HIV-AIDS,Cancer - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   Which medicinal plant endemic to Western Ghats and Sri Lanka can cure cancer, wounds and burns?

a. Neurocalyx calycinus
b. Neurocalyx dalycinus
c. Neurocalyx talycinus
d. Neurocalyx kalycinus
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Neurocalyx calycinus

A medicinal plant endemic to the southern parts of Western Ghats and Sri Lanka could offer scientists the key to new herbal formulations.

It could also pave the way for modern drugs for the treatment of cancer and wounds and burns.

Scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) here have confirmed the multiple therapeutic properties of Neurocalyx calycinus.

This herb used by the Cholanaickan tribe, one of the particularly vulnerable groups in Kerala, to treat inflammations and wounds.

The researchers have filed for a patent on a novel herbal drug formulation possessing wound-healing, burn-healing, anti-cancer, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, immuno- enhancing, platelet-augmentation and anti-oxidant effects.

The scientists came to know of the miracle plant in 1988 during a biological survey deep inside the Nilambur forests.

Neurocalyx calycinus is known as pacha chedi in local language.

Animal trials have proved that the leaves of N.calycinus possess wound-healing properties comparable to the standard drug Povidone/ Iodine in the early phase of inflammation.

The anti-inflammatory activity of the leaves was found comparable to the drug diclofenac sodium.

The pre-clinical trials confirmed the therapeutic effects of N.calycinus against burn wounds and pain, besides its immuno-enhancing, platelet augmentation, and anti-oxidant potential.

The presence of high Vitamin E content and potent cytoprotective activity in cell lines in the plant species have also enhanced the prospects of developing an anti-cancer drug.

In a presentation that won the best paper award at the Kerala Science Congress, Aneesh kumar AL, a researcher, said the work had thrown up promising leads for the development of novel herbal formulations and modern medicines.

Pada Chedi: Know More

  • Neurocalyx calycinus is a shrub endemic to South West India.
  • It is found in evergreen forests.
  • Recent researches suggests this plant has wound-healing, burn-healing, anti-cancer, analgesic, anti-inflammatory.
  • Genus: Neurocalyx
  • Order: Gentianales
  • Rank: Species

2)   Piperlongumine is concerned with

a. Anti-malarial drugs
b. Cure for Zika
c. Organic farming
d. Anti-cancer properties
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Anti-cancer properties


  • The Indian long pepper, widely popular for spicing up food, may soon be used as a potential cancer treatment drug, according to a new study.
  • The Indian long pepper contains a chemical that could stop your body from producing an enzyme that is commonly found in tumours in large numbers.
  • UT Southwestern Medical Enter scientists have uncovered the chemical process behind anti-cancer properties of a spicy Indian pepper plant called the long pepper, whose suspected medicinal properties date back thousands of years.
  • The secret lies in a chemical called Piperlongumine (PL), which has shown activity against many cancers including prostate, breast, lung, colon, lymphoma, leukaemia, primary brain tumours and gastric cancer.
  • PL converts to hPL, an active drug that silences a gene called GSTP1.
  • The GSTP1 gene produces a detoxification enzyme that is often overly abundant in tumours.

3)   IMAGIN is related to

a. Cancer treatment
b. New technology to showcase media content
c. E-governance
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Cancer treatment

Low cost radiotherapy equipment like Bhabhatron, IMAGIN, developed indigenously has been donated by Government of India to various countries like Kenya, Mongolia, etc.

Imagin simulator is used for localization of treatment areas and for verification of treatment plans prior to starting treatment.

Therapy Simulator helps in localizing the radiation port onto target tumor location and give a quality assured radiotherapy for better treatment outcome.

IMAGIN has advanced CBCT Imaging capability for accurate image acquisition and reconstruction in one gantry rotation.

4)   Scientists have identified a defect in which protein factory of the cell in patients with multiple myeloma?

a. Ribosome
b. Lysosome
c. Chromosome
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Ribosome

Scientists have identified a defect in the ribosome, the protein factory of the cell in 20-40 per cent of the patients with multiple myeloma which is a type of leukaemia.

These patients have a poorer prognosis than patients with intact ribosomes, the scientists said.

In MM patients, one part of the ribosome is produced less in 20 to 40 per cent of the patients, depending on how aggressive the cancer is.

Cells are still producing protein, but that the balance is somewhat disrupted.

One possible treatment for MM is the use of proteasome inhibitors which is the protein demolition machine in a cell. How the defects in the ribosome influence the proteasome is not quite clear yet.

Tests can now be developed to identify defects in the ribosome and thus determine which therapy will have most effect in a specific patient.

Finding that cancer is related to ribosome defects is a relatively new concept in science.

What is Multiple Myeloma?

  • MM is also called Kahler’s disease.
  • It is a type of Blood cancer in which bone marrow cells start increasing rapidly. It is common among older people.

5)   World HIV AIDS day was celebrated on which day?

a. Dec 1st
b. Dec 2nd
c. Dec 3rd
d. Dec 4th
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Dec 1st

World AIDS Day was celebrated on Dec 1st 2016 across the world. The theme was HandsUp for #HIVPrevention.

