scientists

IISC, Park Systems to open Nanoscience Lab

IISC, Park Systems to open Nanoscience Lab
IISC Bangalore India and Park Systems to open ‘Park Nanoscience Lab’ at Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE). The Nanoscience Lab will be equipped with Park NX20 AFM at the CeNSE & will hold workshops on the latest advancements in nanometrology. The Lab at Indian Institute is a tremendous step forward for researchers in India in fields of science & technology.

NASA Juno spots volcano on Jupiter moon Io

Scientists have discovered a volcano close to the south pole of Jupiter’s moon Io, using data collected by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The infrared data were collected in December 2018, when Juno was about 470,000 kilometres away from the moon, using its Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument. Juno was launched on August 5, 2011, from the US.

World’s 1st Colour X-Ray Performed On a Human

New Zealand scientists have performed the first-ever 3-D, colour X-ray on a human. The device is based on the traditional X-ray but incorporates particle-tracking technology developed for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. This colour X-ray imaging will produce more accurate pictures & help doctors give their patients more accurate diagnoses. CERN is a European Organization for Nuclear Research.

NASA puts Kepler space telescope to sleep

The Kepler Space Telescope, which is a famous planet-hunting telescope of NASA has been put to sleep since it is almost out of fuel. The telescope was launched by NASA in 2009 to learn more about the frequency and number of planets in our galaxy. Scientists have found many exoplanets with the help of this telescope, which is 94 million miles away from the Earth.

UK launched new visas to Indian scientists

The UK has launched new visas that will be open to overseas scientists and researchers, including Indians. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Science, Research, and Academia scheme is being added to the already existing Tier 5 visa route. UKRI along and other organisations such as the Natural History Museum will now be able to directly sponsor highly skilled individuals.

1st image of baby planet being formed

Astronomers say they’ve captured the first confirmed image of a planet forming in the dust swirling around a young star. Scientists said the planet appears as a bright spot in the snapshot taken using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. It is said to have a cloudy atmosphere and a surface temperature of 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit).

NASA to use submarines for hunting meteorite

Scientists from several organisations in the US, including NASA, are planning to use remote-operated submarines to hunt for the remains of an outer space object. The Nautilus research ship of the non-profit group Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) will aid in the scavenger hunt, Digitaltrends. The object splashed down into the Pacific Ocean on March 7.

Over 100 exoplanets identified

Scientists have identified more than 100 giant planets outside our solar system that may potentially host moons capable of supporting life. The finding will guide the design of future telescopes that can detect these potential moons and look for tell-tale signs of life, called biosignatures, in their atmospheres. There are currently 175 known moons orbiting the 8 planets in our solar system,

ISRO’s scientists discover an ‘EPIC’ planet

A team from the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, has spotted for the first time a distant planet six times bigger than Earth and revolving around a Sun-like star about 600 light years away. Both the planet and the star have been named EPIC. EPIC 211945201b (or K2-236b) is the name given to the planet and the host star is named EPIC 211945201 or K2-236.

Milky Way disc much bigger than thought

Scientists say it will take us 2,00,000 years to cross the disc even if we travel at the speed of light. Spiral galaxies, such as the Milky Way, have discs which are really thin, in which the major fraction of their stars are found. These discs are limited in size so that beyond certain radius there are very few stars left.

Scientists in India discover a planet

Scientists at Ahmedabad’s Physical Research Laboratory have discovered an exoplanet, propelling India into a select group of countries which have found planets outside the solar system. The ‘super-Neptune’ is about 27 times the mass of Earth and six times its radius. It is most likely ‘uninhabitable’ due to the proximity to its star, 600 light-years away from Earth, scientists found.

U.S. team to join Indian Ocean study

A team of 20 scientists, along with a key vessel of the United States NOAA, is arriving in Goa. It will mark the expansion of U.S.-Indian collaboration in the study of the Indian Ocean. Subtle changes on the surface and deep below in the western Indian Ocean have significant impact on weather in India in days, and in the United States, two to four weeks later.

539 species discovered in India in 2017

539 new species of plants and animals were discovered by scientists in the country in 2017, say publications from ZSI and BSI. Animal Discoveries, 2017 lists 300 new species of fauna. Plant Discoveries, 2017 lists 239 new flora species. Besides these discoveries, the biodiversity in the country recorded another 263 species with 174 new records of animals and 89 of plants found.

