DNA Current Affairs - 2020

Alzheimer Inhibitor developed by Jawaharlal Nehru Centre of Advanced Scientific Research

The scientists of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) operating under Department of Science and Technology has invented a natural product for Alzheimer disease.


Alzheimer’s is a disorder that accounts for more than 70% of all types of dementia. It is difficult to develop effective medication for the disease as the disease attributes to multifaceted toxicity.

The Berberine used in traditional medicines has been converted into Ber-D. Ber-D is antioxidant and soluble. On the other hand, Berberine is toxic to cells and poorly soluble.

The natural product called Isoquinoline is also used. Isoquinoline is found in India and China and has been used in traditional medicines.


The Ber-D invented prevents generation of Reactive Oxygen Species. It rescues biomacromolecules from oxidative damages. It prevents the accumulation of metal-dependent and independent Amyloid Beta. Amyloid Beta are the peptides of amino acids that build up around the brain cells.

Cause of Alzheimer

The disease is caused due to abnormal build up of protein around the brain cells. Proteins are made up of amino acids. Therefore, the drug invented prevents deposition of these proteins called Amyloid Beta around the brain cells.

The medicine invented also helps to prevent DNA damages.

Feluda: COVID-19 test developed by CSIR-IGIB scientists

The IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology) operating under CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) have come up with a COVID-19 test called “Feluda”.


The test has been named after a detective character in the stories of film maker Satyajit Ray. The total time taken by the test to produce results is 1 hour.

About the test

The test starts the same way as that of the Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), that is, extraction of RNA (Ribo Nucleic Acid) and converting into deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The highly specific FnCAS9 and CRISPR binds to the sequence. These binding agents then give positivity or negativity results based on the presence of COVID-19.


In RT-PCR tests, primers and probes are used to convert RNA to DNA. They amplify the presence of viral nucleic acid. However, in order to achieve this confirmation, the expensive RT-PCR machines are required. This is not so in the case of Feluda. Hence, Feluda is much cheaper and feasible.