Science & Technology - 2017 APRIL

April 4

Researchers discovered Europe's first cave fish.
A hobby diver has made the 'surprise' discovery of Europe's first cave fish in a cold and labyrinth-like cave in southern Germany.
Noticing that the fish were 'strange looking' to him, diver Joachim Kreiselmaier took some photos and showed them to friends, only to find that he had stumbled upon a rare loach.
Despite only living in the cave for 20,000 years, loaches have quickly adapted to the dark conditions, growing elongated whisker-like barbels and larger nostrils than related fish living closer to the surface.

April 6

Centre kicks off programme on cyber physical systems.
With autonomous vehicles and robot-executed surgeries becoming commonplace around the world, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has initiated a Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) programme. Still at a nascent stage, it has been conceived as a Rs. 3,000 crore exercise that would, at first, take root in some of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
An initial budget of Rs. 100 crore has been earmarked for the project in the current financial year.

April 7

North India to get DNA bank for wildlife.
North India is all set to get its first DNA bank for wildlife. Scientists at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly are in the process of collecting DNA samples of all wild animals to set up the bank. It is expected to help in research and also in bringing down poaching.
At present, the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) in Hyderabad is the only such facility in the country.

April 8

Apple patents anti-shock phone case that floats on water.
Technology major Apple has received a patent for an anti-shock device that will protect smartphones from falls and float if the phone contacts a water surface.
The patent details a spring-loaded bumper system that deploys when it detects that the phone is in free-fall. The 'bumper cushions' may also be coloured to better the appearance of smartphones.

April 11

NASA reveals new insights on 'Ocean Worlds' in Solar System.
NASA is all set to reveal a news conference this week with new results about ocean worlds in our solar system.
The announcements will be related particularly to findings from the agency's Saturn probe Cassini spacecraft and the Hubble space telescope.
These new discoveries will also help inform future ocean world exploration - including NASA's upcoming Europa Clipper mission planned for launch in the 2020s - and the broader search for life beyond the Earth.