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Vol. 02 NO 18 May 2nd, 2018.




GOES one step
This unusual DNA is typically present in
the wild and has *knot* been seen in living
cells hitherto. The traditional double helix
DNA occurring in living cells has now got
an upgrade- a twisted knot upgrade.

Human genome function is underpinned

by the primary storage of genetic infor-
mation in canonical B-form DNA, with a
second layer of DNA structure providing
regulatory control. I-motif structures are
thought to form in cytosine-rich regions
of the genome and to have regulatory
functions; however, in vivo evidence for
the existence of such structures has so far
By Disha Padmanabha
remained elusive.

DNA, which hold that adenine always binds push to understand what this new DNA shape
TWISTY “KNOT” DNA to thymine, and cytosine always hooks up
with guanine. In this instance, the structure is
is really for.”

DISCOVERED IN LIVING CELLS formed by two cytosines pairing up. In the future, Zeraati and colleagues will
attempt to learn what exact functions these


Given that 98% of the genome does not DNA structures serve inside our bodies. Also,
code for proteins, yet much of this DNA code perhaps other alternative DNA conforma-
predicts health and disease, the push is on to tions exist in human live cells, as well, such
decode this information. “Its probably not as A-DNA, Z-DNA, triplex DNA, and cruci-
Scientists have now discovered a new struc- oped an antibody that could sniff out i-mo-
one dimensional but three or four dimension- form DNA. Such discoveries might open the
ture inside human cells: a never-before-seen tifs in the genome and identify them, tagging
al”, says Mattick. As Dinger puts it, “These gates for a new age of genetic research.
twisted “knot” of DNA. Dubbed the “i-mo- them with an immunofluorescent glow.
findings will set the stage for a whole new
tif,” this four-stranded knot looks totally dif- This allowed researchers to see how fre-
ferent from the iconic double helix. This dis- quently and where these knots of DNA occur.
covery in living cells confirms our complex They found that the i-motifs are could fold
genetic code is crafted with more intricate and unfold depending on the acidity of their
symmetry than just the double helix struc- surroundings, and that the codes were gener-
ture everybody associates with DNA – and ally found in areas of the genome involved in
the forms these molecular variants take affect whether or not a certain gene gets expressed.
how our biology functions. This suggests the i-motifs may be some kind
The twisted knot structure only occurs in of switch that can regulate gene expression.
a relatively small region of a genome, like a
knot in the helical double strands of DNA. “What excited us most is that we could see
In the twisted knot structure, Cs bind to Cs the green spots – the I-motifs – appearing
instead of to Gs. and disappearing over time,” says Mahdi Ze-
This phenomenon was first observed in labs raati, the first author of the paper. “It seems
in the 1990s, but for a long time it seemed that likely that they are there to help switch genes
the structure could only occur under acidic on or off.”
conditions that did not exist inside a living
cell. More recent work has shown the knots Rather shockingly, the I-motif doesn’t just
could also occur in other environments. On disobey the structural rules, it also disobeys
a hunch, Garvan Institute researchers devel- the normally strict base-pairing rules for


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May 2nd, 2018. Vol. 02 NO 18

Bharat Biotech Commits

to 1 Crore Worth Vaccines
in Telangana
The pioneering Indian vaccine maker has diseases and to reduce its public health im-
now announced that it will be supplying Rs. pact,” Dr. Krishna Ella said.
1 crore worth of vaccines in the Telangana
region on its 20th year eve. The commitment Since it began its operations 20 years ago at
letter was handed over to the Hon’ble Minis- Genome Valley, Bharat Biotech has emerged
ter Shri. KT Rama Rao, Cabinet Minister for as a trusted vaccine research, development
IT E&C, MAUD, Industries & Commerce, & manufacturing partner to governments,
Mines & Geology, Public Enterprises and public health agencies, healthcare providers,
NRI Affairs, Government of Telangana. delivering at global scale with highest degree
of indigenisation capabilities, and leveraging
The Genome Valley based biotech will be advancements in new molecule research.
undertaking the distribution of Rotavac and
TypbarTCV vaccines that have got global Led by over 50 patents, a strong pipeline
recognition and endorsement from World of vaccine brands that is accessible in over
Health Organisation. Speaking at the logo 100 countries Bharat Biotech is a uniquely
launch, Rama Rao said, “Bharat has been integrated company that has built strong in-
instrumental in making Hyderabad a vaccine frastructure to consolidate its leadership to
capital of the world. We will soon be having make made in India vaccines for the world.
Genome Valley 2.0 to further strengthen our
position in the global biotech destination.” The announcement was made jointly with
the company’s decision to renew its corpo-
“Our journey began 20 years ago and we rate logo.
have demonstrated our expertise in all activ-
ities required for an integrated biotech com-
pany. Our focus is on preventing infectious By Disha Padmanabha

Chinese Biotech Could be

the Next Major Player in
Shanghai Hengrui Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Hengrui invests more than 10% of its sales
a subsidiary of Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine in R&D, “which is big by Chinese stand-
Co., Ltd, is a fully integrated pharmaceutical ards.” With sales of $1.6 billion last year,
company in China, with annual net sales of Hengrui does most of its business in China.
over U.S. $1.4 billion. Hengrui’s products The company may file for approval to market
and R&D span over multiple therapeutic ar- its first biotech drug in the second half and
eas, such as oncology and hematology, anes- push out innovative drugs every two to three
thesiology and pain management, cardiovas- years thereafter, reckons China International
cular and metabolic diseases, contrast media, Capital Corp.
and anti-inflammation.
Recognised as the top innovative Chinese There’s a caveat says Bloomberg- Hengrui
drug company, with about 20 new molecu- is one of the world’s most expensive large- By Disha Padmanabha
lar entities entering clinical trials and dozens cap healthcare providers. Valued at 56 times
more under pre-clinical development- it is forward earnings, it’s outstripped only by
now pitched to the next Roche in the market, South Korea’s Celltrion Inc., whose pipeline
Bloomberg reports. holds great potential as biologic drugs reach
Hengrui specializes in new medicines for their patent cliffs.
antineoplastics, endocrine system, cardiovas- China wants to go big on biotech- something
cular and the immune system. Last year, Hen- that’s been long in the making and neither is
grui achieved a breakthrough with the China the country shy on the subject- the country
approval of apatinib, a small-molecule an- is the site of about a third of global trials of
ti-angiogenesis targeting agent for late-stage chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T)
gastric cancer. Apatinib is currently undergo- therapy, a type of immune treatment in which
ing phase II trials in China for liver and lung cells are removed from a patient, armed with
cancer indications. proteins that allow them to recognize cancer,
The company also has two simultaneous and reinserted into the body.
trials under way in the U.S. and China. Py- Therefore, all this put together, for the time
rotinib, an EGFR/HER2 inhibitor for HER2+ being, investors are unfazed- so all’s going
breast cancer is in phase II, and retgliptin, well for Hengrui.
a DPP-4 inhibitor for type II diabetes is in
phase III.
But in the last three years Hengrui has ded-
icated itself to biologics as well, Lianshan
Zhang, vice president and head of R&D at

Formed in 1970 as a state-owned company,

it began investing in its own R&D in 2004
and has since cultivated an innovative drug
subsidiary that employs 2,000 people.

Vol. 02 NO 18 May 2nd, 2018.

Gene Correction in
Thalassemia Works In the Bluebird Bio treatment, blood stem
By Disha Padmanabha

bin levels across genotypes.”

