicterus leads to Neuro-psychiatry problems in neonates.
Advantages: It is reliable in measuring bilirubin levels in preterm, and term neonates irrespective of gestational or postnatal age, sex, risk factors, feeding behavior or skin color. The device delivers an instantaneous report (about 10 seconds) to a concerned doctor. The conventional “blood test” method takes more than 4 hours to generate the report.
NUCLEAR PROGRAMME PAST TO PRESENT
Gs-paper-3 Nuclear Programme (PT-MAINS-I.V)
In 2018, India commemorated 20 years since it conducted its five nuclear tests, known as Operation Shakti–98, and 10 year since India – U.S Civil Nuclear Agreement in 2008, also called as 123 Agreement. India on November 5, 2018, declared that its nuclear triad, stated in its nuclear doctrine, is operational after indigenous ballistic missile nuclear submarine INS Arihant achieved a milestone by conducting its first deterrence patrol.
Nuclear power in India delivers a total capacity of 6.7 GWe (Giga Watt Electricity), contributing about 2% of the country’s electricity supply. India has ambitious plans to increase nuclear power generation capacity to 275 GWe by 2052. At the start of 2018, six reactors were under construction in India, with a combined capacity of 4.4 GWe.
India has a largely indigenous nuclear power programme which is controlled by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL), a state-owned corporation founded in 1987. Because India is outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty due to its weapons programme, it was, for 34 years, largely excluded from trade in nuclear plant and materials, which hampered its development of civil nuclear energy until 2009.
Due to earlier trade bans and lack of indigenous uranium, India has uniquely been developing a nuclear fuel cycle to exploit its reserves of thorium.
India’s Nuclear Energy Program
Three Stage programme
Nuclear Power plants in Operation
Nuclear Power Plants under Construction
Planned Nuclear Power Plants
To ensure the safety and security of using nuclear power there is need to:
Nuclear Tests and Nuclear Doctrine
India’s Stand on different Nuclear Treaties
Why India didn’t sign the NPT?
Reasons behind India’s rejection to CTBT
India and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
Inter-planetary Contamination in Mars
Recently, astrobiologists have expressed concerns about possible ‘interplanetary contamination’ on Mars. Interplanetary contamination refers to biological contamination of a planetary body by a space probe or spacecraft, either deliberate or unintentional.
In the past, space missions have established physical contact with astronomical bodies such as comets and asteroids, and crewed missions have landed on the Moon. However, since these bodies are known to be hostile to life, the possibility of their contamination has not been a pressing issue.
Type of Contaminations
‘Planetary protection policy’ aims to limit the number of microbes sent to other planets, as well as ensuring that alien life does not cause havoc on Earth. The policy was laid down by Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) established by International Council for Science (ICSU).
KAWACH initiative is supporting market-ready innovations for the control of COVID-19. Under this initiative, a Covid risk assessment profile called Lyfas is being developed.
Department of Science and Technology has selected Acculi Labs, a Bangalore based startup. Lyfas is an android application in which, when any person keeps the index finger on the rear phone camera of a mobile phone for five minutes, it captures the capillary pulse and blood volume change. The technology is focused on population screening, monitoring of quarantined individuals and surveillance at the community level.
Mausam Mobile App
Union Minister for Earth sciences launched a mobile App "Mausam” for India Meteorological Department (IMD). It is designed to communicate the weather information and forecasts to the general public in a lucid manner without technical jargons.
It has the following services
MoES-Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet)
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) aims to develop a World-Class Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet). Under it, the traditional libraries of the MoES system will be upgraded into a top-notch Knowledge Resource Centres (KRC). KRCs will be connected with each other and integrated into the KRCNet portal.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has begun work on a balloon that will carry a 2.5-meter telescope into the stratosphere to observe wavelengths of light that are not visible from the ground.
The mission named Astrophysics Stratospheric Telescope for High Spectral Resolution Observations at Submillimeter-wavelengths, or ASTHROS in short, will tentatively be launched by December 2023 from Antarctica. It will spend three weeks in the air, observing and collecting crucial data.
ITER: World's largest nuclear FUSION project begins assembly
GS-PAPER-3 S&T Nuclear energy (PT-MAINS)
2005: Decision to site the project in France
2006: Signature of the ITER Agreement
2007: Formal creation of the ITER Organization
2007-2009: Land clearing and levelling
2010-2014: Ground support structure and seismic foundations for the Tokamak
2012: Nuclear licensing milestone: ITER becomes a Basic Nuclear Installation under French law
2014-2021: Construction of the Tokamak Building (access for assembly activities in 2019)
2010-2021: Construction of the ITER plant and auxiliary buildings for First Plasma
2008-2021: Manufacturing of principal First Plasma components
2015-2023: Largest components are transported along the ITER Itinerary
2020-2025: Main assembly phase I
2022: Torus completion
2024: Cryostat closure
2024-2025: Integrated commissioning phase (commissioning by system starts several years earlier)
Dec 2025 First Plasma
2025-2035: Progressive ramp-up of the machine
2035: Deuterium-Tritium Operation begins
WHAT WILL ITER DO?
