| || Excitement of biotechnology in the new economy
Author : Mazumdar-Shaw, Kiran
Source : Defence Science Journal ; Vol:51(4) ; 2001 ; pp 373-376
Subject : 60 Biotechnology
Keywords : Human genome;Genomics;Bioinformatics;Biotechnology;Pharmacogenomics;High throughput screening;Gene therapy;Cloning
Abstract : "Today the world economy is no longer driven by material wealth but instead powered by intellectual wealth. Knowledge in the economic context translates to technology, of which information technology and biotechnology are the prime drivers, India has made it in information technology. but not yet in biotechnology. The exciting synergy between information technology and biotechnology in the form of bioinformatics is paving the way for intellectual wealth creation in the areas of health care (including pharmaceuticals), food and agriculture. The race for discovering new lead molecules is frenzied in the pharmaceutical arena, being mined by high throughput screening techniques for new chemical entities. The Himalayan yew tree. for example, has provided a billion dollar cancer drug. taxol. Pharmacogenomics is providing ' a wealth of information pertaining to defective or missing genes-a new avenue for drug research. A new trend in bioinformatics is in silica testing, which involves computational simulation of in vivo and in vitro tests, providing better predictability of clinical trials. In gene therapy cloning and expressing healthy genes is simple, but finding a mechanism to deliver these genes into target cells is the difficult part. Promising methods include virus as well as non-virus-based delivery systems. How Indians can take advantage of the exciting opportunities in biotechnology? One can boast of a treasure chest of biodiversities-microbial, plant, animal and human, but it is largely unutilised. A large number of inbred communities in India are offering unique human genome pools for genomic studies. We have the main ingredient for global success in biotechnology-our scientific manpower. We need to harness this talent in an enabling business environment and a pragmatic, entrepreneurial mindset. "
| || Health care biotech industry
Author : Padmanaban, G.
Source : Defence Science Journal ; Vol:51(4) ; 2001 ; pp 367-372
Subject : 60 Biotechnology
Keywords : Biotech;Information technology;Bioinformatics;Molecular medicine;Gene therapy;Pharmacogenomics;Genetic engineering;Protein therapeutics;Genomics
Abstract : "Modern biotechnology became possible because of the ability to clone genes and produce gene products barriers of species and sex. Potential entrepreneurs are getting interested in venturing into health care biotech industry, stimulated by the success story in information technology. Products of protein therapeutics, such as insulin, growth hormones, interferons, blood proteins, streptokinase and vaccines have received special attention. Pharmaceutical companies got into the field of diagnostics, a major thrust area being products of antigen/antibody and nucleic acid-based diagnostic kits. The ability to clone and sequence genes from a variety of organisms has culminated in the subject of genomics. High throughput screening of thousands of organic molecules against a battery of drug targets using robotic machinery is the current approach to come up with lead molecules. New drug delivery systems for slow, sustained and direct delivery to target tissues are under way. There is hope that hereditary and metabolic disorders may have a cure through replacements of defective genes by normal cloned genes and by blocking the expression of unwanted genes, respectively. This mega approach would call for the availability of DNA chips, a product of collaboration between molecular biologists and electronic engineers. The tendency now-a-days is for a marriage between biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Animal cloning, spearheaded by the birth of Dolly, has revolutionised cell biology and is of promise to generate animal bio-vectors to produce desired protein pharmaceuticals in milk. Stem cell research has assumed a lot of importance. In our country, reasonable competence has been built-up in the field of biotechnology. Around two dozen institutes carry out front-line research in medical biotechnology. Successful commercialisation of a few diagnostic kits and recombinant vaccines has provided an impetus and enthusiasm to exploit biotechnology in a big way. Industry needs to leap-frog, with adequate investments. "
| || Predictive Genomics: A Post-genomic Integrated Approach to Analyse Biological Signatures of Radiation Exposure
Author : Jayapal, Manikandan;Sethu, Swaminathan;Zeegers, Dimphy;Banerjee, Birendranath;Hande, M. Prakash
Source : Defence Science Journal ; Vol:61(2) ; 2011 ; pp 133-137
Subject : 535.374 Radiation Hazards
Keywords : ionising radiation;Biomarkers;genomics;microarray;genomic integration;biodosimetry;predictive genomics;genomic signatures;transcriptomic analysis
Abstract : The ultimate objective of radiation research is to link human diseases with the altered gene expression that underlie them and the exposure type and level that caused them. However, this has remained a daunting task for radiation biologists to indent genomic signatures of radiation exposures. Transcriptomic analysis of the cells can reveal the biochemical or biological mechanisms affected by radiation exposures. Predictive genomics has revolutionised how researchers can study the molecular basis of adverse effects of exposure to ionising radiation. It is expected that the new field will find efficient and high-throughput means to delineate mechanisms of action, risk assessment, identify and understand basic mechanisms that are critical to disease progression, and predict dose levels of radiation exposure. Previously, we have shown that cells responding to environmental toxicants through biological networks that are engaged in the regulation of molecular functions such as DNA repair and oxidative stress. To illustrate radiation genomics as an effective tool in biological dosimetry, an overview has been provided of some of the current radiation genomics landscapes as well as potential future systems to integrate the results of radiation response profiling across multiple biological levels in to a broad consensus picture. Predictive genomics represents a promising approach to high-throughput radiation biodosimetry.
| || Human Genome : A Gift of 20th Century and Challenge for 21st Century
Author : Pandit, M.W.;Singh, Lalji
Source : Defence Science Journal ; Vol:51(4) ; 2001 ; pp 341-351
Subject : 60 Biotechnology
Keywords : Human Genome;Gene;DNA;Genetic Diseases;Genomics;Genetic Engineering;Pharmacogenomics;Proteomics;DNA chip technology
Abstract : Completion of the human genome sequencing has stirred the whole scientific community in many ways. Apart from deciphering the biological meaning of sequence-language written in three billion letters, which may take a century, scientists are essentially confronted with many challenges. It will not only revolutionise the field of genetics in terms of knowing ourselves better but also help us tremendously in identifying genetic diseases and preventing them by predicting and finding cure for them. Integration of medicine and molecular biology is expected to lead to better health care systems by preventing people from becoming sick by following a suggested way of life based on individual genetic makeup. Recently developed technologies are helping scientists to analyse the genome at an unprecedented scale and understand the function of various genes, influence of environmental factors on them and their correlation with human behaviour. Availability of human genome sequence has raised several ethical and moral questions regarding the confidentiality of the sharing of genomic information as well as whether society is ready for this. Real challenge, after knowing functions of all the genes, would be to make use of this knowledge for the welfare of human beings with the aim to enhance the quality of human life.