Neutrino and Indian Neutrino Observatory

Neutrino

  • Very similar to electrons
  • Second most abundant particles after photon
  • Don’t carry any charge
  • Are not massless
  • Neutrinos are miniscule particles created in nuclear reactions, such as in the birth and death of sun and the stars, or in nuclear power plants.
  • Neutrinos interact with matter via the weak force. The weakness of this force gives neutrinos the property that matter is almost trans- parent to them.
  • Since they rarely interact, these neutrinos pass through the Sun, and even the Earth, unhindered. There are many other natural sources of neutrinos including exploding stars (supernovae), relic neutrinos, natural radioactivity, and cosmic ray interactions in the atmosphere of the Earth.

 

Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) project 

INO, a proposed, underground observatory in Tamil Nadu to detect ephemeral particles called neutrinos — had been cleared by the Union government in 2015, after several years of deliberations, but has been stalled for over a year due to protests by activist groups, concerned over its environmental impact.

GM mosquitoes

  • To suppress wild female Aedes aegypti mosquito populations that cause dengue, chikungunya and Zika were launched in Maharashtra’s Jalna district.
  • The technology uses genetically modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry a dominant lethal gene. When male GM mosquitoes mate with wild female mosquitoes the lethal gene is passed on to offspring. The lethal gene in the offspring kills the larvae before they reach adulthood.
  • male mosquitoes do not bite humans, the release of GM males will not increase the risk of dengue, chikungunya and Zika.
  • Vector control using A. aegypti infected with the bacterium Wolbachia is achieved by using the life-shortening bacteria strain in both male and female mosquitoes
  • As Wolbachia is maternally inherited, the bacteria are anyway passed on to offspring. Dengue, Zika or chikunguya viruses cannot replicate when mosquitoes have Wolbachia . Unlike the RIDL technology, a feature of Wolbachia is that it is self-sustaining, making it a low-cost intervention.

Measles and Rubella

Measles 

  • Measles  is a deadly disease and one of the important causes of death in children.
  • It is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing of an infected person. Measles can make a child vulnerable to life threatening complications such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and brain infection.
  • Globally, in 2015, measles killed an estimated 1, 34,200 children—mostly under-5 years. In India, it killed an estimated 49,200 children.

Rubella

  • Rubella  is generally a mild infection, but has serious consequences if infection occurs in pregnant women, causing congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), which is a cause of public health concern.
  • CRS is characterized by congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns affecting the eyes (glaucoma, cataract), ears (hearing loss), brain (microcephaly, mental retardation) and heart defects, causing a huge socio-economic burden on the families in particular and society in general.

What is Human embryo?

What is Human embryo?

  • An embryo is an early stage of development of a multicellular diploid eukaryotic organism.
  • In general, in organisms that reproduce sexually, an embryo develops from a zygote, the single cell resulting from the fertilization of the female egg cell by the male sperm cell.
  • The zygote possesses half the DNA of each of its two parents.
  • Human embryogenesis is the process of cell division and cellular differentiation of the embryo that occurs during the early stages of development.
  • In biological terms, human development entails growth from a one celled zygote to an adult human being.
  • Fertilisation occurs when the sperm cell successfully enters and fuses with an egg cell (ovum).
  • The genetic material of the sperm and egg then combine to form a single cell called a zygote and the germinal stage of prenatal development commences.
  • Embryogenesis covers the first eight weeks of development and at the beginning of the ninth week the embryo is termed a fetus.
  • Human embryology is the study of this development during the first eight weeks after fertilisation.
  • The normal period of gestation (pregnancy) is nine months or 38 weeks.