PIB News 6th Sep, 2020


 

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

G20 Member Countries Reaffirm Commitment to Ensuring Education Continuity and Safety for all
In a virtual meeting G20 Education Ministers resolve to work together in the areas of Education Continuity, Early Childhood Education and Internationalization in Education
Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank Conveys India’s Commitment to work for these goals through the National Education Policy 2020

Education Ministers of G 20 nations have resolved to work together and share best practices in the area of education so that member countries can ensure  inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, even in times of crises. A virtual meeting of G20 Education Ministers was held yesterday to discuss and share experiences of member countries in the three identified areas of Education Continuity in Times of CrisesEarly Childhood Education and Internationalization in Education. Yesterday’s meeting was the culmination of ongoing discussions on these themes, conducted virtually due to the Covid 19 pandemic. 

Representing India, Union Minister of Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said that these themes are also priority areas that the Government of India has been pursuing. India’s commitment for these themes is reflected in the new National Education Policy 2020 that seeks to bring in transformational changes in the education landscape of the country. He said India will continue the efforts it has taken  to reform and transform its education system and mitigate the challenge posed by the Covid 19 pandemic. He also said India is committed to collaborate with   G 20 member countries in the area of education.

The Education Ministers adopted a communique at the end of the meeting. Regarding ensuring education continuity in times of crises, the communique recognizes the value of distance and blended teaching and learning and underscore the importance of enhancing access to high-quality education, professional development for educators, digital infrastructure and content, cybersecurity awareness, appropriate teaching methodologies and active learning, while recognizing that these approaches complement face-to-face learning. The  importance of research and data to assess the learning outcomes and quality of distance learning has also been stressed.

On the importance of Early Childhood Education (ECE) the communique emphasizes the importance of improving the accessibility and affordability of quality ECE for all children, especially those in vulnerable groups. It also stresses on the need to raise family and community awareness of the vital role of quality ECE that is delivered in accordance with children’s developmental needs at each stage.

The communique expresses the resolve to encourage internationalization in education by  sharing of best practices in education and the adaptation of such practices at the local, national, and international levels, as appropriate. It also  supports advancing the discussion on internationalization at the K-12 level. The communique emphasizes the impact of internationalization practices in a country in broadening students’ intercultural and global competencies and in providing equal learning opportunities and experiences for all.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is hosting G-20 Leaders’ Summit in 2020. The G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico,  Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union (EU).

 

(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)

JNCASR researchers develop diagnostic therapy for Lung Cancer

Lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide, is tough to detect at early stages, making it difficult to treat. Scientists may soon have a solution in the form of diagnostic therapy for lung cancer which paves the way for personalized medicine.

Recently researchers from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India, have developed a theranostics (diagnostic therapy) drug candidate for lung cancer. The research work funded jointly by DST, BRICS Multilateral R&D Projects grant, and SwarnaJayanti Fellowship Grant was published in the journal Theranostics.

The selective recognition and imaging of oncogene specific non-canonical DNA secondary structures (G-quadruplex-GQ structures) holds great promise in the development of diagnostic therapy (theranostics) for cancer and has been challenging due to their structural dynamics and diversity.

Prof. T. Govindaraju, along with his team from JNCASR, developed a small molecule for selective recognition of BCL-2 GQ through unique hybrid loop stacking and groove binding mode with turn on far-red fluorescence response and anticancer activity demonstrating the potential as GQ-targeted lung cancer theranostics.

The JNCASR team reported the theranostic activity of TGP18 molecule by turn on fluorescence recognition of BCL-2 GQ through unique hybrid binding mode as well as its anti-lung cancer activity and tissue imaging potential. Their strategy of specific topology recognition through hybrid binding mode led to capitalize on the gains of oxidative stress and genome instability to kill lung cancer cells in vivo. In addition, TGP18 with turn on emission band at the lower edge of far-red to NIR spectroscopic window proved to be a viable probe for tumour tissue imaging. Collectively, theranostic agent TGP18 with outstanding biocompatibility showed in vivo tumor inhibition and tissue imaging, indicating excellent clinical translational potential.

G-quadruplexes (GQs) are non-canonical DNA secondary structures which regulate a wide range of cellular processes, including expression of several oncogenes. In cancer cells, stabilization of GQs leads to replication stress and DNA damage accumulation and therefore considered as promising chemotherapeutic target. Despite the significant attempts to combine therapeutic and diagnostic properties in a single formulation, there are no concerted reports on small molecule theranostics. Similarly, there are no molecules reported for the topology selective recognition of myriad of GQs, especially oncogenic GQs.

This study by the JNCASR team revealed that the selective recognition originating from the distinct loop structure of GQ that alters the overall probe interaction and binding affinity. TGP18 binding to anti-apoptotic BCL-2 GQ ablates the pro-survival function and elicit anti-cancer activity by inducing death in cancer cells. The JNCASR team deciphered that inhibition of BCL-2 transcription synergized with signalling cascade of nucleolar stress, DNA damage, and oxidative stress in triggering apoptosis signalling pathway. Intervention of GQ mediated lethality by TGP18 translated into anti-cancer activity in both in vitro 3D spheroid culture and in vivo xenograft models of lung and breast cancer with superior efficacy for the former. In vivo therapeutic efficacy, supplemented with tumor 3D spheroid and tissue imaging potential define the role of TGP18 in GQ-targeted cancer theranostics.

According to their findings, a remarkably lower dosage of TGP18 (0.5 mg/kg) showed anti-lung tumor activity similar to anticancer drug gemcitabine at a very high dose of 100 mg/kg. The therapeutic agent TGP18 was found to reach the target tumor site as monitored by its far-red imaging of the tumor tissue.

This methodology can be further exploited to develop cancer-type specific theranostic drugs with tremendous implications in personalized medicine. A patent application has been already filed for this invention.

 

(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)

Newly discovered interaction between light and molecules can power optical devices

Low reflection lenses, high reflection mirrors in devices such as better binoculars and telescopes, colour changing paints, and inks may now be powered by a newly discovered property of the interaction between light and molecules. Bengaluru based scientists have found that UV and blue light combination reversibly switches the system between 3D and 1D photonic structure --- a novel interaction that can help make tunable and effective optical devices.

In their quest to develop materials for tunable and effective optical devices, Scientists from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, have discovered that high levels of light in the blue wavelengths or actinic light lead to switching between two photo isomers --- Chiral Nematic (Ch) and Twist Grain Boundary Smectic C* (TGBC*) which are liquid crystal phases possessing photonic structures in one and three dimensions, respectively. This work involving the research team of Rajalaxmi Sahoo, D.S. Shankar Rao, U.S. Hiremath, C.V. Yelamaggad, and S. Krishna Prasad from CeNS, has been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry.

The change occurs because of interactions between light and molecules leading to photoisomerization in which light of a specific wavelength (actinic light) can bend molecules with certain linking groups. A well-known example in this regard involves a change in the shape of a macromolecule of azobenzene derivatives from essentially linear to highly bent form when irradiated with Ultraviolet light (~ 365 nm). The phenomenon found by the CeNS involves reverse transformation on stimulation with blue light. This phenomenon is quite attractive to achieve photo-driven isothermal phase transitions in liquid crystal (LC) materials. Such photo responsive LCs are attractive for applications, including flexible polarisers, patterned objects, logic devices, and energy harvesting materials.

The present study also shows that photonic wavelength variations of over 100 nanometres can easily be achieved reversibly within a few tens of seconds, a feature that can find applications ranging from low reflection lenses and high reflection mirrors to colour changing paints and inks. 


 










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