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April 25-26 – James Watson, a biologist from Indiana University, and Francis Crick, a physicist, were working at the Cavendish Lab in Cambridge, England on the structure of DNA. On Saturday, February 28, 1953 it is reported that Crick came into the Eagle, a Cambridge pub, and announced to everyone there that they had “found the secret of life”. In 1953 they proposed the double helix model of DNA. In April of 1953 the Watson and Crick paper appeared in the journal Nature 171: 737-738 & 964-967 (1953). US Congress declared April 25th 2003 as DNA Day to celebrate the completion of the human genome project and the 50th anniversary of the description of DNA.

In this regard Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN) has been celebrating “World DNA Day” every year since 2008 by organizing different talk programs, seminars, documentary shows and student awareness programs. This year also the day was celebrated under the theme “Biotech Youth Meet 2011” at White House institute of Science and Technology (WHIST), Khumlaltar. Over 250 students from biotechnology and applied biological sciences studying at Kathmandu University, Tribhuvan University, WHIST, SANN International College, LBEF College and GEMS institute of Higher education and other different colleges participated. The program was also attendant by more than 50 scientists and researchers from government institutions like NAST, NARC, NAFOL, Government delegates from Public Service Commission (PSC) and Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and private sectors.

In the program Mr. Jivan Rijal from NAFOL stressed the need of DNA Databank for crime investigation, identification of missing individuals and wildlife management. He also sought for clear act and rules, appropriate education for judges and law students and support for scientific community for making the judgment based on scientific evidence.

Speaking at the program, Mr. Dibesh Karmacharya, Executive Director of Intrepid Nepal Pvt. Ltd. emphasized on the 3-C (Communicate, Collaborate and build the biotech Community) for the development of biotechnology in Nepal. Similarly, Dr. Sameer M. Dixit, Country Director of Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN) highlighted the role of biotechnology in public health and biomedical research.

Speaking at the program, Dr. Kayo Devi Yami, acting chair person PSC of Nepal stressed on need of taskforce comprising researchers, scientists, biotech graduates and concerned stakeholders to pressure the concern ministries and line agencies to recruit the biotech graduates via PSC. She also clarified that PSC only cannot recognize the biotech graduates until the concerned ministries demand for the post and also assured that PSC will work at high speed in developing curriculum for recognition of those graduates.

During the program, Mr. Ganesh Shah, former minister, MoST wished for capturing first Nobel Prize for Nepal in the field of biotechnology by encouraging the scientific community and graduates and assured that he is dedicated for the development for biotechnology in Nepal. He also said about the entrepreneurial activity apart from research for contributing economic growth of the country. He added that unification in work and sharing of facilities currently available is inevitable for sustainability and growth.

Mr. Mukunda Raj Prakash Gimire, Joint Secretary of MoST and also the Coordinator of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics Technical Team said that government is working for the development of Biotechnology and also highlighted the Biotechnology policy of Nepal 2063.

Speaking at the program, Dr. Dinesh Raj Bhuju, Head of Faculty of Science, NAST focused on the facilities and opportunities available for biotechnology graduates and future works of NAST in this field.

Similarly, Dr. Mukunda Ranjit, President of Nepal Biotech Association (NBA) highlighted the need of government investment, as India has done in early 90s, for the development of Biotechnology.

Similarly, Dr. Janardan Lamichhane, Vice President of Regional Branch Office, Asian Federation of Biotechnology (AFOB) emphasized the need of technology transfer and collaboration among different international research institutions for capacity building and establishment of state-of-the- art facilities.

Speaking at the program, Mr. Rajiv Singh, Head of Institute, WHIST highlighted the need of collaborative effort among different biotech institutions for upliftment of biotechnology and development competent graduates.

In the program, Mr. Ravi Bhandari, Vice President of BSN highlighted current projects of BSN like e-bulletin, e-interview, article on demand (AOD), brain drain to brain gain and BSN journal entitled Nepal Journal of Biotechnology (NJB) which will ultimately enhance the academic knowledge of students, scientists and researchers in this field. He also added that BSN will come up with new projects and opportunities for them.

Mr. Prajwal Rajbhandari, a MS by Research (Bio-Technology) graduate from Kathmandu University focused on the unity among biotech graduates, faculty members for uplifting new born subject in Nepal and role of BSN in fulfilling this. Similarly, Mr. Hemanta Raj Mainali, Teaching Assistant and Biotech graduate from Department of Biotechnology, Kathmandu University said that involvement of youth is inevitable for development of biotechnology in Nepal and need of such program for making the awareness among the different stakeholders for collaborative effort.

