Science and Technology

UK becomes 1st country to legalise creation babies using DNA three-person

United Kingdom has become the first country to legalise the creation of three-parent IVF designer babies using Mitochondrial Donation Technique.

In this regard, House of Lords has voted in voted in favour of the Bill that amends the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (HFEA), 1990. Earlier on 3 February 2015, House of Commons had passed the bill.

Now UK’s fertility regulator Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) will decide how to license the procedure to prevent babies inheriting deadly genetic diseases. After legalisation and final procedural nod from HFEA, the first baby may be born as early as 2016.


  • This law will help to prevent serious inherited diseases that are being passed on from mother to child.
  • It will also help to remove the hereditary problems related to defective mitochondrial diseases that has passed down through the generations.
  • Now in United Kingdom, women with hereditary mitochondrial diseases will be able to give birth to healthy babies without transferring their hereditary diseases.

Advantages Mitochondrial Donation Technique

  • It does not allow passage of defective mitochondria from mother to babies.
  • Thus, preventing new born babies from dangerous diseases related brain damage, muscle wasting, heart failure and blindness due to defective mitochondria.


TRAI removes interconnection usage charges (IUC)

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has removed the interconnection usage charges (IUC). Earlier, IUC of 20 paise was charged for calls made from landline to landline or landline to mobile.

TRAI also has reduced network IUC on calls made from mobile phones by about 30 percent to 14 paise per call from 20 paise earlier.

The main aim to remove IUC is to boost fixed line phone connections in the country and lower tariffs of calls for the customers.

What are interconnection usage charges (IUC)?

  • IUC are the charges that a landline or mobile service provider has to pay to the other service providers for transmitting its customers’ phone calls.
  • Generally, an IUC gets added to the price of the call made by customer, which the customer has to pay. Because of addition IUC, call tariffs were high.

Impacts of IUC

  • Due to high call tariffs, landline connections in the country had declined in past few years. While, the mobile subscriber base had increased since the mobile incoming calls were made free.
  • At the end 2014, mobile subscriber base in the country had reached all-time high at 94.39 crore. While, the landline connections had declined to 2.7 crore subscriber.

Implications of removing IUC

  • It will help to boost fixed line phone connections in the country and lower tariffs of calls for the customers.
  • Thus in turn promote an investment and adoption of wireline networks which is much needed for the delivery of high-speed Internet in the country to remove digital divide.


Drug-resistant malaria detected at Myanmar-India border

Scientists have detected drug-resistant malaria at the Myanmar-India border. It was revealed in a Oxford University led study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

Tests have shown that this drug-resistant malaria is on the verge of entering India and now poses an enormous threat to global health.

These detected drug-resistant malaria parasite have ability to shrug off the effects of artemisinin (normally given as part of combination therapy to fight malaria) has been spreading since it emerged in South-east Asia.

Drug-resistant malaria has been detected in South Asian countries like Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.

In case Myanmar, 940 parasite samples were collected at 55 malaria treatment centres and its border regions. Scientist have found that almost 40 percent of the samples had mutations in their so-called kelch gene, K13 a known genetic signal of artemisinin drug resistance.

Earlier, drug-resistant malaria parasite to Chloroquine was discovered in 1957 around the border between Cambodia and Thailand.

Deaths from malaria have nearly halved since 2000, and the infection now kills about 584,000 people each year. But drug-resistant malaria parasite may threat to global health in future.