Workshop On Techniques In Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology has transformed Biological Sciences from the precincts of a superficial understanding of living organisms based on gross morphological observations to a broader and in-depth perception based on micro and macromolecular structures and their interactions. The field that has its roots in the pioneering works of James Watson and Francis Crick on the fascinating macromolecule DNA also was instrumental in the advent of the wave of new Biotechnology that has facilitated sumptuous leaps in Applied Biology and has had a huge impact on Medical, Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences to name a few. Academic and Industrial research in Biology has also been redefined by Molecular Biology. An analysis of the molecular underpinnings adds credibility and brings in sophistication to any research on living organisms and life processes. Any discourse on modern Biology is unintelligible without molecular insights. It becomes pivotal for academic faculty in the area of Life Sciences to equip themselves with an understanding of Molecular Biology to be efficient disseminators of knowledge and potential stakeholders in the furthering this knowledge. Familiarising one with the techniques in Molecular Biology would enable cutting edge research and state of the art teaching.
In an attempt to empower its faculty in the basic tools of Molecular Biology the Department of Life Sciences organised a workshop on Techniques in Molecular biology on 8th & 9th of May 2019. The two days hands-on training was inaugurated by the Principal, Rev. Fr. Josekutty P. D in the presence of the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, Dr. Calistus Jude and the Head of the Department, Dr. Elecy C.D. The event had training sessions on Nucleic acid isolation and analysis, DNA amplification by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Molecular Cloning, Protein isolation and fractionation and Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate - Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The feedback that the organising team received from the participants was overwhelming and inspiring. Most of them shared the view that the workshop was technically enlightening and has also served to reinforce collegiality among the faculty. The workshop that witnessed exciting moments of learning and sharing of knowledge was formally concluded by a Valedictory address by the Vice Principal, Rev Fr. Augustine George who appreciated the efforts taken by Dr. Dileep Francis and Dr. Jemimah Naine, the workshop convenors’ for the successful completion of the workshop. He also articulated that an individual remains young up until he goes on learning.
Creatrix 2018 – Annual Intra -Collegiate Life Science Exhibition
Creatrix 2018, an intra collegiate science exhibition steered annually by the Department of Life Sciences was organized on 14th December 2018. The budding scientists of our department presented many creative ideas as exhibits. We had 67 teams with a number of 3 in each group and were named after eminent scientists of diverse areas of Life Sciences such as Pasteur, Lister, Khorana, Ehrlich, Hoippocrates, Maheshwari, Rao, etc. The exhibition was inaugurated by Dr. Varsha Sridhar, Director and Co-founder, Molecular Solutions Care Health, Bengaluru and presided by Rev. Fr. Josekutty P D, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College. In the inaugural address, Dr. Varsha Sridhar probed the students to assess themselves and stimulated students to show innovation in all possible ways of approaching life. Esteemed Principal Rev. Fr. Josekutty P D, in the presidential address motivated students to pursue research and envisioned that the students of KJC be in the list of Nobel Prize laureates. Still models, working models, and projects were a treat to everyone’s eyes. The Exhibits were creative and attractive and some were marvelous. The exhibits included eco-friendly approach of treatment of industrial effluents, waste water treatment, working model of the heart, dialysis, vision formation in the brain etc., and the uniqueness of the exhibition was the integration of study of bimolecular events with sensors and construction of a gel documentation system at the laboratory level at a feasible cost. Alcohol sensor, called Alcohol sensor and working on sensor mechanism was designed innovatively using simple mq3 sensor which is connected to a buzzer that buzzes to indicate alcohol as low as 0.03%. Pulse Meter consisted of a sensor with LED connected to a laptop programmed to detect the pulse and displays your pulse rate graphically both. Adaptation of a novel approach of cleaning waste water from domestic and industrial wastes using corn cobs through adsorption techniques connected to a turbidity sensor was exhibited. Eco-friendly approach of making homemade bioplastic using banana peels and other available homemade ingredients and waste water treatment using electrobacteria Shewanella oneidensis that has the potential to purify water 10 times faster than the conventional methods was informative. Exhibit of self-sterilization of door handles of public toilets using Arduino board sensors was at its infancy but very promising for the prevention of infection. .Such exhibitions have to be encouraged because students get an opportunity to present their ideas. New ideas grow in the minds of children. If they cannot present or express them it is of no use. So exhibitions are opportunities where ideas will begin to bloom for the development of the world. SRK microscope self -named after a team’s innovative approach to visualize the image of the object on the screen of a laptop using an inbuilt image sensor and with less strain on the eyes was indeed a great idea. The entire microscope including the coarse adjustment knobs were made using card board. Attention-grabbing exhibit was gel-documentation system built in the form of bio pyramid fitted with a camera on the top and controlled by laptop/phone using software. This exhibit had it uniqueness of being compact, easy to use and very important being cost – effective. With further improvements it could be definitely be affordable at a lower price as compared to the market price without being compromised on the quality. All the exhibits were exceptional and remarkable, and as encouragements for their hard work 3 best exhibits were chosen as winners. Thus the event, aimed at innovativeness and creativity of various working and static models. This year also the students as a team made the event a grand success.
