Stem cell research and its use in therapy are at the frontiers of biomedicine. It is being explored as a panacea for a wide range of diseases from tissue damages to serious conditions like neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Most recently, it is being explored as a possible tool to treat patients with severe cases of COVID-19 in China. While it is a high potential tool, it also has its share of associated risks.
India’s biotechnology sector has evolved steadily and significantly in the last two decades, growing at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20%. The government is currently aspiring to reach the target of USD 100 billion by 2025. Indeed, India has always been a high-performer when it comes to this sector. Yet, there still exist several lacunae that need to be addressed for both achieving the target and also ensuring further development…
Under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, growing GM crops that are not approved by the government can result in a five-year jail term and a hefty ₹1 lakh fine. Yet a Haryana farmer had grown a genetically modified (GM) variant of brinjal which is banned under the law that has landed him in controversy and the officials had forced him to uproot the crop.
There are two arguments regarding GM crops – one is “its potential in terms of increased crop yields & shelf life in the context of climate change events” and the other one is the “concern regarding its reliability and impacts on the environment and human health”.
A group of Indian scientists and companies are involved with a 100k Genome Asia project of the National Technological University (NTU), Singapore, to sequence the entire genomes of 100k Asians, including 50,000 Indians.
DNA profiling is a process where a specific DNA pattern (called a profile) is obtained from a person or sample of bodily tissue for solving crimes, identifying missing persons etc.