Defence & Security Current Affairs

Scientists Developed World’s First Zika Vitus Clone

  • The scientists on May 18, 2016 genetically engineered a clone of the Zika virus strain, an advance that may aid the development of vaccine and therapies against the infection which has been linked to serious birth defects.
  • The team fed Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, one of the types known to transmit Zika, with human blood infected with either the parental Zika virus or the ‘human-made’ Zika virus and found that the number of infected mosquitoes was similar.
  • Cloning the virus unlocks scientists’ ability to more quickly develop countermeasures and explore whether or how the Zika virus has evolved to spread more quickly and cause more severe diseases in people.

Scientists Identified Protein which Improve Treatments for Miscarriages and Pre-eclampsia

  • The scientists at the University of Sheffield have identified a protein, involved in the development of the human placenta called Syncytin-1, which was the result of a viral infection of our primate ancestors 25 million years ago, is first secreted on the surface of a developing embryo even before it implants in the womb.
  • This means the protein is likely to play a major role in helping embryos stick to the womb as well as the formation of the placenta.
  • This fundamental understanding of the (earliest stages of human embryo development is crucial for improving current treatments for a variety of stressful complications during pregnancy such as recurrent miscarriages, fetal growth restriction syndrome and pre-eclampsia—a life-threatening condition of elevated maternal blood pressure during pregnancy.

Gilead got Patent for Hepatitis-C Drug

  • The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademark granted American pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences the patent for the blockbuster Hepatitis-C drug Sofosbuvir (brand name Sovabdi) in India on May 9, 2016.
  • The company charges $ 1000 per pill in the USA and has charged similarly high prices across developed countries and now the patent rights will give the company legal monoploy in the market which will impact the patients who cannot afford expensive medicines.
  • The Indian Patent Office is administered by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) and the CGPDTM reports to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It administers the Indian law of patents, designs and trademarks.
Updated: July 5, 2016 — 11:45 am

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