Science and Technology Current Affairs

Musa indandamanensis, a sweet banana species with orange pulp discovered in Andamans

A sweet banana species with orange pulp named as Musa indandamanensis has been discovered in Andamans.

It was discovered by team of scientists from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) from a remote Krishna Nalah tropical rain forest on the Little Andaman islands.

Key facts about Musa indandamanensis

  • Musa indandamanensis is thrice the size of a regular banana species and has unique green flowers and fruit bunch lux (axis).
  • It is about 11 metres high while, usual banana species is about 3 to 4 metres high.
  • Fruit lux: It is about 1 metres i.e. thrice in size compared to regular species.
  • Pulp of fruit: It has distinctive orange colour and is different from white and yellow colour of regular bananas.
  • Flowers: They are cylindrical in shape compared to conical shape of regular banana species.
  • Edible: Tribal people on the island eat it and are very sweet compared to regular bananas.
  • Conservation: The plantains of species are very limited and needs conservation.
  • Potential Use: As this species has relatively big fruit lux, the genes extracted from it can be very used for boosting banana production in the country. It can be also used for germinating new banana plants species.

Around the world, there are approximately 52 species of banana are found in wild and of them 15 such species are reported in India.


Winners of 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Tomas Lindahl (United Kingdom), Paul Modrich (US) and Aziz Sancar (US) have jointly won 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has chosen them for their research on mechanistic studies of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) repair.

Their work has provided fundamental knowledge of functioning of living cell functions and its application for the development of new cancer treatments.

Aziz Sancar:  He has mapped Nucleotide Excision Repair (NER) which is the mechanism in which cells repair Ultra Violet (UV) damage to DNA. He is from the University of North Carolina, US.

Tomas Lindahl: He has successfully demonstrated that DNA decays at a rate that ought to have made the development of life on Earth impossible. He is from the Francis Crick Institute.

Paul Modrich: He has successfully demonstrated how the cell corrects errors that occur when DNA is replicated during cell division. He is from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University School of Medicine, UK.

They will receive the award at the annual award ceremony to be held on December 10, 2015 on the anniversary of the death of prize founder Alfred Nobel.  All the three laureates will share the prize money of 8 million Swedish kronor equally.