- Foodcrops related
- Milk/Meat/Fish related:
- Public Health/Policy related
- Disease/Anatomy related
- Medical research related
- Mock Questions
- In the previous article (part 1 or 3) we saw the environment and biodiversity (EnB) related topics from Sep-Oct-Nov months of TheHindu click me
- Now (part 2 of 3): time for agriculture and public health related topics.
- part (3 of 3): dealing with IT, Space and other misc. topics coming soon.
#1: Trombay Crop varieties
- by BARC scientists.
- Using radiation induced mutation and cross-breeding.
- Agro. Ministry has permitted their commercial cultivation.
- In the 70s, BARC started with Trombay Groundnut (TG-1) for Guj-Maharashtra region
|Crop||No. of Trombay varieties|
|Groundnut||15- large seeds, drought resistant, no sprouts/germination during storage|
|Soya||2-more resistant to bacteria|
|Mooong||8- can survive salinity, disease-resistant, early maturing|
Benefits: individual crop variety’s feature may vary but by and large…
- takes less time to mature
- drought/ pest tolerant
- longer shelf life
#2: Navara Rice
- Navara is a medicinal rice variety.
- Red colored.
- Grown in Kerala.
- used in Ayurveda remedies for rheumatisms, neuro muscular disorders and body rejuvenation.
- enjoys geographical indication (GI) status. (Pokkali rice=another Kerala rice that enjoys GI status=Pokkali rice)
- but Navara rice cultivation is almost extinct. Why?
- pure seeds not available
- low yield, high production cost
- Now farmers trying to revive this via concept of Navara Eco Farm- with organic farming
- Pesticides not used. Instead, they plant Tulsi and marigold to repel the insects.
#3: Rice-Fish-Poultry Integrated Model
In this model, farmer uses
|% of his land||To grow|
|5%||Fishes – carp, roghu, cutla etc.|
|5%||Poultry cage. Erected in such a way that one part is over the fishes and one part over the paddy crop. This way, bird dropping help as fish-feed + farm-manure.|
- Recycling waste products-using them as fish feed and manure
- Additional income from poultry and fishes
- bio-control of pests: fish feed on the pests and insects attacking the rice plant
- Similar triple-income model can also be constructed with silkworm rearing, or apiary.
- Flower in TN
- Enjoys GI status (click me for earlier article)
- Why in news? Because they’re looking for exprort potential in Malaysia
- Problem: rainfall scarcity, Labor shortage because of MNREGA,
(Although not really a sci-tech topic)
- Currently, duty-free cotton exports are permitted (after registering contracts with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
- Textile minister wants to impose 10% duty on overseas sale of cotton.
- But Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said “not a good idea sir-ji”
- India’s cotton production has been increasing every year.
- In such a situation, there should be no restrictions on export of raw cotton and no duty on export.
- any quantitative restriction or export duty would penalise farmers
#1: Poultry Meat to Biodiesel
- Namakkal district of TN= leading producer of poultry. (for more on [food processing] click me)
- Avg. 4000 birds die here every day and discarded in the open=>foul smell, contamination of ground water, health hazards, house flies and diseases.
- Now a TN researcher designed method to extract bio-diesel out of dead poultry.
- Each dead chicken weighs about 1.5 kg and ~15% of its body has fat.
- Using solvent extraction method, we can extract this fat and turn it into body diesel. This way six birds=1 litre of bio-diesel. This bio-diesel can be blended with regular diesel in 20:80 ratio and can be used in regular vehicles.
#2: Sea Ranching
- Sea ranching is a process of releasing artificially cultured juvenile fishes into the sea or estuarine waters=> let them mature=>fishing.
- can be used for shrimps, sea cucumber, sea urchin, variety of fishes.
- New sea ranching project in Kozikode- 4 lakh larvae of tiger prawns released.
- This would help inland fishermen of the district- who are negatively affected by overfishing practices and climatic changes
- “Economies” of sea ranching=> 4 lakh larvae = only 20% survive= 1,600 kg of prawn, and at an average Rs.250 a kg, this will amount to Rs.3 lakh to Rs.4 lakh in returns.
#3: TMR (Total mixed ration)
- New type of cheap cattle feed being tested in Kerala.
- Uses mixture of ground nuts, sesame, red gram, molasses, toxin binder, salt and vitamin mineral mixtures.
- Cheaper than commercial feeds
- Can also be given to goats, sheep etc.
- Reduces the green fodder requirement
- Increases milk output.
