Tag

Research & Development

Browsing

With the increasing population, the problem of waste management is increasing. The waste produced is not only damaging the landscape but is seriously affecting human health. Transmission of diseases through microbes and pollution are common problems associated with the improper handling of waste.

Flies, mosquitoes breed over these sites and cause diseases like malaria, dengue, and feco-oral diseases. In order to combat the problem of waste, we have to start with the roots, the reduction in generation of waste through recycling, reusing the materials. The solid waste consists of unwanted and useless solid material generated from human activity in different sectors like residential, industrial, commercial, healthcare.

Depending on the source, solid waste can be categorized into industrial, biomedical and municipal solid waste. The industrial waste includes the toxic, hazardous waste which could be inflammable and cause a serious threat to the environment if left untreated.

Biomedical waste includes the waste generated from hospitals, clinics, dispensaries, veterinary hospitals, etc., which include human anatomical waste, animal waste, soiled waste of plasters, waste sharps, discarded medicines, toxic chemicals, etc. The waste generated from households, communities comes under municipal waste.

To solve the problem of waste in India, some measures have been taken by the Government, like the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan by Prime Minister, NarendraModi. Segregation of waste at source, door-to-door collection, transportation, pre-treatment of the infectious waste and final disposal are some of the major points to be focused on in the proper disposal of solid waste.

The segregation of waste into categories of biodegradable, non-biodegradable, hazardous, infectious at source by the person generating it can help reduce the number of persons coming in contact with the waste. The waste should be transported to incinerators, compost pits and landfills by covering the waste in different colored bags. The incinerators and landfills should be located far away from the residential areas as it can cause damage to the people living nearby.

The landfills should not be left uncovered, as it can cause flies, mosquitoes in the surrounding area which can be the cause of the spread of various diseases. It is also important that the landfills should not contain toxic and hazardous chemicals as they can enter the ground water table through seepage of rainwater.

The municipal waste can be disposed off in the communal pits which are located nearby, as it mostly consists of organic waste. Vermicomposting can also be an alternative method for the treatment of organic waste. It provides manure which can be used by farmers. Organic waste convertors, which are self-sustainable, are readily available in the market of various quantities which has numerous benefits like manure production, gas production which can be used for cooking purpose.

Stay tuned to our blog and website.

The advent of biotechnology is prominent. Gone are the winds of insipid excitement and permanent are the forces of renovation that contain historic achievements. The use of microbes that have inhabited the earth for millions of years, for bioremedial techniques illustrates the fact that natural history paves a way for present development. Bioremediation of toxic metals from groundwater is an advantage that biotechnology has provided for human health. Arsenic is a toxic metal that can be removed from water by arsenic oxidizing bacteria. The bacteria are used for oxidation of Arsenite As(III) to As(V), that can be easily separated from the water. Many heterotrophic bacteria oxidize As(III)  to detoxify their immediate environment. On the contrary, some bacteria behave as agents that use As(III) as electron donors. Various molecular markers have been identified to recognize bacteria with potential arsenic oxidizing activity such as 16s rRNA, aioA, arsB and others. By oxidizing the more toxic Arsenic As (III) to less toxic As(V) and concomitantly gaining energy, such bacteria have an appreciable ecological advantage over their counterparts. The As oxidase gene has been characterized by bacteria. A study has confirmed that the As oxidase gene is a very ancient gene. In certain ways, Arra and As oxidase have been found to be similar.

Classical technologies are efficient in removal of  As(V) but not As(III). There are also cost intensive. Here Biotechnology counters the problem. Biocolumn reactors with immobilised bacterial cells have been used. A novel cost effective biocomposite- granules of cement coated with cysts of certain cyanobacteria has been studied The composite has been proven to remove 96% arsenic. Many such biocolumns or devices have been made that harness the ability of bacteria to remove As(III) and As(V). The efficiency of these has been very high. Thus techniques of biotechnology have been effectively used to clean drinking water from arsenic. Similar approaches have been taken for remediation of other toxic metals like cadmium, excessive Iron and others. Biotechnology is critically involved in the maintenance of human health.

Environmental Biotechnology is a dynamic branch of Biotechnology that deals with the improvement of the environment and microbes that remediate the problems of the environment.  This important branch of biotechnology harnesses the power of microbes to sequester toxic chemicals from contaminated sites. This field is a combination of biology and engineering.

In modern times, rapid industrial growth has led to drastic increase in pollution; Pollutants have been added to our environment in gigantic proportions by human activities. To ameliorate this problem, Environmental biotechnology is a potent tool. This field is known to include techniques like development of plants for filtration of pollutants in air, soil and water, synthesis of biofuel and optimization of sustainable process.

The benefits of environmental biotechnology have been observed in the production of biofuel from the Jatropha plant. Moreover, cotton waste has also been used to generate ethanol via fermentation. Such fuels are required very much for human activities as conventional fuels are limited in amount. Bioremediation is another critically important field that used recombinant microorganisms to clear contaminated land sites of toxic metals like cadmium, arsenic, etc. The use of earthworms for treatment of wastewater, called vermifiltration, has been effectively used.

In government organisations, jobs are aplenty for qualified personnel of Environmental Biotechnology. Their work is contributory in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, town planning offices, sewage treatment plants, etc.  Thus a plethora of societal and economic applications of environmental biotechnology are to be made in the current time and in the future.


Listen to the expert Dr. Sonika Saxena, Vice Principal, Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology, Jaipur below!

Knowledge and memories are all that we take to our graves. Hence, it is imperative to assure the quality of both during our lifetime. Education plays a very important role in shaping the former, and the time spent in pursuing it in the latter.

Although basic education is a fundamental right of every living person, few get the opportunity and even fewer are blessed enough to pursue higher education. By the time a student has decided what course to pursue at the masters level, one has a vague idea of what opportunities lay ahead. However, more often than not, the contacts and public relation skills developed at this stage impact the nature of the future work taken up by the student. These life-skills sometimes have a greater impact on the personality of the student which along with knowledge helps to steer their careers in the right direction.

In short, the quality of education at the Master’s level should ensure that each graduating student is indeed a master of his field. They should be provided with the skills to encash their two years of study.  In addition, the student should also be made aware of the benefits of multi-tasking and encouraged to work as they study. Part-time teaching or part time working in labs is one way of inculcating a sense of responsibility as well as satisfaction in them. Also, a practical exposure to current high-end techniques and their applications in industries or RnD will better equip them for the life after Masters.

Apart from these, each and every student should be made aware that unlike the commerce lines, science has several restrictions in terms of pay as well as options within India. Hence, instead of feeling discouraged they should receive professional guidance to help build up their professional resume and develop communication skills that will help them with prospective employers- in research, academia or industry.

Last but not the least; practical bioinformatics is an indispensible skill-set that each and every student should take with them. Today, an amalgamation of both wet and dry-lab skills and data are necessary for meaningful research which ultimately affects all the avenues that one may choose to pursue. Of note, a willingness to try out different things, a risk-taking capacity as well as the mind-set to positively accept failure and lead a balanced life is necessary, especially for those who wish to pursue research in the long-term. The ability to work amicably in a team and honing their ability to read and analyse data and scientific literature are also better learnt at this stage of their education.

With the best faculty mentoring every batch of U.G or P.G. students with its Guru-Shishya Parampara, Dr. B.Lal Institute of Biotechnology has been successfully churning out batch after batch of distinguished biotechnocrats.