Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

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Former ISRO Chairman U R Rao passes away

Internationally-renowned space scientist and former chairman of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away in Bengaluru. He was 85.

Prof Rao is credited with having played an instrumental role in building up Indian satellite programmes right from nation’s first satellite Aryabhatta.

About U R Rao

He was born on 10 March 1932 in Adamaru, Karnataka. He is alumni of Madras University, Gujarat University, Banaras Hindu University.

He had served as Chairman of ISRO from 1984 to 1994. Under his guidance, ISRO had designed more than 20 satellites including India’s first satellite Aryabhatta. Under his leadership, India had initiated the development of the geostationary launch vehicle GSLV and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.

He was also responsible for successful launch of INSAT satellites during his stint at ISRO. He had played pivotal role in promoting the use of space technology for broadcasting, education, meteorology, disaster warning and remote sensing. He also had served as the first Chairman of Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the ISRO.

He has published more than 350 scientific and technical papers in various journals covering topics like cosmic rays, high energy astronomy, interplanetary physics, space applications and satellite and rocket technology and also authored many books.

He was serving many reputed scientific research institutions and Universities as a member of their academic councils and panels. He was chancellor of Indian Institute for Space Science and Technology (IIST) at Thiruvananthapuram, Chairman of the Governing Council of the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad and Nehru Planetarium at Bengaluru.

For his contribution to Indian space technology, he was awarded Padma Bhushan (1976) and Padma Vibhushan (2017). He is the first Indian space scientist to be inducted into the prestigious ‘Satellite Hall of Fame’ in Washington DC in 2013 and also first in ‘ International Astronautics Federation (IAF) Hall of Fame’ in Mexico’s Guadalajara in May 2016.


Spanish scientists discover novobiocin compound as anti-Zika drug

Researchers San Antonio Catholic University of Murcia, Spain have discovered novobiocin compound that could be used as a potential drug to fight the effects of a Zika virus infection.

The novobiocin molecule (compound) was previously used in antibiotic drug to fend off “nosocomial” infections (those acquired inside a hospital). However, the drug was withdrawn from the market because it had lost its potency as an antibiotic.

Novobiocin compound

Researchers have found that this compound can counter the symptoms of the mosquito-borne Zika disease. It has shown phenomenal recovery results in mice with 100-percent cure rate. However, researchers are still figuring out the exact dose needed for humans to achieve the same successful outcome. They also have patented the molecule for anti-Zika treatment.

About Zika virus

Zika virus is vector borne disease transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the same mosquito that transmits dengue. It is also found that, sexual transmission of Zika virus disease is possible. The Zika virus has been named after Zika forest in Uganda where it was first isolated in 1947.

The Zika disease had seen swift expansion between early 2015 and January 2016 throughout South America and Caribbean where babies with abnormally smaller heads due to Microcephaly were born. World Health Organization (WHO) had declared the disease as epidemic and global health emergency but later revoked it after the outbreak was brought under control.