Science & Tech Current Affairs
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.
Scientists from Zhejiang University in China have claimed to have produced an ultra-light substance, called Carbon Aerogel which has a density of 0.16 milligrams per cubic centimetre.
What is the composition of the substance?
- Carbon aerogel which is also being claimed as lightest man-made material ever produced is composed of granite and carbon nanotubes, can absorb up to 900 times its own body weight.
What is its significance?
- The substance is akin to carbon sponge in structure. Owing to its great absorbing capacity it could provide solutions to problems such as pollution control and cleaning up oil spills.
India has unveiled its first indigenous vaccine against rotavirus- Rotavac, the major cause of diarrhoea deaths among children. The preventive vaccine has passed all clinical trials and it will be available for sale in the market by 2014, subject to clearance from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).
What will be the advantages of Rotavac?
As the vaccine has been indigenously developed, it is likely to be around Rs 54 per dose which is 1/40th of the imported vaccines available in the market at present. Low-cost vaccine is expected to help overcome childhood deaths in India as well a number of other low-income countries in the world including Kenya and Bangladesh.
The dosage for the vaccine is similar to the oral polio drop and will be given under the same regimen – 6, 10 and 14 weeks. It has shown an efficacy of 56% in severe diarrhoea and 61% in very severe diarrhoea cases during trials. Besides, there is no side-effect or safety issue.
- Most common causative agent of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) among infants below 11 months age group in India.
- Spreads from person to person.
- As per a study conducted at seven different sites in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asian countries including India, rotavirus causes one episode of MSD for every four infants each year.
- Causes 6.1 lakh childhood deaths each year worldwide out of which more than 80% occur in low-income countries.
- Although efforts to improve sanitation and hygiene make a significant impact on diarrhoea due to bacterial and parasiting agents as they are primarily transmitted through contaminated food or water, the best solution to check incidence of diarrhoea caused by rotavirus is preventive vaccination.