Genetic Study 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 carry out first ever Genetic Study on Lakshadweep Island’s Natives

For the very first time scientists carried out genetic study on people of Lakshadweep Islands. It was conducted by a team of researchers at CSIR’s (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research) Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). The authors studied major islands of Kadmat, Andorth, Chetlat, Agatti, Kalpeni, Bitra, Kiltan and Minicoy of Lakshadweep.

Key Findings of Study

  • They studied major islands of Kadmat, Andorth, Chetlat, Agatti, Kalpeni, Bitra, Kiltan and Minicoy of Lakshadweep.
  • They analyzed DNA samples of 557 individuals from eight major islands for mitochondrial DNA and 166 individuals for Y chromosome markers.
  • Unlike earlier when it was presumed that people of Lakshadweep Islands might have presence of genetic signatures of ancient people, like Andamanese and Australian aboriginals. It shows that majority of human ancestry in Island of Lakshadweep is largely derived from South Asia with minor influences from East and West Eurasia.
  • It found close genetic link of Lakshadweep islanders with people from Maldives, Sri Lanka and India. However, it did not found any evidence of early human migration through Lakshadweep islands.
  • Although, genetic composition of first human settlement of Lakshadweep archipelago is still not clear. But it found that there is a strong founder effect for both paternal and maternal lineages which signals that island’s population had limited genetic mixing.

Geographical Facts: Lakshadweep

  • It was formerly (1956–73) called Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amindivi Islands. It is India’s union territory.
  • It is an archipelago (extensive group of islands) of 36 islands in Laccadive Sea, scattered over 30,000 square miles of Arabian Sea.
  • Its administrative centre (capital) is Kavaratti.
  • ‘Lakshadweep’ in Malayalam language and in Sanskrit means “Hundred Thousand Islands”.
  • Nine Degree Channel: separates Minicoy Island from rest of Lakshadweep.
  • Eight Degree Channel: Separates entire group of Lakshadweep islands from Maldives.

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