“IndiGau’: India’s first SNP based Chip for Cattle Breeds

  • “IndiGau’, India’s first Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) based chip for the conservation of pure varieties of indigenous cattle breeds like, Gir, Kankrej, Sahiwal, Ongole, etc. was launched on 13 August 2021.
  • This indigenous chip was developed by the concerted efforts of scientists of National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NAIB), Hyderabad.
  • IndiGau is purely indigenous and the largest cattle chip of the world. It has 11,496 markers (SNPs) more than that placed on 777K Illumina chip of US & UK breeds.
  • This chip will have practical utility in the Governments schemes to achieve the goal of conservation of our own breeds with better characters and help towards doubling of farmers’ income by 2022.
  • SNPs (Single nucleotide polymorphisms), frequently called SNPs are most common type of genetic variations that help predict response to certain drugs, susceptibility to environmental factors such as toxins, and risk of developing particular diseases. SNPs can also be used to track the inheritance of disease genes within families.

Philippines: First Country to approve Golden Rice for Planting

The Philippines has become the first country in the world to approve commercial cultivation of vitamin A-rich Golden Rice.

  • The Filipino variety of Golden Rice was developed by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to contain additional levels of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A.
  • According to IRRI, Golden Rice is genetically engineered to provide up to 50% of the estimated average requirement for vitamin A of young children.
  • Golden Rice has already received food safety approvals from regulators in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States of America but the Philippines is the first country to approve commercial cultivation.

About Golden Rice

  • Golden rice is a variety of rice (Oryza sativa) produced through genetic engineering to biosynthesize beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, in the edible parts of rice.
  • It is intended to produce a fortified food to be grown and consumed in areas with a shortage of dietary vitamin A.
  • Golden rice differs from its parental strain by the addition of three beta-carotene biosynthesis genes. The parental strain can naturally produce beta-carotene in its leaves, where it is involved in photosynthesis. However, the plant does not normally produce the pigment in the endosperm, where photosynthesis does not occur.
  • In 2005, Golden Rice 2 was announced, which produces up to 23 times as much beta-carotene as the original golden rice.


Why is it in News?

The Government of Kerala is taking all possible steps to make people aware about the ill effects of trans fat. The Health Department has drawn up an action plan to create public awareness on the dangerous effects of trans fatty acids (TFA) in commercially available food items and to promote the local food industry to meet the current statutory limits set for TFA.

About Fats:

  • Fat is one of the three main macronutrients, along with the other two: carbohydrate and protein. Fat molecules consist primarily of carbon and hydrogen atoms, thus they are all hydrocarbon molecules. Examples include cholesterol, phospholipids and triglycerides. Fats are broadly divided into two- saturated and unsaturated fats.
  • An unsaturated fat is a fat or fatty acid in which there is at least one double bond within the fatty acid chain. While in case of saturated fats there is no double bond.
  • Example of saturated fats- all animal based fats are saturated fats- ghee, butter, cheese etc.
  • Plant based and fish based fats are unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are less harmful compared to saturated fats. Saturated fats have more shelf life compared to unsaturated fats.

What is Trans fat?

  • Trans fat is simply liquid oils turned into solid fats during food processing. There is also a small amount of trans fat that occurs naturally in some meat and dairy products, but those found in processed foods tend to be the most harmful to our health.
  • Trans fat increases LDL (Bad Cholesterol) and decreases HDL (Good Cholesterol).

Source: TH