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Having the kind of meal we’re devouring nowadays would not be viable without biotechnology, biotechnology has over shadowed the maximum boundaries of our everyday existence and it is no marvel that those technological trends have observed their manner into our meals to form the future of food. Biotechnology in food is not some thing new it is promisingly been applied in regions like preservation, fermentation, brewing, distillation by Egyptians and Chinese community from 2nd millennium itself. About 5 years ago, multiple smaller groups sprouted and debuted biotech-derived foods for interested client’s and food-service markets however through the years attitude towards biotech food have gradually become more favourable as human beings recognize the environmental, economic, and dietary blessings they are going to impart, and acknowledged the safety of those food products with regard to human health and thus the environment.

Today genetically engineered microorganisms for the assembly of vitamins, organic acids, amino acids, sweeteners ,fit to be eaten oils and dietary supplements are frequently developed from the insertion of a useful gene into microorganisms and is going to play an vital function for the manufacturing of functional foods. Functional foods additionally stated as Nutraceuticals have become to be got here as preventive drugs and may assist additional fitness associated.

It is viable to bolster the impact of present probiotic lines and make absolutely new probiotics with a couple of fitness blessings as an example , it is broadly believed that omega-three fatty acids are useful in opposition to cardiovascular diseases. Biotech’s growing wave of excessive-tech meals, together with the use of gene enhancing strategies like CRISPR–Cas9 or transcription activator–like effector nuclease (TALEN), it has already produced some of promising merchandise like Flavr Savr Tomato, Golden rice, Evolva, anti browning white button mushroom and plenty of others.

Today, Okanagan Specialty Fruits grows apples that don’t brown after they’re sliced and Simplot sells potatoes that don’t bruise easily during storage, and produce less acrylamide- a compound recognized as a likely carcinogen—whilst cooking. On April 1, 2019 the fast-food chain Burger King brought to its menu a plant-based burger made by Impossible Foods that tastes uncannily like meat, due to bioengineered yeast. Perfect Day, a California-based start-up, is functioning with natural microbes to provide dairy-free milk in preference to farm animals farming, one of the main reasserts of greenhouse emission.

Afineur is functioning with one of the major derivative from the food industry, which debts for billions of lots of waste per annum , to craft a nutritious and flexible vegan protein. Beyond Meat is making plant-based products using pea protein, beets and other vegetables to form meat options whose appearance and flavour is like animal protein with out the cholesterol. Silicon Valley biotech start-up Memphis Meats is garnering headlines for culturing animal stem cells to develop actual meat without the animals. Each of these innovations offer purchasers flavourful quality nutrition reciprocally for a miles higher ecological footprint. Agriculture is one of the primary sector of India that at once or not directly influences all of us. Total food grain manufacturing is 291.95 million tonnes for 2019-20 however it’s going to growth.

Biotechnology – A new era is beginning. In the 21st century, one of the greatest challenges is feeding the world. Without biotechnology and the use of scientific advancements, it will not be possible to overcome this challenge. Biotechnology influences the healthcare industry in different ways. Trends in biotechnology change the features of the medical field.

Be it the production of genetically improved treatment for diseases, enhancement of immunity against diseases, biotechnology has become a significant part of the medical world and has proved to be a boon for the medical science in numerous ways. The helpfulness of microorganisms has proved to be a boon in the agricultural, pharmaceutical and food processing industries.

With time, the requirement of highly qualified and significantly skilled biotechnology researchers has increased as the global economy is reaching new heights. It has not only helped to modify the agricultural crops for increasing their nutritional aspects but has also increased their yields. So even for the farmers the field of biotechnology has proved to be a boon. In order to decrease the utilization of insecticides, the use of genetically modified insecticidal plants has shown significant beneficial effects. With the decrease in the use of insecticides, their harmful effects on the crops will also decrease.

