Thursday, June 20, 2013

Oral Cancer & HPV

Oral cancer refers to cancer in any part of your mouth like tongue, lips, palate etc., Cancer may be due to various reasons like irritation due to continuous alcohol consumption, smoking, poor oral hygiene etc., And it can also happen due to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

Human Papilloma Virus is a type of non enveloped virus (Papilloma) that can infect humans. They are classified generally as "High Risk" and "Low Risk" types. The high risk type HPV 16 is found to cause oro-pharyngeal cancer.

Diagnosis: Generally biopsy is done where a small part of your tumor is removed and observed under microscope. The biopsy can be just cutting a small portion or it can also be done using brush for collecting the cells.

After confirming the abnormality using this microscopic observation, further analysis is done for finding out the type of HPV which caused the oral cancer or to find whether the cancer is just because of alcohol/smoking.

This further analysis can be done by genotyping for exactly finding out the type of HPV. This genotyping could be done by several methods. Some of the methods of genotyping are

  1. Line Probe Assay
  2. Assay based on Melting Temperature
  3. Using micro-arrays
  4. Hybrid Capture Test
  5. Multiplex PCR
All these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. Among them, the multiplex PCR is found to be very effective.

Symptoms: Any visible tumors or lesions which remains uncured more than two or three weeks. Difficulty in chewing, swallowing etc., This might also be the symptoms of other problems, but, it is better to go and consult a doctor when you have these symptoms.

To avoid oral cancer, avoid alcohol, smoking and maintain good oral hygiene.

Monday, June 10, 2013

First few days at RGCB as SRF!

It was 24th December I believe! I just saw the details of the Indian Academy of Fellowship only a week before the last date. I decided to apply for it and just applied in a hurry actually, yes, it was really a hurry! I was done with everything and sent the application.

I was waiting for the release of selected list of candidates from the first of March. They updated the selection list everyday but my name was not on the list till 25th of March! I used to go to the IAS website everyday and check the list, but, my name was not there in the selected list of candidates. I lost all my hope and decided that I won't get selected. But, it happened! I received a mail from the Academy after 25th of March! I was happy to the core, jumping up and down. Because, I was never out of my town from my child hood all alone. And, this fellowship was something really precious for me!

I believed that this would change my destiny to a better place! I was happy till my father said "no" to this. He was really afraid to send me out of my town! Yes, people in our town find it difficult to end their daughters for work or studies. But, I managed to convince my dad and he accepted to allow me to take up my fellowship.

And, the next problem after convincing my dad was, "when to join for the fellowship?" After lots of confusions, finally joined at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram which was allotted as a centre for my fellowship on 4th June.

And, this is the first time for me, away from home! That too, in another state where I don't know the language. I got accommodation in the Centre's hostel. My room mate, she is a Dehradun and I'm really enjoying her company.

In the centre, I got placed in Cancer Research Department and now I'm working on Tongue cancer. Cancer Research became my dream when I gained interest in molecular biology. And now, my dream is getting true!

You'll feel great when your dream is coming true and I'm feeling it now, right now! For many people this might sound a bit exaggerated, but, really only I can feel how much this is important for me! And, really I can feel the value of this opportunity.

This research experience will surely help me to get into a University for my graduation. And to the people who want to join RGCB, this is an awesome place, you can very well join here for better research experience! I recommend RGCB for getting Summer training.

In RGCB they provide accommodation for the fellows inside the campus in their hostel which is useful for the students from other states/ places.

The normal lab timing is from 9.30 a.m to 5.30 p.m. And students do research even late nights which shows their ultimate interest. People here are dedicated!

Learning many things apart from the academics, which will be very useful for the rest of my life. It is very safe in here and the place is really "God's own Country". People here are very friendly, smiling and caring, so that getting acquainted with the new environment becomes very easy!

Finally, I'm feeling free and independent for the first time in my life with a complete satisfaction of what I'm doing right now!

Want the IAS fellowship? Read "this" and apply next year! My Best wishes!

[ I did write this post as it might motivate someone or can serve as a piece of information who want to know about the SRF experience at RGCB]

Genotyping, Phenotyping, Karyotyping!

We are going to discuss here about three different typing! They are genotyping, phenotyping and karyotyping. Before learning about them let us learn what is genotype, phenotype and karyotype!
Genotype, phenotype and karyotype

Genotype refers to the genetic make up of an organism. Generally the genes of an organism. The genotype of an organism can be represented as BB or Bb or bb based on the gene. If a person is having two recessive CFTR genes, then he will be getting cytic fibrosis. Genotype of an organism has also effect over the phenotype. Thus, genotype is representing the alleles of a gene in general. Genotyping is generally done based on PCR or hybridization.

Phenotype refers to the visible characters like structure, color and also the biochemical characters. This is based on the phenotype. Phenotyping can be done using biochemical assays.

Karyotype refers to the number of structure of chromosomes in an organism. karyotyping is done by staining and visualising the cells under microscope.