CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 08-October, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams


8th October, 2107

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In a first, gene therapy halts a fatal brain disease (The Hindu)


In newsImage result for gene therapy

For the first time, doctors have used gene therapy to stave off a fatal degenerative brain disease, an achievement that some experts had thought impossible.

The disease

  • The patients are generally, children who had inherited a mutated gene causing a rare disorder, adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD.
  • Nerve cells in the brain die, and in a few short years, children lose the ability to walk or talk.
  • They become unable to eat without a feeding tube, to see, hear or think. They usually die within five years of diagnosis.

Possible solution till date

  • The only treatment is a bone-marrow transplant — if a compatible donor can be found — or a transplant with cord blood, if it was saved at birth.
  • But such transplants are an onerous and dangerous therapy, with a mortality rate as high as 20%. Some who survive are left with lifelong disabilities.
  • Gene therapy can hold off ALD without side effects
  • The study involved 17 boys (the disease strikes males almost exclusively), ages 4 to 13. All got gene therapy. Two years later, 15 were functioning normally without obvious symptoms.

What is gene therapy?

Gene therapy is an experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent disease. In the future, this technique may allow doctors to treat a disorder by inserting a gene into a patient’s cells instead of using drugs or surgery. Researchers are testing several approaches to gene therapy, including:

  • Replacing a mutated gene that causes disease with a healthy copy of the gene.
  • Inactivating, or “knocking out,” a mutated gene that is functioning improperly.
  • Introducing a new gene into the body to help fight a disease.

The need for doing digital (Livemint)


Context

India is poised to take advantage of digital technologies as they have the potential to add economic value of $550 billion to $1 trillion per year by 2025, and create millions of well-paying, productive jobs.

In news

India have the potential to add economic value of $550 billion to $1 trillion per year by 2025, and create millions of well-paying, productive jobs. The critical need of the hour is to stop thinking and start doing digital.

‘going digitalRelated image

  • The primary aim was efficiency and reduction in costs.
  • The business process improvement strategy was often overlooked as the technology teams typically jumped into operations deploying a set of digital tools.
  • Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, blockchain and big data analytics to create a better experience for its users as well as optimise the supply chain.
  • The result was a significant increase in revenue while reducing operating costs to a third of what they were before.
  • For large manufacturing companies, cognitive processing of data—without having to wait for the data to be pulled out and processed offline—can empower the workforce to fix critical problems in real time.

How digital leaders can accomplish this?

  • It is possible today to track and report on every detail of vehicle fleet operations covering thousands of vehicles to establish safety and 100% transparency with customers.
  • This requires collection and processing of millions of data points through IoT, telematics and predictive analytics

What sets digital leaders apart?

The mindset that sets digital leaders apart.

This mindset involves focussing on design thinking and business outcomes and bringing about a paradigm shift from merely looking at individual transactions.


 Prejudice on the table (The Hindu)


 Context

This article deals with Indian mindset of racism

Indian society is not growing into any ease with the rest of the world — it is not yet equipped to handle certain kinds of difference

The authors tells a short storyRelated image

  • A group of Indian and Pakistani went to an restaurant in London .The manager and waiter were very rude, making all sorts of demands for a minimum order of this or that many main courses.
  • A short while later, a white English friend joined the group and my friend and the others recounted the treatment they’d been receiving. The English guy was surprised: “But I come here all the time and they’ve never behaved like this.

Configured for racism

Racism

Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Racial separatism is the belief, most of the time based on racism, that different races should remain segregated and apart from one another.

Social and behavioral science

Sociologists, in general, recognize “race” as a social construct. This means that, although the concepts of race and racism are based on observable biological characteristics, any conclusions drawn about race on the basis of those observations are heavily influenced by cultural ideologies.

Racism, as an ideology, exists in a society at both the individual and institutional level

While much of the research and work on racism during the last half-century or so has concentrated on “white racism” in the Western world, historical accounts of race-based social practices can be found across the globe.

Thus, racism can be broadly defined to encompass individual and group prejudices and acts of discrimination that result in material and cultural advantages conferred on a majority or a dominant social group. So-called “white racism” focuses on societies in which white populations are the majority or the dominant social group. In studies of these majority white societies, the aggregate of material and cultural advantages is usually termed “white privilege”.

Racism has existed throughout human history

 It may be defined as the hatred of one person by another — or the belief that another person is less than human — because of skin color, language, customs, place of birth or any factor that supposedly reveals the basic nature of that person. It has influenced wars, slavery, the formation of nations, and legal codes.

During the past 500-1000 years, racism on the part of Western powers toward non-Westerners has had a far more significant impact on history than any other form of racism (such as racism among Western groups or among Easterners, such as Asians, Africans, and others). The most notorious example of racism by the West has been slavery, particularly the enslavement of Africans in the New World (slavery itself dates back thousands of years).

 

 

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