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.”
CREATRIX – A Life Sciences Exhibition
Creatrix 2015, The Life Science exhibition was organized by the Department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College, on Wednesday, 21st Jan 2015. The exhibition showcased a relay of lively exhibits that depicted various concepts in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Genetics. The event was inaugurated by Fr. Josekutty, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College in the Mini auditorium I. A total of 30 stalls were set up displaying models and posters. The presentations were made with the aid of working models, posters and live demonstration. An interactive fun zone conceptualized in science was also part of the exhibition. Live demonstrations included simpler and rapid methods of DNA extraction, Natural dyes which can be used as pH Indicators, Water purification process with the help of reverse osmosis and reducing hardness of water by natural filtration methods.
Life Science Exhibition
The students of Life Sciences Department conducted an exhibition on the 20 of March 2013 from 12 pm onwards in the Mini Auditorium 01. The exhibition was inaugurated by our Principal, Fr. Sebastian TA. Ms. Romeena Thomas delivered the welcome speech. All the under graduate students were the active participants of this event. Through various charts and models the students portrayed the present issues and scenarios related to environmental safety and self-awareness of various energy resources of our Earth. Students and faculties from other departments visited the exhibition. On the whole it went smoothly and it was a good platform for the students to show their creativity.
WORKSHOP ON FRONTIERS IN BIOLOGY
The department of Life Sciences, Kristu Jayanti College under the auspices of the three science academies - Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, The National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad and Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi organized the Science Academies Lecture Workshop on “FRONTIERS IN BIOLOGY” on 23& 24 September, 2013. The workshop was attended by 222 students, of which 97 participants were from 9 different colleges, 110 students and 9 faculty members from Kristu Jayanti College.
The first lecture on “THE COMPLEXITY OF FUNCTIONAL GENE EXPRESSION” was presented by Prof C. Durga Rao from the Department of Microbiology and Cell biology IISc. He highlighted on the fundamental concepts of gene expression such as the central dogma of life, the mechanism of DNA transcription and post transcriptional modifications including, capping, tailing and splicing machinery. His discussion also touched upon the key points in Human genome project. He concluded the lecture explaining the role of miRNA and siRNA in regulation of gene expression
The second lecture on “NON- CODING RNAs” was presented by Prof. Kumar Somasundaram from the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, IISc. Differences between the coding and non-coding RNAs, different types of non-coding RNAs, relevance of microRNA in cancer were the highlights of his lecture. The lecture also included a brief presentation on cancer, methods to quantitate miRNAs and an overview on Glioma- the most common brain tumor arising from glial cells.
The third lecture on “DNA REPAIR AND CANCER” was presented by Prof. Sathees C. Raghavan from the Department of Biochemistry, IISc. The lecture started with the introduction to cancer, oncogenes and protogenes. He moved on to the major DNA repair mechanisms involved in human system like mismatch repair, excision repair, bypass repair, double strand and single strand repair. DNA damage as the cause of formation of cancer cells was emphasized during the lecture. Dr. Sathees also touched upon various techniques used in cancer research.
The fourth lecture on “CANCER STEM CELLS: THE TROJAN HORSES WITHIN CANCER” was presented by Prof. Annapoorni Rangarajan from the Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics, IISc. The main focus of the lecture was on the role of stem cells within cancer tissue in the genesis of cancer, stages of origin of cancer which includes the stages of senescence, immortalization and transformation. Major models for carcinogenic studies like stochastic and hierarchy model were also discussed.
The fifth lecture on “Genetics of Geometry: How genes regulate biological shapes” was presented by Prof. Utpal Nath from the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, IISc. He presented the rules for the growth of organism based on the gradients of growth and differentiation. He explained the mechanism of allometry based on the diversified expression of miRNAs and growth regulating factors (GRF). He concluded his lecture citing the application of these studies in plant tissue culture for selecting the best explants.
The second day of the lecture workshop started with an overview of Bioinformatics by Prof. Nagasuma Chandra from the Department of Biochemistry, IISc. Dr. N. S. Chandra explained bioinformatics as the coherent framework to integrate various biological resources. Other highlights of the lecture included the major areas in bioinformatics, an overview of sequence analysis and advantages of protein sequence analysis and efficient utilization of the information contained in the databases.