cells are taken from patients and modified by
a virus that inserts a working copy of the gene “We look forward to our first filing in the
that is defective in people with beta-thalas- European Union (EU) this year and continue
semia. The patients receive chemotherapy to to work closely with investigators and regu-
β-thalassemia is an inherited blood disease who receive ongoing blood transfusions must remove the blood stem cells with defective latory authorities to complete our trials and
that can cause severe anemia, a condition also take medicines to remove the excess genes from their bodies, then the modified bring this important treatment option to pa-
where there are not enough healthy red blood iron. Those medicines, called iron chelation stem cells carrying the proper gene are in- tients as soon as possible,” Davidson said.
cells in the blood. β-thalassemia is one of the therapy, also have side effects and can nega- fused to replace them.
most common genetic diseases in the world, tively impact a patient’s quality of life. Nine of the twenty-two patients suffered
and approximately 60,000 children are born Now, Swiss-US firm bluebird bio has re- “These interim data demonstrate the poten- from severe beta thalassemia, and, after treat-
every year with a serious form of the disease. sults from two clinical studies showing its tial of LentiGlobin gene therapy to address ment, the number of blood transfusions they
Transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia, also LentiGlobin gene therapy is effective in treat- the underlying genetic cause of TDT and required fell by seventy-four per cent. Three
called β-thalassemia major or Cooley’s ane- ing patients with beta-thalassemia. increase production of functional red blood of the nine no longer need any transfusions
mia, is fatal within the first few years of life The results clearly indicate that the technol- cells,” said Dave Davidson, M.D., Bluebird’s at all. The same is true of twelve of the thir-
if not treated. Treatment of transfusion-de- ogy could remove the need for patients with chief medical officer. teen patients with the less severe version of
pendent β-thalassemia includes frequent and beta-thalassemia to get regular blood transfu- the disease.
lifelong blood transfusions, which deliver sions, which can cause iron to build up in a “Nearly all patients in the two studies with So far, the subjects of the trial have been ob-
healthy red blood cells to the body to correct patient’s blood, damaging the heart, liver and a non-β0/β0genotype achieved freedom from served for a maximum of forty-two months,
the anemia. other organs. chronic blood transfusions and, important- but they will be monitored long into the fu-
However, blood transfusions can cause too In this international clinical trial of Blue- ly, several of these patients reached normal ture, to insure that the benefits of the therapy
much iron to build up in the body. Because bird’s treatment, 15 out of 22 patients with or near-normal total hemoglobin levels and persist and cause no serious side effects. One
iron build up cannot be eliminated naturally, the disease were able to stop blood transfu- sustained those levels throughout the interim early concern—that the procedure could dis-
accumulated iron can damage vital organs sions entirely after receiving the therapy. The study period. We hope the refined manufac- rupt the DNA of the stem cells, potentially
especially the heart and the liver – and cause other seven patients, the majority of whom turing process implemented in our ongoing triggering leukemia—has not, fortunately,
additional issues, such as abdominal pain, had the most severe form of the disease, now pivotal trials of LentiGlobin will translate come to fruition.
weakness, fatigue and joint pain. Patients need transfusions less often. into further normalization of total hemoglo-

Kerala Startup
Encashes on Azolla to
Crank Up Cattle Yield
Fifty-five million years ago, when scientists for roughly 1 million years, each time laying
believe the Earth was in a near-runaway state, down an additional layer of the thick blanket
dangerously overheated by greenhouse gas- of sediment that was finally found in 2004 by
es, the Arctic Ocean was also a very different the Arctic Coring Expedition.
place. It was a large lake, connected to the Now, this mighty, legendary fern is aiding a
greater oceans by one primary opening: the student startup at Kerala boost the production
Turgay Sea. of cattle milk.
When this channel closed or was blocked As a solution to the country’s lacking poul-
nearly 50 million years ago, the enclosed try nutrition, students of MET’s School of
body of water became the perfect habitat for Engineering in Mala identified the impor- By Disha Padmanabha
a small-leaved fern called Azolla. Imagine tance of Azolla, an aquatic fern found com-
the Arctic like the Dead Sea of today: It was a monly in India covering large water surfaces, poultry and dairy farmers near our college. Nikhil.
hot lake that had become stratified, suffering and used it to begin a startup venture. We see them every day. But they were using
from a lack of exchange with outside waters. ordinary livestock feed which had no micro- “We got really good feedback. The dairy
That meant its waters were loaded with ex- 21-year-old Nikhil VM, a third-year stu- nutrients at all. So we thought of experiment- farmers said they could notice a rise of 20 per
cess nutrients. dent at the institute along with a bunch of his ing with Azolla,” says Nikhil, who took the cent in milk production from a cow after they
Azolla took advantage of the abundant ni- friends started out by promoting variants of idea via his college professor to the Kerala used our Azolla,” Nikhil told The Indian Ex-
trogen and carbon dioxide, two of its favorite dried and green Azolla- which in turn was Startup Mission (KSM). press. “Farmers don’t know the importance
foods, and flourished. Large populations found to be extremely wholesome given of Azolla. There’s no awareness. We want to
formed thick mats that covered the body of the fern’s ability to grow at lightning speed To convince KSM for funding to take the go and tell them about its benefits.”
the lake. When rainfall increased from the across the water and provide wholesome nu- product forward, the students built a tem-
changing climate, flooding provided a thin trients thereby facilitating its use as a form porary tank on their college terrace to grow Whereas the team is not looking at numbers
layer of fresh water for Azolla to creep out- of livestock feed and come to the rescue of Azolla. “Getting the seeds was the toughest at the moment, they do intend toscale up pro-
ward, over parts of the surrounding conti- poultry and dairy farmers. part. We couldn’t get them anywhere. Final- duction, in order to help more dairy and poul-
nents. ly, we found a farmer who had grown it in a try farmers in Kerala in the near future.
Azolla bloomed and died like this in cycles “The idea came because there are a lot of small tank. We bought some from him,” says

May 2nd, 2018. Vol. 02 NO 18

Monsanto’s BT Cotton
Patent Plea Snubbed by
Delhi HC
Cotton and other monocultured crops re- This way Monsanto ensures the spread of
quire an intensive use of pesticides as various the technology while it takes a share of prof-
types of pests attack these crops causing ex- its from each of the seed companies. Today
tensive damage. Over the past 40 years, many Monsanto has a clear monopoly in the Bt By Disha Padmanabha
pests have developed resistance to pesticides. Cotton market, which is why they can sell
So far, the only successful approach to en- each seed packet at the same price that they was decreed to be unenforceable in India. Reacting to the judgment, a spokesperson
gineering crops for insect tolerance has been do in the USA. However during the time of The division bench of justices Ravindra for Monsanto India in a statement said: “As
the addition of Bt toxin, a family of toxins crop failure the company is not around to Bhat and Yogesh Khanna, however, permit- a company focused on bringing relevant in-
originally derived from soil bacteria. These take on the liability in addition to all the har- ted MMBL to approach the Protection of novation to India’s farmers, MMB (Mahyco
toxins are effective against a variety of eco- assment of farmers. Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority Monsanto Biotech) is very disappointed with
nomically important crop pests but pose no And in order to curb this unhealthy situa- (PPVFRA) under the agriculture ministry for today’s order by the Delhi High Court. Over
hazard to non-target organisms like mammals tion, the government cut royalties that local registering the variety within three months, the years MMB has conducted its business in
and fish. Three Bt crops are now commercial- seed companies pay to Monsanto, for the sec- following which the authority will decide on adherence with all applicable laws of India
ly available: corn, cotton, and potato. ond time in two years. This follows previous a benefit-sharing mechanism. Currently, trait and all our patents were granted after due
As of now, cotton is the most popular of the attempts to defang Monsanto. fees on Bt cotton seeds are decided by a price review under these laws. Today’s order will
Bt crops: it was planted on about 1.8 million In a landmark judgment, the Delhi HC or- control committee under the agriculture min- have wide-ranging, negative implications
acres (728437 ha) in 1996 and 1997. The Bt der turned down Monsanto India’s patent istry. for biotech-based innovation across many
gene was isolated and transferred from a bac- on Bt cotton technology- thereby ending a The court’s order came in a case filed in sectors within India, and is inconsistent with
terium bacillus thurigiensis to American cot- prolonged row between the US agri-biotech 2015 by Monsanto, through MMBL, against other international markets where agricul-
ton. The American cotton was subsequently major and seed companies in India over the Nuziveedu Seeds and its subsidiaries for tural innovation has flourished.”
crossed with Indian cotton to introduce the issue of the patent over the plant material. selling Bt cotton seeds using its patented
gene into native varieties. The court also said that the seed companies technology despite termination of a licence After the verdict was pronounced, Monsan-
When Monsanto wanted to introduce Bt will pay the trait value as ascertained by the agreement in November 2015. The order to sought that the decision be kept in abey-
Cotton into India, it did so through a part- Government. and the court’s interpretation of section 3(j) ance for a few weeks so that it could file an
nership with Mahyco, a well-known seed As a result, the patent held by Monsanto, of the Patents Act, 1970, may prove to be an appeal in the Supreme Court. The high court
company based in Maharashtra to form Mon- through its Indian arm Mahyco-Monsanto impediment for entry of new technology in declined to keep the operation of its decision
santo-Mahyco Biotech (MMB). Monsanto Biotech Ltd (MMBL) over its Bollgard-II Bt Indian agriculture as technology developers in Bench, but granted the US company a cer-
provided the technology and Mahyco would cotton seed technology, a genetically modi- will lose pricing freedom. tificate of fitness to file an appeal in the apex
produce local seeds and distribute them. fied variant which resists the bollworm pest, court.

