The ‘double mutant’ virus that scientists had flagged for causing spread of the pandemic in India, has been named B.1.617.
The variant is common in India and has a couple of defining mutations, E484Q and L425R, that enable them to become more infectious as well as evade antibodies.
Certain variants of the coronavirus have been termed the ‘United Kingdom’ and ‘South Africa’ variant respectively because they have mutations associated with large spikes in these countries or reduce the efficacy of vaccines and are termed ‘Variants of Concern (VOC)’.
A Varanasi court has ordered an archaeological survey of a centuries-old mosque complex near Kashi Vishwanath temple, to decide on pleas that allege the mosque was built by Mughal emperors after partially demolishing a Hindu shrine.
The decision came on a series of petitions that claimed that Mughal emperor Aurangzeb demolished a portion of the Kashi Vishwanath temple to build the Gyanvapi Masjid in the 17th century.
The religious dispute is decades old and first reached the courts in 1991, when local Hindu priests sought permission to worship in the mosque area. The hearing was later suspended by the Allahabad high court.
A bird spotted in Arunachal Pradesh at an altitude higher than its recorded perch in adjoining China has become the 1,340th species of the bird family in India.
The three-banded rosefinch is a resident of southern China and a vagrant in Bhutan. The new species of bird was found during an intensive survey across the Eastern Himalayas as a part of an ongoing study.
The three-banded rosefinch belongs to the family Fringillidae, which are seed-eating passerine birds with a distinctively conical bill.
Prior to the addition of the three-banded rosefinch in the bird list of India, there were 1,339 avian species reported from across the country.