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Science Monitor: 1 May 2021

Science Monitor: 1 May 2021

1. Affordable Oxygen Concentrator by IISER Bhopal:

Context:

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bhopal has developed an affordable and efficient Oxygen Concentrator. This indigenous device can help meet the growing demand for Oxygen in the treatment of COVID-19.

About the device:

  • IISER has innovated to develop an affordable Oxygen Concentrator called ‘Oxycon’. The researchers at the Institute have develIISER Bhopal team develops affordable oxygen concentrator to meet demand  during virus surgeoped the concentrator with the help of open-source technology. The oxygen concentrator can produce 93-95 percent pure oxygen at the rate of 3 litres/minute.

  • The device has compressor that takes ambient air and passes it through column having a material named ‘Zeolite’ under an optimised pressure. The wall of both these columns are used in alternating cycles and controlled electronically. Zeolite absorbs nitrogen from the air and releases pure oxygen which can be used directly or by filling in cylinders.

  • The device cost less than Rs 20,000 besides being portable, customisable and easy to deploy and it can be used in urban as well as rural location. The Institute is in talks with allied industries for commercial production of Oxycon which can begin soon after necessary approval.

2. Indigenous Concrete 3D Printing Technology:

Context:

On 27th of April Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated India’s first 3D printed house.

About the technology:

  • The Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions, a startup founded by IIT Madras alumni, has built India’s first 3D printed house using indigenous technology. Tvasta Manufacturing Solutions is a part of the Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators- India (ASHA-India), a new incubator of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) established at IIT Madras and it was formed in 2016.

  • ‘India’s FIRST 3D Printed HouseFor constructing this house, Tvasta has used a ready to implement methodology. The 3D printer fabricated 3D structures in a layer by layer manner using an eco-friendly concrete, then these different structures were taken to the designated place and assembled to build the house.

  • With the built area of about 600 square feet the single-storey home has a functional space comprising of a single bedroom, hall and kitchen, even the furniture inside has been made using 3D printing technology. With this technology, the entire cost of construction can be reduced significantly. The technology also brings down the related carbon footprint.

  • Using this technology, a house like this can be made in just 5 days. This will enable government projects like the PM Awas Yojana to be completed in time. Apart from this, constructing rehabilitation building in times of disaster or constructing structures like military bunkers will also become easier.

  • The 3D printing machine can also be rented to construct high quality buildings with a low labour force and cost. This achievement can make better housing for the society’s poor and give a boost to the Atma-Nirbhar Bharat campaign.

3. Future strategy minimize loss during GLOFs:

Context:

According to a recent study carried out by IIT, Kanpur scientists, satellite based real time monitoring of the Himalayan glacial catchments would improve the understanding of flood risk in the region and also help inform about early flood warning. According to the study, this should be the future strategy to reduce loss of human lives during the Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF).

About the study:

  • Usually, flood related disasters occur in the monsoon season, but the Chamoli flood disaster in the February 2021 proved that the risk of such disaster cannot be ruled out even in the cold and dry months. The experts believe that driver other than the precipitation events most likely an avalanche broke the banks of a glacial lake giving rise to flooding in the Dhauli ganga river.

  • The Himalayas are aptly called the third pole of the world as the mountain range receives the highest rainfall after tMay be an image of text that says "ELECTRONICS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY Dig Digital.India 5 SATELLITE-BASED REAL-TIME MONITORING ACCORDING TO RECENT STUDY, SATELLITE- REAL REAL-TIME MONITORING OF HIMALAYAN GLACIAL CATCHMENTS CAN STRENGTHEN EARLY FLOOD WARNING MINIMIZE DISASTER RISK THE STUDY CARRIED OUT BY SCIENTISTS FROM IIT KANPUR WITH SUPPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY"he Polar Regions. Their melted water from the glaciers or the peaks of these mountains keeps the water flowing and the lakes are formed in the valley. These are called Glacial Lakes. The water from these lakes is the source of fresh water to many rivers.