Deep Buried Link between

Extrachromosomal DNA
and Tumors Unearthed
Cancer genomes are subject to continuous Assistant Professor from Henry Ford Health
mutagenic processes in combination with System’s Hermelin Brain Tumor Center in
insufficient DNA damage repair. Chemo- Detroit, MI, conducted a detailed analyses
therapy and ionizing radiation may further of the tumor cells from patient to culture to
enhance tumor evolution by eliminating cells mouse revealed that, for the most part, the
lacking the ability to cope with increased lev- cells retained the same genomic lesions.
els of genotoxic stress, while targeted thera- The primary caveat was the finding that in
py may favor subclones in which the targeted a few cases, the numbers of oncogene copies
vulnerability is absent. differed between tumors and the cultures and
GBM, a World Health Organization (WHO) PDX mouse samples derived from them. If
grade IV astrocytoma, is the most prevalent an oncogene is increased or amplified, that
and aggressive primary central nervous sys- can both cause and maintain cancer, so dif-
tem tumor. GBM is characterized by poor ferences in gene amplification can be very
response to standard post-resection radiation important.
and cytotoxic therapy, resulting in dismal
prognosis with a 2-year survival rate around “The selective advantage conferred to tu-
15%. mor cells by the regulation of oncogene copy
The genomic and transcriptomic landscape number in ecDNA has not been sufficiently
of GBM has been extensively described. To addressed in interpreting results in the lab-
evaluate how genomically heterogeneous tu- oratory or in clinical trials. Using the GBM
mor cell populations are affected by selective patient-derived models carrying cDNA am-
pressures arising from the transitions from plification of the most frequent oncogenes,
tumor to culture to xenograft, scientists at we are developing and testing novel combi-
the Henry Ford Health System’s Hermelin nation therapies specific for each unique tu- By Disha Padmanabha
Brain Tumor Center in Detroit and The Jack- mor,” says de Carvalho.
appears to be far more random. Sometimes will survive severe stress, such as stresses
son Laboratory (JAX) have now performed
both daughter cells inherit DNA, but some- caused by a chemotherapy or radiation.”
a comprehensive genomic and transcriptom- ecDNA elements were first discovered
times all or most of it will end up in one cell “We think targeting DNA has huge poten-
ic analysis of 13 GBMs, highlighting the when directly under microscopes in cancer
and not the other. tial for the development of new cancer treat-
evolutionary process of GBM cells, placing cells more than 50 years ago, but it remains
ments,” says Verhaak. “We’re now working to
emphasis on the diverging dynamics of chro- unknown how they arise in the first place.
“The process quickly creates important dif- develop sequencing-based protocols to iden-
mosomal DNA alterations and extrachromo- Unlike chromosomal DNA, these “extras”
ferences between cells within the same tumor, tify DNA more efficiently. The bigger goal is
somally amplified DNA elements in tumor are inherited inconsistently as a tumor grows.
and it helps accelerate the evolution of can- to learn how and why DNA elements form. If
evolution. That is, when a cancer cell divides, the DNA
cer,” says Verhaak. “It provides the cells with we can block those mechanisms, we’ll have
A multi-institutional team led by Professor on the chromosomes almost always gets ac-
more ways to evade stress. Therefore, there’s a way to prevent the evolution, and perhaps
Roel Verhaak, Ph.D., of The Jackson Labo- curately duplicated and remains the same in
a better chance that at least some of the cells even the formation, of many cancers.“
ratory (JAX) and Ana C. deCarvalho, Ph.D., the daughter cells. But ecDNA inheritance

Vol. 02 NO 18 May 2nd, 2018.

Scientists Generate
“Essentialome” with the
Help of CRISPR Screening
Haploid cells allow genetic screening “This study creates a new framework for
through the generation of a highly enriched understanding what it means to be an em-
hemizygous mutant library, owing to the sin- bryonic stem cell on it genetic level, “says
gle set of chromosomes in these cells. Much co-author Atilgan Yilmaz, Ph.D. “The more
previous work on haploid genetics has been complete a picture we have of nature in these
carried out in unicellular organisms, but re- cells, the better chances we have for success-
cent developments have made it possible to ful therapies in the clinic.”
extend this field into mammalian cells.
Now, however, scientists at the Hebrew The researchers analyzed virtually all hu-
University of Jerusalem isolated haploid man genes in the human genome by gener-
human embryonic stem cells and performed ating more than 180,000 distinct mutations.
a genome-wide CRISPR–Cas9-based loss- To produce such a vast array of mutations,
of-function screen on karyotypically normal they combined a sophisticated gene-editing
haploid hPSCs to define the genes essential technology (CRISPR-Cas9 screening) with a
for normal growth and survival of human new type of embryonic stem cells that was
PSCs and the genes that restrict their growth. recently isolated by the same research group. By Disha Padmanabha
This new type of stem cells harbors only a
“Our screen revealed the essence of hP- single copy of the human genome, instead of in early human development and growth. Herbert Cohn Chair in Cancer Research at
SC-specific genes and marked the major two copies from the mother and father, mak- Furthermore, they showed how cancer-caus- the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the
pathways that regulate the growth of these ing gene editing easier thanks to the need of ing genes could affect the growth of the hu- senior author of the study.
cells,” the scientists wrote in its published mutating only one copy for each gene. man embryo.
paper in Nature Cell Biology. The results The study found that a mere 9% of all the Another key finding of the study was the
also revealed opposing roles for tumor sup- genes in the human genome are essential for “This gene atlas enables a new functional identification of a small group of genes that
pressors and oncogenes, evaluated the role of the growth and survival of human embryonic view on how we study the human genome and are uniquely essential for the survival of hu-
genes for hereditary diseases in early devel- stem cells, whereas 5% of them actually limit provides a tool that will change the fashion man embryonic stem cells but not to other
opment and growth in humans and showed the growth of these cells. by which we analyze and treat cancer and ge- cell types. These genes are thought to main-
how carcinogenic genes could affect the The team could also analyze the role of netic disorders,” said Prof. Nissim Benven- tain the identity of embryonic stem cells and
growth of the human embryo. genes responsible for all hereditary disorders isty, MD, PhD, Director of the Azrieli Center prevent them from becoming cancerous or
for Stem Cells and Genetic Research and the turning into adult cell types.

In a Moonshot for Biology,

Earth BioGenome Project
to Sequence all of the
Planet’s Eukaryotic By Disha Padmanabha

ments in the Department of Evolution and partners have organized the Amazon Bank
Ecology and the UC Davis Genome Center. of Codes initiative in the Amazon basin. The
Technology will be key to the project, such pilot project aims to offer indigenous and tra-
as terrestrial and underwater robots, portable ditional communities an opportunity to reap
Increasing our understanding of Earth’s bi- species still unknown, the bulk of which is genetic sequencers and instrumented drones a fair share of the economic value generated
odiversity and responsibly stewarding its re- believed to be single-celled organisms, in- that can go out, identify samples in the field, from the use of biological data and natural as-
sources are among the most crucial scientific sects, or tiny marine life. and bring those samples back to the laborato- sets from their local biomes.
and social challenges of the new millennium. A goal as ambitious as this one requires the ry. When completed, the project is expected
And powerful advances in genome sequenc- help of many people. As such, the project will to require about one exabyte (1 billion giga- “Although a global enterprise of this scale
ing technology, informatics, automation, and gather citizen scientists and students around bytes) of digital-storage capacity. might initially seem technically challenging
artificial intelligence, have propelled human- the globe for help. Whatever data they gather The EBP, however, is not beginning its or expensive, we are confident that we cur-
kind to the threshold of a new beginning in will end up being available for free for other massive task from scratch. It is building on rently have all of the necessary tools and
understanding, utilizing, and conserving bi- scientific uses. already-existing efforts to sequence the ge- knowledge to accomplish these audacious
odiversity. For the first time in history, it is EBP calls for scientists to sequence the ge- nomes of more specific taxonomic groups goals through coordinated high-throughput
possible to efficiently sequence the genomes nomes of 9,330 species, one from each plant, such as the Global Invertebrate Genomics workflows that are replicated in ecosystems
of all known species and to use genomics to animal and protozoan taxonomic family as Alliance (GIGA), which is targeting 7,000 throughout the world,” said Warren John-
help discover the remaining 80 to 90 percent reference genomes in the first three years. non-insect/non-nematode species with an son, a research zoologist at the Smithsonian
of species that are currently hidden from sci- Then, the plan calls for sequencing the ge- emphasis on marine taxa, and the i5K Initia- Conservation Biology Institute. “We are ful-
ence. nome of one species from each genus—the tive, which is sequencing the genomes of no ly aware that the longer we wait to get or-
Therefore, a new ambitious project dubbed next taxonomic division finer than family— less than 5,000 arthropod species important ganized and started, the more likely we are
a moonshot for biological science- The Earth during years four to seven, although in less to agriculture and biological research. to lose important biological insights of our
BioGenome Project- aims to sequence the detail, for a total of about 150,000 genera. So far, scientists from around the world, planet’s biodiversity.”
DNA of all the planet’s eukaryotes, some 1.5 The remaining 1.5 million species would be individually and in various networks, have
million known species including all known sequenced in still less detail during the final sequenced the genomes of about 15,000 spe- Natural history museums and botanical gar-
plants, animals, and single-celled organisms. four years of the project. cies, less than 0.1 percent of all life on Earth. dens will serve a critical role in providing the
The ambitious project will take 10 years to “The partnership will construct a global The total cost for phase I of EBP is estimat- expertise on the classification of biodiversity
complete and cost an estimated $4.7 billion. biology infrastructure project to sequence ed at about $500 million. The total cost of and the necessary genomic samples for anal-
The project stands to redefine our under- life on the planet to enable solutions for pre- the 10-year project is expected to be roughly yses to ensure the success of the Earth Bi-
standing of life on Earth, the researchers serving the Earth’s biodiversity, managing $4.5 billion. EBP’s feasibility benefits from oGenome Project. The National Museum of
claim and carve inroads in other fields such ecosystems, spawning bio-based industries the sharp decline in sequencing costs, down Natural History’s Global Genome Initiative
as conservation, technology, genomics, and and sustaining human societies,” said Har- from $10,000 per genome in 2001 to $1,000 (GGI) is already filling their liquid-nitrogen
medicine, among others. It might also lead to ris Lewin, who chairs the Earth BioGenome today. tanks with samples provided by scientists
the discovery of 10 to 15 million eukaryotes Project working group. Lewin holds appoint- As a proof of concept project, Lewin and from around the globe.

