Top 30 Science & Tech Events (January – September), 2015

 Here is the list of top 30 Science & Tech  Events between (January – September) 2015  compiled from PIB, The Hindu, Indian Express and other standard references  and customized for civil services examination.

September – 2015

Origin of Saturn’s F ring and satellites found

  1. Saturn’s F ring and its shepherd satellites are natural outcome of the final stage of formation of the planet’s ring-satellite system, a new study has found.
  2. Saturn, which is the second largest planet in our solar system, is known to have multiple rings and satellites.
  3. In 1979, Pioneer 11 discovered the F ring located just outside the main ring system that extends tens of thousands of kilometres.

First space observatory Astrosat

  1. India will launch its first space observatory Astrosat on September 28, becoming only the fourth country to have a lookout in orbit.
  2. The 1.5 ton satellite will be zoomed into space by a PSLV C-30 rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota at 10am.
  3. Six customer satellites, one(micro) each from Canada and Indonesia, and 4 nano satellites from the US will ride along.

One year of Mars Orbiter Mission

  1. Mars Orbiter spacecraft marks one year of its life around the red planet on 24 September, 2015.
  2. After successfully completing one year of the mission life around Mars, a large data set has been acquired by all five payloads of Mars Orbiter Mission.
  3. Isro to mark the first anniversary of Mars Orbit Insertion released an atlas containing photos taken by the colour camera on board the spacecraft and results obtained by other payload results in a form of scientific atlas.


August – 2015

Discovery of Kepler-452b and religion 

  • Kepler-452b is anexoplanet orbiting the G-class starKepler-452. It was identified by theKepler space telescope, and its discovery was publicly announced by NASA on 23 July 2015
  • Kepler-452b’s discovery has raised the intriguing possibility that, if there are other habitable planets out there, we may one day be able to relocate human civilisation to one of them.

Reason for Muscle Regeneration discovered 

  • Researchers have identified a protein produced by white blood cells that puts the brakes on muscle repair after injury.
  • By removing the protein CD163 from mice, scientists at Emory University School of Medicine could boost muscle repair and recovery of blood flow after ischemic injury (damage caused by restriction of blood flow).

Replica of Human Brain 

  • Scientists in the United States have successfully grown a replica of a human brain in a laboratory dish.
  • The brain, organoid, was created from reprogrammed skin cells and is about the size of a pencil eraser.

Successful launch of GSLV – 6

  •  In its ninth flight (GSLV-D6) conducted today, India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, equipped with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS), successfully launched GSAT-6.
  • The country’s latest communication satellite, into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).



July – 2015

Nano-spiked Bacteria are brightest x – ray emitters 

  • In a scientific breakthrough, researchers have fashioned bacteria to emit intense, hard X-ray radiation.
  • They show that irradiating a glass slide coated with nanoparticle doped bacteria, turns the cellular material into hot, dense plasma, making this a useful table top X-ray source with several potential applications.

Nanoparticles Shut Down Cancer Growth

  • In epithelial cancers — cancers of the breast, ovaries, prostate, skin and bladder, which begin in the organs’ lining — these processes are controlled by a genetic program called epithelial–mesenchymal transition.
  • Epithelial–mesenchymal transition is regulated by a protein called Twist, which means that Twist directly influences the development of cancer, its spread to other organs and its return after remission.

Indian scientist helps find breakthrough malaria cure

  • An Indian is among a group of top international scientists which has identified a key protein that if targeted, stops malaria. This paves the way for new treatments.
  • Mahmood Alam, from Lohardaga in Jharkhand, is among the authors of the new study published in Nature Communications.

Rashtriya Avishkar mission to inculcate scientific temper among children launched

  • Launching the Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA) on Thursday, former President A P J Abdul Kalam said it can work if four qualities of uniqueness are preserved, namely, great aim, quest of knowledge, hard work and perseverance.
  • Kalam said innovation comes only if “we learn to live, we learn to think and we learn to learn.”


June – 2015

Large Hadron Collider restarts experiments after two-year upgrade

  • The hunt for dark matter moved a step closer as the Large Hadron Colliderbegan experiments for the first time in 27 months.
  • The huge collider, which has undergone more than two years of upgrades, to give it double the power, will now run non-stop for the next three years.

World’s ‘most precise’ quantum thermometer designed

  • Researchers from the UAB and the University of Nottingham, in an article, have fixed the limits of thermometry, i.e., they have established the smallest possible fluctuation in temperature which can be measured.
  • The researchers have studied the sensitivity of thermometers created with a handful of atoms, small enough to be capable of showing typical quantum-style behaviours.

Connection between brain and lymphatic system discovered

  • Textbooks of medicine say that there is no direct connection between the brain and the lymphatic system.
  • Yet, a paper published recently in the journal Nature refers to the discovery of exactly such a connection.

Computer that operates on water droplets developed

  • A computer that operates using the unique physics of moving water droplets has been developed by an Indian-origin scientist and his team.
  • The computer is nearly a decade in the making, incubated from an idea that struck Manu Prakash, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, when he was a graduate student.


May 2015

DNA repair map of the entire human genome created

  • When the common chemotherapy drugs cisplatin or oxaliplatin hit cancer cells, they damage DNA so that the cells can’t replicate.
  • But the cells have ways to repair the DNA. The cancer drugs aren’t as effective as patients need.

New state of matter discovered

  • Scientists have discovered a new state of matter that appears to be an insulator, superconductor, metal and magnet all rolled into one.
  • The research could help develop new molecular materials that are superconductors at even higher temperatures, researchers said.