The program was organized by Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN), sponsored by WHIST and supported by JHS Analytic Trader, Menaka Enterprizes, Intrepid Nepal, Chaudhary Group, Himalaya Distillery, GEMS/AUF and Everest Biotech.

Also, on 26th of April, Mitra Kunj/Nepal Science and Technology Development Forum/ Russia Centre of Science and Culture headed by Mr Ganesh Shah also celebrated World DNA Day on the topic “Talk program on Biotechnology”. Speaker for the program were Dr. Janardan Lamichhane, Associate Professor at Department of Biotechnology, Kathmandu University and Dr. Pramod Aryal, Chief Scientific Officer at Deurali Janata Biotech Pharma, a Biotech wing of renowned pharmaceutical company Deurali Janata Pharmaceuticals Limited (DJPL).

Core Team of the Biotech Youth Meet 2011

Organizing Team of Biotech Youth Meet - 2011

The Himalayan Times National Daily, 31st October 2010

– दयानन्द बज्राचार्य

चितवनकी नीता गुरुङले २०५८ माघ ४ मा आफूले जन्माएको छोराका बाबु राजीव गुरुङ भएको जिकिर गरे पनि राजीवले बच्चालाई आफ्नो छोरा स्वीकार नगरेपछि उनले अदालतमा मुद्दा दायर गरिन्। मुद्दा सर्वोच्च अदालतसम्म पुग्यो। खुमलटारस्थित राष्ट्रिय विधि विज्ञान प्रयोगशालामा गरिएको डीएनए परीक्षणले बच्चाका बाबु राजीव होइनन् भन्ने प्रतिवेदन दियो। सञ्चारमाध्यममा आएको समाचारअनुसार सर्वोच्च अदालतबाट डीएनए परीक्षणको नतिजालाई इन्कार गर्दै जिल्ला र पुनरावेदन अदालतको पूर्व फैसलालाई नै सदर गरी बच्चाको बाबु राजीव नै भएको ठहर गरियो।

विज्ञान र प्रविधिका क्षेत्रमा भएका पछिल्ला उपलब्धिले अन्य क्षेत्रजस्तै प्रहरी, अपराध अनुसन्धान र न्यायक्षेत्र पनि लाभान्वित भएका छन्। फोरेन्सिक साइन्स अर्थात् विधि विज्ञानका नामले चिनिने विज्ञानको यस विशेष क्षेत्रमा पछिल्लो समयमा ठूलो प्रगति भएको छ। डीएनए परीक्षण प्रहरी अनुसन्धान र न्याय सम्पादनमा ठूलो योगदान पुर्‍याउने पछिल्लो प्रगति हो।

नेपालमा सन् १९८६ मा नेपाल विज्ञान तथा प्रविधि प्रज्ञाप्रतिष्ठान अन्तर्गत स्थापित र हाल विज्ञान तथा प्रविधि मन्त्रालयअन्तर्गत सञ्चालित राष्ट्रिय विधि विज्ञान प्रयोगशालाले सन् २००५ देखि डीएनए परीक्षण सुरु गर्न थालेको हो। देशभित्रै डीएनए परीक्षणको सुविधा उपलब्ध हुनुलाई देशमा वैज्ञानिक क्षमताको विकासका रूपमा लिन सकिन्छ, तर उक्त प्रयोगशालाको प्रतिवेदनले मान्यता नपाउनाले देशभित्र विकास गरिएको डीएनए परीक्षणको क्षमतामाथि प्रश्न चिन्ह लागेको छ।

हिजोआज डीएनए र डीएनए परीक्षण सर्वसाधारणका लागि पनि चासोको विषय बनेको छ। हुनत धेरैलाई यस विषयबारे राम्रो ज्ञान भने छैन। तसर्थ सामान्य पाठकको हितका लागि डीएनए र डीएनए परीक्षणबारे चर्चा गर्नु उपयुक्त हुनेछ। यसबाट नीता-राजीव मुद्दाको फैसलामा डीएनए परीक्षणको महत्व बुझ्न पनि पाठकलाई मद्दत पुग्नेछ।