May 2nd, 2018. Vol. 02 NO 18

Indonesian “Sea Nomads”

are Aided by Genes for
Oxygen-Free Deep diving
Humans are the only mammals to have col- ters,” said evolutionary geneticist Melissa
onized all of Earth’s most extreme environ- Ilardo, whose latest research focuses on a Ba-
ments, from high altitude mountain chains to jau community in Sulawesi, Indonesia.
the remote islands of the Pacific. Human phe-
notypic adaptations to extreme environments Previous work showed that in seals, ma-
have been the subject of much research, in rine mammals that spend much of their life
part because locally adapted populations pro- underwater, spleens are disproportionately
vide an opportunity to study the genetic and large. Study author Melissa Llardo from the
physiological consequences of environmen- Center for Geogenetics at the University of By Disha Padmanabha
tal perturbations. Copenhagen wanted to see if the same char-
People in Tibet and Ethiopian highlands acteristic was true for diving humans. During ling those cells and boosting oxygen levels spleen. Scientists who work on mice are quite
have adapted to living at high altitudes, for a trip to Thailand, she heard about the sea no- by up to 10 percent. For that reason, the best familiar with this gene, as it regulates the thy-
example. Cattle-herding people in East Af- mads and was impressed by their legendary competition free divers tend to have the larg- roid hormone that controls the size of, you
rica and northern Europe have gained a mu- abilities. est spleens, as do the deepest-diving seals. guessed it, the spleen.
tation that helps them digest milk as adults.
Now, a team of researchers reported a new “I wanted to first meet the community, and Ilardo suspected that the Bajau could have “Overall, our results suggest that the Bajau
kind of adaptation — not to air or to food, but not just show up with scientific equipment genetically adapted spleens as a result of have undergone unique adaptations associat-
to the ocean. A group of sea-dwelling people and leave,” she says of her initial travels to their marine hunter-gatherer lifestyle, based ed with spleen size and the diving response,
in Southeast Asia have evolved into better Indonesia. “On the second visit, I brought a on findings in other mammals. “There’s not adding new examples to the list of remark-
divers. portable ultrasound machine and spit collec- a lot of information out there about human able genetic adaptations humans have expe-
For over 1,000 years, the Bajau people – tion kits. We went around to different homes, spleens in terms of physiology and genetics,” rienced in recent evolutionary history,” con-
known as “sea nomads” have traversed the and we would take images of their spleens.” she said, “but we know that deep diving seals, clude the authors in their study.
seas in houseboats, hunting for food by free like the Weddell seal, have disproportionately
diving with spears. As a result, the Southeast Over three trips in the summer of 2015, she large spleens. I thought that if selection acted “The chance of finding evidence of popula-
Asian population has evolved a remarkably got to know people from the Bajau village of on the seals to give them larger spleens, it tion-specific natural selection, even in a pop-
ability to dive to great depths. Known for Jaya Bakti in Indonesia. She explained her could potentially do the same in humans.” ulation as extreme as the Bajau, was pretty
their remarkable breath-holding abilities, work as a geneticist, went diving with them, Ilardo suspected that the Bajau could have slim,” says Ilardo. “It was very exciting to
Bajau are capable of diving up to 70m with and learned about their lifestyles. On one trip, genetically adapted spleens as a resulet of find, and it just opens up so many possibil-
nothing more than a set of weights and tradi- she brought along an ultrasound machine, their marine hunter-gatherer lifestyle, based ities. I think it’s fascinating to see just how
tional wooden goggles. and scanned the bodies of 59 villagers. That’s on findings in other mammals. “There’s not extraordinary this population is, to think
But while the Bajau people’s talents have when she realized that the Bajau have unu- a lot of information out there about humen that they’re almost like superhumans living
long been known, it was unclear whether the sually large spleens—50 percent bigger than spleens in terms of physiology and genetics,” among us with these really extraordinary ca-
skill was the result of practice, as in the case those of the Saluan, a neighboring group who she said ”but we know that deep diving seals. pabilities. But I also think natural selection is
of the excellent underwater vision of Thai barely interact with the sea. like the Weddel seal, have disproportionately a lot more powerful than we sometimes give
“sea nomad” children, or the result of adap- Ilardo took saliva samples from and per- large spleens. I thought that if selection acted it credit for, and maybe we should be looking
tations which have their roots in the Bajau formed ultrasounds on 43 Bajau people and on the seals to give them larger spleens, it for it in more places than we thought.”
people’s DNA. 34 Saluan people, who live on a nearby island could potentially do the same in humans.”
What wasn’t previously known was wheth- but are predominately farmers. She found More importantly, Ilardo’s team’s work
er their preternatural diving skills have a ge- that while Saluan people had an average Accordingly, and for the next stage of the highlights the need to work with minori-
netic basis, given that they may spend 60% spleen size of about 100 cubic centimeters, study, the researchers conducted a genetic ty populations. “There’s incredible genetic
of their workdays underwater hunting for fish Bajau spleens averaged 150 cubic centime- analysis. They uncovered over two dozen ge- diversity [in Indonesia], and it’s really un-
and sea cucumbers. ters—about the size of a tennis ball. netic mutations, or variants, among the Ba- der-characterized,” she says. People who
The spleen acts as a warehouse for oxy- jau people that were distinct when compared are not white are chronically omitted from
“That doesn’t really compare to any other gen-carrying red blood cells. When mammals to two other populations, the Saluan and the medical research, which leaves huge holes in
humans. The closest thing to that is sea ot- hold their breath, the spleen contracts, expel- Han Chinese. One marker, a gene known as scientific literature.
PDE10A, was associated with the enlarged

Indian Government
Enters Biotech-
Championing Finance
Agreement with World
Bank By Disha Padmanabha

The Central Government of India has now with 50 percent funding through the World ing models. business promotion in the biotech sector.
reportedly entered a financial agreement with Bank Loan, is aimed at the development of This Programme of DBT would strength- This mission will mark the beginning of a
the World Bank which will allow the latter novel, affordable and effective biopharma- en the translational capability of academic new partnership between DBT and World
help India in developing an innovative biop- ceutical products. researchers; empower bio-entrepreneurs and Bank. It is envisaged that this programme
harmaceutical and medical devices industry. This project will nurture next-generation SMEs by decreasing the cost and risk during will revolutionize the Biotech market. It will
The USD 250 million agreement between technical skills; provide companies with early stages of product development and also help deliver 6-10 new products in the next
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance advanced shared facilities to conduct clin- elevate the innovation quotient of the indus- five years, create several dedicated facilities
Council, a PSU of Department of Biotechnol- ical validation; link clinical trial sites with try. for next-generation skills, and hundreds of
ogy, Department of Economic Affairs, Minis- networks of expert advisors and interna- The global experience of World Bank would jobs in the process.
try of Finance and International Bank for Re- tional bodies; and strengthen all institutions be instrumental in building sustained global
construction and Development on behalf of involved in the facilitation and adoption of linkages, technical assistance and knowledge
World Bank), which is intended for five years global innovations, technologies, and licens- flow between public-private partners for

Vol. 02 NO 18 May 2nd, 2018.

