Articles on this Page
- 09/15/12--04:29: _Future of medical t...
- 09/16/12--06:13: _Obesity Drugs - Bel...
- 09/16/12--06:36: _Serious Side Effect...
- 09/16/12--08:51: _Microbiology,Lamina...
- 09/17/12--02:15: _Ames Test: Mutageni...
- 09/17/12--05:03: _pBS-KS-sfi
- 09/19/12--07:33: _Online training on ...
- 09/19/12--21:41: _Professional Diplom...
- 09/20/12--01:09: _Gene Cloning by Rep...
- 09/20/12--04:56: _Application of Micr...
- 09/20/12--08:58: _gfp protein purific...
- 09/21/12--00:29: _List of Top Biotech...
- 09/24/12--08:38: _Microbiology Future...
- 09/24/12--11:00: _Microbial Biofilms:...
- 09/25/12--00:34: _Pharmacokinetics - ...
- 09/25/12--02:26: _Hello
- 09/25/12--06:50: _Genetically Modifie...
- 09/25/12--08:40: _Unique Characterist...
- 09/25/12--09:46: _Base of Medical Vac...
- 09/25/12--10:12: _Research Requiremen...
- 09/15/12--04:29: Future of medical treatments with Stem Cells (like baldness)
- 09/16/12--06:13: Obesity Drugs - Belviq, Qsymia and Contrave
- 09/16/12--06:36: Serious Side Effects of Popular Antibiotics
- 09/16/12--08:51: Microbiology,Laminar air flow chamber
- 09/17/12--02:15: Ames Test: Mutagenicity Assay - Salmonella Assay
- 09/17/12--05:03: pBS-KS-sfi
- 09/19/12--07:33: Online training on Pharmacovigilance
- 09/20/12--01:09: Gene Cloning by Replication - Step by Step Tutorial
- 09/20/12--04:56: Application of Microorganisms in various fields
- 09/20/12--08:58: gfp protein purification
- 09/21/12--00:29: List of Top Biotech Companies in India
- 09/24/12--08:38: Microbiology Future - A Great Career Awaits for Microbiologists
- 09/24/12--11:00: Microbial Biofilms: Microbial Bunkers For Human Benefit
- 09/25/12--00:34: Pharmacokinetics - An important perspective in drug research
- 09/25/12--02:26: Hello
- 09/25/12--06:50: Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) - With Real Life Examples
- 09/25/12--08:40: Unique Characteristics of Viruses !
- 09/25/12--10:12: Research Requirements On Determinants of Health
Stem cell is capable of self renovation and can be very beneficial in treatment of variety of conditions like Baldness, Parkinsons and Diabetes. Stem cells are biological cells capable of cell division through mitosis and can develop into specified cell type and can renew to produce more similar stem cells. There are two types of stem cells found in mammals they are embryonic and another is adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are isolated from inner cell mass of blastocysts and Adult stem cells are found in various tissue. These progenitor cells in adults shows repair system and this is used for repair of any damaged cells or tissue.
Today lot of treatments is being done with the help of stem cells. This is a method in which the new adult stem cells are introduced into the area which need to be repaired or at the site of damaged tissue or injury. The ability of stem cell is utilized here to replace diseased or damaged area of the body while the calculated risk of immunological rejection is being considered and also side effects are taken care of.
With the development of new techniques and improvement in medical treatments, research are believing that diseases like malignant cells (cancers), diabetes, Huntingtons disease , Parkinsons disease and even cardiac failures , muscle damages will be cured completely with the help of stem cells. Apart from this belief, much research is still going on to avoid the side effects, immunological rejections etc.
Today the patients with leukaemia and lymphona are being treated for diseases like cancers more effectively with stem cell or bone marrow. This was previously very difficult due to development of immunology. During chemotherapy, cytotoxins are used but these are unable to differentiate neoplastic cells or leukaemia and the hematopoietic stem cells of bone marrow. This side effect is reduced with the treatment of stem cells for cancers. Damage to brain is lethal due to damage to cell or cell death which further leads to loss of neurons or oligodendrocytes of the brain. The proportion of general stem cell and progenitor cell is maintained by neural stem cells. Stem cells are used for treatment of diseases like Parkinson and Alzheimer where degeneration of brain happens.
Today apart from brain damages, cancers, steam cells are used for treatment of injury to spinal cord which is very critical. In such treatments, the adult stem cells are isolated and then injected into the damaged site of spinal cord. The isolation of stem cell is done from umbilical cord blood. Many experiments have been successful were in paralyzed mice are treated with stem cell and are capable of surviving without any side effects. This was done by transplant methods.
Many heart diseases are treated with the help of stem cells. This type of treatment is being considered safe, efficient and effective for long term. In such cases, the age of patient under treatment is very crucial also the timing of treatment that is time taken for treatment from the time of damage or myocardial infarction. Many other possible treatments include regeneration of muscles of heart, repopulation of damaged tissues of heart and stimulation of growth of new vessels of blood. Increase in secretion of factors responsible for growth .
It is also today being done that adult bone marrow cells are differentiated into muscles of heart.
Hematopoietic cells diseases can be treated with stem cells. Here the success of such diseases treatment depends upon the application of immunology. The trigger of specific immune cell depends upon the specific antigen and this knowledge can be applied along with stem cell application for blood cell formation.