मानव शरीरको प्रत्येक कोषिकाभित्र न्युक्लियस अर्थात् केन्›क नाम गरेको एक अङ्गक हुन्छ। ती न्युक्लियसभित्र ससाना संरचना हुन्छन्, जसलाई क्रोमोजोम अर्थात् गुणसूत्र भनिन्छ। मानिसमा यसको सङ्ख्या ४६ हुन्छ। यिनै क्रोमोजोममा डीएनए अवस्थित हुन्छ। डीएनए तिनै तत्व हुन् जसले कुनै पनि जीवको आनुवंशिक गुण निर्धारण गर्छ। डीएनएको पूरा नाम हो – डिअक्सिरिबो न्युक्लिक एसिड।

न्युक्लियसका अतिरिक्त कोषिकाभित्र हजारौंको संख्यामा रहेका माइटोकन्ड्रिया नामक अङ्गकमा पनि डीएनए पाइन्छ। तर माइटोकन्ड्रियामा पाइने डीएनएले न्युक्लियसमा पाइने डीएनएले जस्तो जीवको आनुवंशिक गुण निर्धारण गर्दैनन्। माइटोकन्ड्रियाको प्रमुख भूमिका जीवका लागि अपरिहार्य ऊर्जा उत्पादन गर्नु हो र यसमा अवस्थित डीएनएको छुट्टै भूमिका हुन्छ।

डीएनए निकै मसिना धागोजस्ता वस्तु हुन् जसको व्यास मानव शरीरको रौँभन्दा १४ हजार ४ सय गुण सानो हुन्छ। मानव शरीरको प्रत्येक कोषिकामा एकैनासका डीएनए हुन्छन्। तर सबै कोषिकामा सबै डीएनए एकै पटक क्रियाशील हुँदैनन्। कुनै अङ्गका कोषिकामा कुनै प्रकारका डीएनए क्रियाशील हुन्छन् भने अर्को अङ्गको कोषिकामा अर्कै डीएनए क्रियाशील हुन्छन्।

कुनै पनि जीवको डीएनए मूलतः एडिनिन, थाइमिन, साइटोसिन र ग्वायानिन नामक चार विशेष प्रकारका महत्वपूर्ण रासायनिक तत्वबाट निर्मित हुन्छ। एउटा मानव कोषिकाभित्र करिब ६ अर्ब यस्ता तत्वहरू हुन्छन्। ती चार रसायनिक तत्वलाई क्रमशः अङ्ग्रेजी भाषाका चार अक्षर ‘ए’, ‘टी’, ‘सी’, ‘जी’ले सम्बोधन गरिन्छ। वास्तवमा ती जटिल प्रकारका रसायनिक तत्वहरू हुन्, तर चलनचल्तीमा डीएनएको बयान गर्न वैज्ञानिकहरूले रसायनिक नामको सट्टा यिनै अक्षरहरूको प्रयोग गर्छन्। एउटा डीएनएको अणुमा केही दर्जनदेखि हजारौं ‘ए’, ‘टी’, ‘सी’, ‘जी’ लहरै मिलेर रहेका हुन्छन्। प्रत्येक डीएनएमा दुई घुमाउरो समानान्तर संरचना हुन्छन्, जसलाई डबल हेलिक्स पनि भनिन्छ। दुई समानान्तर संरचनामध्येको एक संरचनामा कुनै स्थानमा ‘ए’ छ भने विपरीत संरचनाको सोही स्थान मा ‘टी’, र ‘सी’ छ भने ‘जी’ हुन्छ। यो डीएनएको अणूमा हुने स्वाभाविक विन्यास हो।
सबै डीएनएको विशेषता यिनै चार अक्षरको सिक्वेन्स (अनुक्रम)मा भर पर्छ र कुनै पनि जीवको आनुवंशिक गुण यही डीएनए अनुक्रमले निर्धारण गर्दछ। जसरी केही सीमित अक्षर (नेपालीमा ३६ र अङ्ग्रेजीमा २६)को प्रयोग गरी विभिन्न प्रकारका अनगिन्ती कृति निर्माण गर्न सकिन्छ, त्यसैगरी जैविक भाषाका यी चार अक्षरको प्रयोगले जीवजगतमा पाइने सम्पूर्ण प्रकारका डीएनए निर्माण गरिएका हुन्छन्।