The amount of fusion energy a tokamak is capable of producing is a direct result of the number of fusion reactions taking place in its core. Scientists know that the larger the vessel, the larger the volume of the plasma ... and therefore the greater the potential for fusion energy. With ten times the plasma volume of the largest machine operating today, the ITER Tokamak will be a unique experimental tool, capable of longer plasmas and better confinement. The machine has been designed specifically to:
1) Produce 500 MW of fusion power The world record for fusion power is held by the European tokamak JET. In 1997, JET produced 16 MW of fusion power from a total input heating power of 24 MW (Q=0.67). ITER is designed to produce a ten-fold return on energy (Q=10), or 500 MW of fusion power from 50 MW of input heating power. ITER will not capture the energy it produces as electricity, but—as first of all fusion experiments in history to produce net energy gain—it will prepare the way for the machine that can.
2) Demonstrate the integrated operation of technologies for a fusion power plant ITER will bridge the gap between today's smaller-scale experimental fusion devices and the demonstration fusion power plants of the future. Scientists will be able to study plasmas under conditions similar to those expected in a future power plant and test technologies such as heating, control, diagnostics, cryogenics and remote maintenance.
3) Achieve a deuterium-tritium plasma in which the reaction is sustained through internal heating Fusion research today is at the threshold of exploring a "burning plasma"—one in which the heat from the fusion reaction is confined within the plasma efficiently enough for the reaction to be sustained for a long duration. Scientists are confident that the plasmas in ITER will not only produce much more fusion energy, but will remain stable for longer periods of time.
4) Test tritium breeding One of the missions for the later stages of ITER operation is to demonstrate the feasibility of producing tritium within the vacuum vessel. The world supply of tritium (used with deuterium to fuel the fusion reaction) is not sufficient to cover the needs of future power plants. ITER will provide a unique opportunity to test mockup in-vessel tritium breeding blankets in a real fusion environment.
5) Demonstrate the safety characteristics of a fusion device ITER achieved an important landmark in fusion history when, in 2012, the ITER Organization was licensed as a nuclear operator in France based on the rigorous and impartial examination of its safety files. One of the primary goals of ITER operation is to demonstrate the control of the plasma and the fusion reactions with negligible consequences to the environment.
WHAT IS FUSION?
Fusion is the energy source of the Sun and stars. In the tremendous heat and gravity at the core of these stellar bodies, hydrogen nuclei collide, fuse into heavier helium atoms and release tremendous amounts of energy in the process. Twentieth-century fusion science identified the most efficient fusion reaction in the laboratory setting to be the reaction between two hydrogen isotopes, deuterium (D) and tritium (T). The DT fusion reaction produces the highest energy gain at the "lowest" temperatures.
Three conditions must be fulfilled to achieve fusion in a laboratory:
At extreme temperatures, electrons are separated from nuclei and a gas becomes a plasma—often referred to as the fourth state of matter. Fusion plasmas provide the environment in which light elements can fuse and yield energy. In a tokamak device, powerful magnetic fields are used to confine and control the plasma.
For further READING: https://www.iter.org/proj/inafewlines
Bubonic plague is a rare but serious zoonotic disease. It is caused by bacterial infection and transmitted by fleas from rodents.
It mainly results from the bite of an infected flea, and also from exposure to the body fluids from a dead plague-infected animal. There are no reports of human to human transmission of bubonic plague.
It is one of the three plagues caused by bacterium Yersinia pestis. The other two being Septicaemic plague and Pneumonic plague. According to the WHO it can kill an adult in less than 24 hours, if not treated in time.
Vaccine for the bubonic plague is available for individuals with high exposure to the plague. Recently a city in northern China sounded an alert after a suspected case of bubonic plague or ‘Black Death’ was reported.
Report on Immunization among ChildrenNational Statistical Office (NSO) released a report on immunization among children. The survey was conducted during July 2017-June 2018.
Highlights of the report -
The Government will launch the second phase of nationwide immunisation drive, i.e. Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0, to mark the 25 years of Pulse polio programme.
Immunization Programme in India
Intensified Mission Indradhanush
Pulse Polio Immunization Programme
Partners’ Forum is short for the meeting of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (The Partnership, PMNCH).
IMR and MMR data
Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant-NUCLEAR ENERGY
GS-Paper-3 Nuclear energy (S&T) (PT-MAINS)
Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant is the country’s first 700 MWe (megawatt electric) unit, located in Gujarat. It is the biggest indigenously developed variant of the Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR). The operationalization of India’s first 700MWe reactor marks a significant scale-up in technology. It has recently achieved its criticality, which is a landmark event in India’s domestic civilian nuclear programme.
It is significant in terms of optimization of its PHWR design. It addresses the issue of excess thermal margins and an improvement in the economies of scale, without significant changes to the design of the 540 MWe reactor.
'Thermal margin' refers to the extent to which the operating temperature of the reactor is below its maximum operating temperature. The 700MWe capacity would constitute the biggest component of the expansion plan of India to ramp up its existing nuclear power capacity of 6,780 MWe to 22,480 MWe by 2031.
