RT PCR

Sutrisha Kundu

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Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), a technique used to amplify a segment of DNA by producing multiple copies of it from an initially small sample, is one of the most useful techniques in molecular biology.

 

Now, what if the sample is RNA and not DNA? What if we want to amplify the genomic material of an RNA virus? Fortunately, Science has an answer to all questions. 

FIRST GENE-EDITED SQUID IS CLEAR AS GLASS

Tania Ghosh

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Cephalopods are the most intelligent, most mobile, and the largest of all mollusks.  These "brainy" invertebrates have evolved suckered tentacles, camera-like eyes, color-changing skin, and complex learning behavior. Their lengthy evolutionary history spans an impressive 500 million years. These creatures have interested the scientists for years and they have been researching on them for many years and now finally, they have achieved something that would remain as a mark in their research history- scientists have successfully genetically modified the squid.

Getting Into The Groove: Understanding The Planthopper’s Natural Gear System

Rohini Bhattacharjya

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Insects greatly rely on their hind legs to exhibit powerful yet agile movements in their environment. The hindlegs of champion jumping insects, froghoppers and planthoppers, move counter-rotationally in approximately the same near-horizontal plane beneath the body ( M. Burrows, J. Exp. Biol. 213, 469–478 (2010), G. P. Sutton, M. Burrows, J. Exp. Biol. 213, 1406–1416 (2010)). It was demonstrated by Burrows and Sutton (Burrows & Sutton. 2013. Interacting Gears Synchronize Propulsive Leg Movements in a Jumping Insect. Science) that a pair of enmeshed gears aid in the propulsion of the flightless planthopper insect Issus coleoptratus.  

Asgard Archaea

Tania Ghosh

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Asgard or Asgardarchaeota is a proposed superphylum consisting of a group of archaea that includes Lokiarchaeota, Thorarchaeota, Odinarchaeota, and Heimdallarchaeota A representative of the group was cultivated. The Asgard superphylum represents the closest prokaryotic relatives of eukaryotes, which possibly emerged from an ancestral lineage of Asgardarchaeota after assimilating bacteria through the process of symbiogenesis.

Mauritius Oil Spill, and why it matters

Sukriyo Chakraborty

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Of late, there has been considerable attention devoted to various environmental organizations and media houses towards the Mauritius oil spill. There have been oil spills in the past, and the quantity of oil leaked by MV Wakashio is considerably less than past incidents. Then why does it matter, and why has it been in the limelight? 

Covid-19 Live Updates: Researchers Document The First Case Of Virus Re-infection

Shamie Dasgupta

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Who would have thought that there would be a time when the entire world would come to an indefinite standstill?

No traffic on the roads, no buses carrying children to school, no metro trains stopping at the stations, and no busy pedestrians walking along the street to return home after work. This pandemic somehow made our daily monotonous schedule seem like a far-fetched dream. Those who had been desperately wishing to get more holidays from work now seem eager to get back to their jobs.

Recognizing And Severing Lethal Dna-Protein Crosslinks

Saikat Setua

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Replication and transcription are important for copying and transferring the information of DNA to an mRNA and further for decoding that information to make protein by translation mechanism in ribosomes. But replication and transcription are often blocked by some processes among which one of the most dangerous are DNA damages. The covalent cross-linkages between proteins and a strand of DNA, known as DNA-protein crosslinks (DPCs) are one of the most understudied and detrimental forms of DNA damage. These DPCs act as blockages to replication and transcription and if not repaired properly these can lead to mutations and cell death. Researchers have characterized an enzyme that breaks such crosslink bonds and illuminated how specifically it recognizes the sites of such damages.

Insights Of Covid-19 Tests

Soumyadip Biswas

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On 21st Dec 2019, the outbreak was identified in Wuhan, China and the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International concern on 30th January and a Pandemic on 11th March of 2020 respectively.  People of Wuhan who were experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms were diagnosed with Covid19 (CoronaVirus Disease 2019) caused by a zoonotic (human-infecting) virus of the CoronaVirus family - SARSCoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2). On 11th Jan, scientists from China published the genome of the virus SarsCoV-2-Hu-1(29983bp). Studies are further done and results were made free to understand the transmission, behavior, and prevention of the virus. Tests were necessary for tracking the spread of the virus, the development of a vaccine, and corresponding control measures.

Horseshoe Crab Could Survive Mass Extinction But Can They Survive Covid?

Adithya Joseph

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The Atlantic horseshoe crab’s unique blue-colored blood can detect endotoxins and it has become an essential part of testing the safety of drugs and vaccines. Hence it has a crucial role in the fight against the COVID-19 virus. Conservationists are worried about the dependence of the biomedical industry on these crabs. Even though synthetic alternatives have been discovered, a significant shift in usage has not yet been observed.

Earth Overshoot Day

Ananya Biswas

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The concept of Earth Overshoot Day was first thought of by Andrew Simms, a political economist, and environmentalist. He's the director of the US think tank- New Economics Foundation, which partnered with the worldwide Footprint Network in 2006 to launch the first global Earth Overshoot Campaign. WWF, the world’s largest conservation organization, has participated in the Overshoot Day, since, 2007.

Game of Hybridization leads to Accidental Birth of Fish

Avanti Basu

Hybridization in Fish
Hybridization in Fish

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Hybridization in Fish
Hybridization in Fish

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Russian sturgeon(Acipenser gueldenstaedtii; functional tetraploid) from the family Acipenseridae and American paddlefish(Polyodon spathula; functional diploid) from the family Polyodontidae were hybridized. The process of hybridization was repeated using eggs from three sturgeon and sperm from four paddlefish individuals. Survival in all hybrid family groups ranged from 62% to 74% 30 days after hatching, which was the first successful hybridization between these two species and between members of their families. The two ploidy levels in hybrid were revealed by flow cytometry, chromosome analysis, and microsatellite analyses. The chromosome numbers of the hybrids ranged between 156-184 in “functional” triploids and 300-310 in “ “functional” pentaploids. In hybrids, the size and number of dorsal and ventral scutes (external bony plate) correlated with the ploidy levels as well as with the calculated ratio of the maternal and paternal chromosome sets. Irrespective of the ploidy level, an extra haploid cell lineage was found in three hybrid individuals suggesting polyspermy.