MIT Current Affairs

World’s largest dome inaugurated in Pune

The world’s largest dome was inaugurated at Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT)’s World Peace University (MIT-WPU) campus at Loni Kalbhor, Pune (Maharashtra). It was inaugurated by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu along with Peace Center on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

World Peace Monument dome

The dome has been built atop MIT World Peace Library and World Peace Prayer Hall, which are named after 13th century poet-saint and philosopher Dnyaneshwar who was pivotal figure of Bhakti movement in Maharashtra.  The dome has diameter of 160 feet, overtaking earlier record holding Vatican Dome having diameter of 139.6 feet . It stands 263 feet tall with bell hanging from centre and has prayer hall with area of around 30,000 sq ft. It is supported by 24 massive columns, each 63 feet tall. The periphery of the dome and underneath — inside and outside has bronze statues of 54 of biggest names in world history stand, irrespective of nationality or religion.

Month: Categories: Places in News 2018

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MIT scientists create plants that can glow in dark

Scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US have found a novel way to induce plants to give off dim light by embedding specialised nanoparticles into their leaves.

The purpose of this experiment was to make plant function as a desk lamp, powered by the energy metabolism of the plant itself and not by electricity connection.

Key Facts

To create the glowing plants, scientists has used to luciferase, an enzyme that gives fireflies their glow. Luciferase acts on molecule called luciferin, causing it to emit light. Moreover, they had used another molecule called co-enzyme A which helps process along by removing reaction by-product that can inhibit luciferase activity.

They had packaged each of these three components into silica nanoparticle carrier about 10 nanometres in diameter to carry luciferase. They also used slightly larger particles of the polymers PLGA and chitosan to carry luciferin and coenzyme A, respectively.

To get the nanoparticles particles into plant leaves, scientists first had suspended particles in solution. Then plants were immersed in solution and later exposed to high pressure. It allowed particles to enter leaves through tiny pores called stomata.

Particles releasing luciferin and coenzyme A were designed to accumulate in extracellular space of mesophyll, an inner layer of leaf, while smaller particles carrying luciferase enter cells that make up mesophyll. The PLGA particles gradually released luciferin in solution, which then entered plant cells, where luciferase performs chemical reaction that makes luciferin glow. In this experiment, plants glowed for about 45 minutes.

Significance

It is considered as major step towards using plants to illuminate the workspace. This technology can be used to provide low-intensity indoor lighting, or to transform trees into self-powered street lights.

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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