Facts in News

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    Facts in News

    Pulayar Community

    • The Pulayar (also Pulaya, Pulayas, Holeya or Cheramar) are one of the main social groups found in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
    • The 1976 Government of India Gazette notified them as Scheduled Caste (SC).
    • They have seen the worst form of caste oppression and violence for being considered untouchables by the higher caste Hindus.
    • Traditionally women of this caste are more independent compared to the women of other castes.
    • The spiritual life includes certain ancient magic rituals and practices that have a certain reputation. 
    • They are noted for their music, craftsmanship, and for certain dances like K?lam-thullal, a mask dance which is part of their exorcism rituals, as well as the Mudi-?ttam or hair-dance which has its origins in a fertility ritual.

    Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21)

    • Cause: A child is born with three copies (an extra partial copy) of chromosome 21, instead of two.
      • This causes physical and mental developmental delays and disabilities.
    • Symptoms
      • At birth, babies have certain developmental disabilities like flat face, small head and ears, short neck, etc. 
    • Screening and Testing
      • Ultrasound evaluation, blood tests (karyotype), quadruple marker screen (QMS) test.
    • Treatment: There is no cure but a wide variety of support and educational programs can help both people with it and their families.

    Image Courtesy: dailynews

    Black Fungus (Mucormycosis)

    • It is a rare and fatal fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes.
      • These molds live throughout the environment.
    • Affects: People with underlying health problems or under medication that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness.
    • Transmission: Inhalation, inoculation or ingestion of spores from the environment.
      • It does not spread between people or between people and animals.

    Image Courtesy: TOI

    • Testing: Medical history, symptoms, physical examinations and laboratory tests (tissue biopsy).
    • Treatment: With prescription antifungal medicine or surgery to cut away the infected tissue.
    • Prevention and Cure: No vaccination yet so early detection and avoiding areas with possible contamination.
    • There is a rise in its cases as reduced immunity of Covid-19 patients makes them more susceptible to this fungal infection.

    Facebook’s Oversight Board

    • The Oversight Board has been set up as an independent body and  was established by Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg but operates as an independent entity, although its wages and other costs are covered by Facebook. 
    • It  helps Facebook figure  out what content can be allowed on the platform and what ought to be removed.
    • It is often referred to as “Facebook’s Supreme Court.
      • It is based in London.
    • Composition 
      • It is made up of journalists, human rights activists, lawyers and academics.
    • The board uses its independent judgment to support people’s right to free expression and ensure that those rights are being adequately respected. 
    • The board’s decisions to uphold or reverse Facebook’s content decisions will be binding, meaning that Facebook will have to implement them, unless doing so could violate the law.

    Osteocytes

    • Research led by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research  for the first time mapped the unique genetic profile of the skeleton`s ‘master regulator` cells, known as osteocytes.
      • Osteocyte is a cell that lies within the substance of a fully formed bone.
    • It occupies a small chamber called a lacuna, which is contained in the calcified matrix of bone. 
    • They  are the most abundant type of cell in mature bone tissue. They also are long-lived, surviving as long as the bone they occupy exists.
    • These osteocytes form a network similar to the neurons in the brain. There are more than 23 trillion connections between 42 billion osteocytes that monitors bone health and responds to ageing and damage by signalling other cells to build more bone or break down old bone
    • It  controls how other types of cells make or break down parts of the skeleton to maintain strong and healthy bones.
    • The osteocyte is capable of bone deposition and resorption.

    Image Courtesy: Louisville bones

    PESCO

    • The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in the area of security and defence policy was established by a Council decision on 11 December 2017, with 25 EU Member States.
    • It was Introduced by the Lisbon Treaty on European Union.
    •  It offers a legal framework to jointly plan, develop and invest in shared capability projects, and enhance the operational readiness and contribution of armed forces.
    • Objectives
      • To jointly arrive at a coherent full spectrum of defence capabilities available to Member States for national and multinational (EU, NATO, UN, etc.) missions and operations