Prof. Ajoy Kumar Ray, Padma Shri

Director, JISIASR Kolkata.

Dear Students,

The human civilization has been confronting one of the greatest challenges in its entire history – the number of Novel Corona Virus infections has touched 7,23,279 people worldwide today March 30th.

The researchers across the globe have been trying to understand what makes this Novel Corona Virus, which was first reported on 31st December in Wuhan of China, spread so easily and so fast.

Some of the genetic and structural analyses carried out by the scientists have identified few key factors – (i) a spike protein on the surface of the virus and (ii) a receptor on the human cell membrane, which provides the doorway through which this virus can enter the human cell. The ‘spike’ protein binds to the human cell membrane by a process that is activated by specific enzymes of the human cell.

The researchers have observed after Genomic analyses of the Novel Corona Virus, that the spike protein of 2019-nCoV differs from the spike proteins of the previous versions of Corona Virus, such as SARS and MERS, and its other close relatives. The understanding of its mode of transmission is important to find the solution for containing the disease. The scientists are racing to identify the drug which will block the pathogen.

I am not an expert on Microbiology, Genetics, Biochemistry or Virology – but here at JISIASR Kolkata we have expert faculty members in our Centre of Health Science and Technology. Some of them will write on some of the most fascinating topics on some of these areas, what they are doing in their research effort and so on.

Those of you who are interested to work on diverse areas of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics are welcome to our Institute at Salt Lake after the current lock-down period is over.

The story will not end here.

I will write in my next message short notes on the post Corona situation where our economy, business, health will witness massive slowdown. Science and Technology – education and research will play a big role in the reconstruction phase.

Data Science with all its branches like Machine Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, IOT etc. will play a major role in this phase.