The Bangalore Life Science Cluster campus hosted a unique event celebrating 30 years of the Department of Biotechnology and announcing the launch of a new EMBO-DBT partnership for funding Indian researchers.
A science exhibition on the move? It's a fantastic idea that has been travelling on the Indian railway tracks for seven years. The Science Express is a unique moving science exhibition mounted on a 16-coach AC train that was first flagged off in 2007 by the then Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel.
Prof. Satyajit Mayor, Director, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) and Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem), has been elected a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, visited the Bangalore Biocluster campus to interact with the researchers there and for discussions on the challenges facing modern biological research in the country. He was greeted by Biotechnology Secretary Prof K VijayRaghavan, Prof Satyajit Mayor, the Director of NCBS and inStem, Prof Upinder Bhalla, Dean, NCBS and Prof Apurva Sarin, Dean inStem from the BioCluster and taken to some of the laboratories to see cutting edge stem cell research. He then had a vibrant and truly interactive engagement with faculty, students and staff at the Biocluster, on subjects ranging from international collaborative research, the use of stem cell based therapies and scientific outreach.
Researchers at NCBS have signed a new agreement with the Developmental biology Institute of Marseille (IBDM) and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) to put in place a LIA or a “Laboratory without walls”.
Recently, NCBS hosted a talk by a researcher who is asking a very different set of questions about illness, health and their relationship to something that we might not immediately see - information and communication. The public lecture, “Health and Communication Inequalities in the 21st Century: Observations from the Field” focused on how communication and access to information can play a critical role in promoting health and preventing disease.
Can you describe some highlights from your current research for me?
We study the evolution of eukaryotic cells. There are two kinds of cells on the planet: prokaryotes, such as morphologically simple bacteria and archaea, and then the relatively more complex eukaryotes - for example plant and animal cells, amoeba, paramecium, and so on. Eukaryotes have enclosed nuclei and compartmentalized organelles, which prokaryotes lack. Usually when you see such a big jump in complexity you expect to find intermediate forms, for example in the fossil record or in living organisms. The mystery is that there are no intermediate eukaryotes.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the institutes on our campus and The University of Dundee today to cement their active programme of scientific collaboration and, in particular, to launch their partnership to create a Drug Discovery Unit in Bangalore to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
The campus recently hosted a talk with a difference by renowned virologist W. Ian Lipkin. In his Public Lecture titled "Bad Bugs on the Big Screen: Science fiction and fact in Hollywood ", and aided by a careful selection of movie vignettes, Lipkin discussed the evolution of cinema plots involving infectious diseases, in the broader context of how scientific content is treated in Hollywood movies.
Professor K.S. Krishnan, friend and inspiration to generations of students and youthful scientists, passed away following a sudden heart attack on Saturday 24 May 2014 at his home in Bangalore. With his demise, we have lost one of our most inspirational biologists. Krishnan's fundamental impact was the ease with which he repeatedly linked his questions with the most innovative solutions.
When the Southern Labs Complex was built, I immediately 'moved' to the colonnade with all my possessions (coffee mug included), and my days suddenly became much more interesting. The colonnade was Krishnan's highway of sorts, as he perambulated to his next meeting, either with a fellow-researcher or his beloved chameleons. But no matter how hard-pressed for time he might have been, there were always a few moments in his day to give me the benefit of his insatiable curiosity, unflagging enthusiasm, the depth of his knowledge and the width of his grin.
Krishnan joined the Molecular Biology Unit at TIFR in Colaba first as a Visiting Fellow ( Postdoc) and then was 'absorbed', as the term goes, as a Fellow. He had earlier joined the BARC training school after his Master's from Kerala and if he had stayed at BARC he would have been involved in a very different task. At BARC, he visited TIFR and met with Obaid who suggested that he write to G. N. Ramachandran (GNR) at IISc. GNR invited him to join IISc as his student and Krishnan quit BARC and typically hung around at IISc.
K.S. Krishnan (b.19-6-1946), Professor Emeritus at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) passed away on 24th May 2014.
Professor K.S. Krishnan, friend and inspiration to generations of students and youthful scientists, passed away following a sudden heart attack on Saturday 24 May 2014 at his home in Bangalore. He is survived by his wife, Chandra, and his sons, Karthik and Anand.
K. VijayRaghavan, a Distinguished Professor at the National Centre for Biological Sciences and also the current Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, has been elected a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences.