The Hindu NOTES – 17th Dec, 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis)

📰 THE HINDU NEWSPAPER– DAILY  Hindu Current Affairs Analysis 17th Dec 2017


Date:- 17-Dec, 2017

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 Biodiversity under alien attack {Environment}

In news

The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has for the first time compiled a list of alien invasive animal species, totalling 157.

Biodiversity under alien attack

  • Alien plant species such as Parthenium hysterophorus (cotton grass) and Lantana camara (Lantana) are known to harm agriculture and biodiversity, invasive animal species pose a threat to biodiversity and human well-being.
  • Alien species become ‘invasive’ when they are introduced deliberately or accidentally outside their natural areas, where they out-compete the native species and upset the ecological balance.

Examples

  • Paracoccus marginatus (Papaya Mealy Bug), which belongs to Mexico and Central America but is believed to have destroyed huge crops of papaya in Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
  • Phenacoccus solenopsis (Cotton Mealybug) is a native of North America but has severely affected cotton crops in the Deccan.
  • Among the invasive fish species, Pterygoplichthys pardalis (Amazon sailfin catfish) has been destroying fish populations in the wetlands of Kolkata.
  • Achatina fulica (African apple snail) is said to be most invasive among all alien fauna. It is a mollusc and was first reported in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. But today it is found all across the country and is threatening the habitats of several native species.
  • Tubastrea coccinea (Orange Cup-Coral), which originated in Indo-East Pacific but has now been reported in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Gulf of Kutch, Kerala and Lakshadweep.

 Big push for Northeast roads {Development Policy}

In news

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated crucial connectivity and power projects in Mizoram and Meghalaya.
  • On a day-long visit to the Northeast, Mr. Modi dedicated the 60-MW Tuirial hydropower power project, which made Mizoram the third power-surplus State in the region after Sikkim and Tripura.

Other projects

  • 271-km two-lane national highway connecting Tura in western Meghalaya to Shillong.
  • Act East Policy of the Union government would soon make Mizoram the gateway to the Southeast Asian countries, which include Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
  • The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, connecting Aizawl with the deep-water Sittwe Port in Myanmar, would provide great benefits to the people of the north-eastern States.
  • The development of the Rih-Tiddim road and the establishment of numerous rural markets along the Mizoram-Myanmar border would increase trade volume.

 Natural composite for stronger bone grafts {Science & Tech}

In news

A novel nanocomposite developed by researchers from CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory (CSIR-NML) has shown potential to be used as a regenerative bone graft especially in regions which need high strength.

What is a bone graft?

  • A bone graft is a surgical procedure used to fix problems with bones or joints. Bone grafting, or transplanting of bone tissue, is beneficial in fixing bones that are damaged from trauma, or problem joints. It’s also useful for growing bone around an implanted device, such as a total knee replacement where there is bone loss or a fracture. A bone graft may fill a void where bone is absent or help provide structural stability.
  • The bone used in a bone graft can come from your body, a donor, or it can be entirely man-made. It can provide a framework where new, living bone can grow if it’s accepted by the body.

Why bone grafting is performed

Bone grafting is done for numerous reasons, including injury and disease. There are four main reasons bone grafts are used:

  • A bone graft may be used in the case of multiple or complex fractures or those that don’t heal well after initial treatment.
  • Fusion helps two bones heal together across a diseased joint. Fusion is most often done on the spine.
  • Regeneration is used for bone lost to disease, infection, or injury. This can involve using small amounts of bone in bone cavities or large sections of bones.
  • A graft can be used to help bone heal around surgically implanted devices, like joint replacements, plates, or screws.

How was nanocomposite made?

The nanocomposite was synthesised through a simple and cost-effective route. The composite contains carboxymethyl cellulose, gelatin and hydroxyapatite, with the hydroxyapatite in nanoscale (25-10 nm size).


 One gene to tackle all stresses {Science & Tech}

Context

Different types of stress can affect the life of plants including that induced by pathogens (biotic stress) and that caused by non-living entities such as drought, osmotic stress, chemical or salt stress and so on (abiotic stress).

In news

  • A collaboration of scientists from Bengaluru’s National Centre of Biological Sciences (NCBS) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has discovered a single gene whose expression controls the plants’ response to both biotic and abiotic stress.
  • This finding can be used to engineer plants that can withstand, for instance, drought or bacterial infections. The research has been published in Plant Molecular Biology.

