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Biochemistry

May 15

Prof. Sathees C. Raghavan (right) along with Ms. Supriya V. Vartak, Dept. of Biochemistry, IISc

As cancer, a deadly disease, evolves, our fight against it does so too. Today, there are multiple therapies and drugs available that fight different types of cancer. Now, researchers have added a new drug called Disarib to this list that acts against a particular protein called BCL2. By killing cells that overproduce this protein, the researchers claim that Disarib can act effectively against most types of cancers. A first kind of its drug made completely in India, Disarib heralds a new breakthrough in Indian pharmaceutical research.

General, Science, Health
Oct 20

Many organisms, including yeast, obtain Carbon and energy from carbohydrates and Nitrogen from other nutrients like amino acids. But some types of yeast, like Pichia pastoris, can use amino acids not only as sources of Nitrogen, but also as sources of Carbon too finds a new study at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The team, consisting of Mr. Umakant Sahu and Prof. P N Rangarajan from the Department of Biochemistry, have studied the mechanism behind how P. pastoris can grow happily in a medium that does not contain glucose but only amino acids like glutamate, aspartate, proline, etc.

Science
Oct 20

People had never thought that Gastritis in the stomach was caused by a bacterium, never believed it could be, so much so that one of the two scientists Barry Marshall and Robin Warren had to drink a cupful of Helicobacter pylori culture to show that he developed gastritis! They were later awarded a noble prize for their discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer.

Science
Oct 20

Some bacteria possess an interesting ability of incorporating a new piece of DNA from the outside.This new DNA might come from its surroundings, other bacteria or even invading virus and might help in fostering genomic diversity. In fact, scientists now believe that this phenomenonis much more common than previously thought. However, incorporating a viral DNA may be harmful where the viruses utilize every opportunity to sneak into a bacterium and, hijack its machinery to replicate the viral DNA. Hence, to protect themselves, bacteria have evolved a mechanism called restriction modification system. And yet, it could work for the advantage of the bacterium sometimes to restrain this system and usher in new foreign DNA that might contribute to its own genomic diversity.

Science