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Genome mapping of Indian Ocean by NIO

What is the News?
National Institute of Oceanography(NIO) has launched its first-of-its-kind project of Genome Mapping in the Indian Ocean.

About the Genome Mapping in the Indian Ocean Project:
  • Aim of the Project:
    • To reveal the internal working of the body of the ocean at a cellular level.
    • To understand the biochemistry and the response of the ocean to climate change, nutrient stress and increasing pollution.
  • Duration of the Project: The project will take three years to complete.
How will the Project be conducted?
  • The NIO research team onboard its research vessel Sindhu Sadhana will travel from India’s east coast, all the way to Australia, then onward towards Port Louis in Mauritius and up to the border of Pakistan.
  • During this journey, they will gather samples for genome mapping of microorganisms at an average depth of 5 km.
  • They will then map the DNA and RNA of these microorganisms just like gene mapping on human blood samples.
Significance of the Project:
  • The genome mapping will enable scientists to identify the factors controlling the changes in RNA, DNA in the oceans and various stressors impacting them.
  • The project will also help in identifying which part of the ocean has a greater concentration of which mineral or element.Scientists will then use these as tracers to tackle the causative factors for excess or lack of a certain mineral or element and suggest possible solutions for their mitigation.
  • Further, the genome mapping of oceans will enable commercial biotechnology applications from anticancer treatments and industrial enzymes to antiviral molecules.
What is Genome Mapping?
  • Genome refers to an organism’s complete set of DNA which includes all its genes and mapping these genes simply means finding out the location of these genes in a chromosome.
  • Therefore, Genome mapping essentially means figuring out the location of a specific gene on a particular region of the chromosome and also determining the location of and relative distances between other genes on that chromosome.

About National Institute of Oceanography(NIO):

  • NIO is an autonomous research organization established in 1966.It is one of the 37 constituent laboratories of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi.
  • Focus: The principal focus of research has been on observing and understanding special oceanographic characteristics of the Indian Ocean.
  • Headquarters: Goa

Source: Indian Express

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