National Level Expert Lecture
Date: 28. 08. 2021
Department of Life Sciences organized a National Level Expert Lecture in collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India under the Star college scheme. It was the first lecture in a newly introduced series dubbed as ‘primer’, which intends to introduce the first principles of path breaking technologies in Life Sciences. The lecture titled as “How are protein structures determined: First principles of X-ray crystallography” introduced the art and science of crystallography, the most important technique used to solve the 3D structures of biological macromolecules. Dr. C Sadasivan, a well-known crystallographer and structural Biologist, threw light on this laborious, yet indispensible tool in biological research. Through a well-organized and information packed presentation, Dr. Sadasivan introduced the chemistry of crystalline substances, the art and science of creating crystals, the principles of X-ray diffraction and the process of elucidation of a high resolution 3D structure from the electron density map.
Guest Lecture on ellness Webinar on Postural Health
Classes Attended: III Semester BBB, BBG, MBG & FS
Number of beneficiaries: 280
This event was organized to commemorate the second anniversary of Fit India Movement. After a brief introduction of the resource person, the session was taken over by Dr. D M Manoj. During the session he put forward the impacts of good posture on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of an individual. He also highlighted the importance of making a conscious effort to maintain a good posture in the current scenario, particularly in view of the online classes taking place due to the ongoing pandemic. He also stressed on the influence of good posture on the quality of performance of athletes. The resource person could show many case studies where people complaining of bad physical health, poor mental health had come to him and he had identified issues in their posture and could help them correct it. Dr. Manoj was quite enthusiastic in suggesting a few exercises to improve our posture. The tips given to the students were very useful and easy to do.
Webinar on Green Technologies for Recovery of Bioenergy From Municipal and Industrial Solid Wastes
Date: 5th June 2021
To commemorate the World Environment day 2021, a virtual webinar on ‘Green Technologies for Recovery of Bioenergy From Municipal and Industrial Solid Wastes’ was organized jointly by the Department of Life Sciences and the Environment club of Kristu Jayanti College on 05. 06. 2021. Every year on 5th of June, the world celebrates World Environment Day, in order to inculcate a sense of belongingness and gratitude towards the environment that we live in. This in turn would inspire more individuals to stand with the cause of environment conservation and contribute to restore the environment. The World Environment Day through the myriad forms of campaigns organized world over in its observance offers an effective platform for inspiring positive change in the environment. It pushes individuals to think about the ways we utilize the ecosystem and gives us a chance to take action to build a greener future. This year’s theme for World Environment Day was 'Ecosystem Restoration'. Ecosystem restoration means preventing, halting, and reversing the damage caused by human activities and finally healing our nature. The webinar hosted by the Department of Life Sciences in association with the environment club featured a topic that is very relevant to the concept of ecosystem restoration. Municipal and Industrial solid wastes contributes heavily to deterioration of various ecosystems by contaminating the natural environment. For instance, a major threat to many aquatic ecosystems is the indiscriminate practice of dumbing untreated household and industrial waste in water bodies. Environment friendly, restorative and scalable solutions to the problem of waste management are of vital importance for ecosystem restoration and sustenance. Dr. S V Srinivasan, Senior Principal Scientist, Department of Environmental Engineering, CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), was the resource person for the webinar. Through his highly intelligible talk, he introduced biotechnology-enabled green approaches in solving the problem of accumulating municipal and industrial solid waste. While comparing the various approaches he brought out the pros and cons of each. Interesting ways of converting waste into biofuels using green approaches were also discussed. The talk was highly appreciated and gladly received by the audience.
Wellness Webinar Commit To Quit Tobacco
As a part of ‘World No Tobacco Day’, The Department of Life Sciences conducted a wellness webinar session through Zoom platform on 31st May, 2021. The resource person for the session was Dr. Punith Shetty, Publication and External Opportunities Officer, Applied Global Public Health Initiative, New York, USA. The objective of the session was to raise awareness about the ill effects of tobacco and to install the commitment to quit the same.The session was conducted for the wellness of all students of the department and was attended by the Dean of Science, Head of the Department and other faculty members of the Life Science Department. The session was moderated by Dr. Sriram Thiruvengadam, Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences. He welcomed the resource person, dignitaries and the audience.The ease of access to tobacco, along with corporations that encourage the sale of tobacco is one of the most challenging health issues of our generation. Banning tobacco and spreading awareness of the ill effects of its usage is something that many organisations and governments are striving towards. After a formal introduction of the resource person, Dr. Punith Shetty began the session by introducing the theme of the occasion- “Quitters are Winners”. He carried the session forward with an insight on tobacco and the ill effects associated with it.
The speaker engrossed the audience in topics that involved the different approaches for people taking the stance to voluntarily quit tobacco. Approaches such as behavioural approach, pharmaceutical approach and approaches that used artificial intelligence were on the market, for a personalised guide towards reducing or refraining from tobacco completely. The speaker carried and demonstrated topics in a manner that all students could grasp and understand well. Besides his efficient articulation, the session was loaded with numerous queries from the audience. Dr Punith Shetty resolved all queries, along with additional suggestions on topics addressed.
The speaker concluded the academic part of the session with visual content that describe that in the case of tobacco, quitters were truly winners. The webinar session concluded with a vote of thanks from Nivetha K, MSc Biotechnology, that truly emphasised the content of the enriching session. The program ended with an overall awareness on tobacco and the ill effects of the same.
Webinar on Conservation of Biodiversity: What? Why? How?
Department of Life Sciences of Kristu Jayanti College organised a webinar on “Conservation of Biodiversity” on the occasion of world biodiversity day. The resource person was Dr. Mathew Dan currently working as Senior Scientist and head of the plant genetic resource department at Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and research institute, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
The webinar mainly focused on bringing awareness about the importance of conservation of biodiversity and the ways to save it. The session started off with multiple images of plants, insects, animals and trees. This was followed by a thought-provoking question, “Is everything you see in these images a part of biodiversity?” He went on to explain what is biodiversity? “Biodiversity is the variation among living organisms from different sources including terrestrial, marine and desert ecosystems, and the ecological complexes of which they are a part”.
Organisms are placed on a delicate balance of interactions, sudden changes and the loss of a specific species is detrimental. He goes to explain the three different types of biodiversity: Genetic Biodiversity, Species Biodiversity, and Ecological Biodiversity. Species diversity refers to the variety of different types of species found in a particular area. It is the biodiversity at the most basic level. It includes all the species ranging from plants to different microorganisms. It refers to the variations among the genetic resources of the organisms. Every individual of a particular species differs from each other in their genetic constitution. An ecosystem is a collection of living and non-living organisms and their interaction with each other. Ecological biodiversity refers to the variations in the plant and animal species living together and connected by food chains and food webs.
Genetic diversity was further explained by commercially successful crops such as potatoes and tomatoes and the vast varieties that are present but wild types and other lesser known plants and organisms and their diversity is ignored. Humans are the only species to single-handedly drive millions of other co-existing species to extinction. Therefore the value of each and every single species of any living organism was reinstated. The discussion on the importance of biodiversity brought in topics of methods of conservation, such as gene banks, wildlife sanctuaries, plant and animal reserves etc.Towards the end, a Q & A session was conducted and questions relating to endangered species and loss of biodiversity were asked. Dr. Dan provided us with his valuable insight on these queries. It was an enlightening session and it gave us a lot of information of the existing natural crisis.
Career Giudance Talk on Career Opportunities In Government Sector
Date: 06th May 2021
A career guidance talk on “CAREER GIUDANCE TALK ON CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN GOVERNMENT SECTOR” was organized by the Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College (Autonomous), Bengaluru on 6th May 2021. The session was exclusively arranged for the final year UG and PG students of Life Sciences Department.
The key note speaker of the session was Mr.K.Satheesh, Founder and Director of Explore Academy, Coimbatore. Dr. C.M.Reena Josephine, the moderator of the session, introduced the speaker to the audience. Mr.K.Satheesh is presently the Founder& Managing Director of Explore Academy Coimbatore which is an institute that focuses on preparing the students to sharpen their skills and improve their performance in order to build positive, steady, and profitable results in the exam preparation. He gave an insight on the various opportunities which are available in different sectors of the government. He started the talk with the different job opportunities in the banking sector followed by guidelines on the preparation of those exams. He also gave an exhaustive explanation on how to prepare and apply for the various positions in Railways. He also highlighted on the preparation of exams for SSC.
Towards the end of his presentation, he emphasized that once you are in these sectors the future is secure and safe as these sectors provide the employees with good salary package and other benefits. He patiently and enthusiastically answered and cleared the doubts and queries that were raised by the students and delegates. Vote of thanks was proposed by the moderator the session, Dr. C.M.Reena Josephine.
International Webinar On Future Of Crime Scene Investigation
The Unit of Forensic Science, Department of Life Sciences organized an international webinar titled ‘ Future of Crime Scene Investigation’ on 26th March 2021. The webinar was attended by the students of 1st and 2nd year UG Forensic Science and registered external participants. The webinar aimed to look into newer and more modern avenues in crime scene investigation in order to expose the students to newer updated knowledge. The webinar was conducted online due to the pandemic situation using the ZOOM platform. The webinar had a inaugural session followed by 4 scientific sessions which were handled by international speakers of good reputation and extensive experience in the field of forensic science.
The webinar had four diverse topics related to crime scene investigation - Accident Investigation and its dynamics, 3D Crime Scene Scanning - Evolution, Documenting and analysing a fire scene, Bullet trajectory and Blood spatter analysis in 3D and Crime Scene Reconstruction: From the Foundation to the Future. Each topic dealt with different domains in the field of crime scene investigation and it left a lasting message in the student’s minds.
The inaugural ceremony of the international webinar was presided over by Rev. Fr. Dr. Augustine George, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College, Bangalore. Rev. Fr. Augustine George highlighted the need for the field of forensic science in today’s society. He also re-iterated the need for practical knowledge being imparted to today’s students and how it is necessary to help them achieve great things in their career. He encouraged the unit of Forensic Science to look into newer avenues to improve the course and to have associations with institutes of repute in the field.