Many other diseases like baldness can be treated with stem cells. The hair follicle contains stem cell. Many researches in this field are proving the complete treatment of baldness with the help of these stem cells regeneration at the site of baldness. Some scientist have cultivated tooth in experimental mice. Scientist believes these techniques will be used soon to completely re-generate broken teeth in human being. A scientist known as Heller has successfully done re-growing of cochlea hair cells using embryonic stem cell. Apart from these various treatments, diseases like Amyotrohic lateral sclerosis, Crohns disease, various neural and behavioral birth related defects, wound healing, fertility related diseases are cured with the help of stem cells.
The Belviq and Qsymia approvals reflect a shift by FDA away from viewing obesity treatments as cosmetics and more as drugs for a growing health problem. Some 75 million Americans (about one-quarter of the U.S. population) are obese, according to American Heart Association.
- Arena Pharmaceutical (ARNA) when it managed to get its obesity drug, Belviq, approved by the FDA on June 27
- Vivus has targeted the fourth quarter to launch Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate extended-release),
- Orexigen Therapeutics's weight loss drug Contrave was rejected by FDA in 2011 assessing cardiovascular (CV) risks.
This report by the New York Times highlights some of the risks involved.
Antibiotics are important drugs, often restoring health and even saving lives. But like all drugs, they can have unwanted and serious side effects, some of which may not become apparent until many thousands of patients have been treated.
Such is the case with an important class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones. The best known are Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Levaquin (levofloxacin) and Avelox (moxifloxacin). In 2010, Levaquin was the best-selling antibiotic in the United States.
But by last year, it was also the subject of more than 2,000 lawsuits from patients who had suffered severe reactions after taking it.
Part of the problem is that fluoroquinolones are often inappropriately prescribed. Instead of being reserved for use against serious, perhaps life-threatening bacterial infections like hospital-acquired pneumonia, these antibiotics are frequently prescribed for sinusitis, bronchitis, earaches and other ailments that may resolve on their own or can be treated with less potent drugs or non drug remedies — or are caused by viruses, which are not susceptible to antibiotics.
Hi,I'm new to this forum. .But i'm A biotech student..Wishing all will help me to enrich myself with all your knowledge..Thanks for all..I'm a student for all those who enriches my knowledge..
I know that laminar air flow cabinets of various safety levels are used for handling infectious microbes or micro-organisms..
Please any one help me to know how they worked with deadliest or infectious microbes in early age when the technological development is low ?or if laminar air flow cabinet can't b used in a situation,how sterile mico-organism cultures can be made?
I am currently performing a salmonella mutagenicity assay and experiencing some difficulty.
I am culturing a frozen stock into nutrient broth and growing a 16 hour culture and there is growth in my broth. When culture is transferred to top agar and plated on minimal glucose base there is no growth of culture.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Does anyone have pBSKS-sfi cloning vector??
If yes, it would be a great help to us if you can provide the same to us.
Good news for fresher’s,
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Understanding gene, its functions and what it is made up of.
Gene is the base stone on which life of all the living organisms is built. Each gene is an arrangement of 3 nucleotides. Every gene has a different order of nucleotide arrangement which produces different results. There are 5 nucleotides Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, Guanine and Uracil. The sequence of these nucleotides forms nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA. DNA is the genetic material which has all the information about the living organism like characteristics that are visible for example, colour of skin or taste of a fruit and also the characters which are not visible like blood type. RNA is the genetic material for some viruses. The order of arrangement of these nucleotides in a nucleic acid decides what they code for, they can code for aminoacids which form proteins, enzymes etc, which are necessary for life of an organism. It also contains information of different traits of organisms which can be passed on for generations. For example, it may be disease or some quality like colour of skin or taste of a fruit. So a gene is made up a sequence of nucleotides, the arrangement of these nucleotides in different orders produces a variety of products which are essential for the life of an organism.
Why and What is cloning
Cloning refers to the replication but in cloning the resultant daughter is the exact copy of the parent in each and every aspect and without any modification. These replicas thus formed are called clones. By this method we can make clones of genes or even a whole organism can be cloned.
As for now we will concentrate on gene cloning. Let us have a look at the process of gene cloning step by step in general:
• Frist, the DNA containing the desired gene is isolated from the organism.
• It is then subjected to purification and then treated with the restriction enzyme which produces number of fragments of DNA. This enzyme breaks the DNA at some specific sites i.e. at some specific base pairs. These sites depend on the type of endonuclease enzyme used as enzyme has a specific site. These fragments thus obtained has cohesive ends or sticky ends that are single stranded with one being 3’ and another 5’.
• The next step involves isolating a plasmid. Plasmid is the DNA that is capable of replicating outside its cell. This is also called vector as it carries the fragments of DNA to be cloned.
• The isolated plasmid is then purified and subject to the same endonuclease enzyme that is used to produce fragments of the DNA containing the desired gene. The plasmid used contains only one restriction site the enzyme acts and as the same enzyme is used to produce similar cohesive ends of single strands as in the fragments with one end being 5’ and another 3’ which will enable the hybridisation between them.
• When these fragments and the plasmid are allowed to combine the cohesive ends of two start forming base pairs and these are catalysed by DNA ligase that seals them together by forming phosphodiester bonds.
