• Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Possibilities in Regenerative Therapies

    Dr. Rajeev K Sukumaran,   

    Induced Pluripotent Stem cells (iPSCs) are somatic cells reprogrammed to behave like Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) in that they are dedifferentiated and can be differentiated into all cell lineages in the body. While it is known that ESCs are pluripotent (able to form any cell type) method for generation of ESCs have several ethical issues. Also the ESCs are not immune matched, which is a major disadvantage in their use for cell-based therapies. The technologies for generating iPSCs from adult cells have been developed recently and can be based on direct delivery of certain genes into cultured adult cells or even by delivery of protein factors into the culture fluid, which eliminates problems associated with unintentional genetic changes possible in the former method. iPSCs offer the possibility of having an immune matched source of pluripotent stem cells that can be used for various cell based therapies since they can in-principle be generated from the adult cells of a patient. The ethical issues associated with production of ESCs do not apply to iPSCS, which therefore offer a non-controversial strategy to generate patient specific stem cell lines. The talk will introduce iPSCs, technical challenges in generation of iPSCs, and their potent applications in regenerative medicine.

    On 17th May 2012 at 11:30 am
  • Microbes in human health.

    Dr. N. Ramesh Kumar,   

    Virtually all multicellular organisms live in close association with surrounding microbes, and humans are no exception. The human body is inhabited by a vast number of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and unicellular eukaryotes which are primarily been recognised as the villains in the battle for better human health. The collection of microorganisms that live in peaceful coexistence with their hosts has been referred to as the microbiota, microflora, or normal flora. The composition and roles of the bacteria that are part of this community have been intensely studied in the past few years establishing the fact that microbes which are associated with us as normal flora of our human body are indeed helping us to be healthy.
    It is estimated that the human microbiota contains as many as 1014 bacterial cells, a number that is 10 times greater than the number of human cells present in our bodies. The microbiota colonizes virtually every surface of the human body that is exposed to the external environment. Microbes flourish on our skin and in the genitourinary, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts. By far the most heavily colonized organ is the gastrointestinal tract (GIT); the colon alone is estimated to contain over 70% of all the microbes in the human body, thus we can imagine the complexity and diversity of the microorganisms that live in and our body.
    In my presentation I will be focusing on the role of these gut microbes how it contributes to the various aspects of the host health and in turn how host factors involved in shaping the normal healthy gut microbiota citing with research findings.

    On 18th April 2012 at 11:30 am
  • Microbial polymers – Biosynthesis and applications

    Dr.Binod Parameswaran,   

    Microorganisms are able to produce a variety of polymers, among them polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) has attracted worldwide because they are biodegradable and hence can be used as an alternative for plastics. PHAs are linear polymers naturally produced as energy and carbon storage materials by many bacteria under nutrient-limiting conditions with excess carbon. Biosynthesis of PHA can be done under submerged conditions and for effective PHA accumulation in bacterial cells, process control and optimization has to be carried out to have a high cell density culture, guarantee a high product level and a high productivity, and have significant effects on the product separation processes.

    PHA can be used in many fields, and new potential applications are still emerging. PHAs have been studied for implant biomedical applications and controlled drug-release due to their biocompatibility and biodegradability, amongst them poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) was the first found PHA homo-polymer that has been investigated most intensively for various applications due to its ease of production. Microbial PHB possesses good biodegradability and biocompatibility and moreover animal tissues can tolerate PHB without the induction of in?ammation or necrosis. The presentation focuses on the production, downstream processing and application of bacterial PHB

    On 20th March 2012 at 11:30 am
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