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Uma S. Shah and Amol Dahal
National Agriculture Genetic Resources Centre (Gene Bank),
Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), P. O.Box 3055, Nepal

Agriculture is the major sector of Nepalese economy. It provides employment opportunities to 66 percent of the total population and contributes about 36 percent in the GDP. Therefore, the development of agriculture sector is the key for development of national economy. However the lack of improved varieties seems to be a root cause for low agricultural production and poor economic growth of the country. If this situation persists, the significant part of the country’s economy will have to be spent on import of agricultural commodities in the future. Hence it is high time to go for advanced technologies that enhance agricultural produce to ensure food security in Nepal. In this context, biotechnological innovation and commercialization has great potential for agriculture and economic development of the country. Advanced researches on biotechnology for crop improvements and development and commercialization of GM crops could give definite direction to the agriculture of the country.

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“ …. A single idea from the human mind can build cities…..

An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules…..” (Inception, 2010)

As stated in the quote from the 2010 blockbuster movie “Inception”, a single idea can indeed transform the whole world. Human history has witnessed many such ideas – Newton’s law of gravitation, Einstein’s theory of Relativity, Mendel’s theory of inheritance, Watson & Crick’s model of double-helix DNA and many more on the list to follow. For centuries scientific publications have been a platform to communicate any scientific ideas. Nevertheless scientific publication has also been a means to put ones views forward and initiate debates to address key issues such as global warming, biodiversity conservation, epidemics, etc. It is an undisputed fact that scientific progress serves as a development indicator of any nation and that is where scientific journal publication serves for national development.

Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN) had a vision to work towards journal publication especially in biotechnology and related life-sciences since its inception. In fact, biotechnology in Nepal is just toddling. Then, back in 2007, Nepal did not have even a single scientific journal published regularly that could document the precocious works of modern biotechnology. Research scientists from Nepal had to depend on international journals for their work to be recognized.

Despite many challenges, BSN took the lead to initiate Nepal Journal of Biotechnology (NJB) so as to address issues especially in biotechnology and its related domains of life-sciences. NJB got established in mid 2009 assembling a team of both young as well as distinguished scientists from Nepal and abroad to work for the publication of the journal. Later, towards the first quarter of 2010, NJB registered itself in Nepal Journal Online (Nepjol) as a peer reviewed open access journal.

NJB has recently published its inaugural issue on January 2011. There are 4 Original Research Articles, 1 Review Article, 2 articles under Short Communication and an editorial. More information about the journal can be found in

NJB and BSN together would like to thank all the authors of the published articles, the publication team, the editorial team and the members of the advisory board for a great team effort to initiate the publication of the journal. Indeed this has been a great milestone in the history of Nepali Biotechnology.

The following are the articles published.

Nepal Journal of Biotechnology, Vol 1, No 1 (2011)
Table of Contents:

Race for Excellence

Dipesh Dhakal

Original Research Articles

Information Theory and Multivariate Techniques for Analyzing DNA Sequence Data: An Example from Tomato Genes (1-8)

Bal K Joshi, Dilip R Panthee

An Evaluation of the Fungi Isolated from Sub-epidermal Region of Post-harvested Stored Wheat Grains (9-13)

Shiju Mathew,  George Thomas, Tufail Ahmad

Analysis of KatG Ser315Thr Mutation in Multidrug Resistant  Mycobacterium tuberculosis and SLC11A1 Polymorphism in Multidrug Resistance Tuberculosis in Central Development Region of Nepal Using PCR-RFLP Technique: A Pilot Study (14-21)

Raunak Shrestha, Rubin Narayan Joshi, Kriti Joshi, Bal Hari Poudel, Bhupal Govinda Shrestha

Development of PCR assay for targeting partial  lipL21  and  lipL41  gene of  leptospira  (22-30)
S Chandan, S Umesha,   SK Bhure, N Haraprasad, S Chandrashekar

Review Articles
Molecular differences between GM- and non-GM crops over-estimated? (31-48)

Klaus Ammann

Brief Communications

In vitro cultivation and regeneration of Solanum melongena  (L.) using stem, root and leaf explants (49-54)

Bishnu Pada Ray, Lutful Hassan,                Smreeti Kana Sarker

Biotechnology Growth Partnership: A Potential Flagship Program in S&T (55-58)

