Prelim Snippets 16-08-2019


Context: A researcher has discovered a new species of marmoset, a type of primate in the Brazillian Amazon, even as its habitat is facing a flood of ‘developmental’ activities

  • The name ‘Mico munduruku’ has been given to the marmoset, after the Munduruku Amerindians that are native to the region.
  • Features: The new species is distinct from other marmosets in that it has white tails rather than black, which the others have. It also has white feet and hands, white forearms and a beige-yellow spot on the elbow.
  • Threats: Its habitat lies in a so-called ‘arc of deforestation’ in the Amazon where all sorts of ‘developmental activities’ including illegal logging, agricultural expansion, road and hydro-electric power plant building, have taken or are taking place



Context: A new species of burrowing frog has been confirmed in Jharkhand’s Chhota Nagpur Plateau

  • Its existence was verified and confirmed recently and published in the journal Records of the Zoological Survey of India.
  • The frog is the newest species of the genus Spahaerotheca, of which, 10 other species are found in South Asia. It has been named as Spahaerotheca Magadha and will be known by the common name of ‘Magadha Burrowing Frog’.
  • The frog is endemic to agricultural areas in Nawadih and Joungi village of Jharkhand’s Koderma district



Context: The Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) has created another international history by selling 1 kg of the “Golden Butterfly” tea at a whopping ₹75,000.

  • The ‘Golden Butterfly’ is a speciality tea
  • It is produced by the Dikom Tea Estate near Dibrugarh.
  • Golden Butterfly is made of tea buds and not tea leaves.



Context: The Food and Drug Administration approved Pretomanid Tablets, when used alongside 2 other antibiotics, to treat an extremely drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis.

  • Before the FDA approved this combination therapy, the most common treatment for this type of tuberculosis required patients to take around 30 pills a day plus sometimes daily injections for at least 18 months.
  • The new drug – Pretomanid – cured 89% of 107 patients with extensively drug-resistant TB after 6 months, when used in combination with antibiotics bedaquiline and linezolid.
  • The three-drug regimen consists of
    • Bedaquiline,
    • Pretomanid and
    • Linezolid — collectively known as the BPaL regimen.
  • This new treatment lowers that dose to 5 pills/day over 6 months for most patients.



Context: Microplastics in Arctic snow point to widespread air contamination, Scientists raise concern on the ill effects of inhaling particles

  • According to the study, Minute microplastic particles have been detected in the Arctic and the Alps, carried by the wind and later washed out in the snow causes health risks of inhalation.
Key Findings:
  • The new study, conducted by scientists at Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute and Switzerland’s Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, found that microplastic particles can be transported tremendous distances through the atmosphere.
  • Concentrations of the microparticles in the Arctic were significantly lower than in the European sites, but still substantial.
What are Microplastics:
  • Microplastics are tiny particles which are present in many sources, including carry bags and pet bottles.These tiny particles easily pass through water filtration systems and end up in the water bodies, posing a potential threat to aquatic life.
  • Microbeads, a kind of microplastic, are used as exfoliates in some cleansers and toothpastes. Even though banned in US and Canada, microbeads are still used in India.
  • Effects: Microplastics can migrate through the intestinal wall and travel to lymph nodes and other bodily organs, shows the Orb report.
  • Microplastics have also been shown to absorb toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses, and then release them when consumed by fish and mammals.
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