Biology Current Affairs - 2020

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Global Drosophila Conference held at Pune

On January 6, 2020, the fifth Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference was held at Pune. It was organized by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research. The conference is held twice a year.

Highlights

The conference is to be held between January 6, 2020 and January 10, 2020. It aims at promoting interaction between the Drosophila researchers in the region of Asia-Pacific. The conference acts as a common platform to link the Asia-Pacific researchers with other parts of the world. The event is the largest meet of Drosophila researchers in the whole world.

The Research

Drosophila is the small fruit fly. Scientists and Researchers for the past 100 years have been using the fly as a model organism in researches.

Drosophila

The small fruit flies are extensively used as model organisms in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics and developmental biology. The main reason for the fly being used as model in genome researches is that the relationship between fruit fly and humans are undeniably similar. Both the genres pass on the traits to successive generations in similar way!

The density of genes per chromosomes is higher in Drosophila than that of humans. The flies have 15,500 genes on four chromosomes. On the other hand, humans have 22,000 genes in 23 chromosomes. Hence, the passage of traits throughout generations are much more higher in these flies and ideal for genetic studies.

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Scientists create world’s first 3D-printed human corneas

Scientists from Newcastle University, UK have created world’s first 3D printed human corneas (3D printed thin protective film over eye) that could solve problem of shortage of available eye donors and help millions of blind people gain sight again.

Cornea is outermost layer of the human eye. Its key function is to focus vision. It also barricades eyes against harmful dirt and bacteria. Damage to cornea from injury or infection can distort vision or even lead to blindness.

Key Facts

The 3D printed human corneas were produced using bio-ink solution consisting of healthy corneal stem mixed together with alginate and collagen. The combination of alginate (a gel derived from seaweed) and collagen helps to keep corneal stem cells alive and produces material of necessary dimensions which is stiff enough to hold its shape and soft enough to be squeezed out nozzle of 3D printer.

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