Biological Warfare Current Affairs - 2019
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Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) has developed India’s first indigenous medical kit for protection against nuclear warfare or radioactive leakage. The kit will ensure protection from serious injury and aid faster healing of wounds due to nuclear warfare or radioactive leakage.
Anti-nuclear medical kit
The kit has been developed after 20 years of work by INMAS scientists. It has 25 items which include radioactive protectors which can absorb 80-90% of radiation, nerve gas agents, bandages that absorb radiation as well as tablets and ointments. The kit is seen as potent alternative to similar imported kits that were till now procured from US and Russia at much higher prices. It has been developed for armed, paramilitary and police forces only as they are first ones likely to get exposed to radiation during nuclear, chemical and biomedical (NCB) warfare or rescue operation after nuclear accident.
Few important items of kit
Prussian blue tablet: It is highly effective in incorporating Radio Cesium (Cs-137) and Radio Thallium, among the most feared radioisotopes in nuclear bombs that destroy human body cells. It provides 100% absorption from gut and other portals of entry to human body.
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) injection: It traps uranium in the guts and blood of victims during a nuclear accident or warfare.
Ca-EDTA Respiratory Fluid: It is inhalation formula for chelation, or grabbing of heavy metals and radioactive elements deposited in lungs through inhalation at nuclear accident sites. EDTA after being injected into veins, grabs heavy metals and minerals and removes them from the body. It reduces the body burden of radioactivity by 30-40% in controlled conditions and is highly useful for the rescue teams and victims after a nuclear accident.
Radioactive Blood Mopping Dressing: It is special kind of bandage that absorbs radiation to prevent spread of radiation from radioactive patients to others. It will make safer for medical staff to handle radioactive patients as it reduces chances of them getting contaminated.
Radioactive urine/biofluid collector: It is cost-effective, easy to store and can safely dispose of the urine of person affected by radiation.
Anti-gamma ray skin ointment: It protects and heals the radiation damage on the skin.
Amifostine injection: It is US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved conventional radiopharmaceutical that limits damage from gamma radiation.
Indranil 150 mg tablet : It is reserve emergency therapeutic drug for services, rescue workers and places where high acute exposures are expected and lives will be at stake. Preliminary tests have shown that if it is given as prophylactic, 80-85% animals survive at 100% lethal gamma radiation .
Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS)
INMAS is laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It was established in 1961 and is located in New Delhi. It is involved in nuclear medicine research and responding to nuclear accidents and explosions. Since 1968, Department of Nuclear Medicine in INMAS is offering two-year diploma in radiation medicine. It is first formal training program in nuclear medicine in the world.
The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) formally handed over an indigenously developed Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) system dubbed as ‘SWATHI’ to Indian Army.
The DRDO also handed over a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) recce vehicle Mk-I and NBC treatment drugs to the Indian Army.
- Developed by DRDO’s Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE). It has a range of 50 km which brings all artillery guns presently in service worldwide under its coverage.
- Performs two roles i.e. Weapon Location Mode for enemy Artillery and Direction of Own artillery Fire (DOOAF) Mode for Artillery.
- Provides quick, automatic and accurate location of all enemy weapons like mortars, shells and rockets firing within its effective zone of coverage.
- Simultaneously it can handle multiple projectiles fired from different weapons at different locations. It can also direct artillery response based on the incoming enemy fire.
- It has been extensively tested along the Line of Control (LoC). Four such systems are currently in operation and another 30 are on order for the Indian Army.
- The WLR has been a critical requirement of the Indian Army and in the aftermath of the Kargil conflict it was imported from the US in 2002 to fill critical needs.
About NBC recce vehicle Mk-I
- Developed by DRDO’s Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (VRDE) for carrying out post event recce of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) contaminated areas.
- It is capable of collecting solid and liquid samples of biologically contaminated areas, mark the nuclear and chemical contamination zone and transfer the recce data speedily to support formations.
NBC treatment drugs
- Developed by DRDO’s INMAS (Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences) which is is actively engaged in research in the field of radio protectors, de-corporating agents and antidotes for CBRN emergencies, combat casualty care and other lifesaving drugs.
- In the past two decades, INMAS has carried out extensive research and laboratory trials to develop formulations for use as antidotes and de-corporating agents for CBRN emergencies. Out of the several formulas, 15 drugs have been identified for induction.