Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Thursday inaugurated Ancient DNA and BSL 3 laboratories at Madurai Kamaraj University. He advised the students to make best use of the facilities and think beyond textbooks.
According to a press statement from the university, the main objective of the Ancient DNA lab was to generate and analyse DNA data from the archaeological excavations of Tamil Nadu. The lab had been established following the models at University of Chicago and Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow.
It would be useful to provide genetic / DNA and other biological evidence for materials excavated by Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology. The total cost of setting up laboratory was ₹2 crore. The total outlay of the project was ₹3.3 crore, with support from RUSA, a Central government scheme.
MKU had set up BSL 1 and BSL 2 laboratories to conduct infectious disease research. The research programmes would also focus on highly contagious diseases caused by bacteria such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, anthrax, and viruses such as AIDS and hepatitis.
Whole genomes of various infectious agents were sequenced and analysed for understanding the pathogenesis and to develop diagnostic and therapeutic leads. The BSL 3 laboratory had been established with the support of the Department of Science Technology, through PURSE programme. The facility would be used for research in various infectious diseases, including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus. It would be useful for research on tuberculosis, HIV, COVID-19, brucellosis, anthrax, and other infectious bacteria and viruses.
Vice-Chancellor J. Kumar and Registrar M. Sivakumar were present.