Test: Current Affairs October- 2020


20 Questions MCQ Test Science & Technology for UPSC CSE | Test: Current Affairs October- 2020


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QUESTION: 1

Which of the following are the applications of Nanobots

  1. Targeted drug delivery

  2. Unblock blood vessels in the heart

  3. Taking biopsies in inaccessible areas of the body 

Select the correct answer code:

Solution:

Scientists are exploring the use of nanobots for many healthcare uses, not only for fighting cancer but also to unblock blood vessels in hard to reach areas, taking biopsies or measuring the level of certain chemicals in otherwise inaccessible areas of the body. A nanobot is a device typically ranging from 0.1-10 micrometres (a micrometre is one-millionth of a metre), roughly the size of a red blood cell or smaller. This is too small to add a traditional robotic element like a motor, computer chip or camera.

QUESTION: 2

Phage therapy, sometimes seen in news is related to

Solution: Phage therapy is a treatment for people suffering from chronic or antibiotic-resistant infections.

Phage therapy or viral phage therapy is the therapeutic use of bacteriophages to treat pathogenic bacterial infections. Bacteriophages, known as phages, are a form of viruses. Phages attach to bacterial cells and inject a viral genome into the cell. The viral genome effectively replaces the bacterial genome, halting the bacterial infection.

QUESTION: 3

Consider the following statements regarding Torrefaction technology.

  1. Torrefaction is a Swedish technology that converts rice stubble into bio-manure.

  2. The technology involves heating straw, grass, sawmill residue and wood biomass under very high temperature.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution: Pollution from stubble burning in winter is the key contributor to the sharp decline in air quality in Delhi. But stubble burning continues unabated. To find a solution to this issue, India is testing a Swedish technology —

torrefaction that can convert rice stubble into 'bio-coal'.

The technology involves heating straw, grass, sawmill residue and wood biomass to 250 degrees Celsius - 350 degrees Celsius. This changes the elements of the biomass into 'coal-like' pellets. These pellets can be used for combustion along with coal for industrial applications like steel and cement production.

QUESTION: 4

Consider the following statements regarding Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, recently seen in the news.

  1. CBD oil is an extract from the cannabis plant.

  2. There is enough scientific evidence to prove that CBD oil can safely and effectively treat cancer.

  3. CBD oil manufactured under a licence issued by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 can be legally used.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution: CBD oil is an extract from the cannabis plant.

There is not enough robust scientific evidence to prove that CBD oil can safely and effectively treat cancer.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act) outlaws the recreational use of cannabis.

CBD oil manufactured under a licence issued by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 can be legally used. However, the use of cannabis as a medicine is not much prevalent in India.

QUESTION: 5

Consider the following statements regarding Brucellosis.

  1. Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that mainly infects cattle, swine, goats, sheep and dogs.

  2. Humans get infected if they come in direct contact with infected animals and not by eating or drinking contaminated animal products.

  3. Human to human transmission of the virus is rare.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution: Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that mainly infects cattle, swine, goats, sheep and dogs. Humans can get infected if they come in direct contact with infected animals or eat or drink contaminated animal products or by inhaling airborne agents. According to the WHO, most diseases are caused by ingesting unpasteurised milk or cheese from infected goats or sheep.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, sweats, malaise, anorexia, headache and muscle pain. While some signs and symptoms can last for long periods of time, others may never go away. These include recurrent fevers, arthritis, swelling of the testicles and scrotum area, swelling of the heart, neurologic symptoms, chronic fatigue, depression and swelling of the liver or spleen.

Human to human transmission of the virus is rare.

QUESTION: 6

Consider the following statements regarding African Swine Fever (AFS).

  1. ASF is a severe viral disease that affects wild and domestic pigs, typically resulting in an acute haemorrhagic fever.

  2. The disease has a case fatality rate (CFR) of almost 100 per cent.

  3. Biological vectors such as ticks can transmit the disease.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution:

African Swine Fever (AFS): Amid the COVID-19 lockdown, an outbreak of ASF killed thousands of pigs in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. ASF is a severe viral disease that affects wild and domestic pigs, typically resulting in an acute haemorrhagic fever. The disease has a case fatality rate (CFR) of almost 100 per cent. Its transmission routes include direct contact with an infected or wild pig (alive or dead), indirect contact through ingestion of contaminated material such as food waste, feed or garbage, or through biological vectors such as ticks.

QUESTION: 7

Which of the following sectors have the applications from the Cyber-Physical Systems?

  1. Healthcare

  2. Smart Buildings

  3. Transportation

  4. Robotics

Select the correct answer code:

Solution: Cyber-Physical System (CPS) comprises a collection of devices interacting with each other and communicating with the physical world. It integrates computation and communication aspects, together with control and monitoring techniques.