The chief guest of the inaugural ceremony Shri. Maithili Sharan Gupta, IPS, National President Crime Free Bharat Mission & Former DGP (Police Reforms) of Madhya Pradesh explained the scope, working and future ambitions of the Crime Free Bharat mission under the Govt. Of India. He praised the administration of Kristu Jayanti College for organizing a webinar on such a needful topic. He encouraged the delegates and students to take part and be benefitted through the one-day webinar.
Session 1: Accident investigation and its dynamics
The resource person for this session was Dr. Sally Lukose, Professor and Dean of School of Allied Health Sciences in Sharda University, Greater Noida is also the Head of Academics-cum-Forensic Science Department at the College of Traffic Management, Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE), Faridabad.
The introduction speech was presented by Mr. Jeremiah Justus, Assistant professor, Unit of Forensic Science, Department of Life Science. He detailed about the achievements of Dr. Sally Lukose and the briefing was followed by the inauguration of the lecture. Dr. Sally started the session by breaking down the meaning behind the word “accident” and explained how it is usually perceived to be. Ma’am then showed the delegates a few case studies which showcased certain accidents that have occurred in the past in India.
The resource person then proceeded to discuss the statistics of road accidents as given by WHO (World Health Organization) and also gave certain solutions on how to prevent such accidents from occurring. The delegates were then let into the working of a road accident investigation as they were explained about the ABC of Accident Investigation which was further broken down into 5 levels - reporting, at-the scene investigation, technical follow-up, accident reconstruction and cause analysis.
The participants of the lecture were also educated on some of the causes of accidents which commonly occur and were also informed about some aspects of accidents occurring due to intoxication and the role of Blood Alcohol Concentration in analyzing that. The knowledge on the importance of investigating the condition of light bulbs from the headlights of a vehicle after a crash was also imparted.
Towards the end of the session, Dr. Sally spoke about a very useful technology called PC Crash which helps in 3D reconstruction of an accident scene which will help investigators to have a better understanding about the happenings of an accident. The session was concluded by Dr. Sally answering some queries about the topic and she also implanted the idea in the participants that accident investigation should be looked at as an interdisciplinary approach.
Session 2: 3D Crime Scene Scanning - Evolution, Documenting and analyzing a fire scene
The resource person for this session was Dr. Satendra Yadav, Public Safety Expert & Crime Scene Trainer, Leica Geosystems, Switzerland.
He talked about 3D Crime Scene Scanning and its Evolution. He started off by explaining how 3D Scanning technology began and why documentation is necessary especially when it comes to the trials in court. He then proceeded to show various technologies that could be used to document and take necessary measurements of the crime scene. Students and delegates were also able to learn that these devices are known as photogrammetry devices. He also gave instances from real life cases that he had worked on where he had used photogrammetry as a means of documenting a crime scene. One of them was about a road accident case, for which with the help of the geo-coordinates they were able to conclude that it was not the vehicle’s fault but rather the angle of the road that was faulty.
He further went on to explain why measurements are an important factor when it comes to documentation of a scene and introduced to us a new technology that could provide accurate measurements. Using images, he explained the working of these devices and what they could carry out.
He also explained the use of total stations and 3d laser scanners. He talked about different scanners like the Leica C10, P50, BLK360 etc., including their functions and accuracy range. He proceeded to tell us that how, with the use of lasers in these scanners we could have a walkthrough in the crime scene with a 360-degree view. Students learned that these laser scanners could be used in cases involving – blood stain pattern analysis, shooting accident reconstruction, crash reconstruction etc. He gave the delegates an insight on different technologies and software that are useful in criminal investigation. He introduced the participants to a new forensic software solution called Map360 which is a desktop software allowing forensic professionals to import, analyse and create court ready deliverables.
He gave examples using real cases and photographs. He showed cases that were solved with the help of these new technologies. Later, once he was done delivering the lecture, he went forward with answering questions from the delegates about the topic.
Session 3: Bullet trajectory and Blood spatter analysis in 3D
The resource person for this session Mr. Brad Joice is a Detective Sergeant, York regional Police, Ontario, Canada. The resource person used the session to help the delegates gain some knowledge on Bullet trajectory and blood spatter analysis in different cases handled by him in the past.
The session focused on roles played by a crime scene investigator, the changes brought about in the field of forensic science with this advancing technology and emphasized on the accuracy of 3D technology in ballistics and blood pattern analysis.
For a crime scene investigator, the main function is to document, collect and analyse evidences found in crime scenes.
Techniques used in the earlier times can be perceived as orthodox and less accurate methods of documentation when compared to 3D mapping. Right from using hand-held measuring tapes to 2D computer aided diagrams, and stepping up to the world of 3D scanning technologies and electronic deliverables, an evolution of processes is noticed.
Reminiscing the scenes from the famous series-Dexter, blood pattern analysis was put to light by Mr. Brad, focusing on how the string line method and older software programs like Backtrack from 1987 to Hemostat from 2006, can be a very time consuming and lesser efficient approach in comparison with the currently available devices and methods.
The multifaceted 3D scanning is a major invention that aided not only in blood spatter analysis but also the bullet trajectories.
The importance of shooting reconstruction to determine the bullets' area of origin was put to light. Usage of different tools like trajectory rods, string lines and lasers to visualise angles and motions in the trajectory was introduced. To young forensic science students, the session taken up by Mr. Brad was not just engaging but also an interesting learning platform that opened their eyes to how important it is to adapt and adopt to the changing times keeping in mind the basic principles that are part of regular curriculum.
Session 4: Crime Scene Reconstruction: From the Foundation to the Future
The resource person for this session Mr. Zachery Kowalske is a Detective & Crime Scene Reconstructionist at Roswell Police Department, Georgia, United States.
Mr. Zachery touched upon the different crime scene reconstruction techniques that were covered in the previous sessions and explained how they occupy the recent trend in crime scene documentation. After this, the resource person took the delegates and students through the different crime scene reconstruction techniques as postulated by different renown reconstructionists in the past. He showed glimpses of different text books and research papers which have devised new crime scene reconstruction techniques in the past. Students were able to understand the different theories which have led to today’s accepted reconstruction techniques.
The resource person finally explained the advantages and tamper-proof nature of 3D crime scene documentation technology. He used two case examples from his field experience to explain the crime scene documentation techniques that are put in practice and how blood patter analysis and bullet trajectory analysis help in crime scene reconstruction to a great deal.
He took the delegates and students through the process of crime scene documentation used in two high profile cases that he had investigated. Students could understand the great detail to which a crime scene has to be analysed in order to make it able to be reconstructed in the lab.
Commemoration of World Tuberculosis Day Expert Talk TB – Current scenario
As a part of skill enrichment programme, Department of Life Sciences conducted a guest webinar session through Zoom platform on 24th March 2021. The resource person for the session was Dr. M Muthuraj, Bacteriologist & Head state TB training and demonstration center, Intermediate reference laboratory government hospital for chest disease, Puducherry and gave insights about the topic – TB Current Scenario. The session was conducted for the benefit of undergraduate students of the department and was also attended by Rev Fr. Deepu & also by Dean of Science, HOD and all the faculty members of the Life Science Department.
The session was moderated by Ms. Malathi R, Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences who welcomed the resource person, the dignitaries and the audience. A wide range of diseases affecting the respiratory system is seen worldwide, the best example is the current covid-19 that has slaughtered many lives. TB is one among the top three contagious diseases that kills people worldwide, it’s a worldwide pandemic. Through proper medication and preventive measures the incidence of TB can be reduced, in this session Dr.Muthuraj gave proper insights about the contagious disease. The session was loaded with numerous queries, doubts from the audience and Dr. Muthuraj sir gladly answered and put all the uncertainties revolving in student’s mind to rest. The program ended on a positive note with a vote of thanks, leaving the audience with inspiration and opening up new perspectives about enhancing their knowledge.
Commemorating World Water Day Expert Talk | Valuing water
The Department of Life Sciences of Kristu Jayanti College organised a webinar on “valuing water” on the occasion of world water day on 22. 03. 2021. The resource person was Dr. K. Parameshwari currently working as an associate professor, at the Department of Chemistry, Karunya institute of Technology and Sciences, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu
The webinar mainly focused on bringing awareness about the importance of water and the ways to save it. The session started off with the importance of water and how much water is used by humans and for what purpose. Various problems of water scarcity, water pollutants from textile industries and its effects on rural areas were discussed and how preservation of water can save the distress caused to nature and humans. She also suggested to save our “blue gold” in various ways in day to day life for sustainable water management today and for future storage.
She briefed about her project related to waste water management from textile industry polluted river and its methodology with its relevant results
Towards the end of the session we were asked to work on the conservation of the water and the nature in total. it was an enlightening session and gave us a lot of information of the existing natural crisis.
