Neem's mystery decoded
A scientific team analysis the ubiquitous plant
Neem is popularly accepted as nature's pharmacy but very little is known about its specific properties. However, Bangalore-based Ganit Labs, a genome sequencing and translational genomics lab, has taken it a step further. The company announced at a press conference here on Thursday that it had "completed the first de novo sequencing of neem". The not-for-profit, government-funded public-private initiative between Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biology (IBAB) and Strand Life Sciences, has completed the analysis of the neem plant and has unravelled its genome and coding parts.
Those involved in this study believe that by understanding the molecular architecture of the neem genome, knowledge about this traditional medicine will be enhanced. Announcing their achievement, Binay Panda, head of Ganit Labs said, "We believe our current sequencing study on neem will provide the right scientific impetus for students and young scientists in studying one of the most important plant species of our country."
M.N. Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Biotechnology, and Science and Technology, said, "The findings will be useful in education, healthcare and agriculture." "The results of the neem project have been communicated to the State Biodiversity Board," said Vijay Chandru, Chairman and CEO of Strand Life Sciences.