The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection tower for rapid and chemical-free disinfection of high infection-prone areas.
The equipment named UV Blaster is “useful for high-tech surfaces like electronic equipment, computers and other gadgets in laboratories and offices that are not suitable for disinfection with chemical methods.
The product is also effective for areas with a large flow of people such as airports, shopping malls, metros, hotels, factories and offices.
It was designed and developed by Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC) based in Delhi with the help of New Age Instruments and Materials Private Limited, Gurugram.
For a room of about 12 ft x12 ft dimension, the disinfection time is about 10 minutes.
ASTEROID 1998 OR2
On 29 April 2020, the asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 passed at a distance of 0.042 AU (6.3 million km) from Earth.
(52768) 1998 OR2 (provisional designation 1998 OR2) is an asteroid on an eccentric orbit with a diameter of 2 kilometers.
It is a member of the dynamical Amor group of near-Earth asteroids.
It was discovered in 1998, by astronomers of the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program at the Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii.
It is one of the brightest and therefore largest potentially hazardous asteroids known to exist.
CORONAVIRUS ‘COPY MACHINE’
Researchers have reported that they have determined the 3D structure of coronavirus “copy machine”. This makes it possible to investigate how drugs such as remdesivir work.
Once the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 invades a human cell, the crucial next stage is replication, when it creates copies after copies of itself. For this, the virus uses its “copy machine”, which is an enzyme with this function.
The first stage of infection is the virus entering the human cell. On the surface of the virus is a spike-shaped protein, the so-called “corona”, which binds itself to a human cell enzyme, ACE2.
The virus then acidifies compartments on the cell surface, enters, and then begins to replicate using the body’s own mechanism.
SARS-CoV2 is made of a single strand of RNA, which is what is copied and recopied. Enzymes that enable the creation of RNA (or DNA) are called polymerases; in the case of SARS-CoV2, the polymerase is called RdRp, also named nsp12.
It is the polymerase whose structure researchers have now described.
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science &Technology, Govt. of India, studied rivers in Ladakh Himalaya, bringing out 35 thousand-year history of river erosion and identified hotspots of erosion and wide valleys that act a buffer zones.
The Ladakh Himalaya forms a high altitude desert between Greater Himalayan ranges and Karakoram Ranges. The Indus and its tributaries are major rivers flowing through the terrain.
In the study published, Zanskar catchment was explored by WIHG team to understand the landform evolution in transitional climatic zone.
The Zanskar River is a north-flowing tributary of the Indus.
It is one of the largest tributaries of the upper Indus catchment, draining orthogonally through highly deformed Zanskar ranges.
Two prominent tributaries of Zanskar River are the Doda and TsrapLingti Chu, which confluence at Padam village in the upper valley to form the Zanskar River.
BICENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE
Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was born 200 years ago.
Florence (1820 – 1910) was born to a wealthy English family in Florence, Italy, and named after the city.
She became famous as a result of her innovations in nursing care at Scutari hospital in modern-day Istanbul, where she treated British soldiers wounded in the Crimean War of 1854, in which British, French and Ottoman forces fought the Russian Empire.
Every night she would make rounds through the camps, checking on each soldier, a practice that saw her nicknamed the “Lady with the Lamp”.
She used statistics as a way of proving the effectiveness of different interventions. She produced her famous “rose” diagrams, which demonstrated the high proportion of deaths caused by disease as opposed to battle wounds.
As a result of this work, she became the first woman admitted to the London Statistical Society, in 1858.
International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12 to commemorate her birthday.
In India, on the occasion of International Nurses Day, the National Florence Nightingale Awards are given to the outstanding nursing personnel employed in Central, State/UTs. Nurses working in Government, Voluntary Organizations, Mission institutions. Private institutions can apply with the due recommendation of concerned State Government.
INDIA’S PERMANENT MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS
India has appointed diplomat T S Tirumurti, currently serving as Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, as its Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
The Permanent Mission is the diplomatic mission that every member state deputes to the United Nations, and is headed by a Permanent Representative, who is also referred to as the “UN ambassador”.
UN Permanent Representatives are assigned to the UN headquarters in New York City, and can also be appointed to other UN offices in Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi.
According to Article 1 (7) of the Vienna Convention on the Representation of States in their Relations with International Organizations of a Universal Character, a “Permanent Mission” is a: “mission of permanent character, representing the State, sent by a State member of an international organization to the Organization”.
India was among the select members of the United Nations that signed the United Nations Declaration at Washington on January 1, 1942. India also participated in the historic UN Conference of International Organization at San Francisco from April 25 to June 26, 1945.
CCMB: Only centre pooling COVID-19 samples, To Culture virus in human lung cell
In India, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad is the only centre to pool samples of COVID-19 in the country. The CCMB has now collaborated with Bengaluru based private company to take up a research activity.
The collaboration is to grow COVID-19 virus in human cell lines. This will enable in-vitro tests of vaccines and potential drugs against the virus. In order to achieve this the collaboration is to use human lung epithelial cell culture system that was developed by the private company.
The entire research will help the scientists understand pathological and molecular characteristics of the virus.
About the research:
The virus is to be cultured outside the host (human). During the culture, the collaboration will test for the efficacy of drugs and vaccines against the virus. So far, CCMB has been growing the virus on the cells that were collected from African Greek Monkey.
The collaboration will help to get a clearer picture about the virus.
Why in Human Lung Cell?
The Virus is said to affect the respiratory system of human body very badly. Hence, the lung cells of all the cells are easily attacked by the virus. Hence, lung cells have been chosen for the study.
The CCMB is the only centre in India where the samples of COVID-19 are pooled. Pooling of samples is collecting the virus samples. So far 9 mutations of COVID-19 have been found. All such samples have been collected and stored at the centre.
Uttar Pradesh Government launches “Ayush Kavach” application
On May 5, 2020, the Uttar Pradesh Government launched Ayush Kavach application to help people access prescriptions. These prescriptions will help the people to strengthen their resistance through ancient practices Ayurveda and Yoga. The application aims to boost the immunity of the people through Ayurveda medicines.
The Ayush Kavach application is to provide health related information and also tips about using ayurvedic medicines. The application was launched by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath.
The application provides information about natural resources that help boost immunity. The application was developed by the Ayush Department of Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier, the Ministry of Ayush had introduced several measures and ayurvedic practices to increase the immunity against COVID-19 in specific. One such government approved practices is the “Kabasura Kudineer”.
The Kabasura Kudineer is usually recommended for respiratory ailments such as cold and flu. It is a well-known Siddha medicine. It consists of 15 ingredients including ginger, Clove, ajwain, etc.
The medicine became popular in online retailing sites as one of the essential commodities. This was mainly because, the Tamil Nadu Government distributed the medicine for free in public centres in ready to drink forms.
The other traditional medicines recommended by AYUSH includes Agastha Rasayanam, Kooshbandha Rasayanam, Kandha Kashayam, Dasamoola Kathurayam, Rasayana sikitcha and Viyagriyadhi Kashayam. These medicines were contributed by Ayurveda. The Unani branch of AYUSH ministry had contributed Unnab, Behidana and Sapistan medicines.