Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - July 26th 2017


NOPVs Launched

Shachi and Shruti: Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) launched the first two Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels.
The NOPVs are primarily patrol ships to undertake surveillance of the country's vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). They also undertake operational tasks such as anti-piracy patrols, maritime security of offshore assets, fleet support operations, coastal security operations, and protection of shipping lanes. The five NOPVs constructed by RDEL are armed with a 76 mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) system along with two 30 mm AK-630 guns, which provide medium range and short range offensive and defensive capabilities. The armaments of these vessels are remotely controlled through an electronic fire control system. They are also fitted with 20,000 KW diesel engine-driven propulsion systems and can deliver speeds up to 25 knots.

Question For Mains :
Q. Evaluate the Defence preparedness of India in light of recent Doklam Issue.(200 Words)

Science & Tech

Antibodies In Laboratory

Scientists for the first time have produced human antibodies in the laboratory. They have developed revolutionary technique which can help in rapid development of new vaccines to treat a wide range of infectious diseases. Antibodies mainly function in the humoral adaptive immune system by secreting antibodies to fight off infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and other invasive pathogens. They are produced by body's B cells (B lymphocytes). When an individual B cell recognises a specific pathogen-derived antigen molecule, it proliferates and develops into plasma cells that secrete large amounts of antibody capable of binding to the antigen and fending off the infection.

To develop revolutionary technique, researchers had replicated the process of natural production of antibodies from B cells isolated from patient blood samples in the laboratory to produce specific antibodies. They had found that B cells need a second signal to start proliferating and developing into plasma cells apart encountering a specific antigen at first instance. For the second signal they used short DNA fragments called CpG oligonucleotides, which activate a protein named TLR9 inside B cells. However, they found that treating patient-derived B cells with CpG oligonucleotides stimulates every B cell, not just the tiny fraction capable of producing a particular antibody. So to overcome the problem they treated patient-derived B cells with tiny nanoparticles coated with both CpG oligonucleotides and an antigen. With this technique, CpG oligonucleotides were only internalised into B cells recognising the specific antigen. These cells were only ones in which TLR9 is activated to induce their proliferation and development into antibody-secreting plasma cells.

Significance :
Researchers successfully demonstrated their approach using various bacterial and viral antigens, including the tetanus toxoid and proteins from several strains of influenza A. In each case, they were able to produce specific, high-affinity antibodies in just a few days. In some of the anti-influenza antibodies generated by the technique were able to neutralise multiple strains of the virus. They were able to generate anti-HIV antibodies from B cells isolated from HIV-free patients. This approach may help researchers to rapidly generate therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of infectious diseases and other conditions such as cancer.

Question For Mains :
Q.What are the Issue that restricts human beings into deeper researches on DNA ? Analyse .

International Relations

Looking East - Acting East

India and Bangladesh have decided to construct a bridge over Mizoram's Khawthlangtuipui river (also known as Karnaphuli river) to facilitate trade and to improve communication between the two countries. The decision was taken after officials from both the side met at Tlabung town in Mamit district of Mizoram. The Mamit district is situated adjacent to Khagrachari district of Southeast Bangladesh. The proposed bridge is expected to be constructed as closer as possible to the nearest custom station located in the Bangladesh side. The proposed bridge is expected to serve as an important link between India and Bangladesh. It would improve road connectivity between the two regions. The proposed bridge is also expected to strengthen the ties between the people of the two countries. Mizoram has a 318 km unfenced border with Bangladesh. In March 2017, the Union Government had announced that half of the 4,096-km long border India shares with Bangladesh has been fenced. The remaining half will be fenced by 2019 deadline. India and Bangladesh share a 4,096 km land boundary, largest among the international boundaries that India shares with its neighbours. The border runs along five states, West Bengal (2,216.7 km), Assam (263 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Tripura (856 km)

Question For Mains :
Q. We Have to take into confidence our eastern Neighbors to deal with the dragon. What steps have India Taken in this behalf?