Various CPS applications can be found in almost all human life areas, such as manufacturing systems, smart grids, robotics, transportation systems, medical devices, military, home area networks and smart buildings, etc.

QUESTION: 8

Which of the following can be carried out using Artificial Intelligence?

  1. Early detection and prevention of diseases for patients.

  2. Auto reply to specific queries on a web portal.

  3. Shorten the preclinical drug identification and design process

  4. Water management and pest control 

Select the correct answer code:

Solution: Machine Learning-based deep-learning algorithms in AI can give insights to healthcare providers in predicting future events for patients. It can also aid in the early detection and prevention of diseases by capturing the vitals of patients.

Hospitals in Tamil Nadu are using Machine Learning algorithms to detect diabetic retinopathy and address the challenge of shortage of eye doctors. For the COVID-19 response, an AI-enabled Chatbot was used by MyGov for ensuring communications.

AI-based applications have helped biopharmaceutical companies to significantly shorten the preclinical drug identification and design process from several years to a few days or months.

AI-based solutions on water management, crop insurance and pest control are also being developed. Technologies like image recognition, drones, and automated intelligent monitoring of irrigation systems can help farmers kill weeds more effectively, harvest better crops and ensure higher yields.

ICRISAT has developed an AI-power sowing app, which utilises weather models and data on local crop yield and rainfall to more accurately predict and advise local farmers on when they should plant their seeds.

An AI-based flood forecasting model implemented in Bihar is now being expanded to cover India's whole.

QUESTION: 9

Consider the following statements regarding Chandra X-ray Observatory.

  1. Chandra X-ray Observatory is a telescope specially designed to detect X-ray emission from very hot regions of the Universe such as exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes.

  2. It is a Flagship-class space telescope launched by ISRO.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution: NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is a telescope specially designed to detect X-ray emission from very hot regions of the Universe such as exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes. Because X- rays are absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, Chandra must orbit above it, up to 139,000 km (86,500 mi) in space.

Since its launch on July 23, 1999, the Chandra X-ray Observatory has been NASA's flagship mission for X-ray astronomy, taking its place in the fleet of "Great Observatories."

QUESTION: 10

Which of the following statement is correct regarding Sagittarius A*?

Solution: Based on mass and increasingly precise radius limits, astronomers have concluded that Sagittarius A* is the Milky Way's central supermassive black hole.

QUESTION: 11

Nuclear science is being utilised in which of the following areas of agriculture in India? 

  1. Development of high yielding crop seeds

  2. Fertiliser and pesticide-related studies

  3. Radiation processing of food items 

Select the correct answer code:

Solution: The nuclear agriculture programme of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) covers high yielding crop seeds using nuclear techniques, fertiliser and pesticide-related studies, radiation processing of food items and other areas.

QUESTION: 12

Consider the following statements regarding Black holes.

  1. A black hole is an astronomical object with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape from it.

  2. The area outside the boundary of Black holes, called the event horizon does emit all kinds of radiations, even visible light.

Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

Solution: Black holes do not emit or radiate anything, even light. So, there is no way their image can be captured. But the area just outside its boundary, called the event horizon, which has vast amounts of gas, clouds and plasma swirling violently, does emit all kinds of radiations, even visible light.

QUESTION: 13

Consider the following statements regarding CRISPR-Cas9.

  1. CRISPR technology allows to alter DNA sequences easily and modify gene function.

  2. It can be used to correct sickle cell anaemia, a genetic blood disorder.

  3. Gene editing system does not occur naturally in organisms.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution: Indian scientists have developed a new variant of a currently popular gene-editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9. They have shown that this variant can increase precision in editing genome while avoiding unintended changes in DNA.

The researchers have also shown that this type of gene editing can correct sickle cell anaemia, a genetic blood disorder.

QUESTION: 14

Consider the following statements regarding DNA barcoding.

  1. DNA barcoding is a method of species identification using a short section of DNA from a specific gene.

  2. DNA barcoding is used to obtain taxonomic information about unidentified organisms.

  3. The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has joined the International Barcode of Life Consortium which is part of UNEP, to expand the global reference database.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution: The Union Cabinet apprised a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and International Barcode of Life (iBOL), a Canadian not-for-profit corporation. iBOL is a research alliance involving nations that have committed both human and financial resources to enable expansion of the global reference database, the development of informatics platforms, and the analytical protocols needed to use the reference library to assess, and describe biodiversity.

The MoU will enable ZSI to participate at the global-level programmes like Bioscan and Planetary Biodiversity Mission.

ZSI is a subordinate organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. (ANI).

DNA barcoding, a methodology for rapidly and accurately identifying species by sequencing a short segment of standardised gene regions and comparing individual sequences to a reference database.

