CCMB bags CSIR technology award for life sciences2008

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Hyderabad, Sep 23 (UNI) The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) here has bagged the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Technology Award for the fourth time for Life Sciences for developing a noval universal technique to establish the identity of enormous number of animal species for forensic applications.

The award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh, a plaque and citation and is given on Septmber 26 every year, the foundation day of CSIR.

Two scientists of CCMB Dr Sunil Kumar Verma and Dr Lalji Singh in 2003 developed a novel universal technique which without the prior information about the hisotry of a confiscated biological sample such as a drop of blood morsel of partially cooked or uncooked meat, a piece of skin or even a single hair was able to reveal whether the source of the biological sample was human or animal.

If animal which of the thousands of the species of animals including any of threatened or endangered animal species of India.

Species identification of such biological samples helps in enforcement of wildlife law by detecting the wildlife crime objectively and accurately.

Both Verma and Singh had identified a specific fragment of DNA in the cytochrome B gene, which contains speicific signals in its nucleotide sequence. This finding had been published in a world class journal of CSIR New Delhi and had already obtained national and international patents for this innovation.

This method replaced the expensive laboratory set-ups in which vast collections of morphological and biochemical markers of different animals were maintained to provide scientific evidence on widlife offences. It just requires minute amount of the sample and the results obtained were quick and authentic, the release said.

A national Wildlife Forensic Cell was establihsed to carry out Wildlife Forensic tests in CCMB, the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES) here, specialy desinged and dedicated to take up studies on wildlife.

About 300 cases pertaining to the wildlife crime referred to LaCONES from various state and central agencies were sucessfully solved using this technique and the CCMB had started getting equiries from European countries on wildlife management, the release added.

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