Biotechnology holds a significant value in the treatment of numerous diseases. The techniques of biotechnology are involved from growing the antibiotic producing microbes in fermentation broth to finally obtaining a pure antibiotic product in pharmaceutical industries. Furthermore, with the use of modern biotechnology, there can be an enhancement in the advanced treatment methods for numerous diseases. Biotechnology plays an important role in the healthcare system. Biotechnology is used significantly in the production of various medicines and vaccines for the treatment of different diseases. This field is also involved in various other medical processes which have significant roles in the healthcare system. Some of the most important sectors of biotechnology in the field of healthcare are described below:

Biopharmaceutical

 A field in which biotechnology is used for the making of drugs for medical purposes. The formulation and composition of these drugs is usually done with the life forms that are taken from the different microorganisms. Since the efficiency and usefulness of these drugs is much more as compared to the existing ones, thereby these drugs have replaced the existing drugs. Also, in bio-pharmaceutical drugs no synthetic products or chemicals are used. Only microorganisms are used for making these drugs. They work in such a way that they specifically target the hidden mechanism of a disease and enhance the immune system of the body with no side effects. Now, scientists are workings on the cure for cancer, hepatitis and other diseases like heart- related problems with the help of biopharmaceutical products.

Pharmaco-Genomics

A field that is the combination of two different fields, i.e., genomics and pharmaceuticals. This field helps in studying the genetic information of an individual which further helps in understanding the response of the body to the given drugs. The main aim of this field is the generation of such drugs which are specific for an individual in accordance to his/her genetic make-up. With this process, the chances of curing any disease increases thereby decrease the processing time of the drugs which is of significant help for humans.

Gene Therapy 

A technique of biotechnology that is utilized for the diagnosis of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Cancer, etc. The instrument utilized in this field helps in replacing or curing the infected of unhealthy genes of the individuals.

Genetic Testing/Screening

A process of biotechnology which is utilized for finding out the hereditary diseases of an individual, i.e., a disease which an individual acquires from the genes of their ancestors or parents. In addition, this process is also used significantly in the legal proceedings such as finding out the parents of an individual or testifying a criminal, etc.

With all the above points, one can definitely say that Biotechnology has a bright future and with this highly qualified medical biotechnologists will be needed to secure the healthy future of mankind as well as nature.

Author: Suhela Agarwal

College: Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology

Course: M.Sc. Biotechnology Semester IV

Sustainable improvement is a assignment all of us should take. Environmental sustainability is one of the giant problems confronted by the humanity. Expeditious industrialization has placed a constraint on the resources. Establishing a conservationist surroundings is indispensable. For twenty first century the heroes may be who introduce extra sustainability. It is the obligation of each man or woman and must be a manner of life. It is not always an easily described concept, neither is there any predefined manner of reaching it. The only technique of maintaining the surroundings is such that returns all the additives in a recyclable manner to preserve the equilibrium.

Ground-breaking biotechnology research is providing construction blocks to offer answer for resurrecting the ecosystem. Biotechnology industry is running on renovating contemporary substances and techniques with extra sustainable and biological alternatives. There is a plethora of places where biotechnology could make a great difference. Biotechnology has uniquely placed itself over the pinnacle of complex region to make an impact. The most important motto of sustainability is people, planet and profit and biotechnology is successfully running on this integration to make changes.

The grasp plan is to locating techniques that use recyclable compounds and substances that can successfully lessen waste accumulation and as we all of us are properly privy about the plastic pollution, new technologies have been working to produce 100% recyclable plastic from agricultural and forest waste and in turn killing two birds with a single stone i.e. solving the problem of sustainability and well as waste. Biotech is supplying modern answers to produce fuel from sources like sawdust, rice hulls, almond hulls, and municipal waste to play a small role in our low carbon future. Some companies are exploiting the natural ability of microorganisms to break waste and produce fuel. 

In many cases these microorganisms or their products are integrated into the substrates which give us the products, desired within the industries, samples of these are bioleaching (biomining), bio detergent, biotreatment of pulp, bio treatment of wastes (bioremediation), bio filtration, aquaculture treatments, biotreatment of textiles, biocatalysts, biomass fuel production, bio monitoring, and so forth. In an environmental context, biotechnology has its greatest contribution to form in agriculture — especially by improving crop-yields. 