The campaign #HIVprevention explores various aspects of HIV prevention and how they relate to specific groups of people such as young women and adolescent girls, key populations and people living with HIV. The Joint UN programme on HIV-AIDS (UNAIDS) hosted a special event on 30th Nov 2016 to observe the day.

The commitment to move forward and end AIDS epidemic by the year 2030 was also voiced as part of SDGs.

A report entitled “Get on the Fast Track: The Life Cycle Approach to HIV” by UNAIDS shows countries getting on the fast track, with 1m people accessing treatment in 6 months from January to June 2016.

The report was launched on 21 November 2016 in Windhoek, Namibia, by the President of Namibia, Hage Geingob and the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé.

By June 2016, around 18.2 million people had access to the life-saving medicines, including 910000 children.

If these efforts are continued and amplified, the world will be on track to achieve the target of 30 million people on treatment by 2020.

About World AIDS Day

  • Conceived in 1987.
  • Proposed by : Public information officers of WHO, James Bunn and Thomas Nette.
  • In 1996, UNAIDS started functioning. It took over planning and promotion of World AIDS day.
  • First World AIDS Day: 1988

  • Some statistics on AIDS

  • 18.2m people: Accessing antiretroviral therapy (June 2016).
  • 36.7m people: Living with HIV(2015).
  • 2.1m people: Newly infected with HIV(2015).
  • 78m people: Infected with HIV since start of epidemic (2015).
  • 35m people: Died from AIDS related illness since epidemic began (2015).

6)   Quercetin is

a. National Award winner movie
b. Treatment for Zika virus
c. Anti-cancer compound
d. Anti-TB compund
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Anti-cancer compound


  • IISc Bangalore concluded study on quercetin recently and found it to be extremely useful for cancer patients.
  • Quercetin, known to cause anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity, reportedly induces ‘apoptosis,’ a process by which cells commit suicide in a controlled manner.
  • The compound may also prevent multiplication of cancerous cells by blocking the process of cell division.
  • It can even kill the highly aggressive leukaemia cell line K562, which is resistant to most anti-cancer drugs.
  • It is an originally purified compound, which is now also commercially purified and sold.
  • It was found to have no adverse effects on the non-cancerous cells even while killing the cancerous ones, including in the experimental animals.

7)   Which of the following is/are uses of Strontium-90?

1) Treatment of bone cancer
2) Radioactive tracer
3) Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators

a. 2, 3
b. 1, 2
c. 1, 3
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above


  • The radioactive decay of strontium-90 generates a significant amount of heat. It is used as a heat source in many Russian/Soviet radioisotope thermoelectric generators, usually in the form of strontium titanate.
  • Sr-90 finds use in industry as a radioactive source for thickness gauges.
  • Sr-90 finds extensive use in medicine as a radioactive source for superficial radiotherapy of some cancers. Controlled amounts of Sr-90 and Sr-89 can be used in treatment of bone cancer.
  • It is also used as a radioactive tracer in medicine and agriculture.

8)   What is Bhabhatron?

a. Cancer treatment machine
b. Nuclear reactor
c. Shyamji Krishna Verma
d. Dadabhai Naoroji
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Cancer treatment machine


  • Bhabhatron, the indigenous telecobalt machine, is one of the successful products developed by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai for cancer treatment.
  • The machine is cheaper than imported ones and has superior features.
  • Cobalt-60 is used as source in the Bhabhatron.
  • Recently the PM handed a Bhabhatron to Kenya.

9)   Researchers discover new non-invasive method to kill cancer cells in 2 hours- what chemical compound does it use?

a. Nitrobenzaldehyde
b. Carbonbenzaldehyde
c. Heliumbenzaldahyde
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Nitrobenzaldehyde

Researchers have developed a new, non-invasive method to kill cancer cells in two hours, which will help people with inoperable or hard to reach tumours as well as young children stricken with deadly disease

  • Method involves the injection of a chemical compound called nitrobenzeldahyde which turns the tumour into diffused tissues
  • A beam of light is focused on the tissue causing the cells to become acidic inside out and kill themselves
  • Within two hours, close to 95 percent of the targeted cells are dead or estimated to be so
  • Induced cell suicide is the method that therefore works to deal with deadly diseases like triple negative breast cancer

10)   Faulty BRCA1 gene may lead to which of the following?

a. Colour Blindness
b. Sickle cell anaemia
c. Alzheimer
d. Breast Cancer
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Breast Cancer


  • People who carry a faulty BRCA1 gene are at high risk of developing aggressive breast cancer.
  • By pinpointing the cells that give rise to breast cancers in women who have inherited a faulty version of the BRCA1 gene, researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Australia identified that the drug denosumab may have potential to prevent breast cancer from developing.
  • Cancer precursor cells in BRCA1-mutant breast tissue had many similarities to aggressive forms of breast cancer. These pre-cancerous cells could be identified by a marker protein called RANK.
  • The discovery of RANK as a marker of cancer precursors was an important breakthrough, because inhibitors of the RANK signalling pathway were already in clinical use.
  • The research team showed that RANK inhibition switched off cell growth in breast tissue from women with a faulty BRCA1 gene and curtailed breast cancer development in laboratory models.
  • This strategy could delay or prevent breast cancer in women with an inherited BRCA1 gene mutation.

1 2 3 4