CSIR in the news..

An aggregation of news on the web about CSIR and its laboratories

Archive for September 2010

Home to lab, the cutting edge

28 September 2010

NEW DELHI: Computer scientist Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay credits her parents and her husband with allowing her — at times even pushing her — to seek out the molecular mechanisms that underlie cancer, which has got her picked for India’s top science prize.

Bandyopadhyay, a professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta, has been applying computer science techniques to search for and analyse the working of micro-RNAs — a set of molecules implicated in several diseases, including cancer.

She is among three women in the group of nine scientists selected for the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes for 2010 — a record in the 52-year history of India’s highest science awards that have so far gone to only 14 women among 463 scientists.

While the number of women among Bhatnagar winners is disproportionately small, the 2010 awardees and senior scientists said this shouldn’t surprise anyone given the challenges women scientists encounter in attempts to balance lab with home.

Only scientists below 45 years of age can receive the Bhatnagar Prizes given for outstanding research achievements. Instituted by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), each award carries a citation, a plaque and a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh.

“Time just runs out for many women scientists who take a break for the family,” said Mitali Mukherjee, a scientist at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi, who won the 2010 prize for medical sciences for her role in exploring the genome of Indian populations.

“Several things have to fall in place,” said Shubha Tole, a scientist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai, a 2010 prize winner for biological sciences. Tole has spent the past decade unravelling the genetic mechanisms that dictate the structure of regions of the brain that control language, memory and emotions.

“I had a great team of students and post-doctoral fellows, a very supportive department, and family support,” said Tole, whose husband Sandeep Trivedi, a physicist also at the TIFR, had himself won the Bhatnagar Prize in 2005.

“With all that, you need to pull off your research before competitors in the West do it,” said Tole, whose work has revealed key mechanisms involved in the development of the hippocampus — the centre of learning and memory — and the amygdala, the zone of emotions in the brain.

At the IGIB, Mukherjee has co-ordinated a nationwide project to analyse the genomes of Indian population groups — different communities — that is expected to provide new insights into the links between diseases and genes.

The project on genome variations has also revealed the historical proximity or distances between different population groups in the country.

“It’s heartening to see a third of the prizes go to women — we’re hoping our future leaders emerge from these winners,” said Samir Brahmachari, the director-general of the CSIR……….

Read more: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100928/jsp/frontpage/story_12991055.jsp

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Written by csirindia

September 28, 2010 at 5:45 am

Posted in CSIR

CIMAP, IPCA join hands to grow herbs for anti-malaria drugs in UP

27 September 2010

LUCKNOW: On the occasion of CSIR foundation day, the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, signed an agreement with the IPCA Laboratory, Ratlam, for commercial cultivation of herbs for anti-malarial drugs in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

According to the agreement, which was signed by CIMAP director Professor Ram Rajasekharan and general manager of IPCA Laboratory, D C Jain, CIMAP will help the farmers in contractual cultivation of anti-malarial medicinal plant Artemisia annua in more than 3000 acres of land for 18 months. The herbs will be bought by the IPCA for production of anti-malarial drug directly from the farmers. IPCA also paid Rs 14 lakh to CIMAP as consultation fee.

The herb is used to extract artemisinin, a compound used in development of anti-malarial drug. The technology for chemical extraction of the medicinal molecule has also been developed by the CIMAP.

Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/cimap-ipca-join-hands-to-grow-herbs-for-antimalaria-drugs-in-up/688705/

Written by csirindia

September 28, 2010 at 5:39 am

Posted in CIMAP

NAL flaunts its technology

27 September 2010

BANGALORE: National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bangalore, on Sunday held live demonstrations of its Radio-Controlled Unmanned Air Vehicles and Micro Air Vehicles (MAV) for public.NAL organised the exhibition with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The day also marked the CSIR’s foundation day function. NAL’s recent innovations and achievements were on display in the one-day exhibition. Some of the exhibits covered wind energy, power generations from solar  ponds, weather forecasting and support to India’s space programme.“The objective of this event was to provide an exposure to the students to the exciting world of aeronautics and aviation with the hope that they take up aeronautics as their career profession,” said Giriraj, a scientist with NAL.The live flight demonstrations of MAVs was held at NAL’s cricket grounds at Kodihalli campus. The MAV is an autonomous flying vehicle, capable of carrying a payload and a small video camera.It supports various civil and military missions.

Source: http://expressbuzz.com/cities/bangalore/nal-flaunts-its-technology/210305.html

Written by csirindia

September 28, 2010 at 5:36 am

Posted in NAL

IIT-K professor bags Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize

27 September 2010

KANUR:

or his outstanding contribution in the field of drug design, Professor Sandeep Verma of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) has been named for the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology 2010 in chemical sciences.

