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Australia, France to build world's largest diesel-electric submarine

Australia and France signed an agreement on Tuesday to build the world's largest diesel-electric submarines in the Australian industrial town of Adelaide.
●    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian signed the agreement in Adelaide, where they officially opened the Australian headquarters of DCNS, a French state majority-owned company that will design the Shortfin Barracuda subs.
●    Mr Turnbull described the 56 billion Australian dollar ($41 billion) contract to build 12 subs as the largest capital project in Australia's history. 
●    The contract is also DCNS's largest outside France.
●    France offered the Australians a diesel-electric version of the Barracuda-class nuclear submarine under construction for the French navy. 
●    Japan proposed a longer version of its Soryu-class diesel-powered propulsion system with advanced stealth capabilities.

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Scientists discover new material for gen-next data storage devices

Scientists have developed a new material - the first ever magnetic photoconductor - that may lead to next generation of memory-storage systems, featuring higher capacities with low energy demands.
●    Scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland have now developed ferromagnetic photovoltaic material whose magnetic order can be rapidly changed without disrupting it due to heating.
●    Perovskite photovoltaics are gradually becoming a cheaper alternative to current silicon systems, drawing much interest from energy scientists.
●    Magnetism in material arises from the interactions of localised and moving electrons of the material; in a way, it is the result of competition between different movements of electrons.
●    This means that the resulting magnetic state is wired in the material and it cannot be reversed without changing the structure of electrons in the material's chemistry or crystal structure.
●    This new crystal structure combines the advantages of both ferromagnets, whose magnetic moments are aligned in a well-defined order, and photoconductors, where light illumination generates high density free conduction electrons.

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UK Scientists develop revolutionary technique to simplify trapped ions

Physicists from the University of Sussex have developed a groundbreaking new technique that makes it much simpler to build large-scale trapped ion quantum computers, bringing us one big step closer to making quantum computers a reality in the near future.
●    Quantum computers are merely a concept, numerous computer science researchers around the world and billions of dollars have been invested to create them.
●    And it is believed that these new super-powerful computers will be available within the next 50 years.
●    Currently researchers around the world are building quantum computer systems either using trapped ions and atoms; particles of light; or superconducting circuits that act as qubits (a technique being researched by IBM).
●    To develop a quantum computer that makes use of trapped ions, the current method involves using laser beams to build quantum gates.
●    The research, entitled "Trapped-Ion Quantum Logic with Global Radiation Fields" is published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

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India joins CERN as an Associate Member

India on 21 November 2016 became an Associate Member State of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) by signing an agreement with the organisation. 
●    The participation of Indian scientists in CERN dates back to early 1960s and it became stronger with the support of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST). 
●    In 1991, DAE signed a formal agreement with CERN which exists till today. 
●    In 2003, India was awarded the Observer status of CERN and was subsequently invited to join CERN as an Associate Member
●    India made significant contributions to the construction of Large Hadron Collider (LHC), in the areas of design, development and supply of hardware accelerator systems and its commissioning. 
●    India is also one of the leading partners in the ALICE experiment which is about to unearth the physics of quark-gluon plasma (QGP).
●    Indian scientists played a very important role in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiments, which is one of the two large experiments that have led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson. 

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Scientists tweak photosynthesis to increase crop yield

Scientists have successfully tweaked the process of photosynthesis to make it more efficient and increase plant productivity by raising the level of three proteins involved in the process.
●    Many years of computational analysis and laboratory and field experiments led to the selection of the proteins targeted in the study. 
●    Researchers used tobacco plants as it can be easily modified.
●    The researchers targeted a process plants use to shield themselves from excessive solar energy.
●    Plants protect themselves by making changes within the leaf that dissipate the excess energy as heat. 
●    This process is called non-photochemical quenching (NPQ).
●    Researchers used a supercomputer to predict how much the slow recovery from NPQ reduces crop productivity over the course of a day.
●    Researchers suggested that boosting levels of three proteins might speed up the recovery process.
●    The researchers grew seedlings from multiple experiments, then tested how quickly the engineered plants responded to changes in available light.