Raju Adhikari, Benu Adhikari

Chandra Prasad Risala, b, Tadashi Yokoyamac, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, Naoko Ohkama-Ohtsud, Salem Djedidia and Hitoshi Sekimotoe

a United Graduate School of Agri. Science, Tokyo Univ. of Agri. and Tech., Tokyo 183-8509, Japan

b Soil Management Directorate, Dept. of Agriculture, Hariharbhawan 552-0314, Nepal

c Institute of Agriculture, Tokyo Univ. of Agri. and Tech., Saiwai-cho 3-5-8, Fuchu, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan

d Women’s Future Devt. Organization, Tokyo University of Agri. and Tech., Tokyo 183-8509, Japan

e Faculty of Agriculture, Utsunomiya University, Utsunomiya 321-8505, Japan

Received 2 April 2010.
Available online 20 September 2010.
Systematic and Applied Microbiology
Volume 33, Issue 7, November 2010, Pages 416-425


Soybean-nodulating bradyrhizobia are genetically diverse and are classified into different species. In this study, the genetic diversity of native soybean bradyrhizobia isolated from different topographical regions along the southern slopes of the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal was explored. Soil samples were collected from three different topographical regions with contrasting climates. A local soybean cultivar, Cobb, was used as a trap plant to isolate bradyrhizobia. A total of 24 isolates selected on the basis of their colony morphology were genetically characterized. For each isolate, the full nucleotide sequence of the 16S rRNA gene and ITS region, and partial sequences of the nifD and nodD1 genes were determined. Two lineages were evident in the conserved gene phylogeny; one representing Bradyrhizobium elkanii (71% of isolates), and the other representing Bradyrhizobium japonicum (21%) and Bradyrhizobium yuanmingense (8%). Phylogenetic analyses revealed three novel lineages in the Bradyrhizobium elkanii clade, indicating high levels of genetic diversity among Bradyrhizobium isolates in Nepal. B. japonicum and B. yuanmingense strains were distributed in areas from 2420 to 2660 m above sea level (asl), which were mountain regions with a temperate climate. The B. elkanii clade was distributed in two regions; hill regions ranging from 1512 to 1935 m asl, and mountain regions ranging from 2420 to 2660 m asl. Ten multi-locus genotypes were detected; seven among B. elkanii, two among B. japonicum, and one among B. yuanmingense-related isolates. The results indicated that there was higher species-level diversity of Bradyrhizobium in the temperate region than in the sub-tropical region along the southern slopes of the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal.

Keywords: Bradyrhizobium; Genetic diversity; 16S rRNA gene; Himalaya; Nepal

Mitochondrial and Y-chromosome diversity of the Tharus (Nepal): a reservoir of genetic variation.

BMC Evol Biol. 2009 Jul 2;9:154.

Fornarino S, Pala M, Battaglia V, Maranta R, Achilli A, Modiano G, Torroni A, Semino O, Santachiara-Benerecetti SA.

Dipartimento di Genetica e Microbiologia, Università di Pavia,Pavia, Italy.


BACKGROUND: Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent represent an area considered as a source and a reservoir for human genetic diversity, with many markers taking root here, most of which are the ancestral state of eastern and western haplogroups, while others are local. Between these two regions, Terai (Nepal) is a pivotal passageway allowing, in different times, multiple population interactions, although because of its highly malarial environment, it was scarcely inhabited until a few decades ago, when malaria was eradicated. One of the oldest and the largest indigenous people of Terai is represented by the malaria resistant Tharus, whose gene pool could still retain traces of ancient complex interactions. Until now, however, investigations on their genetic structure have been scarce mainly identifying East Asian signatures.

RESULTS: High-resolution analyses of mitochondrial-DNA (including 34 complete sequences) and Y-chromosome (67 SNPs and 12 STRs) variations carried out in 173 Tharus (two groups from Central and one from Eastern Terai), and 104 Indians (Hindus from Terai and New Delhi and tribals from Andhra Pradesh) allowed the identification of three principal components: East Asian, West Eurasian and Indian, the last including both local and inter-regional sub-components, at least for the Y chromosome.

