Kripa Jalapathy

Innovation-driven research essential to battle against drug resistant bacteria 

Scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Research (JNCASR) have developed an analog of the antibiotic vancomycin, which shows promising effects against the notorious Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA or golden staph) bacteria. Kripa Jalapathy talks to the researchers about their efforts to patent the drug analog and the importance of patents and Technology Transfer in the quest to successfully counter the rising antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

read more
Aditi Bhattacharya

‘Translational Tadka’: a recipe booklet for the bench scientist

Aditi Bhattacharya gives a flavour of the different ingredients that help to successfully carry over ones research findings from the lab bench to the patients' bedsides.

read more
Vijay Kothari

A new yardstick: Is Citation Count a more realistic measure of research impact?

Is it fair to use Impact Factor as a measure of a research quality? Vijay Kothari from the Institute of Science, Nirma University, contends that Citation Count is a more effective and reasonable yardstick.

read more
G.V.Shivashankar (1) & Linda J. Kenney (1,2)

Women in Science: Is India losing out?

NUS women in Science initiative group photoWhat happens to women who are allowed to train as active PhD scientists and are then convinced to leave science for marriage? Does this do justice to anyone who initiates a career in science and to the resources that have been spent in training? Rewarding work is also important in achieving happiness.

read more

Bio-Incubators :- Bringing Ideas to Life

More often than not scientific researchers stumble across scientific discoveries that can be either patented or be commercially viable when intended for a production scale up. For example consider an anti cancer therapeutic agent discovered in the confinements of lab, the researcher has a great opportunity if he decides to patent it and sell it to a pharmaceutical company. So how is it realized? The solution is Bio-Incubator.

read more
Neeraj Sood and Chirantan Chatterjee

50-Years On: It’s time for De-Novo thinking in Indian Pharmaceutical Policy Making
Pharmaceutical policy making in emerging economies is going through heady times. In countries like Brazil and China, the issue of affordability of medicines is being contemplated through a variety of measures none unresolved in terms of their expected societal efficiency.

read more
G. P. Manjunath and Farhat Habib

ENCODE – The first flag on a new frontier

G.P.Manjunath and Farhat Habib

For the data junkies among us Christmas came early this year! Five years after the first set of publications the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) consortium has released a comprehensive analysis of the human epigenome. The project that kicked off in 2003, released data sets from the pilot phase in mid 2007. In June of that year, a paper detailing the analysis of functional elements in 1% of the human genome was published in Nature with 36 other papers in Genome Research. Just over 5 years later, the ENCODE project reported a similar analysis of the entire human genome in 30 publications across 3 journals.

read more
Arjun Srivathsa

The establishment of the East India Company in the 18th century and the consequent reign in India opened up a bounty of genres to be explored. One such aspect was the rich natural biological diversity that the country housed. While this mainly drew the attention of several sportsmen and game-hunters, it also received a fair share of interest from a group of biologists. This group included botanists, mammalogists, ornithologists, herpetologists, surgeons and physicians, the latter generally associated with the British cavalry. One such medical physician-surgeon was Thomas Caverhill Jerdon. A medical surgeon by profession, he is known for his contributions in mammalogy, ornithology and herpetology of British India.

read more
Chandni Gurrusrikar & Vidut Jauhari

In the year 1952 with a view to preserve the fauna of India, particularly to take urgent steps to prevent extinction of any species, the Government of India established an Indian Board of Wild Life (IBWL).  The Board has since been doing pioneering work to arouse public consciousness in favour of wildlife preservation.

read more
Dr V Ramasubramanian

Tragic Irony of a Miracle

 The serendipitous observation by Alexander Fleming on the morning of September 3, 1928, a halo of inhibition of bacterial growth around a contaminant blue-green mould, paved the way for the discovery of a miracle - Penicillium notatum, from which penicillin was produced. This was the first step in the journey towards the antibiotic revolution. Antibiotics helped transform the practice of medicine in the fight against bacterial infections. The heady euphoria created by the discovery of various antibiotics in the 1950s prompted Dr William Stewart, the Surgeon General of the United States to remark, “The time has come to close the book on Infectious Diseases. We have basically wiped out infections in the United States”. But we failed to realize the resilience of the microbes; their survival skills characterized by their ability to develop resistance in the face of antibiotic pressure started the fight back.

read more