Wednesday, 8 February 2017

India is taking its first steps to evolve a policy on synthetic biology

India is taking its first steps to evolve a policy on 

synthetic biology

  • India is taking its first steps to evolve a policy on synthetic biology, an emerging science through which new life forms can potentially be made in labs and existing life forms, such as bacteria and other microbes, tweaked to produce specific proteins.

  • Govt will convene group of experts on biodiversity and biotechnology, to assess synthetic biology work pursued in Indian labs, potential benefits and risks, and the implications of the trans-boundary movement of such life forms.

  • Synthetic biology in microbial systems holds promise for production of drugs, vaccines, fuel components and other chemicals.

  • A popular example is the production of artemisinin, a powerful anti-malarial drug, in yeast, at a commercial level. Microorganisms have also been constructed to act as sensors that can detect a toxin in vitro or in vivo (inside a living organism).

  • India, so far, has no policy on synthetic biology, and according to a presentation made at the venue, it has promised to “put in place a Synthetic Biology Team for articulating India’s view” at a forthcoming meeting.

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    India takes first steps to have a policy on artificial 

    life forms 

    Source: The Hindu; 7 FEB 2017

    link: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/India-takes-first-steps-to-have-a-policy-on-artificial-life-forms/article17242422.ece 

     

    Synthetic biology in microbial systems can potentially be used to produce drugs, vaccines, fuel components and other chemicals

    : India is taking its first steps to evolve a policy on synthetic biology, an emerging science whereby new life forms can potentially be made in labs and existing life forms — such as bacteria and other microbes — can be tweaked to exude specific proteins or chemically useful products. The environment ministry will be convening a group of experts on biodiversity and biotechnology, which will assess the extent of synthetic biology work in Indian labs, potential benefits and risks, and the implications of the trans-boundary movement of such forms of life.
    Synthetic biology in microbial systems can potentially be used to produce drugs, vaccines, fuel components and other chemicals. A popular example is the production of artemisinin, a powerful anti-malarial drug, in yeast at a commercial level. Microorganisms have also been constructed to act as sensors that can detect a toxin in vitro or in vivo.
    There are assorted labs in India that work on synthetic biology and Indian students have, since the turn of the decade, been participating in international competitions to engineer new life forms using standardised biological tools.

    No policy yet

    Last December, officials from the environment ministry participated in the United Nations Biodiversity Conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at Cancun, Mexico, where about 8,000 delegates from 180 countries convened to discuss matters related to biodiversity. India, so far, has no policy on synthetic biology, and according to a presentation made at the venue, it has promised to “put in place a Synthetic Biology Team for articulating India’s view” in a forthcoming edition of the conference. “We do not have any obligations to put in place any policy immediately,” Amit Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, told The Hindu. “We will use this period to prepare dossiers, constitute experts panels and discuss all aspects of synthetic biology.”
    A major part of discussions at the CBD generally involve assessing risks from the Living Modified Organisms, a broader term that also includes genetically modified plants. While India has a biosafety system in place to assess risks from GM crops, it has faced severe opposition from several activist groups. “Countries in the west have advanced far in terms of synthetic biology applications…we still aren’t clear on GMO. A lot of work needs to be done,” an environment ministry official told The Hindu.

     

    India to frame policy on synthetic biology 

    Source: The Hindu; 8 Feb 2017

     Link:
    http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/India-to-frame-policy-on-synthetic-biology/article17244262.ece

    The technology could help produce drugs, vaccines, fuel components and other chemicals

    : India is taking its first steps to evolve a policy on synthetic biology, an emerging science through which new life forms can potentially be made in labs and existing life forms, such as bacteria and other microbes, tweaked to produce specific proteins or chemically useful products.
    The Environment Ministry will be convening a group of experts on biodiversity and biotechnology, to assess synthetic biology work pursued in Indian labs, potential benefits and risks, and the implications of the trans-boundary movement of such life forms.
    Synthetic biology in microbial systems holds promise for production of drugs, vaccines, fuel components and other chemicals. A popular example is the production of artemisinin, a powerful anti-malarial drug, in yeast, at a commercial level. Microorganisms have also been constructed to act as sensors that can detect a toxin in vitro (outside a living organism) or in vivo (inside a living organism).
    There are assorted labs in India that work on synthetic biology.
    Last December, officials from the Environment Ministry participated in the United Nations Biodiversity Conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at Cancun, Mexico, where about 8,000 delegates from 180 countries discussed matters related to biodiversity.
    India, so far, has no policy on synthetic biology, and according to a presentation made at the venue, it has promised to “put in place a Synthetic Biology Team for articulating India’s view” at a forthcoming meeting.
    “We do not have any obligations to put in place any policy immediately,” Amit Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, told The Hindu .

    The technology could help produce drugs, vaccines, fuel components and other chemicals


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