Study Links Autism Risk

to Paternally Passed Down
A new study probing so-called noncoding Medicine and chief of the Beyster Center for
DNA has found that alterations in regions Genomics of Psychiatric Genomics. “How-
that regulate gene activity may also contrib- ever, gene sequences represent only 2 percent
ute to autism. And surprisingly, these varia- of the genome.”
tions tended to be inherited from fathers who
aren’t autistic. The study is the largest yet to explore how
While de novo protein-altering variants mutations outside of genes contribute to au-
contribute to about a quarter of autism spec- tism: It is based on an analysis of 9,274 whole
trum disorder (ASD) cases, researchers from genomes. And it focuses on ‘structural vari-
University of California, San Diego, suspect- ants’—deletions or duplications in DNA—in
ed that variants affecting regulatory elements these noncoding regions. Once dismissed as
could also contribute to risk of the condition. ‘junk DNA,’ some of these regions are now
UCSD’s Jonathan Sebat and his colleagues known to control the expression of genes.
searched for structural variants in cis-reg- Sebat and his colleagues sequenced the ge-
ulatory elements (CRE-SVs) within the nomes of 311 families that have at least one
whole genomes of more than 9,000 people child with autism. They also analyzed the
from 2,600 families affected by ASD. The genomes of 518 individuals with autism and
researchers found that paternal-origin CRE- their unaffected parents and siblings. Sebat’s
SVs were more likely to be inherited by their team detected structural variants of 100 or
children with ASD rather than by their unaf- more DNA letters. They found an average
fected children. of about 3,700 such inherited variants in any
The newly discovered risk factors differ one person.
from known genetic causes of autism in two The researchers further analyzed structur-
important ways. First, these variants do not al variants, deleted or duplicated segments
alter the genes directly but instead disrupt of DNA that disrupt regulatory elements of
the neighboring DNA control elements that genes, dubbed CRE-SVs. From the complete
turn genes on and off, called cis-regulatory genomes of families, the researchers found
By Disha Padmanabha
elements or CREs. Second, these variants do that CRE-SVs that are inherited from parents
not occur as new mutations in children with also contributed to ASD.
some protein-coding variants are inherited these parent-of-origin effects, but he has pro-
autism, but instead are inherited from their
predominantly from mothers, a phenome- posed a plausible model.
parents. “We also found that CRE-SVs were inher-
non known as a maternal origin effect. The
ited predominantly from fathers, which was
paternal origin effect we see for non-coding “There is a wide spectrum of genetic vari-
“For ten years we’ve known that the ge- a surprise,” said co-first author William M.
variants suggests that the inherited genetic ation in the human population, with coding
netic causes of autism consist partly of de Brandler, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in Se-
contribution from mothers and fathers may variants having strong effects and noncoding
novo mutations in the protein sequences of bat’s lab at UC San Diego and bioinformatics
be qualitatively different.” variants having weaker effects“, he said. “If
genes” said Jonathan Sebat, a professor of scientist at HLI.
men and women differ in their capacity to tol-
psychiatry, cellular and molecular medicine
Sebat said current research does not explain erate such variants, this could give rise to the
and pediatrics at UC San Diego School of “Previous studies have found evidence that
with certainty what mechanism determines parent-of-origin effects that we see.”

Temperature Influences
Fat Epigenetics: Study
Cold stress is a major threat for warm-blood- kyo and Tohoku University, an expert in the
ed animals, and therefore adaptive thermo- epigenetics of metabolism.
genesis to combat cold stress is crucial for
survival. Now, a new study has found a mo- We have three types of fat- brown, white
lecular mechanism that controls how lifestyle and, now we are finding out, beige. Brown
choices and the external environment affect fat, which is the fat we are born with that al-
gene expression. lows babies at birth to go from a warm uterus
The study by scientists at the University of of 98 degrees Fahrenheit to room tempera-
Tokyo and Tohoku University in Japan de- ture of around 74 degrees. This fat is not as-
momstrates how epigenome changes after sociated with health problems. It got its name
long-term exposure to cold temperatures, because it looks brown under a microscope
and how those changes cause energy-stor- due to its containing many mitochondria, the
ing white fat cells to become heat-producing powerhouses of cells that produce energy.
brown-like, or “beige,” fat cells. Mitochondria contain a protein called UCP1 By Disha Padmanabha
Gene expression is regulated by epigenet- that breaks down fat to make heat.
The researchers explain that the process search team has discovered sites within the
ics – patterns of chemical signals that are Researchers in the study of mice at the
begins when the cold kick-starts a change protein sequence that are extremely specific
“above” the gene sequence. An individual’s University of Tokyo found that long-term
in a protein called JMJD1A. When com- for controlling different activities of the pro-
gene sequence is determined at conception, cold exposure can actually stress the white
bined with other proteins, this altered protein tein. Manipulating those specific amino acids
but the external environment and an indi- fat cells into developing more mitochondria
changes the way a gene functions in produc- may provide precision drug targets.
vidual’s lifestyle can change the epigenetic and eventually becoming more efficient, cal-
ing heat. Subsequently, a chemical process
sequence throughout a lifetime, continually orie-burning beige cells.
called thermogensis is initiated which chang- “Understanding how the environment influ-
altering how genes are expressed. One group of mice was kept at 39 degrees
es epigenetic patterns so white fat cells are ences metabolism is scientifically, pharmaco-
Fahrenheit and another at 86 degrees Fahr-
transformed into beige fat cells, which func- logically, and medically interesting. Our next
“We believe that this is the first time that enheit for one week. Without any change
tion like brown fat cells. experiments will look more closely at epige-
anyone has collected data to prove that there in diet, the mice that were kept at the lower
The JMJD1A protein is involved in a wide netic modifications within the thermogenesis
are two steps between the environmental temperature had more thermogenic activity-
variety of other processes, including cancer, signaling pathway so that we may manipu-
stimuli and epigenetic changes,” said Pro- meaning their cells were able to burn calories
infertility, stem cell renewal, and sex deter- late it,” said Sakai.
fessor Juro Sakai from the University of To- and stored fat to create heat.
mination of an embryo. However, Sakai’s re-

