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World’s first daily driverless bus service launched in Lyon, France

The world’s first driverless bus service began carrying passengers in the first week of September 2016 in Lyon, France.
•    The buses include features like LiDAR radar technology and motion sensors to help it avoid collisions.
•    They’re equipped with a range of detectors that allow them to know exactly where they are.
•    It can hold up to 15 passengers.
•    The bus is designed by French company Navya.
•    The electric buses were tested in several French cites and in Switzerland before coming to Lyon.
•    They are also set to undergo trials in Dubai.
•    LiDAR is a surveying technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser light.
•    It is sometimes considered an acronym of Light Detection and Ranging.
•    However, it was originally created as a portmanteau of light and radar.
•    It is popularly used as a technology to make high-resolution maps, with applications in geodesy, geomatics, archaeology, geography, geology, etc.

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India’s first LIGO laboratory to come up in Hingoli, Maharashtra

India’s first LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) laboratory will be set up in Aundh in Hingoli district of Maharashtra. 
•    It will be third such laboratory in the world and first outside the United States. 
•    The existing two laboratories are located in Hanford, Washington and in Livingston, Louisiana. 
•    The site at Aundh in Hingoli district has been chosen for carrying out experiments on the ambitious LIGO project that proved existence of gravitational waves. 
•    It was selected based on site researches conducted by scientists from Department of Science and Technology. 
•    The setup of LIGO-India laboratory will involve construction of 8 km-long beam tube at ultra- high vaccum on a levelled terrain. 
•    The Aundh site is suitable flat site for carrying out the experiments as the four kms strips require an unhindered straight and flat site for studying the lasers. 
•    The LIGO-India laboratory will help to bring considerable opportunities in cutting edge technology for Indian industries. 

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GSLV Puts Satellite in Precise Orbit

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched advanced weather satellite, INSAT-3DR on 8 September 2016.
•    The advanced weather satellite was launched with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F05), from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
•    GSLV-F05, the tenth flight of India's GSLV, carried 2211 kg INSAT-3DR into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). GSLV is designed to inject 2 - 2.5 ton class of satellites into GTO.
•    INSAT-3DR is an advanced meteorological satellite of India configured with an imaging System and an Atmospheric Sounder.
•    INSAT-3DR is an improved variant of INSAT-3D, the improvements incorporated includes
•    Imaging in Middle Infrared band to provide night time pictures of low clouds and fog
•    Imaging in two Thermal Infrared bands for estimation of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) with better accuracy
 

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Integration of Digi Locker with Driving Licenses & Vehicle Registration Certificates launched

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, and Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology and Law and Justice, on 7 September 2016 jointly launched Integration of DigiLocker with Driving Licenses (DL) & Vehicle Registration Certificates (RC) in New Delhi.
•    The new service will end the need of people carrying around physical copies of their RCs and DLs. 
•    They can instead access digital copies of the same on their mobile phones via the DigiLocker mobile app.
•    Driving Licenses and Vehicle Registration documents can now be issued directly to the DigiLockers of individuals in digital formats.
•    These digital copies can be shared with other departments as identity and address proof.
•    DigiLocker was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2015.
•    It aims at transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
•    It is a platform for issuance and verification of documents and certificates digitally.
•    DigiLocker currently has 2126332 registered users with 2411702 uploaded documents and has issued over 42673232 documents as on 1 September 2016.
 

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Indian Scientists Unlock Preterm Birth Mystery


Indian researchers have made a major discovery by understanding the mechanisms by which preterm births (between 28 and 32 weeks of gestation) occur. 
•    At 35 per cent, India accounts for the highest burden of preterm births in the world.
•    The researchers found for the first time that gram-positive Group B Streptococcus (GBS) bacteria produce small balloons called membrane vesicles, which contain toxins that kill both foetal and maternal cells and destroy the collagen that binds the cells together.
•    The team was led by Professor Anirban Banerjee from the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Bombay, and Dr. Deepak Modi from Mumbai’s National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health. 
•    The results were published on September 1 in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
•    Group B Streptococcus (GBS) bacteria are normally found in human vagina and their numbers can shoot up in some pregnant women. 
•    The GBS bacteria have been associated with premature rupture of amniotic membrane and preterm birth.