Verma (44) is a professor in the Department of Chemistry at IIT-K since 1997. His major achievements include the development of artificial chemicals to model biological proteins. The artificial chemicals help in identifying the root cause of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology is awarded annually by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research for outstanding contribution in chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, geology, mathematics and medicines. “The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award is a major achievement in my life and will vastly boost my efforts,” Verma told The Indian Express.

Read more: http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/iitk-professor-bags-shanti-swarup-bhatnagar-prize/688712/

Written by csirindia

September 28, 2010 at 5:32 am

Posted in CSIR

Several events mark CSIR’s foundation day

27 September 2010

LUCKNOW: Several cultural programmes were organised to mark the 68th foundation day of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Sunday at Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) in the city.

Several other events like lectures by scientists, release of publications and felicitation of staff were also held on the occasion.

The celebrations were held at all the laboratories of CSIR.

Saroj Chooramani Gopal, vice-chancellor, Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University, Lucknow, was the chief guest at the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR).

She delivered a lecture on `a saga of success story in nation building through science, technology and research’.

She said the CSIR has established itself as the world’s largest public funded organisation and outlined some of its success stories.

IITR director K C Gupta felicitated the employees who retired last year.

The National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) observed ‘Open Day’ on Sunday. Its various laboratories, botanical garden, herbarium, exposition, library and Banthra Research Station remained open to people. A large number of students, researchers and people visited these places. Akhilesh Tyagi, director, National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi, was the chief guest, while H Ravishankar, director, Central Institute for Sub-tropical Horticulture, Lucknow, graced the function as the guest of honour.

Tyagi, in his lecture, said that rice is one of the pillars of worldwide food security and improvement in its yield is necessary to mitigate the hunger of millions of people who depend on rice as their staple food.

Decoding rice genome sequence is expected to complement the efforts being made to improve quality of rice and its yield.

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/Several-events-mark-CSIRs-foundation-day/articleshow/6632768.cms#ixzz10mGpMOjk

Written by csirindia

September 28, 2010 at 5:29 am

Posted in CSIR

CIMAP, IPCA join hands to grow herbs for anti-malaria drugs in UP

27 September 2010

LUCKNOW: On the occasion of CSIR foundation day, the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, signed an agreement with the IPCA Laboratory, Ratlam, for commercial cultivation of herbs for anti-malarial drugs in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

According to the agreement, which was signed by CIMAP director Professor Ram Rajasekharan and general manager of IPCA Laboratory, D C Jain, CIMAP will help the farmers in contractual cultivation of anti-malarial medicinal plant Artemisia annua in more than 3000 acres of land for 18 months. The herbs will be bought by the IPCA for production of anti-malarial drug directly from the farmers. IPCA also paid Rs 14 lakh to CIMAP as consultation fee.

The herb is used to extract artemisinin, a compound used in development of anti-malarial drug. The technology for chemical extraction of the medicinal molecule has also been developed by the CIMAP.

“We have perfected the technology to extract artemisinin. Last year also, we had signed a similar agreement with the IPCA for cultivation of the herb in around 500 acres of land. But this time, the company’s demand has increased to 50 tonnes of artemisinin per year, for which the company is keen for contractual cultivation of the plant in 3,000-5,000 acres,” said A K Singh, the head of the Technology & Business Development Division, CIMAP.

The herb, which has its origin in China, was introduced some 10 years ago in India by CIMAP, said Dr Singh. “We have agro-technology and improved variety of the herb with us. We will be providing the technical assistance
as well as seeds for commercial cultivation of the plant to about 200 farmers from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. Some of the cultivators from Bihar are also being contacted for this,’ said Singh.On the occasion, the CIMAP also released a new variety of mint named ‘CIMAP-Patra’ which has menthofuran in it, a substance that is being exploited by various industries for blending and evolving new aroma, said Singh.

Source: http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/cimap-ipca-join-hands-to-grow-herbs-for-antimalaria-drugs-in-up/688705/

Written by csirindia

September 28, 2010 at 5:23 am

Posted in CIMAP

Proper storage of grain needed for food security, says expert

27 September 2010

PANAJI: Popularly known as father of green revolution in India, M S Swaminathan, felt India has to provide at least 50 grain storages across the country of one million tonne capacity each for the successful implementation of the Right to Food Security Act.

“We require at least 50 grain storages across India that can contain one million tonne of grains each. For the success of this project, by whatever name it is called, it is important to have enough food in the neighbourhood so that we make food a legal right, just like education and information,” the Rajya Sabha member said while speaking at the CSIR foundation day programme at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) at Dona Paula on Sunday.

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/Proper-storage-of-grain-needed-for-food-security-says-expert/articleshow/6633594.cms#ixzz10mEFYaxM

Written by csirindia

September 28, 2010 at 5:19 am

Posted in NIO