Science and Technology Current Affairs

China launches world’s first fully electric cargo ship

China launched world’s first fully electric cargo ship in Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong province. It is the first ship in the world to use lithium ion battery. The ship will be mainly used to run in inland section of Pearl River for carrying coal for generation of electric power.

Key Facts

The 2000-metric-ton ship was manufactured by the Guangzhou Shipyard International Company Ltd. It is 70.5 meters long and is powered by 26-tonne lithium battery. It has battery energy of about 2400 kilowatt (kw) hours which is same energy of 40 new energy cars. It can run 80 kilometers after being charged for two hours. Its highest speed is 12.8 kilometers per hour. This all-electric ship will help in reducing shipping costs for electric power operators. The main cost of this ship depends on how much lithium battery it is equipped with. As the ship does not use fossil fuels, it has zero emission, including carbon, sulphur and PM2.5 which will help to protect water quality and marine life. It can be used as passenger liner or a working ship.

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Musa paramjitiana: New species of wild banana discovered in Andaman and Nicobar

Botanists have discovered new species of wild banana named Musa paramjitiana in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It has been name in honour of Paramjit Singh, director of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI

Musa paramjitiana species was discovered in North Andaman’s Krishnapuri forest, 6 kilometres from any human habitation.

Key Facts

Musa paramjitiana species grows to height of nine metres and bears an edible, sweet-and-sour tasting fruit that is boat-shaped and has numerous bulb-shaped seeds.  The fruit of Musa paramjitiana is part of diet of local tribes.

Its fruits and seeds have ethno-medicinal importance. Pseudo-stem and leaves of these species are also used during religious and cultural ceremonies.

Its conservation status has been declared as ‘Critically Endangered’ as it has so far been spotted in only two locations on islands, each with 6 to 18 plants in a clump. No population has been located in other regions of Islands.

Significance of Discovery

Andaman and Nicobar Islands are biodiversity hotspot and hosts seven different species of wild banana. In 2014, another wild banana named Musa indandamanensis was discovered in remote tropical rain forest on the Little Andaman island. It has dark green cylindrical flower buds.

These discoveries present great opportunity for plant breeders and horticulture experts to improve existing banana crop. The germplasm of all wild banana species also needs to be conserved on an urgent basis, since most of these are found in very small habitats and at risk of extinction.

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