• Now, the resultant DNA is to be introduced into a host cell where the replication can take place thus producing clones. The host cell is generally a bacterial cell and the process is called transformation.
• Each of the host cell contains different fragments of the DNA. These are now allowed to reproduce .
• From the reproduced cells, the cluster of cells containing the desired gene can be identified and isolated.
Where do gene cloning help-
• Gene cloning can be used to study the different genes responsible for different traits and the characteristics of an organism.
• It helps in identifying any genetic disorders or hereditary diseases and can help in finding the cure or at least the prevention.
• Gene cloning helped to produce a large amounts of insulin which is used by diabetic patients to control the sugar levels.
Gene gives life to an organism and gene cloning is helping in improving the lives of all the organisms and with all the technology at its side it will further improve the quality of lives.
The use of microorganism in large scale production of food and industrial products is being done worldwide. When microorganisms are used for food production, the branch is called as food microbiology. The sources of food production in such cases may be animals or plants but the processing is done by enzymatic activities by microorganism only. Microorganism contains various enzymes which are capable of degradation of substrates. This is also known as fermentation process in which the degradations is not completed and results in useful by products. These by products include, beverages, antibiotics, milk by products etc which are used by humans as nutritive foods.
With the development of technology like genetic engineering, many mutants are developed which are capable of performing extra with respect to production quality and quantity as compared to their wild types. This isolation is either done naturally or by screening of mutants after the genetic engineering. Today pharmaceutical agents like antibiotics and other drugs are manufactured at large scale which utilizes microorganism. The history of microbiology has given us very broad spectrum antibiotics like Penicillin and Streptomycin which are still in use at large throughout the globe. This is the most useful application of microorganisms.
Foods which are originated from animals are enzymatic ally processed by specific microorganisms resulting in increase in their nutritive value. These foods are fermented foods like Yogurt, milk by products like cheese, sweet chocolates and silage. Many algae are today used as source of protein. Fungus like mushroom is today being used as source of nutrition as well as medicine. Bacteria like Lactic acid bacteria are used in production of pure curd and other milk products. Bacteria like Bifidobacteria are being used in food industry as probiotics which helps in curing of diseases of digestive systems and intestinal disorders.
Polysaccharides, polyamides, polyesters and many other varieties of biopolymers are produced by many microorganisms. These are ranging from plastics to viscous solutions. Today many researches in drug delivery and tissue engineering are being successfully done with the help of genetically manipulated microorganisms which are producing biopolymers which are having medical applications. Many wild as well as genetically mutated strains are used in industries for biosynthesis of cellulose, levan, hyaluronic acids, polysaccharides and organic acids, etc.
Today many pollutants are degraded with the help of saprophytes (specific type of bacteria/fungi capable of surviving in waste organic material their by metabolism) this process is also known as biodegradation. Today bioremediation and other methods like biotransformation are used for cleaning of the environments.
Today even heavy metals like mercury which is toxic and results in biomagnifications. The degradation of this is very costly by chemical and other standards technologies. Therefore the alternative method is bioremediation. Today in modern societies, lot of waste is being generated from domestic wastes. These are accumulating every day and are very harmful to not only the society but also the environment (Our mother earth). The processing of such waste using living organisms is known as biotreatment. These methods are helping society and saving earth from accumulation of hazardous wastes. This method of using microorganisms in degradation of hazardous waste is not only useful but also simple, cost effective and eco friendly. The systematic method of biotreatment is done with the help of bioreactors having aeration system, baffles which suitable for microbial enzymatic reaction.
Apart from waste treatments, microorganisms are used in production of biological like insulin, serum antibodies, and essential hormones. Today with the development of technology and science, new ways of diagnosis of diseases are being used for early detection using microorganism’s e.g. rapid microbial test, enzyme employed detection, etc. One of the microbe known as Clostridium is useful in treatment of malignant cells like cancers. These organisms have the ability to selectively target cancerous cells.
Microorganisms are used in large scale manufacturing of vaccines against diseases like influenza flu, polio, BCG etc. with the evolution of sophisticated technology, identification of specific antigens is being done easily which further helps in development of vaccines with the help of microorganisms.
Streptomyces genus is used worldwide in the production of medicines and agriculture. These microorganisms process many secondary metabolites like antibiotics and plant growth hormones like Gibberilla (Microorganism used is Gibberella fujikuroi). New organisms are today being detected especially from extreme conditions like high temperature, high saline, low or high pH, etc having unique characteristics which are very useful in industrial productions and ultimately for well being of mankind.
I work at a community college where we will be doing some gfp protein purification.
I have been scouring the internet for a good protocol. We have a Biologic LP Chromatography System.
I know Bio-rad sells an education kit to do this process, however I am looking to pass this through our column. I will be ordering the parts needed to do so, I just need a good protocol to follow. It would be greatly appreciated if someone on here knows of one.
I hope I am not posting this in the wrong section of this forum, if I do I apologize in advance.
Here is a list of best biotechnology companies in India. Apart from domestic companies, there are several MNC's that have opened their branches in India. Future of biotech in India is certainly very bright, but it is very important to graduate from a good institute. There are several newbie institutes offering even PHD in biotechnology, microbiology, genetics etc .. students should carefully talk to existing students of the college, check placement history, facilities and qualifications of professors before opting for one.
