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  • Current Affairs 18th April 2019

    Updated : 18-Apr-2019
    Current Affairs 18th April 2019

    Current Affairs 18th April 2019 - Important Points

    • Indian Teams Win Awards at  - NASA Annual Rover Challenge
    •  First 3D heart printed by - Scientists
    • Indonesian Elections started on - 17th April 2019
    • Google, Apple block TikTok Application on - 16th April 2019
    • Scientists Discover Oil-Eating Bacteria at the -  Bottom of the Ocean
    • Liquid methane spotted on  - Titan moon of Saturn
    • World Haemophilia Day 2019 celebrated on - 17th April 2019
      Current Affairs 18th April 2019 - Details

    Indian Teams Win Awards at  - NASA Annual Rover Challenge

    3 teams from India have secured awards at the NASA’s annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge which invites high school and college students to shape and test roving vehicles for future missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
    Indian Teams Awarded
    The team from KIET Group of Institutions in Ghaziabad, UP, secured the ‘AIAA Neil Armstrong Best Design Award’, which recognises systems best developed to meet the Rover Challenge performance needs.
    The team from Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering, Mumbai, secured the ‘Frank Joe Sexton Memorial Pit Crew Award’ for inventiveness and persistence in overpowering difficulties during the race as well as the ‘System Safety Challenge Award’. The team from LPU, Phagwara,  Punjab, secured the ‘STEM Engagement Award’, presented to the team that best-informed others about rocketry and other space-concderned topics.
    Human Exploration Rover Challenge
    The yearly Human Exploration Rover Challenge of NASA is an engineering fabricated challenge to engage students around the world in the next phase of human space exploration. The challenge assesses the teams by mimicking the opportunities, challenges and decision-making that our future planetary voyagers will face in interplanetary space.

     First 3D heart printed by - Scientists

    Scientists from Tel Aviv University, Israel have made world's 1st 3D printed vascularised engineered  heart by utilising a patient's own tissues and biological materials. Their researches were printed in Advanced Science Magazine. Scientists managed to made an entire heart, complete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers. It is a remarkable improvement over previous attempts that only printed simple tissues without vessels.
    This 1st 3D heart is the size of a rabbit’s heart. Professor Tal Dvir, who headed the research now hope to inspire the printed heart into functioning like a real one. The cells are presently able to contract, but not
    yet have the all-important ability to pump.
    3D Heart Fabrication

    • The process of creating the heart started with a biopsy of fatty tissue taken from patients.
    • The cellular material from the tissues was used as the ‘ink’ for the print job that permitted Scientists to form complex tissue models including cardiac patches and eventually a complete heart.
    • 1st 3D heart is not the actual size of human heart but a complete prototype but the technology that made it possible could ultimately lead to the production of a human-sized body part.
    • Presently, the hearts can only contract but Scientists plan on forming the 3D printed hearts and teaching them how to operate like the real deal.
    • Once that procedure is accomplished, they will attempt to transplant them into animal models.
      3D Printing
      3D printing is a process of forming 3-Dimensional solid objects from a digital file. 3-Dimensional printing fits to a class of techniques known for building objects layer by layer. Currently, 3-Dimensional printers not only make jewellery and toothbrushes but also football boots, racing-car parts, custom-fabricated cakes, human organs, houses, aeroplane parts and even more efficient lithium-ion batteries. One of the important benefits of 3-Dimensional printing is the ability to generate very complex shapes/geometries, and a criterion for producing any 3-Dimensional printed part is a digital 3-Dimensional model.

    Indonesian Elections started on - 17th April 2019

    Indonesia on April 17th, 2019 started one of the world's biggest 1-day elections to elect a new president and parliament after a 6-month campaign. The polls have pitted incumbent President Joko Widodo against ex-general Prabowo Subianto in a race to lead the country.
    Important Highlights

    • President Joko Widodo, who is a clear favourite, is pursuing re-election against former general
      Prabowo Subianto, whom he scarcely defeated in the last election, in 2014.
    • While most opinion polls issued Widodo a double-digit lead, but the opposition says the race is much closer.
    • The elections present a huge logistical challenge in a nation stretching 4800 kms across above 17000 islands with a population of above 260 million, including hundreds of ethnic groups and languages.
    • Above 10000 people have volunteered to crowd-source election results posted at polling stations in a real-time bid to thwart attempts at scam.
    • Widodo’s running mate, Muslim cleric Ma’ruf Amin, urged a for a peaceful vote due to the reason that the presidential election is not a war, but a search for the best leader.

