NIHIL ULTRA: Nothing Beyond

SXC - Rev. Fr. Franz Goreaux Central Research Facility

Introduction

The Central Research Facility (CRF) forms an integral part of research activities in the physical sciences and biosciences programmes of the college. It is being upgraded every year in terms of procurement of new advanced level instruments and computational facilities and the total assets now amount to more than Rs.2.0 cr. The centre now plans to extend its infrastructure to other Colleges and Institutions.

Major Objectives:

  • To encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary research among Faculty (both internal and external) in Chemistry, Microbiology, Physics and Biotechnology.
  • To encourage UG/PG students to handle sophisticated instruments and carry out experiments under 'Skill-based' module of the CBCS syllabus.
  • Enhancement of infrastructure such that summer trainees and project students can access the instruments.
  • To create a centralised server facility equipped with necessary software for theoretical analysis.


Within the period of the report the various laboratories have been used for the following procedures:

Cold Room - Maintained at 40C.

  • Storage of cryocan containing cryopreserved cells and for experiments which involve extraction of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) from culture supernatants
  • Making of lysate from animal cell culture
  • Transgenic lines of pigeon pea crushed with liquid N2 to isolate DNA and protein to check the integration and expression of transgene, respectively
  • To run gels for NATIVE PAGE - Gel electrophoresis in the absence of SDS to analyse the multimevic or native state of proteins.
  • Setting drops for crystallization.
  • Sample Processing - Antibody incubation for Chromatin Immunoprecipitation studies
  •  Sample Processing - Protein Isolation for recombinant plant protein expressed in bacterial cells.
  • RNA isolation
  • Protein isolation
  • Western Blot
  • Handling all proteins (GAPD, HSA, FHUD and BtUF) and preparing solutions at physiological pH.

 

Culture Laboratories:

Plant Tissue Culture:

• Laminar air flow unit - Tissue culture for sterilization and sowing of Arabidopsis thaliana seeds.
• Plant Tissue Culture Rack - Used for growing Arabidopsis plants in soil.

Animal Tissue Culture:

  • CO2 Incubator: Used extensively and specifically for mammalian cell culture.
  • Biological Safety Cabinet: Used extensively and specifically for mammalian cell culture.
  • Inverted microscope: Used extensively for viewing mammalian cells in culture.

Teaching Purpose:

  • Demonstrating usage of instruments mentioned below for Animal Cell Culture.
  • Culture and visualization of adherent cultures (e.g. murine fibroblast cells).
  • Visualization of suspension cultures (e.g. lymphocytes).


General Biology Laboratory:

  • Weighing Balance - Accurate weighing of fine samples for buffer or media preparation (e.g., Yeast extract, peptone, dextrose, Tris, EDTA).
  • Growth Chamber - Insect Bioassay & Fungal Bioassay and Incubation of plant.
  • Oil Pump - Vacuum desiccator is used for GUS expression studies.
  • Gel Electrophoresis apparatus - Running DNA gel.
  • Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer - Arsenic, Nickel, Cadmium and Iron test for bacteria.
  • BOD Shaker - Incubation of bacteria.
  • Cloning of cDNA in plant expression vector.
  • -200C Freezer - Used for storing reagents, antibodies at -200C.
  • Vortex - For vortexing samples.
  • Table top centrifuge - For centrifugation of samples.
  • DNA gel casting apparatus - For running DNA sample in agarose gel.
  • Running DNA and Protein Gel and setting up of crystallization trays (To keep in the cold room).

Chemistry Laboratory:

  • For accurate weighing and preparation of protein samples, buffers at various pH, antibiotic drug solutions, salt solutions, acrylamide stock solutions.
  • Designed Synthesis and purification recrystallization of Cu (II) complex with anthracene-azo-oxime.
  • Spectral & Electrochemical characterization of the Cu (II) complex. Instruments Used-Rotary evaporator with chiller Digital Balance, Magnetic stirrer, heating mantle with reflux condenser UV-Vis Spectrophotometer, Fluorimeter and Cyclic Voltmeter.

 

Science Education Laboratory:

Teaching Purpose:

• Second year U.G. Physics worked on the Vernier Mechanics system & performed serval experiments, testing out vernier sensors & the logger in the way.
• Department of Chemistry Semester -IV Instrumental Practical (Paper code: CH34511P) using the Labquest interface.



Instrumental Laboratory:

F-7000 Fluorimeter - For carrying out fluorescence and low temperature (77K) phosphorescence studies on -

  • 3-hydroxy naphthoic acid to study the ESIPT process and the effect of added salts at 77K.
  • Fluorescence and phosphorescence studies in certain newly isolated proteins like BTU-F and FHU-D both in their apo and substrate bound conditions like desferal, vit B12.
  • Quenching studies.
  • Interaction of Naproxen (anti-inflamatory drug) with BSA at 77K
  • Energy transfer processes at room temperature - warfarin with Eu3+ and Tb3+.
  • Effect of fatty acids on proteins.
  • Trp Quenching experiments.
  • To check the expression of “GUS” ligated promoter constructs.
  • Polyamine Quantification in different rice varieties
  • Polyamine Quantification in rice seedling under stress treatment.
  • Fluorescence study of luciferase assay in luminescence mode at 350nm excitation. The total area under the curve in presence and absence of unfolded BSA II protein was compared.
  • Recording of Luminescent spectra of the ligand and it’s Copper (II) complex.

U-2900 UV/VIS Spectrophotometer:

  • To obtain absorption spectrum of drugs like Naproxen and warfarin.
  • To check the O.D of Proteins like heme binding proteins (hutB) or bacterial enhancer binding protein, FlrA and thereby checking their interaction with the ligands such as heme by seeing the Soret shift at 385nm.
  • Quantification DNA/RNA at 260nm.
  • Absorbance reading for DNA/RNA at 260 nm.
  • Measuring purity of DNA at 260 / 280nm to verify the quantity of DNA before loading them in the southern gel.
  • Recording of UV-VIS spectrum of Copper (II) complex.
  • CH Electrochemical apparatus
  • Electrochemistry of the copper (II) anthracene-azo-oxime

 

HP Proliant Server:

  • A new reaction path determination method is developed to determine the lowest lying saddle point on a general path connecting the reactant and the product. The search is set up as an optimization problem and solved using the Adaptive Mutation Random Hill Climbing method.
  • Using the real value coded Genetic Algorithm coupled with the nwchem quantum chemistry package for energy determination, we are trying to determine the global minimum structures of small sized (10-20) -doubly charged- water clusters.
  • Measured the effect of gravitational wave on merging binary system near binary black hole.
  • Designed a dynamical model of cosmology based on some recent research works and trying to test the model using standard data.
  • Inclusion of effects of rotation in QMD model of quark.
  • Studying effect of gravitational waves near strong gravitational lenses.
  • We are studying the formation mechanism of Kirkwood gaps in the main asteroid belt in our solar system. First we were trying to understand this in the context of planar circular three body problem. Then we realized that planar elliptical three body problem is more appropriate for this. So, we were simulating directly the equations of motions of Sun-Jupiter and an asteroid (which initially placed at a particular gap). Initially we missed out several parameters of the problem which we have presently sorted out and able to produce similar results like previous authors using a new N-body code.
  • Two students use the desk for theoretical work along with the internet facility. One student works on gravitational collapse and the other student works on cosmological solutions in modified theories of gravity.

Extensive usage of -800C Freezer by scholars for storage of the samples related to research