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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IIT Guwahati Researchers develop portable device to detect bacteria without lab tests

A team of researchers at Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT-G) has developed portable diagnostic device to detect bacteria without cell culture or microbiological assays. Researchers team work has been patented as well as published in July 2019 issue of Journal of Materials Chemistry of Royal Society of Chemistry.

Key Highlights

Function: This hand-held device is well equipped to detect bacteria instantaneously without need for lab tests. The device has a bio-compatible sensor that can also diagnose time-critical illnesses such as meningitis. These rapid detection kits are like those used for blood sugar monitoring or pregnancy detection.

Working Principle: It is Organic Field Effect Transistor (OFET)based Bacteria Sensor (or Bacterial Diagnostic device) which has been shown to have ability to detect bacteria and distinguish between Gram positive bacteria (such as S pneumoniae) and Gram negative (such as the common E. coli) types. Currently detection of bacteria in body fluids is done in laboratories. OFET is an electronic device that works on principle that charges in vicinity of channels of certain semiconductors can induce a current in them. Therefore, charges on surface of bacterium, induces a current in OFET, which is registered and read.

OFET devices developed by IIT-G team consists of a unique and hybrid tri-layer dielectric system built on simple glass and flexible PET (a kind of plastic) substrates, and can operate at ultra-low operating voltages.

Need: Across the world bacterial infection is a common cause of morbidity and mortality and even despite development of a range of antibiotics, challenge continues to lie in diagnosing bacterial infection early on. Also,

Significance: Present techniques used are extremely time- consuming as cells derived from a patient are cultured or grown in laboratories to detect and microanalyse bacteria. However, this new portable device, can instantly detect charges on cell walls of bacteria.

Application: This research has enabled rapid detection of bacteria, which is not just important in healthcare but also in anti- bioterrorism measures as well as environmental monitoring.

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INTELIGHTS: India’s 1st 3-D Smart Traffic Signal launched in Mohali

Mohali traffic police in Punjab have launched India’s first wireless 3-D Smart Traffic Signal System called Intelights. It proposes a Intelligent Traffic Timer Control to regulate traffic signals with smart bird’s eye view using wireless sensor system. It has been installed at traffic crossing near the Airport Road in Mohali on a pilot project basis.

Background

One of the major reasons for traffic congestion is inefficient working of traffic signal timers installed at intersections. Presently, timers of traffic lights display preset value which leads to waste of time. For instance, consider scenario in which traffic signal shows green light for ’20 seconds’ but there is no vehicle present at that particular intersection – thus leading to unnecessary waste of time.

About Intelights

It has been devised by students of Chandigarh university after three years of intensive research. It proposes a 360-degree solution to curb the rising problem of traffic congestion

Working: It uses dynamic signal control technology to adjust timers of red, yellow and green lights according to the traffic density at an intersection. It uses existing CCTV cameras to gather live traffic video feed, and automatically evaluates the traffic density using Artificial Intelligence (AI), and sets signal timers accordingly. This process is repeated for every cycle of traffic lights to keep traffic flowing smoothly.

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