Science and Technology Current Affairs

IIT Delhi researchers develops new nanotechnology-based drug delivery system

An all-women team of researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has developed a new drug delivery platform using nanoparticles. 

The nanotechnology-based drug delivery system has ability to boost the efficacy of antibiotics at the cellular level and improve chances of recovery from cancer-related bacterial infections.

Need

In traditional drug delivery system, if the bacterial infection in cancer remains untreated, it can infect the host even after the cancer cells are killed by chemotherapy. Similarly antibiotics used in most conventional therapeutics has several issues such as improper biodistribution, lack of target specificity, poor water solubility and loss of efficacy over time due to the emergence of drug resistance in pathogenic bacteria. Moreover, 50% of these antibodies prescribed to humans are either not needed or not effectively utilised as prescribed.

Key Facts

In the nanotechnology-based drug delivery system, a peptide called sushi-peptide was conjugated [bound] to gold nanoparticles. It was found that this peptide bound to gold nanoparticles was able to kill E. coli and Salmonella typhi bacteria more efficiently at lower dosages at much lower concentration than free peptides. The nanoconjugate was able to kill 50% of bacteria at much lower concentration (400 nM) while the free peptide’s antibacterial activity was not significant at the same concentration.

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Astronomers found WASP-121b exoplanet with glowing water atmosphere

Astronomer’s using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have found that exoplanet WASP-121b which provides strongest evidence about existence of a stratosphere on it along with glowing water molecules.

The stratosphere is a layer of atmosphere in which temperature increases with higher altitudes.

Key Facts

Scientists had used spectroscopy in order to study the exoplanet’s stratosphere and to analyse how the planet’s brightness changed at different wavelengths of light. The discovery shows common trait of most of the atmospheres in our solar system, which is a warm stratosphere and can also be found in the atmospheres of exoplanets. This phenomenon can be compared with the same processes that happen under different sets of conditions in our own solar system.

About WASP-121b exoplanet

The WASP-121b exoplanet is gas giant commonly referred to as a ‘hot Jupiter’. It has 1.2 times greater mass and 1.9 times greater radius than Jupiter. It is located approximately 900 light years from Earth. It orbits around its host star every 1.3 days in very close proximity.

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