Traces of water, metal found in exoplanet

Scientists have identified traces of of multiple metals, along with possible signs of water, in one of the least dense exoplanets ever found. The team used the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) to observe WASP-127b, a giant gaseous planet with partly clear skies and strong signatures of metals in its atmosphere. WASP-127b has a radius 1.4 times larger than Jupiter but has only 20% of its mass.

3D printed human corneas created

Scientists have created 3D printed human corneas in order to solve the shortage of eye donors. This would help millions of blind people gain sights and also prevent corneal blindness because of diseases such as trachoma. The dimensions of the printed cornea were taken from an actual human cornea to match its shape and size.

Rare, isolated neutron star discovered

NASA scientists have discovered a special kind of neutron star for the first time outside of the Milky Way galaxy. Neutron stars are the ultra dense cores of massive stars that collapse and undergo a supernova explosion. The newly identified neutron star was discovered using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile.

Ruthenium found to have magnetic properties

Scientists have demonstrated that the chemical element ruthenium (Ru) is the fourth single element to have unique magnetic properties at room temperature. The discovery could be used to improve sensors, devices in the computer memory and logic industry. Only 3 elements have been found to be ferromagnetic at room temperature — iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), and nickel (Ni).

Defence Secretary to be the DRDO chief

The government has asked Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra to hold additional charge of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). This comes after Eminent scientist S Christopher completed his term as the Chief of DRDO. Christopher was appointed as the Director General of the DRDO for a two-year term in May 2015 and was given a one-year extension in May 2017.

Mountain ranges discovered beneath Antarctica

Mountain ranges and valleys have been discovered by scientists deep beneath the Western Antarctic ice region. This discovery will contribute to the rising global sea levels. Three valleys were discovered by the researchers linking the two major parts of Antarctica, out of which, one is 217 miles long.

Fastest growing black hole discovered

Scientists have discovered the fastest-growing black hole known in the universe. The energy emitted from this newly discovered supermassive black hole, also known as a quasar, was mostly ultraviolet light but also radiated x-rays. The discovery of the new supermassive black hole was confirmed using the spectrograph on the ANU 2.3 metre telescope to split colours into spectral lines.

ISRO making green propellant

Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation have reported progress in the development of an environment-friendly propellant to power satellites and spacecraft. The effort is to replace the conventional hydrazine rocket fuel, a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical, with a greener propellant. ISRO has started working on propellant blend based on hydroxylammonium nitrate.

World’s second oldest rock is from Odisha

A rock sample was recovered nearly eight years ago from Champua in Odisha’s Kendujhar district. Scientists have found in the rock a grain of magmatic zircon (a mineral that contains traces of radioactive isotopes). It is an estimated to be around 4,240 million years old — a discovery of great promise to study the earth’s early years.

New sheep insemination technique developed

Scientists at the Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute (CSWRI), have come up with a new laparoscope-assisted insemination technique for sheep. The minor invasive laparoscopic technique involves passing a rigid fiber-optic laparoscope into the abdomen through a small incision. Scientists said the new technique would help achieve up to 60% survival in the birth of lambs.

World’s oldest spider discovered in Australia

Scientists have discovered what may be the world’s oldest recorded spider – a 43-year-old arachnid in Australia.The Giaus Villosus trapdoor matriarch, had outlived the previous world record holder, a 28-year old tarantula found in Mexico. The spider has recently died during a long-term population study.

New frog species takes historical name of Goa

In the highland plateaus of the Western Ghats parts of Goa, scientists have identified a new species of frog called ‘Fejervarya goemchi’.The new species is named after the historical name of the state of Goa where the species is discovered.The new species is found in the high elevation areas of laterite plateaus, temporary water bodies and paddy fields of Goa.

Giant Mosquito Found In China

Scientists have discovered a giant mosquito from the ‘Holorusia mikado’ species with a wingspan of 11.15 cm in China.First found in Japan, the Holorusia mikado species normally has a wingspan of about 8 cm. These mosquitoes do not feed on blood & the adults have a lifespan of only a few days and mainly feed on nectar.

