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Bangalore Life Sciences Cluster to start COVID-19 research

Last Updated : 01 April 2020, 16:54 IST
Last Updated : 01 April 2020, 16:54 IST
Last Updated : 01 April 2020, 16:54 IST
Last Updated : 01 April 2020, 16:54 IST

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The Bangalore Life Sciences Cluster (BLiSC) has announced that it will soon start proposing projects intended to achieve an immediate and medium-term response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement, BLiSC said that it is “actively participating in the national effort to track, study and counter the pandemic.”

It added that this move was prompted by a March 21 meeting by the Empowered Committee for COVID-19 which mandated that all national research laboratories develop “speedy implementation of solutions related to COVID-19.”

The BLiSC comprises the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), the Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (InStem) and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-Camp).

Immediate effect proposals

Among the immediate-effect proposals that the Cluster is submitting to the Empowered Committee for fast-track approval include solutions for COVID-19-monitoring, based on the campus’ existing capabilities in molecular biology; genetics and molecular epidemiology for mapping disease spread and disease susceptibility and technological solutions for multiple aspects of COVID-19 management, including better diagnostic methods and clinical management.

Another immediate-term proposal includes developing techniques for better protection against infection.

Medium-term Response

The medium-response proposals comprise a multi-institutional effort to model the spread of the disease and using modern genomics and bioinformatics approaches to understand the evolution of the pathogen, specifically, its ability to cause disease and thereby map the susceptibility of human populations to COVID-19.

“We are proud to have been called upon to contribute to the national response to COVID-19, and will bring all the resources at our disposal to bear on this challenge,” BLiSC said.

Research groups at the Cluster have expertise in cell and molecular biology, genetics and genomics, epidemiology, analytic technologies, and computational modelling. The Cluster said it also has a suite of state-of-the-art technologies and facilities (DNA sequencing, microscopy, analytic chemistry). The laboratories are of the BSL-2 and BSL-3 grade.

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Published 01 April 2020, 16:53 IST

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