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RSTV: SCIENCE MONITOR 24.04.2021

RSTV

 

 

Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Adaptation Planning in India Using a Common Framework:

  • National climate vulnerability assessment released
  • It identifies the most vulnerable states and districts in India with respect to current climate risk and key drivers of vulnerability.
  • It has identified Jharkhand, Mizoram, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal as states highly vulnerable to climate change.
  • These states, mostly in the eastern part of the country, require prioritization of adaptation interventions.
  • Need for vulnerability assessment:
    • Mapping the parts of India that are vulnerable to extreme changes will help initiating climate actions at the ground level.
    • The assessment will help Policymakers in initiating appropriate climate actions. It will also benefit climate-vulnerable communities across India through development of better-designed climate change adaptation projects.
    • The assessments can further be used for India’s reporting on the Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. And finally, these assessments will support India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change.

IIT Kharagpur’s Covirap to detect covid 19 in 45 minutes:

  • IIT Kharagpur has tied up with industry partners in India and USA to commercialize its machine which can detect COVID-19 without the intervention of experts.
  • The product called COVIRAP – can diagnose several infectious including COVID-19, tuberculosis among others.
  • IIT Kharagpur claims to be using the device on-campus to detect possible novel coronavirus infection.
  • Using this machine, one diagnose COVID-19 using human swab samples and putting them inside the device without requiring any separate facility for RNA extraction.
  • The results can be made available within 45 minutes of obtaining the patient sample.
  • The kit also has a free smartphone app. The results will be sent directly on the app after 45 minutes, claims the IIT.
  • As per the IIT, the testing device does not need medically trained staff and can be performed anywhere. It also gives ‘accurate’ results in 45 minutes, digitally. Thus is critical for community testing, especially in low-income countries.
  • For use of the test, the nasal, as well as oral swab samples, are diluted in a solution and tested in the portable device by mixing with reagents that are supplied in a pre-mixed form.
  • The test runs automatically in the device without intermediate manual intervention.
  • Nucleic acid-based point-of-care tests such as COVIRAP usher great promises as viable alternatives for rapid testing of pathogenic infections at low cost in resource-limited settings.
  • The above move has taken place at a critical juncture when the recent spurt in COVID-19 infection, commonly known as the second wave, has been threatening to spread more rapidly than ever before.
  • Moreover, the commercialization of COVIRAP will initiate complete indigenization and availability of a large range of affordable healthcare products in the Indian market as well as deep trenches of a large global market that is literally starving for the need of such technology.
  • COVIRAP promises its reach to the grass-root level in catering to the needs of the last person of the society.
  • Patents centered around this innovation have been filed in the India, USA, several other countries, in the name of IIT Kharagpur.

New self cleaning material for reusuable PPE IIT Mandi:

  • Indian Institute of Technology Mandi researchers has developed a virus-filtering, self-cleaning and antibacterial material that can be used to make face masks and other PPE equipment.
  • This path-breaking development comes at a time in which it has become imperative to develop techniques to stop the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
  • Results of this work have recently been published in the prestigious journal of the American Chemical Society — Applied Materials and Interfaces
  • Facemasks have (or must) become a default piece of apparel to be worn in public in these pandemic times.
  • They are largely designed to act as a physical barrier between the wearer and the external environment, but in reality, must also act as anti-microbial agents to inhibit or kill pathogens.
  • This is especially important in the case of reusable masks, which are a necessary alternative to single-use masks that add to littering and pollution issues, and secondary infections.
  • In addition to puncturing the microbial membranes, the nanosheets of molybdenum sulfide enable disinfection when exposed to light.
  • Molybdenum sulphide exhibits photothermal properties, i.e., it absorbs solar light and converts it into heat, which kills the microbes.
  • Within 5 min of solar irradiation, all the MoS2-modified fabrics showed 100% killing of both E. coli and S. aureus. Thus, merely hanging out the masks in bright sunlight can clean the mask and make it ready to wear again
  • The researchers have developed prototypes of a 4-layered face mask using the MoS2 modified fabric.
  • They report that these masks, in addition to killing microbes and being light-cleanable, can also filter >96 per cent of particles that are in the size range of the Covid Virus (120 nanometres), without compromising on the breathability of the fabric, and could thus be a powerful tool to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • The proposed materials can also be used to fabricate screens/sheets for the creation of makeshift isolation wards, containment cells and quarantines for holding individuals who come in contact with pathogens.

Earth Day 2021:

  • Observed on April 22 every year.
  • The year 2021 marks the 51st anniversary of the annual celebrations.
  • This year’s theme for Earth Day was ‘Restore Our Earth’.
  • First observed in 1970.
  • The event was triggered by the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, as well as other issues such as smog and polluted rivers.
  • In 2009, the United Nations designated 22nd April as ‘International Mother Earth Day’.
  • Earth Day is now globally coordinated by ORG, which is a non profit organisation.
  • The Paris Agreement was also signed on Earth Day 2016.