1. Which of the following has been developed by the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) that could possibly be used as a diagnostic tool ?
• Researchers from Hyderabad-based National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) have developed a portable device ‘eCovSens’ that could possibly be used as a diagnostic tool for detection of COVID-19 antigens from saliva samples of suspected coronavirus patients within 30 seconds.
• Developed by a group of scientists, led by Sonu Gandhi from NIAB, Department of Biotechnology is at present in validation stage.
• A paper on the application of ‘eCoVSens’ with respect to detection of COVID-19 antigens was recently published in a free online archive and distribution service ‘bioRxiv’ meant for unpublished preprints i.e. non-peer reviewed medical articles.
2. When is the National Unity Day observed in India?
a. 31 October
b. 31 March
c. 31 January
d. 31 December
• The National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is observed every year on October 31, on the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is also known as the 'Iron Man of India'.
3. Which state has announced compulsory 21-day quarantine for all those returning to the state from other places?
c. Madhya Pradesh
d. Andhra Pradesh
• Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has announced compulsory 21-day quarantine for all those returning to the state from other places.
• All pilgrims returning from Nanded, and students and labourers coming from Rajasthan, will be stopped at the border.
• They will be sent to Government quarantine centres for 21 days.
• Radha Soami Satsang Deras would also be used to quarantine these people. He also indicated that his government could go for certain relaxations, while taking all precautions, based on the report of the Expert Committee formulating the state’s Covid-19 curfew/lockdown exit strategy.
4. Which of the following industries has topped the exporting sector of the country for the first time?
a. Chemicals and petrochemicals industry
b. Agriculture industry
c. Pharmaceutical industry
d. Steel industry
• Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda has congratulated the chemicals and petrochemicals industry on becoming the top exporting sector of the country for the first time.
• He informed that during April 2019 to January 2020, the export of chemicals grew by 7.43 per cent over previous corresponding period.
• The total export of chemicals during this period reached 2.68 lakh crore rupees which constitutes 14.35 per cent of the total exports.
5. SARS-CoV-2 interacts with which of the following specific human receptor?
• Scientists of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jodhpur have explored the neuroinvasive nature of the COVID-19 virus SARS-CoV-2 highlighting that loss of smell and taste of infected patients makes their entire Central Nervous System (CNS) and the underlying structures in the brain more prone to viral infection with devastating effects.
• SARS-CoV-2 is known to interact with a specific human receptor known as hACE2 (human angiotensin-converting enzyme-2) which also happens to be the entry point of the virus and has an almost ubiquitous presence in most human organs ranging from lung parenchyma to nasal mucosa. The brain is also known to express this receptor.
• They have attributed the loss of smell or taste to the fact that nose and mouth both are very important entry points of the virus, which then may be slowly making its way to the olfactory bulb using the neurons of the olfactory mucosa. The olfactory bulb located in the forebrain is the structure that is chiefly responsible for the sense of smell. This explains the loss of smell associated with many asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 and also may be exposing the CNS to viral infection.