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LG Builds World's Largest OLED Tunnel

LG has built the world's largest OLED tunnel at an industry meet in Berlin to mark the 50th anniversary of the first TV it produced. 
•    The record-breaking structure, which is 5m tall, 7.4m wide and 15m long, is made up of 216 separate 55-inch curved OLED displays. 
•    The 450-million pixel display showcases Aurora Borealis, underwater ecosystems and deep space footage.
•    LG Corporation is a South Korean multinational conglomerate corporation. 
•    It is the fourth-largest chaebol in South Korea. 
•    It is headquartered in the LG Twin Towers building in Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul.
•    LG makes electronics, chemicals, and telecom products and operates subsidiaries such as LG Electronics, Zenith, LG Display, LG Uplus and LG Chem in over 80 countries.


 

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NASA Scientist for first time sequences DNA in Space


NASA has successfully conducted the first genome sequencing in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The ability to sequence the DNA of living organisms in space opens a whole new world of scientific and medical possibilities, NASA said.
For the first time ever, DNA was successfully sequenced in microgravity as part of the Biomolecule Sequencer experiment performed by NASA astronaut Kate Rubins.
With a way to sequence DNA in space, astronauts could diagnose an illness, or identify microbes growing in the ISS and determine whether or not they represent a health threat, NASA said.
A space-based DNA sequencer would be an important tool to help protect astronaut health during long duration missions on the journey to Mars, and future explorers could also potentially use the technology to identify DNA-based life forms beyond Earth.

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Mahindra Unveils DiGiSENSE Platform to Track Vehicle Information

Automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) has introduced DiGiSENSE, a cloud based technology solution to track vehicle information in real time. 
•    With this, Mahindra has become the first OEM (original equipment manufacturer) in India to integrate its product line-up onto a cloud-based technology platform.
•    DiGiSENSE by its digitally-enabled sensing connects Mahindra range of pick up vehicles, tractors, trucks and construction equipment to the cloud. 
•    It will enable vehicle owners to have complete information on the location and usage their assets round-the-clock on their mobile phones. 
•    This inbuilt technology solution has been jointly developed in India in association with Tech Mahindra, Bosch India and Vodafone. 
•    DiGiSENSE allows vehicle owner to monitor the performance and location of vehicles, including the quantity of fuel used by the vehicles on real time basis. 
•    The key features include delivery tracking and route planning, vehicle utilisation reports, trip optimisation, alerts and machine hour operations and geo-fencing to prevent unauthorised use of the asset and theft.
 

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ISRO Successfully Tested Scramjet Engine

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 28 August 2016 successfully test launched the Supersonic Combustion Ramjet engine, called Scramjet, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta in Andhra Pradesh.
•    The experimental mission aimed at realisation of an Air Breathing Propulsion System (ABPS) uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen from the atmosphere air as the oxidiser.
•    Two scramjet engines were mounted alongside of a two-stage, solid fueled rocket called Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), which is an advanced sounding rocket. The national space agency said that its first ever experimental mission met all the specified goals. The rocket carrying Scramjet engines weighed 3277 kg at lift-off.
•    After a flight of about 300 seconds, the vehicle touched down in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 320 km from Sriharikota. The vehicle was successfully tracked during its flight from the ground stations at Sriharikota.
•    With this success, India joined the select league of four space faring nations that have demonstrated flight testing of Scramjet engines.
•    A scramjet (supersonic combusting ramjet) is a variant of a ramjet air breathing jet engine in which combustion takes place in supersonic airflow.
•    The scramjet engine is used only during the atmospheric phase of the rocket’s flight.
•    It uses hydrogen as fuel and the oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidizer.
 

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Japanese Scientists Detect Rare Deep-Earth Tremor S-wave Microseism

Scientists in Japan studying earthquakes for the first time have detected a rare deep-Earth tremor, known as an S (secondary) wave microseism. 
•    Microseisms are very faint tremors. 
•    The detection was made by scientists from the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention in Japan. 
•    The rare deep-Earth tremor S wave microseism was detected for the first time and traced its location to a distant and powerful storm. 
•    The storm in the North Atlantic known as a weather bomb which was a small but potent storm that gains punch as pressure quickly mounts. 
•    During the storm, groups of waves had sloshed and pounded the ocean floor which struck between Greenland and Iceland. 
•    Using seismic equipment on land and on the seafloor researchers found a tremor known as an S wave microseism. 
•    S wave Microseisms are very faint tremors compared to P (primary) wave microseisms and they occur in the 0.05 to 0.5 Hz frequency range. 
 

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