Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 13, 2017

World Day

12 November: World Pneumonia Day

  • The World Pneumonia Day is observed globally every year on November 12 to generate awareness about the ‘pneumonia’ disease.
  • The observance of day aims to highlight the severity of pneumonia and bring together the people from all over the world to promote the prevention and treatment of the disease.

Significance of Day

  • Raise awareness about pneumonia, the world’s leading killer of children under age of five.
  • Promote interventions to protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia and
  • Generate action to combat pneumonia.

Background

  • The World Pneumonia Day was first observed in 2009 after more than 100 organisations joined together form Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia.
  • At present, global coalition comprises of over 140 NGOs, academic institutions, government agencies and foundations.

Pneumonia

  • Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs.
  • It is caused by inflammation of the airspaces in the lungs.
  • Lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when healthy person breathes. ‎
  • When an individual has pneumonia, alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.
  • It is caused by number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi.
  • The most common are Streptococcus pneumoniae (most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children), ‎Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) (second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia), ‎Respiratory syncytial virus is most common viral cause of pneumonia.
  • Vaccinations are available against several common organisms that are known to cause pneumonia.
  • Besides, antibiotics can also treat pneumonia by controlling the bacterial or fungal infection.

Child Rights

Hausala 2017

  • WCD Ministry to celebrate Child Rights Week by hosting an inter CCI Festival “Hausala 2017” between 16th to 20th November
  • The country celebrates the Children’s Day on 14th November and the International Child Rights Day is celebrated on 20th November every year. The period between the two important events will be celebrated as Child Rights Week
  • “Hausala 2017” will provide an occasion to showcase the talents of children from CCIs from various child care institutions across the country and provide them with a space to express their dreams and aspiration.
  • Children will be participating in various events like Bal Sansad, painting competition, athletics meet, football, chess competition and speech writing.

Science & Tech

To restore lost vision – new gene therapy

Need for Land pooling

  • New gene therapy helps partially restore vision lost to rare disease
  • A new gene therapy has helped restore vision in people who had lost their sight to an inherited retinal disease, scientists have said
  • Patients in the study had a condition called Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), which begins in infancy and progresses slowly, eventually causing complete blindness
  • The tested gene therapy, voretigene neparvovec (Luxturna) from Spark Therapeutics, is currently under FDA review.
  • An injection therapy, it uses a genetically-modified version of a harmless virus that’s been modified to carry a healthy version of the gene to patients’ retinas

IIT Bombay’s very low power water filter

  • The water filter can desalinate water as it trickles down the electrodes by gravity
  • The water filter can desalinate water as it trickles down the electrodes by gravity thus eliminating the need for any water pumping system.
  • The researchers used a novel way to produce the electrodes which are used for capacitive deionisation to remove salt from water.
  • Carbon nanotubes were synthesised and cellulose thread was dip coated with these nanotubes.
  • The dried carbon nanotube thread was then closely wound across flat copper plates to produce the electrodes.
  • The cost of materials to make the device is less than Rs.3 per sq. cm. The device (60 mm x 6 mm x 2 mm) tested in the lab requires only 0.15 mW power and can be operated with a pen-torch battery
  • The electrode has to be deionised after 15-20 ml of water is collected.

Smart Windows

  • Windows made of hydrogel change from transparent to opaque when heated
  • Scientists at Bengaluru have developed a smart window that automatically turns from transparent to opaque when heated and also gets back to its original transparent state when the heat is removed.
  • Researchers at the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS) have come up with three different types of windows (thermochromic, hydrocarbon, hydrogel) with different behaviours.
  • Windows made of hydrogel change from transparent to opaque when heated and back to transparent when heat is removed.
  • Thermochromic and hydrocarbon windows are opaque at room temperature and become translucent and transparent respectively when heated
  • Basic component of these optoelectronic devices (electronic devices that operate on both light and electrical currents) is the transparent heater.