CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 07th-January, 2018

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams

07th Jan, 2018


Expanding the donor pool {Health Issue}

(The Hindu)


Indian scientists develop a mechanism to rejuvenate aged stem cells.

In news

A group of Indian scientists have now developed a mechanism that can rejuvenate stem cells from older donors, making them useful for transplantation.

The mechanism developed by researchers at the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune, involves rejuvenating aged hematopoietic stem cells in a short-term culture using microvesicles secreted by young stromal cells.


The finding has relevance in clinical bone-marrow transplantation, wherein aged donors are usually not preferred as their stem cells could have compromised engraftment ability due to ageing. With the new mechanism, it might be possible to rejuvenate aged stem cells and thereby expand the donor pool.

Bone marrow transplantation

A bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure performed to replace bone marrow that has been damaged or destroyed by disease, infection, or chemotherapy. This procedure involves transplanting blood stem cells, which travel to the bone marrow where they produce new blood cells and promote the growth of new marrow.

Bone marrow is the spongy, fatty tissue inside your bones. It creates the following parts of the blood

  • red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients throughout the body
  • white blood cells, which fight infection
  • platelets, which are responsible for the formation of clots

Bone marrow also contains immature blood-forming stem cells known as hematopoietic stem cells or HSCs. Most cells are already differentiated and can only make copies of themselves. However, these stem cells are unspecialized, meaning they have the potential to multiply through cell division and either remain stem cells or differentiate and mature into many different kinds of blood cells. The HSC found in the bone marrow will make new blood cells throughout your lifespan.

A bone marrow transplant replaces your damaged stem cells with healthy cells. This helps your body make enough white blood cells, platelets, or red blood cells to avoid infections, bleeding disorders, or anaemia.

Healthy stem cells can come from a donor, or they can come from your own body. In such cases, stem cells can be harvested, or grown, before you start chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Those healthy cells are then stored and used in transplantation.

Need a Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone marrow transplants are performed when a person’s marrow isn’t healthy enough to function properly. This could be due to chronic infections, disease, or cancer treatments. Some reasons for a bone marrow transplant include:

  • aplastic anaemia, which is a disorder in which the marrow stops making new blood cells
  • cancers that affect the marrow, such as leukaemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma
  • damaged bone marrow due to chemotherapy
  • congenital neutropenia, which is an inherited disorder that causes recurring infections
  • sickle cell anaemia, which is an inherited blood disorder that causes misshapen red blood cells
  • thalassemia, which is an inherited blood disorder where the body makes an abnormal form of haemoglobin, an integral part of red blood cells

Complications Associated with a Bone Marrow Transplant

A bone marrow transplant is considered a major medical procedure and increases your risk of experiencing:

  • a drop in blood pressure
  • a headache
  • nausea
  • pain
  • shortness of breath
  • chills
  • a fever

The above symptoms are typically short-lived, but a bone marrow transplant can cause complications. Your chances of developing these complications depend on several factors, including:

  • your age
  • your overall health
  • the disease you’re being treated for
  • the type of transplant you’ve received

Complications can be mild or very serious, and they can include

  • graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which is a condition in which donor cells attack your body
  • graft failure, which occurs when transplanted cells don’t begin producing new cells as planned
  • bleeding in the lungs, brain, and other parts of the body
  • cataracts, which is characterized by clouding in the lens of the eye
  • damage to vital organs
  • early menopause
  • anemia, which occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells
  • infections
  • nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • mucositis, which is a condition that causes inflammation and soreness in the mouth, throat, and stomach

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have. They can help you weigh the risks and complications against the potential benefits of this procedure.

Types of Bone Marrow Transplant

There are two major types of bone marrow transplants. The type used will depend on the reason you need a transplant.

Autologous Transplants

Autologous transplants involve the use of a person’s own stem cells. They typically involve harvesting your cells before beginning a damaging therapy to cells like chemotherapy or radiation. After the treatment is done, your own cells are returned to your body.

This type of transplant isn’t always available. It can only be used if you have a healthy bone marrow. However, it reduces the risk of some serious complications, including GVHD.

Allogeneic Transplants

Allogeneic transplants involve the use of cells from a donor. The donor must be a close genetic match. Often, a compatible relative is the best choice, but genetic matches can also be found from a donor registry.

Allogeneic transplants are necessary if you have a condition that has damaged your bone marrow cells. However, they have a higher risk of certain complications, such as GVHD. You’ll also probably need to be put on medications to suppress your immune system so that your body doesn’t attack the new cells. This can leave you susceptible to illness.

A strategy for the sea {International Relation}

(Indian Express)


India needs to mark 25 years of Indo-ASEAN by breaking diplomatic stasis, broadening horizons.

In news

10 ASEAN leaders will be the guests of honour at India’s 2018 Republic Day celebrations, and their confabulations could decide the future course of this relationship.


·       India was accorded CSCAP membership in 2000 and participates in periodic conferences that act as a forum for regional scholars and experts to exchange views and often provide useful policy option inputs for Track I.

·     This is for the first time that more than one Head of State/Government has been invited as Chief Guest on India’s National Day.

·     It is also a measure of India’s growing international profile and prestige that leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries have readily acquiesced to participate in this event.

·       The presence of the entire ASEAN leadership on this occasion is a natural extrapolation of the Act East Policy (AEP) launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the first East Asia Summit (EAS) attended by him in Myanmar in November 2014.

Act East Policy

AEP is the successor to the Look East Policy (LEP) that was put in place by then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao in 1992 under radically different geo-political and economic circumstances. LEP was primarily focused on strengthening economic ties between India and ASEAN states. The end of the cold war and disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 provided a welcome opportunity for India to reach out to South-East Asia to capitalize upon its historical, cultural and civilisational linkages with the region. As External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at the recently held ninth edition of the Delhi Dialogue, India’s age old ties with South-East Asia have been established through culture, trade and religion and not through ”conquest and colonization.”

The Look East Policy registered impressive gains for 20 years after its inception. Having become a sectoral partner of ASEAN in 1992, India became a dialogue partner and member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1996. India and ASEAN entered into a summit partnership in 2002, the 10th anniversary of LEP, and launched negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in goods in 2003. These discussions culminated in a bilateral deal being concluded in 2009 and becoming effective in 2010. Bilateral trade and investment showed impressive gains in the first decade of this century.

Challenges and Opportunities

Common concerns and aspirations, as well as similar threats and challenges, confront the ASEAN countries and India at a time when not only Asia but the whole world is in the throes of an uncertain and unpredictable phase. Developments over the next few months and years could determine the final contours of relations in Asia and the world.

Connectivity between India and ASEAN, particularly Myanmar and Thailand, has emerged as a significant element in cementing bonds between the two regions. Better infrastructure connecting Northeast India and ASEAN has become the sine qua non for stronger economic and trade partnership and vital contributor to prosperity and economic development of the region. Two major connectivity projects, viz., the Trilateral Highway between north-east India and Myanmar and onwards to Thailand (and Laos and Vietnam) as well as the Kaladan multi-modal transit and transport project, have been under implementation for several years. The NDA government has taken it up seriously.

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