It offers opportunities to style crops for specific environments and to form crops more efficient producers of food-energy than otherwise. Not only this biotechnology is also revolutionising the construction industry, the production of many construction materials requires toxic chemicals, energy and water and emits large amount of carbon but now companies are focusing on using biodegradable materials such as cocoa husks, dried orange peels, and ground blue pea flowers to create sustainable construction materials. In London, a start-up called Biohm is looking into using mushrooms to produce construction materials from organic waste. In the Netherlands, the corporate Green Basilisk seeks to extend the lifespan of concrete by embedding it with bacteria that repair the fabric when it suffers damage. US-based Biomason uses similar microbes to make cement tiles with a low-carbon footprint.

Along with this the biotechnology industries are transforming manufacturing processes to provide green technology tools for sustainable development to safeguard our natural resources. These are tools (biotechnological tools), which could solve the matter of pollution and help sustain the environment.

Author: Akshita Sharma

College: Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology

Course: M.Sc Biotechnology sem 4

Building a self-reliant India is an imperative step towards building a robust economy, resilient infrastructure and a bright future where we are always ready to face any challenges as a society & a nation. One of the important aspects of becoming Self – reliant is developing a strong public healthcare care system with ample resources for diagnosing, containing and treating diseases and keeping the large population healthy and disease – free. This has become particularly evident in the present-day scenario of the Covid -19 pandemic

Biotechnology as a field of science plays an important role in providing tools to the nation for dealing with and defeating this pandemic. Be it indigenous vaccines, PPE kits, disease diagnosis, drug development, masks, ventilators, thermal scanners etc. India showcased it’s capability in the development of the covid vaccine for itself and the world. This was a 62 Billion $ sector in 2012 and is expected to grow up to a 150 Billion $ by 2025. Thus, Atmanirbhar Bharat or Self – reliant India is a guideline for India to become self – sufficient and hold an important place in the world’s economy.

5 pillars of Self – Reliance Vision and the contribution of Biotechnology in each of these areas:

  1. ECONOMY
  2. INFRASTRUCTURE
  3. TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN SYSTEM
  4. DEMOGRAPHY
  5. DEMAND

ECONOMY 

The first pillar of a self- sufficiency in India is the ECONOMY. The quantum change brought about by innovation and research in the field of Biotechnology contributes towards improving lives of people by creating products and solutions which directly or indirectly contribute to economic growth. During the pandemic situation such innovations helped in designing diagnostic tools, making vaccines and testing existing and new drugs for the treatment of masses. The in – house capabilities worked as a confidence booster for the economy and general public.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The infrastructure of our nation is the identity of modern India. May it be agriculture, pharmaceuticals, food processing, herbal products or any other industry, biotechnology is playing an important role in making it possible to build an improved infrastructure.

TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN SYSTEM

We all should build a system which fulfils the dream of our citizens in this 21st century. The biotechnologist makes the system technology based and the innovations done by us are already fulfilling the needs of the population. We should create a kind of system which fulfils the needs of each and every person.

DEMOGRAPHY

On the path of self-reliant India, our strength is our vibrant demography. To support our citizens the biotechnology field is serving as a hope to life, to achieve the goal of healthy and wealthy life.

DEMAND

There should be ample supply and resources to fulfil the demand arising from requirements of the economy and market forces. Large production capabilities and a quick and efficient distribution system keeps the economy functioning well.  The biotechnology sector is working hard to scale – up its operations to provide ample support to the country and its economy.

Another motto included in the vision of Self – reliance was “IPPP” which stands for –

I – INNOVATION

P – PATENTED

P – PRODUCE

P – PROSPER

This is a message for biotechnologists and the scientific community to inspire them to work towards ‘innovation’ and ‘patent’ this knowledge so that we can ‘produce’ unique goods and services to cater to the needs of our countrymen and economy and lead the path towards prosperity.

BIOTECHNOLOGY – A DRIVER OF INNOVATION

In the field of agriculture, biotechnology helps increase crop production and develops better varieties of plants which not only fulfil the demand for food but also helps farmers recover losses. Biotechnology tools can help farmers by producing food grains with better nutrition, texture and flavour. The genetically modified crops are less prone to infections.

