Science & Technology Current Affairs - 2019
Science & Technology Current Affairs 2019-2020 category comprises current affairs with all important national / international updates in science and tech and events for the year 2019-2020 for UPSC, States, Civil services, SSC and other competitive examinations of India and States.
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United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved new drug-Pretomanid for treating drug-resistant strain of Tuberculosis (TB). Pretomanid is novel compound developed by New York-based non-profit organisation TB Alliance. It is used alongside two other antibiotics (bedaquiline and linezolid) to treat extremely drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis. This three-drug regimen is collectively known as BPaL regimen and it can cure highly drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis by drastically shortening treatment period.
Significance of BPaL regimen
Before FDA approval to this combination therapy, the most common treatment used for extremely drug resistace tuberculosis required patients to take around 30 pills day plus sometimes daily injections for at least 18 months. This new treatment lowers that dose to 5 pills/day over 6 months for most patients. This treatment regimen had achieved 90% success rate during six months of treatment and six months of post-treatment follow-ups after it was tested on 109 patients at three sites in South Africa.
Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H) and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, have developed process of synthesizing bone implant materials from eggshells. Through this process bone substitute materials such as tricalcium phosphate, a commonly-used bone substitute material can be produced from natural sources.
Background: In modern medicine, missing and damaged bones are replaced with bone from either the patient or a donor or by using artificial materials containing calcium, such as Plaster of Paris, and more recently, phosphate compounds like hydroxyapatite and calcium phosphate, which are produced by using harmful chemicals.
About new process
Pure and thermally stable tricalcium phosphate nanopowder (powder a hundred thousand times smaller than the width of a single human hair) was synthesised from eggshells. It was obtained by using milling process called ‘ball milling’ to produce these activated calcium phosphate powders.
Why Eggshells? They are made of largely of minerals (95.1%) including calcium along with small amounts of proteins and water. Calcium is main mineral component of bone substitute materials.
Benefits of this process: Eggshell waste can help to replace commercially available tricalcium phosphate (produced by using harmful chemicals) and has capability to develop implantable biomaterial for tissue regeneration. Moreover, eggshells are inexpensive and can be obtained in unlimited quantities. Nioceramics made from eggshells exhibit greater biocompatibility than other synthetic powders due to presence of additional bioactive elemental ions.