CDRI develops DNA gel stain, needed in RTPCR

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Lucknow, Feb 19 (IANS) The Lucknow-based CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute has developed a DNA gel stain called ‘GreenR’, which is critical in RT-PCR and other diagnostic tests.

At present, India is dependent on foreign nations for imports to conduct several of these tests.

However, the landmark innovation is expected to reduce reliance on other countries and provide a cost-effective alternative to expensive RT-PCR diagnosis.

The institute also claimed that ‘GreenR’ is India’s first indigenous DNA gel stain.

‘GreenR’ has been developed by CDRI chief scientist Atul Goel with his four researchers in collaboration with Hyderabad-based Biotech Desk Private Limited.

“It provides an economical alternative to commercially available dyes that are used to stain DNA/RNA, which are currently imported,” said Atul Goel.

“In any diagnosis, DNA and RNA need to be stained to be detected and quantified. Till now, researchers had been dependent upon stains like Ethidium bromide which intercalates between the DNA strands, and upon shining UV light, it fluoresces orange, thus helping visualise DNA. However, Ethidium bromide is a known mutagen to bacteria, animals, and humans. Hence, its usage is risky for the user and its disposal needs special treatment,” he added.

“To overcome these issues of toxicity, some companies have invented safe DNA dyes but these dyes have substantial cost as they are expensive to import and have a patent royalty on their usage,” he said while adding that it costs around Rs 4000-5000 per test.

‘GreenR’ will help researchers in the field of Life Sciences to bring down their costs substantially.

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