International Lecture on ‘Science adventures: unravelling mysteries one experiment at a time’
The DBT star college scheme aims at inspiring undergraduate students to take up experimental science as their career and to instil the practical skills that are required to achieve this. After the sanctioning of the scheme to the Department of Life Sciences in February 2020, the department has been keen in organising events and activities that would contribute to achieving this goal. The inspire lecture series is yet another step towards the goal. Through the lecture series, undergraduate students will be introduced to the complicated yet interesting process of scientific inquiry through interactions with researchers and industrialists from across the globe. The first lecture in the series was organised on the topic ‘Science adventures: unravelling mysteries one experiment at a time’ on 26. 02. 2021 virtually over the zoom platform. Dr. Jospeh Jose Thottacherry, Research Associate, St Johnston Laboratory, Wellcome Trust/CRUK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge was the resource person for the session. An accomplished young researcher in the field of cell biology, Dr. Joseph focussed on the basic concepts of the Scientific method in his talk. He took the students on an interesting journey through his experiences as a budding scientist. He explained how research problems are identified and hypotheses are generated to solve the problem. He elaborated on the various aspects of designing experiments to prove/ disprove the hypothesis. He also explained how critical it is to be cautious while inferring causalities and how not to make mistakes. The session was interactive throughout by the active participation of the students. Ms. Sharon Mary, student representative from IV semester BSc MBG delivered the welcome address. Ms. Lalramthari, student representative from IV semester BSc BBG introduced Dr. Joseph to the gathering. Ms. Rithiksha from IV semester BSc MBG delivered the vote of thanks. Students from the I and II year undergraduate programmes and I year postgraduate programmes and the faculty members of the Department of Life Sciences were present
National Science Day 2021
The National Science Day commemorates the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’ by Dr. C.V. Raman the renowned Indian Scientist who was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1930 for his pioneering work in the field of molecular diffraction of light. Every year, on February 28th, the Nation pays homage to one of the brightest scientific minds she has ever produced. To mark the occasion and to inculcate the passion for Science in young students of the country, Kristu Jayanti College, Autonomous organised National Science Day celebrations in collaboration with Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST) in the virtual mode on 27th February, 2021. Dr. Binoy K Saikia, Senior Scientist at the CSIR-North East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat, Assam was the chief guest for the Inaugural ceremony. While delivering the thematic lecture on ‘Future of STI: Impact on Education, Skills and Work’ he emphasised on the importance of translating science and technology into indigenous start-ups in order to make the country self-sufficient in terms of meeting the market requirements as well as to generate employment. The inaugural ceremony was followed by various competitions for higher secondary school and undergraduate students. The competition served to enkindle scientific temperament, creativity and imagination. Students from institutions across the country participated in the competitions. Essay and Quiz competitions were organised for higher secondary school students while undergraduate students participated in the Science business idea competitions and lecture contest. The winners were awarded with attractive cash prizes. The jury members who evaluated the competitions were stunned and elated by the creativity and imagination in the young students and expressed their hope in the millennial generation to spearhead the innovations in Science and Technology that would make the country self-reliant.
Expert Lecture on How genes influence on natural selection
"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent, who survives but those who can best manage change." - Charles Darwin.
International Darwin’s day is celebrated on February 12th by Universities, colleges, research institutions and science organizations worldwide, to highlight the contributions and host events that celebrate Darwin’s scientific achievements in evolutionary biology. In this regard, Department of Life sciences organized “International Darwin’s day guest lecture” on 15th February 2021 through zoom platform from 3:30 PM to 4.30 PM. The Guest Speaker for the session was Dr. S Dinakaran, currently designated as the Professor and Head, Department of Zoology, The Madura College (Autonomous), Madurai, Tamilnadu
The event started with an invocation song followed by a welcome address, Dr. Arun Kumar S introduced the distinguished speaker to the participants. Dr.S. Dinakaran, shared his expertise on the topic “How genes influence on natural selection” accentuating the role of genes, mutation, polymorphism, genetic drift and types of natural selection in evolution. His lecture furthered the students with profound knowledge on Evolutionary biology. Questions raised by the participants were clarified by the speaker. The lecture benefited 110 students and the Faculty members of Department of Life Sciences. The session ended with vote of thanks followed by the College Anthem.
Expert Lecture on Wetlands: Kidneys of Earth
Date: 12th February, 2021
The life science department of Kristu Jayanti College organised an expert talk on wetlands: kidneys of earth. The resource person was Mr. M. Rajesh. Asst. Professor, PG & Research Department of Zoology, The American College, Madurai.
Prof. Rajesh is an environmentalist and academician. He is an expert on biodiversity conservation. The expert talk was organised to commemorate the 50th year of Ramsar Convention. The Ramsar Convention on wetlands which is the oldest international treaty works towards conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. The expert lecture was based on the conservation of wetlands and biodiversity. The lecture focused on bringing awareness about the problems faced by wetlands due to urbanization and human exploitation. The natural habitat has been destroyed due to human activities. The resource person stressed on facts and statistics about the amount of water used by humans and how it is being wasted. Through his slides he showed the wetlands of India and the flora and fauna that thrive in these wetlands.
The session was very informative and he stressed upon the youngsters to work on the conservation of the wetlands and nature as it was the need of the hour. The talk was attended by II and IV Sem Undergraduate students (BBB, BBG, MBG) and faculty of Life Science Department.
Expert Talk Commemorating the 6th International Day of Women and Girls in Science “Women in Biology”
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science was celebrated by the Department of Life Sciences on 11th February, 2021. An expert talk was delivered by Dr. E. Jayadevi Variyar, Associate Professor, Department of Biotechnology and Microbiology, Kannur University, Thalassery Campus, Kerala on “Women in Biology”. The resource person was introduced by the Dr. Sangeetha Menon, Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences. Dr. Jayadevi began the talk by reminscing about her struggles as a woman in her early life as a researcher and scientist, shouldering responsibilities in work and personal life. She shared statistics on the lower percentage of women population in STEM. She dwelt and shared insights on the lives of many famous women scientist throughout the world despite objections, struggles and gender barriers which have inspired millions of girls and women to venture into science. Dr. Jayadevi stressed and recommended the students to go ahead and discover science and encouraged the students to question their doubts, raise the bar and never shy away from the challenges put forth to them. The expert lecture motivated the students to pursue further studies in science.
Expert Talk Commemorating the 6th International Day of Women and Girls in Science “Women in Conservation”
With great momentum and interest to accelerate progress in achieving more in the field of science and to commemorate the 6th International Day of Women and Girls in Science, department of Life Sciences organized an expert talk and the topic was “WOMEN IN CONSERVATION”. The resource person for the session was Dr. MADHOOLIKA AGRAWAL, Professor and Head, Department of Botany, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. The session was conducted for the benefit of all the post graduate students of the department and was also attended by Dean of Science, Head of the department and all the faculty members of the Life Science Department.
The session was moderated by Dr. Esther Shoba R, Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences who welcomed the resource person, the dignitaries and the audience. After a formal introduction of the resource person, Dr. MADHOOLIKA AGRAWAL spoke about the role of women in Biodiversity conservation. She added that women researchers were equally responsible for advancing the knowledge of the virus, developing vaccines for testing and creating vaccine against virus. The speaker also inspired and encouraged the audience to give their 100% dedication in whatever work they are into. Dr. MADHOOLIKA AGRAWAL motivated all the students to have a vision. The program ended on a positive note with a vote of thanks, leaving the audience with a true inspiration and opening up to a much-needed focus on girls entering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Commemorating World Cancer Day 2021 Awareness talk on “Cancer: Risks & Prevention”
The Department of Life Sciences of Kristu Jayanti College organized an awareness talk for Commemorating World Cancer Day by organizing an awareness talk on topic ‘Cancer: Risk and Prevention’ on 4th February, 2021 at 2:15 pm. The aim of this session was to spread the awareness among students about the onset of cancer. The resource person was Dr. Shweta Sharma, Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College, Bangalore. Students from IV Semester MBG, BBG, BBB and F.Sc. and CSA volunteers were part of the session. Session was coordinated by Dr.Challaraj Emmanuel, PG Coordinator, Department of Life Sciences of Kristu Jayanti College and Dr.Vijayanand, UG Coordinator, Department of Life Sciences of Kristu Jayanti College. The moderator of the session was Ann Mariya, II year, F.Sc, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College, Bangalore welcomed and introduced the resource person.
The session was very informative and eye-opening. Dr. Shweta clearly explained about the biology behind cancer progression .She mainly emphasised on risk factors such as tobacco intake, alcohol, obesity, work environment and lack of physical work out. The session also enlighten us about the measures that should be taken to prevent the incidence of cancer. She also mentioned about free radical deposition in body leading to carcinogenesis. The knowledge about the various cancer centres in the Bangalore was also shared with the participants.
The session ended at 3:15 pm with the vote of thanks delivered by Lorraine Tissan, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College, Bangalore and concluded by Dr. Emmanuel Challaraj, PG Coordinator, Dept. of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College.
International Expert lecture Security Audit And Its Relation To Forensic Science
An International Expert lecture was organised by the unit of forensic science, Department of Life sciences on 9th December 2020. The resource person was Dr. Mike McCutcheon. The session started with a brief introduction by Mr. Don Caeiro, assistant professor of Forensic Science, followed by the presidential address by Dr Vijayanand S, Coordinator and assistant professor UG Department of Life Sciences.
The session was then handed over to Dr Mike. Dr. Mike started by introducing the field of fingerprints. He then explained about the various methods of development. He further demonstrated the development of fingerprints on surfaces like glass, porcelain, textured surface, car door handles etc. He used different techniques of development and lifting while explaining the benefit of one technique over the other. He also explained the recent developments made in the field of fingerprint development and analysis.
National Webinar on ‘Scientific Validation of Some Ethnobotanical Plants’
The online National webinar was held on Zoom platform on Tuesday, 15th December’ 2020. The session was attended by Kristu Jayanti faculty and students.
The webinar began at 9:15 am with an invocation rendered by the college choir. Dr. Calistus Jude A L, Dean, faculty of Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College, formally welcomed the gathering. The welcome note was followed by the inaugural address delivered by Rev. Fr. Dr. Augustine George CMI, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College.
The moderator of the session, Dr. Indira M. N., faculty, Department of Life Sciences, welcomed and introduced the chief guest of the day Rev. Fr. Dr. S. Ignacimuthu S.J. to the audience.
Fr. Dr. S. Ignacimuthu delivered the Key note address on ‘Scientific Validation of Some Ethnobotanical Plants’, where he stressed upon the need to identify plants of medicinal importance, validate its potential activities and bring it to the knowledge of the society. Fr. Dr. S. Ignacimuthu through his slides beautifully explained the use of local plants used in the traditional system of medicine. He explained the use of ethnomedicines. He deliberated upon the active constituents of various medicinal plants and their role in combating diseases. He highlighted the need to switch over to traditional herbal medicines to cure and ward of a number of human ailments including COVID. He urged the young audience to focus on herbal research and introduce newer plant products into the society.
