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Merkel Cell Polyoma Virus

  • Vaid's ICS, Lucknow
  • 12, Jul 2021
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Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare and aggressive type of skin cancer.

  • Merkel cell carcinoma is associated with old age, excessive exposure to ultraviolet light and a weak immune system.
  • Merkel cell polyomavirus can get integrated in the human genome and undergo a mutation which causes it to promote the cancer.

  • Earlier studies have shown that the Merkel cell carcinoma caused by the virus is less aggressive and progresses slower than that caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light.
  • National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, has developed a diagnostic system to detect the presence of Merkel cell polyomavirus in Merkel cell carcinoma tumours.
  • The researchers have developed a test using the CRISPR-CAS12 technology that can identify the virus in the tumour and give off a fluorescence to indicate the presence of the virus.
  • This is an important development, both, from the point of view of diagnostics and giving a prognosis for the condition.

Facts For Prelims :

 2020 CD3:

Astronomers have recently observed a small object orbiting Earth, which they have dubbed a 2020 CD3, “mini-moon” or the planet’s “second moon”.

Key features:

  • It is actually an asteroid, about the size of a car; its diameter is about 1.9-3.5 m. It is called a temporarily Captured Object (TCO).
  • And unlike our permanent Moon, the mini-moon is temporary; it will eventually break free of Earth’s orbit and go off on its own way.

Habitable Planet:

  • The exoplanet K2-18b, 124 light-years away from the earth, as research points out, may be habitable.
  • The exoplanet is 2.6 times the radius and 8.6 times the mass of Earth and orbits its star within the habitable zone, where temperatures could allow liquid water to exist.

Bhumi Panduga

It is a festival celebrated by the Koya tribe in Andhra Pradesh.

  • This festival is celebrated every year as a symbol of starting agricultural activities.
  • For men, hunting is mandatory as a part of the festival. The ‘Shikar’ is distributed equally among all the families of the village during a feast every evening.
  • This festival is usually celebrated in the month of June.