New way to characterise thickness of layered 2D materials

Context: The isolation of single sheets of carbon, known as graphene, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010. This discovery has ushered in an era of two-dimensional materials. It offers immense possibilities in building electronics using similarly thin films. A family of materials that have been investigated in this area Read More …

Osiris-Rex mission

Context: After a two-year chase, a NASA spacecraft arrived on December 3 at the ancient asteroid Bennu, its first visitor in billions of years. Importance of this mission: The carbon-rich asteroid Bennu could hold evidence dating back to the beginning of our solar system 4.5 billion years ago. As such, Read More …

Soyuz: first manned mission to ISS since October failure

Context: A Soyuz rocket carrying Russian, American and Canadian astronauts took off from Kazakhstan and reached orbit, in the first manned mission since a failed launch in October. About the Mission: Russian space agency Roscomos announced that the capsule was “successfully launched into orbit”. It was the first manned launch Read More …

PolyCycl (patented) technology

PolyCycl (patented) technology converts waste plastics to high-value industrial fuels and chemical feedstock for petrochemicals. “Such conversion is enabled by the company’s fully-continuous depolymerisation process, which cracks and re-arranges longer-chain hydrocarbons in plastics to shorter-chain hydrocarbons in petroleum fuels. In 2016, the company set up India’s first continuous demonstration plant Read More …

ISRO to launch new imaging satellite HysIS

Context: HysIS, the country’s first hyperspectral imaging satellite for advanced Earth observation, is slated for launch on Thursday from Sriharikota. About 30 small satellites of foreign customers will be its co-passengers on the PSLV launcher, numbered C-43, the Indian Space Research Organisation has announced. PSLV-C43 mission will launch 31 satellites Read More …

Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP)

Context: Recently the Union Health Ministry did soft-launch of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) segment of Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) in seven states today. About Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) IHIP is real time, village-wise, case based electronic health information system with GIS tagging which will help in Read More …

Why India wants to study human microbiome

Context: Recently Pune hosted an international conference on microbiome research — a field of study that is still in its infancy in India. That could be set to change, with a proposed project that would study and map the human microbiome across the country. Dr Shekhar Mande, director-general of the Read More …

InSight on Mars

Context: By the time this is published, NASA’s InSight spacecraft will have landed on Mars to explore aspects of the planet never investigated before. What makes the mission special? What it will study InSight won’t be looking for life on Mars. It will study its insides — what it’s made Read More …

The bot app

The bot, an app that performs automated tasks as if it were human, has widely been associated with the spread of fake news on social media. When humans too are known to spread fake news, which one plays what kind of role? A new study, published in Nature Communications, looks Read More …

All you need to know about GSLV Mk III – D2/GSAT-29 Mission

Context: ISRO launched the communication satellite GSAT-29 on board its second developmental flight GSLV-Mk III D2 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. Specifications of GSLV MK III It is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle, measuring 43.494 m and weighing 640 tonnes. The first stage has two boosters Read More …