After the inaugural address, the session was open for discussion. Fr. Dr. S. Ignacimuthu patiently answered the queries of the audience.
The session ended at 10:30 am with the vote of thanks delivered by Dr. Emmanuel Challaraj, Coordinator, PG Dept of life sciences, Kristu Jayanti College.
Vignana Vicintana, (Research Colloquium)
In 2019 the Department of Life Sciences established the first annual Student Research Colloquium -Vignana Vicintana in order to provide students with an opportunity to gain public speaking experience, learn about student research from fields outside their own academic discipline. The event is planned during every semester to foster the need for research to the Post Graduate students. With this optimum learning environment, the students realize their true potential, to develop their intellectual, academic and entrepreneurial skills through rigorous and hands on training. This year will mark the second season of Student Research Colloquium, on 15th December between 10.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m.
The Research Colloquium is to provide a setting and structure that together make possible for each of them the production of a refined piece of original work, which showcases not only the specialized knowledge but also analytical and experimental reasoning. Dr. Challaraj Emmanuel, PG coordinator, Department of Lifesciences, welcomed the gathering, Dr. Calistus Jude, Dean , Faculty of Sciences, presided over the session along with Elcey C .D. Head, Department of Lifesciences .The program comprised three sessions.
The resource person was Dr. Shweta Sharma, Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College (Autonomous), Bengaluru
Topic: "Expression profile of microRNAs in HPV mediated cervical carcinogenesis".
Dr Shweta addressed the HPV prevalence in the women population in Delhi and NCR region of north India was determined along with the subtyping of HPV. The sample collection followed by diagnosis and the regulatory role of miRNAs in cervical cancer progression. She added on the up-regulation and down-regulation of miRNAs expression, which was diagnosed by qRT-PCR and by cell culture. She concluded that by this study miRNAs can serve as a potent biomarker in prognosis of cervical cancer and miRNAs can also be used in gene therapy in future prospects of treatments.
The resource person for the session was Dr. Maria Vera Jesus Da Costa, Alumnus-UG- 2005-2008 batch B.Sc (BBG). Currently she is serving as a Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Crop Physiology, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bengaluru
Topic: Phytohormone and Metabolite Profiling of Rice at the reproductive stage under a combination of draught and heat Maria who is currently working on draught and water resistant plant varieties gave a detailed view on the mechanism of tolerance. She also added on the analytical techniques that are applied in finding out the mechanism. She presented about her small metabolomics work and briefed about the metabolite which is involved in the stress resistance. Her talk covered the regulation of phytohormones during the stress condition not affecting the yield of the plant. Overall it was an enriching experience to hear from an eminent person who is specialized in plant physiology.
Resource person : Mr. Rahul Nemani, student of III Sem M.Sc., (Microbiology) (2019-2021 batch), Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College (Autonomous), Bengaluru
Topic: “Green synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles using Annona cherimola leaf extract and screening of its antibacterial efficacy against major plant pathogens”
The session covered the green synthesis of nanoparticles from Annona Leaf extract. Rahul presented about the nanoparticles and the choice of the green synthesis method for obtaining nanoparticles. He also added on the impact of silver nanoparticles on certain plant pathogens especially on Xanthomonas sp., He gave an insight about his findings and results and briefed about the methods and applications of Silver nanoparticles and its application during the current scenario. He also added on the future views and planning of work.
The program was coordinated by Dr.Challaraj Emmanuel, Faculty member, Department of Life Sciences. Overall the program helped in knowledge sharing of the researchers in the field of their expertise. It is a blend of research experience from an industrialist, academicians and the student. (Finally proposed the vote of thanks congratulated the presenters for coming forward to impart their research findings and experiences, and wished everyone a significant and enriching learning.)
Finally, the vote of thanks was proposed and the presenters were congratulated for coming forward to impart their research findings and experiences, and wished everyone a significant and enriching learning.
Expert Lecture on Polymers As Medical Implants
Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College, organised a guest lecture on the day of its intra-collegiate biofest, BIOVENTURA 2K20, on 20th November 2020. The guest speaker, Prof. Mukesh Doble, Professor Emeritus, Department of biotechnology, IIT Chennai, spoke on the topic “Polymers as medical implants”. The objective of this lecture was to create awareness amongst students regarding the real industrial challenges for life sciences students and introducing the technical requirement to grab the best industrial opportunities. He covered several types of biomaterials and their uses. He also addressed interesting key facts about the polymers. He was also expressing his view on polymers, process control, and safety measures significance in the industries.
Materials used in medical implants vary from the well-known to the obscure. Some of the most common and innovative medical implant, ranges from familiar silicone to new 3D-printed bio-materials. He talked about surgical mesh, commonly used for hernia or gynaecological repair. Silicone gel is an inert polymer which causes no known human allergies or reactions. The material is usually heat-resistant and can be liquid or rubber-like in texture. It is well-known for being used to make breast implants for reconstructive surgeries and is often chosen over saline breast implant options despite the higher risks should leakage of silicone into the body occur.
The first silicone breast prosthesis was created in the 60s. As with surgical mesh, silicone has come under scrutiny for complications such as breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. Almost all total knee replacement implants and many total hip replacement implants contain ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). This plastic is necessary to provide cushioning and movement. Polyethylene is the most common plastic and it is often one of the materials used in medical implants because it is a porous synthetic polymer that is biologically inert and does not degrade in the body.
Almost, 167 students (including PG first years and final years) participated in the lecture with positive concern. The last session of interaction with students was quite informative and knowledgeable, students gained many ideas during this session.
International Expert Lecture Series
An International Expert Lecture Series on the topic Bioleaching, Bioprocess and Bioproduct (3 Bs industry) Developments was organised by Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College on 24th of October, 2020. The resource person was Dr. Parthiba Karthikeyan, Research Assistant Professor, University of Houston, Texas, USA.
He holds a PhD in Environmental Sciences from the Centre for Environmental Studies, Anna University, Chennai where he held the positions of research fellow, senior research fellow and research assistant professor in various institutions across the world, in countries such as Hongkong, Singapore, Australia, China, UK and USA. Dr. Parthiba is an expert in the field of Environmental Sciences. He gave his insights on Bioleaching, Bioprocess and Bioproduct. He also mentioned about various pollutants that would contaminate the environment due to industrialization. He discussed extensively about bioleaching and its importance, the process of extracting metals through cleaner technology. He also emphasized on the use of bioprocess techniques which is the green process engineering for efficient utilization of resources. Finally, he discussed about the bioproducts and their value. On the whole the lecture was very useful for the final year UG and PG students of Life Sciences Department. They interacted with the resource person and clarified their doubts. The students benefited by this International Expert Lecture.
Online International webinar on “Viral Vectors: Overcoming hurdles for commercialization of Gene Therapy”
The Department of Life Sciences conducted an online International webinar on “Viral Vectors: Overcoming hurdles for commercialization of Gene Therapy” via Zoom Platform on 15th September, 2020 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. for the faculty and students of Life Science Department. The Resource Person for the online session was Dr. Sam Laurel Stephen, Principal Scientist, National Biologics Centre, Darlington, United Kingdom.
The aim of this programme was to enlighten students on mechanistic interplay of viral vectors in overcoming hurdles for commercialization of gene therapy. The concept and the usage of viruses as vectors in therapeutics lead the students to open new doors of the mind towards therapeutics. This session made the beneficiaries to understand genetic engineering of virus preparation and application in gene therapy.
It was interesting to know about the history of gene therapy. Dr. Stephen shared his research work on lentiviral and retroviral uses for gene transfer. The resource person also inculcated/ emphasized about the concept of virus gene modification and its success in research. He shared some success stories of people who had undergone gene therapy for their diseases. Beneficiaries were enlightened with the updates of gene therapy clinical trials which have taken place and about gene therapy medicines which might be available soon.
Total of 499 students from I Sem BSc BBG, MBG, BBB, FS, III Sem BSc BBG, MBG, BBB, FS, V Sem BBG, MBG, III Sem M. Sc MB and BT participated in the International webinar session and had an opportunity to learn about the various benefits of virus vaccines and gene therapies. The lecture was very informative, knowledgeable, and was indeed very enriching.
Online International Lecture and Expert Alumni Interaction on Applications of Mass Spectrometry in Biology
International Lecture on Applications of mass spectrometry in biology, organized by Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College (Autonomous), Bengaluru. It was conducted on the 26th of June 2020 for the students and faculties of institutions and organizations. The session had very good Participation with participants. The session was Conducted virtually using Zoom Platform, hosted by Dr. S.Vijayanand, Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College. The Introductory remarks for the session was delivered by Rev.Fr.Dr. Augustine George,Principal, Kristu Jayanti College. The resource person invited was Dr. Monita Muralidharan, Staff Scientist, Department of Cellular & Molecular Phrmacology, University of California, San Francisco.
The event was majorly based on the Basic Principles and applications of Mass Spectrometry . The talk comprehends the participants to understand about the Middle and Top Down Proteomics. The Large scale identification of protein-small molecule interaction and work flow of sample preparation for MS Analysis was very well explained. The session was also elaborated towards Structural Proteomics and Sequence determination by Tandem Mass Spectrometry. The interactive session was very well explained by the resource person. Many questions were raised from the participants such as about applications of mass spec analysis of biological samples.