DNA barcoding is increasingly used to obtain taxonomic information about unidentified organisms.

QUESTION: 15

Consider the following statements regarding Rudram missile.

  1. Rudram is India's first indigenous anti-radiation missile.

  2. It is an air-to-surface missile, designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

  3. Anti-radiation missiles are designed to detect, track and neutralise the adversary's radar, communication assets and other radio frequency sources.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution: India's first indigenous anti-radiation missile, Rudram, developed for the Indian Air Force, was successfully flight-tested from a Sukhoi-30 MKI jet off the east coast.

Anti-radiation missiles are designed to detect, track and neutralise the adversary's radar, communication assets and other radio frequency sources, which are generally part of their air defence systems.

Rudram is an air-to-surface missile, designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Once the Rudram missile locks on the target, it can strike accurately even if the radiation source switches off in between. The missile has an operational range of more than 100 km (up to 200 km depending upon the launch conditions).

 

QUESTION: 16

Which of the following types of inventions are not patentable in India?

  1. A method of agriculture or horticulture

  2. A literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work

  3. Artificial intelligence-led innovations without human intervention.

  4. Inventions relating to atomic energy 

Select the correct answer code:

Solution:
QUESTION: 17

Consider the following statements regarding the OSIRIS-REx mission.

  1. OSIRIS-REx mission is NASA's first mission meant to return a sample from the ancient asteroid Bennu.

  2. Asteroid Bennu has undergone drastic changes since its formation over billions of years ago, and the sample helps in studying these changes.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution: OSIRIS-REx mission is NASA's first mission meant to return a sample from the ancient asteroid. The mission is essentially a seven-year-long voyage and will conclude when at least 60 grams of samples are delivered back to the Earth. As per NASA, the mission promises to bring the largest amount of extraterrestrial material back to our planet since the Apollo era.

Significantly, Bennu hasn't undergone drastic changes since its formation over billions of years ago, and therefore it contains chemicals and rocks dating back to the birth of the solar system. It is also relatively close to the Earth.

Because of Bennu's age, it is likely to contain material containing molecules present when life first formed on Earth.

 

QUESTION: 18

Scientists usually study asteroids for which of the following reasons?

  1. Asteroids provide information about the formation and history of planets and the sun.

  2. To look for asteroids that might be potentially hazardous.

  3. Asteroids offer a source of volatiles and an extraordinarily rich supply of minerals.

Select the correct answer code:

Solution:

The scientific interest in asteroids is due largely to their status as the remnant debris from the inner solar system formation process. Because some of these objects can collide with the Earth, asteroids are also important for having significantly modified the Earth's biosphere in the past. They will continue to do so in the future. Also, asteroids offer a source of volatiles and an extraordinarily rich supply of minerals that can be exploited to explore and colonise our solar system in the twenty-first century.

Scientists study asteroids to look for information about the formation and history of planets and the sun since asteroids were formed simultaneously as other objects in the solar system. Another reason for tracking them is

to look for asteroids that might be potentially hazardous.

QUESTION: 19

Nanotechnology has applications in which of the following areas?

  1. Food Packaging

  2. Fuel cells and Solar Cells

  3. Better Air and Water Quality

  4. Chemical Sensors 

Select the correct answer code:

Solution:

Nanotechnology Applications in:

  • Medicine: Researchers are developing customised nanoparticles the size of molecules that can deliver drugs directly to diseased cells in your body.

  • Electronics: increase the capabilities of electronics devices while we reduce their weight and power consumption.

  • Food: Nanotechnology is impacting several aspects of food science, from how food is grown to how it is packaged. Companies are developing nanomaterials that will make a difference not only in the taste of food but also in food safety and the health benefits

  • Fuel cells: Nanotechnology is being used to reduce the cost of catalysts used in fuel cells

  • Better Air Quality: Nanotechnology can improve catalysts' performance to transform vapours escaping from cars or industrial plants into harmless gasses.

  • Better Water Quality: Nanotechnology is being used to develop solutions to different problems in water quality.

QUESTION: 20

Consider the following statements regarding Feluda test.

  1. Feluda test is a low-cost paper-based test strip to detect Covid-19.

  2. It uses CRISPR-Cas technology for the detection of genes specific to SARS-CoV-2 virus.

  3. It has 100 percent sensitivity and specificity for detecting positive and negative cases.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Solution: Feluda is the acronym for FNCAS9 Editor Linked Uniform Detection Assay.

It has a sensitivity of 96 per cent and specificity of 98 per cent, which means that the test can detect positive and negative cases both up to 96 or 98 per cent of the time.

The test uses indigenously developed CRISPR gene-editing technology. The world's first diagnostic test uses specially adapted Cas9 protein to detect the virus successfully.

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