Volume 20, Issue 3, 2020 July-September

Volume 20, No 3 Pages:
2020 July-September Articles: 3

COVID-19 incidence in Mizoram, India

COVID-19 had ravaged the physical and mental health of millions of people globally. With more than 18 million infections and 0.7 million fatalities worldwide, the pandemic showed no signs of slowing down. Since the detection of the first COVID-19 case in Mizoram, there is still no scientific record of the incidence of the disease. Therefore, the aim of this report is to produce the first scientific documentation of COVID-19 in Mizoram. As on 6 August 2020, a total of 537 cases have been reported with a recovery rate of 53.63%. Voluntary services of local community to fully support the authority are unique and worth to mention. Many people, from layman to technically qualified persons, volunteered themselves to fight the spread of the disease in the state. No death is yet reported although the doubling rate of COVID-19 case was 14.66 days. Aizawl district recorded the highest case (61.08%) followed by Lunglei and Siaha districts. Weekly data analysis showed the outbreak occurred in the 11th week (second week of June) since the nationwide lockdown in March 2020. The incidence is higher in males than in females. The infected age group ranged from 28–43 years in males and 22–33 years in females. The youngest and oldest infected age was 1 and 64 respectively. There is still no community transmission although this could occurr at any moment. This report may possibly serve as a referential scientific literature to aid the retrospective and prospective studies of COVID-19 in Mizoram.

DNA barcoding reveals a new country record for three species of frogs (Amphibia: Anura) from India

We present a first record for three species of frogs, viz. Amolops indoburmanensis, Euphlictys kalisgraminensis and Polypedates braueri in India based on DNA barcoding data. We also discussed on the records of Amolops spp. in Mizoram and delisted all previous recorded species, viz. A. afghanus, A. kaulbacki and A. marmoratus from the amphibian fauna of Mizoram until further research confirmed their presence, since the data were not sufficient enough for the confirmation of their occurrence and are likely based on misidentification of A. indoburmanensis.

The making of scientific ethics – lessons from unethical conducts

With its importance in and influence to our lives, well-being and survival, science has never been more vulnerable to prejudices and scandals as a platform of all sorts of academic misconducts. Lessons are taught by some of the biggest unethical conducts in the recent past which had prompted more stringent ethical guidelines and publication procedures. The case of Yoshitaka Fujii as a scientist with the most number of publications retracted is unbelievable. The ability of Yoshihiro Sato to deceive the world leading journals and their referees is not the less astonishing. These cases show that individual or few publications with fabricated data is impervious to detection, but when a series of such faked results is available, it cannot dodge the function of reviewing eventually. The story of Hwang Woo-Suk will forever remain a quintessential pitfall of scientific corruption. The way the purported creation of human stem cell deceived one of the leading journals in the world will be a scientific monument. What could more exemplify breaching ethical standards in human experimentation at the highest level than by He Jiankui’s creation of gene-edited babies? These are the chronicles in the science hall of shame.