CONCLUSION: Although remarkable quantitative and qualitative differences appear among the various population groups and also between sexes within the same group, many mitochondrial-DNA and Y-chromosome lineages are shared or derived from ancient Indian haplogroups, thus revealing a deep shared ancestry between Tharus and Indians. Interestingly, the local Y-chromosome Indian component observed in the Andhra-Pradesh tribals is present in all Tharu groups, whereas the inter-regional component strongly prevails in the two Hindu samples and other Nepalese populations.The complete sequencing of mtDNAs from unresolved haplogroups also provided informative markers that greatly improved the mtDNA phylogeny and allowed the identification of ancient relationships between Tharus and Malaysia, the Andaman Islands and Japan as well as between India and North and East Africa. Overall, this study gives a paradigmatic example of the importance of genetic isolates in revealing variants not easily detectable in the general population.

PMID: 19573232 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]PMCID: PMC2720951Free PMC Article


Full Text Article (PubMed Central):

Kathmandu University Medical Journal has just published its latest issue at

Kathmandu University Medical Journal
Vol 8, No 2 (2010)
Table of Contents


Patient safety: Prevention during care (151-152)
A Vaidya

Gendericide: A scary truth (153)
NS Shrestha

Original Articles

Osteosynthesis of intercondylar humerus fracture using Bryan and Morrey
approach (154-157)
S Lakhey, S Sharma, RL Pradhan, BK Pandey, RR Manandhar, KP Rijal

Correlation of serum free prostate-specific antigen level with histological
findings in patients with prostatic disease (158-163)
M Lakhey, R Ghimire, R Shrestha, AD Bhatta

Antimicrobial susceptibility pattern and serotyping of Streptococcus
pneumoniae isolated from Kanti Children Hospital in Nepal (164-168)
B Rijal, S Tandukar, R Adhikari, NR Taludhar, PR Sharma, BM Pokharel, FC
Gami, A Shah, A Sharma, P Gauchan, JB Sherchand, T Burlakoti, HC Upreti, MK
Lalitha, K Thomas, M Steinhoff

Surgical abortion in second trimester: Initial experiences in Nepal
V Shrivastava, L Bajracharya, S Thapa

Effect of haemodynamic and metabolic predictors on echocardiographic left
ventricular mass in non-diabetic hypertensive patients (173-178)
N Gupta, P Karki, S Sharma, N Shrestha, P Acharya

Comparison of single versus multiple doses of antibiotic prophylaxis in
reducing post-elective Caesarean section infectious morbidity (179-184)
A Shakya, J Sharma

Objective voice analysis for vocal polyps following microlaryngeal
phonosurgery (185-189)
SiKC Toran, BK Lal

Prevalence of pharmacotherapy in the department of paediatric dentistry
KR Paudel, NK Sah, AK Jaiswal

Successes rate of endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy at KMC (195-198)
S Shrestha, PK Kafle, S Pokhrel, M Maharjan, KC Toran

Use of double-balloon catheter in the management of epistaxis: A boon for
the periphery (199-202)
M Bista, C Baranwal, M Maharjan, P Kafle, S Shresth, KC Toran

Morbidity and early outcome of transurethral resection of prostate: A
prospective single-institute evaluation of 100 patients (203-207)
B Shrestha, JL Baidya

Upper gastro-intestinal bleeding: Aetiology and demographic profile based
on endoscopic examination at Dhulikhel Hospital, Kathmandu University
Hospital (208-211)
RB Gurung, G Joshi, N Gautam, P Pant, B Pokhrel, R Koju, TRS Bedi

Post partum haemorrhage: Prevalence, morbidity and management pattern in
Dhulikhel Hospital (212-215)
AS Dongol, A Shrestha, CD Chawla

Effect of preloading on haemodynamic of the patient undergoing surgery
under spinal anaesthesia (216-221)
J Singh, S Ranjit, S Shrestha, R Sharma, SB Marahatta

Near miss maternal morbidity and maternal mortality at Kathmandu Medical
College Teaching Hospital (222-226)
NS Shrestha, R Saha, C Karki

Acute appendicitis: Analysis of 518 histopathologically diagnosed cases at
the Kathmandu University Hospital, Nepal (227-230)
R Makaju, A Mohammad, A Shakya

Subclinical hypothyroidism in eastern Nepal: A hospital based study
V Rohil, AK Mishra, MK Shrewastwa, KD Mehta, M Lamsal, N Baral, S Majhi

Case Notes

Alport’s syndrome (238-240)
P Bastola, SN Joshi, M Chaudhary, DN Shah

Spigelian hernia (241-243)
TP Bhatia, P Ghimire, ML Panhani

Multiple intracranial tubercular abscesses in a child (244-246)
M Narang, S Gomber, L Upreti, S Dua

