India Meteorological Department

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: PIB   Context: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) celebrated its 150th year of establishment and service to the nation.   About India Meteorological Department: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is the primary government agency for meteorology and related topics.  It is responsible for weather forecasting, seismology, and meteorological observations. The …

Radiocarbon dating

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: TH  Context: Radiocarbon dating is a scientific method that utilizes the isotope carbon-14 to determine the age of organic materials. Carbon-14 is created in the Earth’s atmosphere when cosmic rays interact with nitrogen-14 atoms, producing carbon-14. This isotope enters the food chain through plants, animals, and other biomass.    …

Electronic soil’ (eSoil)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: Hindustan Times  Context: Researchers introduced a ground-breaking study on “electronic soil” (eSoil) in hydroponics, offering the potential for sustainable urban agriculture and food security. eSoil is an electrically conductive growth substrate derived from cellulose and a conductive polymer (PEDOT). It stimulates plant roots and the growth environment with low …

Touchscreens

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: TH  Context: The article explores the working principles of touchscreens, focusing on their historical development and prevalent technologies. Touchscreens serve the dual purpose of receiving inputs and displaying outputs, making them integral to devices like smartphones, ATMs, household appliances, and more.   There are two main types of touchscreens, …

Gene drive technology

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: WION    Context: Scientists are developing a “gene drive technology” to potentially eliminate malaria-causing mosquitoes in Africa. This technique involves releasing genetically modified male mosquitoes into the environment to prevent female mosquitoes from producing new female offspring, leading to a reduction in malaria transmission. Despite the promising nature of …

Lathyrism

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: DTE  Context: Grass pea, also known as khesari dal, has been historically infamous for causing lathyrism, a neurological disease leading to lower limb paralysis.  In the late 19th century, an outbreak of lathyrism linked to grass pea led to its ban in India in 1961 under the Prevention of …

Krutrim

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: TOI  Context: Ola has announced the development of a “Made for India” Large Language Model like ChatGPT equivalent called Krutrim. This AI system, designed to support 10 Indian languages, will operate independently from Ola’s mobility and EV businesses. The system, trained on proprietary datasets, aims to address India’s linguistic …

Sickle cell disease

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: Reuters  Context: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for two gene therapies for sickle cell disease. Developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics, Casgevy, and bluebird bio’s Lyfgenia have been approved for individuals aged 12 years and older. One of the approved therapies, Casgevy, is …

How does GPS work

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: TH   Context: The article discusses the functionality and significance of the Global Positioning System (GPS). Established by the U.S. Department of Défense in 1973, GPS is a constellation of 24 satellites orbiting the Earth, providing location information through a network of ground control stations and user devices.   …

Anthrobots

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: Nature  Context: Scientists have created tiny robots, called anthrobots, made from human tracheal cells capable of repairing damaged neural tissue. Unlike previous xenobots made from frog cells, anthrobots are self-assembling and formed from human tissue, potentially paving the way for personalized medicine.    How it works? The researchers grew …

Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance or RISUG

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: TOI    Context: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has successfully tested a long-lasting male contraceptive called “Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance” (RISUG).    About RISUG: RISUG is a non-hormonal injectable male contraceptive that blocks the production of sperm by creating a physical barrier in the vas …

CAR-T cell therapy

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: The Print   Context: India’s Drug Controller General (DCGI) has granted market authorization for CAR-T (Chimeric Antigen Receptor-T) cell therapy developed by ImmunoACT, a spin-off company from IIT-Bombay. This ground-breaking treatment, known as NexCAR19, is now approved for use in cases of relapsed-refractory B-cell lymphoma and leukaemia. The therapy’s …

NavIC

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: Economic Times  Context: The Indian government has announced its intention to make it mandatory for smartphones to integrate with India’s homegrown navigation system, NavIC The devices must either provide support for NavIC-powered chips or use NavIC chipsets. For 5G phones, mandatory NavIC support is required by January 1, 2025, …

arXiv

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: TH   Context: Recently, critique sparked a debate about the quality and impact of research shared on the arXiv platform. The article discusses the role and controversies surrounding arXiv, a widely used preprint server for scientific research papers.   About ArXiv:  ArXiv was created to enable researchers in various …

Indigenous ASTRA Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missile

  Source: PIB  Context: The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) LSP-7, known as “Tejas,” successfully launched the indigenous Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile called ASTRA. The missile was fired from the aircraft at an altitude of approximately 20,000 feet and achieved all test objectives flawlessly. The test was closely supervised by the Aeronautical Development Agency …

Pfizer’s RSV vaccine

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: livescience  Context: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval to Pfizer’s vaccine, Abrysvo, aimed at safeguarding new-borns from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by vaccinating pregnant individuals during the latter stages of pregnancy. Abrysvo has been authorized for use in adults aged 60 and above to protect them …

Demon particle

Facts for Prelims (FFP) Source: Business Standard  Context: Researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered a massless particle, often referred to as a “demon particle,” which could pave the way for the development of superconductors capable of functioning at room temperature. Superconductors, which can conduct electricity without resistance, currently require extremely low temperatures, often …

Gene-edited mustard

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: IE  Context: Researchers in India have made significant advancements in the breeding of mustard plants to create varieties with lower levels of glucosinolates, compounds that contribute to the pungency of mustard oil and meal. The low-glucosinolate mustard lines were developed using gene editing technology known as CRISPR/Cas9. By editing …