Medical biotechnology helps in production of desirable drugs to cure diseases. It also helps in correct diagnosis of ailments. One of the most useful products created in this field was the Recombinant Insulin. In the current pandemic situation, the biotechnologists are working tirelessly to produce vaccines, PPE kits, PCR based diagnostics tools, sanitization related products and machinery and so on.

To sum up, biotechnology is at the fore –front in the war against the Covid – 19 pandemic and is continuously providing tools for a self – reliant and self –sufficient India. Never before has there been a better time for the youth of the country to take up an exceptional career in this vast and fast –growing field and make meaningful contributions to their nation and humanity.

Submitted by                                                                                                      Co – Author

Name: Rishita Parihar                                                                                      Name:  Shubhra Mehrish 

Course: M.Sc. Biotechnology Semester One                                              Course: B.Sc. Biotechnology Part 2 

College: Dr. B. Lal institute of Biotechnology                                           College  Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology

Beginning from December’19, the world has heard enough about Coronavirus and suffered  its manifestations one after the other and the havoc does not seem to stop even now. Ever  since the rise of COVID-19 cases all over the world, the healthcare sector has been striving  very hard to stop the spread of virus along with devising new tools and techniques to  counteract the grave consequences. Major agendas have been shifted completely giving all  the attention to this deadly virus. Lead by healthcare workers, task forces, government  workers and social workers are putting their efforts day and night to conquer this situation.  

In the initial phase of this pandemic, when people started to develop certain symptoms and  those symptoms were becoming severe over the course of time, it was contemplated that  this new disease is caused by a microorganism, is contagious and spreads at a very fast  pace. Given the advanced level of medical diagnostics which has been possible because of all  the research and development in the field of biotechnology, scientists very quickly  concluded the structure and physiology of this virus. This uncovering of facts and figures  helped in diagnosis of virus, opened possibilities for treatment and prevention of spread. 

Starting with the majorly reliable diagnostic tool; RT-PCR, to all the advanced medical  equipment, medicines, life-saving drugs and obviously the most talked about vaccines, all  rely on the basics of biotechnology. Biotechnology has enabled us to look into deep causes of  problems at a microscopic level and solve them accordingly. The small a sound procedures  and techniques have helped us to understand functioning of cells, organs and human body  as a whole to an extent that we now have access to literally even the smallest corners of  cells and we can modify their functioning even at genetic level. This level of understanding  of organisms is not only helpful but also enables us to literally change the way they function. 

Because of the understanding of anatomy and physiology along with the recombinant  biotechnology, scientists all over the world are able to produce organisms as per their  choice of characters and functions. Highly reliable and accurate biotechnological tools are  now being used to deduce the structure and function of organisms at a very fast speed and  the advancements are being continuously made to further increase the efficacy. So, it won’t  be wrong to enunciate that biotechnology is the solution to new-age problems in the healthcare  sector and continues to lead the world to a medically-efficient and safe future. 

Apart from the treatment aspect which obviously articulates a lot about the role of  biotechnology in this pandemic, this fascinating and promising branch of biology has  definitely aided in the prevention of viruses to a great extent. India is a densely populated country,  which makes the management at the time of crisis; a herculean task. The immense crowd,  poor hygiene practices, lack of awareness, illiteracy etc. make it fiendish to implement  general protocols that are vital to prevention. Biotechnology through its very basic  principles and methodologies have enabled everyone to have access to basic necessities during this pandemic. 

Sanitization being necessary, was procured by use of chemicals and  medicinal extracts, keeping in mind the cost and sustainability. Various biotechnologists, in  spite of being at moderate level were able to innovate affordable medical commodities for  example: PPE kits, ventilators, masks and shields which undeniably have helped in coping  with the atrocious problem of contagious spread of virus among communities. Biotechnology  continues to lead in this grave situation with numerous innovations that are made with each  passing day and are enabling people to have more chances of survival. 

It is speculated that Coronavirus can dwell around us for a longer period of time and will  keep affecting the lives of people but biotechnology with its promising and sustainable  solutions is here to stay and fight this pandemic efficiently. Every little effort made by  common people combined with efforts of biotechnologists all over the world is proving to  help and let the world flourish even during these baffling times. Biotechnology at its root  aims to provide affordable and sustainable solutions pertaining to the medical and healthcare  sector and discoveries and innovations will definitely lead the world out of this pandemic  and allow everyone to breathe in a COVID free environment.