#4: FMD outbreak in South India
- In [Food Processing] Milk sector article, we’ve already seen “theory” Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) and how it affects the supply line of milk/meat industry. click me
- FMD is in news because of outbreak reported in Andhra.
- There are four type of FMD virus: A, C, O and Asia1.
- Indian cattle is given vaccines against all these FMD viruses- twice a year.
- Sheep and goats (cloven hoofed animals) are also susceptible to the FMD viral disease.
- FMD is not a public health hazard. It doesn’t spread to humans.
Public Health/Policy related
#1: B.Sc (Community Health)
- Union cabinet approved this new degree course.
- 3 years course in state university => Community health officer under health ministry.
- Syllabus designed by National Board of Examinations (NBE). (and not the medical council of India MCI)
- Will help in: diarrhea, pneumonia, vaccination, TB, fever, skin infection, normal delivery etc.
- will act as a bridge between village midwife/ASHA work vs a doctor
|parliamentary standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare||
#2: Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013
- By Department of Pharmaceutics under ministry of Chemical and fertilizer. (and not health ministry).
- To fix ceiling price of essential medicines on the basis of market-based pricing.
- DPCO 2013 empowers the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (“NPPA”) to regulate prices of 348 essential drugs.
- Make a list of all pharma companies – with marketshare of atleast 1% or more.
- observe their prices for given drug-
- take simple average of those prices
- +local taxes and 16% profit margin for retail chemist.
- Decide ceiling price based on that.
Sounds well and good, what’s the problem?
- Patented drugs not covered. So most of the MNC pharma brands are out of the scope.
- AYUSH drugs are not covered.
- Only applies to 348 drugs. There are total ~900 allopathic drugs in India.
- Companies can still evade price ceiling by adding / changing a few ingredients in their drug formulation.
- Doesn’t not apply to newly patented within India (for first five years). =companies might file frivolous patents by slightly modifying existing mixtures-to evade price ceiling.
- Even within ceiling, Doctors can still prescribe most expensive variety of drug and patient will buy it. (and doctor mints commission from pharma company.)
Anyways, but why in News?
- become Some NGO filed court case- alleging that
- DPCO encourages profiteering. Government prince regime guided by market-driven forces= bad idea.
- National List of Essential Drugs consists of only 348 drugs and left out many essential medicines from price control.
Drugs in news (DIN?)
|Metformin||used for treatment of type II diabetes.
some researchers believed It also helps in heart-diseases-even in non-diabetic patients. But the clinical trials have been inconclusive so far.
|Ranbaxy||Indian drug company Ranbaxy Laboratories used “fraudulent” data to approval from USA’s FDA to sell generic drugs in America. (according to its whistleblower employee.)|
#3: Brainmapping, Lie Detection and Narco Analysis
|Polygraph||Popularly called Lie detection test. Been used since 1920s.
Lie detection instrument connected with suspect’s body. He is asked series of questions.
Principle: deceptive/wrong answers produce physiological responses different than true answers e.g. BP, pulse rate, respiration and skin temperature.
Thus you can find lie by monitoring his physiological indices.
|Narco Analysis||Suspect is given injection of truth serum e.g. sodium thiopental/ Sodium Pentothal/ Sodium Amytal. (one type of barbiturate derivate.)
Principle: truth serums act on the central nervous system (CNS). They reduce anxiety and self-control. Suspect becomes woozy/ trance/half-unconscious. Then you ask questions, he’ll (most likely) tell the truth.
|Brain Mapping||Sensors attached to Suspect’s head. He is shown audio/video/images related to crime scene.
Principle: suspect’s brain recognizes things from a crime scene and produces different type of brain waves (while innocent person who has no knowledge of crime scene- will not produce those brain waves).
- In a typical criminal investigation, suspects first undergo a lie detection test, then brain mapping and narco-analysis.
- As per an expert committee of NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences) says Brain mapping = unscientific and should be discontinued as an investigative tool and as evidence in courts.
- As per Supreme court directive: police cannot do Brain mapping, polygraph and brain-mapping tests without consent of the accused person.
- fine but Why in news? Because LeT bomber Abdul Karim Tunda refused to give consent for brain mapping, citing his old age and health problems. (September 2013 news)
#4: Eye Donation
- National Eye Donation fortnight was held in Aug-September period.
- India has around 20 lakh people with corneal blindness – they can see again with eye transplantation.
- eye donation does not disfigure the dead body and the procedure takes only about 10 to 15 minutes.
- shelf life of a retrieved eye is 12 days– it is given to needy patient based on waiting list.
