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March 22nd 2017 Science and Technology Current Affairs

Researchers Found a way to Control Super Bug Infection

  • New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1(NDM-1) is also called as New Delhi ‘superbug’.
  • It is staphylococci bacteria which spreads in hospitals and is resistant to almost all the available antibiotics.
  • A 70 year old American woman undergone hip replacement in India.
  • She died after returning to the US in spite of treatment, because of NDM-1 infection
  • This infection caused by the staphylococci and it was resistant to all the antibiotics available.
  • This raised concerns in the global health community.
  • Many medical devices are being routinely used in modern medicine to treat illnesses and diseases.
  • Many devices are manufactured to implant in the body such as heart valves, catheters, etc.
  • However, some bacteria accumulate on these devices after implanting in the human body and forms “biofilms”.
  • Mainly, some communities of “staphylococci bacteria grow on heart valves, catheters, and artificial joints and these gets avoided being killed human immune system.
  • A recent breakthrough, scientists said that it is possible to prevent staphylococci from forming communities by targeting the linkages which hold these bacteria together.
  • Their experiments showed that a blocking molecule has prevented the SdrC protein from recognising other bacterium of same community.
  • This prevented staphylococci from forming biofilms and stopped building communities.
  • This finding can help in develop new preventive strategies for stopping infections and formation of biofilms on the medical implants.
  • It also helps in the reduction of usages of drugs and early recovery of patients after medical device implantation.

Researchers Developed ‘Tree on a Chip’

  • Researchers from Massachusetts institute of technology (MIT) have developed a chip which has pumping system similar to trees.
  • This chip has passive pumping system and can have potential applications in robotics
  • Circulatory system of trees or plants consists of tissues like xylem and Phloem which sends water from roots to leaves, and sugars molecules from the leaves to all the parts of plant or trees passively.
  • Researchers of MIT took inspiration from the circulatory mechanism in trees and created a chip.
  • This chip will have the capability of pumping water and sugars through its channels without the use of external pumps and any moving parts.
  • The chip has the capability to maintain circulation of fluid for several days.
  • This kind of ability will be very useful in designing extremely small robots and nanobots.

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