Retinoblastoma in a 37 years old man in Nepal: A case report (247-250)
A Shrestha, RC Adhikari, R Saiju

Chronic bilateral dislocation of temporomandibular joint (251-256)
S Shakya, R Ongole, KN Sumanth, CE Denny


An ultrasonographic evaluation of solitary muscular and soft tissue
cysticercosis (257-260)
P Sharma, S Neupane, M Shrestha, R Dwivedi, K Paudel

Initiating advanced laparoscopic surgery in a medical college hospital with
basic laparoscopic set up: Is it feasible and safe? (261-264)
PB Thapa

Variation of total serum cholesterol among the patient with thyroid
dysfunction (265-268)
P Risal, BR Maharjan, R Koju, RK Makaju, M Gautem

Review Articles
Halitosis: Much beyond oral malodor (269-275)
R Ongole, N Shenoy

Short Communication

Biomass combustion and potential health effects in the developing countries
SK Joshi, A Dahl, T Kristensen, P Roldin

Vaginal hysterectomy for pelvic organ prolapse in Nepal (281-284)
DK Sah, NR Doshi, CR Das

Book Reviews

A-Z of Practical Paediatrics (285)
Hemang Dixit

Clinical Examination Methods in Orthopedics (286)
Rajeev Raj Manandhar

The Short Textbook of Medical Microbiology (287)
Badri Thapa

Neonatal hypothermia and associated risk factors among newborns of southern Nepal

Luke C Mullany email, Joanne Katz email, Subarna K Khatry email, Steven C LeClerq email, Gary L Darmstadt email and James M Tielsch email

BMC Medicine 2010, 8:43doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-43

Published: 8 July 2010

Abstract (provisional)


Neonatal hypothermia is associated with an increased mortality risk for 28 days. There are few community-based data on specific risk factors for neonatal hypothermia. Estimates of association between neonatal hypothermia in the community and risk factors are needed to guide the design of interventions to reduce exposure.


A cohort of 23,240 babies in rural southern Nepal was visited at home by field workers who measured axillary temperatures for 28 days (213,316 temperature measurements). The cumulative incidence of hypothermia (defined as <35.0degreesC based on an analysis of the hypothermia-mortality risk relationship) was examined for any association with infant characteristics, care practices and parental, household, socioeconomic and demographic factors. Estimates were adjusted for age and ambient temperature.


Ten percent of the babies (n=2342) were observed with temperatures of <35.0degreesC. Adjusted prevalence ratios (Adj PR) were increased among those who weighed< 2000 g [Adj PR=4.32 (3.73, 5.00)] or <1500 g [Adj PR=11.63 (8.10, 16.70)] compared to those of normal weight (>2500 g). Risk varied inversely along the entire weight spectrum: for every 100 g decrement hypothermia risk increased by 7.4%, 13.5% and 31.3%% for babies between 3000 g and 2500 g, 2500 g and 2000 g and <2000 g, respectively. Preterm babies (<34 weeks), females, those who had been first breastfed after 24 h and those with hypothermic mothers were at an increased risk. In the hot season the risk disparity between smaller and larger babies increased. Hypothermia was not associated with delayed bathing, hat wearing, room warming or skin-to-skin contact: they may have been practiced reactively and thereby obscured any potential benefit.


In addition to season in which the babies were born, weight is an important risk factor for hypothermia. Smaller babies are at higher relative risk of hypothermia during the warm period and do not receive the protective seasonal benefit apparent among larger babies. The need for year-round thermal care, early breastfeeding and maternal thermal care should be emphasized. Further work is needed to quantify the benefits of other simple neonatal thermal care practices.

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Source: Biomedcentral

A new issue of JNAMLS is available online:
VOL. 10 | NO. 1 | Dec. 2009
The below Table of Contents is available online at:


Evidence Based Laboratory Medicine
Binod K Yadav, Prajwal Gyawali, Rojeet Shrestha

Original Article

Status of Private Pathology Services in Kathmandu Valley, Kathmandu Nepal
Birendra R Tiwari, Shravan K Mishra, Binod K Yadav, Rojeet Shrestha, Jhabindra P Ghimire, Bal K Awal

Pattern of Dyslipidemia in Type 2 Diabetic Subjects in Eastern Nepal
Prashant Regmi, Prajwal Gyawali, Rojeet Shrestha, Manoj Sigdel, Kisun D Mehta, Shankar Majhi

