Its All In the Genes!

There is enough and more reason to celebrate every morning-celebration in lieu of the totality of existence and the existence of the individual self. The Guru of Joy, Sri Sri of the Art of living fame established the U.S.P ‘I belong’……

The simple ritual practiced at the commencement of every Art of Living session where the participants greet each other with a resplendent ‘I belong’ , on deeper analysis comes with a profound metaphysical and scientific import.

The ‘cosmic connect’ explains the metaphysical bond, ‘the gene connect’ supports the scientific

So breathe calm and breathe right, a little trivia here, rest assured, you truly do belong!

An extract from Bill Bryson essay ‘The Stuff of Life’ from his book ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’

Compare your genes with any other human beings and on average they will be about 99.9% the same. This is what makes us a species. The tiny differences in that is the remaining 0.1%- is what endows us with our individuality.

If your two parents hadn’t bonded together just when they did –possibly to the second, possibly to the nanosecond – you wouldn’t be here .And if their parents hadn’t bonded in a precisely timely manner, you wouldn’t be here either .And if their parents had done likewise, and their parents before them and so on, obviously and definitely, you wouldn’t ’be here. Push backwards through time and these ancestral debts begin to add up. At twenty generations ago, the number of people procreating on your behalf has risen to 1,048,576. Five generations before that and there are no fewer than 33,554,432 men and women on whose devoted couplings your existence depends.

Tracing your lineage further down, the number of people on whose co-operative efforts your eventual existence exists increases exponentially where at appoint it exceeds the total number of people who have actually lived.

So to say ,its all about a gene-des -vous in yonder time!. Much of you and a bit of me is what makes me the way I am! Thats the ground truth!

Mendel the monk played cupid scientist, bred and cross bred thirty thousand pea plants over a span of eight years and propounded the Theory of Genetics.Mendels work though not to well received during his lifetime(acknowledgment came to Mendel posthumously) serves as the bedrock on which rests todays scientific advances in the field of Genetics, Genomics and Biomedicine.

Advances in these fields have spurred discovery and innovation in the fields of research diagnostics and therapeutics over the last decade Cloning, stem cell therapy, gene therapy in reproductive medicine, embryonic cells therapies etc have provided treatment options to patients suffering from ailments who earlier held little hope of recovery.

Nevertheless’ innovation begets risk’. In that context it is held that it will be an effective intellectual property framework that will provide the carrot and the stick, not to mention the fence that w ill balance and regulate a discipline fraught with ethical religious and humane concerns. The Gene- Patents debate has played out in expanse over the last decade, with the discovery of Dolly, Megan Morgan and now Sylvie the new life form from the laboratory of Venter.(why is there an overwhelming female presence here I wonder?-Ah finally male libbers have a cause to crusade against!)

The startling disclosure by Craig Venter last month that a new synthetic life form had been engineered sent waves of vociferous protests amongst activists. While this form was essentially intended to develop new forms of fuels, it is held that this could be the precursor to synthetically engineered human life forms that could hold widespread repercussions for society at large.

This decade is likely to be dominated by debates equally passionate and divided about Genetically Modified Organisms(GMOs’) and the associated isssues that could well range from the ambiguities(or the flexibilities- as you like it!) of Article 27 of TRIPS to ethical issues on vesting exclusive proprietary rights to something as central to life as a human genome.

A converse argument presented is the potential and implication of a open source gene mechanism.A genome thrown open to all that can be tinkered, tweaked, culled and sawed around by a battery of scientist to unleash on an unsuspecting mankind either a rogue or a noble gene over which none has any control. That I could be put through the gene machine to eventually end up as a Loch Ness Monster with the empathy of a frog or a lizard does little to ease my sense of discomfort. Look up the article’Inconceivable’ in the Hindu of today. Good one on genetic tinkering!!!!

India all ready to display its new age biotech plume would have to brace itself to handle all of these challenges and more. Given the religious and cultural multiversity and the humane concerns that go with the inherent nature of this particular branch of life science, it would have to come up with innovative solutions. Expect that the national interest vs. capitalist interest. Vs. public interest debate to continue and rage on this one well, especially so when pan global efforts to harmonize laws come into play.

Nevertheless the human genome has been mapped on home soil and one can expect to see a Shakthi or a Shakthiman GMO making an entry soon enough (ho -ho don’t want a gene-gender spat here—We are all in dire need of a funny gene!)The world of Genes can either prove to be a serving of candy floss or a knock out grizzly bear punch

.With the rapid pace of advance, India’s moment of glory is sure to keep step with the rest and strike on the hour, at the hour.

JAI GENE HIND… and onto new biomed beginnings!


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