Criticality means: The normal operating condition of a reactor, in which nuclear fuel sustains a fission chain reaction. A reactor achieves criticality when each fission event releases a sufficient number of neutrons to sustain an ongoing series of reactions.
What is Nuclear Energy?
Nuclear Energy is the energy in the nucleus or core of an atom. Tiny units that make up all matter in the universe are called atoms.
How is Nuclear Energy produced?
Nuclear energy is released by splitting the atom, using the process called Nuclear fission.
How is electricity produced using Nuclear Energy?
A nuclear reactor is a power plant that can control nuclear fission to produce electricity. In the nuclear reactor, uranium is used as fuel. Atoms of uranium are split, which creates fission products which cause other uranium atoms to split, thus creating a chain reaction. The energy from this chain reaction is released in the form of heat. This heat is used to warm the nuclear reactors cooling agent, which results in the formation of steam. This steam turns the turbines, which drive the engines or generators to produce electricity.
Where was the first nuclear reactor located, that produced electricity?
Argonne National Laboratory was the first nuclear reactor to produce electricity was located in Idaho, USA. It was in the year 1951.
Where was the first nuclear power plant designed to provide electricity to a community?
It was set up in Obninsk, Russia in 1954.
What are the advantages of electricity produced using Nuclear Energy?
Nuclear Energy Facts – India
Locations of Nuclear Power Plants – Planned in India
Locations of Nuclear Power Plants – Proposed
Locations of Uranium Resources
The Indian nuclear programme was conceived based on, unique sequential three-stages and associated technologies essentially to aim at optimum utilization of the indigenous nuclear resource profile of modest Uranium and abundant Thorium resources. This sequential three-stage program is based on a closed fuel cycle, where the spent fuel of one stage is reprocessed to produce fuel for the next stage.
The commercial nuclear power program of the first stage (comprising of PHWRs and imported LWRs) is being implemented by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), and the second stage (comprising of Fast Breeder Reactors) by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI), both companies owned fully by the union government in accordance with the provisions of the act.
STAGE 1: Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor using
STAGE 2: Fast Breeder Reactor
STAGE 3: Breeder Reactor
The third phase of India's Nuclear Power Generation programme is, breeder reactors using U-233 fuel. India's vast thorium deposits permit design and operation of U-233 fuelled breeder reactors.
Institutions involved in Nuclear energy Development
India's Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was established in August 1948 within the Department of Scientific Research, which was set up in June 1948. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) came into existence in August 1954 through a Presidential Order. Thereafter, a Government Resolution in 1958 transferred the DAE within the AEC. The Secretary to the Government of India in the DAE is the ex-officio Chairman of the AEC. The other Members of the AEC are appointed on the recommendation of the Chairman of the AEC
DAE's own Research & Development wings include:
1) Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Trombay: A series of 'research' reactors and critical facilities was built here. Reprocessing of used fuel was first undertaken at Trombay in 1964. BARC is also responsible for the transition to thorium-based systems. BARC is responsible for India's uranium enrichment projects, the pilot Rare Materials Plant (RMP) at Ratnahalli near Mysore
2) Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR): IGCAR at Kalpakkam was set up in 1971. Two civil research reactors here are preparing for stage two of the thorium cycle. BHAVINI is located here and draws upon the centre's expertise and that of NPCIL in establishing the fast reactor program, including the Fast Reactor Fuel Cycle Facility.
3) The Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT): Multi-purpose research reactor (MPRR) for radioisotope production, testing nuclear fuel and reactor materials, and basic research.
4) Atomic Minerals Directorate: The DAE's Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) is focused on mineral exploration for uranium and thorium. It was set up in 1949, and is based in Hyderabad, with over 2700 staff.
5) Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre: Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre is a premier R & D unit of the Department of Atomic Energy. This Centre is dedicated to carry out frontier research and development in the fields of Accelerator Science & Technology, Nuclear Science (Theoretical and Experimental), Material Science, Computer Science & Technology and in other relevant areas.
6) Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership: It will be the DAE's sixth R & D facility. It is being built near Bahadurgarh in Haryana state and designed to strengthen India's collaboration internationally. It will house five schools to conduct research into advanced nuclear energy systems, nuclear security, radiological safety, as well as applications for radioisotopes and radiation technologies. Russia is to help set up four of the GCNEP schools.
Besides carrying out research at its own research centres, the DAE provides full support to seven aided institutions
1) Tata Institute of Fundamental Research(TIFR): The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research is a National Centre of the Government of India, under the umbrella of the Department of Atomic Energy, as well as a deemed University awarding degrees for master's and doctoral programs. TIFR, carry out basic research in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computer science and science education. Main campus is located in Mumbai, but additional campuses are in Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
2) Tata Memorial Centre: The Tata Memorial Centre commissioned state of the art new operation theatres. For delivering hi-tech patient care, sophisticated facilities such as stereotactic radiosurgery and steriotactic and intensity modulated radiotherapy, were added.
3) Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics: The Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics is an institution of basic research and training in physical and biophysical sciences located in Bidhannagar, Kolkata, India. The institute is named after the famous Indian physicist Meghnad Saha.
4) Institute of Physics: Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar is an autonomous research institution of the (DAE), Government of India.
