1) Katabatic and Anabatic winds: Recent research reveals that Katabatic winds play a role in cooling Himalayas.
- Katabatic winds are cool, denser air moving downhill due to gravity.
- They affect local climates, even reducing humidity in the air and blowing away snow.
- Contrary to this anabatic wind is warm wind that blows up a mountain slope due to a warmer temperature on mountain slope compared to the temperature in air column.
- It can influence cloud formation and precipitation patterns.
2) Gut bacteria: Recent research indicates that a variety of gut bacteria safeguards the human gut from diseases, but this defense diminishes if a single bacterial species is present in gut.
- Diverse gut bacteria hinder pathogen growth by consuming nutrients that the pathogen needs.
- Gut bacteria are an important component of the microbiota ecosystem in the human gut.
- They are known to supply essential nutrients, synthesizing vitamin K, aiding in cellulose digestion, promoting angiogenesis and enteric nerve function.
3) Lathyrism: Lathyrism is an incurable neurological disorder, which clinically manifests as paralysis of lower limbs.
- It is caused by eating large quantities of legume Lathyrus Sativus (khesari dal or grass pea) which contains neurotoxins ODAP.
- This legume resembles toor dal, grows easily in fallow fields, and resistant to pests and biotic stress.
- In 1961, India banned its sale under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
- However, cultivation is allowed as it is used for animal feed.
4) Gene Drive Technology: Abdoulaye Diabate from Burkina Faso, recipient of the 2023 Falling Walls Prize for Science and Innovation Management, is developing Gene Drive Technology to eradicate malaria.
- In this technology, genetically modified male mosquitoes, who cannot produce female offsprings after mating, are released in the environment.
- This technology aims to deplete the female mosquito population, effectively reducing malaria transmission.
- Malaria is generally transmitted through the bite of female Anopheles mosquitoes, as male mosquitoes do not bite.