Mechanism of deadly fungal infection found

Scientists have discovered a unique mechanism that drives the spread of a rare and deadly fungal infection that affects the lungs and brain. Cptococcosirys is a fungal infection that usually only occurs in people with impaired immunity, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham. The infection affects the lungs first, because it is acquired by inhaling fungal spores.

Icarus, the farthest star ever seen

Scientists have detected the most distant star, Icarus, ever viewed, located more than halfway across the universe.The star was formally named MACS J1149+2223 Lensed Star-1. Scientists used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to spot the star. The star is 9.3 billion lights years away from Earth and it is about twice as hot as our sun.

China’s Tiangong-1 space lab set to hit Earth

China’s Tiangong-1 or Heavenly Palace space station is set to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere b/w March 31 & April 1.Scientists have underlined that the danger of Tiangong-1 being hit by falling debris is tiny, as the structure is likely to burn up in the atmosphere during its re-entry In 2011, China launched Tiangong-1 as a prototype for Beijing’s goal of establishing a permanent space station

Hot, metallic Earth-sized planet discovered

Scientists have discovered a hot, metallic, Earth-sized planet-’K2-229b’- orbiting a dwarf star located 260 million light-years away. The planet is almost 20% larger than Earth but has a mass which is over two-and-a-half times greater. K2-229b is also the innermost planet in a system of at least three planets, though all three orbit much closer to their star than Mercury.

New low-cost material to reduce pollution

Scientists have developed a new low-cost and sustainable material that may displace activated carbon as the preferred choice for reducing water and air pollution. The material is synthesized inexpensively from solid wastes and a naturally abundant polymer. Activated carbon is the common adsorbent used to reduce both atmospheric and water pollution but is expensive to produce and regenerate.

New species of water strider found

Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India have discovered a new species of the water strider. The species, named Ptilomera nagalanda Jehamalar and Chandra, was found in the river Intanki in Peren district of Nagaland. Water striders are a group of insects adapted to life on the surface of the water. Their presence serves as an indicator of the water quality.

Scientists Find Ultra-Rare Ice-VII on Earth

Scientists have found the first-ever samples of naturally occurring ice-VII on Earth. The samples were found in a diamond. Ice-VII is unique in that it remains stable even as pressure increases dramatically. It‘s 1.5 times more dense than normal ice. The formation of ice-VII doesn‘t require freezing temperatures — as long as the pressure is high enough, ice-VII can form at room temperature.

New antibiotic discovered by scientists.

A novel species of a bacterium that produces antibiotic has been discovered by a professor at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) and his researchers. The newly discovered bacterium, Planctopirus hydrilla, may provide a solution to the problem of diseases becoming resistant to a majority of known drugs. The new bacteria would also clean up ammonia waste, a growing environmental concern.

The reptile that could detach its tail

Scientists have identified ancient reptiles dating back to 289 million years ago that could detach their tails to escape the grasp of their predators. The reptiles, called Captorhinus, weighed less than two kilograms and were smaller than the predators of the time. Captorhinus are small omnivores and herbivores, and its relatives had to scrounge for food while avoiding being preyed upon.

New study on avian evolution

Scientists have discovered a tiny fossil of a prehistoric baby bird, which can help them understand how early avians came into the world in the age of dinosaurs. The fossil, which dates back to the Mesozoic Era (250-65 million years ago), is a chick from a group of prehistoric birds called Enantiornithes. Itis according to researchers at the University of Manchester in the UK.

Colonies of penguins discovered in Antarctica

‘Mega-colonies’ of over 15 lakh Adélie penguins have been discovered on Danger Islands near the Antarctic peninsula. Prompted by satellite images, scientists mounted on an expedition and used on-the-ground counts and drones to reveal 7,51,527 pairs of penguins. Researchers have called for protecting the area, five times larger than Germany, as it was seemingly unaffected by climate change.

New plant species named after Abdul Kalam

Scientists from the Botanical Survey of India have identified a new plant species from two protected National Parks in West Bengal. Named Drypetes kalamii, it is a small shrub found to be shorter version of its close relative Drypetes ellisii. The plant is named after former President Abdul Kalam.

