Tuesday, December 22, 2009

SK Brahmachari Manipulates Minister S&T

DG CSIR Brahmachari has used Minister of S&T Prithviraj Chavan’s ignorance of biotechnology to lie to parliament. Chavan, an engineering graduate, believing Brhamachari, told Parliament that sequencing the human genome is a "…unique achievement….” Chavan went on to compare this “achievement” to Chandrayaan-I moon mission.

How can this be a “unique achievement” when sequencing is commercially available, has been around for seven years, and can be done for $5,000? CSIR spent $30,000! Companies such as Complete Genomics, Inc. offer this as a simple service.

Scientists and technologist are speaking out to educate Mr. Chavan from Brahmachari’s hyperboles and lies.

Aravinda Chakravarti of Johns Hopkins University in the US and past president of the American Society of Human Genetics said the claims by the CSIR are "exaggerated."

Pushpa Bhargava, founder of CCMB said “These are the sort of statements that will bring down the credibility of Indian science. I was amused when I read the news reports that India has joined 'elite' league like the US, Britain, Canada, China and (South) Korea.”

D. Balasubramanian, a renowned biologist, said "With good machines you can sequence the human genome in 10 days."

G. Padmanabhan, a leading biochemist and former director of IISc, says there was nothing “striking or unique" in this announcement.

Another scientist at IISc said "You see companies advertising on the internet regularly and the costs are coming down rapidly.”

Brahmachari, in the wake of the CSIR-TECH fallout where his legacy of paper innovations were recently exposed, has been on a PR rampage to save face. This recent publicity stunt has failed and the reality of Brahmachari’s “innovation and science” is exposed.

NOTE: Quotes used in this article are from the Deccan Chronicle dated December 12, 2009

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