Page 52 - April 2021
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     NATIONAL SCIENCE ROUNDUP
ISRO to attempt solar mission by end of 2021
India is likely to attempt its first solar mission at the end of 2021. Aditya
L-1 mission was earlier slated for the first half of 2020 but the launch was delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic. The satellite will be sent to the L1 or Lagrangian point between the Earth and the Sun, which is where the gravi- tational pull of both the bodies on the satellite is equal to the centripetal force needed to keep satellite in orbit. The scientific mission will see the satellite travel 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth to study the Sun’s atmosphere.
Chandrayaan-2 orbiter likely to last for seven years
The orbiter of ISRO’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, launched in 2019, is believed to last for seven years. It was originally designed to work
for one year. Chandrayaan-2 was a highly complex mission to develop and demonstrate the key technologies for end-to-end lunar mission capability, including soft-landing and roving on the lunar surface.
Chandrayaan-3 launch planned by mid 2022
Chandrayaan-3, India’s third mission to Moon, is likely to be launched in 2022. The COVID-19 lockdown has hit several projects of ISRO including Chandrayaan-3 and Gaganyaan, the country’s first manned space mission. The orbiter launched during Chan- drayaan-2 will be used for Chandray- aan-3 as well Chandrayaan-3 will be launched atop GSLV (Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle) Mark III.
Alternative source for anti-cancer drug identified at IIT-Madras Researchers at IIT-Madras have identi- fied a sustainable and high-yielding alternative source for the anti-cancer drug Camptothecin. This novel microbial fermentation process can
be an economically efficient method of production to fulfil the market demand at a large scale. More than a dozen derivatives of Camptothecin are under various stages of clinical trials for anti-cancer applications.
New hope for a cure for Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is caused by the loss of a group of cells called do- paminergic cells in a portion of the midbrain called substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). However, the decisive cause of this cell loss has not been elucidated before. A new study could fill the gap. Researchers at IIT-Madras developed a computational model that showed that energy deficiency might be a major reason for the loss of the specific cells in Parkinson’s disease.
India and Japan review cooperation on joint lunar mission
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Japan Aerospace Explora- tion Agency (JAXA) recently reviewed their ongoing cooperation to launch
a joint Lunar Polar Exploration (LU- PEX) mission. Scientists from both the space agencies have been jointly work- ing on the mission that aims to send a lander and rover to the Moon’s south pole around 2024. JAXA is likely to provide the under-development H3 launch vehicle and the rover while ISRO will provide the lander.
Zero-emission technology to manage and recycle e-waste
India is the third-largest producer of e-waste and has generated 3.23 MMT e-waste in 2019. Unregulated accu- mulation, landfilling, or inappropriate recycling processes pose a severe threat to human health and the environment as it contains several toxic materials such as lead, cadmium, chromium,
IIT-Delhi has developed technology to tackle the menace of e-waste
brominated flame retardants, or polychlorinated biphenyls. IIT-Delhi has developed a sustainable technology to tackle the menace of e-waste. The adopted methodology is a three-step process which involves pyrolysis of e-waste, separation of metal fraction, and recovery of individual metals. The developed technology will cater to the need of ‘Smart Cities’, ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives of the Indian government.
This ‘superbug’ can lead to the
next pandemic
Researchers have found traces of
a ‘superbug’, a multidrug-resistant organism, on remote sandy beaches of India that can lead to the next deadly pandemic. Scientists now have clear evidence of Candida auris. Also called C auris, it is known as a ‘superbug’ be- cause it can resist the main anti-fungal treatments.
CSIR develops sensor to monitor health status on the go
A team of scientists at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CSIR-CECRI), Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, has developed a flexible low cost, wearable sensor that can monitor the health and physiological status of the human body on the go by just analysing the sweat. The microflu- idic sensor can be used for on-the-spot monitoring of several biomarkers such as lactate, Sodium, and Potassium simultaneously from sweat samples. It analyses the biomarkers without any transfer of signals.
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