Over the last two decades development of several promising high-throughput proteomic technologies caused a phenomenal revolution in proteomics research. Direct involvement of proteins in most of the biological functions and a strong correlation of proteins with diseased conditions result into promising “bed-side” applications of clinical proteomics for early detection, rational therapeutic targeting, and patient-tailored therapy.
Proteomics is one of the most flourishing areas and realizing the immense impact of proteomics on clinical and industrial research, universities and colleges have started integrating basic and applied proteomics as a part of their course curriculums to keep the students aware of the basic principles of different commonly employed proteomics technologies and provide hands-on training for some of the instruments.
Proteomics has been a prominent part of biomedical research and it is now apparent that virtual labs hold the promise of making the protocols for good quality practical coursework available to a much larger group of people than conventional on-campus education can achieve.
Inclusion of virtual labs as a part of regular course curriculum will certainly be beneficial for developing countries where the number of qualified students is much larger than the number of universities able to afford the necessary infrastructures for advanced practical instruction. Thus, development of Virtual Lab in Proteomics at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay to rectify this situation and to spread the knowledge at university and college levels is highly appreciable.
Please note that although virtual labs can link theoretical knowledge to practical applications in a lab set-up, these resources can’t be expected to place individuals on an equal footing with those who have real-world training. Nonetheless, these platforms can be considered as a stage where students get a feel of what to expect in real-life experiments, acquire the necessary knowledge, and apply these concepts in physical labs at a future date.
Virtual Labs is an initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) Under the National Mission on Education thru ICT.
Its main objectives are:
To provide remote-access to Labs in various disciplines of Science and Engineering.
To enthuse students to conduct experiments by arousing their curiosity.
To provide a complete Learning Management System around the Virtual Labs.
To share costly equipment and resources, which are otherwise available to limited number of users due to constraints on time and geographical distances
Reported by: Dr. Venkat S. Karra, Ph.D