5) Institute for Plasma Research: Research and development in fusion technology continued at the Institute for Plasma Research.
6) Harish Chandra Research Institute: The Harish-Chandra Research Institute is an institution dedicated to research in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, located in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh in India.
7) Institute of Mathematical Sciences: The Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), founded in 1962 and based in the verdant surroundings of the CIT campus in Chennai, is a national institution which promotes fundamental research in frontier disciplines of the mathematical and physical sciences.
AERB: The AERB reviews the safety and security of the country's Operating Nuclear Power Plants, Nuclear Power Projects, Fuel Cycle Facilities, and Other Nuclear/Radiation Facilities and Radiation Facilities. The regulatory authority of AERB is derived from the rules and notifications promulgated under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986. The headquarters is in Mumbai. The mission of the Board is to ensure that the use of Ionising Radiation and Nuclear Power in India does not cause undue risk to health and the Environment. Currently, the Board consists of a full-time Chairman, an ex officio Member, three part-time Members and a Secretary.
NPCIL: Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is a Public Sector Enterprise under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),Government of India. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is responsible for design, construction, commissioning and operation of thermal nuclear power plants.
NPCIL is presently (June-2016) operating 21 nuclear power reactors with an installed capacity of 5780 MW. The reactor fleet comprises two Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and 18 Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) including one 100 MW PHWR at Rajasthan which is owned by DAE, Government of India.
The AERB is a regulatory body, which derives administrative and financial support from the Department of Atomic Energy. It reports to the secreatry, DAE.
The DAE is also involved in the promotion of nuclear energy, and is also responsible for the functioning of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, which operates most nuclear power plants in the country.
The DAE is thus responsible both for nuclear safety (through the AERB), as well as the operation of nuclear power plants (through NPCIL). This could be seen as a conflict of interest.
Recently, ‘key populations affected by HIV/AIDS (or KPs)’ have protested for being ignored by governments and multilateral agencies (including United Nations) in Covid-19 related emergency relief efforts.
They have petitioned the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (or simply the Global Fund), demanding allocation to meet their basic survival needs of food, shelter, and emergency medical care. KPs include sex workers, transpeople, gay and bisexual men, drug users, and people living with HIV/AIDS.
Recently, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) has launched the 'Manodarpan' initiative under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. It is aimed to provide psychosocial support to students, family members and teachers for their mental health and well-being during the times of Covid-19.
Description: The platform includes a national toll free helpline for students of schools, universities and colleges, which will be manned by a pool of experienced counsellors, psychologists and mental health professionals.
It also has a website, a national database of counsellors which will host an interactive online chat platform, advisories and tips through webinars and other resources.
Significance: It would act as an element of strengthening human capital and increasing productivity for the education sector in the wake of covid-19. Covid 19 lockdown had led to forced close down of schools and colleges. Therefore, it would help children as well as their parents in facing tense situations and its effects on academics.
Recently, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) conducted a sero-surveillance study for Covid-19 in New Delhi. NCDC is under administrative control of the Directorate General of Health Services in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Detects Specific Antibodies: It seeks to assess the prevalence of disease in a population by detecting the presence of specific antibodies against the virus.
Immunity Check: It can also be conducted to check if a person has developed immunity to certain diseases.
Past Infections: It indicates past infections (and which triggered an immune response), and is not used to detect active infections.
Tested Immunoglobulin G Using ELISA: The Sera (a part of blood) of samples were tested for IgG antibodies and Covid-19 infection using Covid Kavach ELISA kits approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Tianwen-1 Mars mission
Objectives of Tianwen-1:
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure
The replacement valve is delivered via one of several access methods:
IIT-M researchers use artificial materials and ultrasound to detect defects in large structures
Guided Wave Testing:
Covid-19 Vaccine: ZyCoV-D
Recently, India has started phase I/II clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine - ZyCoV-D, designed and developed by Zydus (a pharmaceutical company) with support from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
The adaptive phase I/II clinical trials will assess the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine. The other indigenously developed vaccine - Covaxin - produced by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech is also underway to start clinical trials.
National Biopharma Mission
(BIRAC is a Public Sector Enterprise, set up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology)
Plasmids are circular deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) vectors that can be used as vaccines to prevent various types of diseases.
It provides ease of manufacturing the vaccine with minimal biosafety requirements. It has shown much improved vaccine stability and lower cold chain requirements making it easy for transportation to remote regions of the country. Furthermore, the platform can be rapidly used to modify the vaccine in a couple of weeks in case the virus mutates.
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) celebrated its 92nd foundation day on 16th July 2020.
The World Food Prize is also known as the "Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture". Dr. Rattan Lal has been declared the winner of the World Food Prize 2020
Arming India’s poor against the pandemic
Importance of Vitamin-D
Vitamin D and its prevalence
(a) consult nutrition experts and institutions to advise and suggest the type of nutritive items that can be added to the current ‘ration’ food given to the poor, and the meals given to school children,
(b) in any case, supply free of charge, vitamin D, other vitamins and calcium, in consultation with medical and public health experts regarding the dosage, frequency and other details.
