(By Aaliya Sageer 11 B)

The students of classes 11 and 12 of the Biology batch of Indian Educational School, Kuwait had the privilege of visiting the Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research on Sunday 9 December, 2018. The students were guided by Dr. Jayashree, who took them to the various labs such as DEXA Laboratory, Genetic and Food Processing Lab, General Microbiology Lab, and MAPs Laboratory. The students were first taken to the Molecular Biology lab, where Dr. Nasreen explained to them about the different processes and equipment used in DNA separation, amplification and identification, like electrophoresis, DNA extraction and column chromatography. Dr. Nasreen further took the students to another lab to show the work done by the scientists and the high technology used to detect adulteration in food and water products made by the companies in Kuwait. Dr. Julie then talked about the different safety methods and protocols followed in the lab. She highlighted the importance of following safety measures as a lot of bio hazardous wastes can be produced if proper protocols are not in place. She taught the students to grow and test different cultures and check the level of coliform in different samples. The next lab that the students were taken to was the Nutritional Assessment Lab, where body composition and energy expenditure are calculated to check the healthiness of an individual. Students had the opportunity to see the machines like the bodpod that are used for calculating the same. Dr. Jayashree took the students to the Food Processing Lab, where Dr. Noor talked about the successful projects and experiments taken up by KISR, such as the development of beta-glucan enriched Arabic bread, and obtaining vegan proteins from kidney beans. Dr. Mehraj talked about an ongoing project, which aimed at developing biodegradable Nano packaging films for the poultry industry, using substances like PLA, gelatin and essential oils. The students were then led to the MAPs Lab. Dr. Krishnakumar then conducted a seminar on his ongoing experiment, which is in collaboration with the University of Guelph, Canada. His experiment details the production of an agricultural system designed to address the nutritional problems faced in Kuwait, specifically by using different kinds of light to get different results from the same plant. Customized lights and nutrition are provided to the plants, which are grown using the hydroponics technique. He then took the students to his lab where they witnessed his project wherein plants were grown using red, blue and white lights. The students were also taken to the greenhouses located outside the general building and Dr. Krishnakumar explained the techniques there. The trip to KISR was truly a unique educational experience for the Biology students and greatly beneficial for them as the topics taken during the trip were part of the students’ educational curriculum.

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