- Biodegradable plastic made from tree glue
- Scientists have found that a natural ‘tree glue’ which stiffens plant cells can be turned into a strong, biodegradable plastic.
- The natural glue called lignin holds cellulose fibres together.
- Researchers from the University of Warwick in the UK genetically modified some bacteria called Rhodococcus Jostii to turn lignin into useful chemicals.
- There are only a small number of organisms that can break down lignin.
- Plastic is notoriously difficult to recycle – and only 12 Percent of household waste is reprocessed.
- The rest is either burnt or goes to landfill.
- Lignin is a by-product of the papermaking process.
Source- The Hindu
- India to control Mattala airport
- India has agreed to form a joint venture with Sri Lanka to operate the loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota, Sri Lanka.
- The $210 million facility, 241km south-east of Colombo, is dubbed the “world’s emptiest airport” due to a lack of flights.
- The joint venture would see India gain a major stake of the airport.
- Mattala airport, named after former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
- The seaport built in Hambantota has been leased to China to set off Chinese loans as equity.
- Indian warship INS Trikand reaches Sri Lanka in goodwill visit
- India’s latest frontline warship INS Trikand has reached Sri Lanka in a goodwill visit.
- INS Trikand is a state-of-the-art warship of the Indian Navy equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors capable of addressing threats in all three dimensions – air, surface and sub-surface.
- INS Trikand (F51) is a Talwar-class frigate of the Indian Navy.
- She is the third and final ship of the second batch of Talwar-class frigates ordered by the Indian Navy.
- It was built by the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad, Russia.
Talwar Class Frigates or Project 11356
- These are a class of guided missile frigates designed and built by Russia for the Indian Navy.
- The Talwar-class guided missile frigates are the improved versions of the Krivak III-class (Project 1135) frigates used by the Russian Coast Guard.
Source- Economic Times
- Cosmic collision with ‘Sausage’ galaxy reshaped Milky Way
- Astronomers have discovered an ancient cosmic collision with an object, dubbed the “Sausage” galaxy, that reshaped the structure of the Milky Way galaxy.
- It is observed using data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite.
- Scientists propose that around 8 billion to 10 billion years ago, an unknown dwarf galaxy smashed into our own Milky Way.
- Sausage debris was scattered all around the inner parts of the Milky Way, creating the ‘bulge’ at the galaxy’s centre and the surrounding ‘stellar halo.’
- The orbits are further elongated by the growing Milky Way disk, which swells and becomes thicker following the collision.
- The Milky Way continues to collide with other galaxies, such as the puny Sagittarius dwarf galaxy.
- However, the Sausage galaxy was much more massive. Its total mass in gas, stars and dark matter was more than 10 billion times the mass of our Sun.
Source- Indian Express
- How Ethiopia and Kenya have put a world heritage site in danger
- Lake Turkana is the world’s largest desert lake- located in Kenya’s remote northern arid lands and is the most saline of Africa’s great lakes.
- Its ecology supports a host of local and migratory bird and wildlife populations.
- It’s also home to unique fossil and archaeological discoveries.
- In 1973, Sibiloi National Park was created on the north-eastern lakeshore to conserve these remarkable discoveries that have contributed so much to our understanding of human evolution.
- And in 1983 and 1985, the lake’s South and Central Islands were designated national parks because of their outstanding wildlife breeding habitats, notably for the Nile crocodile.
- These three national parks were inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1997 for their “geological and fossil records” and “diverse aquatic and terrestrial habitats”.
- There are 1,092 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world, five of which are within Kenya.
- Once inscribed, the sites are protected according to local legislation and international treaties.
- Under the convention guidelines, state parties are obliged to submit reports every six years on each of their World Heritage sites.
- If a site comes under threat, the World Heritage Committee can initiate the agreed process of “reactive monitoring” – an independent mission to review and produce a report on the state of conservation of the site.
- If the site is found to be facing danger, the mission can recommend it be placed on the “List of World Heritage in Danger”.
Why the lake was put on the danger list
- Threats were identified as the Gibe dams and irrigation plantation developments on Ethiopia’s Omo River.
- More than 80% of the lake’s freshwater inflow is provided by the Omo River and so these projects affect the lake’s ecology.
- The committee requested that Ethiopia suspend construction works on the Gibe III dam and submit assessments on the dam and irrigation development plans.
- The World Heritage Committee has now requested Kenya to invite a reactive monitoring mission to review what’s happened and to propose a way forward to remove the Lake Turkana National Parks from the “List of World Heritage in Danger”.
Source- Down to Earth
- PM Modi inaugurated the world’s largest mobile factory in Noida
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon inaugurated the New Mobile Manufacturing Plant of Samsung at Noida.
- With the beginning of this New Plant, India’s Make In India and Skill India Will get a major Push in the country.
Topic-Important for PCS Exams
Source- DD News
- 17th World Sanskrit Conference inaugurated at Vancouver in Canada
- HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the 17th World Sanskrit Conference in Vancouver, Canada.
- The purpose of this conference is to promote, preserve and practice the Sanskrit language all over the world by the people.
- The World Sanskrit Conference is being held in various countries across the globe once in every three years and so far, it has been held thrice in India.