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APOE4: Alzheimer’s Gene Neutralised In The Human Brain


GS Prelims, GS Mains paper III

Sci-tech, Alzheimer’s disease, APOE4 gene in human brain, conversion of APOE4 to APOE3 gene.


  • The researchers from Gladstone Institutes in the US have analysed the genes responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.

About APOE4 & APOE3 genes?

  • Having one copy of the apoE4 gene more than doubles a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Having two copies of the gene increases the risk by 12-fold, as compared to the most common version of the gene, apoE3.
  • The apoE4 gene creates a protein of the same name.
  • The apoE4 protein differs from the apoE3 protein at only one point, but that single change is enough to alter its main structure and, thus, its function.
  • Researchers from the Gladstone Institutes in the US were also able to erase the damage caused by apoE4 by changing it, with a small molecule, into a harmless apoE3-like version.
  • They developed a class of compounds that can change the structure of the harmful apoE4 protein so it resembles the innocuous apoE3 protein, referred to as apoE4 “structure correctors.”


Defense Budget Allocations: Concerns and solutions


G.S. Paper 2,3

Defense budget allocation of India

Problems and issues

What needs to be done?


  • India made low allocations to defense spending.

What is the issue?

  • For a developing country that is committed to enhancing the quality of life of its citizens, defense is usually comes last on the nation’s mind.
  • Yet, no government that is committed to such a cause can ignore the existing physical and psychological security threats.
  • Resource allotment: The defense budget is increasingly looked at as a means to provide incremental resources to other sectors, since procedural delays prevent its optimum and timely expenditure.
  • Vintage equipment: In February, the Army transparently deposed before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defense and stated two pertinent things:-
    • 68% of its equipment was in the vintage category, and
    • With the new budget allocation of 1.47% of GDP, the sustenance of at least 24 capital projects is in jeopardy.

How exhausted is the entire budget?

  • Army received Rs. 268.2 billion for modernisation as against its demand for Rs. 445.7 billion.
  • With the Doklam crisis and the necessity of mobilising the Siliguri-based Corps, along with other priority resources from many other sectors to make up existing deficiencies and to optimise the Corps’ capability, the Army expended almost its entire allocation of the transportation budget.
  • In January, it had no money to even hire vehicles.

What are the problems?

  • Understanding of national security at the bureaucratic and decision-making levels remains low.
  • With huge bureaucratic controls, and a Defense Ministry with no military presence, the comprehension of priorities itself remains suspect.

What needs to be done?

  • The above discussed problems can be overcome if decisions are timely and procedures for acquisition are fast-tracked.
  • The financial support should be sufficient with systems which do not call for a lapse of financial resources, once allotted.
  • Without higher allocation, the armed forces may be unable to reach even the first level of transformation they seek.
  • Not just higher allocation, management of expenditure also needs a complete revamp.

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