Solar Orbiter Mission
How does a lizard lose its tail?
How does a lizard lose its tail?
Why is a psoriasis drug being used to treat COVID-19 patients?
What are monoclonal antibodies?
How useful are they in treating COVID-19 patients?
Is there a downside?
Study finds evidence of vertical transmission of coronavirus across the placenta
Modes of COVID-19 transmission
Transplacental transmission (a probable route):
About transpacental transmission:
NEOWISE after the NASA telescope
GS-Paper-3 S&T (PT)
The recently discovered comet C/2020 F3 will make its closest approach to the Earth at a distance of 64 million miles or 103 million kilometres while crossing Earth’s outside orbit on 22nd July 2020.
It is also known as NEOWISE after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) telescope that discovered it. On 3rd July, it was closest to the sun at 43 million km due to which its outer layer was released, creating an atmosphere (referred to as coma) of gas and dust from its icy surface. It will be visible through binoculars or a small telescope.
What is Coma?
On July 3, the comet was closest to the sun at 43 million km. On this day, the comet cruised inside Mercury’s orbit and, due to its proximity to the sun, its outer layer was released creating an atmosphere – referred to as coma – of gas and dust from its icy surface.
What Are The Differences Between An Asteroid, Comet, Meteoroid, Meteor and Meteorite?
Launched in December 2009 as the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, the space telescope was originally designed to survey the sky in infrared, detecting asteroids, stars and some of the faintest galaxies in space.
It did so successfully until completing its primary mission in February 2011. In December 2013, it was re-purposed for the NEOWISE project as an instrument to study near-Earth objects, or NEOs, as well as more distant asteroids and comets.
Significance of the Study
Element Zinc is vital for maintaining normal bone homeostasis, and its levels are reported to get reduced in rheumatoid arthritis patients and arthritis-induced animals.
It is also known that oral supplementation of zinc in the form of zinc gluconate have very low bioavailability in humans. Institute of Nano Science & Technology (INST) has formulated nanoparticles with chitosan and loaded these nanoparticles with zinc gluconate for reducing the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.
Zinc gluconate-loaded chitosan nanoparticles exerted superior therapeutic effects compared to the free form of zinc gluconate. Chitosan is nontoxic, biocompatible, biodegradable natural polysaccharide. It is one of the most abundant biopolymers obtained from the exoskeleton of crustaceans have shown absorption promoting characteristics.
IIT-M team conducts research on cancer-curing properties of turmeric
What is TRAIL
Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE)
An ongoing question in the COVID-19 pandemic is whether—and if so, to what extent—COVID-19 receives ADE from prior infection with other coronaviruses.
Original antigenic sin
Measles and Rubella
GS-Paper-3 Health and Children
Recently, the Maldives and Sri Lanka have become the first two countries in the World Health Organisation’s South-East Asian Region (WHO SEAR) to have eliminated both measles and rubella ahead of the 2023 deadline. In September 2019, member countries of WHO SEAR set 2023 as the target for the elimination of measles and rubella.
The announcement came after the 5th meeting of the SEAR Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination. The Commission comprises 11 independent international experts in the fields of epidemiology, virology and public health.
Bhutan, DPR Korea and Timor-Leste are countries in the region which have eliminated measles. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste have controlled Rubella.
A country is verified as having eliminated measles and rubella when there is no evidence of endemic transmission of the respective viruses for over three years in the presence of a well-performing surveillance system.
The Maldives reported its last endemic case of measles in 2009 and of rubella in October 2015. Sri Lanka reported the last endemic case of measles in May 2016 and of rubella in March 2017.
Measures and Vaccinations
India and Measles
Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine since the 1960s, both measles and rubella are major public health concerns in India.
More than 1.3 million children acquire measles infection and around 49000 infected children die each year, contributing nearly 36% to the global figures.
Rubella infection in pregnant women may cause fetal death or congenital defects. It leads to the development of birth defects in almost 40,000 children annually in the country.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the MR Vaccination program in 2017. The MR campaign targets around 41 crore children across the country, the largest ever in any campaign.
All children aged between 9 months and less than 15 years are given a single shot of MR vaccination irrespective of their previous measles/rubella vaccination status or measles/rubella disease status. MR vaccines are provided free-of-cost across the states. Other Initiatives include Universal Immunization Programme (UIP), Mission Indradhanush and Intensified Mission Indradhanush.
Marmots and Plague
Recently, reports of an outbreak of bubonic plague in Mongolia, China and far east Russia have emerged, caused mainly by Tarbagan Marmot (a species of Marmot). It has been compared to the Covid-19 pandemic which was apparently spread by the consumption of bat meat.
Marmot (genus Marmota) belongs to the squirrel family (Sciuridae) within the order Rodentia. These have almost 15 species and the closest living relatives of marmots are ground squirrels and prairie dogs.
Prairie dogs are herbivorous burrowing rodents native to the grasslands of North America.
Marmots are well suited for life in cold environments and have small fur-covered ears, short, stocky legs, and strong claws for digging. Marmots are diurnal (active during the day) and are almost entirely vegetarian.
