Science and Technology Current Affairs – 2018

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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Bombali: New strain of Ebola virus discovered in Sierra Leone

Researchers working in joint US-West African study funded by USAid have discovered new strain of Ebola virus in bats in northern Bombali region of Sierra Leone. It has been named as Bombali virus strain, after district where it was found. The Bombali virus is overall sixth known virus strain Ebola virus. Others are Zaire, Sudan, Tai Forest, Bundibugyo and Reston. Ebola virus is a highly fatal haemorrhagic fever that is spread through contact with bodily fluids from infected persons and animals which include non-human primates, bats and forest antelope. Zaire strain of Ebola virus is the most deadly strain known

Bombali strain

The new Bombali strain of Ebola virus is distinct from its other virus strains. It is not yet known whether it could develop into the deadly disease. It is also not known that if Bombali virus has been transmitted to people or if it causes disease in people. However, results show it has the potential to infect human cells. Further research will help in understanding more about specific risks it poses.

Background

The finding of new strain of virus comes two years after end of worst-ever Ebola outbreak that killed more than 11,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  The three West African neighbouring countries were hard hit by Ebola outbreak which began in Guinea in December 2013 before spreading to Liberia and Sierra Leone. The epidemic was declared over by World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2016 after claiming over 11,300 lives out of nearly 30,000 registered cases. The 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was caused by Zaire virus, which was discovered in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire in 1976.

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Google unveils two new AI chips

Internet search engine giant Google at its Cloud Next 2018 conference held in San Francisco unveiled two new Artificial Intelligence (AI) chips aimed at helping customers develop and deploy intelligent connected devices at scale. They are Edge TPU and Cloud IoT Edge.

Key Facts

Edge TPU: The new hardware chip is purpose-built application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) designed to run AI at the edge. It so small that four such chips can fit on US penny. It will bring brain to devices at extremely low cost and high power efficiency without compromising performance. It delivers high performance in small physical and power footprint, enabling deployment of high-accuracy AI at the edge.

Cloud IoT Edge: It is a software stack that extends Google Cloud’s powerful AI capability to gateways and connected devices. One of companies using theis new technologies is LG CNS, a subsidiary of LG.

Artificial intelligence

AI is branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans. In contrast to normal hardware and software, AI enables a machine to perceive (i.e. to think) and respond to its changing environment.

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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