- We have to motivate people to donate eyes. but only signing ‘forms’ alone is not sufficient. A person must inform his friends and relatives. (that if I die, contact this xyz number to get my eye donated)
- World Sight Day= celebrated on second Thursday of October. This year it was on 10th Oct.
#1: Wifi Pacemaker
|Normal heart beat||60-90 times per minute. (72 to be exact)|
|bradycardia||heart beats at a slower rate than 60 beats per minute|
|Tachycardia||Heart rate >100 beats per minute.|
|sinoatrial (SA) node.||
During Tachycardia (too fast heart beats), upper chambers of heart cannot fill up blood within the fast beat= blood flow become irregular=>fatigue, dizziness, fainting, and/or chest pain even death.
|Pacemaker||Implantable Cardio Defibrillator. (ICD)|
||same. but not just impulse- it can also give an electrical ‘high-shock’ during emergency.|
ok but Why in news?
Because ex-Vice President Dick Cheney had turned off wifi feature in his defibrillator- because of fear that terrorists could hack it to kill him, via wifi!
Speaking of fancy heart gadgets:
- is a zoonosis disease (transmitted from animals to humans) other examples of such diseases are Anthrax, Bovine tuberculosis, Plague, Ringworm.
- Virus is present in the salivary glands of rabid animals. When rabid animal bites human= virus transmitted.
- Raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, dogs, and cats, among other smaller animals can spread rabies through their bites.
- Rabies virus infects the central nervous system. Causes hypersalivation (increase in saliva), hydrophobia (fear of water), partial paralaysis, hallucinations and finally death. (India: >20,000 per year)
- Louis Pasteur (French)= pasteurization, anthrax vaccine, rabies vaccine.
- earlier, you had to get 16 injections of anti-rabies vaccine on the abdomen. Today, with advanced care, just 4-5 injection sufficient.
- No treatment is required if a person feeds or touches a rabid dog.
- No treatment required if rabid dog licks intact skin of human.
- But if the rabid dog causes a skin injury or licks the mucus membrane like in the mouth, eyes and nose, vaccination is must.
#3: Kala Azar
- Also known visceral leishmaniasis. caused by Parasite: Leishmania
- Spread by female sand-fly (it bites for blood meal)
- Affects spleen, liver and bone marrow. (Parasite cannot synthesize iron containing haem molecule on its own. So, it attacks those organs in search of hemoglobin.)
- In terms of death record by parasitic diseases: #1 Malaria and #2 is Kala Azar.
- Our national health policy aims to eliminate Kala-azar by 2015 i.e. less than 1 case per 10,000 population at sub-district level.
- We’ve also signed Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nepal and Bangladesh to eliminate Kala-azar from the South East Asia region by 2015,
- Drugs used: Miltefosine capsule, Amphotericin B injection. (brandname Fungisome) By and large, Kala Azar drugs are toxic and expensive. No vaccine has yet been licensed.
ok but why in news? Because an American institute testing vaccine in India.
#4: Goose bumps
- Goosebumps are caused by extreme cold or intense emotions
- How? electric impulse passing thru tiny muscles below skin=>skin contracts and the hairs get erect.
- Fur animals use goose bumps for insulation against coldness. (because erect hairs trap more air=more insulation)
- in cats and rats- goose-bumps make their bodysize appear bigger= to frighten their enemies.
- ok but what is the use of goosebumps in humans? Nothing. It’s just a vestigial reflex.
- Other examples of vestigial traits=appendix, tailbone, wisdom teeth and tonsils.
#5: Pediatric TB
- 1997: Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) started
- Result? Highest number of TB patients found in India- ~3.5 million and >10% of them are children.
- TB in Children: detection problems?
- Unlike adult, children donot product sputum= hard to diagnose in lab.
- Smear microscopy and other traditional methods to detect TB= don’t give conclusive result when used on children.
- Solution? Use Xpert MTB test on children to detect TB. (we already saw this test under “GeneExpert” device click me)
- Xpert MTB is a rapid molecular test.
- WHO recommends it for diagnosing Multi-drug resistant TB (MTB)
- this test can give result within two hours.
- even if very few TB bacteria present in the sample.
- Limitation: barely ~30 Xpert diagnostic machines in India.
- Brighter side: if Child is infected but has not yet developed TB disease, just give him isoniazid drug for six month and problem solved.
Medical research related
Nano capsule vaccine
- Nanocapsule vaccines give better protection than normal vaccine
- Doesn’t require injection /needle.
- Mucosa tissues= found in Human respirator track, alimentary canal, and the reproductive tract.
