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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Ayurvedic 'prakriti' has genomic basis

Ayurvedic 'prakriti' has genomic basis

 CCMB conducts study

Hyderabad: A genome-wide study to establish corelation between Ayurvedic prakriti classifications with genomic diversity has been undertaken by the city-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), with the collaboration of other institutes.

A research team at the CCMB, under the leadership of senior principal scientist Thangaraj, had taken up the mega programme including people from different institutions.

Well-trained Ayurvedic physicians screened about 3,400 people and the same sets of people were also screened by a software called AyuSoft developed by C-DAC, Bangalore, an official release said here Wedneday 4th November 2015..

People whose prakriti was in concurrence between the assessment by the Ayurvedic physician and by AyuSoft were recruited for the study.

Their blood samples were collected by respective participating labs. Isolation of DNA and genomic studies were carried out at CCMB using Affymetrix 6.0 SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) chip. This chip would bring out single nucleotide difference in the genome among the tested samples, the release said.

"When the data is plotted, interestingly, they fell into three groups, establishing the molecular basis for ancient classification," it said.

Ayurvedic prakriti classification is classification of people based on ayurvedic principles, Thangaraj said, adding this is the first genome-wide study to establish such corelation between Ayurvedic prakriti classifications and genomic diversity.

Analysis of these SNPs revealed that about 52 genes might be responsible for specifying the individual's prakriti or 'doshas'.

Thangaraj and his group took this study further and attempted to see if the samples collected randomly, without any information on their prakriti, would also fall into three groups after the analysis based on the 52 SNPs, which appear to be important.

CCMB Director Ch Mohan Rao said that this study would help to identify the prakriti of a person based on his/her genome.

"This is a major breakthrough, linking our ancient wisdom with modern science." He also said this work would inspire many more such studies. These studies should eventually lead to establishing Ayurveda on sound footing along with modern medicine.

These studies were recently published in an open access journal, Science Reports, of Nature group of publications.

Dr Valiathan, an eminent surgeon, scientist and educationist got interested in Ayurveda, learnt Sanskrit language, read the original books and started an area of research, aptly called Ayurvedic Biology. He, along with a few scientists, wanted to address the potential relationship between prakriti as described by three doshas with genomes of individuals, the release added.

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