A 3-day substantial training course on recent trends in biotechnology gets underway at SU

A 3-day third training course titled “Recent Trends and Techniques in Biotechnology” has got under way in the Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (IBGE), University of Sindh Jamshoro here on Monday.

Sindh University Vice-Chancellor Professor (Meritorious) Dr. Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro inaugurated the training course. Dean faculty of Natural Sciences Prof. Dr Wazir Ali Baloch, director of the institute Prof. Dr. Muhammad Rafique, Director ORIC Dr. Aqeel Ahmed Bhutto, Dr. Arfana Begum Mallah, Dr. Naseem aslam Channa, PhD scholar Mehar Ali Bhutto and many others were present on the occasion.

Over 130 researchers and scholars are participating in the course hailing from different Universities of Sindh including Jamshoro and Karachi.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony held in the auditorium of Institute of Biotechnology & genetic Engineering (IBGE), SU Vice-Chancellor prof. (Meritorious) Dr. Muhammad Siddique Kalhao said that the students knowing mathematics well had an exquisite opportunity to opt for the discipline of biotechnology and could get employment in no time.

He said that biotechnology started with the arrival of man on the earth and it had been evolving rapidly with the time.

He said that through modern biotechnology, the diseases caused by genetic deficiency and other problems could be diminished and eliminated adding that biotechnology was a wide field, based on technologies, from chemical sciences to biological including computational sciences.

He further said that biotechnology was a major field consisting of various arenas including genetic, biological, molecular biology, balance and bioinformatics, adding that the modern biotechnology since the late 20th and early 21st century had expanded new horizons in the field.

The Vice-Chancellor further said that biotechnology included the diverse and new form of sciences which were recombinant genes technology, genomics, immunology, pharmaceutical therapies development and various diagnostic tests.

“It has simply provided both the breakthroughs and advances in the field of Medical Sciences in combating various diseases”, said Dr. Kalhoro.

To sum up the role of the biotechnology, we can say it can be used to “Heal the world”, “Fuel the world” and “Feed the world”, he said.

He observed that in a medical first, doctors transplanted a pig heart into a patient in a last-ditch effort to save his life in a Maryland hospital through biotechnology adding that the COVID-19 also emerged in the world in 2019 and posed a great threat to humans around the globe, but he said the scientists and researchers of biotechnology prepared its vaccines and proved that life could be protected with its help.

Addressing the ceremony, Dean Faculty of Natural Sciences Professor Dr. Wazir Ali Baloch said that the biotechnology was aimed at maintaining healthy life and protecting it from the epidemic diseases and viruses.

He said that human health needed balanced food, clean environment and effective biological things, including antibiotics and vaccines so that it might not fall on evil times if it came to diseases.

He said that biotechnology was the only way to improve human life and health. He said globally, healthcare system had always been the utmost priority for all governments. The products of biotechnology for the last 30 years had not only tried to decrease the capital being utilized for health care but it had also affected positively on health care.

Therefore, he said the medicine sector was one of the important areas in biotechnology. It was the sector which had seen the most research and breakthroughs adding that it was the same sector which highlighted the majority number of legal and ethical issues.

Director Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Professor Dr. Rafique Ahmed said that biotechnology had become the rapidly growing technology of the world adding that it could be used to ameliorate agriculture, basic sciences, engineering, manufacturing, genetic engineering, medicines and human health.

He said biotechnology was basically a biological based technology which utilized numerous cellular and bio-molecular procedures for the development of such products and technologies which played a very crucial role in improving our lives.

He said due to the application and tools it utilized, biotechnology often overlapped with the fields like bio-medical engineering, bio-engineering, molecular engineering, bio-manufacturing etc. It was one of safest, cleaner and most effective form of engineering.

Dr. Rafique further said that biotechnology had simply revolutionized the field of medical sciences as it had not only provided the effective diagnostic tools and kit for rapid disease detection but had also provided adequate treatment which included the production of recombinant vaccines and novel drugs.

“Molecular techniques like PCR, monoclonal antibodies and recombinant antigens have been used to diagnose AIDS, Tuberculosis TB and parasitic diseases rapidly and at low cost”, he said and added that the symptoms which were caused by the pathogens was also a sign of disease but by the time they appeared it might be late by then and pathogen might be already in high concentration in the body.

“Therefore, the biotechnology has introduced the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Recombinant DNA technology, ELISA, Immuno-fluorescence to be used as quick form of diagnosis”, he said.

The training course will continue for 3 days.