Author: Vaishali

College: Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology

Course: M.Sc. Biotechnology Semester-III

As we all know that Biotechnology is a technology that always brings new solutions, techniques, and useful products by using living organisms and biological systems, in our lives to make it easy going. Modern civilization is hard to imagine without Biotechnology. We have been using biotechnology in everyday life since the ancient period:-in making food, such as bread and cheese, preserving dairy products, and for fermenting beer. Biotechnology is an essential part of our everyday life even though we don’t realise it. There are many ways in which biotechnology can improve our everyday life.

Biotechnology could help to address many problems such as climate change, infectious diseases, food security, energy shortage, to name a few. Day by day where the population is increasing and natural resources are decreasing, biotechnologists developed solutions by increasing agriculture productivity [Genetically modified crops] and alternative sources.

Biotechnology has been providing services in health care & medicines since 1960. Worldwide millions of people are taking advantage of drugs and vaccines produced by biotechnology. Biotechnology is responsible for hundreds of medical diagnosis tests. If we look into today’s situation of COVID-19 where the whole world is suffering from this pandemic, biotechnology is playing a key role by the RT-PCR test, & by working on viral mechanisms biotechnologists got success in the vaccine production. COVID vaccines are also a precious gift to humankind & without biotechnology, it wasn’t possible.

There must be someone around you who is suffering from diabetes. Before 1972 [first recombinant insulin was discovered], insulin used to be produced from the pancreas of the pig that was allergic to some insulin dependent diabetics. Now genetically engineered bacteria produce insulin without animals and that is saving millions of people’s lives today. Industrial biotechnology uses enzymes & microorganisms to make bio-based products in the sectors such as chemicals, food technology, detergents, paper, textiles, and biofuels. Cosmetics have become an important part of our life. Biotechnology is used to produce, discover, and develop components by cosmetic companies.

Food is one of the basic living needs and biotechnology plays a huge role in the food industry including agriculture, fermentation & preservation. Biotechnology has brought remarkable changes in the field of food development by better crops. But what is meant by “better”? Through the selection of traits like drought resistance, pest resistance, herbicide resistance, longer storage life & nutrient value, biotechnology is developing better crops. Transgenic crops are herbicide-tolerant e.g. soybean, corn, and cotton & BT crops are insect resistant e.g. cotton and corn. Have you heard about “Golden Rice”? It is also a biotechnology product that is rich in vitamin A. It is beneficial for the millions of people in countries that are suffering from vitamin A deficiency disease.

Do you know about fermented foods? Fermentation is one of the ancient techniques of biotechnology. Fermentation is an anaerobic process in which microorganisms like yeast and bacteria participate in the breakdown of the food components like glucose into organic acids, gases, or alcohol. Fermented foods have unique & desirable teste, texture quality, fragrance, and appearance. 

It increases the quality & nutritional value of that particular food. There are so many examples of  fermented foods like yogurt, cheese, bread dough, sour cream, Kimchi [fermented cabbage recipe], Pickle, beverages like wine, beer, cider, etc that we use in our everyday life. There are various products we obtained due to the process of  biotechnology which we utilize in our everyday life. Biotechnology has the biggest impact on our life. Have a look around you, you will realise that you are surrounded by many products that are gifts for us by biotechnology. We should say thanks and appreciate biotechnology for making our life easy.

Author – Nainakshi Singoria

College: Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology

Course: M.Sc. Microbiology Semester I

In today’s world, where we are suffering this pandemic of COVID -19, what we can think about is only the way from which we can get out of this situation! Opportunely, the solution of this is only through Biotechnology. Yes, you’ve heard it right as what we are talking about is the vaccine or some kind of medicine & we get it only with the help of biotechnologists and from the knowledge of biotechnology.

As the above scenario described the current situation, biotechnology is a high-in demand career especially nowadays. Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary field that combines mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, data sciences & others, it actually merges technology to invent a new product or rectify the existing services or products.