May 2nd, 2018. Vol. 02 NO 18


tial 12 to 24 month secondment for training search centres or companies. Common Entrance Test (CET) 2018 –
at a “partner organization” in the Third Coun- Admission Notice
try (e.g. India) followed by a mandatory 12 HOW DO I APPLY?
month training period at the European host Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore an-
organization. The researcher must be national You submit a research proposal, including nounces the registration for its Comput-
or long-term resident of a Member State or your CV. The proposal is written jointly with er Based (Online) Common Entrance Test
Associated Country. your chosen host organisation(s). First, find (CET-2018) for admission in the following
the right call on the participant portal: UG and PG courses being offered at Its Uni-
Global Fellowships | Europe → India: versity Teaching Departments for the session
actions/actions/get-funding/individual-fel- 2018-19:
Global Fellowships are based on a second- lowship2018_en
ment to a non-European country (e.g. India) Courses After 10+2 :
and a compulsory 12 month return phase in a Here you will find details of all active calls
European host organisation. Global Fellow- for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. The in- Group D : LL.M. (Business Law)/M.Sc.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie ships function in the same way of European formation is linked directly to the EU’s Par- (Life Sciences/Industrial Microbiology/Bio-
Individual Fellowships (IF) Fellowships, but include support for an ini- ticipant Portal, which provides all you need chemistry)/ M.Sc. (Electronics/Electronics &
2018 @ CEFIPRA tial 12 to 24 month secondment for training to start your application. Commun-2 Yrs/M.Sc.[Genetic Eng./Binfor-
at a “partner organization” in the Third Coun- matics / Biotechnology industry sponsored)
try (e.g. India) followed by a mandatory 12 WHEN CAN I APPLY?
month training period at the European host How to Apply:
Indian nationals are encouraged to apply organization. The researcher must be national The 2018-MSCA-IF call is expected to
for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual or long-term resident of a Member State or open on 12 April 2018 with a deadline on 12 Applyonline only through http://www.
Fellowships (IF): European Fellowships Associated Country. September 2018 (17:00 Brussels time) The Computer based entrance
(EFs) and Global Fellowships (GFs). Can- test for group A, B, C and D will be held
didates from all STEM fields are encour- Opportunity for Indian institutes : Global ADDITIONAL INFORMATION on May 22,2018 (in two shifts; Groups A &
aged to apply for the Marie Skłodows- Fellowships may be attractive for Indian in- C-10.00 to 11.30 AM, Groups B & D-2.00 to
ka-Curie Individual Fellowships. Check stitutions (universities, research institutes or Guide on “How to Write a Winning Pro- 3.30 PM). The application fee is Rs. 1550/·.
out all of the details on the same below: companies) as they could receive full fund- posal for Individual Fellowships (IF)”: The application fee can be paid either by
ing (salary, travel and accommodation) to Credit Card/Debit Cardi Net Banking/ Chal-
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fel- host postdoctoral or more senior European load/19636/181855/file/How%20to%20 lan in SBI.
lowships (IF): European Fellowships (EFs) researchers at their laboratory to conduct re- write%20a%20winning%20MSCA%20pro-
and Global Fellowships (GFs) search for one to two years. posal.pdf The online (Computer based) entrance
Individual Fellowships Frequently Asked test will be held at Indore, Dewas, Bhopal,
Individual Fellowships are aimed at individ- WHY SHOULD YOU APPLY? Questions (FAQs) 2015: Jabalpur, Gwalior, Ujjain, Sagar, Satna,
ual fellows who already have a doctorate or Rewa, Mandsaur, Khandwa, Ranchi, Patna,
equivalent research experience. This fellow- You can diversify your competences and portal/doc/call/h2020/h2020-msca-if- Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Rai-
ship help experienced researchers to advance acquire new skills at a multi- or interdisci- 2015/1650133-if-2015-faq_en.pdf pur, Bilaspur, Allahabad, Lucknow, Kota,
their careers and gain new skills through ad- plinary level through advanced training and Call will be closing on 12 Sept. 2018 Vadodara, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata,
vanced training, international mobility, and mobility. Kochi, Bhuvneshwarcities. University has
optional intersectoral secondments. Europe- portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/top- the right to change the cities for entrance test.
an Fellowships are held in Member States or WHO CAN APPLY? ics/msca-if-2018.htm After entrance test, counseling will be in of-
countries Associated with Horizon 2020 and fline (manual) mode at Indore only.
are open to researchers either coming to Eu- This fellowship is for experienced research- FOR ENQUIRY:
rope or moving within Europe. There are two ers from across the world (including India). Last date of online submission of applica-
types of Individual fellowships: European Applicants need a doctoral degree or at least EURAXESS India | tion form is Thursday, 10th May, 2018. The
Fellowships and Global Fellowships. four years’ full-time research experience by EU DEL India | delegation-india-ri@ details of eligibility, number of seats, fee
the time of the call deadline structure, dates for counseling etc. are in
European Fellowships | India → Europe: CET-2018 brochure available on our website
WHAT CAN BE FUNDED? All the Notices will be put
European Fellowships are open to Indian on the University Website only. Helpline: ce-
researchers currently within or outside Eu- All research areas in Science, Technology,
rope who want to work in an EU Member Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), can
State or Associated Country (MS or AC). The be funded. MSCA Fellows come from a wide M.P. Madhyam/89542/2018
mobility rule applies to the MS or AC (i.e. variety of disciplines – from physics to lin-
the researcher must not have lived, worked, guistics, and from health-sciences to mathe- Reference : Published on Friday, 20th
or studied in the MS or AC for more than 12 matical modelling. April 2018 in The Indian Express (epaper.
months during the 3 years prior to deadline).
The duration of the fellowship is 12 to 24 WHAT THE FUNDING COVERS
months and primarily covers the salary of the
researcher. The grant provides €4650/month (monthly
allowance, adjusted by country, plus a mobil-
Opportunities for India researchers : ity allowance of €600/month and a family al- DAVV, Indore CET 2018
European Fellowships may be attractive for lowance of €500/month), In addition, the EU MSc Life Sciences
postdoctoral or more senior Indian research- contributes to the training, networking and
ers seeking positions and advanced research research costs of the fellow, as well as to the
Admissions 2018
and/or innovation training in Europe. Indi- management and indirect costs of the project. Notification
an researchers are eligible to receive fund- The grant is awarded to the host organisa-
ing under the MSCA European Fellowships tion, usually a university, research centre or
scheme. a company in Europe. Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore
MSc Life Sciences Admissions Common
Global Fellowships | Europe → India: HOW DOES IT WORK? Entrance Test (CET 2018). DAVV, Indore
Life Sciences CET 2018. DAVV Common
Global Fellowships are based on a second- Proposals are submitted jointly with a Entrance Test 2018 MSc Life Sciences Ad-
ment to a non-European country (e.g. India) “host” organisation in Europe and you as the mission Notification. Interested and eligi-
and a compulsory 12 month return phase in a researcher. You, the researcher, develop the ble candidates are encouraged to apply for
European host organisation. Global Fellow- proposal in cooperation with a European or- the same, via the details given below:
ships function in the same way of European ganisation that would be willing to host you.
Fellowships, but include support for an ini- Host organizations can be universities, re- DEVI AHILYA VISHWAVIDYALAYA,
INDORE (NAAC Accredited “A” Grade )

Vol. 02 NO 18 May 2nd, 2018.

The applicants under this category possess- 1. Ph.D in Sciences

ing qualification as mentioned under the Cat-
egory I or the qualification for which Equiva- Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in En-
lent Certificate obtained from Association of gineering/ Technology, Medicine or Master’s
Indian Universities, New Delhi are eligible to degree in Science with a keen sense of scien-
apply. They will be required to produce Eligi- tific enquiry for pursuing advanced research
bility Certificate from Pondicherry Universi- in frontier areas of Biological, Chemical,
ty, Puducherry, subsequently for recognition Physical and Mathematical & Information
of their qualification. Applications should be Sciences. The candidate should have a valid
routed through the employer or sponsoring/ National level fellowship (JRF/ SRF) from
nominating authority/organization. Appli- any of the various funding agencies such as
cants with valid visa for the entire duration of CSIR, UGC, DBT, DST etc.), INSPIRE or
the study, only, will be admitted. other equivalent fellowships.
MSc PHE Admission With NO. OF SEATS: 12
AcSIR PhD Admissions
Scholarship 2018-2020 @ August 2018 Official 2. Direct Ph.D in Sciences
ICMR-VCRC Category I : 8 (General 50.5%, OBC 27%; Notification
SC 15% & ST 7.5%); Category IIA : 2; Cat- Undergraduate degree in Science or allied
egory IIB : 2 subjects with at least 8.5 and/or 1st
rank holder in University/ Institution. Pos-
The official notification for MSc PHE The official notification for the PhD Sci-
METHOD OF SELECTION: sible funding sources for students are IN-
Admission 2018-2020 at ICMR-VCRC. ence Admissions 2018 (August Batch) at
ICMR-VCRC MSc PHE Admission 2018- AcSIR. Admissions AcSIR for Biological
Selection of the candidates under Category equivalent national fellowships.
2020 admission notification. BSc Life Sciences area 2018. Interested and eligible
I will be based on their performance in the
Sciences MSc PHE Admission 2018-2020 candidates can apply for AcSIR Admis-
common entrance test (Objective type test of 3. Sponsored Ph.D (Sciences)
ICMR-Vector Control Research Centre no- sions PhD August 2018. Check out all of
two hours duration). The common entrance
tification. Check out all of the details on the the details on the admission process given
test will be held only at Puducherry. Category Regular: Master’s degree in Science*
same below: below:
II A : Based on personal interview and Cate- Direct: Undergraduate degree in Science or
ADMISSION NOTICE – M.Sc., PHE (Ac- AcSIR, CSIR-Human Resource Develop-
gory II B : Based on a letter of recommen- allied subjects with at least 8.5 and/or 1strank
ademic year 2018-20) ment Centre (CSIR-HRDC) Campus, Sec-
dation/ reference from the Employer, marks holder in University/ Institution*.
ICMR-VECTOR CONTROL RE- tor-19, Kamla Nehru
obtained in graduation and experience in the * with endorsement from Industry, Aca-
SEARCH CENTRE Nagar, Ghaziabad – 201 002 | India
relevant fields. The list of candidates selected demic or Research Institutes for required ac-
(Indian Council of Medical Research) Tel: +91-120-2783 009 (LL)
for admission will be published in the Insti- ademic leave and financial support during the
Department of Health Research, Minis- +91-9266600847, 9266600947 (Mob/
tutes’ website ( program.
try of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of WhatsApp)
Candidates whose final results are await-
India Indira Nagar, Puducherry 605 006, Email:
SCHOLARSHIP: ed, but who are otherwise eligible as per the
screening criteria, can also apply. If selected,
Candidates selected under Category-I will they will be provisionally admitted to the
Applications are invited in the prescribed
be paid a sum of Rs. 6,000/- per month and program. Their continuation in the program
format (downloadable from the website The objective of AcSIR is pursuit of excel-
candidates selected under Category-IIA will will be subject to securing required percent- for admission to the lence as well as doing something relevant.
be paid a sum of Rs. 3,000/- per month, with age/ equivalent grade (depending on the cut-
TWO year Post-Graduate Degree Course in We promote the culture of being singularly
the approval of the Admission Committee. off marks for screening for the specific pro-
Public Health Entomology affiliated to the dynamic and innovative. The Academy was
gram) and submission of marks-sheet of their
Pondicherry University, Puducherry. established by a Resolution of the Parliament
GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS: final result at the time of joining the program.
in 2010 and received recognition as an “Insti-
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR AD- tution of National Importance” by the Acad-
The envelope containing the application ADMISSION PROCESS:
MISSION: emy of Scientific and Innovative Research
form should be superscribed as: “APPLICA-
(AcSIR) Act 2011. The Academy aims to
TION FOR ADMISSION TO M.Sc., PHE The candidates can exercise a maximum of
Category I: Open Competition maximize the number of qualified research-
2018” and sent by Registered / Speed Post three preferences for CSIR Labs (which are
ers and professionals of impeccable quality
to: The Director, ICMR-Vector Control Re- AcSIR centres). Candidates will be screened
Candidates seeking admission under this in the domain of science and engineering; and
search Centre, Medical Complex, Indira Na- based on their preferences given. However,
category should have passed any one of the to equip them with the skills to innovate and
gar, Puducherry 605 006. Applications from it does not give any right to the candidate to
following examinations of any University conduct seamless interdisciplinary research.
Indian Nationals should be accompanied by offered admission as per his/her preference/
accepted by the Academic Council of Pondi-
(i) a Demand Draft to the value of Rs.100/- choice, as the selection is purely based on
cherry University, Puducherry: B.Sc., in the ABOUT PROGRAMS:
(Rs.50/- in the case of SC/ST candidates) merit/ performance and/ or available vacan-
discipline of Zoology / Botany / Life Scienc-
towards application fee, drawn in favour of cies. Please visit AcSIR website (http://acsir.
es / Medical Laboratory Technology/ Micro- The programs equip students to undertake
“The Director, ICMR-Vector Control Re- for details of online application form
biology / Ecology / Environmental Science interdisciplinary research by providing a
search Centre”, payable at Puducherry, and submission and additional details.
/ Biochemistry, or B.V.Sc., or M.B.B.S., or broad-based practical training in the best in
(ii) a self addressed envelope stamped to the Short-listed candidates for the program will
B.E., / B.Tech., degree with Biotechnology as the class national laboratories of CSIR. The
value of Rs. 50/-. Foreign nationals can pay be intimated electronically and they will be
one of the subjects. Those who are appearing Programs are structured around academic
the application fee at the time of their ad- required to appear for interview for selec-
for the Under Graduate final examinations / coursework (as per program requirement)
mission. For more details, including the fee tion at the designated centers on the dates
waiting for the results of the above courses and mandatory courses viz. one Project Pro-
structure, please see the prospectus. Incom- announced. Details of date of interview at
can also apply. However, they need to pro- posal & one Review Article writing; and So-
plete application in any respect will be reject- different laboratories/ centers will be posted
duce evidence for the successful completion cietal Program; and research in frontier are-
ed and no communication in this regard will on the AcSIR website ( In
of the course fulfilling the eligibility criteria as of Science, Technology and Engineering
be entertained. addition to their academic performance and/
at the time of admission. leading to Ph.D degree.
or depending on the vacancies, final selection
Please note the following important dates: will be based on performance of the candi-
Category II: In-service (Self supporting / ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR AD-
date in the interview. Reservation shall be
Sponsored) MISSION:
i) Last date for the submission of filled-in applicable as per GoI rules.
application (a) Category I: 18th May 2018;
A. Indian Nationals
(b) Category II: 28th May 2018
ii) Common Entrance Test (Category I):
In-service candidates employed either in
17th June 2018
Government or Non-Government organiza-
iii) Date of Personal Interview (Category
tions and sponsored by the employer should
IIA): 18th June 2018
have passed the Degree examination in any
iv) Declaration of Results: 20th June 2018
of the disciplines indicated under Category I
v) Admission: 25th to 29th June 2018
from a recognized University accepted by the
vi) Commencement of Classes: 2nd July
Academic Council of Pondicherry Univer-
sity, Puducherry. The in-service candidates
should send their application with a “No Ob-
Candidates are required to familiarize
jection Certificate” from their employer.
themselves with the rules and regulations
of the Pondicherry University (www.pon-
B. Foreign Nationals

