1) Environment Education, Awareness and Training (EEAT): it is a Central Sector scheme implemented by MoEFCC to promote environmental awareness and mobilize students’ participation for environment conservation through two major programmes namely Green Corps (NGC) Programme and National Nature Camping Programme (NNCP)
- NGC Programme: Under this scheme more than 1 lakh Eco-clubs have been formed in schools and colleges to educate and aware students. A financial assistance of Rs 5,000/- per Eco-club used to be provided.
- NNCP: Under this scheme, organization of field visits/ nature camps in different Protected Areas/ Nature Parks/ Tiger Reserves of the country for students were supported.
2) Geminids Meteor Shower: Geminids comes from the constellation Gemini, from whose location in the sky the meteor shower appears to originate. The constellation is not the source of the meteors.
- The Geminids are unique because unlike most meteor showers, they originate not from a comet, but from an asteroid, the 3200 Phaethon.
3) Base Editing: For the first time, a new gene editing technology called base editing was used to modify immune cells and successfully treat a teen with treatment-resistant leukemia.
- Base Editing treatment is a modification of chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, T-cell therapy.
- But instead of using the CRISPR gene editing technique, the clinicians used the more precise base editing technique to alter donor immune cells which allows to zoom into a precise part of the genetic code to alter the molecular structure of just one base.
- Those edited cells are given to the patient to “rapidly find and destroy T-cells in the body, including leukemic T-cells.
- Base editing is an even more precise gene editing technique than CRISPR and has fewer risks of unwanted effects on the chromosomes and thus less risk of side effects.
4) T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL): T-ALL affects the stem cells in the bone marrow that produce a particular kind of white blood cells (WBC) called T lymphocytes (T cells).
- These cells provide a person immunity by killing cells carrying infections, activating other immune cells, and regulating the immune response.
- At least 20% of these WBC are atypical– as they accumulate in the bone marrow, they crowd out “good” WBCs and hence weaken the immune system.
- While found in both children and adults, T-ALL’s incidence decreases with age.
- Typical treatment for T-ALL is similar to that of any leukaemia– chemotherapy and stem cell/bone marrow transplant.
5) Forabot: The Fossil sorting robot: Foraminifera (forams) are very simple microorganisms that secrete a tiny shell. They have existed on the ocean floor for more than 100 million years.
- They leave behind their shells when they die. Examining these shells gives scientists an insight into the characteristics of the oceans from a time when the forams were alive.
- Different types of foram species thrive in the ocean environment and physical inspection and sorting of forams require human time and effort.
- With an accuracy rate of 67%, Forabot automates this tedious process.