IIT-Hyderabad developed cheaper COVID-19 testing kit ‘COVIHOME’. This test kit can produce results within 30 minutes. ‘COVIHOME’ test kit was to break the transmission chain through affordable testing. Each test costs around ₹400 now. However, mass production of the testing kit will help to reduce the cost to around ₹300 per test.
Sources : The Hindu
Unlike drugs all vaccines need to be transported at cold temperatures (usually between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius) prior to use. the IISc-incubated biotech start-up Mynvax has successfully developed a Covid-19 vaccine which is stable under high-temperature environments and was found to be effective against all current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Warm COVID-19 vaccine can withstand transient exposure to temperatures as high as 100 degrees Celsius and can be stored for over a month at 37 degrees Celsius.
Sources : IISc
Operated by : Indian Railways
Overcoming all hurdles and finding new solutions, Indian Railways is continuing its journey of bringing relief by delivering Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) to various states across the country. First Oxygen Express to Uttarakhand is reached on 11th May 2021 with 120 MT of Oxygen from Tatanagar in Jharkhand. The Oxygen Express loaded with containers of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO)
About Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO)
Liquid Medical Oxygen is high purity oxygen used for medical treatment. It has been developed for use in the human body. Due to its low melting and boiling points, oxygen is in a gaseous state at room temperature. Liquification enables storage in larger volume and easier transportation
There are various methods through which LMO can be produced. The most common production method is the separation of oxygen in Air Separation Units (ASUs). ASUs are production plants that separate large volumes of gases. Air Separation Units (ASUs) use a method known as the 'Fractional Distillation Method' to produce pure oxygen from atmospheric air. In the Fractional Distillation Method, the various gases constituting atmospheric air are separated into different components after cooling them into a liquid state. Liquid oxygen is then extracted from it.
Sources : PIB
Developed by : Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS)
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted permission for emergency use of an anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Hyderabad. The drug comes in powder form in sachets and is taken orally by dissolving it in water. It accumulates in the virus infected cells and prevents their growth by stopping viral synthesis and energy production.
Sources : PIB
Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas flagged off the first supply of UCO (Used Cooking Oil) based Biodiesel blended Diesel. This is a landmark in India’s pursuance of Biofuels and will have a positive impact on the environment. This initiative will garner substantial economic benefits for the nation by shoring up indigenous Biodiesel supply, reducing import dependence, and generating rural employment.
Biodiesel is an alternative fuel, similar to conventional or ‘fossil’ diesel. It can be produced from vegetable oils, animal fats and waste cooking oil. A significant advantage of Biodiesel is its carbon-neutrality, i.e. the oilseed absorbs the same amount of CO2 as is released when the fuel is combusted in a vehicle. Also, Biodiesel is rapidly biodegradable and completely non-toxic.
Sources : PIB
The Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity, is a technology demonstration to test powered flight on another world for the first time. It hitched a ride to Mars on the Perseverance rover. Once the rover reached a suitable "helipad" location, it released Ingenuity to the surface so it could perform a series of test flights over a 30-Martian-day experimental window. The first flight was successfully performed on April 19, 2021.
About Mars 2020
Mars 2020 is a Mars rover mission forming part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program that includes the Rover Perseverance with Coaxial helicopter Ingenuity. Mars 2020 was launched from Earth on an Atlas V launch vehicle on 30 July 2020 and confirmation of touch down in Jezero crater on Mars was received on 18 February 2021.On 5 March 2021, NASA named the landing site of the Rover Perseverance as Octavia E. Butler Landing.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay incubated startup NanoSniff Technologies has developed the world's first micro-sensor based explosive trace detector (ETD). To be branded and marketed as 'NanoSniffer', the device has been developed for the first time in the world using a micro-electromechanical system (MEMS), with its core technology being protected by patents in the US, Europe and India. A fully made in India product in terms of R&D and manufacturing, the indigenously developed ETD device can detect explosives in less than 10 seconds and it also identifies and categorizes explosives into different classes. It detects all classes of military, conventional and homemade explosives.
IIT Delhi developed Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) based platform to detect dengue in an hour
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has developed a handheld device for early diagnosis of dengue. With this device, test results will be generated within one hour. The conventional tools like nucleic acid detection using Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) takes time and also requires expensive equipment.
About Dengue fever
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms typically begin three to fourteen days after infection. These may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.
A team of four Indian astronomers, along with international collaborators, has tracked a rare supernova explosion and traced it to one of the hottest kind of stars called Wolf–Rayet stars (WR stars), which are highly luminous objects a thousand times that of the Sun. WR stars are massive stars and strip their outer hydrogen envelope, which is associated with the fusion of Helium and other elements in the massive core.
About Supernovae (SNe)
Supernovae (SNe) are highly energetic explosions in the universe releasing an enormous amount of energy. Long-term monitoring of these transients opens the door to understand the nature of the exploding star as well as the explosion properties. It can also help enumerate the number of massive stars.
Russian scientists launched one of the world’s biggest underwater neutrino telescopes called the Baikal-GVD (Gigaton Volume Detector) in the waters of Lake Baikail, the world’s deepest lake situated in Siberia. This mission to study in detail the elusive fundamental particles called neutrinos and to possibly determine their sources. Studying this will aid scientists’ understanding of the origins of the universe since some neutrinos were formed during the Big Bang.
Fundamental means that neutrinos, like electrons, protons and neutrons cannot be broken down further into smaller particles.
Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (IISc), have developed the new kind of High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMTs), which is in the OFF state by default and works like any other commonly used power transistor. High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMTs) that is a normally OFF device and can switch currents up to 4A and operates at 600V. This first-ever indigenous HEMT device made from gallium nitride (GaN) is useful in electric cars, locomotives, power transmission and other areas requiring high voltage and high-frequency switching would reduce the cost of importing such stable and efficient transistors required in power electronics.
SpaceX aerospace company launched 143 satellites into space on 24th jan 2021. a new world record for the most satellites deployed on a single mission. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off 143 satellites into space from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
SpaceX is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk.
Falcon 9 is a partially reusable two-stage-to-orbit medium-lift launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX in the United States.
Sources : The Hindu
The Subject Expert Committee of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) made recommendations for Restricted Emergency Approval of COVID-19 virus vaccine of M/s Serum Institute of India and M/s Bharat Biotech.
About Subject Expert Committee of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO)
The Subject Expert Committee consists of domain knowledge experts from the fields of pulmonology, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, paediatrics, internal medicine, etc.
About Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO)
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) plays an important role in safeguarding and enhancing public health by ensuring the quality, safety, and efficacy of drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices. It is the Central Drug Authority for fulfilling functions allocated by the Central Government under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
Sources : PIB