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Genome Sequencing

Genes Gene is a sequence of DNA or RNA that codes for a molecule that has a function.  They are made of DNA and is a subdivision of DNA. They are packed in Chromosomes. Genes contain the bio-information that defines any individual. Physical attributes like height, skin or hair colour, more subtle features and even behavioural traits can be attributed to information encoded in the genetic material. A genome is the DNA or sequence of genes in a cell. Human geno

28 October, 2020 ST

Analysis of Indian Genes

Analysis of Indian Genes What is the news? Recently, the results from the computation analysis of the 1029 sequenced genomes from India were published in the scientific journal, Nucleic Acid Research. The analysis has found that out of 55,898,122 single nucleotide variants in India 18,016,257 (32.23%) variants are unique and found only in the samples sequenced from India. This emphasizes the need for an India centric population genomic initiative. The analysis was carried out by C

28 October, 2020 ST


PLACID Trials Recently, the PLACID Trial, a multicentre randomized controlled trial, has shown that the use of convalescent plasma (CP) as a therapeutic for Covid-19 patients showed no positive effects and did not improve the outcome of the patients. The randomised controlled trial (RCT) is a trial in which subjects are randomly assigned to one of two groups: one (the experimental group) receiving the intervention that is being tested, and the other (the comparison group or control) rece

27 October, 2020 ST

Would space exploration survive in the era of privatisation?

Would space exploration survive in the era of privatisation? Context Perhaps the most stunning instance of a collaboration between public enterprises and the private sector in recent times is that between NASA and SpaceX. It is stunning because of the sheer extent of the frontier it is trying to breach. With its reusable rockets, large capsules to carry payloads and crew and competitive pricing, SpaceX has revolutionised the space sector. The latest instances of this include th

29 November, 2020 ST

Dry Swab RT-PCR Covid-19 Test

Dry Swab RT-PCR Covid-19 Test. Recently, the  Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Centre for Cellular  and Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) has got the permission of the  Indian Council     of Medical Research (ICMR) to commercially use the dry swab RNA-extraction free testing method for the Covid-19. Key Points About: Dry swab method has a consistency of 96.9%. The comparison of conventional (swab-VTM-RNA extraction-RT-PCR) and the si

28 November, 2020 ST

Brain Fingerprinting

Brain Fingerprinting The accused in Hathras rape case will undergo brain fingerprinting. Key takeaways Brain Electrical Oscillation Signature Profiling (BEOSP) is also known as brain fingerprinting. It is a neuro psychological method of interrogation in which the accused’s participation in the crime is investigated by studying their brain’s response. The BEOSP test is carried out via a process known as electroencephalogram, conducted to study the electrical behaviour

28 November, 2020 ST

Blue Tide Phenomenon

Blue Tide phenomenon observed in Maharashtra Over the last few days, visitors to beaches in Maharashtra have witnessed the fluorescent bluish glow when the waves hit the shoreline. Key takeaways The phenomenon is called ‘blue tide’. It appears when luminescent marine life makes the sea appear a deep shade of blue. It occurs when phytoplankton (microscopic marine plants), commonly known as dinoflagellates, produce light through chemical reactions in proteins. Waves

28 November, 2020 ST

Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network

Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network The Indian government is using eVIN (Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network) in association with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to identify primary beneficiaries and vaccine distribution networks. eVIN is an indigenously developed technology. It digitises vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application. The innovative eVIN was first launched across 12 states in 2015 to support bet

27 November, 2020 ST

Sea Guardian Drones from US

Sea Guardian Drones from US Recently, two American MQ9B Sea Guardian unarmed drones have been inducted by the Indian Navy.  It is the maritime variant of the Predator MQ9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

25 November, 2020 ST

A new variety of Coronavirus in UK?

New variant of Coronavirus in UK? Coronavirus is a highly important topic for UPSC Mains and Prelims examination 2021. It is a part of GS Paper II and GS Paper III under Science and Technology. The first Variant Under Investigation in December 2020 (VUI – 202012/01), also known as lineage B.1.1.7, is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The variant was first detected in the United Kingdom in October 2020 from a sample taken the previous month, and it quickly b

22 December, 2020 ST

Analysis of Scientific publishing

Analysis of Scientific publishing works What is the issue? Three scientific publishers — Elsevier, Wiley, and the American Chemical Society (ACS) — led a suit against Alexandra Elbakyan of Kazakhstan and others in the Delhi High Court on December 21, 2020. The case will reportedly be heard this wee

24 December, 2020 ST

A new COVID strain in Nigeria

New strain of COVID-19 in Nigeria GS Paper III - S&T Coronavirus (PT-Mains-Interview)  Context: Coronavirus is a highly important topic for UPSC Mains and Prelims examination 2021. It is a part of GS Paper II and GS Paper III under Science and Technology. Another new variant of the novel coronavirus seems to have emerged in Nigeria. The news comes after Britain and South Africa both reported new variants of the SARS­CoV­2 virus that appear to be more contagious

25 December, 2020 ST

Evolution of Life

Evolution of Life Chemists have come up with a new proposition for how life may have begun. In a study published in Angenwandte Chemie, the researchers showed a simple compound diamidophosphate could have knitted together the building blocks of DNA to form the primordial structures. The possibility is that DNA and RNA arose together and that the first life forms were a mixture of the two.

03 January, 2021 ST

Nendran Banana grit or granules

Nendran Banana grit or granules Scientists at the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST) at Pappanamcode in Kerala have come up with a new product, banana grit or granules, developed from raw Nendran bananas. Billed as an ideal ingredient for a healthy diet, banana grit can be used for making a wide range of dishes, according to the NIIST. The product resembles to ‘rava’ and broken wheat. “The concept was introduced to uti

04 January, 2021 ST

Quantum Technology

Quantum Technology In last year’s budget session, the Finance Minister of the Government of India proposed that Rs.8,000 crore be set aside to develop quantum science and technology. The detailed project report for a National Mission on Quantum Technology and Applications (NM-QTA) has been drawn out and finalised, and in the next couple of months, this mission might get approval. Recognising the importance of quantum technology, the Department of Science and Technology of the G

10 January, 2021 ST

Identical twins are not exactly genetically the same

Identical twins are not exactly genetically the same Scientists in Iceland sequenced DNA from 387 pairs of identical twins – those derived from a single fertilized egg – as well as from their parents, children and spouses. That allowed them to find “early mutations that separate identical twins. A mutation means an alteration in a sequence of DNA – a tiny change that is not inherently good or bad, but can influence physical features or susceptibility to certain

10 January, 2021 ST

Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)

Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) CSIR is the largest R&D organisation in India. CSIR has a pan-India presence and  has a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3  Innovation Complexes and 5 units. It was established in Sep 1942 with HQ at Delhi. CSIR is funded by MoS&T and it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration  Act, 1860. CSIR covers a wide spectrum of strea

18 January, 2021 ST

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