Science and Technology (S&T) Current Affairs 2017

Latest Science & Technology Current Affairs 2015-2016; current developments in Science and Technology 2015-2016 all important national / international updates in science and tech and events for the year 2015-2016.

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ISRO to launch record 103 satellites on a single rocket  

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to set a new world record in space history by launching 103 satellites in one go on a single rocket in the first week of February, 2017.

These satellites will be launched on board of ISRO’s workhorse PSLV (C37) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The mission will carry three satellites from India and rest from other countries.

How these satellites will be placed in orbit?
  • The satellites will be separated from vehicle in different directions, once launch vehicle reaches the orbital condition. The separation angle and time of separation will be different for every satellite.
  • The separated satellites will have relative velocity of one metre per second. So after 1,000 seconds distance between satellite and rocket will be 1,000 metres. It will ensure that satellite will not collide with another.
  • The first satellite launched will move at relatively faster velocity than the next satellite. Due to different relative velocities, distance between the satellites will increase continuously but the orbit will remain same.

The present record of highest number of satellites launched in a single mission has been 37 by Russia in 2014. NASA has launched 29 satellites in one go in 2013. In June 2016, ISRO had launched 20 satellites in one go.

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CEPI formally launched at WEF, Davos

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was officially launched at World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos after it received $460-million to develop vaccines against 3 emerging highly-contagious and fatal diseases.

These three diseases are Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-coronavirus, Lassa fever, and Nipah virus.  CEPI will use this fund to contain outbreaks these 3 diseases before they become global health emergencies.

Key Facts
  • Under it, CEPI will solicit proposals from academic researchers and industry to develop candidate vaccines for its three target viruses.
  • In 5 years, it aims develop at least two vaccines for each virus through early human studies so that they are ready for a real-world test as soon as one of these viruses surfaces again.
  • CEPI also intends to fund vaccine platforms—technologies like harmless viral vectors or messenger RNA that can serve as backbones for a variety of vaccines.
  • It has has received $100 million commitments from Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the governments of Germany, Japan and Norway have pledged to contribute additional $260 million.

About Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)

  • CEPI is a public-private alliance to finance and coordinate the development of new vaccines to prevent and contain infectious disease epidemics.
  • It plans to develop early phases of vaccines without knowing the details for the form in which the deadly infection will appear but to cut down the time to tailor the eventual vaccine to be effective to epidemic.
  • CEPI’s plan includes preparations for possible outbreaks of Marburg fever, Lassa fever, MERS, SARS, Nipah virus, Rift Valley fever, chikungunya, and others.
  • It is being funded by the Wellcome Trust, t Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Economic Forum (WEF), Governments of Norway, Japan, India (Department of Biotechnology) and Germany.

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Physicists create a new form of Hydrogen

Physicists from Austria have created new form of Hydrogen i.e. negatively charged hydrogen clusters. It is a previously unseen form of hydrogen.

For the past forty years, existence of hydrogen in ion clusters was known and is positively-charged clusters have already exists.

How negatively charged Hydrogen Clusters were created?
  • Researchers first injected cold liquid helium droplets with hydrogen molecules to form clusters with a neutral charge. Then they exposed these hydrogen-infused droplets to an electron beam.
  • This caused some hydrogen molecules to ionize and be flung out into the surrounding vacuum as negatively charged hydrogen ions.
  • Soon, the nearby hydrogen molecules started clustering around the negatively charged ions to create negatively charged hydrogen clusters that could boast a few, or many molecules each.
  • The newly created negatively charged hydrogen clusters existed only for microseconds (1 microsecond = 0.000001 seconds). But it was enough time for researchers to determine their geometric structures.
  • Significance of Research: It will help researchers to easily identify the clusters in nature.

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