News Excerpt
Recently, the Fifth Edition of the Asia Pacific Drosophila Research Conference (APDRC) was held in Pune, Maharashtra and was organized by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER).

The APDRC Conferences are biennial events that aim to promote the interaction of Drosophila Researchers who use the fruitfly Drosophila as a model organism to address basic and applied questions. The conference is being conducted in India for the 1st time.  The last edition was held in Osaka, Japan.

What is Drosophila?
•    It is a genus of flies, belonging to the family Drosophilidae.
•    Also called small fruit flies, pomace flies, vinegar flies, or wine flies.
•    Found all around the world, with more species in the tropical regions.
•    Can be found in deserts, tropical rainforest, cities, swamps, and alpine zones. Some northern species hibernate.
•    Most species breed in various kinds of decaying plant and fungal material, including fruit, bark, slime fluxes, flowers overripe or rotting fruits and mushrooms.
•    A few species have also switched to being parasites or predators.

Govt. initiatives to Control Vector-Borne Diseases
1. National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme was launched in 2003-04 by merging several Disease Control Programs as follows:
1)    National Anti - Malaria Programme
2)    Kala - Azar Control Programme
3)    National Filaria Control Programme
4)    Japanese Encephalitis Control Programme
5)    Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic fever
2. National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Malaria Elimination (2017-2022)
    India has made considerable progress in reducing its malaria burden.
    It has a vision of a malaria-free country by 2027 and elimination by 2030.
    The National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Malaria Elimination (2017-2022) has been developed based on the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP).
    The NFME 2016-2030 outlines India’s strategy for elimination of the disease by 2030.
    The goals of the National Framework for Malaria Elimination in India 2016–2030 are:
o    Eliminate malaria (zero indigenous cases) throughout the entire country by 2030; and
o    Maintain malaria-free status in areas where malaria transmission has been interrupted and prevent re-introduction of malaria.
    Recently, a three-day meeting encompassing the 30th National Congress on Parasitology and 1st Global Summit on Malaria Elimination was organized in New Delhi to discuss some latest advances and translational aspects of parasitology research, including strategies for malaria elimination.

The world malaria report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in November 2018 also stated that India reported 3 million fewer cases in 2017, a 24% decrease compared with 2016. The report also said India is on track for a 20-40% reduction. In spite of being the highest-burden country of the region, India showed a 22% decline in reported cases within a year.

Focus Areas on APDRC5:
    Gametogenesis and Stem Cells
    Pattern Formation
    Morphogenesis and Mechanobiology
    Hormones and Physiology
    Cellular Neurobiology
    Behavioral Neurobiology
    Infection and Immunity
    Ecology and Evolution

Filarisis, Dengue and other vector borne diseases, Lyme Disease etc.