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Science Monitor: 27 March, 2021

Science Monitor: 27 March, 2021

             

1. Center of Excellence for Intelligent Sensors and Systems

Context:

Chandigarh based Central Scientific Instruments Organization of the CSIR is a premier and multi-disciplinary R & D organization in the country dedicated to research, design and development of scientific and industrial instruments. Recently, a Center of Excellence for Intelligent Sensors and Systems was inaugurated here by the Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan. The center will provide a thrust to the activities relating to artificial intelligence based sensing applications including societal and strategic applications.

About the Systems:

  • Central Scientific Instruments Organization is popularly known as CSIO. This Chandigarh based laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has been strengthening the country by developing state-of-the-art scientific and industrial instruments.

  • CSIO's intelligence sensors and systems laboratory has made several significant achievements in developing sensing systems for the societal and strategic sector and now it has been transformed into a center of excellence.

  • The center of excellence which has been envisioned for R & D on artificial intelligence based sensor systems. This integrated center aims to be future ready while making the country highly self-reliant in this direction.

  • The center of excellence for intelligence sensors and systems will promote the development and use of AI powered sensing systems to facilitate on-the-spot decision-making without the need of any human intervention. For this purpose, the centre has state-of-the-art computational facilities.

  • It also houses state-of-the-art testing facilities for acoustic, seismic, infrared imaging modalities and other sensors and networks with strong computational facilities to provide the artificial intelligence.

  • The center will also provide to students and researchers a platform for future innovation. Working towards their goal, the CSIO scientists have already developed earthquake warning system and intelligent elephant movement detection and alert system.

  • The AI powered sensors have the potential to revolutionize societal as well as strategic applications. Modern laboratories and facilities at CSIR-CSIO will accelerate the R & D in this direction and this will further strengthen the nation.

  • The center is providing various high-tech advanced and indigenous solutions for surveillance, disaster management, wildlife protection and health monitoring of wildlife. It is also focusing majorly on the intelligence sensor systems for the strategic sector.

2. Automated System Colorectal Cancer

Context:

To simplify the detection of colorectal cancer, researchers at the IIT, Guwahati have now developed an innovative system based on artificial intelligence. The automated system will aid in the accurate diagnosis of the condition and also save a lot of time.

Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Twitter: ".@IITGuwahati has developed an  automated #AI-based system to detect colorectal #cancer using colonoscopy  images. Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in India,

About the Innovation:

  • Cancer is a serious and fatal disease but not necessarily so, especially if detected early. If cancer is detected at an early stage, then the risk factor is hugely reduced.

  • One type of cancerous outbreak is colorectal cancer or the cancer of the large intestine. Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in India but can be treated effectively at an early stage.

  • Presently, colonoscopy is the most commonly used technique to detect colorectal cancer. Physicians inspect the images from the procedure to detect abnormal tissue growths or polyps. However, this manual method is susceptible to error and the detection of cancer may get delayed.

  • Now researchers from the IIT, Guwahati in collaboration with International Research Institutes have developed an automated artificial intelligence-based system that can detect colorectal cancer at an early stage using images from the colonoscopy.

  • Researchers from the department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering of IIT, Guwahati have developed an AI-based algorithm system that will help to accurately identify any type of lump or polyps in the colon during colonoscopy. This is good news considering the complex and time consuming process of manual analysis of colonoscopy data. Early detection of cancer can lead to a better prognosis for patients.

  • Researchers at the Cotton University in Guwahati, Aichi Medical University in Japan, University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, USA and the Harvard University, USA have collaborated in developing the system. The research has recently been published in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’.

3. SINDHU- Nearly seedless mango variety

Context:

Although hundreds of varieties of mangoes can be found in the market during the summer season yet, the variety with the smallest seed is thought to be the best one, such variety is Sindhu.

seedless mango | sindhu mango variety details - YouTube

About the Mango:

  • There are about 1200 designated varieties of mangoes out of which more than two dozen varieties can be found in your local market.

  • A few years before, Bihar made news for growing a seedless variety of mango called Sindhu. This red mango is almost seedless and provides pulp for greater enjoyment. Though Bihar is growing this variety yet, it is not the actual birthplace of Sindhu.

  • The variety was developed in Konkan region of Maharashtra, the state best known for producing the Alphonso. The king of mangoes Sindhu is actually a hybrid of Alphonso and Ratna varieties. It was first released in 1992 by the Dapoli Center of Dr. Balasaheb Savant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth. The scientists of the Vidhyapit have released several varieties of the mango and Sindhu was one among their creations.

