Current Affairs – August, 2019

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Researchers develop process to get bone implant material from eggshells

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.

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Harshad Pandurang Thakur appointed as Director of NIHFW

Harshad Pandurang Thakur was appointed as Director of National Institute of Health and Family Welfare. Decision in this regard was taken by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was appointed on direct recruitment basis for period of five years. Prior to this appointment, he was professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.

About National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW)

It is autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It acts as apex technical institute as well as think tank for the promotion of health and family welfare programmes in the country.

It was established in 1977 by merger of National Institute of Family Planning (NIFP) and National Institute of Health Administration and Education (NIHAE). It is headquartered in New Delhi.

It addresses wide range of issues on health and family welfare from variety of perspectives through epidemiology, community health administration, departments of communication, education and training, management sciences, medical care and hospital administration, population genetics and human development, planning and evaluation, reproductive bio-Medicine, statistics and demography and social sciences.

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