The importance of reading editorials of reputed newspapers is not hidden from anybody. What causes obstruction are difficult words which act like speed-breakers forcing you to either refer to a dictionary for its meaning or simply guess it. While getting the meaning from the dictionary is the best way to understand it, sometimes a dictionary is not within your reach. Also, a number of aspirants get confused when they see more than one meaning next to a word in a dictionary. It becomes a difficult process for them to pick the relevant meaning.
We at PracticeMock understand this and that’s why we have come up with a series of Editorials’ Difficult Words where we shortlist the important editorials of the day and pick the difficult words/phrases therein. Next to the word, we put only the contextual meaning so that you don’t get confused. Let’s check out today’s editorial.
|Difficult Word/Phrase||Contextual Meaning|
|anoint||choose somebody to do a particularly important job|
|stout||(of an act, quality, or person) brave and determined|
|scourge||something that causes great trouble or suffering|
|shorn||break off or cause to break off|
|couch||express (something) in language of a specified style|
|pathogen||a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease|
|hat tip||used as an acknowledgement that someone has brought a piece of information to the writer’s attention, or provided the inspiration for a piece of writing|
Vanquishing (defeat thoroughly) viruses: On Nobel prize for medicine
The Nobel Prize for Medicine is an inspiration to researchers working on SARS-CoV-2
At a time when the world is faced with multiple assaults (attack) from a frighteningly obscure (uncertain) virus, it cannot be mere coincidence that the Nobel Committee decided to anoint (
choose somebody to do a particularly important job) three scientists who peeled the layers off another virus that confounded generations of physicians — the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice, is a stout ((of an act, quality, or person) brave and determined) endorsement of years of work that went towards identifying one of the world’s greatest scourges (something that causes great trouble or suffering). But to see it shorn (break off or cause to break off) of the context it is couched (express (something) in language of a specified style) in would be to miss the larger point or purpose it could serve. Choosing researchers who went after a pathogen (a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease), and succeeded in unwrapping the whole puzzle at a time when others are fighting fatigue in a daily battle against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is also a hat tip (used as an acknowledgement that someone has brought a piece of information to the writer’s attention, or provided the inspiration for a piece of writing) to the virologists and geneticists burning the midnight oil, for over nine months now.
The accolades went to the three for identifying the viral origin of Hepatitis C. Their work, the Nobel statement said, characterised this form of hepatitis to be a distinct clinical entity, caused by an RNA virus of the Flavivirus family, now known as HCV. In fact, it was for the discovery of the Hepatitis B virus (HBV), and the development of the first-generation HBV vaccine, that Baruch Blumberg, whom the young Alter collaborated with, was awarded the 1976 Medicine Nobel. However, even the isolation of the HBV only partially eliminated the risk of contracting this severe liver disease transmitted through blood. The circle was only complete with the discovery of HCV. According to the WHO Global Hepatitis report, HBV and HCV are major causes for mortality and morbidity, with 1.34 million deaths reported in 2015, a 63% increase from 1990, mainly due to HCV. The number of deaths is also comparable to that caused by TB and higher than that caused by AIDS. The discoveries (of HBV and HCV), and the development of effective screening routines, have virtually eliminated the risk of transmission via blood products in much of the world. Also, with the development of effective drugs against HCV, it is possible that the threat of this viral infection will reduce, and hopefully, be eliminated soon. That is what makes this year’s Laureates’ achievement so tremendous. The Nobel Committee called it “among the most impactful scientific accomplishments of the 20th century”. In true lineage of other Nobel Prizes for Medicine, their identification represents “milestone achievements that have revolutionised medicine and substantially improved human health”. The triumph of humanity, over the pathogens that debilitate and kill men and women is certainly a singular achievement that is worth celebrating, and showcasing this achievement will send a deeply inspiring message at a time when another virus is holding the world to ransom.
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