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News in Short

News in Short - 16-July-2020

First covid-19 vaccine in US shows positive results

Date: 16 July 2020 Tags: Biotechnology
  • The first coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna, to be tested on people in the US appears to be safe and able to stimulate an immune response against the virus.
  • The volunteersmade antibodies that were then tested in human cells in the lab and were able to stop the virus from replicating — the key requirement for an effective vaccine.
  • The levels of those so-called neutralising antibodies matched the levels found in patients who had recovered after contracting the virus.
  • These initial results are based on tests of the low and medium doses. The only adverse effect at those doses was redness and soreness in one patient’s arm where the shot was given.

Election commissioner Ashok Lavasa set to join ADB

Date: 16 July 2020 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa is set to join the Philippines-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) as vice president.
  • Lavasa still has over two years left in his term at the Election Commission of India. He would have retired as the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) in October 2022.
  • ADB appoints a vice president for a term of three years, which can be extended by another two years. The ADB president heads a management team comprising six vice presidents.

Centre to map covid-19 after effects

Date: 16 July 2020 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • The centre is collecting data regarding Covid recovered patients are suffering from, including COVID-19-induced diabetes, impaired lung, heart, liver and brain functions along with acute fatigue and dyspnea, after doctors and hospitals indicated this trend.
  • There was a move to collect the data on this globally to understand the effect of this relatively new and evolving virus. The stress on the body associated with this virus could lead to long and short term complications.
  • The data aims to study damage caused by thrombosis in the small vessels that ultimately damages lung tissues and other organs, including the heart, and can lead to fatal pulmonary embolism.

Covid shot derived from tobacco-like plant

Date: 16 July 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Medicago Inc. has been using plants to develop potential vaccines for more than two decades. The use of this technology on covid-19 has put the company back in news.
  • The company relies on an Australian plant that’s a close relative to tobacco, known as nicotianabenthamiana, to develop vaccines.
  • The plant has a weakened immune system that allows it to easily host genetic material and develop particles that mimic a virus.
  • The plants serve as “bioreactors” that can harvest clinical-grade material in a matter of weeks.

Floods in Assam

Date: 16 July 2020 Tags: Disaster & Disaster Management
  • The flood situation in Assam is deteriorating due to an increase in river levels. This has forced large number of people to shift to higher places.
  • Heavy rainfall in adjoining Arunachal Pradesh is adding to Assam’s woes. The Brahmaputra and nine of its tributaries are flowing above the danger mark.
  • Western Assam’s Barpeta continued to be the worst affected district with 5.5 lakh people moving to makeshift shelters on higher grounds followed by Dhubri, Morigaon, Goalpara, and South Salmara.