Current Affairs 04 April 2019 Digest 2: 5G networks in South Korea; CCMB discovers new enzyme

Story 1: South Korea to launch world's first 5G networks

South Korea will launch world’s first 5G mobile networks on April 5, 2019. It would be a transformational leap that already has USA and China sparring for control of an innovation that could potentially change the day-to-day lives of billions of people.

The superfast communications supported by fifth generation (5G) wireless technology will ultimately underpin everything from toasters to telephones; from electric cars to power grids.

Key Highlights

  • Hyper-wired South Korea has long had a reputation for technical prowess, and Seoul has made the 5G rollout a priority as it seeks to stimulate stuttering economic growth.
  • The system will bring smartphones near-instantaneous connectivity, 20 times faster than existing 4G, allowing users to download entire movies in less than a second.
  • In the same way that 3G enabled widespread mobile web access and 4G made new applications work ranging from social media to Uber, 5G will herald a new level of connectivity, empowered by speed.
  • All three of South Korea's mobile operators, KT, SK Telecom and LG UPlus, will go live with their 5G services first in the world.
  • Japan is also expected to roll out a limited deployment in 2019 before full services start in time for next year's Tokyo Olympics.

Benefits

  • It is crucial for the future development of devices ranging from self-driving vehicles that send data traffic to one another in real time to industrial robots, drones and other elements of the Internet of Things.
  • London-based Global System for Mobile Communications says that it is a vital part of the infrastructure of tomorrow, and the 5G standard is expected to bring about USD 565 billion in global economic benefits by 2034.

5G patent battle

  • Huawei, the global leader, has registered 1,529 5G patents, according to data analysis firm IPlytics.
  • Combined with manufacturers ZTE and Oppo, plus the China Academy of Telecommunications Technology, Chinese entities own a total of 3,400 patents.
  • South Korea comes next, with its companies holding 2,051 patents.
  • In contrast, US firms have 1,368 altogether, IPlytics said 29 fewer than Finland's Nokia alone.

What is 5G technology?

5G (5th Generation) is the latest generation of cellular mobile communications. It succeeds the 4G (LTE-A, WiMax), 3G (UMTS, LTE) and 2G (GSM) systems. 5G performance targets high data rate, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction, higher system capacity, and massive device connectivity. Their major advantage is that 5G networks achieve much higher data rates than previous cellular networks, up to 10 Gbts; which is faster than current cable internet, and 100 times faster than the previous cellular technology, 4G LTE.

 

Story 2: Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology discovered a new enzyme

Scientists at the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB) have discovered a new enzyme which helps in breaking cell walls of bacteria and hence, offers a potential for a new drug delivery route to arrest the anti-bacterial resistance.

Dr Manjula Reddy led the team at the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB). They have discovered a new enzyme called ‘scissors enzyme’. CMB director Rakesh Mishra and senior scientist Manjula Reddy explained in research that it is crucial to know how cells grow in bacteria to understand the anti-bacterial resistance to currently available antibiotics.

Key findings

  • Dr Manjula Reddy and her team discovered that by blocking ‘scissors enzyme’ from functioning, new ways to target microbes could be found, leading to a new wave of antibiotic drug.
  • Other bacteria, too, have the same enzyme working on cell division as the cell wall is fundamental for bacterial growth and division.
  • The new enzyme offers a potential for a new drug delivery route to arrest the anti-bacterial resistance through existing antibiotic drugs.
  • It opens up fresh ways to target microbes, leading to a new wave of antibiotic drugs.
  • The next step is to find out the molecule of the enzyme endo-pepcidine and it has to be followed by the drug trials to unravel a new combination of drugs to replace existing antibiotics though it is difficult to forecast a time frame.
  • The next step is to find out the molecule of the enzyme endo-pepcidine and it has to be followed by the drug trials to unravel a new combination of drugs to replace existing antibiotics though it is difficult to forecast a time frame.

Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology

  • The Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB) is a premier research organization which conducts high quality basic research and trainings in frontier areas of modern biology, and promote centralized national facilities for new and modern techniques in the interdisciplinary areas of biology.
  • It was set up initially as a semi-autonomous Centre on April 1, 1977 with the Biochemistry Division of the then Regional Research Laboratory (presently, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, IICT) Hyderabad.
  • It is located in Hyderabad and operates under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • It is designated as "Center of Excellence" by the Global Molecular and Cell Biology Network, UNESCO.

 

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