May 2nd, 2018. Vol. 02 NO 18

Availability of Disciplines for PhD 2018 Availability of Disciplines for MSc 2018
Academic Session Academic Session
M.S.(Pharm.); M.Pharm.; M.Tech.
(Pharm.), M.B.A. (Pharm.) Departments/
Discipline of Chemical Sciences
Disciplines, Offering NIPERs and Eligibil-
ity Criteria.

Biotechnology M.S.(Pharm)

Offering Niper Ahmedabad, Guwa-

hati, Hajipur, S.A.S.
NIPER JEE – 2018 Official
Notification For PhD & Eligibility B.Pharm;M.Sc.(Bio-
logical Sciences)
Masters Program
Pharmaceutical M.Tech.(Pharm)
NIPER JEE 2018 Official Notification is Technology
out for PhD and Master’s Program Admis- (Biotechnology)
sion. Depts. of Biological Sciences, Chem- Offering Niper S.A.S. Nagar
ical Sciences & Pharmaceutical Sciences,
MPharm have vacancies for Master’s and
PhD Program. Check out all of the details
Discipline of Biological Sciences
on the same given below: Eligibility B.Pharm;M.Sc.(Life
National Institute of Pharmaceutical
Education and Research (NIPER) (Ah-
medabad; Guwahati; Hajipur; Hydera- Pharmacoinfor- M.S.(Pharm)
bad; Kolkata; Raebareli; S.A.S.Nagar) matics
NIPER Joint Entrance Examination 2018
for Masters & Ph.D. Program Offering Niper Kolkata, S.A.S.
Eligibility B.Pharm;M.Sc.(Or-
The Doctoral research programme of the in- g a n i c s / P hy s i c a l /
stitute is classified into the following three Pharmaceutical
disciplines. Chemistry);M.
S c . / B. Te c h . ( B i o -
CHEMICAL SCIENCES : Includes depart- informatics);M.
ments of i) Medicinal Chemistry ii) Natural Sc.(Biochemistry/
Products iii) Pharmacoinformatics iv) Phar- Biotechnology/Mo-
maceutical Technology (Process Chemistry) lecular Biology/Mi-

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES : Includes de- Regulatory M.S.(Pharm)

partments of i) Pharmacology and Toxicolo- Discipline of Biological Sciences Toxicology
gy ii) Biotechnology iii) Pharmacy Practice
v) Pharmaceutical Technology (Biotechnolo-
gy) Offering Niper Hyderabad, S.A.S.
Nagar, Raebarelli
cludes departments of i) Pharmaceutical
Analysis ii) Pharmaceutics iii) Medical De- Eligibility B.Pharm; B.V.Sc.;M.
vices Sc.(Pharmacol-
ogy, Toxicology,
ology); M.B.B.S.

Traditional M.S.(Pharm)

Offering Niper S.A.S. Nagar

Discipline of Biological Sciences
Eligibility B.Pharm;

Pharmaceutical M.B.A.(Pharm)

Offering Niper Hyderabad, S.A.S.

Eligibility B.Pharm;B.
Engg. or equiva-
cal/Life Sciences)

Vol. 02 NO 18 May 2nd, 2018.

How to Apply : rejected. which will carry 15 marks.