मानव कोषिकामा आनुवंशिक गुण निर्धारण गर्ने क्रियाशील डिएनका साथै केही यस्ता डीएनए पनि हुन्छन्, जो निष्त्रि्कय हुन्छन् र जसले कुनै आनुवंशिक गुण निर्धारण गर्दैनन्। यसका अतिरिक्त प्रत्येक मानव कोषिकामा व्यक्तिपिच्छे केही यस्ता विशेष प्रकारका डीएनए हुन्छन् जो अन्य व्यक्तिमा पाइँदैनन्। प्रत्येक मानिसको डीएनएमा पाइने यही विशेषताको अध्ययन गरिन्छ डीएनए परीक्षणमा।

प्रकृतिमा एक डिम्बीय जुम्ल्याहाबाहेक अरू कुनै पनि दुई व्यक्तिको डीएनएको बनोट एकअर्कासँग शतप्रतिशत मेल खाँदैन। यही कारणले केही जुम्ल्याहाबाहेक विश्वका लगभग छ अर्ब मानिसको रूप, रङ, व्यवहार र आनुवंशिक गुण एकअर्कासँग ठ्याम्मै मेल खाँदैन। यसरी प्रत्येक व्यक्तिको हस्तचक्र फरक भएजस्तै डीएनएको बनोट पनि व्यक्तिपिच्छे फरक हुने गर्दछ। यसै भएर डीएनएको बनोटलाई ‘डीएनए फिङगरप्रिन्ट’ पनि भनिन्छ।
डीएनए परीक्षण विशेष गरी आमाबाबु र सन्तानबीच नाता प्रमाणित गर्न तथा हत्या, बलात्कारलगायतका विभिन्न अपराधमा संलग्न व्यक्ति र कुनै दुर्घटनामा अनुहार चिन्न नसकिने गरी मृत्यु भएका व्यक्तिको पहिचान गर्न प्रयोग गरिन्छ। यसका अतिरिक्त डीएनए परीक्षण नजिकका नातेदारको वंशावली तयार पार्न, लामो समयदेखी हराएका वा छुट्टिएका नातेदारको पहिचान गरी पुनर्मिलनमा सहयोग गर्न र गम्भीर प्रकृतिका आनुवंशिक रोगको पहिचान गर्न प्रयोग गरिन्छ। यस प्रयोजनका निम्ति रगत, वीर्य, र्‍याल, हड्डी, जरासहितको रौंँलगायतका विभिन्न स्रोतबाट प्राप्त मानव कोषिकाको प्रयोग गरिन्छ। पुरातत्वविज्ञानमा यो प्रविधि शताब्दीयौँ पुरानो जीवाश्मको आनुवंशिक अनुसन्धान गर्न प्रयोग गरिन्छ।

डीएनएको परीक्षणकै आधारमा केही समयअघि बिल क्लिन्टन र मोनिका लेविन्स्कीबीच यौन सम्पर्क स्थापित भएको प्रमाणित भएको थियो। यसैगरी अदालतबाट मृत्यदण्डको सजाय पाएका कैयौँ व्यक्ति डीएनए परीक्षणबाट निर्दोष साबित र जेलमुक्त भएका छन्। विश्वमा डीएनए परीक्षणद्वारा अदालतमा हुने गरेका कैयौँ फैसलासमेत त्रुटिपूर्ण प्रमाणित भएका छन्।

हिजोआज डीएनए परीक्षण न्याय सम्पादनमा आमाबाबु र सन्तानबीचको नाता प्रमाणित गर्न भरपर्दाे पद्धतिका रूपमा स्थापित भइसकेको छ। कुनै पनि शिशुले आफ्नो आमा र बाबुबाट समान मात्रामा डीएनए प्राप्त गर्ने भएकाले आमा र बाबुको डीएनएमा भएका विशेषताका ठूलो अंश शिशुको डीएनएमा पनि देखा पर्दछ। तसर्थ कुनै शिशुको वास्तविक आमा वा बाबुको सही पहिचान उनीहरूको डीएनए परीक्षण गरेर सजिलै निर्धारण गर्न सकिन्छ। डीएनए परीक्षणको प्रक्रिया केही जटिल भएकाले यसमा उच्च सावधानी र सतर्कता अपनाउनु आवश्यक छ। अन्यथा गलत नतिजा आउने सम्भावना हुन्छ। तर सुविधायुक्त प्रयोगशालामा दक्ष र तालिम प्राप्त वैज्ञानिकले अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मापदण्डअनुसार गरिएको डीएनए परीक्षणको विश्वसनीयता झण्डै शतप्रतिशत भरपर्दाे हुने बताइन्छ। सही निर्णयमा पुग्न कतिपय विकसित मुलुकमा अदालतले एकभन्दा बढी मान्यताप्राप्त प्रयोगशालामा डीएनए परीक्षण गराउँछन् र विभिन्न प्रयोगशालामा गरिएका परीक्षणको नतिजा शतप्रतिशत मिलेमा त्यसलाई प्रमाणका रूपमा स्वीकार गर्छन्।

