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COVID-19:Scientific initiatives and Organizations in News
Intensification of Research in High Priority Area (IRPHA) scheme:
- It was launched by the Science and Engineering Research Board(SERB) to support projects in high priority areas from the viewpoint of advances in fundamental science.
Science and Engineering Research Board(SERB):
- It is a statutory body established through an Act of Parliament in 2008.
- It is chaired by the Secretary to the Department of Science and Technology and has other senior government officials and eminent scientists as members.
- Aim:To promote basic research in science and engineering and to provide financial assistance to scientists, academic institutions and other agencies for such research.
National Innovation Foundation(NIF):
- It was set up in 2000 as an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology.
- Aim:To help India become a creative and knowledge-based society by expanding policy and institutional space for grassroots technological innovators.
- Situated at: Ahmedabad,Gujarat.
Initiatives by NIF:
- INSPIRE Award – MANAK:It is being executed by the Department of Science & Technology and NIF to motivate school children in the group of 10-15 years and studying in classes 6 to 10 for original ideas/ innovations rooted in science and societal applications.
- Micro Venture Innovation Fund(MVIF):It was established by NIF with support from Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to provide risk capital to innovation based enterprise projects.
- IGNITE:It is an annual competition for student’s ideas and innovations conducted by NIF in partnership with the Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE).
News:Scientists have said that the future missions such as Shukrayaan-1 could confirm the presence of active volcanoes on Venus.
- Shukrayaan-1 is a proposed mission of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- Launch Year: 2023
- Aim:To study the surface and atmosphere of Venus.
News:The death of a tiger in the Pench Tiger Reserve(PTR) has raised concerns whether the tiger should be tested for the coronavirus disease.
- Pench Tiger Reserve(PTR) is an inter state tiger reserve spanning across two states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
- The portion of the reserve that is in Madhya Pradesh is located in the Satpura ranges.
- The reserve comprises the Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park, the Pench Mowgli Sanctuary and a buffer.
- The reserve is also among the sites notified as Important Bird Areas (IBA) of India.
- The tiger reserve is named after the Pench river that flows through.The Meghdoot dam built across Pench River falls both in M.P. and Maharashtra.
- Other Tiger Reserves in Madhya Pradesh: a) Kanha Tiger Reserve b) Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve c) Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve d) Bori- Satpura Tiger Reserve and e) Panna Tiger Reserve.
- Important Bird Areas(IBA):It is a programme of Birdlife International which aims to identify, monitor and protect a global network of IBAs for conservation of the world’s birds and associated biodiversity.
Explained:What is cytokine storm?
News:Several infected patients are developing severe COVID-19 because of an overreaction of their immune systems which triggers what is known as a cytokine storm syndrome(CSS).
- Cytokine Storm:It occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to an intruder such as a virus by producing high levels of cytokines.
- However, overproduction of cytokines can be harmful as it can attack healthy tissues as well.
- Symptoms:High fever, inflammation (redness and swelling), severe fatigue and nausea.
- Cytokines:They are a large group of proteins, peptides or glycoproteins that are secreted by specific cells of the immune system to mediate and regulate immunity and inflammation response.
- Immune System:It is a complex network of cells, organs and tissues that work in tandem to protect the body from infection.