Model question | 24-07-2023
Model question | 24-07-2023
GS 3 Paper CSE 2022
Q15. Launched on 25th December, 2021, James Webb Space Telescope has been much news since then. What are its unique features which make it superior to its predecessor Space Telescopes? What are the key goals of this mission? What potential benefits does it hold for the human race? (Answer in 250 words) 15 mark
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), launched on 25th December 2021, has captivated the world with its potential to revolutionise our understanding of the universe. As the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, the JWST brings unique features that set it apart and enable groundbreaking scientific discoveries.
Unique Features of the James Webb Space Telescope:
• Infrared Observations: Unlike its predecessor, the JWST specializes in infrared observations, allowing it to peer deeper into space and unveil hidden celestial objects. Its large mirror and advanced infrared detectors enable enhanced sensitivity and resolution.
• Larger Mirror: The JWST boasts a 6.5-meter segmented primary mirror, much larger than the Hubble Space Telescope's 2.4-meter mirror. The larger mirror enhances the telescope's light-gathering capabilities, enabling clearer and more detailed observations.
• Sunshield: The JWST incorporates a five-layered sunshield, roughly the size of a tennis court when deployed. This sunshield provides protection from the Sun's heat and light, ensuring that the telescope's sensitive instruments operate at extremely cold temperatures.
• Orbit Location: The JWST orbits around the second Lagrange point (L2) of the Earth-Sun system, approximately 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth. This vantage point allows the telescope to remain stable and shielded from the Sun, Moon, and Earth's interference.
Key Goals of the James Webb Space Telescope:
• First Light and Reionization: The JWST aims to observe the earliest galaxies that formed in the universe, shedding light on the processes of cosmic reionization and the transition from the cosmic "Dark Ages" to the illuminated universe we see today.
• Exoplanet Characterization: The telescope will study exoplanetary atmospheres, helping scientists understand the composition, temperature, and potential habitability of these distant worlds.
• Star and Planet Formation: By observing stellar nurseries and protoplanetary disks, the JWST will provide insights into the formation of stars and planets, unraveling the mysteries of our own solar system's origins.
• Galaxy Evolution: The JWST will investigate the formation and evolution of galaxies over cosmic time, providing valuable data on their structure, star formation rates, and the interplay between dark matter, gas, and stars.
Potential Benefits for the Human Race:
• Advancing Scientific Knowledge: The JWST's observations will deepen our understanding of the universe, offering unprecedented insights into the cosmic history, exoplanets, galaxy evolution, and star formation. This knowledge can reshape our understanding of our place in the cosmos.
• Technological Innovations: The development of the JWST has driven technological advancements in areas such as mirror manufacturing, cryogenics, sunshield deployment, and precision instrumentation, with potential applications in various fields beyond astronomy.
• Inspiring Future Generations: The JWST's awe-inspiring discoveries and stunning imagery have the power to inspire young minds, encouraging them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
• Habitability and Search for Life: The characterization of exoplanet atmospheres by the JWST can provide valuable information on habitability and the potential for life beyond Earth, fostering a deeper understanding of our place in the universe.
The James Webb Space Telescope's unique features, such as its infrared observations, larger mirror, sunshield, and orbital location, position it as a significant advancement in space exploration. Its key goals encompass studying the early universe, exoplanetary atmospheres, star and planet formation, and galaxy evolution. The potential benefits of the JWST span from advancing scientific knowledge and technological innovations to inspiring future generations and deepening our understanding of habitability and the search for life. As the JWST embarks on its remarkable journey, humanity eagerly anticipates the unprecedented discoveries and insights it will bring, expanding our horizons and enriching our knowledge of the universe we call home.
Q16. What is the basic principle behind vaccine development? How do vaccines work? What approaches were adopted by the Indian vaccine manufacturers to produce COVID-19 vaccines? (Answer in 250 words) 15 mark
Vaccine development plays a crucial role in preventing the spread of infectious diseases and protecting public health. Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to recognize and defend against specific pathogens.
Basic Principle of Vaccine Development:
• Pathogen Identification: The first step in vaccine development is identifying the pathogen causing the disease. Scientists study the structure, genetic makeup, and behavior of the pathogen to understand its characteristics.
• Antigen Selection: Vaccines contain antigens, substances that stimulate the immune system to recognize and respond to the pathogen. The selected antigens are often specific proteins or fragments of the pathogen that provoke an immune response.
• Stimulating Immune Response: Vaccines aim to mimic a natural infection without causing the disease. They stimulate the immune system to produce an immune response, including the production of antibodies, memory cells, and activation of immune cells.
How Vaccines Work:
• Primary Immune Response: When a vaccine is administered, the immune system recognizes the introduced antigens as foreign and mounts an immune response. This response involves the production of antibodies and immune cells specific to the antigens.
• Memory Cells Formation: After the primary immune response, memory cells are generated. These cells "remember" the specific pathogen and allow for a faster and stronger response if the person is exposed to the actual pathogen in the future.
• Protection against Future Infection: If a vaccinated person encounters the pathogen, the immune system quickly recognizes it and mounts a rapid response. This helps prevent the person from developing severe symptoms or getting infected altogether.
Approaches Adopted by Indian Vaccine Manufacturers for COVID-19 Vaccines:
• Inactivated or Whole Virus Vaccines: Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and other Indian vaccine manufacturers utilised inactivated or whole virus technology. In this approach, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is inactivated, making it unable to cause disease but still capable of stimulating an immune response.
• Viral Vector Vaccines: The Serum Institute of India's Covishield, developed in partnership with Oxford University and AstraZeneca, uses a viral vector approach. This involves using a harmless virus (adenovirus) as a delivery system to introduce the genetic material of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 into the body, triggering an immune response.
• Protein Subunit Vaccines: Biological E's Corbevax is a protein subunit vaccine. It contains only the specific protein fragment (spike protein) of SARS-CoV-2 that elicits an immune response, rather than the whole virus.
Examples and Facts:
• Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech, is an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine that has shown efficacy against multiple variants of SARS-CoV- 2.
• Covishield, developed by the Serum Institute of India, is based on the viral vector platform and has been widely administered in India and other countries.
• Corbevax, developed by Biological E, is a protein subunit vaccine that is expected to be available in India soon.
Vaccine development follows a basic principle of pathogen identification, antigen selection, and stimulation of the immune response. Vaccines work by triggering an immune response, priming the body to recognize and defend against specific pathogens. Indian vaccine manufacturers adopted different approaches to produce COVID-19 vaccines, including inactivated or whole virus vaccines, viral vector vaccines, and protein subunit vaccines. These vaccines have played a vital role in India's vaccination efforts and global immunization campaigns, contributing to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The development and deployment of effective vaccines demonstrate the power of scientific innovation and collaboration in safeguarding public health.