Satyajit Rath | 09 OCT 2009 | filed under : General Perspective

Science in India:Then and Now.

SATYAJIT RATH from NII, Delhi offers his frank thoughts"We can use our growing ease of circumstance to go the way that our friends and colleagues in the ‘First World’ have gone..".

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Shubha Tole | 09 OCT 2009 | filed under : General Perspective

Scientist and Mommy

At one point I thought of myself as a scientist who also happened to be a woman. At the end of four long-gestation projects that ran crazily overlapping with each other, two resulting in boys now aged 4 and 7,

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Athulaprabha Murthi

The month of March saw a landmark decision by an Indian Court, wherein it granted compulsory license to an Indian pharmaceutical – NATCO to manufacture generic version of the drug Nexavar thereby breaking Bayor’s monoplogy on this life saving drug for Hepatocarcinoma. Frontline, an Indian magazine came up with an issue dedicated to Indian Patent law covering medicinal drugs and how that affects the pharmaceutical companies. This May 4th issue is available online for anyone interested- http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2908/fl290800.htm.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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