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Important Facts For Prelims

Important Facts For Prelims (16th April 2019)

  • 16 Apr 2019
  • 8 min read

3D Printed Heart with Human Tissue

  • Scientists in Israel have unveiled a 3D print of a heart with human tissue and vessels, advancing the possibilities for transplants.
  • This is the first time that anyone has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers. People have managed to 3D-print the structure of a heart in the past, but not with cells or with blood vessels.
  • The heart produced by scientists is about the size of a rabbit’s. Scientists believe that larger human hearts would require the same technology but expanding the cells to have enough tissue to create a human-sized heart, is a challenge.
  • The ink for this 3D print was developed by scientists by taking a biopsy of fatty tissue from a patient. This is crucial for eliminating the risk of implant rejection.
  • Cardiovascular disease is the world’s leading cause of death, according to the World Health Organization, and transplants are currently the only option available for patients in the worst cases. But the number of donors is limited and thus many die while waiting. Sometimes, a patient’s body even rejects the transplant, leading to his/er death.

PIO led team’s CubeSat to be launched by NASA

  • A team led by an Indian American student, Keshav Raghavan, has been chosen by NASA to have its CubeSat - a mini research satellite to detect cosmic rays, flown into space on future missions.
  • The team's CubeSat ‘BLAST’ (Bouchet Low-Earth Alpha/Beta Space Telescope) has been named for physicist Edward A Bouchet -- the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in America.
  • BLAST will contribute to the ongoing search for the origins and nature of cosmic rays, which will provide an insight into the origins of the universe.
  • CubeSats are miniature satellites intended as a standard, inexpensive design that can easily fit alongside larger satellites aboard launch vehicles.
    • The CubeSat model has given student groups, hobbyist organizations, and research teams operating with limited funding or experience unprecedented access to space.
    • CubeSats are built from a modular structure of 10x10x10cm cubes and feature a wide variety of commercially available off-the-shelf components, designed to fit the structure from various manufacturers.
  • Cosmic rays are high energy charged particles, originating in outer space, that travel at nearly the speed of light and strike the Earth from all directions.
    • Most cosmic rays are the nuclei of atoms, ranging from the lightest to the heaviest elements in the periodic table. Cosmic rays also include high energy electrons, positrons, and other subatomic particles.
    • The term "cosmic rays" usually refers to galactic cosmic rays, which originate in sources outside the solar system, distributed throughout the Milky Way galaxy.

Demand For Tiger Reserve Status to Nandhaur Sanctuary

  • With the number of tigers steadily on the rise at the Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand, the authorities have sought the ‘Tiger Reserve Status’ for it.
  • The number of tigers at the sanctuary when it came into being in 2012 was 9 which rose to 27 in 2018. The number is expected to cross 32 this year.
  • The sanctuary’s elevation as a tiger reserve will help in receiving funds from the Centre and the expertise of national-level zoological scientists to conserve the growing population of tigers at the sanctuary.
  • The sanctuary is situated close to the Nandhaur river in the Kumaon region and spreads over an area of 269.5 sq km.
  • The Government of India took a pioneering initiative for conserving its national animal, the tiger, by launching the ‘Project Tiger’ in 1973.
    • The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy. The core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary, whereas the buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area.
    • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, with an overarching supervisory / coordination role, performing functions as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Nirbhay Missile

  • Defense Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test-fired  “Nirbhay” cruise missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur Odisha.
  • Nirbhay is an indigenously designed & developed Long Range Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile.
  • The missile has the capability to cruise at 0.7 Mach, and at altitudes as low as 100 m.
  • The missile can be deployed from multiple platforms and has a range of 1000 km.

Government e-Marketplace (GeM)

  • GeM has witnessed a four-fold increase in the total value of transactions on the portal and doubling of the number of sellers in the marketplace in the FY 2018-19.
  • There has also been an overall growth in other dimensions like the number of categories, products, and buyers.

Government e-Marketplace (GeM)

  • GeM is an Online Market platform was set up in 2016 to facilitate procurement of goods and services by the government ministries, departments, public sector undertakings (PSU), etc.
  • It has been envisaged as National Procurement Portal of India.
  • It has been developed by Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (Ministry of Commerce and Industry)with technical support of National e-governance Division (Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology).
  • It functions under Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • GeM is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-marketplace that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface.
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