Biology Current Affairs - 2020
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The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall (72), Michael Rosbash (73) and Michael W. Young (68). It was announced by Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.
They were awarded for discovering molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythm. Their discoveries explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with Earth’s revolutions.
Circardian Rhythm is 24 hour cycle in physiological processes of living beings, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria. It influences such biological functions as hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism.
These three noble laureates dsing the fruit fly as a model organism, had isolated a gene that controls daily biological rhythm. They had showed that this gene encodes a protein that accumulates in cell during night and is then degraded during the day.
Subsequently they identified additional protein components of this machinery, exposing mechanism governing the self-sustaining clockwork inside the cell. They also had raised awareness of importance of proper sleep hygiene.
Nobel Medicine Prize
The Nobel award for medicine is given to persons whose discoveries have significantly enhanced understanding of life or practice of medicine. The winners are chosen by Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute. The prestigious award carries prize money of 8 million Swedish kroner or 1.1 million dollars. Medicine is first of the Nobel Prizes awarded each year. It is one of five Nobel Prizes established by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite in 1895.
Tags: Biology • Circadian Rhythm • Jeffrey C Hall • Michael Rosbash • Michael W Young
A new species of non-venomous aquatic snake named Aquatic Rhabdops, which was misidentified since 1863, was identified and described as new species from northern Western Ghats in Maharashtra, Goa and North Karnataka.
Earlier the new species, Rhabdops aquaticus, was considered as variant of Olive Forest Snake, first described in 1863. But new study has confirmed that Aquatic Rhabdops has different colours and patterns and also vary in other features of size, shape and structure, and also genetic make-up.
Aquatic Rhabdops snakes belong to genus Rhabdops which are endemic to India. It is named after its aquatic nature since adults of these species are mostly associated with freshwater forest streams and juveniles are seen in water-logged areas, mostly on rocky plateaus.
They are three-foot-long nocturnal snake and mostly prey underwater like other water snakes. Adult Aquatic Rhabdops have off-white bellies and black spots on their olive brown skin, juveniles are olive green, with yellow undersides. This colour difference in life stages may be due to different local habitats.
Aquatic Rhabdops is found only in the laterite plateaus of the northern Western Ghats in Goa, southern Maharashtra and northern Karnataka which are mostly areas facing high human pressure.