National Facility for Gene Function in Health and Disease
- The NFGFHD will be established at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune.
- It has been funded by the Department of Biotechnology.
- This will be one-of-its-kind large facilities providing a timely supply of animal models to researchers studying a range of diseases from cancer to diabetes.
- Rats, mice and rabbits will be housed here, doing away with the need to import them.
Why it is needed
- With a growing zoonotic disease burden on human health, there is an increased urgency to perform disease studies based on physiological evidence and methods.
- Since human trials alone cannot suffice for such studies, the need for having experimental setups using animal models has become imperative.
- Hence, animal, plant and microorganism-based models are now being significantly deployed to study diseases in a time-bound manner.
- The advanced facility will build capacities in biological research & assist in reducing the knowledge gap in understanding of pathogens.
Why are animals needed?
- Scientists depend on small animals such as rats, mice and rabbits to study human diseases.
- When an animal model is used to study diseases, we need to carefully follow the animal’s well-being for long durations.
- During this time-frame, the animals are prudently observed, bred for further generations.
- Their behaviours are monitored in responses to stimuli, signs for any phenotypic variations, feeding behaviours and changes in habits if any.
- The facility houses molecular biology laboratories and mico-injection setups to generate mouse models, in which scientists will knock out existing genes and replace them with external or artificial genes that are linked to the disease under study.
- This is done through CRISPR / Cas9 systems.
- The genome engineering facility at NFGFHD
- There are facilities for making embryonic stem cell-based models and traditional transgenic mice models, embryo and sperm cryopreservation, and in-vitro fertilisation.
- Knock out gene technique
- Embryonic Stem cell
- Somatic stem cell
- Transgenic animals/plants
- In-vitro fertilization technique
Q. The rise in biotechnology has made it feasible to cure genetic diseases. Give a brief about gene editing, their methods and role of transgenic animals in curing genetic diseases.