Habitat: They are found primarily in the continents of Europe, Asia and North America. South Asia or the Indian Subcontinent is home to the Himalayan Marmot and the Long-tailed Marmot (both are Least Concerned in the IUCN Red List).
Tarbagan or Mongolian Marmot (Endangered) is found in Mongolia, China and parts of Russia.
Plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis usually found in small mammals and their fleas. It is transmitted between animals and humans by the bite of infected fleas, direct contact with infected tissues and inhalation of infected respiratory droplets. It is one of the examples of bacterial zoonoses.
There are two main clinical forms of plague infection:
Antibiotic treatment is effective against plague bacteria, so early diagnosis and early treatment can save lives. However, if left untreated, the fever can kill a victim in a very short time.
Stars and Lithium Production
Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) have provided evidence for the first time that Lithium (Li) production is common among low mass Sun-like stars during their Helium (He) core burning phase.
IIA is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
Findings of the Study:
Scientists performed a large-scale systematic investigation of the ‘He-flash’ (on-set of He-ignition at the star's core via violent eruption), at the end of the star’s core hydrogen-burning phase
Hydrogen burning is the fusion of hydrogen nuclei into a helium nucleus. This He-flash has been identified as the source of Li production suggesting that all low-mass stars undergo Li production.
Our Sun will reach this phase in about 6-7 billion years and will manufacture Li. The study challenges the long-held idea that stars only destroy lithium and indicates that there is some physical process missing in stellar theory.
Earlier, it was believed that a vast majority of stars with a mass similar to that of the Sun destroy Li gradually over the course of their lives, via low-temperature nuclear burning.
The study also suggests new limits (A(Li) > -0.9~dex) for classifying stars as Li-rich, which is 250 times below the threshold (A(Li) > 1.5~dex) used till now.
Origin of Lithium:
Usage of Lithium: (PT SHOT)
GS-PAPER-III DISEASES (PT-I.V)
Recently, scientists have identified a new strain of Swine Flu (H1N1) virus namely, G4 EA H1N1. It has started infecting Chinese pigs and also has the potential of triggering a pandemic.
G4 EA H1N (also known as G4) replicates efficiently in human airway paths and so far, has infected a few people without actually making them ill.
Thus, greater vigilance in monitoring people is needed because humans have no inbuilt immunity against this new strain of the virus, much like SARS-CoV-2.
Regional Disease Surveillance:
Global Level Surveillance:
The main objective of the network is to provide technical support to WHO Member States experiencing a human health emergency due to various threats including disease outbreaks, food safety, chemical toxins, zoonosis, natural and manmade disasters etc.
IIT-M develops nano-coated filter for healthcare workers
Meta-analysis does not support continued use of point-of-care serological tests for COVID-19
What is point-of –care testing?
Risk of bias
What is pooled sensitivity?
Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has granted approval to Bharat Biotech to conduct human clinical trials for ‘Covaxin’, making it the first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine candidate to receive this approval.
Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme
The IDSP portal is a one stop portal which has facilities for data entry, view reports, outbreak reporting, data analysis, training modules and resources related to disease surveillance.
Recently HAM (amateur) radio operators have volunteered to help a special task force that has been constituted in Bengaluru to ensure that citizens placed under home quarantine follow the protocol for it.
Kala- azar Disease
Recently, a team of researchers from the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune have found new biomolecules to fight drug resistance in Kala- azar (visceral leishmaniasis). NCCS is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. It was established to facilitate cell biology research in the country.
There are three types of leishmaniasis:
Visceral leishmaniasis, which is commonly known as Kala-azar in India, is fatal in over 95% of the cases, if left untreated.
Resistance to Drug: The only drug available against leishmaniasis, miltefosine, is rapidly losing its effectiveness because of emerging resistance to this drug due to a decrease in its accumulation inside the parasite.
Responsible Proteins: A protein called ‘P4ATPase-CDC50’, is responsible for intake of the drug by the parasite, and another protein, called ‘P-glycoprotein’, is responsible for throwing this drug out from within the parasite’s body.
A decrease in the activity of the former protein, and an increase in the activity of the latter results in less accumulation of miltefosine inside the parasite’s body, thus causing it to become resistant to the drug.
While exploring ways to tackle miltefosine resistance, the researchers worked with one of the species of Leishmania that causes infection, called Leishmania major.
They tried to manipulate these transporter proteins in the species in a manner that would result in increased uptake of the drug and decrease in its being thrown out of the parasite’s body.
They used computational methods to design small molecules, called peptides, that could very specifically interact with the transporter proteins of Leishmania major alone, and not interfere with human proteins in any way.
A peptide is a short chain of amino acids. Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins.
MMR vaccine can help fight sepsis in Covid patients
A live attenuated vaccine is derived from a disease-causing pathogen, which has been weakened in the laboratory so that it does not cause severe illness when a person is vaccinated with it.
Torpedo Decoy System: Maareech
The Indian Navy has inducted an Advanced Torpedo Defence System (ATDS) called ‘Maareech’ that is capable of being fired from all frontline ships.
Torpedoes are self propelled weapons with a warhead and can be used under or on the water surface. They are one of the mainstay of sea-warfare attack systems.
