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RSTV: SCIENCE MONITOR 17.07.2021

RSTV

 

 

Device for vaccine delivery:

  • DBT-BIRAC has developed Emvolio, a portable, battery-powered medical-grade refrigeration device that improves the efficiency of the immunization by strictly maintaining preset temperature for up to 12 hours, thus enabling the safe and efficient transportation of vaccines to the last mile.
  • Emvolio has a 2-litre capacity, enabling it to carry 30-50 vials, the standard for a daylong immunization campaign.
  • The device also includes continuous temperature monitoring, location tracking, state-of-charge indication, communication with headquarters via live-tracking, and vital statistics for improved coverage.
  • Emvolio’s patented technology ensures that all contents in the cold chamber are blanketed in strictly temperature-controlled air.
  • The underlying refrigeration mechanism is solid-state cooling with a smart PID (Proportional Integral Derivate) controller, which guarantees precise temperature maintenance without the risk of noxious refrigerant leakage or cross-contamination.
  • The lack of motors/compressors or any moving parts enables low-maintenance operation. The unique design of Emvólio promises uniform cooling and minimal freeze-thaw cycles.
  • Due to its ability of the device to strictly maintain the temperature between 2°C and 8°C for up to 12 hours in the field, the device is being used as a platform for delivery of vaccines and all other biologicals like blood, serums, viral culture.
  • The innovation solves the current challenge of last-mile vaccine delivery as currently iceboxes, which have no mechanism for temperature control and regulation, are being used.
  • The absence of temperature control and regulation in iceboxes also poses the risk of accidental freezing and thawing, rendering the temperature-sensitive vaccines inefficacious.

AI based model to detect blight in potato crop:

  • Researchers at IIT Mandi have developed the best and working technique for the potato cultivators, now they can detect crop failure through photos.
  • Researchers have prepared a computer app with a complex computational model, which will be able to detect blight disease using photographs of the potato leaves.
  • In this research, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has succeeded in detecting diseased parts of leaves.
  • Potatoes usually have blight disease and if not stopped in time, the entire crop is damaged in just a week.
  • To check this, experts have to go to the fields. Its disease is detected after careful examination. But now after this new technology, just the photos of the leave will help detect whether the crop is diseased or not.
  • Once examined, if it’s known that the crop is going to be damaged, then the crop can be saved by using insecticides in time.
  • By taking a photo of diseased-looking leaves with this app, this app will confirm in real-time whether the leaf is getting damaged or not.
  • The farmer will know in time when to spray the field to prevent the disease so that the yield does not get damaged. Also, it prevents wastage of money due to fungicide.
  • Special emphasis has been given to make this model work across the country. After the success of this model, the IIT Mandi team is miniaturizing it to about 10 MB to make it easily available as an application on a smartphone.

IISc scientists discover two species of few electron bubbles in superfluid helium:

  • Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have experimentally shown the existence of two species of few electron bubbles (FEBs) in superfluid helium for the first time.
  • These FEBs can serve as a useful model to study how the energy states of electrons and interactions between them in a material influence its properties.
  • The study was published in ‘Science Advances’.
  • An electron injected into a superfluid form of helium creates a single electron bubble (SEB) a cavity that is free of helium atoms and contains only the electron.
  • The shape of the bubble depends on the energy state of the electron. For instance, the bubble is spherical when the electron is in the ground state (1S).
  • There are also MEBs multiple electron bubbles that contain thousands of electrons. FEBs, on the other hand, are nanometre-sized cavities in liquid helium containing just a handful of free electrons.
  • The number, state and interactions between free electrons dictate the physical and chemical properties of materials.
  • Studying FEBs, therefore, could help scientists better understand how some of these properties emerge when a few electrons present in a material interact with each other.
  • Understanding how FEBs are formed can also provide insights into the self-assembly of soft materials, which can be important for developing next- generation quantum materials. However, scientists have only theoretically predicted the existence of FEBs so far.
  • The researchers first applied a voltage pulse to a tungsten tip on the surface of liquid helium. Then they generated a pressure wave on the charged surface using an ultrasonic transducer.
  • This allowed them to create 8EBs and 6EBs, two species of FEBs containing eight and six electrons respectively.
  • These FEBs were found to be stable for at least 15 milliseconds (quantum changes typically happen at much shorter time scales) which would enable researchers to trap and study them.
  • FEBs form an interesting system that has both electron-electron interaction and electron-surface interaction.
  • There are several phenomena that FEBs can help scientists decipher, such as turbulent flows in superfluids and viscous fluids, or the flow of heat in superfluid helium.
  • Just like how current flows without resistance in superconducting materials at very low temperatures, superfluid helium also conducts heat efficiently at very low temperatures. But defects in the system, called vortices, can lower its thermal conductivity.
  • Since FEBs are present at the core of such vortices as the authors have found in this studythey can help in studying how the vortices interact with each other as well as heat flowing through the superfluid helium.