(Current Affairs) India and The World | July : 2017

India & The World

  • India and Israel celebrate 25 years of their diplomatic relations (Free Available)
  • Highly protected marine reserves can help mitigate the effects of climate change (Only for Online Coaching Members)

India and Israel celebrate 25 years of their diplomatic relations

  • As India and Israel celebrate 25 years of their diplomatic relations, Tel Aviv has quietly emerged as one of the largest and trusted suppliers of defence equipment to the Indian armed forces, which rely heavily on imports.
  • After protracted negotiations, the two countries are close to concluding a deal for Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missiles. This will be the latest in a series of big-ticket defence deals approved recently.
  • The purchase of Spike missiles was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in October 2014, but negotiations on the contract ran into trouble over cost and technology transfer.
  • The Rs. 3,200-crore deal includes 8,000-plus missiles, 300-plus launchers and technology transfer. The deal is likely to expand as the Army intends to equip its 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanised regiments with new missiles.
  • After New Delhi established full diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv on January 29, 1992, Israel has made inroads into the Indian defence sector, earning praise for reliability and technological sophistication.
  • It is well entrenched in the areas of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, air defence systems, special forces equipment and electronic warfare equipment.
  • Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved a Rs. 17,000-crore deal to jointly develop a Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MR-SAM) system for the Army.
  • In the case of mouse models, the 5g molecule was able to arrest tumour growth without causing significant side-effects.
  • The inhibitor was able to arrest the cancer cells from proliferating by elevating the levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), which, in turn, causes DNA damage by breaking the DNA’s double-strands.
  • The molecule also activated the cell death pathway when higher concentration was used. However, the molecule did not cause any damage to normal blood cells. The results were published in the journal Scientific Reports.
  • At a dosage of 50 micromolar, about 70% of leukaemia cells were killed, compared with 25% of normal blood cells. This suggests that the 5g molecule could be “less toxic” to normal cells compared with cancer cells.
  • Even when the dosage was reduced to 10 micromolar, the molecule was able to arrest the cell cycle, particularly after 36 hours of treatment.
  • However, at the end of 48 hours, the cells were either dead or repaired their DNA damage and proceeded with normal cell cycle of division and proliferation.
  • A majority of the cancer cells were killed but some reverted to normal cell cycle. The reason for this is not known.
  • In mouse models, the molecule was able to arrest cancer cells’ cell cycle when 60 and 120 mg per kg of body weight dosages were used. Also, “significant” reduction in tumour volume and “moderate” increase in life-span were observed when treated with 60 mg per kg of body weight for 14 days. The molecule was able to reduce the tumour burden by arresting the cell cycle than by causing cell death, the researchers found.
  • Since on its own the molecule did not bring about cell death in mouse models, it cannot be used as a standalone therapy.

Highly protected marine reserves can help mitigate the effects of climate change

  • Evaluating 145 peer-reviewed studies, a research team has concluded that “highly protected” marine reserves can help mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • Around the world, coastal nations have committed to protecting 10% of their waters by 2020, but so far, only 3.5% of the ocean has been set aside for protection, and 1.6%, or less than half of that, is strongly protected from exploitation, Xinhua reported.
  • The study also notes that ocean surface waters have become on average 26% more acidic since pre-industrial times.
  • By the year 2100, under a “business-as-usual” scenario, they will be 150% more acidic, while coastal wetlands, including mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes have demonstrated a capacity for reducing local carbon dioxide concentrations because many contain plants with high rates of photosynthesis.

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