3rd elephant species confirmed

Creating a DNA map of the elephant family, an international team of scientists have confirmed there are three species of modern elephant, apart from the commonly known African and Asian elephants. African savannah was listed a new species distinct from African forest elephants. Data revealed near-complete isolation between their ancestors for a duration of 5,00,000 years.

Bacteria survive for years in desert

1 : Mars could harbour life, scientists believe after finding bacteria in Chile‘s Atacama Desert that can lie dormant without rain for a decade before being reactivated‘. Atacama, which gets less than 20 millimetres of rainfall annually, is considered Earth‘s driest place. As the moisture left the soil, after a year or two, the microbes began to revert to their dormant state.

Kepler discovers nearly 100 new exoplanets

17 : Team of scientists have confirmed the discovery of nearly 100 new exoplanets – planets located outside our solar system.Discovery was based on data from the 2nd mission of NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope released in 2014. The detected planets range from sub-Earth-sized to the size of Jupiter & larger. Newly discovered exoplanets brings the total no of exoplanets by K2 mission to almost 300.

Sea level will rise by over 2 feet by 2100

Scientists have learned from 25 years of satellite data that sea levels are rising at 3 mm every year, while its rate is increasing about 0.08 mm per year.Scientists fear if the oceans continue to change at this pace, globals sea levels would rise 65 cm by 2100, which could flood coastal cities. It is according to a powerful new assessment led by CIRES Fellow Steve Nerem.

Andromeda formed after Earth

Milky Way’s nearest spiral galaxy Andromeda formed in a “recent” crash between two smaller star systems when Earth already existed.China and Europe-based astronomers have found this in study. Scientists showed that two galaxies, with a galaxy four times more massive than the other, fused between 1.8 billion and 3 billion years ago to forge Andromeda.

Three new eel species found in Bay of Bengal

Scientists have discovered three new species of eel along the northern Bay of Bengal coast in the past few months. One was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal. The other two species were discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal. A description of all the three new species was published in the journal Zootaxa.

Scientists simulate Mars mission in desert

Over 200 scientists from 25 countries have chosen a desert in Oman to field-test technology for a manned Mars mission for four weeks.Analog astronauts would sport a 50-kg spacesuit and stay in an inflated habitat, having a 10-minute communication delay from their base in Austria.The project features 15 experiments including exploration of the surface using a wind-powered rover.

‘Superionic water ice’ made on Earth

8 : US-based scientists have detected the first experimental evidence of ‘superionic water ice’.The new form of matter is said to occur naturally on Uranus and Neptune, when water is heated to several thousand degrees at high pressure.First predicted in 1988, the exotic state of water is characterised by liquid-like hydrogen ions moving within a solid lattice of oxygen.

Spider with a tail found in 100m yr old amber

An international team of scientists has found an arachnid resembling a spider with a tail, which was fossilised in amber in Myanmar, about 100 million years ago. Althou Nepal’s ex-King visits India Nepal’s last monarch Gyanendra Shah has arrived in Odisha to attend the International Gau Sambardhana Mahotsav as Chief Guest.He will lay the foundation stone for a Gaumata Mandir.Dubbing the event as the ‘Wow Cow Mission’, the event’s organisers said that it aims to raise the status of India’s ‘desi’ cow to boost the economy, agriculture and nutrition.

Material 100,000 times thinner than paper

IIT Gandhinagar researchers claim to have created the world’s thinnest material, measuring one nanometre, about 100,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper.The 2D material was made using Magnesium diboride for the first time with boron atoms in a honeycomb structure. Scientists have earlier made single-atom-thick graphene, a 2D form of carbon, whose discovery won the 2010 Physics Nobel.

Fossil of dinosaur dug up in Egypt

Scientists have unearthed in a Sahara Desert oasis in Egypt fossils of a long-necked, four-legged, school bus-sized dinosaur that lived roughly 80 million years ago.Researchers said the plant-eating Cretaceous Period dinosaur, named Mansourasaurus shahinae, was nearly 33 feet (10 metres) long. He was a member of a group called titanosaurs that included Earth’s largest-ever land animals.