• Applicants shall register online on Online Admission Test: Admission Procedure: as per instructions
given on the website. The process of Online test will be held on Sunday, the Admission to the Ph.D. Programme will be
online registration shall commence on 10th June 2018 at AHMEDABAD, SU- based on the combined merit obtained by a
12th April 2018 onwards and will con- RAT, RAJKOT, BENGALURU, BHOPAL, candidate in the entrance examination and in-
tinue till 15th May 2018, 5.00 PM. CHENNAI, CHANDIGARH, DEHRA- terview. Interview of the eligible candidates
• Instruction for Registration is available DUN, GUWAHATI, HYDERABAD, JAI- for the Ph.D. Programme will be conducted
on website. PUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, based on the merit in the entrance examina-
Registration Fee for : THAPURAM, PUNE,AGRA, VIJAYAWA- The candidates have to report to the institute
DA, COIMBATORE, PATNA, RANCHI, for Interview on scheduled date and time.
1.Gen/OBC/PH : Rs. 3000/‐ RAIPUR and BHUBANESHWAR. Candidates will be allowed to participate in PhD Life Science
2. SC/ST : Rs. 1500/‐ Interview, only if they are carrying requisite Admission 2018-2019 @
• Based on the performance in the online documents as mentioned in Sec 8 “Docu-
• Take Printout of the Registration form , test, list of candidates to be called for ments to be submitted” of this brochure and
National Institute of
put signatures at the bottom of the reg- interview will be displayed on the web- have to show proof of having passed the Advanced Studies
istration form and attach the following site Interview qualifying degree examination.
(i) copy of award letter if any pertain- will be held on 16-7-18 and 17-7-18
ing to NET-JRF of CSIR/DBT/UGC/ Candidates who are expecting a degree in
at NIPERAhmedabad. No TA/DA will Documents to be Submitted:
ICMR, DST Inspire etc. (ii) Sponsor- July 2018, are encouraged to apply for a
be paid for attending online test and in-
ship certificate from Industry / Gov- Doctoral Programme Admission 2018-
terview. Candidates have to make their The candidates will be required to submit
ernment sponsored candidates (as per 2019 at National Institute of Advanced
own arrangement for stay during online the following documents in original and a set
format given at Annuxer-2 ) should Studies, IISc Bengaluru. National Insti-
test and interview. of photocopies of these certificates at the
be sent to Chairman, NIPER Joint En- tute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute
• Permission granted to the candidates to time of interview, failing which, the candida-
trance Examination Ph.D, National of Science Campus, Bengaluru, Doctoral
appear in online test and interview is ture shall be summarily rejected:
Institute of Pharmaceutical Education Programme Admission 2018-2019 notifi-
merely provisional. Final consideration • Matriculation Certificate as a proof of
and Research, NIPER – Ahmedabad, cation is out.
of the candidature is subject to fulfil- age and correct name.
Palaj, Opp. AirForce Station, Gandhi- ment of the eligibility criteria to be ver- • Marksheets of all the semesters years
nagar, Gujarat -382355, (through speed National Institute of Advanced Studies
ified at the time of Interview. of qualifying degree.
post/registered post/in person) so as to Indian Institute of Science Campus, Ben-
• There will be one objective type ques- • Admit Card of NIPER online test.
reach on before 28 May 2018. The In- galuru 560 012
tion paper containing 170 questions of • GPAT/GATE/NET Card wherever ap-
stitute will not be responsible for any Tel. 080-22185000, Fax: 080-2218 5028
85 marks, for each of the following ar- plicable.
loss or postal delay. Registration form URL:
eas i.e. Chemical Sciences; Biological • Award letter (if any) of NET‐JRF of
received after the due date will not Sciences and; Pharmaceutical Scienc- CSIR/UGC/DBT/ICMR, DST etc.
be considered. The Institute shall not ADMISSION TO NIAS DOCTORAL
es. • Caste certificate, if applicable.
be held responsible for misplacement PROGRAMME 2018-19
• The question paper will be of the level • Certificate of disability, if applicable.
of any loose sheet. Therefore, all the of M.S. (Pharm.); M.Pharm.; M.Tech. • Medical Certificate from a Registered
documents are required to be submit- The National Institute of Advanced Studies
(Pharm.); M.V.Sc.; M.D. and M.Sc. (in Medical Practitioner of a Government
ted properly tied together. Incomplete (NIAS) is looking for exceptionally motivat-
relevant discipline) level. Hospital to be provided in the format
forms which are not properly submitted ed students interested in pursuing interdisci-
• Each discipline will also have questions given at Annexure‐1.
will not be accepted. No correspond- plinary research in natural and engineering
from general Pharmaceutical Sciences • Sponsorship certificate from the em-
ence/ inquiry in this regard will be en- sciences, social sciences, humanities and the
and general aptitude. Duration of the ployer in case of Government/Industry
tertained. arts. Unencumbered by the constraints of tra-
examination will be 2 hours. sponsored candidates as per form at-
• Candidates appearing for final qualify- ditional disciplinary PhD programmes, NIAS
• There will be negative marking in the tached at Annexure‐2.
ing examination (including NET-JRF) PhD students have a unique opportunity to
entrance examination. 25% marks will • Affadavit to be provided by the candi-
can also apply but they must produce broaden their intellectual horizons beyond
be deducted for each wrong answer. date against ragging in the format pro-
final result on the day of interview fail- their narrow training during their thesis re-
• The qualified candidates in each disci- vided at Annexure‐3.
ing which their candidature shall be search in one of the listed areas.NIAS not
pline shall have to appear for interview • Undertaking to be given by the parents
only values such cross-pollination of ideas
of the candidate. Format provided at
but encourages and provides the necessary
support to its students to develop interdisci-
plinary orientation to problem-solving. This
NOTE: All the documents required to be
interdisciplinary ethos is also reflected in the
submitted should be self attested by the
work of its faculty and research scholars.
NIAS was established by the late J.R.D. Tata
Submission through speed post/regis-
to develop and train leaders with a multidis-
tered post/in person, of signedHard copy of
ciplinary orientation for problemsolving. The
application form along with documents as
Institute is recognized as a centre for research
mentioned in NIPER JEE brochure-2018,
by Manipal Academy of Higher Education
is essential for generating admit card .
(MAHE) and The Institute of Trans-discipli-
nary Health Sciences & Technology (TDU)
IMPORTANT : Candidate are advised to
from which students get their PhD degrees.
visit the website regu-
A limited number of scholarships are avail-
larly for information regarding online regis-
able for exceptionally bright and motivated
tration, eligibility, availability of academic
postgraduate students. Candidates who have
programs, admission procedures and other
passed the NET/SET/GATE examinations
relevant information etc. Any subsequent Ad-
with good scores or qualified for JRF/ DST/
CSIR/ ICSSR/ JEST fellowships will also be
etc. will be uploaded/updated on the NIPER
considered for admission.
Ahmedabad website only.
If you are a post-graduate or expecting the
degree by July 2018, you can apply to one
Technical Helpline:
or more research areas represented by facul-
Call : 022 – 61087566
ty research interests and funded projects at
NIAS. For the 2018-19 academic year, we in-
Phone numbers are available till end of
vite applications from those interested in the
exam date 09:00 AM To 06:00 PM (Monday
following areas:
To Friday)
Program Related Queries:
• Primate Population and Behaviour-
Call : 079 66745555
al Ecology, Urban Ecologies, Cultural
Email :
Studies in Theatre and Music
Timings : 09:00 AM To 06:00 PM (Monday
• Megalithic Burials, Landscape Archae-
to Friday)

Next Page>>>>

May 2nd, 2018. Vol. 02 NO 18

ology and Experimental Archaeology Development and Policy ship, which will be available for a period of How to Apply:
• Complexity Theories of Consciousness, • Marginalised /Glorified History and So- four years on a yearly renewable basis. The
Causality Testing cial Identity NIAS fellowship amount is currently fixed at Please download the application form (http://
• Behaviour and Cognition in Fishes Rs.25,000/- per month for the first two years
• Science Communication Applicants are advised to visit the NIAS and Rs.28,000/- per month from the third gramme) from our website. The completed
• Primate Behaviour and Ecology, Human website for more information on faculty and year, with an additional 24% per month as and signed application form should be sent
Wildlife Conflict, Human Animal Rela- their research interests ( House Rent Allowance. Limited hostel seats along with scanned copies of undergraduate
tions are available on campus for women. and post-graduate degree certificates and
• Nuclear Power and Risk Communication Eligibility: Admissions are also open to those applying mark sheets and a resume containing your
• Material Culture and Archaeology, Spe- under specific funded research projects, can- academic history, skills, interests, published
cifically Archaeomaterials Research and Admissions to the NIAS PhD Programme didates with external support such as CSIR work, and accomplishments should be collat-
Archaeometallurgy and Artisanal and are open to those who have completed/are fellowships and DST/INSPIRE fellowships, ed and sent as a single PDF file to the email
Crafts Studies and Art History completing a Master’s/M.Phil., degree in any candidates with employer sponsorship, and address:
• Armed Conflicts and Security in South relevant subject in the natural sciences, en- self-funded candidates. Under no circum-
Asia, Peace Processes South Asia gineering, mathematics, social sciences, hu- stances will NIAS financially support ex- Please note that the Institute will only ac-
• Afghanistan and Pakistan, Science and manities or the arts, and with a consistently ternally funded candidates and self-funded cept applications submitted by email. The
Diplomacy proven academic record (minimum 55% candidates. Candidates supported by project deadline for receiving application with all
• Gifted and Talented, Diversity and Cul- marks). Some research and/or field experi- will receive financial support only for the du- required documents by email is April 20,
ture ence in the concerned areas will be preferred. ration of the project. 2018.
• Social Exclusion, Education, & Conflict Candidates who have passed the NET/ SET/
Zones GATE examinations with good scores or Selection Procedure: For additional information, applicants
• Conflict Studies qualified for JRF/ DST/ CSIR/ ICSSR/ JEST may contact:, ad-
• Landscape Archaeology: Geospatial fellowships are also encouraged to apply. Irrespective of the source of funding, admis-
Analysis for Cultural Heritage sion to the NIAS PhD Programme will be
• Geopolitical dimensions of Maritime Se- Financial Support: based on a common entrance test and two
curity, Maritime Security and Maritime levels of interview. Short-listed candidates
Cooperation in International Politics A limited number of selected candidates will be invited for a written test and inter-
• Sustainable Energy Options’, ‘Human will be eligible to receive NIAS fellow- views on 18 and 19 of June 2018.