Isro Nasa to jointly study global ecological changes

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and Nasa are jointly working on the NISAR satellite designed to observe and take measurements of some of the planet’s most complex processes, including ecosystem disturbances and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.
  • Talking to HT, Isro chairman Dr Kiran Kumar said, “Our target is 2020-21. The satellite will be built by us and will be launched here. The payloads will be built by Nasa.

India to have 70 super computers for high-level research

  • The super computer will help India do research in different fields ranging from climate, defence and other areas, which a normal computer is ill-equipped for.
  • The computer would have a capacity (speed) of half petaflop to 20 petaflop, but by the time the project reaches its full peak, the speed of the super computers can go up to 50 petaflop.


April – 2015

Blood rain mystery Reveled 

  • A recent study by Indian and Austrian scientists has led to the discovery of the cause of the ‘Blood Rain’ phenomenon to be dispersal of spores of micro algae.
  • Since 1896, reports have been coming in of sporadic instances of red coloured rain over parts of Kerala and Sri Lanka. The latest one was in 2013 over Kerala.

Large Hadron Collider to start up after 2-year shutdown

  • The world’s biggest particle accelerator is about to start up again after a two-year shutdown and upgrade.
  • Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, were preparing to shoot the first particle beams on Sunday through the Large Hadron Collider’s 27-km tunnel, beneath the Swiss-French border near Geneva.

NASA reveals its most powerful rocket launcher ever

  • Armed with an asteroid hunter, lunar flashlight and DNA kit, NASA will launch the unmanned Orion spacecraft using the Space Launch System (SLS) — its largest, most powerful rocket booster ever built — in 2018.
  • The US space agency plans to use the SLS’s massive lift capability to carry nearly a dozen nano-satellites to conduct science experiments beyond low-Earth orbit and eventually, Mars.

Glaciers of frozen water found on Mars

  • Scientists have discovered belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water equivalent to over 150 billion cubic metres – enough to cover the entire surface of the Red Planet with more than one metre of ice.
  • Using radar measurements from the NASA satellite and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and combining those with ice flow modelling, researchers have been able to determine that it is water ice.


March – 2015 

World’s first solar-powered aircraft to land in Gujarat 

  • Solar Impulse, claimed to be the world’s only solar-powered aircraft, will make a stopover in Ahmedabad on Tuesday as a part of its maiden global journey.
  • Solar Impulse will take off from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and land in Ahmedabad after making a first stop over at Muscat in Oman.

Advanced Technology to Check Infiltration

  • The fencing is not feasible along the riverine stretches of the Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangladesh
  • There is about 145.876 km of unfenced riverine stretches along the Indo-Pakistan Border which is about 6.3% of the Indo-Pakistan Border.

Nine dwarf galaxies found orbiting the Milky Way

  • Astronomers from the University of Cambridge have discovered nine dwarf satellites orbiting the Milky Way, the largest number ever discovered at once.
  • The findings may help unravel the mysteries behind dark matter, the invisible substance holding galaxies together.

Scientists discover shape-shifting frog in Ecuador cloud forest

  • A frog in Ecuador’s Andean cloud forests can rapidly change skin texture in minutes, appearing to mimic the texture it sits on.
  • Katherine Krynak, a PhD student at the US’ Case Western Reserve University and her husband Tim Krynak, project manager at Cleveland Metroparks Natural Resources Division, discovered the new species, called the mutable rainfrog (Pristimantis mutabilis), in 2006 at nature preserve Reserva Las Gralarias.


February – 2015

Google making artificial human skin

  • Search giant Google is developing artificial human skin to test cancer-detecting nanoparticles that will work with a smart wristband.
  • Last year Google announced that it was working on magnetic nanoparticles that would seek out cancer cells in the bloodstream and report back to a wristband.

NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

  • A Delta 2 rocket carrying Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite was launched early from Vandenberg Air Force Base on California’s central coast.
  • The satellite is on a three-year mission to track the amount of water locked in soil, which may help residents in low-lying regions brace for floods or farmers get ready for drought conditions.

Eight different types of schizophrenia identified

  • Scientists have found that there is not a single type of schizophrenia, but that it consists of a group made up of eight genetically different types of diseases.
  • Previous research has shown that approximately 80 per cent of the risk of suffering from schizophrenia was hereditary.

Rare planet with extreme seasons discovered

  • Researchers have discovered one of the most dense and massive planets known so far with extreme seasons.
  • The teams, one led by Mauricio Ortiz of the Centre for Astronomy of Heidelberg University (ZAH) and the other by Simona Ciceri of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg.


January – 2015

New half-light half-matter quantum particles discovered

  • In a breakthrough, researchers led by an Indian-origin scientist have discovered half-light, half-matter particles in atomically thin semiconductors made of a 2D layer of atoms.
  • The research improves the prospects of developing computing and communication technologies based on quantum properties of light and matter.

ISRO gears up to launch IRNSS 1D

  • After completing an eventful year, ISRO is gearing up for some satellite launches this year, with the IRNSS 1D being the first.
  • Which would put in place India’s own navigation system on par with the Global Positioning System of the U.S.

8 new planets found in ‘Goldilocks zone’

  • Astronomers with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) have discovered eight new planets within the so-called Goldilocks — or habitable — zone of their stars.
  • To be considered habitable, exoplanets must orbit within a distance of their stars in which liquid water can exist on the planet’s surface, receiving about as much sunlight as Earth.

BCL11A: Novel cancer gene found

  • A new study identifies the BCL11A gene is especially active in aggressive subtypes of breast cancer. The research suggests that an overactive BCL11A gene drives triple-negative breast cancer development and progression.
  • The research, which was done in human cells and in mice, provides new routes to explore targeted treatments for this aggressive tumor type.



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