Essential Facts (Prelims): 28 January, 2019


Category: Environment & Ecology

  • In a first, scientists have detected the presence of microplastics in groundwater in the U.S.
  • Microplastics are already known to contaminate the world’s surface waters, yet scientists have only just begun to explore their presence in groundwater systems.
  • Plastic in the environment breaks down into microscopic particles that can end up in the guts and gills of marine life, exposing the animals to chemicals in the plastic.
  • As the plastics break down, they act like sponges that soak up contaminants and microbes and can ultimately work their way into our food supply.


Category : Science & Technology

  • Scientists have long known what causes sickle-cell disease and its devastating effects: a single mutation in one errant gene.
  • At the moment, the only remedy for sickle-cell disease is a dangerous and expensive bone marrow transplant, an option rarely used.
  • Now it has been found that an effective gene therapy using stem cells from bone marrow can treat
  • The stem cells are genetically modified, and then infused back into the patient’s bloodstream.
  • The goal is for the modified cells to take up residence in the bone marrow and form healthy red blood cells.
  • This would be the first genetic cure of a common genetic disease.
  • In sickle-cell disease, blood cells stuffed with haemoglobin are distorted into sickle shapes.
  • The misshapen cells get stuck in blood vessels, causing strokes, organ damage and episodes of agonizing pain — called crises — as muscles are starved of oxygen.
  • Children usually return to normal between crises, but teenagers and adults may suffer chronic pain.

Vande Bharat

Category : Miscellaneous

  • The Indian Railways has named the indigenously manufactured superfast Train 18 as ‘Vande Bharat Express’.
  • It will ply from the national capital to Varanasi.

 Input Tax Credit

Category: Indian Economy

  • Input credit means at the time of paying tax on output, you can reduce the tax you have already paid on inputs.
  • Say, you are a manufacturer – tax payable on output (FINAL PRODUCT) is Rs 450 tax paid on input (PURCHASES) is Rs 300 You can claim INPUT CREDIT of Rs 300 and you only need to deposit Rs 150 in taxes.


Category: Miscellaneous

Malaysia has been stripped of the right to host the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships for threatening to refuse to allow Israeli athletes to take part.