The candidate should be well-organized in manner and calm, composed by nature, must know laboratory work thoroughly, and at least have its basic knowledge. Independent working nature can also be considered as a should have characteristic. Must have the knowledge of operating computers. 

Job Prospects

One with Biotechnology degree can have options in various sector like 

  • Dairy industry 
  • Food processing Industry 
  • Chemical & textile industry 
  • Public funded laboratories 
  • Drug & Pharmaceutical research 
  • Environmental control 
  • Waste management 
  • Energy control & management 
  • Agriculture & Horticulture industries 
  • Healthcare sector 

Both private and government sectors offer job opportunities to a biotechnology degree holder at every level – graduation, post-graduation or at PhD. Department of Biotechnology (DBT) act as a back-support for biotechnologists as it funded various institutes to provide courses program of biotechnology & other related program with it, the main aim to prepare long term biotechnologists and scientists to make our research industry stronger and to introduce advance research methodologies & to make individuals prepared as a working professional.

Salary packages

The Government of India provides employment on a very large scale to most  biotechnologists in their research & commercial laboratories to support the students who take biotechnology as a career. Those who have employed in the government sector at any  post in laboratories or institutes have been provided salary packages with other perks/allowances.

Private sector, which broadly includes pharmaceutical companies, offers a very handsome salary package to freshers, one with a postgraduate degree can relatively earn more than one with a graduate degree. An experienced and skilled biotechnologist can get salaries far beyond his expectations. 

Institutes or companies hiring biotechnologists

Drug companies in biotechnology like Ranbaxy, Hindustan Lever and Dr. Reddy’s Labs, Dabur have their R & D units and offer trained biotechnology professionals with handsome salary packages.

Some industries also employ bio-technologists as marketing and sales executives which help them in developing their business with subject knowledge and expertise in marketing.

Some biotechnology giants that are hiring biotechnologists include Hindustan Lever, Thapar Group, Indo American Hybrid Seeds, Biocon India Ltd., IDPL and Hindustan Antibiotics. Economical and astute R&D partnering with Chinese and American corporate bodies has broad scope in mining young India’s biotech potential and also helpful in developing technologies parallelly.

India has a global market worth $91 billion & in near future it will be going to be more than this. This is the reason why so many biotech companies from various  specialties are flocking to India for their own R&D initiatives. Thus the R & D department holds  numerous opportunities with quite good salary which ensures one a stable future.

Author – Pooja Verma

College: Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology

Course: M.Sc. Microbiology Semester I

India is among the top 12 destinations for biotechnology worldwide. At the moment India biotechnology industry makes up just 3% of the overall global biotech market ($11.1 billion/81,680 crore) but this number is expected to go up to 19% by 2025 ($100 billion/₹7.5lakh crore) that’s almost one-fifth of the world’s biotech sector. The biotechnology industry in India comprises >2700 biotech startups and is estimated to reach 10,000 by 2024 which aims to provide high quality drugs, better diagnosis & MedTec products available at reasonable price.

Let’s take a look at India’s top 10 biotechnology startups that are making India & the world a healthier place.

XCode Life Sciences

Founded by Mohammed Saleem, Abdur Rab Abdur Rahman & Ramabadran narayanan in 2010. It focuses on preventive healthcare by enabling individuals to understand their genetic makeup and helping them to improve their lives by creating personalized health, nutrition and fitness plan based on their genetic markers and disease risk. A couple of years back XCode also launched the world’s first ever South Asian ancestry genetic test which enables south Asian people to trace their ancestry. So far XCode life science has raised $170 million (1.25 crore) from round glass partners and shade holdings.

MapMyGenome

Founded by Anu Acharya in 2013. It is a personal genomics startup that offers their customers DNA-based immunity report which offer insights about your risk towards certain immune system diseases as well as life style diseases they might be susceptible to. These reports also tell which drugs will be most effective for them based on their DNA. Make My Genome has raised $1 million (7 crore) from investors Singapore angel network & sequoia capitals MD Rajan Anandan.

