Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2024

Jan 08, 2024

Current Affair 1:
Sponge Farming



What is Sponge?

Sponge farming is a relatively new business opportunity that does not harm the marine environment. A sponge is a living animal which is made of loosely arranged cells that surround a skeleton of fibres.

Most sponges are sedentary, and live attached to stationary underwater objects such as coral heads, rocks, logs, or shells. They are incapable of moving around on their own. Like birds, fish, and other animals, sponge species can vary widely from each other in overall size, shape, and color.

Some sponges are as small as a grain of rice, while others are more than four feet long.

However, despite these external differences, all of these animals are placed in the scientific group, or Phylum Porifera (meaning “pore-bearer”) because of the many pores or holes in the body and skin of the sponge.

How do sponges reproduce?

Sponges reproduce in a variety of ways. Most sponges are hermaphrodites, meaning that they have both sperm and eggs necessary to form a new sponge.

Sponges, unlike seaweed, possess remarkable resilience to climate change, require minimal maintenance, and command premium market prices

Current Affair 2:
Tapioca plant (cassava)


The ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) here has issued an advisory on feeding animals with parts of cassava (tapioca) in view of the incident in Idukki where 13 cows died in a farm recently.

Current Affair 3:
Trichoderma bio-pesticide



The Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR) Kozhikode have successfully developed a new granular lime-based Trichoderma formulation, ‘Tricholime’, integrating Trichoderma- a fungal biocontrol agent used for controlling a variety of soil-borne pathogens.

This lime-based formulation neutralizes the soil acidity while promoting plant growth and shields crops from soil-borne pathogens, all in a single application.

Current Affair 4:
Plant cells to produce drug for cancer



Researchers at the Indian Institutes of Technology Madras and Mandi have metabolically engineered plant cells to increase production of anti-cancer drug camptothecin (CPT). 

The allopathic medicine is produced using Nathapodytes nimmoniana, a native, endangered plant. It requires nearly 1,000 tonnes of plant material to extract 1 tonne of CPT. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has red-listed the plant as in the past decade alone there has been a 20% decline in the plant’s population. 

In 2021, IIT Madras researchers published a research paper in which they identified a microbe as a sustainable and high-yielding alternative source for CPT.

The Science and Engineering Board (SERB) and the Department of Science and Technology funded the research that was published in a peer-reviewed journal Frontiers of Plant Science. 

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