Moss that can remove lead from water

Scientists have identified a type of moss that can efficiently absorb a large amount of lead, providing a green alternative for decontaminating polluted water and soil.Lead-contaminated water is a serious environmental concern. Researchers from RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan conducted the research.

NASA discovers “SPT0615-JD”

NASA scientists have spotted the farthest known galaxy in the universe.“SPT0615-JD” galaxy is a cluster of 500 million year-old stars. The image of SPT0615-JD was captured by NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. The images were captured through gravitational lensing. SPT0615-JD was found in Hubble’s Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey and companion S-RELICS Spitzer programme.

‘Elcysma Ziroensis’ discovered in AP

A new moth species named ‘Elcysma Ziroensis’ has been discovered in the Talle Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh.This discovery has been published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa. This new species has been scientifically named Elcysma Ziroensis.It would be commonly called Apatani Glory. This has been named after a local tribe called Apatani.

Chemical ban closes up ozone layer hole

With the declining levels of ozone-destroying chlorine, scientists have for the first time observed less ozone depletion.The findings showed that an international ban on chlorine has resulted in about 20% less ozone depletion during the Antarctic winter from 2005 to 2016. CFCs are long-lived chemical compounds that eventually rise into the stratosphere, where they destroy ozone molecules.

Endangered plant species discovered

Scientists have discovered a new endangered species of flowering plants in China.It was discovered in southwest Chinas Yunnan Province during a field survey. The species, Primula Zhui, known in Chinese as Zhu Hua Baochun, was named after Zhu Hua, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

World to become drier: Scientists

According to scientists, over a quarter of the world’s land could become significantly drier even if global warming is limited to the target of two degree Celsius.The change would cause an increased threat of drought and wildfires.Researchers from University of East Anglia in the UK and Southern University of Science and Technology in China studied projections from 27 global climate models

New night frog species found

3 : Scientists have just discovered the “mewasinghi” Night frog, belonging to a genus endemic to the Western Ghats, from Kozhikode’s Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary.It is according to a scientific paper published on December 26 in The Journal of Threatened Taxa.The new night frog “Nyctibatrachus mewasinghi” is light brown in colour with an off-white underside.

2 Ginger species found in the northeast

Scientists have discovered two new species of Ginger in easternmost districts, Ukhrul in Manipur and Tuensang in Nagaland. Hedychium chingmeianum, the species discovered in Tuensang district, is an epiphytic plant and grows on tall trees, while Caulokaempferia dinabandhuensis was found growing in rock crevices.Two BSI scientists, Nripemo Odyou and Dilip Kumar Roy, found the plant.

New endemic ants from the Andamans

Scientists have discovered 2 new ant species of the genus Tetramorium in the evergreen forests of the Andamans. Scientists of the NCBS, Bengaluru and the Okinawa Inst. of Sci. & Tech, Japan discovered the new species Tetramorium krishnani & Tetramorium jarawa in Havelock Island.They are named in honour of late scientist K.S. Krishnan & after the Jarawas, an indigenous people of the islands.

‘Smoke rings’ spotted in the ocean

Scientists have discovered the equivalent of smoke-rings in the Tasman Sea which may ‘suck-up’ small marine creatures and carry them at high speed and for long distances across the ocean.The rings were spotted by analysing sea level measurements taken from satellites.The Tasman Sea is a marginal sea of the South Pacific Ocean, situated between Australia and New Zealand.

Spider named after Bob Marley

Scientists have named new water adapted species of spider after Bob Marley, as a homage to his famous song “High tide or low tide.”The species of water-adapted spider was first discovered in the year 2009, when the sea along the coastline of Queensland in Australia receded and revealed the population of spider.
The study was published in the Evolutionary Systematic journal.

Scientists discover new frog species

Scientists have discovered a new frog species from its home in the fast flowing streams in Arunachal Pradesh’s Lower Subansiri district.The new species discovered from Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary has been named as Odorrana arunachalensis, after the state where it was discovered.The species is sighted during the wet season, from April to September. They are not seen in the dry seasons.

