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Laboratories

Introduction

Following resources are available for the students and researchers at the Environmental Sciences Department;

  1. Central Analytical Research Lab
  2. Biotechnology
  3. Microbiology
  4. Applied Chemistry
  5. Research Nursery Farm
  6. Bioremediation Lab
  • Central Analytical Research Lab

    Central Analytical Lab deals with analyses of heavy metals in food, water, soil and plants by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, analysis of aromatic and volatile compounds from food, water, soil and plants by Gas Chromatography. Apart from pesticide detection the facilities in the lab are enough to analyze pharmacological compounds from medicinal plants by HPLC.

  • Biotechnology Lab

    Biotechnology lab is mandated with DNA fingerprinting, gene mapping, genomic analysis and tissue culture. Currently, gene mapping and tagging through DNA fingerprinting of economically important plant species is in progress.

  • Microbiology Lab

    Laboratory of Microbiology handles biological and microbiological testing of drinking water, study on the microbiology of waste water, urine R/E and culture blood-urine

  • Applied Chemistry Lab

    Laboratory of Applied Chemistry is involved in the analysis, treatment and recycling of the effluents of textile, tannery and chemical industry.

  • Plant Research Farm

    Plant Research Farm provides favorable environment to conduct graduate level research in agriculture, pharmacology, ecology, biotechnology, plant genetics, and plant pathology. At present a number of medicinal plant species, ornamentals, vegetables, fruit trees, forest species and cereal crop species are grown in the farm. Moreover, the department aims at providing technical support, policy advice and community services in environment, health, agriculture and water sanitation, Long term goal of the department is to provide innovative, practical and culturally acceptable solutions to the inherent and upcoming environmental problems of Pakistan.

Biotechnology

In 2008 the major focus areas are;

  1. Understanding and manipulating genetic mechanisms underpinning biotic, abiotic environmental stresses, quality and yield related traits in a number of important crop plant species.
  2. Direct discovery of genes and mapping mechanisms using comparative genomic and association mapping techniques
  3. Exploring genetics of Bio-fuels and other energy potentials in plant species (generally Biodiversity studies using biotechnological tools)
  4. Reclaiming degraded soils by exploring diversity in plant species using gene and genome based technologies
  5. Identification and characterization of pharmaceutically important compounds from the indigenous plant species
  6. Microbiological diversity investigations of drinking water, soils, wastewater, and plant species. 
  7. Transformation and genetic engineering in microbes and plants

Research Facilities

The biotechnology lab at CIIT Abbottabad is equipped with the state of art technology that enables the students and researchers to conduct experiments and derive conclusions. The lab provides complete facilities for the following,

  1. DNA Analysis
  2. Tissue culture

Why these facilities?
These are the foundation for the modern biotechnology research. DNA Analysis determines the gene pattern and the landscape of the genome. While the genetic transformation can not be possible without a complete and modern facility of Tissue Culture. DNA Analysis helps in the plan bio diversity finder printing and preserving.  This is important for propriety rights as demanded for the WTO compliance. This is a must for ownership and quality assurance. Crop improvement or production improvement is another basic activity that demands the research as is taking place at CIIT Abbottabad, e.g. wheat potato and maize plants, also the medicinal plants that are rich in the northern areas of Pakistan and hence contributing to the pharmacy production of Pakistan.

DNA Extraction
DNA extraction is a routine procedure to collect DNA for subsequent molecular or forensic analysis. In Biotechnology lab at CIIT Abbottabad the DNA is being extracted very successfully from different varieties of seeds and leaves of different plant s
The important equipments being used in the extraction process of DNA are


Heating and shaking Water bath
The devices guarantee a careful heating up and a high constant temperature level. Our shaking-water-bath comes with a volume of 20 liters.


Centrifuge machine
These machine sediments the particles, molecules cell components according to their weight, size and densities.


Gel electrophoresis
Gel electrophoresis is a technique used for the separation of deoxyribonucleic acid, ribonucleic acid, or protein molecules using an electric current applied to a gel matrix.
 

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique widely used in molecular biology. PCR can be performed without restrictions on the form of DNA, and it can be extensively modified to perform a wide array of genetic manipulations.

Research Nursery farm

Research nursery farm is managed by the Bio-Technology team of the Environmental SciencesDepartment at CIIT Abbottabad. In short period of time the abandoned land is converted into a rich research farm. The team has many development plans to transform the facility into a modern nursery for the benefit of students and faculty.

Further to the research at improving the staple food plants, the faculty and students take keen interest in developing better varieties of medicinal and ornamental plants. The plants are carefully collected from the Northern mountains, the researchers hope to contribute to the national pharmaceutical industry and the economy by promoting cultivation of these rare plants, that remain un-explored till this day.