Regulations and Guidelines on Biosafety of Recombinant DNA Research & Biocontainment 2017
In the recent past, there have two incidents at biodefense facilities – one in the US and one in Russia. More on that in the Its All Controversial section, but it is fair to say that countries which stock or do research on pathogens need to follow stringent biosafety policies. In this context, this Compound Eye edition reviews India’s Biosafety and Biocontainment guidelines from 2017.
The Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) administered by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology prepared these guidelines as mandated in the Rules, 1989 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. (Read more)
The Biodefense Dilemma
182 countries around the world are signatories to the Biological Weapons Convention, through which they have agreed to not stockpile, create or deploy biological weapons. However the threat of new diseases or biological attacks has pushed countries to ensure they have biodefense capabilities to detect, prevent and manage diseases. Researching for biodefense often involves stocking minimal quantities of pathogens that could be used for biological attacks. However, these facilities need to maintain strictest biosafety standards to prevent any accidental leakages or incidents that expose these pathogens to the outside environment. (Read more)
An e-portal for your teeth:
Yup, for all your tooth-related problems, the Health Ministry now has an online portal and app – eDantSeva.
The portal launched earlier this week is the first ever national digital platform on oral health information and knowledge dissemination. This initiative of the Ministry with AIIMS and other stakeholders aims to sensitize the public about the significance of maintaining optimum oral health and equips them with the tools and knowledge to do so, including awareness on the nearest oral health service facility. (Read more)
Meanwhile, here is some weird and/or wonderful news:
Oats for financial health: The FMCG market in India has been moving at a sluggish pace, with biscuits taking a big brunt. However, contrary to overall industry statistics, oats market grew by 12% in the quarter that ended in June 2019. Looks like oats may be good for more than just your health!
Hung over from the web series? Chernobyl is being developed as a tourist destination in a bid to develop the area. Over the past many areas, different areas surrounding the nuclear facility were opened up for the public. But in a first, the Ukraine government has decided to open the control room of nuclear reactor 4 for tourists. You can stay in there only for 5 minutes and will need medical tests done before and after the visit.
The future is here: At many biodefense meetings, a key concern raised is the idea of bionic soldiers – humans made super-powerful by merging them with biomechanical components. In a first step, Scientists have helped three amputees merge with their bionic prosthetic legs as they climb over various obstacles without having to look. This is obviously a welcome application of the technology, but needs important policy oversight to ensure its proper use.