New species of parasitic flowering plant

Scientists have discovered a new species of parasitic flowering plant that has no chlorophyll, and survives by feeding on another species of plant. The species, named Gleadovia konyakianorum, in honour of the Konyak tribe of Nagas, was identified this year near Tobu town of Mon district in eastern Nagaland. The plant was found in the semi-evergreen forest at an altitude of 1,500-1,600 metres

India’s 1st offshore desalination plant

Scientists from NIOT will build India’s first offshore desalination plant about 40km from the Chennai coast. The capacity of the plant will be 10 million liters of water per day. The plant will operate on Low-Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD), a low cost and environment-friendly technology to get potable water.

Most ancient spiral galaxy discovered

Astronomers have discovered the most ancient spiral galaxy in the universe which they believe existed 11 billion years ago, named A1689B11. According to the scientists, the galaxy existed just 2.6 billion years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only one-fifth of its present age. Researchers are from Australian National University (ANU) and Swinburne University of Technology.

Proxima Centauri may host planets

Scientists have detected dust belts around Proxima Centauri, a finding that indicates the presence of an elaborate planetary system hosted by the closest star to the solar system. The observations are made by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array Observatory in Chile. The data also hints at the presence of an even cooler outer dust belt and may indicate the presence of a system of planets.

New species of large gecko discovered

According to a paper published in the taxonomic journal Comptes Rendus Biologies, a team of scientists have discovered a new species of gecko (lizard) from the Eastern Ghats. It was discovered at Chhattisgarh’s Kanger Ghati National Park. The Kanger Valley rock gecko grows over eight inches long and has a distinct black-bordered beige bands right from its neck to the tip of the tail.

Watch that can survive nuclear blast

Scientists have developed a military watch for the Russian army kit, that can resist high impact, and even survive the consequences of a nuclear blast. The watch has been developed by experts of the Central Scientific Research Institute for Precision Machine Engineering. It has been included in the new combat system for land forces, airborne forces, coastal troops of the Russian Navy.

Scientists detect 4th gravitational wave

Scientists have made the 4th detection of gravitational waves – ripples in fabric of space & time formed by the collision of 2 massive black holes. For the first time, the detection was made jointly with Virgo observatory from Europe. LIGO-Virgo collaboration includes more than a thousand scientists from different countries, setting a great example in international scientific cooperation.

Int’l honour for materials research

Eminent scientist, Professor C.N.R Rao, has become the first Asian to be chosen for the prestigious Von Hippel Award for his immense contribution in materials research. The award citation noted Rao’s immense work on novel functional materials, including nanomaterials and 2D materials and superconductivity. The award is the US-based Materials Research Society’s highest honour.

Optical polarisation phenomenon

Over 70 years after Indian astrophysicist and Nobel laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar predicted that rapidly rotating stars would emit polarised light, scientists in Australia have observed the phenomenon for the first time. Optical polarisation is a measure of the orientation of the oscillations of a light beam to its direction of travel. It was first observed in 1946.

1st global map of water on Moon created

Scientists have created 1st map of water trapped in uppermost layer of Moon’s soil which may prove useful to future lunar explorers. Scientists from Brown University used a new calibration of data taken from Nasa’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, which flew aboard Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft to quantify how much water is present on a global scale. Signature of water is present nearly everywhere on Moon

Pluto mountains named

12 : 2 mountain ranges on Pluto have been named after Tenzing Norgay & Edmund Hillary respectively by International Astronomical Union. These are the 1st geological features to be named following close flyby by New Horizons spacecraft in 2015. Names pay homage to pioneering space missions, historic pioneers who crossed new horizons in exploration & scientists associated with Pluto & Kuiper Belt.

Fuel from methane using oxygen

Scientists have created methanol from methane using oxygen from the air, in an outstanding breakthrough. It uses air, inexpensive chemicals & an energy efficient production process. It has major implications for cleaner, greener industrial processes worldwide. Methanol is currently produced by breaking down natural gas at high temp. into hydrogen gas & carbon monoxide before reassembling them.

