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RSTV: SCIENCE MONITOR 30.8.2021

RSTV

 

BRICS countries to study the intersection of COVID-19 & TB Pandemics:

  • A consortium of doctors and researchers from India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa have partnered to conduct a study on the epidemiological impact and intersection of the COVID-19 and Tuberculosis pandemics in these countries.
  • Under this joint research, the teams from these countries will explore the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the epidemiological characteristics of TB infection and search for mechanisms responsible for the interaction of these two processes.
  • They will also search for strategies to mitigate the negative consequences of the pandemic and develop individual recommendations for each participating country, which can help overcome the impact of epidemics of respiratory viral diseases on the epidemic of tuberculosis.
  • Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa currently rank 2nd to 5th in the number of cases of COVID-19 and belong to 24 countries recognized by WHO with the highest burden of tuberculosis in the world.
  • Moreover, BRICS countries have the largest number of cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Hence the research will be conducted in these 4 BRICS countries where one of the highest-burden rates of both COVID-19 and tuberculosis has been recorded simultaneously.
  • The teams will assess the impact of COVID-19 on trends in the structure of the tuberculosis population, primarily through the interaction between scientists from Russia and India.
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictive measures on morbidity and tuberculosis-related mortality will be assessed using mathematical modeling.
  • This collaborative research will provide a differentiated country-based assessment of the negative consequences of COVID-19 on the provision of anti-tuberculosis care, its continuity, consistency, and adequacy through a comparative analysis of the inter-country similarities and differences in the interaction of the two epidemics at the population and individual level.
  • The analysis will provide insights into the most important points of application for epidemiological, medico-social, clinical, and socio-economic interventions that are expected to reduce morbidity and mortality from the interaction of COVID-19 and TB in both the short and long term.
  • The approach used will allow the development of a unique platform for mathematical modeling of the epidemic tuberculosis process, which will also support and enhance epidemic modeling capabilities in BRICS countries and thus provide a solid foundation for future collaborative modeling research.

IIT Madras develops motorized wheelchair:

  • IIT Madras in collaboration with a startup incubated have created an indigenously designed motorized wheelchair vehicle, christened NeoBolt and Neofly.
  • R2D2 works on biomechanics and the development of assisting devices to help people with locomotive disabilities.
  • The idea is to translate some research to the market and Neomotion is the first startup from our lab which has successfully taken Neofly and NeoBolt, successfully to the market.
  • Neofly, is a fully customizable wheelchair designed and made as per customer’s preferability unlike the one-sized wheelchair available in India.
  • One-sized wheelchair for everyone will only cause more pain and suffering to the user, just like if you are made to wear ill-fitting shoes, affecting a person’s posture.
  • Neofly has 18 customizable options, and it can be customized to the user’s lifestyle and their health.
  • The other and much innovative part of the machine is Neobolt, a component that can convert the Neofly wheelchair into a road-worthy machine.
  • The team has even created their own lock system, securing the light weight and detachable Neobolt from Neofly, converting it into a vehicle with a toppled of 25km and a range of 25km achieved through the Lithium ion battery attached to Neobolt.
  • It charges in 4 hours and can cover a distance of 25km and as a complete system, it can be used on roads, on all terrains and rugged areas with speed breakers and potholes. It allows a user to go out independentlyfor education, employment or anything.

New advanced oxidation technology can enhance waste water reuse at lower cost:

  • A new technology may soon enhance the reuse of waste water in an affordable and sustainable manner.
  • The technology which uses UV-Photocatalysis can treat municipal sewage and highly polluting industrial wastewater streams and increase its reuse as a technological option in industrial as well as municipal wastewater treatments.
  • With ever-increasing water crisis, it becomes imperative for industries & utilities to reuse ‘treated water’. However, the current treatment practices are inefficient because of high dependence on biological treatment systems, which are unable to bear shock loads.
  • This is followed by tertiary treatment systems involving RO and Multi Effect Evaporators (MEE). These systems have large carbon footprint and maintenance costs making the wastewater treatment highly unsustainable and unaffordable.
  • These researchers have felt the need to integrate novel approaches and advanced technologies in current systems.
  • The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi, has developed a technology called The Advanced Oxidation Technology or TADOX which ‘can reduce less dependence and load on biological and tertiary treatment systems and help achieve Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD).
  • It can bring down capital expenditure on ZLD by 25-30% and operating expense by 30-40% for industrial wastewater treatment.
  • It improves biodegradability, thereby preventing bio-fouling of membranes and enhancing life span and efficiency of RO systems as also overall load on evaporators like Multiple Effect Evaporators and Mechanical vapor recompression (MVR), and so on.
  • It can reduce Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), dissolved organics, pathogens, Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), and Micropollutants.
  • TADOX could be integrated and retrofittable in existing treatment systems making it a viable option as a novel Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Technology (DWTT) applicable in upcoming and existing infrastructural projects, townships, commercial complexes, green buildings, and smart cities.
  • The technology has been adopted by an MSME Company to scale up to 10 Kilo Litre per Day continuous running plant in TERI Gurugram campus. TADOX technology has been chosen for pilot trials and augmentation plan for identified industrial sectors under ‘Namami Gange’ Programme of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt. of India.

Highlights of Sixth Assessment Report of IPCC (AR6):

  • Weather and climate events – such as extreme heat, heavy rainfall, fire conditions, and droughts – are becoming more severe and frequent because of climate change.
  • The report finds we are already edging closer to a 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer world, and every day emissions rise the prospects for averting the worst impacts of climate change become dimmer.
  • Carbon dioxide has been and will continue to be the dominant cause of global warming under all greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.
  • It says, if greenhouse gas emissions are halved by 2030 and net zero by 2050, global warming can be stopped.
  • Also, IPCC report vindicates India’s position that historical cumulative emissions are the source of the climate crisis that the World faces today.