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Day#60 Current Affairs Flash Cards [PRELIMS 2020]

Black Softshell turtle; Transgenic rice with reduced arsenic accumulation; Arctic Council; 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters; Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiologic (PURE) report;
By IASToppers
October 02, 2019

 

 

According to latest Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiologic (PURE) report, what is the key cause of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in low-income countries?

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Answer:

Household air pollution has emerged as one of the key causes of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) according to latest Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiologic (PURE) report.

Enrich Your Learning:

Key facts of Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiologic (PURE) report:

Household Air pollution

  • Household air pollution has emerged as one of the key causes of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).
  • 12% of all CVDs in low-income countries are attributable to household air pollution.
  • Hypertension is the largest risk factor for CVD in low-income countries (including India), followed by high non-HDL cholesterol and household air pollution.

Household Air pollution

CVD and Cancer

  • CVD remains the leading cause of mortality among middle aged adults globally.
  • In case of high-income countries, where cancer is responsible for twice as many deaths as CVD.
  • It was estimated that 55 million deaths occurred in the world in 2017, of which approximately 17.7 million were due to CVD.
  • In middle income countries, death due to CVD is higher than due to cancer.
  • And the lower income countries show less death due to cancer comparatively high death rate due to CVD.

CVD and Cancer

India

  • Household air pollution is a greater risk factor for CVD in India than diabetes, tobacco use, low physical activity and poor diet.
  • An earlier report from a PURE study (Lancet Respiratory Medicine 2014) showed that Indians had the lowest lung function among the 21 countries studied.
  • At least 65% of homes in India use biomass fuel for cooking and heating.

 

 

With whom, India has done a contract for 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters?

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Answer:

India has done a contract for 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters with US government and Boeing Ltd. in 2015.

Enrich Your Learning:

Key Facts:

  • Recently, Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted 8 Apache helicopters at the Pathankot airbase. They are US-made Apache AH-64E attack helicopters.
  • India is the 14th nation in the world to be operating the Apache attack helicopters.
  • This aircraft has lethal firepower with great accuracy.
  • The AH-64E Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters and is flown by the US Army.
  • A contract was done by IAF with the US government and Boeing Ltd. in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters.
  • The first four of the 22 helicopters was handed over to the air force by Boeing on July 27, 2019.
  • Indian Air Force crew began their training to fly the Apache in the US in 2018.
  • Boeing has delivered more than 2,200 Apaches to customers around the world since the aircraft entered production.

 

 

Black Softshell turtle species were surviving in some of Assam’s temple ponds are categorised as ‘Near Threatened’ in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Right OR Wrong?

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Answer:

Right Statement:

  • The Black Softshell turtle is considered ‘Extinct in Wild’ in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Enrich Your Learning:

Key Facts:

  • About 70 hatchlings of the rare Black Softshell and Indian Softshell turtles were released in the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam.
  • The turtles were bred in the ponds of two temples in Assam.
  • The “wild restocking” of the two turtle species was done under a joint programme of the management committees of two temples— Ugratara in Guwahati and Hayagriv Madhav in Hajo.
  • The sanctuary is often called ‘Mini Kaziranga’ because of similar landscape and a sizeable population of the one-horned rhino.
  • Assam is the most species-rich State in India in terms of turtle diversity. It is home to 20 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises out of 29 species found in India.
  • But, 80% of these species are threatened with extinction.
  • The Black Softshell turtle is considered ‘Extinct in Wild’ in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • The Indian Softshell turtle is considered ‘Vulnerable’ in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

 

 

List of members of Arctic council were published in which declaration?

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Answer:

List of members of Arctic council were published in Ottawa Declaration in 1996.

Enrich Your Learning:

Arctic Council

  • The Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, Arctic indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues.
  • The Ottawa Declaration announced the establishment of the Arctic Council in 1996.
  • It particularly focuses on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic.
  • Arctic Council Secretariat formally became operational in 2013 in Tromso, Norway.

Aim:

  • To provide administrative capacity, institutional memory, enhanced communication and outreach and general support to the activities of the Arctic Council.

Members:

  • The Ottawa Declaration lists the following 8 countries as Members of the Arctic Council: Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States.
  • Six organizations representing Arctic indigenous peoples have status as Permanent Participants.
  • Observer status in the Arctic Council is open to non-Arctic states, along with inter-governmental, inter-parliamentary, global, regional and non-governmental organizations.

Six Working Groups:

  • The work of the Council is primarily carried out in six Working Groups.
    • Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP)
    • Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP)
    • Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group (CAFF)
    • Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response Working Group (EPPR)
    • Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Working Group
    • Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG)
  • The council establish Task Forces or Expert Groups to carry out specific work. The Task Forces operating during the Chairmanship of Finland (2017-2019) are:
    • Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation (TFAMC)
    • Task Force on on Improved Connectivity in the Arctic (TFICA)

 

 

Transgenic rice with reduced arsenic accumulation has been recently developed by researches of which Indian institute?

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Answer:

Transgenic rice with reduced arsenic accumulation has been recently developed by researchers of Lucknow- based CSIR- National Botanical Research Institute.

Enrich Your Learning:

Transgenic rice with reduced arsenic accumulation                                        

  • Researchers at Lucknow- based Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Botanical Research Institute have developed transgenic rice by inserting a novel fungal gene, which results in reduced arsenic accumulation in rice grain.
  • Researchers have cloned Arsenic methyltransferase (WaarsM) gene from a soil fungus, Westerdykell aaurantiaca, and inserted the same into the rice genome with the help of Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a soil bacterium which has natural ability to alter the plant’s genetic makeup.
  • Biotechnological methods such as modulating the expression of Arsenic metabolismrelated genes in rice will be a fruitful and practical approach to decrease arsenic accumulation.
  • The resulting transgenic plant acquired the potential for methylating inorganic arsenic to a variety of harmless organic species, including volatile arsenicals.
  • Arsenic accumulation in rice grains is one of the serious agricultural issues in India.

Effects of Arsenic on Human Health:

  • Arsenic is naturally present at high levels in the groundwater of a number of countries.
  • Arsenic is highly toxic in its inorganic form.
  • Contaminated water used for drinking, food preparation and irrigation of food crops poses the greatest threat to public health from arsenic.
  • Long-term exposure to arsenic from drinking-water and food can cause cancer and skin lesions.
  • It has also been associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In utero and early childhood exposure has been linked to negative impacts on cognitive development and increased deaths in young adults.
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Daily Current Flash Cards 2020 Prelims 2020
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