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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Merkel Cell Polyoma Virus

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.

 

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