IIT Roorkee Discovers a New Drug Target for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Scholars at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, have found out a protein (Hfq) in Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria that can be a potential drug target. A. baumannii bacteria remains unaffected to several antibiotics. They even live in dry, dehydrated conditions for long time, as a result the bacteria spreads in the area.
The research headed by Ranjana Pathania from the Department of Biotechnology recognized that when the Hfq gene was eradicated, the bacteria became vulnerable to environmental conditions, displayed little growth, and was hard for its. “But most importantly, the virulence of the bacteria was significantly reduced in mice model infected with the mutant bacteria,” says Prof. Pathania.
Researcher Invents Battery by Using Sewage Water in IIT Kharagpur
Ramya Veerubhotla, a PhD student in the biotechnology department of IIT Kharagpur, produced a not reusable battery which is powered by sewage water bacteria. The cell is eco-friendly. A statement released by the IIT KGP mentioned, “Normally microbial fuel cells (MFCs) can take as long as couple of days to start power production as the bacteria needs to get adjusted to the environment. But for this device, the power production starts within 10 seconds, that is, almost immediately.”
IIT Madras Launches India’s First Locally Made Air Purifier
IIT Madras incubated startup AirOK which is India’s first locally made Smart Air purifier Vistar. Powered by an EGAPA (Efficient Granular Adsorbent Particulate Arrester), Vistar can filter a variety of pollutants such as particulate matter, microbes, fungus and gaseous substances.
Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “I’ve seen this product evolve over the months in the Institute workshop. The product is as good as any other product that’s made anywhere in the world. It looks fabulous and I hope it gets very good acceptance in the market.”
IIT Delhi Builds Mini-Organs Imitating Hair Growth
Researchers from IIT Delhi have made a silk-based hydrogel that follows the process of hair growth, and can be used for treating hair loss, without any testing on animal. In the thesis published in Journal of Cellular Physiology, the entire process of the three-dimensional mini organs in a series of stages of hair growth in humans is illustrated.
“The major reason for such inefficiency is there is no suitable human cell-based in vitro models available for drug testing. The currently available anti-alopecia drugs and cosmetics are tested on animals,” said Sourabh Ghosh, Associate Professor, IIT, Delhi.
Super Absorbent, Environment Friendly Diapers from Seafood Waste
IIT Madras has developed the disposable diapers for babies in urban areas. These diapers can also be used for older people and most importantly they are bio-disposable. This super absorbent polymer is made using chitosan (a kind of sugar extracted from seafood waste), citric acid and urea.
“In the present form, our material does not absorb water as rapidly as commercially available diaper materials, but it is biodegradable unlike fully synthetic commercial super absorbents,” elucidated Dr. Raghavachari Dhamodharan, the lead researcher, while speaking to India Science Wire. The team included Prof Raghavachari Dhamodharan, Abathodharanan Narayanan, Ravishankar Kartik, and Elanchezhian Sangeetha.