I am Ravindra Pushker, working in a leading biotechnology company in Bangalore, India. I obtained my PhD in Bioinformatics from University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland under the supervision of Prof. Denis Shields and Dr. Jean-Marc Jacqué. I have a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. Prior to joining PhD, I worked as Research Fellow at Evolutionary Genomics Group, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Alicante, Spain with Prof. Francisco Rodríguez-Valera and Dr. Alex Mira. I have also worked with Prof. Samir K. Brahmachari (Director General, CSIR) at Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology, Delhi, India for two years.
The first 3G network was launched in 2001 and after 7 years 4G, the fourth generation of cellular wireless network was conceptualized. The way mobile communication has evolved in the last few years is amazing. However, still the whole world is using 3G network and it might take a few years for the 4G to come into practice. Similarly, in the field of DNA sequencing, after the identification of the first complete gene and the complete genome in early seventies, there have been a lot of developments regarding sequencing technologies. The first Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology was developed more than 20 years ago and in the last few years Illumina, Roche and SOLiD have revolutionized the field of NGS.
HIV, the cause of Acquired immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), was first discovered in 1981 and since then it has been one the most studied viruses in the world. According to World Health Organization, UNAIDS (2009) report, there are more than 33 million HIV-infected people worldwide living and India has more than 2.3 million people with HIV infection, third to South Africa and Nigeria only. [More]
Certain genomic characteristics of prokaryotes can be used to study the impact of ancient human activities on microorganisms. Bacteria specialised in human-associated niches underwent an intense transformation after the social and demographic changes that took place with the first Neolithic settlements. These genomic changes are absent in related species that are not specialised in humans. [More]
Planet Earth should be called Planet Ocean instead. The oceans, not only cover most of its surface, they are the cradle of all life and modulate the atmosphere's composition and climate. Still this major global ecosystem has been largely ignored by humans except for harvesting some of their upper tropic layers. [More]
The relative content of paralogous genes in bacterial genomes increases with genome size, largely due to the expansion of gene family size in large genomes. Gene family size is also influenced by sequence divergence and physiological function. Large gene families show wider sequence divergence, suggesting they are probably older, and certain functions are overrepresented. [More]
Although pseudogenes can persist for long time periods, they are effectively silenced. This reduces the metabolic investment on faulty proteins. However, it is unclear whether mutation accumulation on regulatory regions is neutral or whether it is accelerated by selection. [More]