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CORD BLOOD BANKING Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- S&T Recently there has been growing concern regarding the aggressively promoted concept of cord blood banking. Key Points Over the past decade, stem cell banking has been aggressively marketed even as its use is still in experimental stages. The stem cell banking companies get access to data of to-be parents and start approaching their prospective customers much before the delivery and offer competitive packages.
IndiGen Genome project Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- S&T Details of the IndiGen Genome project, conducted by CSIR, were recently announced. The initiative was implemented by the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi and CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad. Significance, outcomes and benefits of the project: The outcomes of the IndiGen will have applications in a number of areas including&nb
DBT-BIRAC Call on COVID-19 Research Consortium Department of Biotechnology, DBT and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, BIRAC had invited applications on COVID-19 Research Consortium. Sixteen proposals related to devices, diagnostics, vaccine candidates, therapeutics and other interventions have been recommended for receiving funding support. DBT and BIRAC had sought proposals for development of diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics and other interventions. A multi-faceted
NHC drug (beta-D-N4-hydroxycytidine) Introduction Researchers have found that a ribonucleoside analogue (beta-D-N4-hydroxycytidine or NHC) that has previously shown to be effective against influenza and Ebola is also potent against coronaviruses, including the novel coronavirus that is currently causing the pandemic. NHC Drug The drug was found to be effective in both cell lines and primary human airway epithelial cultures against SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2. It was also effective agai
3D bioprinted cartilage A team from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has been successful in 3D bioprinting of cartilage using a bioink. The bioink has high concentration of bone-marrow derived cartilage stem cells, silk proteins and a few factors. The chemical composition of the bioink supports cell growth and long-term survival of the cells. The cartilage developed in the lab has remained physically stable for up to six weeks. While the cartilage found in the knee i
CRISPR-Cas9 - Gene Editing Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Background A Chinese researcher recently claimed that he had altered the genes of a human embryo that eventually resulted in the birth of twin girls. The genes were claimed to be “edited” to ensure that they do not get infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. If proven, it would be the first instance of human offspring having been produced with specific desired attributes, using newly
INDIGEN PROJECT Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) What is Gene Sequencing? A genome is the DNA or sequence of genes in a cell. Most of the DNA is in the nucleus and intricately coiled into a structure called the chromosome. Every human cell contains a pair of chromosomes, each of which has three billion base pairs or one of four molecules that pair in precise ways. The order of base pairs and varying lengths of these sequence
3-D Bio-Printing Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) The development of 3D bio-printers has raised the prospects of making tissues and organs in a more affordable way and consistent way. Bangalore based start-up Next Big Innovation Lab has made human skin with its own 3D bio-printer using 3D bio-printing with a secret bio-ink. History of bio-printing Creation of human skin in a lab for commercial use dates back to 1993 when MatTek, a company founded by two chemical e
Human Egg grown to maturity in lab Scientists have succeeded for the first time in growing human eggs in a laboratory from the earliest stages in ovarian tissue all the way to full maturity. It is the first-time human egg was developed outside the human body. If the success rate and safety measures are improved, the process may help in preserving the fertility of cancer patients, improving fertility treatments, and deepening scientific understanding of the biology of the earliest
Gene editing, the good first and then the worries Introduction The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2020 has been awarded to two women scientists, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for the development of a method for genome editing. This involved programming a Cas9 protein to cut a piece of DNA at a specific site with the help of a small piece of RNA, thereby proving the ability of CRISPR-Cas9 to function as a gene-editing tool. News: In India, since there is a long
The twisted trajectory of Bt cotton Introduction: Cotton has been woven and used in India for thousands of years. Cotton fabric from around 3,000 BCE has been excavated from the ruins of Mohenjo-daro, and archaeological findings in Mehrgarh, Pakistan, show that cotton was used in the subcontinent as far back as 5,000 BCE. Indian cotton fabrics dominated the world trade during the succeeding millennia and were exported to many places, including Greece, Rome, Persia, Egypt, Assyria an
Microbiome refers to micro-organisms living inside humans and animals. Eating too much fat and sugar as a child can alter one’s microbiome forever. The balance of useful and harmful components, if disturbed, results in ill-health.