    Google, Apple block TikTok Application on - 16th April 2019

    Google and Apple on April 16th, 2019 banned the access to most popular Chinese video application
    “TikTok” on their application stores after the refusal of the Madras High Court to remove the
    restriction executed on the application on April 3rd, 2019. The application is now not available for
    download on the Google Play Store and Apple Application Store.
    Court’s Ruling

    • The Madras High Court on April 16th, 2019 did not accept the appeal of the Bytedance Technology Pvt Ltd, the marketer of TikTok application in India, to suspend the prohibition. However, the court
      selected Senior Advocate Arvind P Datar as amicus curiae to support the Court in upcoming proceedings, an initiative that was welcomed by the firm.
    • Earlier on April 3rd, 2019, the high court had asked the Central Government to restrict TikTok,
      claiming it stimulated pornography and made child users susceptible to sexual offenders. The ruling
      came following an individual filed a Public Interest Litigation calling for a prohibition.
    • After the court’s ruling, the Central Government had issued a letter to Apple and Google to abide by the order.
      Bytedance Technology’s response to court’s order
    • Bytedance Technology confronted the Madras High Court’s prohibition order in the SC, saying that the order was imposed without hearing them. The firm further mentioned that the high court’s order went against Right to Freedom of Speech in India.
    • In its Supreme Court filing, Bytedance contended that only a ‘very minuscule’ proportion of TikTok
      content was measured inappropriate.
    • The application is fun and amusing videos, and postured no threat to life, liberty and security of an individual.
    • However, the supreme court referred the case back to the state court, where a judge supported the
      prohibition and disallowed Bytedance’s PIL to put the prohibition order on hold.

    Scientists Discover Oil-Eating Bacteria at the -  Bottom of the Ocean

    Scientists from Ocean University in Qingdao, China and the University of East Anglia in Norwich,
    England have found a bacterium that eats oil.
    Oil-Eating Bacteria
    The oil eating bacteria was located in the western Pacific Ocean’s 10994m deep Mariana Trench. The team collected samples from the trench in which they found microorganisms that eat complexes
    similar to those in oil.
    The excursion was held by marine explorer and film director James Cameron.
    Hydrocarbons are organic complexes that are made of only hydrogen and carbon atoms. They are present in many places, including crude oil and natural gas. These types of bacteria which fundamentally eat compounds similar to those in oil and then utilise it for fuel can play a significant role in degrading oil spills in natural disasters including as BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Liquid methane spotted on  - Titan moon of Saturn

    Using information gained by  NASA’s Cassini spacecraft , scientists have discovered that Saturn’s largest
    moon Titan has small liquid lakes that are above 100m deep, perched atop hills and filled with methane.
    Important Research

    • Titan has landforms akin to Mesas soaring above the nearby landscape, topped with liquid lakes above 300 fts deep encompassed mainly of methane.
    • Researchers suspect the lakes were formed when surrounding bedrock chemically softened and collapsed a procedure which happens with a certain type of lake on Earth.
    • The experts also found ‘phantom lakes’ on Titan that during wintertime appeared to be widespread but shallow ponds but perhaps were only a few inches deep and drained into the surface by a process taking 7 years on Titan.
    • The research also offered evidence about Titan’s hydrological cycle, with liquid hydrocarbons raining down from clouds, flowing across its surface and vanishing back into the sky which is equal to Earth’s water cycle.
    • Experts suspect Titan could potentially could harbour life possibly in the surface bodies of liquid
      hydrocarbons due to Titan’s complex chemistry and distinguishing environments.

    World Haemophilia Day 2019 celebrated on - 17th April 2019

    April 17th is celebrated as World Haemophilia Day. The World Haemophilia Day 2019 focused at reaching out and identifying new associates of the bleeding disorders community. World Haemophilia Day is commemorating the birthday of Frank Schnabel who recognized the World Federation of Haemophilia in 1963.

    Haemophilia and its Occurrence

    • Haemophilia is a medical situation in which the ability of blood to clot is harshly reduced. As a result, even a minor wound can cause severe bleeding. It is typically inherited and is attributed to the defect in the X chromosome.
    • For instance, if a girl is born with one defective X chromosome, her other X chromosome can compensate for it.
    • As a result, she will be a carrier of haemophilia but she herself will not suffer from the disease. On the other hand, if both of her X chromosomes are defective, she is assured to suffer from haemophilia disease.
    • However, if a boy is born with a defective X chromosome, he does not have the 2nd X chromosome to compensate for it. Hence, he will suffer from haemophilia. That’s why the haemophilia is more common among males.
    • Britain’s Queen Victoria is the world’s most widely known carrier of haemophilia. From her, the disease passed to a number of European royal families. Hence, haemophilia is often mentioned to as the Royal Disease.

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