God of miniscule things – Pune Mirror

Chug some fine brews as you soak up the science behind gene editingStem cells, which have the unique ability to morph into different types of cells, fascinate Dr Deepa Subramanyam, a researcher at the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) in the city. She has been studying stem cells for well over a decade, and has given talks on the subject. I have always been fascinated by how a handful of embryonic stem cells can create a perfectly patterned organism, says Subramanyam.

This weekend, Subramanyam has been invited as Science on Taps guest speaker. The scientists presentation is titled Godplayer stem cells, gene editing and playing god! Science on Tap was started as a talk series to connect the public with some of the countrys finest scientists in an informal setting. Anybody is welcome to attend the event regardless of their age and background. I avoid using scientific jargon to make my presentation accessible to the general public, she adds.

Subramanyam says that research on stem cells began about 30 years ago. She is certain that stem-cell therapy can treat most human ailments, such as diabetes and heart disease, in the near future. According to Subramanyam, trials are underway to determine the effectiveness of stem-cell therapy. She, however, cautions: I would say that one has to be careful about stem-cell therapy at the moment you should not undertake it without proper approval.

Subramanyam enjoys interacting with the public. In the past, she has addressed an audience comprising children, as part of an outreach programme. The talk was on stem cells. The scientist is always surprised by the intelligent questions that children ask her. Youngsters can come up with some of the most difficult questions, as they have access to a lot of information, says Subramanyam, who confesses that at times she has wondered how she should proceed to answer them.

WHERE: Mr Rabbits Bar & Burrow, Baner Road WHEN: September 28, 5 pm

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God of miniscule things - Pune Mirror

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