Some of the best Biotech Companies in India are as follows.
Bangalore, Website: http://www.biocon.com
2. Serum Institute of India,
Pune, Website: http://www.seruminstitute.com
3. Panacea Biotec
New Delhi, Website: http://www.panacea-biotec.com/
4. Piramal Healthcare
Mumbai, Website: http://www.piramalhealthcare.com/
5. Wockhardt Limited
Mumbai, Website: http://www.wockhardt.com
Mumbai, Website: http://www.gsk-india.com/
7. Bharat Serum
Mumbai, Website: http://www.bharatserums.com/index1.htm
8. Krebs Biochemicals and Industries Limited
Hyderabad, Website: http://www.krebsbiochem.com/
9. Zydus Cadila
Ahmedabad, Website: http://www.zyduscadila.com/
10. Indian Immunologicals
Hyderabad, Website: http://www.indimmune.com/
11. Monsanto Biotech
Mumbai, Website, http://www.monsantoindia.com/
12. Rasi Seeds,
Attur (TN), http://www.rasiseeds.com
13. Venkateshwara Hatcheries
14. Novo Nordisk
15. Indian Immunologicals
16. TransAsia Biomedics
Mumbai , http://www.transasia.co.in/
Astrazeneca India, Sisco ,Care Biomedicals, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Brainwave Bioinformatics, Bangalore Genei, Avesthagen, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, GVK Biosciences, Indian Immunologicals Limited, Intas Biopharmaceuticals, Nuziveedu Seeds Private Limited, Reliance Life Sciences,
Shantha Biotechnics, Strand Life Sciences and VAV Life Sciences
Please add more noticeable companies (including locations and website) if I have missed any.
Microbiology has tremendous scope and a very bright future. Students who are pursuing their career as a Microbiologist, golden opportunities await for you. Some of the best scientific research jobs are in available in the field of Microbiology.
Einstein rightly said "Imagination is powerful than knowledge". Today the innovation in science is spreading its arms like the way universe is spreading since big bang. Few 100 years ago man imagined flying in sky and today it is happening. Today he can fly in sky for days, months and years with aero plane, rockets, space labs etc. There are thousands of such examples were science has made miracles and made imagination a reality. Today you imagine something and will see that tomorrow or soon innovation in science will make it reality. What is required in today’s scientific world is the vision, the imagination to innovate rest the technology and knowledge will take care.
One such branch of science is microbiology which has made many imaginations a reality. The innovations in this field has given the ability to human being to see tiny invisible organisms of unbelievable size less than 0.2 micron or even less and to study every detail of it. The scope of microbiology is immense due to its ability to control all critical points of many fields like Medical, Diary, Pharmaceutical, Industrial, Clinical, research, water industry, agriculture, nanotechnology, chemical etc.
It is true that career in microbiology is great due to its vast scope but at the same time, this is not sufficient and what is further required to have great career in microbiology is a new dimension to the thinking, new dimension to the education system, and new dimension to the way the knowledge of microbiology is applied. Today education is considered as a way of earning money in life through jobs. From our school days it is being taught and our mind set is being made to have a good job after education. Our first aim after education is getting a white collar job through campus interview or any other mean. Is it really making sense to just get a good job with education, is it only meaning of today’s education? The answer is of course not. There is a need to change the mind sets and to change the education system such that it should teach us to innovate, should teach us to imagine & to establish with our own knowledge and education beyond a mean to earn just for livelihood.
With new dimension of thinking , today microbiologist can easily innovate new diagnostic kits (e.g. Pathogen detecting, antigen detecting, receptor detecting etc), can discover new drugs with antibiotic sensitivity tests, zone of inhibitions etc., Can isolate unique species from mountains , strange areas, extreme conditions, who know you may find antibiotic properties in many of them. Hundreds of such enzyme properties, antibiotic properties within microorganisms are being detected daily and are applied in various medical, fermentation industries and in developing new products for well being of human life. Microbiologist can apply for patents for their small-big innovations and can even sell them for million dollars, can develop their own small or big clinical laboratory, Can develop their own dairy, pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural institutes and industries simply with knowledge of applied microbiology. Who knows your imagination of isolating organisms from extreme condition can give new drugs for today’s burning issues and diseases and can save thousands of patients life’s all over the world.
Today microbiologists are required in top organizations like NASA for identification of any life form for their various missions like the recent Mars curiosity mission and many more. The scope is immense; just what is needed is right application of knowledge. With such a scope in microbiology what today’s students, professionals need is just a change of their mindsets , a change in their imagination , a thinking beyond circle, rest as mentioned earlier, knowledge and technology will take care to make them successful. Job is a way to apply knowledge but innovation and imagination is a way to destination and Einstein rightly said that “imagination is powerful than knowledge”.
Biofilms are found abundantly in the nature on rocks, in industrial pipelines, in clinical appliances and also inside living organisms. Microbial biofilms have gained popularity due to the negative impacts caused for human health such as forming dental plaques, as food pathogens, colonization of implanted human organs etc. Bacterial species like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli and yeasts like Candida are involved in clinical biofilms. However, besides these negative issues, biotechnology has made it possible to use these microbial communities with special characteristics for human efficacy.