FDP on Insights On Intellectual Property & Patenting
A webinar on “Forensic Odontology and its Application”, was organized by Unit of Forensic Science, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College (Autonomous), Bengaluru. It was conducted on 16th of June 2020. The target audience was undergraduate, postgraduate students, research scholars, faculties of many other institutions and organizations. The number of participants attended the webinar were 96 from many institutions. The resource person Was Dr. Akhil Shetty, Oral Pathologist and Forensic Odontologist. The session was arranged and hosted by Mr. Don Caeiro, Assistant Professor, Unit of Forensic Science, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College on the first day. The webinar was inaugurated by Vice Principal, Rev. Father Dr.Augustine George. the session was concluded and vote of thanks was delivered by Mr Don Caeiro. The webinar was mainly focused on the discipline of forensic odontology. The resource person gave a brief introduction and then went on to explain the application of forensic odontology in various aspects. Mr Akhil also threw light on certain procedures employed in the field that is of utmost importance to any forensic professional. He also spoke on the importance of the discipline, its limitations and the scope of forensic odontology. Along with this he also discussed a few case studies and gave a good amount of illustrations.
FDP on Insights On Intellectual Property & Patenting
FDP on Insights in Intellectual Property Right and Patenting was organized for three days from 11-06-20 to 13-06-20 by Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College (Autonomous), Bengaluru for the postgraduate students, research scholars, faculties of many other institutions and organizations. The number of beneficiaries on 11-06-20:132, 12-06-20: 64 and 13-06-20 : 63. The convener of the session was Dr.Challraj Emmanuel and co- convener were Dr.Shweta Sharma and Mr. Don Caeiro from Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College. The resource person invited for these three days were Mr.Nitin Nair,Senior Patner,BananaIP (BIP) Counsels, Bengaluru for 11-06-20,Mr.Manoj Madhavan, Assistant Controller of Patents and Designs, Chennai for 12-06-20 and Ms.Bindu Sharma,Founder & CEO, Origiin IP solutions LLP,Bengaluru for 13-06-20. The first day (11-06-20) Mr.Nitin Nairgave his insights about patent their types and its functionality. The session also covered process of patenting with typical examples. Participants also got to know about the contents of patent & IPR.They also got benefited comprehending about the criteria in applying to it. The use of various databases in regard to IPR was also clearly explained. The second day (12-06-20) Mr.Manoj Madhavan briefed about iPR and Patenting system in India.He elaborated on trademarks, patenting, copyrights, logo and designs. Participants understood the overall process of filing patent. Last day of the FDP (13-06-20) Ms.Bindu Sharma enlightened about the contributions of various organization in the field of IPR and Patenting such as Shoolini University,Amity university etc. She also made participants aware that innovation is not bound to any age with remarkable examples of Mark Zuckerberg , Louis Braille and many more. The session also comprehend participants about geographical indication, trade secrets and infringement of patent. The interactive session was very well explained by the resource person. Participants were very keen to know more IPR and Patent process. Participants were very encouraged about this field and online courses offered by resource person. The event was very enriching about all the information of IPR and Patents.
Faculty development programme on “Understanding Cyber Space and Maintaining Safety”
A Faculty development programme on “Understanding Cyber Space and Maintaining Safety”, was organized by Unit of Forensic Science, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College (Autonomous), Bengaluru. It was conducted from the 10th of June 2020 to 12th June 2020. The target audience was undergraduate, postgraduate students, research scholars, faculties of many other institutions and organizations. The cost of registration for the progamme was Rs 200 for those outside Kristu Jayanti College The number of participants attended the webinar were 58 from many institutions. The resource person Was Mr. Don Caeiro, Asst Professor, Unit of Forensic Science, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College, Bangalore. The session was arranged and hosted by Dr. Dileep Francis, Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College on the first day. The webinar was inaugurated by Vice Principal, Rev. Father Dr. Augustine George. The second session was arranged and hosted by Dr Neha Pandey, Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College, and the third day session was hosted and arranged by Dr Sangeetha Menon, Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College. On the third day the session was concluded and vote of thanks was delivered by Fr. Josekutty P D, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College. The programme spanned three days, covering specific topics. On the first day the session was about various incidents that can happen to any one of us who use the cyber space and the technology. Crimes like phishing, crimes involving banking transactions, exploitation of messaging applications that we use and many others. On the second day the resource person spoke on the basic functioning of the cyber space and what happens when we are connected to the various technology that we are using day in and day out. On the third day various methods of staying safe while using this technology was discussed that was very beneficial. Throughout the three session good examples and case studies were discussed that helped the audience understand the topic.
Online Webinar on “Tobacco, Disease and Distress-An Awareness Webinar”
Webinar on “Tobacco, Disease and Distress-An Awareness Webinar”, organized by Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College (Autonomous), Bengaluru. It was conducted on the 30th of May 2020 to observe “No Tobacco Day”, 31st May 2020. The target audience was undergraduate, postgraduate students, research scholars, faculties of many other institutions and organizations. The number of participants attended the webinar were 185 from many institutions.
The resource person invited was Dr.Chetana T, M.D, DNB. Cancer Screening Manager, Indian Cancer Society, Bengaluru. The event was majorly based on effect of tobacco consumption among youngsters and elderly. The major concern for organizing this webinar was to spread awareness among participants especially students and youngsters about the harmful effect of smoke or smokeless tobacco. The talk also enlightens participants about the biological role of carcinogen present in tobacco which lead to different organ damage. The session also pin pointed to the psychology among youngster for many reasons to take tobacco. The resource person also makes the participants understand the various stages of cancer caused by tobacco. Participants were so influenced by Dr. Chethana words that some of them voluntarily wanted to join their team of Indian Cancer Society. The session was highly fruitful for the participants and was highly appreciated in the feedback. The interaction and discussion was held at the end of the webinar by resource person Dr.Chetana T and Dr.Puneeth Shetty, Screening Manager, Indian Cancer Society, Bengaluru also joined her for the clarification of queries and doubts of the participants.
The session was arranged and hosted by Dr. Shweta Sharma, Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College. The webinar was inaugurated by Vice Principal, Rev. Father Dr.Augustine George.The session was concluded and vote of thanks was delivered by Ms.Sharon, student of M.Sc, microbiology, Department of Life Science, KJC.
Online Webinar on “Biodiversity assessment and conservation strategies for major lakes of Bengaluru”
Environment Club and Department of Life Sciences
Webinar on “Biodiversity assessment and conservation strategies for major lakes of Bengaluru”
International Day for Biological Diversity
Date: 22nd May, 2020
Time: 11:30 am- 1:30 pm
Topic: “Biodiversity assessment and conservation strategies for major lakes of Bengaluru”
Resource Person: Dr. N Nandini, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Environmental Science, Bangalore University, Bangalore
Beneficiaries: Students and Teachers from colleges in India
Prof. Nandini enlightened on how Bangalore, once known as Garden City has changed over the years and stressed on the necessity to have sustainable development. She explained about how lakes play a major role in our lives and that we have a moral responsibility to protect and preserve them. She showed the photographs of different lakes in Bangalore and explained how they have changed due to human encroachment. When we pollute nature it comes back to us. She took a case study of Vrishabhavathi river and Bellandur lake and explained how pollution has drastically changed the water quality. Water pollution in turn affect fishes and causes water borne diseases as we consume them. Heavy metal accumulation has been witnessed near construction areas and there has been cases of cross contamination of sewage leading to diseases in lake view apartments where lake encroachment has been done.
India is one of the 12 mega biodiversity of world. Dr. Nandini elaborated on how her group has made an eco-friendly herbal hand sanitizer using native plants like turmeric and Neem. It is important to grow native trees like Pongamia Pinnata (Pongam), Tamarindus Indica (Tamarind), Azadirachta indica (Neem Tree) and Heritage trees like Banyan tree, Coconut Trees, Jack Fruit Trees, Rain Trees, Peepal Trees. There are many number of Aquatic species which could purify heavy metals in water. Growing Typha plant around water bodies help in bioremediation. There many varieties of bacteria which aid in Bioremediation and Phyto remediation. Phyto plankton Chlorella Vulgaris and Zoo plankton-Benthos have a great role to play. Insects have a major role in maintaining the ecosystem. Odonates, Butterflies, Fishes, Frogs, Reptiles and Birds are part of biodiversity and have specific roles to play in the balance of ecosystem. The plant Dark Blue Tiger has been found to attract Butterflies.
Dr. Nandini concluded the session by saying that if biodiversity is conserved automatically, water bodies will be purified. If we protect Nature, it will protect you back.
Online Faculty Development Programme on SARS-COV-2 Research: Insights from Computational Biology
Date: 11th to 15th May, 2020
Resource persons: Dr. Dileep Francis & Dr. Sangeetha Menon (Assistant Professors, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College)
Number of participants: 237
The covid-19 outbreak which started in china in the late December of 2019 has now spread globally. The infection which results in respiratory ailments is caused by a virus which is named as SARS-CoV-2. Attempts to bring down the rate of infections through nationwide lock downs, patient quarantining, tracing of contacts, and urging citizens to practice social distancing has helped to control the spread of the disease to some extent. However many of these measures are economically and socially devastating and cannot continue for long. The scenario is further made grim by the fact that at present there are no specific drugs or vaccines against the virus. The best way to tackle the crisis and bring the day to day lives of the common man back to normal is the discovery of a vaccine or a therapeutic drug against the virus.
Researchers across the globe are trying hard to come up with a therapy against Covid-19. The medical research on the virus has benefitted heavily from a relatively recent branch of biology called Computational Biology. Computational Biology brings together the accuracy of Computers, Information Technology and Biological Sciences. This powerful combination is used to store, retrieve and analyse biological data and use them to make predictions relevant to health care, infection control, agriculture etc. Computational Biology has helped the scientific community to understand the life cycle of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, decipher the way it enters human cells, develop diagnostics to identify the virus and predict vaccine and drug candidates against it. In short, computational biology has broadened our understanding of the nature of the virus and has predicted ways to combat it.
It was in this context that the Department of Life Sciences organised an online FDP on SARS-CoV-2 research: Insights from Computational Biology. The FDP was designed to disseminate the current body of knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 garnered through computational biology methods and to elaborate on the methodologies utilised to derive the data. The FDP had five sessions of one hour each. The FDP was inaugurated by Rev. Dr. Augustine George, Vice Principal, and Kristu Jayanti College. The concluding remarks and valedictory address was delivered by Rev. Fr. Josekutty P. D, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College. The resource persons were Dr. Dileep Francis and Dr. Sangeetha Menon, Assistant professors at the Department of Life Sciences. The sessions focussed on the biological aspects of the virus and how Computational Biology helped the world to understand it better. The sessions also provided technical insights on how to harness the potential of Computational Biology in performing research on the present infection and other diseases.
Online Webinar on Immune Responses to SARS-COV-2 & Related Infections
Webinar on Immune Responses to SARs-COV-2 & Related Infections , organized by Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College (Autonomous), Bengaluru. It was conducted on the 8th of May 2020 for the undergraduate, postgraduate students, research scholars, faculties of many other institutions and organizations. The number of participants attended the webinar were 201 from many institutions.
The session was arranged and hosted by Dr. Shweta Sharma, Assistant Professor, Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College. The session was concluded by Dr.Calestius Jude, Dean of Sciences , KJC.
The resource person invited was Dr.Sandeep T, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, M.S Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru. The event was majorly based on the pandemic COVID-19. The talk comprehends the participants to understand about the immune responses against SARS-COV-2.The basic structure of Coronavirus was very well explained. It also mentioned about the source of infection, modes of transmission and pathogenesis of COVID -19, which was found to be very fruitful for the current scenario. The session was also elaborated towards the mechanism of recognition and initiation of SARS-COV-2 invading the human cell. The session was also very interesting to know about the role of various immune cells and released cytokine in defense process against COVID-19.
The interactive session was very well explained by the resource person. Participants were very keen to know more about the biology behind the SARS-COV-2.Many questions were raised from the participants such as about the treatment of COVID-19,Inhibitory mechanism to prevent the entry of the virus in human cells, herd immunity concept and many more.
The event was very enriching about all the information related to immune response against COVID-19. The feedback we received was highly appreciable and positive from the participants.
Expert Lecture | Forensic Psychology and Expert Witness Testimony
The Unit of Forensic Science under the Department of Life Sciences organized an expert lecture on ‘Forensic Psychology and Expert Witness Testimony’ on 9th January 2020, in Mini Auditorium I. The session was led by Mr. Sunny Joseph, a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Forensic Psychologist. The lecture was a part of the Expert Lecture Series, a departmental initiative to provide its students with an opportunity to hear from and interact with national and international experts in Life Sciences and allied fields
Dr. Sunny briefed the students on Forensic Science and expert witness testimony. He explained how an expert is summoned in the court and the qualifications that make a Forensic Scientist eligible to be considered an expert. He talked about the processes that happen in a court pertinent to the admissibility of evidence. He also talked about his live experiences with the field of Forensic Psychology. He talked about Forensic Clinical Psychology and responsibilities of an expert in the field. Various methods used for lie detection and ways to extract information from a possible suspect were also elaborated. He also briefed us on various psychological assessments used in the field of Forensic Science. A brief idea on how polygraph works and the equipments involved was also given. The students were happy to have received a comprehensive and live session on the topic. They observed that the session was enthusiastic and informative throughout.
Expert Lecture | Spectroscopy in Life Sciences
Spectroscopy, as applied in Life Sciences deals with the study of biological molecules using electromagnetic radiations. Indispensible to a Life Scientist, the technique with a plethora of variations, formats and instrumentations has stood tall and firm as one of most important Laboratory tool for research and analysis on biological samples.
In the latest edition of its expert lecture series, the Department of Life Sciences hosted an eminent personality in the field of spectroscopy as its resource person. Dr. Arun Babu A. V, Senior Technologist at the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru delivered an erudite lecture on the topic ‘Spectroscopy in Life Sciences’ on 11th December 2019 in the Mini Auditorium III to an excited audience comprising of the members of the faculty, postgraduate and final year undergraduate students of the Department of Life Sciences. Following the invocation hymn, Ms Priyanka D’costa of II semester M.Sc. Microbiology welcomed the gathering. The talk imparted fresh insights on spectroscopic methods to the students and faculty members. Dr. Arun, setting the stage with the basics of electromagnetic radiations and their interaction with matter guided the students through the principles and applications of the popular spectroscopic techniques relevant to Life Sciences like the Raman and FTIR. The lecture was received by the students with great enthusiasm. The event was concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms. Anugraha Johnny of II semester M. Sc. Biotechnology.
Guest Lecture | Use the force: How plasma membrane tension regulates endocytosis
The Department of Life Sciences organized a guest lecture on the topic ‘Use the force: How plasma membrane tension regulates endocytosis’ on 23rd September 2019, in Mini Auditorium II. The session was led by Mr Joseph Jose Thottacherry, Bridging Post-Doctoral fellow at Satyajit Mayors Lab, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru. The lecture was a part of the Lecture Series, a departmental initiative to provide its students with an opportunity to hear from and interact with national and international experts in Life Sciences and allied fields. The session started with an invocation hymn. The event was hosted by Ms Nasrin P, student representative from III semester MSc Microbiology. Ms Jinu George from III Semester MSc Biotechnology welcomed the gathering and Ms Judith Ann Sabu from I Semester MSc Biotechnology introduced the speaker. Mr Joseph, a cell biologist with noteworthy accomplishments in the field at an early stage of his career including publications in prestigious journals like Nature Communications and Annual Reviews, talked about how he collaborated with physicists from Barcelona and Bengaluru and developed multiple ways to modulate plasma membrane tension to look at and understand how it affected membrane trafficking. Membrane trafficking is a complex process by which cells transport large substances in and out of the cell. A custom designed cell stretching device and optical tweezers were used to measure membrane tension on modulating endocytosis. The results from these experiments helped Mr. Joseph and his team to unravel a non-canonical endocytic pathway involved in the membrane trafficking process while the classical mechanisms are not involved. Mr Joseph also conveyed why research is an exciting field to be in from his experiences.
The lecture was attended by the faculty members and the students of I and III semester MSc. It was received with appreciation and excitement as the style of delivery and the content was novel and thought-provoking. The session came to a formal conclusion with a vote of thanks by Mr Swaroop from I MSc Microbiology.
Expert Lecture | Evolution of Caecilian amphibians of Western Ghats, India
The Department of Life Sciences organized an expert lecture on ‘Evolution of Caecilian amphibians of Western Ghats, India’ on 9th August 2019, in Mini Auditorium II. The resource person for the session was Dr Venu Govindappa, Faculty at the Centre for Applied Genetics of Bangalore South University. The lecture was a part of the Expert Lecture Series, a departmental initiative to provide its students with an opportunity to hear from and interact with national and international experts in Life Sciences and allied fields.
The session started with an invocation hymn. Dr Arun Kumar, Faculty member, Department of Life Sciences welcomed the speaker with a floral bouquet. A specialist in Cytogenetics, Dr Venu talked about how he employed tools of classical and molecular cytogenetics to understand the patterns of evolution of Caecilian amphibians of the Western Ghats. Caecilian amphibians are limbless tropical amphibians, resembling large worms and snakes. The introductory part of the talk dealt with the anatomical and physiological features of Caecilian amphibians, setting the stage for complex, yet interesting concepts and findings that emerged later in the talk. Dr Venu elaborated on how characteristics of chromosomes visualized in karyograms developed from different species of the limbless amphibians were used as a starting point for estimating evolutionary divergence and similarity between the species.
The lecture was attended by 150 students and faculty members of the Department of Life Sciences. The talk was received with admiration and enthusiasm by the students. The session was concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms. Jayashree, student representative from V semester BSc BBG.
Expert Lecture | Prospects of Clinicla Data Management
The Department of Life sciences organised a guest lecture on 16th August 2019 in Mini Audi III. The Resource person for the event was Mr. Mayank Anand, Director & Head, Global Data Management Service Delivery Global Clinical Operations, Bristol Myers Squibb. The Lecture was a part of the expert lecture series, a departmental initiative to provide the students with an opportunity to hear from and interact with national and international experts in the field of life sciences and allied fields.
The session started with an invocation hymn. The host for the event, Ms. Mercy John, student of II Year MSc Biotechnology gave an introduction about the lecture series. Mr. Mayank Anand was extended a formal welcome by Ms. Sylvia C, student, II year Msc Biotechnology who also formally introduced the guest. Mr. Mayank Anand talked about the importance of data management and how clinical data and its analysis influences treatment methodologies and healing rates in diseases such as cancer. While talking about research in cancer diagnostics and treatment strategies he explained how the intelligent usage of clinical data can bring down the time for a drug to come into the market from around 15 years to somewhere around 12-13 years, which is definitely going to help the patients. He also stressed upon the power of technology and how it can be used in health care for the betterment of the society. He encouraged all the students of Life sciences to get familiar with the opportunities in the field of data and to get skilled in certain basic programming languages. The session came to an end with the vote of thanks delivered by Ms. Mercy John, student representative from III semester MSc Biotechnology.
Expert Lecture | Role and Diversity of Insects in Forensic Investigations
The Department of life sciences organised an expert lecture on “Role of Insects in Forensic Science” on 07th August 2019, in Mini auditorium I. The session was led by Dr. Shashikumar, Scientific officer, Department of Biology, Forensic Science Laboratory, Madiwala, Bangalore. The Lecture was a part of the expert lecture series, a departmental initiative to provide the students with an opportunity to hear from and interact with national and international experts in the field of life sciences and allied fields.The program began with an invocation hymn by the choir followed by a welcome speech by Ms. Lorraine, a student representative from B.Sc. Forensic Science. Ms. Diya John from BSc Forensic Science hosted the program.
