Research in Biotechnology
Being a student and highly interested in research can feel counter-intuitive to most but, it is not in fact! Research is more productive when done with an open and fertile mind. Acknowledging this fact already, there have been worldwide measures to promote budding researchers and to “catch them young”. Pragmatically one can ponder if by choosing research one can be sustained in this competitive and capitalistic economy.
In order to thrive in the field of research these days, there is a requirement of intuition, good scientific basics, analytical skills, passion and ability to approach a solution using widely different methods. In addition to the aptitude, Biotechnology provides one such advantage to do research.
Research areas in Biotechnology include genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, plant and animal biotechnology, medical biotechnology, Biotechnology in environment and biodiversity sustenance, biofuel development, product and process development, bio-instrumentation, human resource development, and biosafety, etc. It has applications today in approaching questions pursued in the field of physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, aviation, artificial intelligence, pharmaceuticals, textile, food industry, etc.
Today, the potential areas of research in Biotechnology have become so vast and mind-boggling that it is not possible to make a conclusive and comprehensive list. Further, new areas of study are continuously emerging. To have an overview here are a few fields where biotechnology plays out as a significant tool:
- a) Agriculture -used for producing transgenics of rice, wheat, cotton, potato, and vegetables giving higher productivity. b) Basic research: Applying aspects of molecular biology, genetics, genomics, proteomics, and neurosciences. c) Bioengineering of biofuels like ethanol, Bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides d) Bioinformatics: Algorithm design and development, software and tools for data mining and data warehousing applications, Biological Data Curation, phylogenetics having applications in medicine, etc. d) Development of diagnostics: For major diseases, genetic disorders, cancer, tuberculosis, HIV, malaria, and neurological disorders. And low-cost therapeutics: developing new vaccines, diagnostics, drugs and drug delivery system; to produce low-cost, small proteins and therapeutics using plants and animals as bioreactors e) Marine resources f) Neurosciences: neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and motor neuron disease, which would cover study of molecular genetics of these disorders. Neuro-AIDS, autism, and dyslexia. Neuro-informatics, neuron networks, etc. g) Plant tissue culture: providing tissue culture technology at the grassroots level to cover the most plant rich regions of the country which need massive afforestation and wasteland recovery. Utilization of tissue culture for enrichment of genetic diversity. Genetic manipulation of cell culture in forestry for disease resistance and reduction of regeneration time.
There are many Research institutes in India where research can be pursued like:
Agharkar Research Institute, Pune; Anna University, Chennai (www.annauniv.edu); Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (www.bhu.ac.in); the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (www.bits-pilani.ac.in); Bose Institute, Kolkata (www.boseinstitute.org); the Cochin University of Science and Technology (www.cusat.ac.in); Delhi University Campus ; Goa University (www.unigoa.ac.in); ICGEB : International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi (www.icgeb.trieste.it); IIT, Kharagpur (www.iitkgp.ernet.in); IIT Kanpur (www.iitk.ac.in); IIT Roorkee (www.iitr.ernet.in); the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata (www.iicb.res.in); the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (www.iisc.ernet.in); Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow (www.itrcindia.org); Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, TIFR, Bengaluru (http://instem.res.in); the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development, Imphal (ibsd-imphal.nic.in); the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi (www.igib.res.in); IMTECH, Chandigarh (www.imtech.res.in); JNCASR, Bengaluru (www.jncasr.ac.in); the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai (www.tifr.res.in); TERI University, New Delhi (www.teriuniversity.ac.in) and many more.
Within Jaipur You will Find the Following Institutes Where the Research is Actively Pursued:
Birla Institute Of Scientific Research, BISR (http://www.bisr.res.in/); Rajasthan Agricultural Research Institute Durgapura, RARI (http://raridurgapura.org/) and Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology, BIBT (https://www.blalbiotech.com/), etc.
If you are a student fresh out of school in Jaipur and wondering how and where you can enjoy being a researcher, BIBT is an institute where even at bachelors level you get exposed to research in biotechnology. UG and PG students have their own research questions and projects where they gain hands-on experience and the taste of research. I addition to becoming experts in a particular field in biotechnology, students also have access to learning techniques of other streams of biotechnology through many IBT training modules like molecular biology, food biotechnology, medical microbiology, plant biotechnology, molecular diagnostics, etc.