Daily Current Affairs (MCQ's) | 02-08-2022
Daily Current Affairs (MCQ's) | 02-08-2022
Q1. Which of the following is an apt description of the AlphaFold?
- A chess-playing AI machine
- A space mission to observe warped galaxies
- Quantum encryption-based messaging
- AI-based protein structure prediction tool
AlphaFold: A tour de force in science
- DeepMind, a company owned by Google, announced this week that it had predicted the three-dimensional structures of more than 200 million proteins using AlphaFold.
- AlphaFold is an AI-based protein structure prediction tool. It used processes based on “training, learning, retraining and relearning” to predict the structures of the entire 214 million unique protein sequences deposited in the Universal Protein Resource (UniProt) database.
- The Indian community of structural biology needs to take advantage of the AlphaFold database and learn how to use the structures to design better vaccines and drugs.
Q2. Golden rice biosynthesises
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B2
- India also needs to develop bio-engineering tools that can be used in case traditional farming techniques do not provide desired results. Another advantage of new technologies that allow genetic changes is the inclusion of key characteristics within the crop. For example, India currently supplies fortified rice within the public distribution system.
- Instead of using a laborious process to fortify rice, it may be possible to engineer plants that contain essential nutrients. Golden rice that biosynthesises beta-carotene is an example of how genetic engineering tools can be used to enhance crops with added nutrients.
- However, these technologies remain mired in controversy and ethical debates, with India yet to approve of any genetically modified food crop.
Q3. Consider the following statements
- If the earth rotates faster we need to add leap second
- Earth’s fastening rotation could have major consequences on atomic clocks, which are used in GPS satellites
Which of the above statements are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
It is well known that Earth takes approximately 24 hours to rotate on its axis. But this established fact is seeing some major seismic changes. According to scientists, on July 29, Earth completed a full spin in about 1.59 milliseconds shorter than its standard timeframe ( 23 hours and 56 minutes). Notably, this is not the first time that the blue planet has spun faster. Atomic clocks have, however, recently revealed that the Earth's rotation is rapidly accelerating.
Why is Earth rotating fast?
There are no conclusive proofs at the moment to decipher why Earth has been spinning fast. But there are some leading theories that are doing the rounds.
- Some claim that poles’ weight has seen a drop due to the melting of glaciers
- Others note that the molten core of our planet's interior is moving over time.
- While some believe that seismic activity could be the reason
- Others believe it is because of "Chandler wobble”, which is a small deviation in the Earth's geographic poles across its surface
What are the consequences?
- According to reports, Earth’s fastening rotation could have major consequences on atomic clocks, which are used in GPS It won’t take into account the Earth’s changing rotation.
- This means that GPS satellites—which already have to be corrected for the effect of Einstein's Theory of Relativity — will quickly become useless.
- Apart from that, smartphones, computers, and other communications systems will render useless as they are synchronised with Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers.
- Since the clock progresses from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60 before resetting to 00:00:00, a time jump like this can crash programmes and corrupt data.
To solve all this, international timekeepers may need to add a negative leap second— a “drop second.” According to the Independent, the UTC, the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time, has been updated with a leap second 27 times. Leap seconds are added for slowing rotation.
Q4. Consider the following about supernova
- It is a super-powerful explosion of a star.
- A supernova explosion may lead to the formation of a Blackhole.
- Supernova events are observed very frequently in the universe.
Which of the above are correct?
- 1 and 2 only
- 1, 2 and 3
- 1 and 3 only
- Only 1
What are the Supernovas? What are the types of Supernova events?
A supernova is the biggest explosion that humans have ever seen. Each blast is an extremely bright, super-powerful explosion of a star.
The first type of Supernova Event:
A star is in the balance between two opposite forces. The star’s gravity tries to squeeze the star into the smallest, tightest ball possible. But the nuclear fuel burning in the star’s core creates strong outward pressure. This outward push resists the inward squeeze of gravity.
When a massive star runs out of fuel, it cools off. This causes the pressure to drop. Gravity wins out, and the star suddenly collapses. Imagine something one million times the mass of Earth collapsing in 15 seconds! The collapse happens so quickly that it creates enormous shock waves that cause the outer part of the star to explode!
Usually, a very dense core is left behind, along with an expanding cloud of hot gas called a Nebula. A supernova of a star more than about 10 times the size of our sun may leave behind the densest objects in the universe—Black holes.
The second type of supernova can happen in systems where two stars orbit one another and at least one of those stars is an Earth- sized white dwarf. A white dwarf is what's left after a star the size of our sun has run out of fuel. If one white dwarf collides with another or pulls too much matter from its nearby star, the white dwarf can explode.
How common are supernovas?
Not very. Astronomers believe that about two or three supernovas occur each century in galaxies like our own Milky Way. Because the universe contains so many galaxies, astronomers observe a few hundred supernovas per year outside our galaxy. Space dust blocks our view of most of the supernovas within the Milky Way.
What can we learn from supernovas?
Scientists have learned a lot about the universe by studying supernovas.
- They use the second type of supernova (the kind involving white dwarfs) as a ruler, to measure distances in space.
- They have also learned that stars are the universe’s factories. Stars generate the chemical elements needed to make everything in our universe. At their cores, stars convert simple elements like hydrogen into heavier elements. These heavier elements, such as carbon and nitrogen, are the elements needed for life.
- Only massive stars can make heavy elements like gold, silver, and When explosive supernovas happen, stars distribute both stored-up and newly-created elements throughout space.
Q5. Consider the following about Exoplanets
- Exoplanets are very hard to see as they are hidden by the bright glare of our Sun.
- NASA has launched the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) for the Exoplanet
Which of the above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- 1 and 2 both
- Neither 1 nor 2
What are the Exoplanets?
All of the planets in our Solar System orbit around the Sun. Planets that orbit around other stars are called Exoplanets. Exoplanets are very hard to see directly with telescopes. They are hidden by the bright glare of the stars they orbit.
So, astronomers use other ways to detect and study these distant planets. They search for exoplanets by looking at the effects these planets have on the stars they orbit.
How do we look for exoplanets?
- One way to search for exoplanets is to look for "wobbly" A star that has planets doesn’t orbit perfectly around its centre. From far away, this off-centre orbit makes the star look like it’s wobbling.
- Hundreds of planets have been discovered using this method. However, only big planets—like Jupiter, or even larger—can be seen this way. Smaller Earth-like planets are much harder to find because they create only small wobbles that are hard to detect.
How can we find Earth-like planets in other solar systems?
- In 2009, NASA launched a spacecraft called Kepler to look for exoplanets. Kepler looked for planets in a wide range of sizes and And these planets orbited around stars that varied in size and temperature.
- Some of the planets discovered by Kepler are Rocky planets that are at a very special distance from their This sweet spot is called the habitable zone, where life might be possible.
- Kepler detected exoplanets using something called the Transit method. When a planet passes in front of its star, it’s called a transit. As the planet transits in front of the star, it blocks out a little bit of the star's That means a star will look a little less bright when the planet passes in front of it.
- Astronomers can observe how the brightness of the star changes during transit. This can help them figure out the size of the planet.
- By studying the time between transits, astronomers can also find out how far away the planet is from its This tells us something about the planet’s temperature. If a planet is just the right temperature, it could contain liquid water—an important ingredient for life.
- So far, thousands of planets have been discovered by the Kepler And more will be found by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, which is observing the entire sky to locate planets orbiting the nearest and brightest stars.
- We now know that exoplanets are very common in the And future NASA missions have been planned to discover many more.