  • A new variety is prepared by cross breeding, the process picks the best traits of different varieties while eliminating their shortcomings. The resulting variety is called hybrid, using this technique the Sindhu mango was developed as a hybrid of two famous varieties Ratna and Alphonso.

  • It contains very thin seeds weighing just 7 to 10 grams giving the mango over 83 percent of pulp and the large amount of pulp is what makes the Sindhu, a popular choice among mango lovers. Apart from Maharashtra, the Sindhu mango is grown in many states of the country including in Bihar where the climatic conditions are favourable.

  • The biggest advantage of this variety is the small size of the kernels that reduce the weight of the mangoes while maintaining its delectable taste. This achievement of agricultural scientists is boosting the export of the fruit and increasing the income of the farmers.

4. SCIENCE EXPRESS

1. Bacteria found on International Space Station named after Indian scientist Seyed Ajmal Khan:

Methylobacterium ajmalii – The Siasat Daily

  • A new species of bacteria found on the International Space Station has been named after an Indian scientist. Four strains of bacteria were discovered by a team of American and Indian scientists in collaboration with NASA during microbial tracking on ISS.

  • All the strains belong to the same family out of which three strains have been discovered for the first time. The new species of bacteria has been named Methylobacterium ajmalii after professor Syed Ajmal Khan, a renowned Indian scientist on biodiversity.

  • The discovery of these bacteria has led to the possibility of growing plants in space as these bacteria play a role in plant-related processes like nitrogen fixation.

  • Researchers from the University of Hyderabad have played an integral role in discovering and isolating these strains. Early in 2017, a species of bacteria found on the ISS was named after the late Indian President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

2. Four Indian cosmonauts complete training in Russia for Gaganyaan:

ISRO's Gaganyaan: Indian astronauts training in Russia for manned space  mission going smooth; check details - The Financial Express

  • Four Indian astronauts training in Russia under India's first manned space mission Gaganyaan have completed one year of their training.

  • It should be noted that in June 2019, an agreement was signed between Indian Space Research Organization and Russian launch service provider Glavkosmos for training the Indian astronauts after which the training began on the 10th of February 2020. Although, it was briefly interrupted due to covid-19.

  • The team of future Gaganyaan consists of a group captain and three wing commanders of the Indian Air Force. After returning to India, the astronauts will be trained in crew and service module designed by ISRO. ISRO plans to execute the 10,000 crore Gaganyaan Mission very soon under which a three-member crew will be sent to space.

3. Lightning strikes could have sparked life on Earth:

University of Leeds | News > Global > Lightning strikes played vital role  in origins of life on Earth

  • According to a research conducted by the School of Earth and Environment University of Leeds England, lightning has played an important role in the origin of life on earth like the meteorite hits.

  • The study has been published in the journal ‘nature COMMUNICATIONS’ while studying a Fulgurite sample from 2016, a kind of rock which is created when lightning strikes the ground. The researchers found an unusually high amount of Schreibesite, a phosphorus mineral that can easily dissolve in water.

  • According to researchers, this is crucial as phosphorus minerals present on early earth were not soluble in water, but the formation of Schreibesite due to lightning strikes led to the addition of phosphorus into the pool of life. The lightning strikes were more favorable for the evolution of life as they were not destructive like the meteorite hits.

4. First project to map genomes in Indian Ocean:

CSIR-NIO Launches Project To Map Genetic Diversity In Indian Ocean

  • The Goa based National Institute of Oceanography of the CSIR has launched its first of its kind project of genome mapping in the Indian Ocean. This initiative will help to understand the ocean at cellular level. The 90-day expedition began on March 14th.

  • During this mission, the NIO scientists planned to cover 10,000 nautical miles aboard their research vessel Sindhu Sadhana.

  • During this period, the effect of climate change increasing pollution and nutrient stress in marine microorganisms will be assessed by collecting samples from depths up to 5,000 meters.

  • According to the researchers, modern molecular biomedical techniques, genome sequencing and bioinformatics will be used to understand the dynamics of the ecosystem of the Indian Ocean.

  • In addition, this study will also try to understand the abundance and scarcity of specific minerals in different parts of the ocean which will support strategies for improving oceanic ecosystems.

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