- Scientists unveiled the genome of India’s national bird
- After a two-year long effort, a team of researchers from IISER-Bhopal has been able to sequence the genome of India’s national bird, the peacock.
- Knowledge of the genome can provide insight into the genetic reasons that enable peacocks to have ornate feathers and fly despite their weight.
- When these genes were compared with those of closely related birds like chicken and turkey, the researchers found that up to 99 genes in peacock are strikingly different.
- Peacocks live for 25 years, much longer than other closely related birds such as the chicken, which lives for 7-8 years and the turkey, which lives for about 10 years.
- It is possible that the immunity-related genes unique to peacock help them ward off diseases much better than other birds and consequently have a longer life.
- A genome is the complete set of genetic information in an organism.
- It provides all of the information the organism requires to function.
- In living organisms, the genome is stored in long molecules of DNA called chromosomes.
- Small sections of DNA, called genes, code for the RNA and protein molecules required by the organism.
- In eukaryotes, each cell’s genome is contained within a membrane-bound structure called the nucleus.
- Prokaryotes, which contain no inner membranes, store their genome in a region of the cytoplasm called the nucleoid.
- The full range of RNA molecules expressed by a genome is known as its transcriptome, and the full assortment of proteins produced by the genome is called its proteome.
- Genomics is the study of the full genetic complement of an organism (the genome).
- It employs recombinant DNA, DNA sequencing methods, and bioinformatics to sequence, assembles, and analyse the structure and function of genomes.
Source- Down to Earth
- Scientists developed early flowering transgenic mustard
- Researchers at Delhi-based TERI School of Advanced Studies have developed an early flowering transgenic variety of mustard.
- Researchers figured out the role of a regulatory gene, called MIR172belonging to the micro RNA family, that is present in functionally varied forms in Indian mustard and is responsible for a number of traits including the timing of flowering.
- In plants, this microRNA enacts by negatively regulating the expression of some protein-coding genes involved in flowering time.
- By increasing the expression of this microRNA, the researchers have developed an early flowering transgenic plant of Indian mustard cultivar Brassica junceacv.
- By manipulating flowering time, one can develop a plant variety with shorter life cycle and thus help have better yields through reduced exposure to the harsh climatic conditions in the fields.
Why is it important for India?
- Indian mustard is a major oilseed crop in the country and due to changing climate the number of cold days required for full plant cycle has shrunk.
- Scientists have been working on improving crop varieties by modifying plant genes to make them more adaptable changing climate.
- Early flowering and maturing varieties can help cope with climate change, without compromising on yields.
Source- Down to Earth
- Cabinet approves Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III Continuation Programme – Phase 6
- The Union Cabinet has approved the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Continuation Programme (Phase 6) and funding of thirty PSLV operational flights under the Programme.
- The operationalisation of PSLV has made the country self-reliant in the launching capability of satellites for earth observation, disaster management, navigation and space sciences.
- The PSLV Continuation programme will sustain this capability and self-reliance in the launching of similar satellites for national requirements.
- All the operational flights would be completed during the period 2019-2024.
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)
- It is the third generation launch vehicle of India.
- It is the first Indian launch vehicle to be equipped with liquid stages.
- It was successfully launched in October 1994.
- PSLV has emerged as a versatile launch vehicle to carry out Sun-Synchronous Polar Orbit (SSPO), Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and low inclination Low Earth Orbit (LEO) missions.
- Important Mission-
(a) Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 through PSLV-XL C11 and
(b) Mars Orbiter Spacecraft (Mangalyaan) in 2013 through PSLV-XL C25
- Variants- There are currently three operational versions of the PSLV.
(a) The standard (PSLV)
(b) The core-alone (PSLV-CA) without the six strap-on booster motors
(c) The (PSLV-XL) version, which carries more solid fuel in its strap-on motors than the standard version.
- Cabinet approved Continuation Programme for Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III
- The Union Cabinet approved funding for the for Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (GSLV Mk-III) continuation programme (Phase-I).
- The GSLV Mk-III continuation Programme – Phase 1 is the first phase of operational flights that will enable the launch of 4 tonne class of communication satellites to meet the country’s satellite communication requirements.
- The operationalisation of GSLV Mk-III will make the country self-reliant in the launching capability of 4 tonne class of communication satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and sustain & strengthen the space infrastructure and reduce the dependence on procured launches from foreign countries.
GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle)
- The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) project was initiated in 1990 with the objective of acquiring an Indian launch capability for geosynchronous satellites
(a) GSLV rockets using the Russian Cryogenic Stage (CS) are designated as the GSLV Mk I. It is capable of launching around 1500 kg.
(b) Versions using the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) are designated the GSLV Mk II. It is capable of launching 2500 kg into the geostationary transfer orbit.
(c) GSLV Mk III
- All GSLV launches have been conducted from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
Source-PIB + Wiki
- IN Ships arrived Guam to participate in Ex-Malabar 2018
- Indian Naval Ships Sahyadri, Shakti and Kamorta of the Eastern Fleet arrived at Guam on 07 June 18 to participate in the 22nd edition of Exercise Malabar with US Navy from 07 to 16 June 2018.
- Exercise Malabar started as a bilateral exercise between the US Navy and the Indian Navy in 1992, has evolved over the years with the participation of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) from 2007.
- It is for the first time that the exercise is being conducted off Guam, a major US Naval Base in the Western Pacific.