NEWS AND VIEWS

In this section, the guests can read about the latest news regarding the field of biotechnology which will appear from time to time. This will keep them abreast of the latest advancements in this field especially in the applied areas of medical biotechnology.
These news articles that appear in the newspaper for the interest of the general public are also relevant to the students of biotechnology.





GM carrot may help treat osteoporosis

A GM carrot has been produced to help people absorb more calcium to help treat the brittle bone disease osteoporosis. The carrot has been genetically modified to make higher amounts of a calcium transporting protein. It has been developed by researchers at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
In people who ate the fortified “sCAX” carrot, urine measurements revealed a net increase in calcium absorption, say the researchers, who did the study in conjunction with Baylor College of Medicine to see if the super carrot can help prevent such diseases as osteoporosis.

 

New Hope may lie in Lab-created Heart

The Researchers at the University of Minnesota were able to create a beating heart using the outer structure of one heart and injecting heart cells from another rat. These findings have been reported in the Journal of Nature Medicine.
We took a rat heart and used soap to wash out the cells of the heart,” said Doris Taylor, Director of the Centre for cardiovascular repair, Medtronic Bakken, Professor of Medicine and Physiology and lead author of the study.
This process is called “decellularization”.
Taylor says they’ve already stared experiments with pig hearts, which are closer in size to human hearts and because pig hearts are already being used for replacement parts for some human heart patients. The goal of this study is to increase options for human heart patients. The body would be less likely to reject an organ created from its own cells.
Growing new hearts for human beings is “still a way off” said Dr. Robert Bonow, a past president of the American Heart Association. “It’s interesting and could pay off if they got the cells to grow properly with in heart”. But that still has to be seen. Taylor acknowledges that they have not yet implanted one of these beating hearts into a rat and tried to keep it alive by using the new heart.
If this research pans out for humans, Taylor said, many hearts that are currently unsuitable for transplant could be used for this procedure.

Genetic sequencing
DNA, direct

A single DNA sequencing machine is able to sequence a human genome of about 3 billion letters in two months. The efforts are on to sequence a human genome in as short as an hour. To achieve this X Prize Foundation has made an offer of “Archon Genomics Prize” for the first team able to sequence 100 human genomes accurately in 10 days or less……
For news in detail, refer to: The Economist, Dec 8th-14th, 2007, page no94

Grape Genetics
Vine times

On Dec 18th, 2007, the first full genetic sequence of a grape variety 9 (pinot noir, as it happens) was published in the Public Library of Science. By unzipping pinot’s genes, Riccardo Velasco of the Agricultural Institute of San Michele all’ Adige, in Italy, and his team, have not only exposed many of the genetic secrets of this particular grape’s flavours, they have also helped open the way for genetically modified wine.
For news in detail, refer to: The Economist, Dec 22- Jan4, 2008, page no134.

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