Science and Technology Current Affairs December 2016

Indian Immunologicals Developed Vaccine to Fight Tapeworms in Pigs

  • Indian Immunological Limited (IIL) unveiled a vaccine to fight against tapeworms in pigs. CYSVAX, the vaccine, is the worlds first such, the Hyderabad-headquartered wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board said on October 21, 2016.
  • The recombinant porcine (Pigs) Cysticercosis vaccine developed by IIL also has the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of epilepsy in humans.
  • Cysticercosis is a parasitic disease caused by ingesting the eggs of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. It is a zoonotic parasite, involving pigs as intermediate hosts.
  • Humans are usually infected by the ingestion of eggs present in the undercooked pork, vegetables and greens improperly washed. Cysts that develop in the central nervous system cause Neuro-Cysticercosis, one of the predominant reasons for epilepsy in humans.
  • IIL collaborated with Dr. Marshall Lightowlers, University of Melbourne, Australia and GALVmed (Global Alliance for Veterinary medicine) to develop the vaccine.

See Also – UPSC Question Papers.

New Sensor could Detect Vitamin-B12 Deficiency

  • The scientists have developed a new world-first optical sensor that could quickly detect vitamin-B12 deficiency, a condition linked to an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The device would enable the tracking of vitamin-B12 levels in high-risk patients and early intervention, to top up vitamin-B12 levels when low, and help overcome the limitations of current testing methods which are time-consuming and costly.
  • Vitamin-B12 deficiency cause potential modifiable risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s. The sensor is still at proof-of-concept stage but, with development, has wide-reaching potential applications. This is the first time a rapid technique based on optical spectroscopy has been shown to be able to detect vitamin-B12 in human blood serum.

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Updated: December 4, 2016 — 9:17 pm

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