  • Many a time, the natural dams of the lake break due to excessive rainfall or large section of glaciers breaking or even the erosion of rocks that when a millions of gallons of water is released in one go known as Glacial Lake Outburst Flood.

  • As the world gets warmer glaciers are also melting rapidly. On one hand, new lakes are being formed and on the other, the old lakes are expanding adding to the risk of catastrophic flooding. Due to the extreme inaccessibility and challenging layout of the area, mobile networks do not work here. In such a scenario, it has almost been impossible to develop a flood warning system.

  • Now, a study conducted by the scientific team of IIT, Kanpur has raised hopes of developing an early flood warning system. According to researchers, satellite based real time monitoring of glacial catchment area of the Himalayas can strengthen early warning system.

  • The study has been published in International Research Journal ‘Science’. The study suggest creating a wide network of connecting surveillance equipment to satellites which will not make it easier to understand lake outburst events but also issue timely warning based on real time data. This system will also provide telemetry support throughout the inaccessible Himalayan region.

 SCIENCE EXPRESS

1. DCGI approves Virafin for moderate COVID:

DCGI approves Zydus Cadila's anti-COVID-19 drug Virafin for emergency use |  The News Minute

  • Amid the increasing need for oxygen across the country, the Drugs Controller General of India has approved the emergency use of Zydus-Cadila’s repurposed drug for the treatment of moderate cases of COVID-19. This drug already being given to patient with Hepatitis-C can reduce the virus load in COVID-19 patients, thereby reducing the need for external oxygen. It has been observed that when the virus load in the patient is medium or high, the need for supplemental oxygen arises quickly.

  • Zydus-Cadila has tested its hepatitis drug ‘Pegulated interferon alpha 2b’ for covid and the drug has shown positive outcomes in all three phases of the trial. Now, this re-purposed drug called Virafin can be given to moderate COVID-19 adult patients.

  • Zydus claims that a single dose of Virafin taken early can help COVID-19 patients to recover faster and avoid complications seen in the advance stages of the infection. The emergency use of Virafin is currently approved but the medicine is yet to be used only under medical supervision.

2. ISRO's Rs 800 crore satellite to communicate with Gaganyaan mission after launch:

Tracking Gaganyaan: ISRO to launch data relay satellite | Zee Business

  • ISRO will launch a data relay satellite that will help maintain contact with the Gaganyaan Mission. This communication satellite will be launched before the final leg of the Mission Gaganyaan. The satellite will help maintain contact with Gaganyaan which will be India’s first manned mission. ISRO is working on sending astronauts to lower earth orbit onboard the Gaganyaan and the first leg of the mission is to be launched in December this year.

  • The NASA also has its own data relay satellite to monitor its manned space mission. Satellites in orbit cannot pass along the information to the ground station on the earth, if the satellite does not have a clear view of the ground station. Tracking and relay satellite like that of the NASA will allow ISRO for the global coverage of all the satellites round the clock without having to build extra ground stations on the earth.

3. NASA’s Perseverance Rover Has Made Oxygen On Mars For The First Time Ever:

NASA's Perseverance Rover Has Made Oxygen On Mars For The First Time Ever

  • NASA has created history once again by producing oxygen on Mars. A small box shaped instrument called Moxie was sent to Mars along with the Perseverance Rover. With successfully demonstrated, a solid oxide electrolysis technology for converting the Martian atmosphere in to breathable oxygen. This is the first time when oxygen has been produced on a planet other than the Earth.

  • Moxie’s first oxygen run produced 5.4 gram of oxygen in 1 hour that is worth about 10 minute of oxygen in an astronaut’s tank. This success may open the way for fulfilling human needs on Mars in the future.

  • The instrument prepared from special matters by the MIT uses excessive heat to convert CO2 in to Carbon Monoxide and Oxygen and the oxygen is then isolated to merge in to O2. This instrument is very effective on Mars as the Martian atmosphere is made up of 95 percent of CO2. The achievement has raised hopes for the future manned mission for Mars.

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