IBM partners with MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced the formation of the new MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, which will support joint research by IBM and MIT scientists. Its mission will include advancing the hardware, software, and algorithms used for artificial intelligence. It will be based at the university and IBM’s nearby research center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Fuel from sunlight, water

Scientists have developed an artificial leaf that absorb sunlight to generate hydrogen fuel from water Device consists of semiconductors stacked in a manner to simulate natural leaf system. When visible light strikes semiconductors, electrons move in 1 direction producing electric current. The current almost instantaneously splits water into hydrogen which is one of the cleanest forms of fuel

Forecasting Dengue

Scientists have developed a system that can predict the spread of dengue in different parts of India. Study focuses on changes in a factor called extrinsic incubation period of the dengue virus, by taking into account daily and monthly mean temperatures different climatic zones. EIP is the time taken for incubation of the virus in the mosquito.

5.7 m-year-old footprint discovered

Dating back to 5.7 million years, scientists have managed to discover human-like footprints in Greece that could possibly challenge early human evolution. The discovery of the 5.7 million-year-old human-like footprints by researchers at the Uppsala University in Sweden overthrows this simple picture and suggests a complex reality. Mankind’s ancestors were thought to have originated in Africa

A new score in waste management

Scientists from CSIR’s National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram have been able to turn waste into wealth. They have produced ethanol from discarded cotton-stalks by using a combination of chemical and biological techniques. The results were published in Bioresource Technology.

World’s smallest surgical robot

British scientists have developed worlds smallest surgical robot which could transform daily operations for tens of thousands of patients. The robot, called Versius, mimics human arm & can be used to carry out a wide range of laparoscopic procedures including hernia repairs, colorectal operations. The robot is controlled by a surgeon at a console guided by a 3D screen in the operating theatre.

How first animals appeared on Earth

Scientists have solved the mystery of how the first animals appeared on Earth. Researchers led by The Australian National University analysed ancient sedimentary rocks from central Australia, finding that the evolution of animals began with the rise of algae 650 million years ago. Rise of algae triggered one of the most profound ecological revolutions in Earth’s history.

Damselfly named after David Attenborough

Scientists have named a 100-million-year-old damselfly after veteran broadcaster and naturalist, Sir David Attenborough. The delicate creature, dubbed Mesosticta David Attenborough, was discovered in Burma’s Kachin province locked inside a nugget of amber dating from the mid-Cretaceous, when dinosaurs still lorded over the planet. Amber is a fossilised form of tree resin.

Tissue bandage to repair hearts

Scientists have developed an injectable tissue bandage smaller than a postage stamp that can repair damaged hearts. Researchers at University of Toronto have developed a technique that lets them use a small needle to inject a repair patch, without the need to open up chest cavity. AngioChip is a tiny patch of heart tissue with its own blood vessels & heart cells beating with a regular rhythm

Plant-Based And Safer Vaccine For Zika

Scientists have developed the world’s first plant-based Zika vaccine that may be more effective, safer and cheaper than other vaccines. Vaccine developed by researchers from ASU works against a part of a Zika viral protein, called DIII, that plays a key role for virus to infect people. It uses smallest & most unique part of Zika virus that can still elicit a potent & robust immune response.

DNA sensor for quick pathogen detection

Ultrasensitive DNA sensor that can detect S. pyogenes, a bacterium which causes a wide range of diseases in about 30 min has been developed. Conventional method of identification takes 18-24 hrs & basic culture test does not specifically help distinguish S. pyogenes. Sensor is developed by scientists from CSIR-Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology & National Centre for Disease Control.

Mats that could treat arthritis

Scientists from IIT Guwahati have synthesized mats made of silk-proteins & bioactive glass fibres that can repair worn-out joint in arthritis patient Current treatment methods are limited by lack of viable tissue substitutes to aid the repair process Silk is used to fabricate electrospun mats to mimic cartilage portion & bioactive glass to develop composite material similar to natural tissue

Sun’s core rotates four times faster

An international team of astronomers has found that the Sun’s core rotates nearly 4 times faster than solar surface. Discovery was possible with ESA & NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory which helped solar scientists find evidence of a type of seismic wave in Sun. These low-frequency waves, called g-modes, revealed that solar core is rotating some 4 times faster than the solar surface

Bio-glue for healing developed

Scientists have developed a super strong, flexible Bio-glue for wound healing without causing toxicity. It has been inspired by an adhesive material (glue) secreted by slugs that sticks to biological tissues. The research was conducted at Harvard University’s Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Mission to uncover secrets of Zealandia

Scientists have set sail on a mission to uncover the secrets of “lost continent” of Zealandia. Zealandia, which is mostly submerged beneath the South Pacific, was once part of Gondwana super-continent but broke away some 75 million years ago. The drill ship JOIDES Resolution is undertaking 2 month expedition to Zealandia to better understand major changes in global tectonic configuration.