A recent study from Germany found that the Venus flytrap (a carnivore) plant is capable of generating small magnetic fields. When the plant sends electrical signals to trigger the closure of its traps, a biomagnetism phenomenon was observed. The trap gets electrically excited due to touch, osmotic energy & even heat and cold.
Indian Institute of Horticultural Research has developed new variety of Marigold named Arka Shubha This variety of marigold can be used for extraction of crude carotene upto 2.8%. Presently, India imports most of its carotene from China The Arka Shubha variety is of use in the poultry sector as well. Its petals could be used as feed to get quality yolk.
What is coal gasification? • Coal gasification is the process of producing syngas [a mixture consisting primarily of methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O)],from coal,water, air and/or oxygen. What are its usages? • Currently, this tech is primarily used for electricity generation, for production of chemical feedstocks, or for production of synthetic natural gas. • The hydrogen obtained from coal gasificatio
Magnetic hyperthermia-mediated cancer therapy (MHCT) It is a non-invasive cancer treatment. The technique: Delivery and localisation of magnetic materials within the targeted tumour site followed by subsequent application of an alternating magnetic field (AMF), thereby generating heat at the tumour site. It can efficiently act against deep-seated inaccessible solid tumours like glioblastoma (aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord)
What is Abscisic Acid? Glands are organs secrete hormones at different times to stimulate body processes such as growth, development, and the breaking down of sugars. Abscisic acid is a plant hormone involved in many developmental plant processes, such as dormancy and environmental stress response. Function of Abscisic Acid Plants have openings on the bottom side of their leaves, known as stomata. Stomata take in carbon dioxide and regulate water content. Abscisi
Feluda is the acronym for FNCAS9 Editor Linked Uniform Detection Assay. It is an accurate and low-cost paper-based test strip to detect Covid-19 and can deliver a result in 45 minutes. Developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Tata Group. How it works? It uses indigenously developed CRISPR gene-editing technology to identify and target the genetic material of SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Significance: According
Boosting India’s rice exports potential, the first consignment of ‘red rice’ was flagged off to the USA. This rice variety is called ‘Bao-dhaan’ - Integral part of Assamese food. ‘Red rice’ is grown in Brahmaputra valley of Assam, without the use of any chemical fertilizer. It is rich in iron. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has been promoting rice exports through the Rice Export Promotion Forum
LAB-GROWN MEAT: CLEARED IN SINGAPORE, EMERGING ALTERNATIVE WORLDWIDE: The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) approved this week the sale of a lab-grown meat product. How is lab-grown or cultured meat different from plant-based meat? The latter is made from plant sources such as soy or pea protein, while cultured meat is grown directly from cells in a laboratory. Objective: to offer alternatives to traditional meat products that could feed a lot more people, reduce the
CHECK: WORLD’S FIRST CRISPR BASED COVID TEST Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd have unveiled “TataMD CHECK”- world’s first CRISPR CaS-9 based Covid-19 diagnostic tool and is powered by FELUDA. Advantages of TataMD CHECK TataMD CHECK will be a simple paper-strip test that will give image-based visual results. This testing will be able to provide high quality and quick results and will not require highly trained staff. The simplicity of testing will ma
National Institute of Oceanography(NIO) has launched its first-of-its-kind project of Genome Mapping in the Indian Ocean. About the Genome Mapping in the Indian Ocean Project: Aim of the Project: To reveal the internal working of the body of the ocean at a cellular level. To understand the biochemistry and the response of the ocean to climate change, nutrient stress and increasing pollution. How will the Project get conducted? The NIO research team onboard its research v
National Biopharma Mission Towards strengthening the emerging biotechnology enterprise in India, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), has initiated the Cabinet approved National Biopharma Mission entitled: “Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission for Accelerating Discovery Research to Early Development for Biopharmaceuticals – Innovate in India Empowering biotech entrepreneurs & accelerating inclusive innovation”. The approved objectives of the Mission are enlisted
Biotech PRIDE Guidelines The release of Biotech-PRIDE (Promotion of Research and Innovation through Data Exchange) as 1st of its kind developed by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology. India ranks number 4 amongst the top 20 countries contributing biological databases1. The Government invests a large amount of public funds to generate data in various sectors, including in the biosciences for knowledge generation, to gain deep insights into intricate biolo
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