A recent analysis of samples of patients with the Covid-19 infection has shown a phenomenon called a ‘bradykinin storm’.
Doctors treating Covid-19 patients often cannot identify the severity with which the SARS-CoV-2 virus seems to affect some people.
‘Bradykinin storm’ might explain the working of the virus in the body.
However, the cytokine storm is able to explain certain causes for the rapid deterioration in some patients with Covid-19.
The bradykinin hypothesis
SARS-CoV-2 uses a human enzyme called ACE2 to enter into the cells of its host.
ACE2 lowers blood pressure in the human body and works against another enzyme known as
ACE (which has the opposite effect).
The virus causes the levels of ACE to fall in the lungs, and consequently pushes up the levels of ACE2.
This happens as a chain reaction and increases the levels of the molecule bradykinin in the cells, causing a bradykinin storm.
The storm causes the blood vessels to expand and become leaky, leading to swelling of the surrounding tissue.
The levels of hyaluronic acid also increase.
The leakage of fluid into the lungs and the excess of hyaluronic acid result in a Jello-like substance.
It prevents oxygen uptake in the severely affected Covid-19 patients.
Thus, it sometimes makes even the most sophisticated intensive care futile.
Knowing the mechanism, doctors can target the bradykinin pathway to evolve more therapeutic interventions to offset the severe effects of Covid-19.
Bradykinin is a compound that is related to pain sensation and lowering blood pressure in the human body.
Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in the skin, and it helps to bind water to collagen (a protein). It can absorb more than 1,000 times its own weight in water to form a hydrogel.
Number of Giant Radio Galaxies
Indian Researchers working on giant radio galaxies (GRG) at Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) Pune, India and Leiden University, Netherlands, have found nearly 400 new GRGs.
Giant Radio Galaxies (GRG)
GRGs are large single structures in the universe.
When some of the radio galaxies grow to enormous sizes, bigger than 33 lakh light years across, they are called giant radio galaxies (GRGs).
GRGs were discovered in 1974 and until 2016, only about 300 GRGs were known.
The latest findings indicate that they are over 800.
It is not clearly understood how some objects grow to such large scales and what is the fuel of their respective black holes.
The study of GRGs gives important clues to unveiling how massive black holes accrete mass and the efficiency with which they produce the magnificent jets.
Limits on Multi-Cap Fund Investments
Recently, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed some limits on multi-cap funds.
A multi cap fund will be required to invest a minimum of 75% of its total assets in equities and equity-related instruments.
At present, the rule is to invest a minimum of 65% in equities.
Minimum investment of 75% has to be allocated in between large cap companies, mid cap companies and small cap companies, with a minimum share of 25% in each.
The rest 25% can be invested as per the investor’s choice.
Till now, fund managers of multi cap mutual funds were investing across market capitalisation as per their choice.
Multi-cap funds are those that diversify their investments into all three categories (small, medium, and large-cap).
These funds invest by market capitalization of shares.
Large cap stocks: Stocks of top 100 listed companies in terms of full market capitalisation.
Mid-cap stocks: Stocks of top 101 to 250 companies in terms of full market capitalisation.
Small-cap stocks: Stocks of companies above 251 in terms of full market capitalisation.
Market capitalization is the aggregate valuation of the company based on its current share price and the total number of outstanding stocks.
It is calculated by multiplying the current market price of the company’s share with the total outstanding shares of the company.
Revised Guidelines for Parole and Furlough: MHA
Recently, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has revised the Model Prison Manual, 2016 guidelines related to parole and furlough.
Both parole and furlough are considered as reformative processes.
These provisions were introduced with a view to humanising the prison system.
Parole and furlough are covered under the Prisons Act of 1894.
It is a system of releasing a prisoner with suspension of the sentence.
The release is conditional, usually subject to behaviour, and requires periodic reporting to the authorities for a set period of time.
Parole is not a right.
It is given to a prisoner for a specific reason, such as a death in the family or a wedding of a blood relative.
It may be denied to a prisoner even when he makes out a sufficient case, if the competent authority is satisfied that releasing the convict would not be in the interest of society.
It is similar to parole, but with some significant differences.
It is given in cases of long-term imprisonment.
The period of furlough granted to a prisoner is treated as remission of his sentence.
Unlike parole, furlough is seen as a matter of right for a prisoner, to be granted periodically irrespective of any reason.
It is provided to enable the prisoner to retain family and social ties, and to counter the ill-effects of prolonged time spent in prison.