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doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.157; Published online 
[10 November 2010 ]

Research highlight

RNA blocker to combat diseases

Researchers have found a new way to block the activity of microRNA (miRNA), a tiny type of RNA that suppresses the expression of certain genes and proteins1. This tiny RNA is present in every type of cell, and has been linked to various conditions such as cancer, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disease and renal function disorders.

This new method of blocking miRNA may open up new avenues for battling a host of diseases. To disrupt the activity of miRNA, the researchers used modified antagomirzymes, known as DNAzymes.

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Indian Genome Sequencing 
[ December 09/2009]

[ April 15, 2009 ]

Enzyme silencer for miRNA

doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.73; Published online 27 February 2009 The researchers: (L to R) Vaibhav Jadhav, Vinod Scaria and Souvik Maiti.

In an easy-to-design technique that could have wide-ranging applications in disease diagnostics and therapeutics, researchers have managed to cripple the activity of a new class of small RNAs — tiny workhorses responsible for gene expression and protein synthesis in our body1. This will further our knowledge of the functions of this class of RNAs — called miRNAs — in disease progression and ultimately in finding new therapeutic targets for treatment. 

[ Monday, April 17, 2006 ]

The human-HIV truce
Indian researchers are tracking a genetic material with the potential to stop the dreaded virus, writes G.S. Mudur

Vinod Scaria is a doctor and Manoj Hariharan studied biology in university. The two researchers, however, have spent the past several months discovering high-speed computers and software in a laboratory in New Delhi. And they have pitted their newly-acquired skills to unravel the mysterious “peace pacts” between some people and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes the dreaded and incurable AIDS.

The human - HIV truce in some, albeit rare, is no secret. The first signals surfaced during the 1990s ? about a decade after the discovery of HIV ? when doctors realised that a tiny fraction of HIV-infected people remained in good health years after infection. When doctors track HIV-infected people over many years ? whether it’s commercial sex workers in Kenya or haemophiliacs in the US ? they typically find some “lucky individuals” whose immune systems remain intact despite their exposure to HIV.

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