To Ministry of Science and Technology has approved to set up a state-of-the-art genomics facility at Allahabad University (AU). The project is likely to have expenditure of around Rs 20 crore. Prof S I Rizvi of Department of Bio-chemistry would be the principal investigator (PI) at the facility.
Explaining the importance of genomics, Prof Rizvi said,” Genomics is the technology where scientists study the genetic makeup of living systems (animals and plants) in an effort to understand how these systems work.”
“The technology is now being increasingly used to find answers to many human diseases, increasing crop output, pharmacogenetics and targeted therapy, prenatal diagnosis and testing, personalized medicine, etc,” said the expert.
Prof Rizvi opined that every living organism contains a set of chromosomes which is made up of a chemical known as DNA. “Small segments of chromosome have the capability of making specific proteins and such small segments are known as genes. The immense variability in all animals and plants is due to very small variations in genes,” he added.
“The genomics core project aims to analyse the genetic makeup of humans, animals and plants to understand the cause of diseases, improvement in crop output and yield, increase animal productivity and a host of other applications,” he further said.
The Centre has identified three centres for starting the National Genomics Core, including AU, National Institute of Biomedical Genomics at Kalyani and Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics in Hyderabad
Work has already started at AU for site preparation in the department of biochemistry. The National Genomics Core at Allahabad University is expected to start its work within three months.
“The core besides providing high-end scientific facility to scientists within the institution, will also cater to the need of institutions from other parts of north India,” said Prof Rizvi.