Unrelated stress

  • “Previous studies at best identified genes that provide resistance to diverse abiotic stresses that are connected physiologically.
  • For example, drought and salt stress are related and one single gene could provide resistance to both.
  • The novelty of this research is that it proposes that by expressing a single gene, it is possible to develop resistance in plants to various diverse and unrelated types of stress.

 NCCS’ novel approach improves success rate of bone marrow transplantation {Science & Tech.}

Context

Currently, haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) taken from older donors for bone marrow transplantation have lower efficiency and capacity to engraft in recipients thus limiting their usefulness.

In news

Researchers from Pune’s National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) have found novel ways to rejuvenate the haematopoietic stem cells taken from aged donors and restore their functionality prior to transplantation to improve their engrafting efficiency.

Micro-vesicles

  • The more the autophagy-inducing mRNAs the better is the ability of cells to destroy older cell components leaving room for the generation of new, younger cell components.
  • They found that transfer of micro-vesicles (containing significantly higher levels of autophagy-inducing mRNAs) from young mesenchymal stromal cells to aged haematopoietic stem cells during co-culturing leads to rejuvenation and improved functionality of stem cells.

Merit

Tissue matching is not necessary for the use of stromal cells and thus can be taken from unmatched donors.


 Belgium’s Colruyt Group targets India’s green energy, start-up space {Energy}

In news

  • Colruyt Group of Belgium is planning a foray into the renewable energy space in India as an independent power producer in 2018.
  • They have plans to invest Rs. 800-1,000 crore over the next two years, A leading retailer of food and non-food products in Europe, the group has interests in IT, petrochemicals and renewable energy, especially wind energy.

Development centre

  • In India, it has an IT development centre in Hyderabad employing about 425 people. Colruyt will look to install 100-150 MW renewable energy projects in India, beginning with wind energy
  • south India would be location for the first set of projects comprising 30-50 MW farms each.

 Is Wassenaar Arrangement important to India (Defence)

Context

  • Before its nuclear weapons test in 1998, there was no formal recognition that India was capable of producing both nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
  • The reason for this was mainly because India had not acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which aims to prevent spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology and promote nuclear disarmament.

What is India’s stand?

  • India wanted to break out into the open and be recognised as a nuclear power like the other nuclear countries
  • For that to happen, India needed to be recognised as a nuclear power and be made part of the global non-proliferation architecture.

What is the Wassenaar Arrangement?

The Wassenaar Arrangement is a grouping of 42 countries, of which India is the latest entrant (on December 8) that seek to bring about security and stability, by fostering transparent practices in the process of sale and transfer of arms and materials and technologies that can be used to make nuclear weapons with a view to prevent any undesirable build-up of such capabilities.

What are the advantages?

  • India will be able to more easily access dual use technologies and materials and military equipment that are proscribed for non-participating members.
  • India will also be able to sell its nuclear reactors and other materials and equipment indigenously produced without attracting adverse reactions. It will also be in a better position to collaborate with other countries in developing such capabilities.

Will it help to join other groups?

There are more or less the same countries in all these groupings, with one crucial exception. China, which has been opposed to India’s entry into the NSG, is not part of both the MTCR as well as the Australia Group. So it should be easier to get into the Australia Group.


 IMA tightens the screws on antibiotic prescriptions {Health Issue}

In news

Alarmed over the growing antibiotic resistance that has made it difficult to treat many bacterial infections, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has advised doctors to follow strictly guidelines while prescribing antibiotics.

Issue

Despite the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) setting up the National Anti-Microbial Resistance Research and Surveillance Network (AMRRSN) to enable compilation of data of such resistance at different levels of healthcare and publishing of treatment guidelines for anti-microbial use in common syndromes, the problem of multi-drug resistance due to widespread and indiscriminate use of antimicrobial and antibiotic drugs continues unabated in the country.

Solution

To address this issue, the IMA, at the Antimicrobial Resistance Conference held in New Delhi last month, advised its members to mandatorily restrict the usage of antibiotics for treatment of proven bacterial infections. It also came out with a policy on anti-microbial resistance.

When prescribing antibiotics, clear instructions should be given to the patient about no refill of antibiotic prescription without the signature of the doctor. The role of antibiotics should be discussed in an informed consent.


 

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