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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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World’s first self-driving taxis launched in Singapore

World's first self-driving taxi service was on 25 August 2016 launched in Singapore. With this, Singapore became the first
country in the world to launch such service, beating Uber Technologies Inc by mere days to public road tests of a
technology that could revolutionize the transport industry.
•    The trial, although small, illustrates how intense the global race to develop autonomous driving vehicles has
•    Singapore based nuTonomy began testing a free taxi-hailing service in a small business district in Singapore called
one-north, a campus-like space dominated by tech firms and biotechnology companies. 
•    The trial was given the approval of the Singapore government, which has long sought to turn the city-state into a
hub for disruptive technology through firms like nuTonomy.
•    NuTonomy’s test vehicles, a Renault Zoe and Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car, will have a computer engineer and
backup human driver during the trial phase in case anything goes wrong.
•    These vehicles can be hailed by select members of the public using a smartphone app. 
•    The company will also test its vehicles on a 6 kilometer (3.7 mile) route.

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World's first leprosy vaccine developed in India

GP Talwar, the first Director of the National Institute of Immunology, has developed the world’s first leprosy vaccine. 
•    A pilot run of the indigenous vaccine will be conducted in Bihar and Gujarat in a few weeks, and the government has already started screening people for the disease in high-prevalence districts. 
•    According to research data, leprosy affected 1.27 lakh Indians in 2013-14.
•    Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Union Health Minister, added that a vaccination programm will be implemented in high-prevalence districts across the country if the pilot phase is successful. 
•    The government had begun screening in 50 high prevalence districts and the next phase will cover 165 endemic districts including Erode. 
•    About 7.5 crore people have been screened, out of which 5,000 were diagnosed with leprosy.
•    According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, leprosy affected 1.27 lakh Indians from 2013-14. Let’s hope that this novel invention creates awareness about this disease across India.

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CSMCRI developed photocatalyst that can completely degrade three industrial dyes in the presence of sunlight.

Researchers from the Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavanagar, Gujarat have developed photo catalyst that can completely degrade three industrial dyes in the presence of sunlight. 
•    This photo catalyst is able to completely degrade three industrial dyes — methyl orange, methylene blue and reactive black-5. 
•    The photo catalyst was developed using titanium dioxide doped with red seaweed polymer carrageen an (a substance extracted from purple and red seaweeds). 
•    So the researchers from CSMCRI doped titanium dioxide nano particles with sulphur and carbon by treating it with carrageen an.
•    The nano composite was found to behave as an excellent photo catalyst that degraded the industrial dyes quickly in a single-step process. 
•    The nano composite photo catalyst is thermally stable. It can be reused up to 6 times with the degradation efficiency remaining at over 97%. 

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Mr. Narendra Modi and Putin launch Unit 1 of Kundankulam Nuclear Plant

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on 10 August 2016 dedicated Unit 1 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to the nation.
•    Besides, PM Modi announced that five more reactors of 1000 megawatt each will come up in the same location.
•    The reactors are being built jointly by Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Atomstroy export company, a subsidiary of Rosatom (the regulatory body of the Russian nuclear complex).
•    The power plant is updated with most modern Russian technologies.
•    The first reactor of the plant attained criticality on 13 July 2013 at 11:05 P.M.
•    Unit 1 was operating at 73% capacity by April 2014.
•    Unit 1 attained its maximum capacity of 1000 MWe at 1:20 P.M. on 7 June 2014.
•    It started commercial operation from 31 December 2014.
•    Almost 85 per cent of the funding of the project has come from the State loan of the Russian Federation.

