Remdesivir

Context The Wuhan Institute of Virology, China Academy of Sciences, has filed for a patent on Remdesivir, an antiviral experimental drug from US biotechnology firm Gilead Sciences, which may help treat the novel coronavirus (nCoV-2019). Scientists are also testing the drug chloroquine as part of a drug discovery approach, where existing antiviral Read More …

Kerala’s ban on CFL and filament bulbs

Context Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac Friday made a bold announcement that the state will impose a ban on the sale of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and incandescent (filament) bulbs starting November this year as part of sustainable energy policy. He also added that streetlights and bulbs in government offices across Read More …

Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG)

Context A series of new papers in the journal Nature has revealed the most comprehensive gene map ever of the genes whose departures from normal behaviour — mutations — trigger a cascade of genetic misbehaviours that eventually lead to cancer. Just a handful of “driver” mutations could explain the occurrence of Read More …

What is genome mapping?

Context The government has given clearance to an ambitious gene-mapping project, estimated to be worth Rs 238 crore. The Genome India Project, which has been described by those involved as the “first scratching of the surface of the vast genetic diversity of India”, involve over 20 scientists from institutions including the Read More …

Could pangolins be the source of novel coronavirus?

Context Scientists investigating the animal origins of the novel coronavirus said pangolins could be responsible for the spread of the virus to humans in China. The scientists, whose findings are yet to be published, have found that the genome sequence of the coronavirus isolated from pangolins was 99 per cent identical Read More …

What you need to know about the spreading coronavirus?

Context A newly identified virus that emerged late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, causing an explosive outbreak of sometimes fatal pneumonia, has become a global health emergency. The culprit is a so-called coronavirus dubbed 2019-nCoV. It belongs to a family of viruses responsible for diseases that range in Read More …

Mapping the ‘Indian’ genome

Context The government has cleared an ambitious gene-mapping project that is being described by those involved as the “first scratching of the surface of the vast genetic diversity of India”. A look at the objectives, scale and the diversity of the project, which will be significant not only in India Read More …

Lessons from a melting Antarctic glacier

Context In the Antarctic floats a massive glacier, roughly the size of Britain, whose melting has been a cause of alarm for scientists over the years. Now, a new study has pinned the cause of the melting to the presence of warm water at a vital point beneath the glacier. Read More …

What is fermentophone?

Fermentation, the chemical breakdown of a substance by microorganisms such as bacteria or yeasts, results in some of the most delicious foods and beverages, including cheese, chocolate and wine. Now, research has shown it can result in music, too. Joshua Rosenstock of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute has shown that the Read More …

SARS Epidemic

Context Death toll due to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic in China exceeded that of the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003. So far, 908 deaths have been reported, exceeding the SARS fatality toll of 774 17 years ago. Also, compared with the 8,098 people infected by SARS in mainland China, 2019-nCoV infections Read More …