- If Nano-capsule vaccine is delivered to any of these one sites- it gives immunity to all other sites as well.
- e.g. if future HIV vaccine is given through inhaler in nose= will grant immunity to genitals (from where HIV virus can enter body.)
- Thus nanocapsule vaccines delivered through inhalers=future of medicine- especially HIV, human papillomavirus (Cervical cancer), herpes, influenza and tuberculosis and other diseases that pass through mucosal tissues.
- It is a branch of medical science which studies the replacement or regeneration of human cells, tissue and organs.
- This helps in chronic (long term) diseases.
- Involves use of stem cells and now 3D printing (for example: 3d printed liver, kidney, ears etc.)
- Latest in this area is 4D printing.
4D printing=3D printing + time / place dimension.
- A soldier’s uniform that can alter its color pattern depending on time/season/surrounding place
- A soldier’s armor that can alter its defense-mechanism based on type of attack: bullet/acid/fire/radiation/chemical etc.
- An artificial organ that can adapt based on lifestyle, diet, blood group, and infection etc. of the patient.
In-vivo iPS cell
- Adult cell (e.g. from skin, muscle etc)=>reprogram=> becomes iPS cell (induced pluripotent stem cells)
- Use this iPS stem cell to grow liver, heart, kidney etc. in lab.=>organ transplant.
- Last year, Nobel was given for this iPS research.
- So far, iPS cells could be grown only in labs (in-vitro)
- But now researcher working on how to grow iPS cells right inside the body (in-vivo)
- Benefit? They’ll have more uses as regenerative medicine than lab grown iPS cells (in-vitro)
3 parent baby
- already covered in june-july-august series click me
- same story repeated in October edition as well. Anyways, let’s check
- Mitochondria= powerhouse of cell, help oxidizing food and generate energy. Also help coordinating several molecular events.
- During fertilization
- Embryo gets mitochondria DNA from mother side.
- Father’s sperm also contain mitochondria in its tail- but not given to the embryo.
- If mother has Defective mitochondria=> baby likely to have liver, heart and respiratory disease.
What is the solution? In mother’s egg, replace mitochondria with healthy from a donor lady. Then use this modified egg in the fertilization with father’s sperm.
- Thus three-parent baby is born:
|Mito-mom||Donor lady, Gave mitochondria DNA|
|Geno-mom||Gave the egg|
UK gave permission for clinical trials.
USA still contemplating over the biological, ethical and legal issues involved in this technology.
|1996||Dolly ship clone|
|2013||Three parent baby|
Exact years not important but chronology is. Incase UPSC asks an like they did in CAPF-2013 for plasma, LED and CRT televisions’ chronology.
DNA’s half life
- New research found DNA has a half-life of 521 years.
- That means that after 521 years, half of the bonds between nucleotides in DNA would have broken; after another 521 years half of the remaining bonds would have gone.
- ok but how is that even relevant?
- Because in Hollywood sci-fi movies, you may have seen how scientist would use DNA sample from dinosaurs and ancient insects are trapped in amber and breed a new dinosaur or some other massive creature.
- This is implausible because dinosaurs died 65 million years ago. And given that DNA’s half-life is just 521 years- their DNA has become junk- there is no way you can decode it and create new dinosaur.
|DEET ( N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is the most widely used insect repellant
Problem: costly, dissolves plastics and synthetic fabrics, But now scientists looking for natural alternative made from grape.
- Which among the following set of agriculture produce, enjoys GI status?
- Madurai Malli, Trombay groundnut, Pokalli rice
- Trombay groundnut, Navara Rice, Madurai Malli
- Pokkali rice, Navara Rice, Madurai Malli
- None of Above
- Sea Ranching
- is an adventure sport
- is a novel method for mining metals from Polymetallic nodules in the sea bed.
- is a method where juvenile organisms are released in the sea /inland water to increase their harvestable stock.
- none of above
- find Correct statement(s)
- Foot and mouth Disease (FMD) is a viral disease that can only spread among domestic animals.
- FMD can spread from animals to humans, therefore it is not advisable to eat the meat of an animal died of FMD.
- Both A and B
- Neither A nor B
- Find correct statement(s) about Trombay Crop varieties
- They’re developed by ICAR
- Environment ministry has banned their commercial usage due to presence of Bt-strain.
- both A and B
- Neither A nor B
- What is the principle behind polygraph tests?
- Deceptive answers produce notable difference in pulse rate, respiration and other physiological parameters.
- Injection of certain drugs can inhibit self-control and suspect would give true answers.
