Press "Enter" to skip to content

Indian-Origin Chemist Among Tech ‘Nobel’ Prize Winners For Revolutionary DNA Technique

The duo went on to co-found the corporate Solexa to make expertise extra broadly accessible to world


Cambridge University chemists Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman have been on Tuesday declared the winners of the 2020 Millennium Technology Prize, a prestigious world science and expertise prize awarded for his or her improvement of revolutionary sequencing strategies which suggests DNA can now be learn in super-fast instances.

The prize, awarded by Technology Academy Finland (TAF) at two-year intervals since 2004 – when Sir Tim Berners-Lee was honoured for his discovery of the World Wide Web – to focus on the intensive affect of science and innovation on the wellbeing of society, is price Euro 1 million.

Sir Balasubramanian, an India-born British professor of medicinal chemistry, and Sir Klenerman, a British biophysical chemist, co-invented the Solexa-Illumina Next Generation DNA Sequencing (NGS), expertise enabling quick, correct, low-cost and large-scale genome sequencing – the method of figuring out the whole DNA sequence of an organism”s make-up, which is proving essential in humanity’s struggle in opposition to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The duo went on to co-found the corporate Solexa to make the expertise extra broadly accessible to the world.

“This is the first time we’ve received an international prize that recognises our contribution to developing the technology – but it’s not just for us, it”s for the whole team that played a key role in the development of the technology and for all those that have inspired us on our journey,” the successful scientists stated in a joint assertion.

President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinisto, who’s the Patron of the prize, introduced the award to the scientists in a digital ceremony on Tuesday.

The announcement of the 2020 award was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the expertise is getting used to trace and discover the novel coronavirus viral mutations, which is a rising world concern.
“The future potential of NGS is enormous and the exploitation of the technology is still in its infancy,” stated Paivi Torma, Academy Professor and Chair of the Millennium Technology Prize Committee.

“The technology will be a crucial element in promoting sustainable development through personalisation of medicine, understanding and fighting killer diseases, and hence improving the quality of life. Professor Balasubramanian and Professor Klenerman are worthy winners of the prize,” stated Prof. Torma.

The 2020 prize marks the primary time that the honour has been awarded to a couple of recipient for a similar innovation, celebrating the importance of collaboration.

Professor Marja Makarow, Chair of Technology Academy Finland stated: “Collaboration is an essential part of ensuring positive change for the future. Next Generation Sequencing is the perfect example of what can be achieved through teamwork and individuals from different scientific backgrounds coming together to solve a problem.”

“The technology pioneered by Professor Balasubramanian and Professor Klenerman has also played a key role in helping discover the coronavirus”s sequence, which in turn enabled the creation of the vaccines – itself a triumph for cross-border collaboration – and helped identify new variants of COVID-19,” Makarow stated.

The successful work has helped the creation of a number of vaccines, now being administered worldwide, and is important to the creation of recent vaccines in opposition to new harmful viral strains. The outcomes will even be used to forestall future pandemics.

However, the International Selection Committee – the physique of specialists that evaluates all nominations for the prize – identified that it had made its resolution in February 2020, earlier than the worldwide unfold of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The expertise can also be permitting scientists and researchers to establish the underlying elements in people that contribute to their immune response to COVID-19.

This info is crucial to unravelling the explanation behind why some folks reply a lot worse to the virus than others. The outcomes of those research will likely be invaluable for understanding the way to minimise the probabilities of folks growing exaggerated inflammatory responses, which is now understood as being answerable for a few of the signs of COVID-19.

The successful NGS expertise has had, and continues to have, an enormous transformative affect within the fields of genomics, drugs and biology. One measure of the dimensions of change is that it has allowed a million-fold enchancment in velocity and price, when in comparison with the primary sequencing of the human genome.

The prize committee factors to how in 2000, sequencing of 1 human genome took over 10 years and price greater than a billion {dollars}.

Today, the human genome might be sequenced in in the future at a price of USD 1,000 and greater than one million human genomes are sequenced at scale every year, because of the expertise co-invented by Professors Balasubramanian and Klenerman. This means the world can perceive illnesses a lot better and way more shortly.

The NGS methodology’s potential to sequence billions of fragments in a parallel vogue makes the method quick, correct and really cost-efficient. The invention of NGS has been described as a revolutionary and novel method to the understanding of the genetic code in all residing organisms.

In the sector of most cancers, NGS is turning into the usual analytical methodology for outlining personalised therapeutic therapy. In addition to medical functions, NGS has additionally had a significant affect on all of biology because it permits the clear identification of 1000’s of organisms in virtually any type of pattern.

The NGS methodology includes fragmenting pattern DNA into many small items which are immobilised on the floor of a chip and domestically amplified.

Each fragment is then decoded on the chip, base-by-base, utilizing fluorescently colored nucleotides added by an enzyme. By detecting the colour-coded nucleotides included at every place on the chip with a fluorescence detector – and repeating this cycle a whole bunch of instances – it’s potential to find out the DNA sequence of every fragment.

The collected knowledge is then analysed utilizing subtle pc software program to assemble the total DNA sequence from the sequence of all these fragments.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    %d bloggers like this: