Science & Technology - 2020 JUNE

June 29

New research sheds light on how planetary systems are formed
Scientists say they have been able to measure details of the orbit of a planet 63 million light-years away. Data on its spin-orbit alignment could help astrophysicists understand more about how solar systems are formed.
* Kraus led a team of international scientists to measure the planet's spin-orbit alignment using the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) in Chile.
* Scientists say it's the first time this has been done for a directly imaged planetary system.
* The spin-orbit alignment is the degree of alignment between the orbit of planets and their star's rotation axis.
* In our solar system, for example, the planets orbit on a plane in line with the equator of the sun and the same direction as the Sun rotates.
* Measuring Beta Pictoris b considered to be a 'wide separation planet', that is one that is positioned far from its star helps scientists understand how planetary systems are formed, particularly with regards to so-called 'Hot Jupiters' planets found very close to their star.

June 20

Glenmark launches COVID-19 drug after DCGI nod
Drug firm Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said it has launched antiviral drug Favipiravir, under the brand name FabiFlu, for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 at a price of about Rs 103 per tablet.
* Glenmark had received the manufacturing and marketing approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
* FabiFlu is the first oral favipiravir-approved medication in India for the treatment of COVID-19.

June 15

ICMR approves antigen kit that gives COVID-19 test results in 30 minutes
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the body leading the COVID-19 response in the country, has given its nod to a Korean company’s antigen-based coronavirus test kit that gives results in 30 minutes.
* The kits will allow faster diagnosis without laboratory examination Standard Q Covid-19 Ag detection kit is a rapid chromatographic immunoassay for qualitative detection of specific antigens to SARS-CoV-2.
* Standard Q COVID-19 Ag detection kit developed by Korean company-SD Biosensor is a rapid chromatographic immunoassay for the qualitative detection of specific antigens to SARS-CoV-2.

IIT-M researcher team develops high energy bio-oil
Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) researchers have developed a simple microwave process to produce bio-fuel oils with high energy values from two waste products – agricultural waste such as rice straw and bagasse and discarded plastics.

* The project was funded by GAIL (India) Ltd.
* The research team led by Dr R. Vinu, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and the other members were Dr Dadi Suriapparao and Banupriya Boruah.
* One of the common methods to produce bio-oil from biomass is ''pyrolysis'' or heat-induced breakdown of the biomass components into fuel components.

June 13

SpaceX launches 61 satellites
The private spaceflight company SpaceX launched 58 new Starlink satellites to join its mega-constellation of broadband internet transmitters.
* Three SkySat Earth-imaging satellites for Planet will launch as rideshare payloads on this mission.
* A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the satellites - the ninth batch in SpaceX's Starlink broadband network.

June 11

Garhwal University scientists discover new fruit fly
Scientists of Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal Central University have found a new variety of fruit fly in Chamoli district named as Fortica Votevi. This is the eighth variety of fruit fly discovered in the state and it can be seen only through a microscope.
* Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna (HNB) Garhwal Central university's scientist Professor RS Fartyal and his research scholar Dr Pradeep Chand have identified a new variety of fruit fly. To see this fruit-fly one need a microscope.

June 08

India develops Ultraviolet cabinet for COVID-19 disinfection
International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), R&D Centre of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India and MEKINS Industries have co-developed a UVC-based Cabinet for disinfecting non-critical hospital items, laboratory wear, and PPEs in the research laboratories to prevent surface contamination of COVID 19.
* It can also be used to disinfect items exhibited to customers in commercial establishments and several domestic items.

June 02

IIT Roorkee develops nano-coating system to senitise used masks and PPE kits
A research team from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee has developed a nano-coating system to sanitise used masks and on personal protective equipment (PPE) kits which can be used again.
* With the help of this nano-coating, used masks and PPE kits will be disinfected in 10 to 15 minutes and can be used again to contain the spread Coronavirus.
* This coating system is also effective in diseases such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.