Dr. Shashikumar, dealt with the basics of Forensic Science and briefed about the different Departments under the Forensic Science laboratory at Madiwala. He spoke about the contributions of various scientists towards the field of forensics and also about the history of forensic science laboratories in India. He stressed upon the systematic methods involved in the collection of evidence, which are to be followed by a Forensic Scientist.
Dr. Shashikumar also spoke about the importance and role of insects in the field of Forensic Science and investigation. The students were enthusiastic as this was a distinctive topic. He explained how the presence of different kind of insects at the scene of crime and related evidences has helped in solving cases. A documentary video on the State Forensic Science laboratory was also displayed. The lecture came to a conclusion with the vote of thanks delivered by Jiby Joy, student representative from BSc Forensic Science.
Expert Lecture | Forensic Science In Fraud Invesitigations
The Department of Life Sciences organised a guest lecture on ‘Forensic Science in Fraud Investigations’ on 24th July 2019 in Mini Auditorium II. The session was led by Ms. Uma Biju Samuel, a certified fraud examiner, and a freelance forensic scientist. It was the fourth lecture of this academic year organised as part of the Expert Lecture Series, a departmental initiative to offer its students with an opportunity to hear from and interact with national and international experts in Life Sciences and allied fields. The program began with an invocation hymn by the choir, followed by a welcome speech by Ms. Gayathri L Nair, a student representative from BSc. Forensic Science. Ms. Faiza, from BSc Forensic Science hosted the program.
Ms. Samuel dealt with the various aspects of fraudulent practices in the corporate world and the application of forensic investigations to expose such practices. She elaborated on the consequences of these practices on the global economy and the role played by forensic scientists in uncovering them and keeping a check on them. Timely references to research and case studies pertinent to such investigations helped the students to better understand the topic of discussion. The lecture came to a closure with the vote of thanks delivered by Jocelyn, student representative from BSc. Forensic Science. More than 40 students of the BSc. Forensic Science who participated in the lecture received it with scholarly passion and enthusiasm.
Expert Lecture | Role of Forensic Experts In Crime Investigation
The Department of Life Sciences organized a guest lecture on ‘Role of Forensic Experts in Crime Investigation’ on 17th July 2019, in Mini Auditorium II. The session was led by Mr. Hemanth Kumar V, Visiting Faculty, Jain University, Bengaluru. The lecture was a part of the Expert Lecture Series, a departmental initiative to provide its students with an opportunity to hear from and interact with national and international experts in Life Sciences and allied fields. Forensic science deals with the application of Science to legal issues, especially the use of scientific technology to support the system of delivering justice. In India Forensic Science received a facelift as a prospective technology with the recent passing of the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 by the Lok Sabha.
The session started with an invocation hymn. Ms. Ann Mariya, student representative from BSc Forensic Science welcomed the gathering and introduced the speaker. Mr. Hemanth, who holds a Master’s degree in criminology, has worked with different law enforcing departments including the Delhi Police Department. He shared his experiences of working as a criminologist with the students and outlined the role of a forensic expert in resolving crime investigations. He asserted that the job of a criminologist is not confined to the walls of the laboratory but involves the outreach and interactions with witnesses, suspects and criminals. The students received the lecture with enthusiasm as it gave a broader understanding of the actual responsibilities of a forensics expert and the different specializations within the field. The description of few cases he dealt with as an expert was received with excitement and helped to convey the inquisitiveness expected out of a forensics expert. The talk inspired students to consider Forensic Science as a career choice and laid the foundations for working towards that. The session was concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms. Jocelyn, student representative from BSc Forensic Science.
Expert Lecture | Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources
The Department of Life Sciences organised a guest lecture on ‘Conservation of Plant genetic resources’ on 16th July 2019, in Mini Auditorium II. The resource person for the session was Dr. P. E. Rajashekharan, Principal Scientist at the Division of Plant Genetic Resources, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru. The lecture was a part of the Expert Lecture Series, a departmental initiative to provide its students with an opportunity to hear from and interact with national and international experts in Life Sciences and allied fields. The lecture that had its focus on the need and the methods to preserve plant genetic diversity based on scientific principles witnessed the participation of 172 students from the undergraduate and postgraduate programs of the Department of Life Sciences.
The session started with an invocation hymn. Dr. Selvam Arjunan, Faculty member, Department of Life Sciences welcomed the gathering and introduced the speaker. Dr. Rajashekharan, a leader among the conservation biologists in India shared his research experience on pollen conservation using principles of cryogenics while stressing on the urgent need to preserve the genetic diversity of plant resources. The lecture which introduced the basics of conservation biology, merits and demerits of different approaches to biodiversity conservation and the laboratory methods for conservation, was received ardently by the students. The lecture also witnessed vibrant moments of interaction between the students and the resource person which made it lively. At times of rapid biodiversity loss, the lecture was both current and informative. The session was concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms. Jayashree, student representative from V semester BSc BBG.
Expert Lecture | Forensic Science in Crime Investigation
The Department of Life Sciences organised a guest lecture on ‘Forensic Science in Crime Investigation’ on 6th July 2019 in Mini Auditorium II. The session was led by Dr. Vinod J. Lakkapan, Assistant Director, Forensic Science Laboratory, Madivala, Bengaluru. The lecture was a part of the Expert Lecture Series, a departmental initiative to provide its students with an opportunity to hear from and interact with national and international experts in Life Sciences and allied fields. Forensic science deals with the application of Science to legal issues, especially the use of scientific technology to support the system of delivering justice. In India Forensic Science received a facelift as a prospective technology with the recent passing of the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018 by the Lok Sabha.
The lecture aimed at introducing the basic principles of Forensic Science as used in crime investigations benefitted around 200 students from the undergraduate and postgraduate programs of the Department of Life Sciences. The session started with an invocation hymn. Dr. Sivagama Sundari, Faculty Member, Department of Life Sciences welcomed the gathering and introduced the speaker. Dr. Vinod, a practicing expert in the field introduced the basic concepts of Forensic Science and detailed the process of evidence generation through the use of DNA samples. He explained the process of isolation of DNA from crime scene samples, amplification of DNA by PCR, generation of DNA fingerprints using Short Tandem Repeat (STR) and Restriction Fragment Length polymorphism (RFLP) and the blotting techniques to detect DNA signatures. The lecture was passionately received by the students and witnessed productive interactions between the students and the speaker. The session came to a closure with the vote of thanks delivered by Mr. Rakesh Reddy, student representative from V semester BSc MBG.
Seminar on “Careers in Clinical Research”
Department of Life Sciences organized a seminar on “CAREERS IN CLINICAL RESEARCH” on 19th February 2019 for the final year UG and all PG students. The resource persons, Ms. Nandini Vijaisinha (Head, HR and Administration), Ms.Tejaswini Kaipu Rabindranath (Medical writer II) and Ms. Sulakshana Nityakanth (Recruiter-I) who are the part of MMS HOLDING – ORGANIZATION addressed the students on Clinical research and its related opportunities in career. The headquarters of MMS Holding is situated at Canton, Michiga, USA. She also put forth to the students about CRO – Contract/Clinical Research Organization, which is a data-focused clinical research organization that supports pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies. Ms Tejaswini Kaipu is the medical writer-II at MMS Holding branch in Bangalore. She explained the students about drug development. She also explained about CRO and also put forth that medical writing is the art of communicating clinical, scientific and research knowledge. The seminar was a very fruitful and an enriching one.
Department Of Life Sciences Report On International Lecture Series
On 4th October 2018, UG final year and PG students of the Department of Life Sciences participated in the International Lecture Series on the topic, Contemporary and Ancient tissues give modern insights into Biomedical engineering. The guest speakers were Dr. Joseph Orgel-Professor of Biology and Biomedical Engineering, Illinios Institute of Technology, Chicago, and Dr. Elizabeth S. Friedman- Professor of Anthropology. Lewis College of Human Sciences, Illinios Institute of Technology, Chicago. Dr. Calistus Jude, Dean, Faculty of Sciences, welcomed the gathering. Prof. Dr. Joseph Orgel gave an insight about the collagen and extra cellular matrix (ECM) structure. He explained the collagen structure and its Triple- helical conformation. He also showed some evidences of how collagen of different organ and tissues from different animals had different X-ray diffraction.Prof. Joseph shared his experience working with Tyrannosaurus bone, relationship and similarities with the structure of collagen found in the bone of this species of dinosaur and the collagen structure in the modern animals Later Dr. Elizabeth S. Friedman took over the session on the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago. She shared the information about the history and architecture of the institute and also the list of programs available at IIT including the new summer programs that were introduced last year that includes IPROs and ELEVATE Program. International Guest lecture enlightened the students with new knowledge which they were not aware of and gave them an idea how the collagen works.
On 22nd September, 2018, the Department of Life Sciences, organized an alumini interaction programme. Mr. Abhijith Sharma, Head of Clinical operations and Scientific Strategies, Aurigene Discovery Technology, Bangalore, was the guest of honour. The convention flagged off with the invocation of Gods precedence over the gathering. The guest speaker, Mr. Abhijith Sharma, a proud alumnus of Kristu Jayanti College (2005- 2007 M.Sc., Biotechnology) addressed the Post Graduate and Under Graduate students of Life Sciences on Drug discovery and careers in bio-pharmaceutical industry. He also shared his views about various cancer therapy treatments available and different stages of drug discovery. He also widened the talk on the analytic aspect of pharmaceutical industry and the job options for students in that frontier. Overall it was quite an informative and beneficial session for the students. It also served as a prospect and outlook for their future in the field of Science. The objective of this interaction was to give awareness in the recent techniques in the field of drug discovery and wide opportunities in bio-pharmaceutical industry for Life Sciences students.
