December 14, 2007

India, France to co-operate on basic medical research

India and France have joined hands to explore the possibilities of RNAi (RNA interference) in areas of basic medical research and biotechnology.

Inaugurating a three-day conference at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology here on Wednesday, the scientific and programme officer French Embassy, Bruno Rouot, said that teams of scientists from India and France are jointly working in areas like Chemistry and Biology.

Eight Indo-France lab centres have already been set up and two research institutes are working in Pondicherry and Delhi. To further this programme and encourage scientists, scholarships and fellowships are also being awarded. There are seven scholarships for Indian students to the tune of 1300 Euros for six month duration, Rouot said.

He said joint research cells are working on water and ground water. He said that 250 projects were approved in 2006 as a part of the joint collaboration between India and France.

Participating in the meet, Chantal Vaury INSERM, Clermont Fd, France in Drosophila (fruit fly) said that in the area of basic research it is important to know how the cells work.

One project is already underway and the conference will work to establish connection between scientists from India and France. The ongoing project will analyse expression of genes with nuclei, she said.

Scientist are trying to understand the RNAi interference in positioning the regulation of expression. In medical research it is working in areas of fighting diseases like HIV, virus related diseases or how to cure a genetic programme that is going wrong. In areas of bio-technology, it informs how to silence a gene, she added.

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