A microbial biofilms can consist of bacteria, fungi, archea, protozoa and algae. Mostly, microorganisms are present as biofilms in the environment. For an instant, microbial biofilms in the soil induces plant growth and protects plants from soil borne pathogens. A single biofilm consist of different species of the different organisms which makes it an advanced form of microbial communities. Biofilms are difficult to eradicate using antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents including chlorine using the standard concentrations. Bacterial biofilms readily develop antibiotic resistance if higher doses are used. Recent research focuses on defining minimum biofilm eliminating concentration (MBEC) instead of minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for bacterial biofilms.
Formation of biofilms basically depends on the adherent properties of the microbial cells. First the individual cells adhere to a biotic or abiotic surface in a reversible manner which then attaches to the surface more firmly by cell surface structures such as pilli, fimbriae. Then the cells increase in number. In further development of the biofilm, the cells produce an extracellular matrix composed of polysaccharides, proteins which in turn defend the biofilm from external environmental stresses. The microbial cells in the biofilm have unique physiological properties when compared to individual planktonic cells of the same organism. This uniqueness also corresponds to the relative position of the cell in the biofilm. The cells at the surface of the biofilm are more metabolically active and larger in size. They continue to divide and develop the biofilm whereas the cells at the depth are in a likely dormant state which becomes active with the death of surface cells. In antimicrobial treatments, only the top cell layer is affected in this microniche. Communication between microbial cells takes place by quorum sensing & they may form channels which permits uptake of nutrients, water etc. Microenvironment in the biofilm is subjected to changes in pH, oxygen concentration depending on the macroenvironment. In terms of metabolic rates, biofilms are far more advanced than individual cells and hence can be used efficiently.
Biofuel production has gained a considerable attention as a substitute to fossil fuel which in turn reduces greenhouse effect caused by burning of fossil fuels. Scientists are trying to produce ethanol with the help of microbial biofilms using cellulose in plants as the starting material. Microbes involved in decaying plant substances which can form biofilms are used for biofuel production. These microorganisms are capable of producing hydrolytic enzymes called cellulosomes. Microorganisms found in the biofilms used for biofilm production include bacteria like Cellulomonas and fungi like Aspergillus. Industrial biofuel production is not sufficiently cost effective due to the required pretreatments which convert the cellulose to simple sugars or organic acids which is then converted to ethanol by fermentation using fungi and bacteria. As the biofilm is immobilized into a solid surface the recovery of the product becomes efficient. With the use of biofilms; bioprocessing, delignification, saccharification, fermentation and separation is possible inside a single reactor which is advantageous over usual industrial methods.
Biofilters are another use of biofilm technology which is used to purify polluted air released from industries. In this, the exhaust air is passed through the biofilter before it’s released or reused. Generally under optimized conditions, a biofilter can reduce off odours in exhaust air due to Ammonia, Hydrogen sulfide etc. Moisture content in the growth medium and the retention time for exhaust air can be controlled to optimize the process. Biofilter media usually consist of wood chips and compost which supplies nutrients, energy and water to microorganisms. Porosity in the biofilter is also significant for the efficiency of the biofilter. By products of the biofilter includes Carbon dioxide, water, minerals and organic compounds which makes it ecofriendly.
Bacterial biofilms are the powerhouse of microbial fuel cells (MFC). Using biofilms in the fuel cells permits waste decomposition which is another advantage. Microbial fuel cells consist of an anode, a cathode, electrolyte solution and an external circuit. An electric current is generated as a result of microbial metabolic activities in the biofilm. Microbial energy production using organic waste results in production of Carbon dioxide and free electrons. This flow of electrons from the medium to anode and back to cathode generate an electric current. The biofilm matrix play an important role in electrical conductivity as it encloses micro scale conductive nanowires. Clostridium cellulolyticum and Geobacter sulferreducens are commonly used bacterial species in microbial fuel cells. A recent discovery states that a bacterium, Bacillus stratosphericus found in the atmosphere was able to produce electricity more efficiently in an artificially created biofilm for a microbial fuel cell. In waste water treatments, microalgae and bacteria are used in biofilms converting the organic waste into simple products.
In bioremediation, biofilms are used for degrading oil spills, detoxification and purification which minimize the complex processes of using chemical and physical methods. Microbes are capable of removing the contaminants present in very minute quantities such as heavy metals, chlorinated hydrocarbons and polyaromatic hydrocarbons.
Apart from these major applications, biofilms are used as models for studies on quorum sensing, genetic heterogeneity and physiological properties. Further studies are performed to understand the complex behavior of these microbial communities and to use them for human benefit. However, the complexity of the microorganisms in a biofilm in terms of metabolic diversity and species diversity has made it difficult to understand the principle pathways in biofilms.
Drug discovery and drug research have become fast growing fields of research. As more and more new prospective drugs appear, pharmacology starts playing a major role in the discovery process. The prospective drugs undergo a number of high-throughput screening processes after which they ultimately become potential drugs.
Pharmacology deals with the effect of the compounds within the body thereby affecting the function of the biological system. It covers mainly two areas: pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. While the latter deals with the effect of the drug on the body, the former deals with the effect of the biological system of the body on the drug. Both determine the fate of the prospective compounds in becoming potential drugs. Among them, Pharmacokinetics plays a vital role in drug discovery in which the drug-like properties of the prospective compounds are tested in both in-vitro and in-vivo environment.