भनिन्छ, कानुनले प्रमाण खोज्छ। विज्ञानले पनि वास्तवमा प्रमाणनै खोज्छ। यस अर्थमा विज्ञान र कानुनबीच केही समानता देखिन्छ। विज्ञानले प्रदान गर्ने प्रमाण अन्य प्रमाणभन्दा बढी विश्वसनीय हुने भएकाले आज विश्वका विकसित मुलुकमा कानुनी निकायले फैसला गर्दा प्रमाणका आधारमा फैसला गर्ने आधारभूत सिद्धान्तअनुरूप डीएनए परीक्षणजस्ता वैज्ञानिक परीक्षण र अनुसन्धानलाई बढी महत्व दिँदै आएका छन्। अर्थात् ती मुलुकमा विज्ञानप्रति अविश्वास गरिँदैन।

नीता-राजिवको मुद्दामा राष्ट्रिय विधि विज्ञान प्रयोशालाले पेस गरेको डीएनए परीक्षणको प्रतिवेदन अस्वीकार गरिनुको कारण यस प्रकारको परीक्षणमा हुनसक्ने सम्भावित त्रुटि हुनसक्छ। त्रुटि त हरेक पेसामा हुनसक्छ। हो, यस्ता सम्भावित त्रुटि हुन नदिन वा न्यूनीकरण गर्नेतर्फ सम्बन्धित सबैको ध्यान जानु आवश्यक छ। राष्ट्रिय विधि विज्ञान प्रयोशालाका वैज्ञानिकहरूकाअनुसार उक्त प्रयोगशालामा गरिने डीएनए परीक्षण त्रुटिरहित छ र यसलाई अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय प्रयोगशालालेसमेत प्रमाणित गरेका छन्। तसर्थ राष्ट्रिय विधि विज्ञान प्रयोगशालामा गरिएको डीएनए परीक्षणमाथि शङ्का गर्ने उचित आधार देखिँदैन। शङ्का लागेको भए परीक्षण दोहर्‍याएर गर्न सकिन्थ्यो। परीक्षणमा लापरवाही भएको प्रमाणित भएमा सम्बन्धित वैज्ञानिक वा प्राविधिज्ञलाई उचित दण्ड दिने कानुनी व्यवस्था पनि गर्न सकिन्छ। तर एक्काईसौँ शताब्दी र वैज्ञानिक युगमा विज्ञानमा आधारित प्रमाणले खास कारणबिना मान्यता नपाउनुले हामी आधुनिक समयसँग हिँड्न नसकेको वा नचाहेको र पुरानै रुढिवादी समाजमा बाँच्न चाहेको ठहरिन्छ। नेपाली समाजका हरेक वर्ग र क्षेत्रमा वैज्ञानिक चेतनाको कमी पाइन्छ। विज्ञानमा आधारित प्रमाणले मान्यता नपाउनु पनि यही अवस्थाको एक सङ्केत हो कि?

Source: http://www.nagariknews.com/opinions/98-opinion/17761-2010-09-02-03-53-12.html

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. fornarin@pasteur.fr

Abstract

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

Pubmed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19573232

Full Text Article (PubMed Central): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2720951/pdf/1471-2148-9-154.pdf

Understanding Biotechnology – BSN

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) – Arti S. Pandey

Food Biotechnology in Nepal – Dr. Tika Bahadur Karki

Status of Biotechnology in Livestock Sector, Nepal – Dr. Suderson Prasad Gautam

Drug Discovery and Generic Drugs – Dr. Pramod Aryal

Status, trend and application of plant biotechnology in Nepal – Dr. Hari P. Bimb

Strengthening Farmers’ Participation in Agricultural Biotechnology in Nepal – Tara Lama (LI-BIRD)

Intellectual Property Rights, Technology Transfer and Farmer’s rights – Kamalesh Adhikari (SAWTEE)

A National Workshop on Biotechnology and Development Concerns in Nepal was successfully held on 21st August 2009 jointly organized by Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN), South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics & Environment (SAWTEE) and Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD). The workshop held at Hotel Everest, Kathmandu was enthusiastically attended by sixty participants representing different sectors of biology, academic bodies, government and non-government bodies, and private organizations.