Oncostem Diagnostics

Founded by Manjiri Bakre in 2011. Oncostem is a cancer treatment startup that offers innovative prognostic & preventive solutions. Its flagship product CanAssist Breast is a prognostic test for early stage breast cancer patients which provide vital insights about breast tumors as well as benefits & risks of chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. It is working on developing tests for other type of cancer like oral & ovarian cancer. Oncostem diagnostic has raised $7 million (₹51.5 crore) from Artiman Ventures.

Sea6 Energy

The company was founded by 4 IIT Madras students Sailaja Nori, Nelson Vadasseri, Sayash Kumar, Sowmya Balendiran and their professor Shrikumar Suryanarayan in 2010. Sea6 Energy calls itself an ocean operating system because it has managed to harness the seaweed grown in oceans in a sustainable way to create a range of bioproducts that can boost agriculture, enhance animal & plant immunity and provide an alternative source of energy. It has raised $8.9 million (₹65.5 crore) from investors like Tata Capital & Biocon’s founder and CEO Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.

Pandorum Technologies

Founded by Arun Chandru and Dr. Tuhin Bhowmick in 2011, Pandorum Technologies is a biotech company that focuses on tissue engineering & regenerative medicine. It is the 1st Indian company to design & 3D print human liver tissue for medical research. Till date, the startup has raised $9.2 million (67.75 crore) from investors like 500 startups, 021 Capital, Indian Angel Network and Binny Bansal.

Bugworks Research

Founded by Anand Anandkumar in 2014, Bugworks Research is a drug discovery startup that is designing antibiotics that can fight the superbugs which are immune to our traditional drugs. To date, this biopharma startup has raised $16.5 million (121.5 crore) from University of Tokyo Edge Capital, Global Brain Corporation and Aquipharma Holdings.

Zumutor Biologics

Founded by Kavitha Iyer Rodrigues in 2013, Zumutor Biologics is one of the leading immune-oncology startups that help in treating cancer by targeting the body’s immune system. To date, it has raised $41.6 million (306.4 crore) from Accel, Chiratae Ventures & Bharat Innovation Fund.

Vyome Therapeutics

Founded by Shiladitya Sengupta & Venkateswarlu Nelabhotla in 2010, Vyome Therapeutics is focused on treating inflammatory diseases like acne using its innovative next-generation therapeutic solutions. It has raised $48.3 million (355.7 crore) from Iron Pillar, Sabre Partners and Aarin Capital.

Farcast Biosciences

Founded by Pradip K. Majumder & Mallikarjun Sundaram in 2010, Farcast Biosciences was formely known as Mitra Biotech. The startup has developed its flagship platform called CANScript which helps oncologists to identify which drug will be most effective for their patients. They have raised $76 million (₹560 crore) from Northpond Ventures, Tata Capital & Accel.

MedGenome

Founded by Sam Santhosh in 2013 , MedGenome is a biotech startup that offers genome–based diagnostics and research solutions. It uses DNA sequencing to help pharmaceutical companies develop personalised medicines for diseases like Cancer, Diabetes and other rare diseases. To date, MedGenome has raised $119 million (₹876.4 crore) from investors like LeapFrog Investments, Sequoia Capital and Zodius Capital.

These biotechnology startups are working at a speed of light to reach the sky heights by expanding their network. The advent of digitization & artificial intelligence has advanced the way science can deal with health issues. Let’s hope that in future more innovation, discoveries and development will be carried out in the biotech industry in order to advance the healthcare system worldwide.

Submitted By: Somya Mathur
Class: B.Sc. Biotechnology Part-2
College: Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology

 

When we hear this term, we wonder what would a designer baby be Whether it’s a baby with designer clothes or a fashionable one. With the advancements in biotechnology that now we can actually create a baby with desired characteristics like eye color, height, diseases, intelligence, and whatnot. A designer baby is a gene-modified human embryo with appropriate qualities that have been shaped as per the instructions given by the parents. The process by which a designer baby is produced is known as Gene Editing which is defined as the use of molecular scissors to create cuts at certain locations of the genome and restoration of these cuts through non-homologous end joining or homologous recombination resulting in the desired edits. A new technique, CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is being used for genome editing which has allowed scientists to alter or edit the genome cheaply and very rapidly. In the most common form for CRISPR, an enzyme called Cas-9 is used to delete or cut the selected sections of DNA or insert new sections in the existing DNA.