Pharmacokinetics is the study of the concentration time course of a compound and its metabolite within the body based on the ADME-Tox properties of the compound. After ingestion, the compound undergoes a series of changes within the body starting from the solubilisation of the compound, absorption, digestion, metabolism, and ultimately excretion from the body. After ingestion, the concentration of the compound firstly increases within the blood stream with time due to the solubilisation of the compound and then, after metabolism, the concentration decreases with time with an increase in the corresponding metabolite of the compound. The Pharmacokinetics of a compound is studied based on a number of pharmacokinetic or PK parameters like clearance, half-life, etc., measured with the help of invitro experiments, which may be cell-based or non-cell based. The concentration of the compounds and their corresponding metabolites is measured in an HPLC or LC/MS after conducting the experiments. After the compounds are screened based on invitro experiments, they are tested on animals like rats, mice, etc., which is known as animal pharmacokinetics. In this process, blood or serum of the animal is collected at various time-intervals after the ingestion of the compound. The concentration of the compound and its metabolite is measured with the help of LC/MS. LC/MS is usually used in the measurement of the compound and its metabolite after proper extraction procedure, as it can measure very low amounts of the same present in the biological fluids with minimal interference from the proteins, etc present in the fluids. After proper statistical analysis of the data, the PK parameters are measured. Based on this data, the potential drug-like compounds are screened for further tests.
The PK parameters of the compounds are greatly affected due to the plasma protein binding of the compounds within the body. These plasma proteins bind the compounds and thereby reduce their bioavailability in the body. Moreover, the different barriers in the body like intestinal barrier, BBB, etc also reduce the bioavailability of the compounds in many cases. Hence, along with the usual tests of solubility, metabolism, etc of the compound, a study is carried out regarding the effects of plasma proteins and various barriers within the body on the compounds in order to get a clearer idea of the bioavailability of the compounds. The combined study gives a true picture regarding the PK parameters of the compounds. These tests are also performed invitro in the drug discovery lab. In the preliminary screening, the toxicity studies also form a very vital part, as a compound may have drug-like properties and be toxic too which thereby rejects it during the screening process.
Although, the entire process may seem like a simple one, but it is a long drawn process whereby, both the chemistry and biology departments are involved and go hand in hand to make drug discovery a success. Even though some compounds may be selected to be having drug-like properties in the first range of tests, but they then undergo even further chemical modifications in their structure to make them more potential in nature. These structural modifications depend on their nature of solubility, metabolism, and bioavailability. If they possess further enhanced drug-like properties after structural modification, then they undergo different cell assays and series of tests on animals before undergoing tests on human trials, which forms the last stage in drug discovery process.
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The modification of genetic information related to well being of life is known as Genetic Engineering. This uses techniques which are helpful in genomic manipulation of organisms. In this method of Genetic Engineering, the gene of interest is introduced into the DNA of organism. This gene of interest may be foreign DNA or Synthetic genes. After this, propagation of the recombinant organism can be done with the help of breeding, which may not need modern technology. This way a population of organisms are developed which are giving desired results with the activation of gene of interest. One best example is Insulin production from bacteria E.coli in which the gene of interest that is the gene responsible for insulin molecule formation are introduced & a required quality and quantity of insulin is produced. This is known as Genetic Engineering.
The organism in which the DNA is modified with the introduction of desired gene is known as genetically modified organism (GMO). In 1973 the first genetically engineered bacteria were successfully developed. The modification of genome of any organism is governed by many regulatory authorities worldwide and there is a strict regulation for the same. The first commercialized bacteria for insulin production were in 1982.
The host genome is used for the introduction of desired genes. This is done at specified or unspecified sites within the genome depending upon the test organism. First of all, the isolation of gene of interest or genetic material is done and the same is copied and amplified using techniques like genetic cloning. This way a genetic material is produced which is capable of expression of desired phenotypes or desired products. This is the inserted into the host DNA. This process uses many enzymes which help in cutting of desired gene and also enzymes which help in ligation or insertion of desired gene into the host genetic material. The gene targeting is another method of genetic engineering.
Today many genetically engineered plants, animals and microorganisms are successfully produced. This helps in making better level of achievements, like useful genetically modified plants are made more resistant to diseases as compared to their wild type. Microorganisms which are producing antibiotics are made capable of giving specific quality as well as required quantity of drugs, animals like goats are used for milks. Today many approved products from genetically engineered animals are used one of such example is the commercial production and sale of anti-thrombin protein which is in the milk of genetically modified goats.
Many a times the introduction of heritable genetic material which is the gene of interest is directly incorporated through technique which is known as micro-injection, encapsulation and macro injections. The indirect method is done with the help of vector which is compatible with host genetic material and helps in introduction of desired gene into the DNA of host. The vectors play a role of vehicle for the same. Such vectors are known as plasmids.