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Pune researchers fabricate a flexible nanogenerator for wearable electronics

Producing wearable electronics that uses a portable nanogenerator which generates electric power when pressure or twist is applied got a shot in the arm, thanks to research carried out by Pune researchers. 
●    The nanogenerator, which was fabricated by them, produced 14 volts when thumb pressure was applied. 
●    The results were published recently in the journal Advanced Materials & Interfaces.
●    To demonstrate the potential of the nanogenerator to power small electronic devices, pressure equivalent to thumb pressure was continuously exerted on the nanogenerator for 20 minutes by using a vibration producing motor. 
●    14 volt that was generated was stored in a capacitor and used for charging a mobile phone.
●    Currently, there is considerable research emphasis to develop flexible or wearable devices. Such devices should be portable, lightweight, shock-resistant, and inexpensive. 
●    And the devices should ideally be powered by harvesting easily available mechanical or vibration energy, making battery or related wiring redundant. 


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NASA's MMS Mission sets new Guinness World Record

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission on 5 November 2016 set the Guinness world record for highest altitude fix of a Global Positioning System (GPS) signal at 70000 kilometers above the surface of the Earth.
●    It was launched to understand the causes of magnetic reconnection for understanding phenomena of auroras on Earth, flares on surface of sun, and areas surrounding black holes. 
●    It was designed to gather information about the microphysics of energetic particle acceleration and turbulence, processes that occur in many astrophysical plasmas. 
●    When these four satellites were closest to Earth, they moved up to 35405 km/hour, making them the fastest known operational use of a GPS receiver. 
●    These satellites operated in a highly elliptical orbit around Earth and incorporated GPS measurements into their precise tracking systems. 
●    Earlier in 2016, MMS achieved the closest flying separation of a multi-spacecraft formation with only 7.2 km between the four satellites. 
●    The mission in its first year of prime mission gave scientists the new insight into Earth’s magnetosphere.

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Facebook takes on LinkedIn with new job opening features

Facebook Inc said on Monday, it was testing a feature that would let page administrators create job postings and receive applications from candidates, a move that could pressure LinkedIn Corp's recruiting business. 
●    LinkedIn makes most of its revenue from job hunters and recruiters who pay a monthly fee to post resumes and connect with people on what's often known as the social network for business. 
●    With Facebook's jobs features, companies could drive more traffic to their Facebook pages while allowing them to pay the social network to get their job openings in front of more candidates. 
●    In October, Facebook launched Marketplace to allow people to buy and sell items locally as the social media network tries new ways to keep its users engaged.
●    Facebook (stylized as facebook) is an American for-profit corporation and online social media and social networking service based in Menlo Park, California, United States. 
●    The Facebook website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. 

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Indian Scientist Detect Crack in Earth's Magnetic Shield

The world’s largest and most sensitive cosmic ray monitor, located in India, has recorded a burst of galactic cosmic rays that indicates a crack in the Earth’s magnetic shield. 
●    The burst occurred when a giant cloud of plasma ejected from the solar corona struck Earth at a very high speed.
●    The GRAPES-3 muon telescope located at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research’s Cosmic Ray Laboratory in Ooty recorded a burst of galactic cosmic rays last year lasting for two hours.
●    The burst occurred when a giant cloud of plasma ejected from the solar corona, and moving with a speed of about 2.5 million km per hour struck our planet. 
●    Earth’s magnetosphere extends over a radius of a million kilometres, which acts as the first line of defence, shielding us from the continuous flow of solar and galactic cosmic rays.

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NASA's Juno exits safe mode, ready for next Jupiter Flyby

NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft is set for its next close flyby of Jupiter, after exiting its safe mode and completing a minor burn of its thruster engines. 
●    The spacecraft had entered safe mode on October 18 when a software performance monitor induced a reboot of the spacecraft’s onboard computer. 
●    The team is still investigating the cause of the reboot and assessing two main engine check valves.
●    In preparation for that close flyby of Jupiter, Juno executed an orbital trim manoeuvre using its smaller thrusters.
●    The burn, which lasted just over 31 minutes, changed Juno’s orbital velocity by about 2.6 meters per second and consumed about 3.6 kilogrammes of propellant.
●    Juno will perform its next science flyby of Jupiter on December 11. 
●    The complete suite of Juno’s science instruments, as well as the JunoCam imager, will be collecting data during the upcoming flyby.

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