The first designer baby was created in 2000 in the U.S. which was named Adam Nash and was born on 29th Aug. 2000. Screening techniques were used to test the parent’s embryos and chose the embryo that would be an exact match to their daughter who was suffering from a genetic disorder-Fanconi Anemia which causes Bone Marrow deficiency. The selected embryo was a perfect tissue match and free from the disease. When Adam was born, the stem cells from his umbilical cord were selected and donated to his sister which were used to replace her Bone Marrow. Embryo screening consists of a PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis). Through IVF (in vitro Fertilization), embryos are made and allowed to grow up to 8 cell stage after which, the cell is removed for examination of DNA for defects or anomaly and only healthy and normal embryos are implanted in the womb. PGD is the analysis of a wide range of human embryos to identify genes associated with particular diseases and characteristics and selecting embryos that have the desired genetic makeup.

Pros & Cons of Designer Baby:

Pros-
• Reduces the risk of genetic diseases
• Reduces the risk of inherited medical conditions
• Better chance the child will succeed in life
• Better understanding of genetics
• Increased life span
• Can give genes to a child that parents are devoid of
Cons-
• Termination of embryos could create a gap in society
• Possibility of damage to the gene pool
• Many genes often have more than one use
• Loss of individuality

In simpler terms, Biotechnology can be used to choose what type of baby you want. The latest research is making designer babies a reality now, using technology developed originally for use in animals.

Metals are an indispensible part of our lives. The fact can not be ignored that a complete human civilization has named on the metal discovered, employed and ultimately cosequent the transition of ages. The metal-bearing mineral ores have been mined from the earth’s crust and being treated by various physical, thermal and chemical methods. The biological treatment of these primary resources came in picture in the 19th century when the high grade ores (ores with maximum metal values) were depleted due to the extensive mining and the conventional processes which need high energy and economic inputs became uneconomical for the low-grade ores.

The biological metal extraction or ‘bio-hydrometallurgy’ or ‘bioleaching’ employes the ability of acidophilic chemolithotrophic microorganisms to catalyze the oxidation reaction of mineral sulphides for extracting out metals in an aqueous medium (organic, alkaline, acidic). The process has been established at industrial scale as an applied and developed field of ‘Biotechnology’ for low-grade secondary copper sulfide (CuS) ores, pre-treatment of the refractory gold ores and chalcopyrite (fufills 20% of the world’s Copper demand). The major group microorganisms used for bioleaching are acidophillic chemolithotrophic microorganisms, the iron (Fe) and sulfur (S)-oxidizing microorganisms that utilize ferrous (Fe 2+ ) and sulfur (S) as their energy source (as an electron donor for ETS during aerobic respiration) and oxidize them into ferric (Fe 3+ ) and sulfuric acid (H2SO4 ) respectively. Both Fe 3+ and the acid are lixiviants in the bioleaching operations which attacks on the mineral surface to solubilize the metal into acidic medium. Along with the depletion of primary metal soruces there is a surge of metal containing wastes among which electronic waste is the most hazardous and rapidly growing municipal solid waste.

The waste contains a vast variety of metals including base metals (Cu, Ni, Zn, Fe), precious metals (Ag, Au, PGM) and rare earth metals and are termed as urban mines; the secondary source of metals. Many countries worldwide including China, Japan, the USA etc., are generating milions of tonnes of the waste among which China’s place is first while India is the 5 th largest country in e-waste production. The world is now looking for metal recovery from these urbon mines by using a more greener, economical and safer approach ‘bioleaching’ for e-waste treatment. Althogh the process is well established for the primary resources, major challages in the employment of the process for e-waste treatment at large scale is that the waste is alkaline in nature thus toxic for the acidophillic microorganisms, the metal content in the waste is hazardous for the growth of the microbial culture. Besides these challenges, the method has huge efficiency in sustainable development, waste recycling and regeneration of the lost revenue along with management of the waste.