Bio Spectrum — May 2017

(Jacob Rumans) #1
The Council of Scientific and
Industrial Research (CSIR) has
asked its laboratories to file
patents with proper techno-
commercial evaluation and
utmost due diligence owing to
high costs. In a written response
to a question in the Rajya
Sabha, Union Minister of State
for Science and Technology YS
Chowdary said due diligence for
techno-commercial evaluation
has now been made mandatory.
“In order to align the
Intellectual Property strategy
of CSIR with the priorities of
socio-economic development,
including escalating costs of
patent filings, this message was
sent to exercise utmost due
diligence in filing of patents.
The filing of patents do follow a
process of evaluation at various
stages, which has been followed
in all cases of patent filing.
Appropriate due diligence for
techno-commercial evaluation
has now been made mandatory
in filing of patents of CSIR,”
Chowdary said.
In a similar question asked
in the Rajya Sabha in December
last year, Chowdary had said
CSIR had bagged 13,365 patents
in the last three financial years
and over 13 per cent of the
body’s total number of patents
were put to commercial use as
compared to the global average
of 3 to 4 per cent.

Tree rings are storehouse of information about the age of a tree and past
climatic conditions, but analysing it is a laborious process and needs high
level of expertise. A group of Indian researchers has developed a simple
and rapid system to analyse tree ring count and their width. Making use of
available image processing software and other analysis tools, researchers
at the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, have developed a semi-
automated and interactive platform for tree ring analysis.
The platform will help scientists rapidly analyse tree rings for climatic
and other research. Tree rings are formed as a tree grows. New cells in tree
are formed and they get arranged in the form of concentric circles known as
annual growth rings in the trunk. These rings basically indicate the amount
of wood added during one growing season.
“The most important aspect of our work is to detect tree rings boundaries
with processing of the high-resolution image of tree disc,” researchers have
explained in their study published in the latest issue of scientific journal
Current Science.
The research team included S Subah and S Derminder of the School of
Electrical Engineering and Technology, and C Sanjeev of the Department of
Forestry and Natural Resources, Punjab Agricultural University.

Due diligence


before filing


IIT B uses mango leaves to make

fluorescent graphene quantum dots

Using mango leaves to synthesise
fluorescent graphene quantum dots
(nanocrystals of semiconductor
material), researchers from the
Indian Institute of
Technology (IIT)
Bombay have been
able to produce cheap
probes for bio imaging
and for intracellular
temperature sensing.
Unlike the
currently used
dyes, quantum dots
synthesised from mango leaves
are biocompatible, have excellent
photostability and show no cellular
toxicity. The results were published
in the journal ACS Sustainable
Chemistry & Engineering. To
synthesise quantum dots, the
researchers cut mango leaves into
tiny pieces and froze them using
liquid nitrogen. The frozen leaves
were crushed into powder and
dipped into alcohol. The extract was

centrifuged and the supernatant
evaporated in an evaporator and
then heated in a microwave for five
minutes to get a fine powder.

Using mice fibroblast cells,
a team led by Professor Rohit
Srivastava from the Department of
Biosciences and Bioengineering at
IIT Bombay evaluated the potential
of quantum dots for bioimaging and
temperature sensing applications.
The quantum dots get into the
cytoplasm of the cell.
“The graphene quantum dots
can be used as a nanothermometer,”
said Prof Srivastava.

Punjab university develops

tool to analyse tree rings

(^18) ACADEMIC NEWS l BioSpectrum | May 2017 |

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