Expert Series Lecture
The Department of Life sciences organized a Guest Lecture on “Science and Career” on 24th August 2018 at 2.40 p.m. in Mini Audi III (UG Block) .Dr. Smita Jain, Associate Director, India Bioscience, Bangalore, addressed the students on wide career options ahead after the completion of courses. The career options were, Bio-Entrepreneurship, Teaching, Science communicator, Sales and Marketing, Grants manager, Core facility personnel, and so on. She also added on applying for internships in India Bioscience. The students interacted with her about the options of getting a job at the end of their graduation. The talk in a nutshell was truly an enriching and motivating experience for the listeners and was a real source of inspiration. Towards the end of session Dr. Smita highlighted the various courses and consultations offered by their institute related to Science and Research. Also added that Life sciences and allied sectors are gaining more importance in India than ever before, be it industry, biomedical and basic research or the understanding of our spectacular biodiversity.
MinION- A low cost, real time, potable 3rd generation sequencer for application in whole genome sequencing and met genomics
The students were introduced to different DNA sequencing techniques and to the portable real time device for DNA and RNA sequencing on 31 August 2017. The components and working principle of this portable sequencer was explained to the students. He further explained that, this DNA sequencer is being used for a number of biological analysis techniques including de novo sequencing, targeted sequencing, RNA sequencing, met genomics, epigenetic etc. He also mentioned that, researchers from various streams like environmental research, human genetics, clinical research, microbiology, infectious diseases, cancer research, industrial diagnostics, agriculture etc. are using this portable DNA sequencer worldwide. The advantages and efficiency (a flow cell can generate 10-20 Gb of DNA sequence data) of the instrument was also discussed. He touched upon the software called “Albacore” which is used to read the sequence. Mr. Rahman, technical expert from the same company explained the mechanism of DNA sequencing and the software used to analyze sequence data.
INTERNATIONAL EXPERT LECTURE
Prof. Peter Monk on 14 September 2017, shared his research about preventing the emergence of antibiotic resistance with the students. Peter monk first explained how a bacterium develops resistance against drugs by citing simple examples and further explained the consequences of it. Peter Monk described about the receptors present on various cells in our body to which the bacteria binds. After binding to the receptors on cell surface, they grow, reproduce (forms a biofilm) and some become antibiotic resistant.
There are several ways exist to prevent bacteria from gaining antibiotic resistance, one simple way is to prevent the attachment of bacteria on target cells.
The lecture gave an insight to students and faculty about the function of tetraspanins in association with membrane protein in regulating the assembly of multimolecular signaling and new technique to prevent antimicrobial resistance “non-stick skin
INTERNATIONAL EXPERT LECTURE: Production of antibodies and using them to diagnose and cure diseases including Cancer
Dr. Lynda Patridge gave a brief introduction about antibodies and how they work against infectious organisms or cancer cell in the body on 14 September 2017. She next explained the process of generation of antibodies against certain proteins. She explained a technology that her company is working on in which certain proteins are isolated from cancer cells and antibodies are raised against those proteins.
A specific immunotoxin which can kill cancer cells will be “tagged” with that antibody and injected into the system. Since the antibodies are specific and tagged with an immunotoxin, they bind to the cancer cells and release the immunotoxin which ultimately kills the cancer cells. She called these as “Magic Bullets of Cancer.”
An interaction with Mr.Sarshad Ibnu Sayed
Department of Life Sciences organized a guest lecture and interactive session as part of the Research Promotion Series on 29 July, 2016. The resource person was Mr.Sarshad Ibnu Sayed, Ph.D. Scholar- University of SZEGED, Hungary.
Mr.Sarshad presented his lecture on the topic “Genetically engineered Bacteriophage-mediated Dispersal of Biofilm and Quorum-Sensing-Study on Staphylococcus aurous and Bacteriophage Interaction”. The lecture was an insight on bacteria that produce biofilms and the translational capabilities in the scientific arena. He made students aware of topics related to bacteriophages inhibiting Biofilms and Methicillin resistance in bacteria. Guidelines on pursuing summer fellowships and Ph.D. programs in other countries were also given during the latter part of the lecture. The session was a knowledge filled and fulfilling experience for the PG students of the Department of Life Sciences.
Dr. Robin Sebastian discussed on Effect of endosulfan on fertility
There was a visit of Dr. Robin Sebastian to our college who did an integrated Ph.D. and M.sc from IISc, Bangalore. His findings have revealed that exposure to endosulfan affects fertility in animals. He also did a molecular level study on DNA, to find out whether endosulfan modifies its structure. His interaction gave light into the topic. Thirty to 33 per cent of male mice treated with endosulfan showed clear signs of infertility. Its impact on mice is an underestimation as they used lower doses. People are exposed to much higher doses and for a longer duration. Ten animals per group were studied and the experiment was repeated three times. A dose equivalent of 3 mg/kg of body weight was used in the experiment. This dose is equivalent to that seen in places where people live. Compared with 20-700 microgram/liter serum concentration of endosulfan in humans, the treated mice had a serum concentration of just 40-60 microgram/liter.
Besides lower serum concentration, the duration of exposure was also very short. The animals were treated with four doses of endosulfan per day on every alternative day for eight days. In all, each mouse in the treatment group was exposed to 16 doses.
Detailed studies revealed that among all organs, liver, lungs and testes were maximally affected after the very first day of treatment. Kidney, liver and brain were not affected. In the testicles, many seminiferous tubules were completely devoid of mother cells that become sperms.
Since it takes 30-35 days for mother cells to become sperms, at the end of 35 days after the latest treatment, the number of sperms in treated mice was far lower compared with mice that were not treated with the pesticide (control group).
Besides lower sperm count, the motility of the sperms was affected. Twenty-five days after the last day of endosulfan treatment, the motility of sperms was significantly affected. However, at day 35, the pesticide’s effect on motility was not significant because spermatogenesis gets over by 30-35 days. So the effect probably wears off after that Unlike mice that were exposed to endosulfan for a limited period, people living in the areas where the pesticide is being used are continually exposed and may see the effect on motility continuing to be significant if an effect on humans is the same as seen in mice.
The researchers carried out mating experiments to double check the effect of lower sperm count and less motility in mice. They allowed the pesticide-treated male mice to breed with female mice (in 1:3 ratio of male and females) that were not treated with endosulfan. The mating experiments were carried during three periods (5-10 days, 20-25 days and 30-35 days after treatment with the pesticide) about 30 per cent of males did not give any progeny.
In all three mating windows, the percentage of infertile males increased as opposed to zero infertile males in control groups, indicating that the reduced sperm count and motility contributed towards reduced fertility in males,” notes the paper.
Indeed significant is that the 20-25-day window showed the most infertile males. This is only to be expected as at 25 days post-treatment, the sperm count had dropped to its lowest point and the sperms had the least motility.
Besides fertility, the pesticide was found to damage the DNA and increase the levels of error prone DNA repair leading to genomic instability. Reactive oxygen species were found to be the culprits causing damaging to DNA and the DNA repair mechanism.
Guest lecture by Dr. Ravikumar
On 10 February 2015 a guest lecture was jointly organized by the Department of Life science and environmental club. Dr.Ravikumar, Scientist D, Seribiotech Research laboratory, Central Silk Board was the chief guest for the program. Dr. Ravikumar began his lecture; defining the terms PCR based detection of silkworm diseases. He later explained the various techniques used in the analytical sciences under the quantitative and qualitative categories. He gave an overview on the various techniques used in sericulture industry. He also presented the videos on the fully automated labs really fascinated the students.
GUEST LECTURE ON BIOTECHNOLOGY AND AGRICULTURE
On 8 June, 2012 a seminar on BT crops was held at Kristu Jayanti College Bangalore. The seminar was held as a part of the Vignanamanthan- Life Science Forum of Kristu Jayanti College on the valedictory function of the Jayantian Life Science Forum. The seminar started at 10 a.m. in presence of Fr. Sebastian T.A. Principal Kristu Jayanti College and Dr. Elcey C.D. Head of the Department Life Sciences. All the faculty members and the students of Life Science Department were also present in large numbers. The speaker for the day was Dr. M.J. Vasudeva Rao, President Ag Technologies, Metahelix Life Sciences, Bangalore.
The seminar began with an invocation song by the college choir followed by the welcome address by Fr. Sebastian T.A. The speaker for the day was then introduced by Dr. Deepa M.A., Faculty of the life science department, Kristu Jayanti College. The session was then handed over to the speaker Dr. M. J. Vasudeva Rao. Dr. Rao spoke about many relevant topics in the field of agricultural biotechnology. He spoke about the different genetically modified crops like BT Cotton, BT. Corn, Golden rice etc. and their significance in agriculture. He also covered the scientific aspects like the genes involved in the genetic modifications of the crops. The beneficial aspects of the BT crops, there production and their effects on the economy of India in recent years were brought to notice by the speaker. The speaker also introduced the students to the various Regulatory Authorities and Committees that are authorized by the Government of India for the approval of the BT crops and the BT seeds before they are released into the market.
After his lecture, Dr. Rao was requested to give away the prizes to the students excelling in various programs of the Knowledge Development Programme of Life Science Forum conducted in the college. Thereafter, Dr. Vasudeva Rao was given a memento by Dr. Elcey C.D... The Programme was then concluded by a vote of thanks addressed by Dr. R. Kavyashree, Faculty Coordinator, Jayantian Life Science Forum.
GUEST LECTURE ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS
On 24 September 2012, Monday a seminar on Genetically Modified Crops was held at Kristu Jayanti College. The Programme was conducted as part of the ‘Vignanamanthan’– Jayantian Life Science Forum. The speaker for the day was Mr. Sunil Kumar, Principal Consultant, NITTA Gelatin India. He has been working as the Marketing Head in various BT companies producing GM crops and GM seeds. He was part of ‘Montax India Ltd.’, when the company first introduced the BT Cotton in India.
The speaker being a marketing consultant, he spoke about the benefits of GM crops and the GM seeds. He also shared his experiences of interacting with the farmers and making them aware of the GM seeds. He then spoke about, how his team had to introduce the GM seeds to the farmers & convince them about their benefits and eco-friendliness.