Current Affairs – June, 2014

Latest Current Affairs June, 2014 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of June, 2014 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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Immunotherapists from US and Japan win the inaugural ‘Tang Prize’

Immunologists Dr James Allison of the US and Dr Tasuku Honjo of Japan were named joint recipients of the inaugural Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science for their discoveries that have helped advance immunotherapy and has brought new ray of hope that many types of cancers can be cured.

Prized Discoveries of Allison and Honjo

Dr Honjo:

Discovered PD-1 in 1992, an inhibitor of the T cell, a type of lymphocyte that plays a pivotal role in cell-mediated immunity. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the antibodies against PD-1 as an investigational drug and are being developed as a cancer treatment.

One such antibody is likely to be launched in year 2015 for treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer which is considered to significantly change the approach towards lung cancer treatment.

Dr Allison:

In 1995, Allison became the first researcher to identify cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4), a protein receptor that down-regulates the immune system.

CTLA-4 is found on the surface of T cells, which lead cellular immune attacks on antigens. Allison developed an antibody that blocks CTLA-4 activity. This antibody has been shown to have potential to help fight various types of tumors in mice.

The study led to the development of a monoclonal antibody drug that was approved by the FDA in 2011 to treat melanoma. The therapy and a regimen combining anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 have been shown to significantly improve long-term survival rates of cancer patients.

The Tang Prize:

A Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin Established instituted the Tang Prize in 2012 to award leaders in four fields:

  • Sustainable development
  • biopharmaceutical science
  • Sinology
  • The rule of law.

Up to 3 awardees in each category can share a cash prize of NT$40 million and a research grant of up to NT$10 million.

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Railway Ministry raised passenger fare by 14.2%, freights by 6.5%

The Railway Ministry has effected a sharp hike of 14.2% in train passenger fares in all classes and a 6.5% surge in freight rates to earn Rs 8000 crore a year for the cash-deficient Indian railways.

The increased charges will come into effect from June 25, 2014 (midnight of June 24). The decision is expected to generate an additional revenue of around Rs 8000 crore for Indian Railways which is currently facing loss of Rs 30 crore a day. At a time when the cross-subsidy on passenger fares has already reached Rs 26,000 crore, the fare increase is expected to improve the financial outlook of Railways.

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