DNA Current Affairs - 2020

ICMR approves India’s first home screening test kit of COVID-19

The Indian Council of Medical Research recently approved the home testing COVID-19 kit that was designed by a startup called Bione.


The prices of the kit ranges between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000. In order to take the test, one has to clean his or her finger with alcohol and use the lancet in the kit to prick the finger. The kit examines the blood that oozes out from the pick and displays the result in 5 to 10 minutes.

About Bione

The company is headquartered in Bengaluru and is the first company to bring in Next Generation Sequencing in India. Today it is the only company in the country that is offering personalized Genetic and microbiome testing.

Next Generation Sequencing

It is the technology that allows a person to determine the sequence of DNA molecules. The technology basically determines the order of four bases of a DNA molecule namely adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine.

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CRISPR (CaS9)-The Gene Editing Tool used to treat blindness for the first time

The Gene Editing Tool called CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) has been used for the first time to treat blindness. However, doctors claimed that it will take a month to check if the vision of the patient has restored. This has been achieved at the Oregon University, Portland, USA.

What is CRISPR?

It is a family of DNA sequences that are found in prokaryotic organisms like bacteria. They are derived from DNA of Bacteriophages. Bacteriopage is a virus that infects bacteria and archaea.

Technology Used

The CRISPR-Cas is used to edit genes in an organism. It is an enzyme. Cas is CRISPR Associated protein.

How does it work?

The CRISPR based tool allows to target genomic location. After identifying the target, it adds, removes or alters that particular DNA sequence.

Pros and Cons

The Gene Editing technology can be used to modify disease causing genes. It is capable of editing genetic diseases as well. On the other hand, it marks irreversible changes in the bodies of future children. Many activists believe that it is unethical and against nature.

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