Science & Technology Current Affairs - 2019

Science & Technology Current Affairs 2019-2020 category comprises current affairs with all important national / international updates in science and tech and events for the year 2019-2020 for UPSC, States, Civil services, SSC and other competitive examinations of India and States.

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SARAL to boost remote sensing ability of India

SARAL (Satellite with ARgos and ALtiKa)

image With the launch of SARAL satellite carrying AltiKa and an Argos-3 instrument2 is scheduled to be launched on December 2012 and with this the remote sensing ability of the country will get a boost up.

The SARAL Mission:

The SARAL-Altika mission is a combined effort of ISRO and the French Space Agency (CLS).

  • CLS, a subsidiary of CNES (French Space Agency ‘Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales’).
  • The satellite will map the variability of the sea level.
  • It will also provide data to support operational research in marine meteorology and sea state forecast as well as seasonal forecast.
  • The satellite will be carrying the ARGOS system for CLS and that will help in the transmission of data from Argo floats.
  • The mission is complementary to the Jason-2 mission of NASA/NOAA and CNES/EUMETSAT.
  • It will fill the gap b/w Envisat and the Sentinel 3 mission of the European GMES program.

Firstly lets see some terms:

What is an Altimeter?

“1000 Genomes Project”: Global genomes decoded to trace disease roots

image What is the “1000 Genomes Project”?

  • Scientists working for The 1,000 Genomes Project have decoded the genomes of more than 1,000 people from 14 ethnic global groups. It is the largest and most detailed compilation of human DNA variations, to track origin of rare and common diseases.
  • Launched in January 2008
  • An international research effort to establish by far the most detailed catalogue of human genetic variation.
  • The project has generated raw information to the tune of 180 terabytes. All of the information is freely available on internet.
  • The sequencing of 1092 genomes was announced in a Nature publication in October 2012.

How would this project help?

  • The project would help in tracing genetic origins of diseases in populations around the globe.

As per scientists, genetic composition of any two people is 99 % same, it varies by 1% or less. This 1% or less contains the rare variants which are thought to contribute to rare diseases as well as common conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Deeper understanding over rare variants may also explain why some medications are not effective in certain people or cause side-effects such as nausea, vomiting, insomnia and sometimes even heart problems or death. As per scientists, most rare variants differ from one population to another, and that they developed recently in human evolutionary history, after populations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas diverged from a single group.

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