Hisar, Nov 20 (UNI) The Centre has given the green signal to an ambitious research project on stem cell technology proposed by the Central Institute of Research on Buffaloes (CIRB) here.
The aim of the project is to conserve rare species and propagate desired traits in livestock.
The Rs 67.13 lakhs project, approved by the central Department of Biotechnology (DBT), envisages research on buffalo adult stem cells in order to devise protocols for their isolation, identification and characterisation, according to Director of the Institute, Dr R K Sethi.
The DBT has accorded approval to a team of scientists led by Dr P S Yadav and comprising of Dr Inderjeet Singh and Dr R K Sharma, to go ahead with the research which would help in the conservation of rare species and for propagation of desired traits in livestock, he said.
The potential sources for these stem cells are considered to be foetal fluids, placenta and early stage foetal tissue. As these tissues can be obtained primarily from the wastage tissues at birth, the ethical issues attached to the proposed aspect are least, when compared to embryonic stem cells which are usually obtained from pre-implantation stage embryos, he said.
The Director further said ,''Basic research in humans and some animal species has shown such tissues to be the sources of stem cells, which can be directed to grow into different cell types like tissues and organs.'' In animal sciences, potential applications of stem cell research include engineering special individuals capable of secreting rare proteins and therapeutics through their milk.
In addition, this technology can provide in vitro tissue models for drug testing without the need to sacrifice experimental animals.
Dr R K Sethi claimed that the CIRB has taken the lead in the country by launching the first project funded by the DBT on adult stem cells in livestock.