Friday, November 24, 2006

Ask what the bugs can do for you

No, this is not my paper that I just blogged about in an earlier post!! ;)

In a recent paper (Oct 20, 2006) in the journal Science, scientists have reported the use of a parasite-specific machinery in to correct certain deficiencies in human cells, which can be then used to tackle critical genetic disorders in humans.

This is cool for several reasons: taking lessons from a simple, one-celled parasite to apply and solve complex genetic disorders in humans is cool in itself. What made me more happy is that the paper is from a group of scientists at the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Calcutta, India. One of the few (AFAIK, one of the first this year) all-indian authored papers from an Indian lab in the very prestigious journal Science. (Atleast in the field of molecular biology/diseases).

More on this here.

P.S. The deep thinker from ipanema is away on vacation and hopes everyone is having a nice holiday if they are having one. ;)


Neihal said...

let me go and read the post now :))))

Neihal said...

I am sad :(

not bcoz I dont understand a word of what you wrote.....that happens a lot on lot of blogs with lots of posts...I sometimes cant make a sense of what I write...but thts coz it is senseless not coz it some high funda science :)

I am sad coz the first time I win a gold I dont know what to comment :(

Tachyoson said...

interesting topic. enjoy your vacation.

fafridi said...

Have a fun vacation :>
That's the only part i understood :P

Anonymous said...


Born a Libran said...

I met some of the people in India the last time I went to desh land - International Workshop on tRNA :)

Waise, there are some all-Indian author papers in Nature/Science from junta in NCBS.

greensatya said...

This is impressive. Will help in forming your decision for repatriation if you chose so.

Happy Vacation

jane said...

Very cool indeed. Ask what the Indians can do for science! :)
Happy Thanksgiving :)

The Smiling Girl said...

Dirty girl.. stop making ppl jealous by mentioning ur vacation! :)

Prashanth said...

Have a nice vacation, TGFI!

Anil said...

Oh don't even get me started on life as a post-doc...have heard enough horror stories from junta. I wonder why scientific research has become this blind race. Publish or perish, publish or perish, a constant refrain I keep hearing other grad students whisper while I walk along the corridors of my institute! Scary stuff I say.

Oh that is indeed nice but the freq of all Indian papers in high profile journals is going up all the time. I remember seeing a paper from ICGEB, Delhi in Nature this year, NCBS is another place that publishes good research.

Btw did you get to read Nature's special outlook on India last year? Very well written and balanced pieces on the current state of Indian science. I esp loved the piece on how the new bioinformatics institute in B'lore scooped established genomic labs in the West! If you are interested I wrote about it on my other blog here:

Hope you are having fun on your vacation!

Anil said...

True, I see my boss perpetually on the run for more funds, more data and more papers and I wonder. And this is a guy who is a full prof at a very young age. I wonder if this is how I want to spend the rest of my life as a researcher. I got into research because it was a childhood dream and because nothing equals the joy of trying to push the boundaries of what is known just that little bit forward, more or less on your own.

The way science is being done these days, I'm actually considering getting out after I'm done with my PhD!

Another thing I do not like is the reductionism and specialization that has taken over research. We focus on such tiny pieces of the puzzle that I despair of ever keeping track of the big picture. I know the advantages of reducing the puzzle to its smallest possible pieces for easier analysis but maybe this process has been taken too far. Or is is just a function of the times we are living in? The age of specialization?

Ok, this has become a pretty big rant post by itself so I shall stop here and not disturb your vacation anymore :)

fafridi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

congrats on the gold. :-) lol at your comment. it wasn't that bad now, was it?

tachyoson, fafridi,
thanks. i did enjoy. more on it later.


yeah, i left out "This year" in my post. they are definitely showing up a lot more and that is a good sign

yeah, that's how i think of it too. thanks.

:-) howdy??

look who's talking!


hey anil,
i don't know if the reductionism is such a bad thing. you are right, it is partly a function of the tools we have, and in some ways i myself find it more exiciting. but you are right, one must never lose sight of the big picture. ah well, the vacation was eaten up by a lot of these thoughts as it is..:-)