IIT Kharagpur has launched an ambitious program to encourage beginners of undergraduate engineering courses at the Institute to enroll for Genomics Study. Genomics is the branch of molecular biology concerned with the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genomes which contain DNA information. Genomics is helping researchers discover why some people get sick from certain infections, environmental factors, and behaviors, while others do not. Genomics includes the scientific study of complex diseases such as heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and cancer because these diseases are typically caused more by a combination of genetic and environmental factors than by individual genes. Genomics is offering new possibilities for therapies and treatments for some complex diseases, as well as new diagnostic methods.
To engage the best and brightest young engineering minds in biology research particularly in genomics and genome engineering IIT Kharagpur is going start Genomics laboratory facility for engineering students from all the branches of engineering. Varieties of bioinformatics-based experiments like understanding evolution, protein structure prediction, etc. will be done in the existing computational facilities of the Institute.
The primary objective of this laboratory will be to teach all the students at the second year the basic techniques of life sciences that will include Microscopy based observation, Molecular biology, Protein structure and function and lastly Bioinformatics.
“These experiments will teach the students about building blocks of life, construction of protein structure from DNA sequence, mutation and its effect on enzyme structure and its interaction with its substrate. They will be engaged in DNA and protein profiling by gel electrophoresis and will also be able to identify biological father of a baby by simulation of DNA gel electrophoresis using the whole genome. Students will be able to visualize protein inside the bacteria and animal cell using fluorescent microscopy, and conduct many experiments to get an overall idea from the cell to the genome” said Prof. Sudip K. Ghosh from the Dept. of Biotechnology who will be heading this lab.
Third year onwards they will be allowed to plan and execute experiments by their own under the mentorship of faculties from Biotechnology, Bioscience, Chemistry, Medical Science and Technology and Computer Science and Engineering.
The lab will be running for 24x7 hours and equipped with all the essential equipment needed for cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, sequencing facility, microscopy facility, etc.
Though there are few laboratories of similar nature abroad, this will the first time of its kind in India opined Prof. Ghosh.