There is different terminology for the organism’s undergone genetic engineering; this depends on the species types. If the genetic material is introduced into the host from another species which is not related, the resulting (GMO) organisms are known as transgenic. When the genetic material is introduced into the host from the same species which are able to breed naturally, then such GMO are known as cisgenic. One such terminology is gene knockout; it refers to the organism from which the genetic material is removed to give desired results. The natural changes in the genetic material of the organism due to the impact from environment, or mutagenic agents or any such other factor is known as mutation. Mutation had helped many organisms to survive during the course of evolution. This happened with changes in the genotype and concurrent changes in phenotypes which helped them to adapt to the extreme situations like competition, less availability of food, extreme environmental changes or conditions like high temperature etc.
Today with the development of technology and science, many genetically modified plants, microorganisms, and animals are being used successfully all over the world. There are many of such examples. The tobacco, much vegetable plant which was genetically modified were resistant to herbicides. Few such plants are completely resistant to harmful endemic bacteria and viruses. Many genetically modified bacteria are today used to produce high quality medicinal drugs; many of them are life saving antibiotics. With the further development of science man is achieving new heights, most recently that is in 2010 scientist from J Craig Venter Institute had synthesized first genome of bacteria and had introduced it into the cell without DNA and the outcome was the bacteria named Synthia. Synthia means synthetic life (first of its type in the world).
Today medical field is working day and night to find out complete cure from many deadly diseases like HIV- AIDS, Influenza, Measles, Hepatitis, Polio, Herpes Simplex, Rabies etc., and one common thing in all these diseases is that all are viral disease. Therefore the question comes here is what is so unique in viruses as compared to bacteria and other pathogens. Lets us look into it. What virus means and what are the unique characteristics of viruses which differentiate them from other pathogens.
Virology is the study of structure, metabolism, classification, evolution of the mode of infection of viruses and of the use of host genetic material and cell for reproduction. The knowledge of viruses is today helping many researchers to find out the therapy for such deadly diseases. By definition, viruses are intra cellular obligatory parasites. It means they can survive only if they are in host and they are non- living creatures when found outside of the host cell. They utilize host genetic and cellular material for their own reproduction. The classification of viruses is based on the host type they infect. For example if the host is bacteria, they are known as bacteriophages, and further classified as per the host plant, animal fungus etc. The most complex viruses are bacteriophages. One more type of classification is found in the viruses. It is based on the geometrical shape of the capsid of the virus. The capsid of viruses is either helix or icosahedrons. Also during this type of classification, structure of virus is considered for examples the presence or the absence of lipid envelop differentiate the virus types. Such type of complex structural geometric forms is not found in bacteria or other pathogens. This is one of the unique characteristics of viruses. Another is that they can only survive in their host which is not the case for bacteria. Today the most widely used classification is based on the Nucleic acid structure. Like DNA viruses and RNA viruses.
Viruses are the smallest microorganisms. They are much smaller than bacteria. The size of viruses ranges from 28 nano meter (nm) up to 465 nm. This also means that they are so small that they cannot be seen through light microscopes. This type of small sizes is another unique characteristic of viruses. So if they are so small how their molecular shape and every detail study is done? The use of modern electron microscope helps to completely study viruses. Also many a times X-ray crystallography and spectroscopy is used for the research in the field of virology. Today with the use of such sophisticated instruments, it is known that there are around two thousand species and around three hundred genera of viruses worldwide.
During the course of virology development, many infectious entities which are even smaller than viruses have been identified. These are sub viral particles and can cause diseases in humans and even animals. These are Viroids which is itself a naked circular RNA molecule capable of infecting plants. This is another unique characteristic of viruses and related entities. Such sub viral particle is nucleic acid molecule either with or without capsid is capable of infection with the help of another virus and is capable to reproduce in host. This type of sub viral entity is known as satellite. Prions are the protein which is also capable of creating abnormal health along with the help of other prions.
Today the many important diseases are caused by viruses. Apart from infectious disease, many viruses have been found which are contributing in the development of cancerous cells. These are known as oncoviruses. Such characteristics of viruses make them unique and different from bacteria with respect to shape, size, mode of reproduction, infection, pathogencity. This all create curiosity among scientist and researcher to study them in every details and to develop a successful treatment therapy against them to help patient to survive from such deadly viral diseases. Many of such techniques and methods of their treatment is being successfully applied all over the world. The main such is vaccination against such diseases. As always prevention is better than cure.
One could wonder how so huge demand of vaccines is being meeting by manufacturers in short span of time. The answer is biotechnology. Today in the field of biotechnology, many such research and development is done which is helping mankind in all ways. One such technique of propagation of required cell is called as cell culture. This technique is helping manufacturer to meet short timelines for production of large scale vaccines. Cell culture is nothing but the growth of cells in controlled condition outside their natural environment is known as cell culture. The culturing of cell generally takes place in multi-cellular eukaryotes like animals and plants. But much culture of bacteria, fungus, plants and other microbes are being maintained and propagated from past. Thus the concept of maintaining the cell line or cell culture came into picture and thus today became the developed and necessary part of many industries and medical field.
