Mapping the Cobra Genome.
It might raise a question in the minds of the people on how decoding a cobra's genome would help the human race. To answer this question Dr. Sekar Seshagiri, President of SciGenome Research Foundation spoke on the session 'Maping the Cobra Genome'. The talk started with him explaining how he along with other Indian scientists decoded the genome of the Indian cobra.
The study was published in the magazine 'Nature Genetics' which can be considered as an achievement as the study was exclusively done by Indian scientists. The speaker then explained the scientific basis of the study by explaining how the entire genetic data is similar to a novel where the genetic material is made of smaller compounds similar to letters and words in a novel. He then explained about the advantage of DNA sequencing as it can even help in understanding the inborn abnormalities in a child which can also help in prescribing drugs to treat that abnormality. He then gave the data of the number of snake species which accounts to over 3000 among which only 600 are venomous. He said that by decoding the genome of a venomous snake, we can understand the compound which results in the production of release of toxins and thus we can artificially synthesise anti-venom to treat a victim of snakebite. He concluded the talk by stressing on the importance of discovering new anti-venoms as India has the largest number of deaths from snake bite.