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Insights Learning (I-Learning) TEST 11 : 08 – 15 OCTOBER, 2017


I-Learning Test 11 : 08 – 15 OCTOBER, 2017


 

  1. Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project

It is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope.

Importance:

  • As one of the largest scientific endeavours in history, the SKA will bring together a wealth of the world’s finest scientists, engineers and policy makers to bring the project to fruition.
  • It should be able to survey the sky more than ten thousand times faster than ever before.
  • It would operate over a wide range of frequencies and its size will make it 50 times more sensitive than any other radio instrument.

Details:

  • With receiving stations extending out to distance of at least 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) from a concentrated central core, it would exploit radio astronomy’s ability to provide the highest resolution images in all astronomy.
  • It would require very high performance central, computing engines and long-haul links with a capacity greater than the global Internet traffic as of 2013.

Location:

The SKA would be built in the southern hemisphere, in sub-Saharan states with cores in South Africa and Australia, where the view of the Milky Way Galaxy is best and radio interference least – Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Source: Additional Research: RDS/AS/UD (Release ID :171478)

 

 


 

  1. Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs)

Declared by IUCN, ICCAs are natural and/or modified ecosystems containing significant biodiversity values, ecological services and cultural values, voluntarily conserved by Indigenous peoples and local communities, both sedentary and mobile, through customary laws or other effective means.

  • Several of them are inviolate zones ranging from very small to large stretches of land and waterscapes. But, not all of them are such zones.
  • ICCAs can include ecosystems with minimum to substantial human influence as well as cases of continuation, revival or modification of traditional practices or new initiatives taken up by communities in the face of new threats or opportunities.
  • In 2004, WWF-India introduced the concept of a Community Conserved Area (CCA) to empower local communities to become active decision-makers and implement conservation initiatives.
  • Local communities in these CCAs form committees to undertake wildlife monitoring, patrolling and community-based tourism activities.

Q Source: https://www.iucn.org/content/indigenous-and-community-conserved-areas-bold-new-frontier-conservation

 

 


  1. Developments: Nanotechnology

Nanobacteria:

  • Nanobacteria are nano-sized in that they are from 20—200 nanometres (run) in size and are the smallest known self-replicating bacteria.
  • Nanobacteria are thought to have been found in human blood and may be related to health issues such as the formation of kidney stones due to their biomineralizaton processes. This view has been met with some resistance however.

Nanogels:

  • Nanogels are composed of cross-linked three-dimensional polymer chain networks that are formed via covalent linkages or self-assembly processes.
  • Potential applications of nanogels include drug delivery agents, contrast agents for medical imaging, nanoactuators, and sensors.
  • Nanogels with cross-linked structure provide a versatile platform for storage and release of proteins. It is a highly desirable method of loading and delivering active forms of proteins toward cells for remaining activity, enhancing stability, and avoiding potential immunogenicity of proteins.
  • Nanogels composed of polyethylenimine (PEI) have been used to deliver anti-cancer compounds into cells.

Nanog:

Nanog is a key pluripotency regulator critically important in the process of self-renewal of undifferentiated stem cells. It is encoded by the NANOG gene.

Cell potency is a cell’s ability to differentiate into other cell types.

  • The more cell types a cell can differentiate into, the greater its potency. Potency is also described as the gene activation potential within a cell which like a continuum begins with totipotency to designate a cell with the most differentiation potential, pluripotency, multipotency, oligopotency and finally unipotency.
  • Pluripotency refers to a stem cell that has the potential to differentiate into any of the three germ layers: endoderm (interior stomach lining, gastrointestinal tract, the lungs), mesoderm (muscle, bone, blood, urogenital), or ectoderm (epidermal tissues and nervous system)

 


 

  1. Indian Post Payments Bank (IPPB)

It has been established based on RBI’s payments bank guidelines on the recommendations of the Nachiketa More Committee.

Structure

It will be 100% owned by the Government of India via DoP, and will have an independent board of directors with representation from DoP and other stakeholders from within the Government of India to ensure strategic alignment with the overall objectives of the DoP and the Government of India.

IPPB is slated to have 650 branches at district headquarters and each branch would act as an access point.

About Payments bank

It is a “differentiated bank” to further financial inclusion for the underserved population by providing (i) current and savings accounts and (ii) payments or remittance services to migrant labour workforce, low income households, small businesses, unorganised sector entities and other users.

This is to be done by enabling high volume-low value transactions in deposits and payments or remittance services in a secure technology-driven environment.

Source: Additional Research http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/india-post-payments-bank-branches-to-help-promote-financial-inclusion-says-manoj-sinha/articleshow/61013320.cms

 

 


 

 

  1. Cyanotoxins

They are toxins produced by bacteria called cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae).

  • Cyanobacteria are found almost everywhere, but particularly in lakes and in the ocean where, under certain conditions, they reproduce exponentially to form blooms.
  • Blooming cyanobacteria can produce cyanotoxins in such concentrations that they poison and even kill animals and humans.

Implications

Among cyanotoxins are some of the most powerful natural poisons known, including poisons which can cause rapid death by respiratory failure. The toxins include potent neurotoxins, hepatotoxins, cytotoxins, and endotoxins.

  • Bio-sensors for detection of toxins have been used for assessment of the water quality and a nano-particle based water treatment system to eliminate toxins and microorganisms in water.
  • Toxins which can be detected are cyanotoxin (microcystins, anatoxins) and micro-organisms (Enterococcus, Salmonella, Staphylococcus).