‘Maareech’ has been designed and developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and it is capable of detecting, locating and neutralizing incoming torpedoes. Bharat Electronics Limited, a Defence PSU, would undertake the production of this decoy system.
Working: Maareech detects and locate the incoming torpedo and applies countermeasures to protect the naval platform against attack. It first detects and then confuses and divert the torpedo attacks on ships from under the water.
By diverting the torpedoes' original course, it forces it to lose its energy thus preventing it from being effective on target.
Significance: This induction not only stands testimony to the joint resolve of the Indian Navy and DRDO towards indigenous development of defence technology, but has also given a major fillip to the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and the country’s resolve to become ‘Atmanirbhar’ in niche technology.
GS- Paper-3 S&T (PT-M-IV)
Recently, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a report ‘Commodities at a glance: Special issue on strategic battery and minerals’. The report facilitated research into battery technologies that depended less on critical raw materials and had the potential to provide higher energy density. Energy density is the amount of energy that can be stored in a given mass of a substance or system, i.e. a measure of storage of energy.
Uncertain Supply: The report highlighted that the supply of raw materials to produce rechargeable batteries is uncertain. Lithium, natural graphite and manganese are critical raw materials for the manufacture of rechargeable batteries.
Rising Demand: Integration of EVs- There has been a rapid growth in demand for rechargeable batteries due to the gradual integration of electric vehicles (EVs) in global transportation. The sales of electric cars have increased by 65% in 2018 from 2017 to 5.1 million vehicles and it will reach 23 million in 2030.
Increased Use of Raw Material: With the increasing number of EVs, the demand for rechargeable batteries and the raw materials used in them have also increased. The worldwide market for cathodes for lithium-ion batteries was estimated at $7 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $58.8 billion by 2024.
The demand for raw materials used to manufacture rechargeable batteries will grow rapidly as other sources of energy lose their importance.
Alternative sources of energy such as electric batteries are becoming more important as investors become sceptical of the future of the oil industry. There is a need to make a strategy for dynamic monitoring of the raw material cycles, from mining through processing, refining and manufacturing to recycling. It will facilitate early detection of supply risks and also enable the development of mitigation strategies at either company or national level.
TB during COVID-19
(Shibu Vijayan is a physician and Global TB Technical Director at PATH, Mumbai, India.
Madhukar Pai is a physician and Director of the McGill International TB Centre, Montreal, Canada.)
Dangers of TB transmission
All hands on the deck
Novel coronavirus infection might trigger type-1 diabetes
Permanent or transient
Tested in mice
Union Government has given approval to Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe). It will be the nodal national entity under the Department of Space to drive building of satellites, rockets, or launch services through Indian industry. It will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure. It will also hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment
New Space India Limited (NSIL) is a Central Public Sector Enterprise of Government of India. It is Head Quartered in Bangalore. It was established on March 2019 under the administrative control of Department of Space (DOS), India. The main objective is to scale up industry participation in Indian space programs. NSIL will endeavor to re-orient space activities from a ‘supply driven’ model to a ‘demand driven’ model, thereby ensuring optimum utilization of our space assets.
Product Application & Development Centre (PADC)
Applications of Polymers
Micius is the world’s first quantum communications satellite, launched by China in 2016. The satellite serves as the source of pairs of entangled photons. Recently, it has sent light particles to the Earth to establish the world’s most secure communication link. It has successfully brought entanglement-based quantum cryptography to its original ground stations 1,200 km apart by sending simultaneous streams of entangled photons to the ground stations to establish a direct link between the two of them.
The satellite provided entangled photons as a convenient resource for the quantum cryptography and the two ground stations then used them according to their agreed protocol. Until now, this had never been done via satellite or at such great distances. It has not been specified how the messages were transmitted in this instance but in theory it could be done by optical fibre, another communications satellite, radio or any other agreed method.
Scientists have started using quantum encryption for securing long-range communication and Micius has been at the forefront of quantum encryption for several years.
Zoonosis is an infectious disease caused by a pathogen that has jumped from an animal to a human. When the pathogen is transmitted from human to animals, it is known as reverse zoonosis.
The animal infected through the process may in turn re-transmit the infection to humans under some circumstances. Recently novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has begun infecting minks farms in the Netherlands.
It could largely have been transmitted through indirect routes such as through feed or bedding material, infectious droplets or by contaminated dust from the bedding. Literature has shown that the phenomenon of reverse zoonosis can also happen in case of other pathogens such as resistant bacteria. This can add to the greater spread of bacterial infections in animals. It can also involve an increased use of antibiotics to treat or prevent such infections, eventually contributing to another slow pandemic of antimicrobial resistance.
Sickle Cell Disease
eBloodServices mobile App
Star Formation Nebula White dwarf and Neutron Star or Black Hole
GS- Paper-1 Geography / Geography Optional (PT-Mains-I.V)
Outlined below are the many steps involved in a star’s evolution, from its formation in a nebula, to its death as a white dwarf or a neutron star.
