Genome of Indian Cobra sequenced
A group of scientists, including some from India, has mapped the genome of the Indian cobra, among the most poisonous snakes in the world.
- India is the snakebite capital of the world. In India about 46,000 people die and 1,40,000 are disabled annually from bites by the ‘Big 4’ — the Indian cobra, common krait, Russell’s viper, and the saw-scaled viper.
- Knowing the sequence of genes could aid in understanding the chemical constituents of the venom and contribute to development of new anti-venom therapies.
- High-quality genomes of venomous snakes will enable generation of a comprehensive catalogue of venom-gland-specific toxin genes that can be used for the development of synthetic anti-venom of defined composition.
What is ‘Genome Sequencing’?
- A genome is a person’s complete set of deoxyribonucleic acids or DNA, including all genes with more than 3 billion DNA base pairs.
- Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of science focusing on the structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of genomes.
- By sequencing the genome, researchers can discover the functions of genes and identify mutations responsible for cancer and rare genetic diseases.
- Genome sequencing also leads to precision medication, instead of clinicians giving drugs based on collective knowledge.
The 18th Edition of the four-day Mylapore Festival will kick off in Tamil Nadu between 9th January and 12th January.
- The Mylapore Festival is an integral part of the Chennai Margazhi calendar, attracting a cross-section of people to savour the flavour of Madras.
- Traditional games, kolam contests for children and adults, rangoli contest, food walks, heritage walks, temple talks, traditional dance drama, folk dance, music and traditional games are a part of the festival.
- This festival predates Chennai’s birth in the 17th century. It celebrates the food, dance, folk arts, Kolam, crafts and other wonderful things happening in and around the Sri Kapali temple.
Army working on GOCO model
The Army has started identifying potential industry partners to implement the Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) model for its base workshops and ordnance depots.
What is GOCO Model?
The Government-Owned/Contractor-Operated (GOCO) model is based on the arrangement where the contracted facility is owned by the government but operated by a commercial firm under a contract between the firm and the government.
- A Request For Information was issued recently to shortlist service providers with experience in “warehousing, logistics and supply chain management” for Central Ordnance Depot, Kanpur.
- The Army has also started evaluating the GOCO model for Army Base Workshops (ABW) to drive “higher operational efficiencies”.
The GOCO model was one of the recommendations of the Lt. Gen. DB Shekatkar (Retd.) committee to “enhance combat capability and re-balance defence expenditure”.
In the backdrop of the deteriorating security situation in the Gulf region, post attacks on merchant ships in the Gulf of Oman in Jun 2019, Indian Navy had commenced Maritime Security Operations, code named Op SANKALP, in the Gulf Region to ensure safe passage of Indian Flag Vessels transiting through the Strait of Hormuz.
- Indian Navy warships and aircraft were deployed to establish presence, provide a sense of reassurance to the Indian merchantmen, monitor the ongoing situation and respond to any emergent crises. One war ship is presently deployed for Operation SANKALP.
- The operation is being progressed in close coordination with all stakeholders including Ministry of Defence, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and DG, Shipping.