India’s central biotech regulator, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), cleared the genetically modified (GM) Mustard for commercial cultivation and recommended its approval to the environment ministry.
The mustard hybrid was developed with transgenic technologies by a team led by Deepak Pental, professor of Genetics at Delhi University.
Only the second food crop to get clearance from the central regulator
There is considerable concern regarding a future where industries around the world will face shortage of high quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers to meet the demands of the labor market. This is definitely a point of concern, especially since robots, AIs and chips would be running the future generation.
Leaving aside getting a job, even for a student of today, citizen of tomorrow to even comment on issues around them like what kind of robots should be employed at their office or home or what would be the impact of carbon foodprint or what technology should be applied to make their work done most efficiently, they must be aware of science and technology.
It is important to invest in STEM education to ensure a future talent pipeline, it’s just as important to have a scientifically-literate population to understand why we need to do so. – Ron Mobed, CEO Elseveir
One day we’re going to look back and whatever this era will get called, it’s going to put a premium on math and science. We should prepare our future workforce differently. – Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM
Why is this happening ?
Currently Science learning is more of mugging up and boring with less focus on understanding it with appropriate reasoning and facts.
Would like to share a small story from Einstein’s life…..
From allergy to alzheimers, cancer to coeliac disease, we can blame everything on our ‘Genes’. These genes spread across our 23 pair of chromosomes and remains more or less the same throughout our life (leaving aside environment induced changes).
So it would mean if we are able to understand our problematic Genes well before, we would be able to combat our disease better or even prevent it from expressing by making lifestyle changes or even going under the knife (preventive double mastectomy done by Angelina Jolie)
We never heard of it in earlier days
2003 was a landmark year for geneticists. The very first human genome was completed in 2003 as part of the Human Genome Project, which was formally started in 1990. This costed a whopping $2.7 billion. This gave scientist new hope and with time and coming in of newer technologies the whole procedure became simpler. Now it’s possible to sequence entire human genome in a couple of days with less than $10,000. This does not mean everybody has to shell out so much. It’s possible to analyze a small stretch of genes (already mapped to diseases through research studies) to predict the possibility of developing disease like cancer or cardiovascular problems.
Define Genetic Testing
Genetic testing is a type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. There are mainly seven types of genetic test and over 2000 tests are available.
Can a simple medical test tell whether my child or myself will develop chronic illness?
Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe ran a swab across the inside of her baby boy’s cheek, and tested her daughter’s amniotic cells. She did this to get a glimpse of her children’s genes and determine whether they contain certain kinks that increase the risk of developing anything from gallstones to multiple sclerosis. “As a parent,” says Wojcicki, “the most responsible thing I can do is get as much information about my children as possible so I can then think through how I can make them as healthy as possible.”
Should I go to my Physician
Sequencing, or “reading,” a person’s genome has grown into an industry by itself. Now one can even order these tests online from the comfort of their home, without any prescription from healthcare professional. This new age companies are called ‘Direct-to-Consumer’ genetic testing companies. They just need blood sample, cheek swab or saliva (based on the test selected) to perform the tests. The results are then send across through email or uploaded to personal account. The tests either confirm or rule out a person’s chance of developing a disease, or indicate a person as a carrier for a particular disease. The result often include dietary advice to prevent the onset of the disease, which is very valuable.
Direct-to-consumer genetic testingrefers to genetic tests that are marketed directly to consumers via television, print advertisements, or the Internet. This form of testing, which is also known as at-home genetic testing, provides access to a person’s genetic information without necessarily involving a doctor or insurance company in the process.
Angelina Jolie hit the news headlines in early 2013 by announcing her decision to go for elective double mastectomy after testing positive for mutated BRCA1. People from around the world suddenly came to know about ‘ Predictive Genetic Testing’. The impact was really big. A retrospective study performed at a Toronto hospital in 2014, for example, reported that the number of women referred for genetic counseling skyrocketed by 90 percent in the six months after Jolie’s announcement. The number of women at the hospital identified as BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers during that period jumped by 110 percent.
Why Predictive Genetic Testing is important
“Error” in our genes (called “mutations”) can cause disease and predictive genetic tests help to confirm the disease probability in advance.
Determine whether you would get Cancer or other chronic illness in future
Determine whether your unborn child is prone to genetic disorders like Downs’Syndrome
Dolly the sheep, made from breast cells, was famously named after Dolly Parton, the American singer known for her large chest as well as her voice. Dolly was the first example of successful cloning of a mammal from an adult cell.
Biotechnology is globally recognized as a rapidly emerging and far-reaching technology. It is aptly described as the “technology of hope” . But in Indian scenario, this field has failed in delivering what it promised in terms of employment. Way back from 2000, the word ‘Biotech’ has been used and been projected as technology of future, but looking at 2017 we have not reached any big milestones leaving aside some top names like Biocon, Dr Reddys, Bharat Biotech, Shantha Biotech. The employment opportunities are still desolate.
Revenue and growth but says a different story. As per recent records Biotechnology industry contributes 10-12% to the growth of the country every year. India is among the top 12 biotech destinations in the world and ranks third in the Asia-Pacific region. India has the second-highest number of US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)–approved plants, after the USA and is the largest producer of recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine. The industry is projected to touch a target of 100$ billion by 2025 according to Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE). At this stage we have over 600 companies with Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)pitched at 20%.
The first two paragraphs contradicts. The first one is the voice of thousands of students who took up Biotechnology as their course of study and second paragraph gives the numbers from Biotech industry. It’s very much needed to understand why two groups assess the same situation differently. My effort here is to bring attention to those points.
Food’s carbon footprint, or Foodprint, is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of the food you eat. How the food is grown or raised and how the food is cooked –both contribute to the carbon footprint.
How Carbon emission is mapped to food?
To understand how carbon emissions is linked to food production, we have to look into all those processes that help in bringing food from the field to our plates:
Chikangunya continued its menace across states in India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. 2016, June – September months reported maximum number of cases across India, especially in Delhi and Karnataka. As per data from National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, as of 31st Dec 2016, across country there have been a total of 58136 cases (actual numbers should be way more) .
Karnataka topped the chart with 13,506 cases
Delhi recorded a total of 12,221 cases. This definitely is a matter of concern keeping in mind the size of the state
Imagine you could attend from the comfort of your house classes offered by elite colleges like Stanford, Oxford, and that also for free….. that’s MOOC explained in a line. MOOC was introduced in 2008 and emerged as a popular mode of learning in 2012.