AI system that can create 3D models

Scientists including one of Indian origin have developed new artificial intelligence software called SurfNet that can create three dimensional models from 2D photographs. When fully developed SurfNet could have significant applications in the fields of 3D searches on the internet researchers. In an advance version it can allow future robots to navigate in the real world.

New species of crab discovered

Scientists have discovered a unique new species of hermit crab that measures merely 70 millimetres in length and sports a colouration of mottled orange nuanced with cream to white. The newly discovered crustacean is called Paragiopagurus atkinsonae or the ‘Green-eyed hermit crab’. The new species was discovered during a three-week survey back in 2013 in South Africa.

New galaxy discovered

Scientists have discovered a very distant galaxy, some 10 thousand million light years away, which is about 1,000 times brighter than the Milky Way. It was discovered by Polytechnic University of Cartagena in Spain used gravitational lensing. The galaxy is notable for having a high rate of star formation. It is forming stars at a rate of 1,000 solar masses per year.

Scientists create artificial silk

Scientists from the University of Cambridge have developed super-stretchy and strong artificial spider silk, almost entirely composed of water. The fibres of the synthetic spider silk are spun from hydrogel, a soupy material which is 98% water & remaining 2% of the hydrogel is made of naturally available silica and cellulose. The silk can support stresses in the range of 100-150 megapascals.

Minerals found in Indian waters

Scientists from the Geological Survey of India have discovered the presence of millions of tonnes of precious metals and minerals deep under the waters that surround peninsular India. It was first identified off Mangaluru, Chennai, Mannar Basin, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and around Lakshadweep in early 2014. 3 research vessels — Ratnakar, Kaustabh and Saudikama carried out the research.

New supercluster of galaxies

Indian scientists have discovered an extremely large supercluster of galaxies, which is as big as 20 million billion Suns. A team of astronomers from IUCAA and IISER, Pune and members of 2 other Indian universities have discovered this supercluster of galaxies. IUCAA team of astronomers has named it Saraswati. It is one of the largest known structures in the neighbourhood of the universe.

JIGYASA programme launched

Jigyasa, a student- scientist connect programme was officially launched in New Delhi. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has joined hands with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan to implement this programme. The focus is on connecting school students and scientists so as to extend student’s classroom learning with that of a very well planned research laboratory based learning.

Telescope launched to study black holes

China successfully launched its first X-ray space telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts. A Long March-4B rocket carried the 2.5-tonne telescope into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert. The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope, named Insight, will allow scientists to observe magnetic fields and the interiors of pulsars.

2D magnet created

Researchers at the University of Washington and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a 2D magnet that is just one atom thick for the very first time. This breakthrough could radically alter the way we use magnetic materials. The scientists used chromium tri-iodide, or CrI3 to show that it has magnetic properties in its monolayer form. The research was published in Nature.

NASA honours Michael A’Hearn

NASA has posthumously awarded Exceptional Public Service Medal to Michael A’Hearn, one of the world’s leading comet scientists. The Medal is for fundamental work on comets and small bodies of solar system, leadership in space missions, and ensuring public access to data from NASA missions and related projects. He was widely known as the principal investigator of NASA’s Deep Impact mission.

ISRO launches heaviest rocket

ISRO launched India’s heaviest rocket GSLV-Mk III along with a communications satellite GSAT-19 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The 43.43m rocket that weighs 640 tonnes is capable of lifting payloads of up to 4000 kg into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. The rocket’s cryogenic engine has been developed by space scientists indigenously. It was developed in 15 years at a cost of ` 300 crore.

NASA to launch Sounding Rocket

NASA will launch a sounding rocket which will release blue-green and red artificial clouds. The rocket will eject vapour canisters between 10 to 20 km from the rocket’s main payload. The vapor tracers will allow scientists on the ground to view the movement of the particles in the ionosphere. The sounding rockets are short lived and follows a parabolic trajectory.