Pancytopenia: A Memorable Manifestation of Megaloblastic Anemia
Ramesh K Makaju, Mohamad Ashraf, Sushama Bhatta, Ram Gurung, Babu R Pokharel

Relationship Between Pyuria and Bacteriuria in Suspected Urinary Tract Infection
Hari P Kattel, Shyam K Mishra, Jyoti Acharya, Aparna S Shah, Basistha P Rijal, Bharat M Pokhrel

Assessments of Urinary VMA Levels in Suspected Pediatric Cases of Catecholamines Producing Neurochromaffin Tumors
Rojeet Shrestha, Manoj Sigdel, Bibek Poudel, Prajwal Gyawali, Manoranjan Shrestha, Binod K Yadav, Vijay Sharma, Madhav Khanal, Bharat Jha

Serum Uric Acid Level in Obese and Non-obese Individuals
Binod K Yadav, Gokul B Chhetri, Bibek Poudel, Manoj Sigdel, Prajwal Gyawali, Prashant Regmi, Rojeet Shrestha

Parasitic Infection in School Children in Thimi Area, Kathmandu Valley
Swasti K Shrestha, Shiba K Rai, Ravi Vitrakoti, Prahlad Pokharel

Comparison between conventional Microscopy and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) in malaria diagnosis
Shravan K. Mishra, Sohn KY, Shyam S Malla, Prerana Bajracharaya, Reena Lamichhane, Jeevan B Sherchan

Assessment of Thyroid Functions in Pregnant Subjects
Madhav Khanal, Sandhya Malla, Vijay Sharma, Prajwal Gyawali, Manoranjan Shrestha, Rojeet Shrestha

Study of Antimicrobial Resistance Pattern of Shigella sp. Isolated from Patients Visiting Western Regional Hospital, Pokhara
Jagat B Khadka, Jyoti Amatya, Archana Katuwal, Duk B Chhetri

Multi Drug Resistance Patterns of Urinary Isolates in a Tertiary Care Hospital of Nepal
Buddha B Basnet, Dharmendra Thakur, Kumananda Acharya, Nabin Karmacharya, Rajan Kumar Dahal, Harish C Upreti, Basistha P Rijal

Incidence and antibiogram of Vibrio cholerae from Kathmandu University Hospital, Kavre, Nepal
Ganesh P Neupane, Ramesh K Makaju, Navin K Thakur, Surendra K Madhup, Nhuchhe R Tuladhar

Clue cells’ in bacterial vaginosis
Ganesh P Acharya

Journal of Institute of Medicine (JIOM) has just published its latest issue at

Journal of Institute of Medicine
Vol 31, No 2 (2009)

Table of Contents


Can we use qualitative research approach in biomedical studies? (1-2)
S Joshi

Original Articles

Prediction of surgical site infection and other adverse postoperative outcomes (3-6)
BR Luitel, SP Kandel, B Shrestha, R Sapkota, RS Bhandari

Maternal mortality in hilly districts of Nepal (7-13)
B Shrestha

Treatment of Anisometropic Amblyopia in children with refractive correction (14-18)
D Kaphle, JB Shrestha, P Paudel

Utero-vaginal prolapse in far western region of Nepal (19-21)
PR Pant

Hearing results of type III tympanoplasty with or without cartilage augmentation after Canal Wall Down mastoidectomy (22-27)
BL Shrestha, H Bhattarai, CL Bhusal

Attitude of junior doctors towards needle-stick injuries (28-31)
B Gurung, U Gurung

Review Article

Safety alerts on Rosiglitazone (32-33)
P Subish, MI Mohamed Isham, P Mishra, PR Shankar

Case Reports

An obstacle for alcohol abstinence (34-36)
DR Shakya

Penetration of Radial nerve by subscapular artery (37-38)
RB Kuwar, KS Basnet, S Dhungel, TP Thapa

Benign broncho-esophageal fistula in an adult (39-41)
KN Singh, S Pradhan, B Thapa, UK Shrestha, Parveen Sayami

Warthin’s tumor of Submandibular gland (42-43)
P Adhikari, BK Sinha, DK Baskota

Gall Bladder complications of Typhoid (44-47)
RS Bhandari, BR Luitel, PJ Lakhey, KP Singh

Book Reviews

An aid to houseman interns by Prof. C. L. Bhattachan (48)
Mahesh Khakurel