The objective of the workshop was to introduce the prospective of biotechnology in different fields like agriculture, food, health, biopharmaceuticals and biological production in Nepal. The program also focused on, intellectual property rights, technology transfer, community rights, and farmers’ participation in agricultural biotechnology and also on understanding the policy and strategies related to biotechnology.

The workshop was divided into four sessions with different themes. In the inaugural session, Mr. Puspa Sharma (Program coordinator, SAWTEE) delivered his welcome speech and presented highlights of the program. Dr. Posh Raj Pandey (President, SAWTEE) who chaired the program, defined biotechnology as technology for human welfare. He opined that in country like Nepal acquiring known technology is better than hunting for a new one. Mr. Tara Lama (Program Director, LI-BIRD) advocated on access to benefit sharing by related community. Likewise, Prof. Dr. Hom Nath Bhattarai (Vice chancellor, NAST) said good policies should be introduced and implemented for the success in Nepalese scientific field. He highlighted some of the constraints of Nepal government in adopting new technologies. Dr. Puskar Bajracharya (Hon’ble member, National Planning Commission) emphasized that biotechnology can decrease trade deficit Nepal has been facing. Concluding remarks of the session and vote of thanks was delivered by Mr. Ravi Bhandari (Vice-President, BSN).

In the following sessions, presentations on introduction to biotechnology and recombinant DNA technology were delivered by BSN team and Dr. Arti Pandey from Kathmandu Medical College respectively. The status of biotechnology in Nepal, research works carried out in different sectors such as agriculture, livestock and biological production, food technology and biopharmaceuticals was delivered by Dr. Hari P.Bimb (NARC), Dr. Sudarson Pd Gautam (CBPL), Dr. Tika Bdr. Karki (Kathmandu University) and Dr. Pramod Aryal (Everest Biotech) respectively. Dr. Mukunda Ranjit, Professor Dr. VP Agrawal and Dr. Hari Krishna Sainju highlighted different prospects of biotechnology as chair-persons. Discussions were held on different constraints Nepal has been facing and measures to be taken for active progression in the field of biotechnology. Overall program was focused on measures to be taken to adopt agricultural biotechnology as a farmer friendly and environment friendly technologies.

Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), the old lion of science and technology in Nepal has successfully organized country’s fifth National Conference on Science and technology from 10th to 12th of November 2008. The gala of scientists that lasted for three days had a slogan of “Science, Technology and Innovation for Prosperous Nepal”. The festival was attended by 1200 national and international scientists, adorned by 654 presentations including two special, five plenary and 17 invited lectures on 15 different branches of sciences. Few proposals regarding increment in government’s budget allocation for science, frequency of organization of the conference and others were made and few commitments were also made by Mr. Prime Minister, Finance Minister and other stakeholders.

nast

There were around50 presentations under ‘biotechnology’ and ‘food biotechnology’ section, 25 presentation in each field. Topics covered by presentations under biotechnology were, antimicrobial effects of medicinal plants, polyclonal antibody production, gene identification, molecular characterization and genetic diversity analysis, and others. Most of the presentations were based on using tools like spectrophotometry, RAPD PCR, ELISA, western blot and some bioinformatics tools. BSN members Mr. Pawan Dulal, Mr. Pawan Bashyal, Mr. Subash Rai, Mr. Salyan Bhattarai, Ms Diwa Malla, Ms. Rojlina Manandhar also presented their research works in the conference.

Biotechnology presentation hall changed after the first session on the first day. Biotechnology presentation supposed to be held at Dhrub Man Singh Hall, (A temporary hall prepared by making a partition in a corridor like place of Pragya Bhawan) had to be changed after a huge presence of audience. The hall allocated was small with space for hardly hundred audiences. Later, as the program rolled on, it started overcrowding and people crammed in to listen to the speakers. It had to be shifted to the main hall soon after the completion of the first session. We appreciate NAST’s arrangement and effective management for such a grand event but still. Can we speculate about an underestimating vision of NAST towards Biotechnology?

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