There are many applications of cell culture. The main use of cell culture is done in manufacture of viral vaccines. Apart from this, cell culture is used in synthesis of hormones, enzymes and many such biotechnology products. In manufacturing of viral vaccines, mass cultivation of cell line is done. This cell cultures are then used to cultivate viruses which are intra cellular obligatory parasites. Therefore today one cannot think to prepare viral vaccines without the use of cell cultures. Immunobiologicals like monoclonal antibodies, lymphokines, interleukins, and other anticancer agents are prepared with the help of animal cell culture technique. The complex and important protein like erythropoietin is produced using rDNA in bacterial cell culture. Today with the use of animal cells all over the world, the demand is increasing as well as the cost of animal’s cell is high. Therefore plant cells and insect cells are being used and tried for the alternative to animal cells. Further single embryonic cell and other somatic cells of embryo are being used as source for transfer of gene of interest. All these useful products are today available due to the contribution of cell culture technique which is today a important part of biotechnology.
With the growth in cell culture technology, pure form of viral vaccines was being made successfully. Cell culture is related to tissue culture in which propagation of plants is done. The first injectable polio vaccine was successfully developed by Scientist Jonas Salk. He used cell culture technique and had done mass production of viral vaccines today being used against deadly polio disease. With further development in cell culture studies, Scientist John Franklin Enders and et al discovered a new method of growing viruses in kidney cell of money. For this work he was awarded Nobel Prize. Thus he saved many lives from being infected by viral diseases through vaccination which was possible only using cell culture technique.
The technique of cell culture employs few steps 1) Isolation of cells, 2) Maintenance of isolated cell in culture,3) Manipulation of culture cells & 4 ) Passaging etc., For isolation , cells are first purified from sources like blood. Mononuclear cells are isolated with enzymatic digestion from soft tissues. In such case, the enzyme like collagenase, pronase and trypsin is utilized. The enzyme’s active site acts on the substrate and thus breaks down the cellular matrix. One other famous method is explants culture method. In this method, the tissues are cultured in growth media. The cells which grow are isolated easily are available for culture.
Cells cultures are maintained under controlled environmental conditions which are favorable for their growth. The necessary temperature and humidity is provided. The 37 °C is many times used and 4-5 % CO2 is maintained for cells of mammals. All this is maintained in incubators. Another factors like pH, concentration of nutrients, growth factors, osmotic balancing is being taken care of. The other factor like density of plating is also considered. In which number of cells per culture volume is considered to avoid contamination and to enrich the culture properly. Contamination is major issue and can be tackled with the help of clean rooms and providing HEPA filters where the activity is done. Manipulation and passaging of culture is done as per the requirement of quantity of cell culture. Passaging is nothing but sub-culturing in which small number of cell is transferred into new container or vessel. Thus a new cycle of cell culturing is started. Thus today many biotechnology and medicinal products are prepared only with the help of this useful and important technique of cell culturing.
Health as defined is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
It means apart from disease or infirmity many factors contribute to health. These determinants of health are control point for individuals to make their life healthy. To a large extent, factors such as our diet, healthy behavior, physical activities, state of our income, environment, education level and healthy body weight all decide our fate of healthy life. Basis such importance of these determinants in making life healthy, today many scientist and health specialist are doing inventions which are focused on investigating these determinants of heath at individual level and to develop a system that will effectively utilize these determinants to make healthy life style. In such researches, all possible defined population (Children, Adult, and Elders etc) are being considered. Today there is a need to develop a system which will implement healthy behavior by looking at ways of communicating nutrition and healthier lifestyle more effectively to the public.
The world is immensely out of balance in subject like health. It is neither secure nor stable. The WHO (World Health Organization) constitution states that only by provision of adequate health and social measures, government can fulfill their responsibilities for the health of their peoples. In other words it shares with Government that it can fulfill their responsibilities only if they work on determinants of health and social measures.
Today the question of reducing health inequities, unhealthy behavior & life style is alarming and the same can be addressed only with invention of determinants and with actions on identified issues. Today many part of world population does not comply with recommendation regarding intake of energy, saturated fat, sodium, vegetables & fruits.
Determinants of health at an individual level like health behavior, diet, and healthy body weight and any come out with new research to improve the public health throughout the world.
Today such type of research in the field of health can be done a) by sample collection of defined population (children, adult, elder etc), understanding their lifestyles, healthy behavior , their competency towards adaption of such healthy behaviors , their circumstances and awareness about healthy acts etc. b) Alignment of all collected data category wise, area wise, malnourished, over nourished, poor category , rich category etc. c) Analysis of data & field work to investigate how it can improve daily living condition , how it will help in tackling the inequitable distribution of power, money and resources, how it can help in improving communication system within public and the how best way & effectively it share the healthy habits. Today’s research should focus on measuring and understanding the top issue with statistical analysis like perito chart study, various Minitab tools etc. and how best these inventions can be translated into concrete health policy actions or how it can add to improve or to suggest findings into various health policies and overall development of system for healthy life of human beings.
Research and development in this field of health determinants is today addressing major questions like which determinant is more significantly contributing health related issue is it communication gap of healthy habits in public, lifestyle, circumstances, poverty, body weight, education etc., and more importantly the research is guiding to develop a unique system that will act on these determinants at various levels. During research work, and while doing interview of individuals for data collection, all ethical points should be taken in to consideration. This is being done to save the personal freedom and for the safety of the participants. In such case ethical approval are many times required prior to involvement of human beings in to the research.
Though only little research has been done in this field, but there has been a significant outcome & which triggers further investigation particularly to bring out the gaps and arguments in the existing research. With such research, there will be promotion of following healthy behaviors and more people engagement will take place towards healthy diet which is important determinant of health.