On National Science Day, Hats Off To Dr. J. Fathima Benazir For Making Scientific Research Safer
Female Indian scientists have been around forever, even though science and technology has traditionally been seen as a male domain. On the occasion of National Science Day, it’s time to look at one such achiever and celebrate her work.
Science permeates every aspect of our lives and the impact of research is manifold. A recent discovery of a new ‘stain’ used for research by a female Indian scientist Dr. J. Fathima Benazir, is path breaking. According to the dictionary, a ‘stain’ is a reagent or dye used for staining microscopic specimens.
The impact of this discovery is big! As the study mentions, researchers in “DNA analysis, DNA forensics and genomic labs are constantly exposed to toxic and carcinogenic nucleic acid stains. The currently available nucleic acid stains are synthetic and are known to cause mutations and adversely affect health. The improper disposal of these stains causes environmental and aquatic hazards. Although several handling and safety practices are followed, the exposure to these chemicals becomes inevitable during their long term use.”
Dr. J. Fathima Benazir who started her career as a lecturer, is a highly acclaimed scientist. An expert in microbiology, cell biology and biochemistry, and a postdoctoral researcher from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, she has founded the IISc-incubated start-up, Azooka. It has developed a food-grade nucleic stain which is claimed to be the ‘safest and fastest stain in the world market’, and it is a first in the scientific world.
According to Dr. J Fathima, “Tinto rangTM would be safe even on consumption as it is a food additive and thereby, would play a significant role in protecting the scientific community from exposure to carcinogens and mutagens.”
Thanks to the ISRO Mangalyaan and the launch of 104 satellites, Indian female scientists have shot into the limelight. Science is not only celebrating the 8 female scientists with ISRO who worked for space research, but are also hailing them as path breakers for women across India, to join diverse fields in science and technology.
Women, with various life choices, are proving themselves as change agents in our world indeed. You can follow Dr. J. Fathima here on her pioneering journey in the realm of scientific research.
Written by Inderpreet Kaur Uppal