T- Tauri star
Main sequence stars
Supernovae can be triggered in one of two ways:
Type I supernova or Type I-a supernova (read as one-a)
The difference between Nova and Type I supernova
Type I supernova
In a nova, the system can shine
up to a million times brighter than normal.
A supernova is a violent stellar explosion
that can shine as brightly as an entire galaxy
of billions of normal stars.
As long as it continues to take gas
from its companion star, the white
dwarf can produce nova outbursts at regular intervals.
If enough gas piles up on the
surface of the white dwarf,
a runaway thermonuclear explosion blasts
the star to bits.
Type II supernova
Importance of supernova: Creating and dispersing new elements
From the billions of galaxies, two basic types have been identified:
Spiral Galaxies: The Milky Way is an example of disc-shaped spiral galaxy which has a greater concentration of stars near its centre. They consist of populations of old stars in the centre, and the youngest stars located in the arms. Spiral galaxies are well supplied with the interstellar gas in which new bright, young stars form.
Elliptical Galaxies: Star distribution is nonuniform. Most of their member stars are very old and no new star formation in them. Smaller and less bright. The brightest galaxies in the universe are elliptical.
Our Galaxy (the Milky Way)
Study of optical properties of super-massive black-hole
GS- PAPER-3 S&T PT-MAINS
Through 153 nights, 17 scientists from 9 countries in Europe and Asia including researchers from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital (PT), an autonomous institution of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India took 2263 image frames and observed the changes in a very high energy gamma-ray emitting blazar ‘1ES 0806+524’ using seven optical telescopes in Europe and Asia.
A blazar is a feeding super-massive black-hole (SMBH) in the heart of a distant galaxy that produces a high-energy jet viewed face-on from Earth. Blazars are one of the most luminous and energetic objects in the known universe with a jet composed of ionized matter traveling at nearly the speed of light directed very nearly towards an observer.
Blazars are among one of the most favourite astronomical transient objects because they emit radiation in the complete electromagnetic (EM )spectrum, and their flux and polarization are highly variable.
The first photograph of a black hole was revealed by scientists recently.
What is a black hole?
If black holes are invisible, how can we detect or photograph them?
How big are black holes?
Small black holes are called stellar-mass black holes. They have masses similar to those of larger stars — about five to 20 times the mass of the sun. The other kind is supermassive black holes, which are millions to billions of times more massive than the sun. That’s the kind the Event Horizon Telescope has been trying to photograph, as bigger objects ought to be easier to see. There is some evidence that black holes between these two sizes exist, but that has yet to be confirmed.
While black holes are very massive, that doesn’t mean they take up a lot of space. Because they’re so dense, they’re actually quite small. According to NASA, a black hole 20 times the mass of the sun could fit inside a ball 16 kilometres wide — the width of the Island of Montreal at its widest point.
Where are black holes found?
Supermassive black holes are found at the centre of most galaxies, including our own Milky Way. The one in our galaxy is called Sagittarius A* and is one of those the Event Horizon Telescope has been attempting to photograph.
Sagittarius A* isn’t the only black hole in our galaxy, though. Earlier this year, astronomers discovered another 12 within three light-years of it, suggesting there could be upwards of 10,000 black holes around the galactic centre.
Where do black holes come from?
Supermassive black holes are believed to form at the same time as the galaxy that surrounds them, but astronomers aren’t sure exactly how.
Stellar mass black holes form when a star with a mass greater than three times that of our sun runs out of fuel. It explodes into a supernova and collapses into an extremely dense core that we know as a black hole — something predicted by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Einstein’s theory also predicts the size and shape of the black holes that the Event Horizon Telescope is trying to photograph.
For WHITE DWARFS read: https://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/science/objects/dwarfs1.html
Foldscope could be a better alternative to clinical microscope
Dr. Alka Rao‘s group at the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh, in collaboration with a team of doctors from a government hospital in Panchkula, Haryana, a private hospital in the National Capital Region (NCR), and a medical college from Imphal, have explored and validated the clinical utility of Foldscope in the diagnosis of diseases using various patient samples.
The study findings have been published in the Journal of Microscopy.
Council of Scientific & Industrial Research
It was established by the Government of India in September 1942 as an autonomous body. It comes under the Ministry of Science & Technology. It is known for its cutting edge research and development knowledge base in diverse science and technology areas. It has been ranked first in the Nature Ranking Index-2020.
Nature Index 2020: Index of Scientific Research
Recently, a journal of science i.e. the Nature Research, has released the Nature Index 2020.
The Nature Index
IIT-Palakkad develops ultrasound for COVID-19 screening
Antibodies from convalescent plasma protect against COVID-19
Role for antibodies
Antibodies against coronavirus start to decrease in 2-3 months, study finds
Is re-infection possible?
COVID poses trying times for Diabetics
Diabetes and COVID19
Global Influenza Data Initiative (GISAID)
Glenmark gets nod for favipiravir
Sickle cell disease
Ban on export of HCQ lifted
Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET)
Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda reviewed the activities of Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET) through Video Conferencing today.
About Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET)
A PREMIER GOVT. OF INDIA INSTITUTE FOR HIGHER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH IN THE FIELD OF POLYMER SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY