Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Cholesterol-lowering drug, in combination with chromium chloride, induces early apoptotic signals in intracellular L. donovani amastigotes, leading to death


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      Leishmania establishes a successful parasitism by evading both oxidative and non-oxidative killing pathways, and its drugresistance against the currently available therapeutics demands for a safe and cheap drug. Since the parasite synthesizesergosterol instead of cholesterol, using the same biochemical pathway and enzymes, an inhibitor of HMG-CoA-Reductase,Lovastatin, has been tried for its anti-Leishmanial effect. Lovastatin, being an inhibitor of HMG-CoA-Reductase, inhibitsinfection by cholesterol depletion, while chromium chloride complexes, at their higher concentrations, are reported toexhibit cytotoxicity. In intracellular amastigotes, cytotoxicity has been checked by assessing various manifestation of celldeath, viz. DNA fragmentation, AnnexinV-FITC binding and JC-1 fluorescence ratio. Release of hydrogen peroxide (HPO)and nitric oxide (NO) has been assessed in live cell. Lovastatin and CrCl3.6H2O in combination has appeared to beineffective on promastigotes but has induced cytotoxic effect on the intracellular amastigotes through up-regulation ofcellular signalling mechanisms. CrCl3.6H2O stimulates generation of NO, leading to reduction of the number of intracellularamastigote, while Lovastatin shows HPO-mediated killing of the same, keeping the host cell unaffected. This noveltherapeutic approach, involving two known safe compounds in suboptimal doses, may resolve human visceralLeishmaniasis.

    • Life cycle assessment of Chlorella species producing biodiesel and remediating wastewater


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      Constantly rising energy demands, finite fossil fuel reserves and deteriorating environmental conditions have invokedworldwide interest to explore the sustainable sources of renewable biofuels. Locally adapted photosynthetic oleaginousmicroalgae with rapid growth on variable temperatures could be an ideal way for bioremediating the wastewater (WW) whileproducing the feedstock for biodiesel. To test this notion, an unknown strain was isolated from a sewage fed lake (Neela-Hauz).It was discerned as Chlorella sorokiniana-I using the 16S rDNA and 18S rDNA barcodes. The culture conditions such as pH,illumination, different temperature ranges and growth medium were cohesively optimized prior to the assessment of C.sorokiniana-I’s efficacy to remediate the WW and biodiesel production. The strain has thrived well up to 40 deg C when continuouslygrown for 15 days. The highest lipid accumulation and biomass productivity were recorded in 100%WW. Fatty acidmethyl ester (FAME) content was observed to be more than twice in WW (47%), compared to control synthetic media, TAP(20%) and BG11 (10%), which indicate the importance of this new isolate for producing economically viable biodiesel.Moreover, it is highly efficient in removing the total nitrogen (77%), total phosphorous (81%), iron (67%) and calcium (42%)from the WW. The quality of WW was considerably improved by reducing the overall chemical oxygen demand (48%),biological oxygen demand (47%) and alkalinity (15%). Thus, C. sorokiniana-I could be an ideal alga for the tropical countriesin the remediation of WW while producing feedstock for biodiesel in a cost-effective manner.

    • COVID-19: Advances in diagnostic tools, treatment strategies, and vaccine development


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      An unprecedented worldwide spread of the SARS-CoV-2 has imposed severe challenges on healthcarefacilities and medical infrastructure. The global research community faces urgent calls for the development ofrapid diagnostic tools, effective treatment protocols, and most importantly, vaccines against the pathogen.Pooling together expertise across broad domains to innovate effective solutions is the need of the hour. Withthese requirements in mind, in this review, we provide detailed critical accounts on the leading efforts atdeveloping diagnostics tools, therapeutic agents, and vaccine candidates. Importantly, we furnish the readerwith a multidisciplinary perspective on how conventional methods like serology and RT-PCR, as well ascutting-edge technologies like CRISPR/Cas and artificial intelligence/machine learning, are being employed toinform and guide such investigations. We expect this narrative to serve a broad audience of both active andaspiring researchers in the field of biomedical sciences and engineering and help inspire radical newapproaches towards effective detection, treatment, and prevention of this global pandemic.

    • Decalepis salicifolia (Bedd. ex Hook. f.) Venter: A steno-endemic and critically endangered medicinal and aromatic plant from Western Ghats, India


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      Decalepis salicifolia (Bedd. ex Hook. f.) Venter is a potential medicinal and highly aromatic plant speciesconfined to the southernmost part of the Western Ghats of India. The plant is well known for its traditional usesamong the various tribal communities of south India. The tubers of the plant possess characteristic vanillin-likearoma due to the presence of the compound 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde. The tubers are used tosubstitute Hemidesmus indicus in various herbal formulations. The plants in the wild are continuously uprootedfor their roots, leading to the irreversible destruction of the whole plant. The resulting tremendous loss ofpopulations in the wild led to the species being declared as critically endangered by IUCN. Our group isworking on the various aspects of this species including population status, distribution mapping, prospection,and conservation management. In the present review, we have brought out the available information till date onD. salicifolia, including taxonomy, ethno-medicinal uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology, population status,and conservation efforts along with research gap and lacunae to provide direction for further research into thisless explored medicinal and aromatic plant.

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