Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Biotechnology Mains Syllabus : Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

In News:

  • India is planning a major mission to sequence the genes of a “large” group of Indians — akin to projects in the U.K., China, Japan and Australia — and use this to improve the health of population.

About:

  • This was among the key decisions taken by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (STIAC) at its first meeting.
  • The Health and Family Welfare Ministry and the Biotechnology Department will be closely associated with the project. the genome initiative would have to move at two different levels
    • Sequencing genomes
    • Linking to human health and disease as a research initiative.
  • The Council acts as a coordinator between several Ministries to work on projects and missions and is scheduled to meet once a month

Gene Sequencing:

  • During whole genome sequencing, researchers collect a DNA sample and then determine the identity of the 3 billion nucleotides that compose the human genome.
  • Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is the analysis of the entire genomic DNA sequence of a cell at a single time, providing the most comprehensive characterization of the genome.
  • The very first human genome was completed in 2003 as part of the Human Genome Project, which was formally started in 1990.
  • Today, sequencing technology is much more efficient, and a human genome can be sequenced in a matter of days

Previous projects:

  • The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international scientific research project with the goal of determining the sequence of nucleotide base pairs that make up human DNA, and of identifying and mapping all of the genes of the human genome from both a physical and a functional standpoint.
  • It remains the world’s largest collaborative biological project.
  • A group of Indian scientists and companies are involved with a 100k Genome Asia project, led by the National Technological University (NTU), Singapore, to sequence the whole genomes of 100,000 Asians, including 50,000 Indians.

About Genome Asia 100K:

  • Genome Asia 100K is a non – profit consortium with a mission to generate genomic information for Asian populations and to promote genetic understanding of Asian populations to support research and discovery for healthy living and longevity.

Benefits of Gene Sequencing:

  • Genome mapping, along with imaging and diagnostic testing, could change the way medicine is practiced.
  • Medicine will become predictive health care as opposed to sick care
  • Sequencing each person’s genome would be beneficial to prevent a variety of heart ailments and even obesity. The combination of genome sequencing and diagnostic testing can expand life expectancy,

Other Agendas of STIAC:

  • Various key projects and their direction were discussed including –
  • Accelerating Growth for New India innovation (AGNIi),
  • Deep Ocean Mission,
  • Teaching S&T in Indian languages,
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Quantum Computing,
  • Bioscience Mission for Precision Health and Optimal Well-being,
  • Waste to Energy,
  • Research, Development and Innovation towards making India a leader in Electric Vehicles,
  • Indian Biodiversity: characterization, preservation and sustainable use.
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