- Brain can automatically generate specific type of waves, when it recognizes a sound / picture / video of a place the suspect had earlier visited.
- None of above
- What is the principle behind narco-analysis tests?
- Under influence of truth serums, deceptive answers produce notable difference in pulse rate, respiration and other physiological parameters.
- Injection of certain drugs can inhibit brain’s self-control and suspect would give true answers
- Under influence of truth serums, Brain can automatically generate specific type of waves, when it detects a sound / picture / video of a place/person that suspect had earlier visited.
- None of above
- What is the principle behind brain mapping tests?
- Deceptive answers generate notable different type of brain waves in the suspect’s brain, compared to true answers.
- Injection of certain drugs can inhibit brain’s self-control and suspect would give true answers.
- Brain can automatically generate specific type of waves, when it detects a sound / picture / video of a place/person that suspect had earlier visited.
- None of above
- Incorrect statements about eye donation
- If the donated eye is not transplanted to patient within 3 days, it becomes useless.
- Donated eye cannot restore vision of a patient suffering from corneal blindness.
- both A and B
- Neither A nor B
- Correct statements about mitochondria
- Mitochondria helps coordinating several molecular events.
- If mother has defective mitochondria, baby will not be affected because an embryo gets mitochondria from father’s side through sperms.
- Both A and B
- neither A nor B
- Incorrect statements about Botulism
- Botulism is a genetic disorder found in the next generations of survivors of nuclear disaster.
- Polonium can used as a medication to treat botulism
- Both A and B
- neither A nor B
- Correct statements about Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013
- It is formulated by the Ministry of Health and family welfare
- It fixes ceiling price of both allopathic and AYUSH drugs in India.
- Both A and B
- neither A nor B
Q12. Consider following statements about Navara Rice
- It is a green colored rice having anti-cancer properties.
- grown in Mizoram
- enjoys GI status
- Only 1
- Only 1 and 2
- Only 2 and 3
- Only 3
Q13. Consider following statements
- Tachycardia is a condition where heart beats at lower rate than 72 beats per minute.
- Kala-Azar is a viral disease spread via sand fly
- Human appendix is an example of non-vestigle organ
Which of them are incorrect?
- only 1 and 2
- only 1 and 3
- only 2 and 3
- All of them.
Q14. Consider following statements about Rabies
- Only the mammals from dog family (Canis lupus familiaris) can spread rabies virus.
- In humans, rabies virus decreases salivation and induces hydrophobia.
- Jonas Salk had developed vaccine against Rabies.
- Even if a rabid dog licks intact human skin, the person must get rabies vaccine shots.
Correct Statements are:
- only 1
- only 1 and 2
- only 2 and 3
Q15. Which of the following is/are capable of spreading rabies?
- only 3
- only 1 and 3
- only 2 and 3
- All of them
- Trombay Crop varieties
- Navara Rice
- Sea Ranching
- B.Sc (Community Health)
- Xpert MTB
- Regenerative medicine
- Write a note on the community health care initiatives by Government of India.
- Discuss the salient features and limitations of Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013.
- What are the salient features Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP). Suggest improvements to make RNTCP more effective.
Sir aaj chowke pe chowka maar rahe hain…….ek aakhri chowka bhi maar hi dijiye :P
Thanks a ton !!!
which book is good for geography (pre and mains general studies )-
Certificate Physical and Human Geography 1st Edition Author: Goh Cheng Leong or Indian and World Geography (Paper-1) 1st Edition
Authored By: Majid Husain
Go for leong. No compitition.
sir give me suggestions for good books in Political science for NET/competitive exams.
About 3 parent babies:
Well both this compilation as well as the latest compilation has a major blunder with respect to 3 parent babies.
Actually the mito moms, give a the entire egg cell whose nucleus has been removed, while the geno-mom gives the nucleus. (A single egg contains 100-1000s of Mitochondira at a given time, hence not possible to remove all unhealthy ones and replace with healthy ones, hence the reverse process is done.)
I hope I make my point.
sir can u plz give the link for “[Sci-Tech]TheHindu Sep-Oct-Nov(Part 3of3):
sir pls correct if i am wrong ..
thanks for your efforts on aspirants’ behalf. greatly indebted to your contributions :-)
c c a d a b c a a d d d c d d
That means that after 521 years, half of the bonds between nucleotides in DNA would have broken; after another 521 years half of the remaining bonds would have gone.
Not gone…in the next half life cycle, remaining of the DNA would go…half of 50%, in next cycle half of those remaining 50%’s 50%…total time to break down is infinity.