Government Job Preparation and Test Series

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Researchers in India discovered endosulphan responsible for DNA damage

Indian researchers, for the first time, have found that endosulfan, an organochlorine pesticide, causes DNA damages in animals. 
•    The results were published on 4 August 2016 in the journal, Carcinogenesis.
•    Mice and rats exposed to endosulfan generated reactive oxygen species, a potent DNA damaging agent.
•    The reactive oxygen species, in turn, caused DNA damage in the form of breaks in DNA strands.
•    Five animals per group were studied and the experiment was repeated many times.
•    Three different concentrations of endosulfan were tested on animals and four doses of each concentration were given at 24 hours interval.
•    Lungs and testes of the animals were used for the study. These two organs show very proficient DNA repair mechanism.
•    Endosulfan is an off-patent organ chlorine insecticide.
•    Endosulfan sulfate is a product of oxidation containing one extra O atom attached to the S atom.
•    The ban took effect in mid-2012, with certain uses exempted for five additional years.
•    It is still used extensively in India, China, and a few other countries.
•    It is produced by Makhteshim Agan and several manufacturers in India and China.

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First programmable quantum computer created by Scientist

Quantum computers promise speedy solutions to some difficult problems, but building large-scale, general-purpose quantum devices is a problem fraught with technical challenges.
•    To date, many research groups have created small but functional quantum computers. 
•    By combining a handful of atoms, electrons or superconducting junctions, researchers now regularly demonstrate quantum effects and run simple quantum algorithms—small programs dedicated to solving particular problems.
•    But these laboratory devices are often hard-wired to run one program or limited to fixed patterns of interactions between the quantum constituents. 
•    Making a quantum computer that can run arbitrary algorithms requires the right kind of physical system and a suite of programming tools. 
•    Atomic ions, confined by fields from nearby electrodes, are among the most promising platforms for meeting these needs.
•    The new module builds on decades of research into trapping and controlling ions. It uses standard techniques but also introduces novel methods for control and measurement.

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NASA launches projects for eco friendly aircraft

NASA has announced five research projects that may help make planes more efficient and green. 
•    The projects are aimed at shrinking fuel use, reducing aviation’s impact on the environment and quieting noise around airports. 
•    One of these studies will be based on Lithium-Air "breathing batteries” which expel oxygen as the battery is being charged.
•    Those challenges include shrinking fuel use, reducing aviation’s impact on the environment and quieting noise around airports, all at a time when the skies are being filled with an increasing amount of traffic all across the globe.
•    The five study teams selected this year represent researchers from a variety of technical disciplines who work across NASA's aeronautics centers in Virginia, California and Ohio.
•    As NASA considers all options for achieving its research goals related to green aviation during the next decade and beyond, all-electric and hybrid electric aircraft offer promising solutions.

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South India's 1st Doppler weather radar launched

Southern India's first Doppler weather radar, which can provide advance information about storms, cyclones, and other severe weather conditions, was on Thursday inaugurated at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram. 
•    This is India's second C-Band Polarimetric Doppler Weather Radar (C-DWR) as the first was unveiled by PM Narendra Modi in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya, in May 2015.
•    Doppler weather radar, which can provide advance information about storms, cyclones and other severe weather conditions, was today inaugurated at the Vikram Sarabahi Space Centre here.
•    The work was on for two more Doppler radars to be set up in Bhuj in Gujarat and Gopalpur.
•    The radar has been developed as a national effort to meet the country’s weather forecast requirements and establish a network to seamlessly cover the regions of interest, thereby ensuring effective weather forecast.

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IMD to use supercomputer to forecast monsoon with Dynamical Model

The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) in the last week of July 2016 announced that India Meteorological Department (IMD) will use supercomputer to forecast India’s annual summer monsoon.
•    The forecast made by a supercomputer will be based on a dynamical monsoon model. It will be operational from 2017.
•    The dynamical model is also known as the Coupled Forecast System.
•    It collates data on local as well as global weather patterns to simulate a forecast for a specific duration.
•    The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, has been using this model on an experimental basis for around 10 years to assist IMD’s annual monsoon forecasts.
•    To operationalise the alternate model, IMD is investing in supercomputers that can function at a speed of 10 petaflops-per second system.
•    The dynamical model has achieved a 60% accuracy at present and IMD aims to take it up to 77%.
•    The dynamical model and faster computing will also improve short range forecasts as the IMD will be able to access sharper resolution images.

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