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PRELIM FACTS 10-05-2018

FACT # 1


Why in news? IPC has replaced the pyrogen test carried out on rabbits with tests that can be done in test tubes.

Pyrogen test:

  • The pyrogen test is carried out to check impurity or substance that can can cause adverse side-effects.
  • For the test, the drug is injected into a rabbit and the animal is closely observed for feverish symptoms.
  • The abnormal toxicity test is carried out to check potential hazardous biological contamination in vaccine formulations.
  • This batch test is done before the product is approved for marketing. In this, mice or guinea pigs are injected with the vaccine. The scientists observe if there is death of any animal.

New mandate:

  • With the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission’s new mandate, the pyrogen test will be replaced by a bacterial endotoxin test or a monocyte activation test.
  • These new tests can be carried out in test tubes.
  • Vaccine manufacturers can apply for waiver for the abnormal toxicity test by getting a compliance certificate from the National Control Laboratory instead.
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India was pushing for doing away with the cruel methods of testing on animals for the past several years.

FACT # 2


Why in news? A 4.2 billion-year-old zircon has been found in a rock from Odisha offers fresh clues about the earth’s origins.


Zircon in rocks:

  • A rock sample which was recovered nearly eight years ago from Champua in Odisha’s Kendujhar district has been in news.
  • Scientists have found in the rock a grain of magmatic zircon that is an estimated 4,240 million years old.
  • It has been deemed a discovery of great promise to study the earth’s early years.
  • Zircon is a mineral that contains traces of radioactive isotopes.
  • Geologists from the University of Calcutta and Curtin University, Malaysia, along with researchers from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, made the discovery.
  • Earlier, the only instance of zircon older than this discovery was the one found in Jack Hill, Western Australia.
  • Jack hill Zircon is 4,400 million years old and is the oldest known rock sample.
  • But the zircon in India is from metamorphosed sedimentary rock, unlike the Singhbhum which was formed from magma.
  • Thus, the Singhbhum rock from where the zicron was recovered is the second oldest and its zircon, the oldest magmatic zircon on earth.
  • The analyses was done by Chinese scientists.
  • It confirmed the presence of two zircon grains that were 4,240 million and 4,030 million years old.
  • This adds valuable information about the presence of water in the first few hundred million years of the Earth’s history.
  • It will also give us clues to when plate tectonics began.



  • Zircon is ubiquitous in the crustof Earth.
  • It occurs as a common accessory mineralin igneous rocks (as primary crystallization products), in metamorphic rocks and as detrital grains in sedimentary rocks.
  • Large zircon crystals are rare.
  • Zircon is also very resistant to heat and corrosion.
  • Zircon is mainly consumed as an opacifier, and has been known to be used in the decorative ceramics industry.
  • Other applications include use in refractories and foundry casting and in nuclear fuel rods, catalytic fuel converters and in water and air purification systems.
  • Zircon is one of the key minerals usedby geologists for geochronology.


FACT # 3


Why in news? The ‘Toy Land’ of Channapatna is 60 km away from Bengaluru on way to Mysuru, is witnessing one of the fiercest electoral battles in the state.
Channapatna toys:

  • Channapatna toys are a particular form of wooden toys (and dolls) that are manufactured in the town of Channapatna in the Ramanagara district of Karnataka state, India.
  • This traditional craft is protected as a geographical indication (GI) since 2006 under the World Trade Organization, administered by the Government of Karnataka.
  • As a result of the popularity of these toys, Channapatna is known as Gombegala Ooru(toy-town) of Karnataka.
  • The craft has diversified over time; in addition to the traditional ivory-wood, other woods—including rubber, sycamore, cedar, pine and teak—are now used as well.
  • Manufacturing stages include procuring the wood, seasoning the wood, cutting the wood into the desired shapes, pruning and carving the toys, applying the colours and finally polishing the finished product.
  • Vegetable dyes are used in the colouring process to ensure that the toys and dolls are safe for use by children.

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