|Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) is a premier educational institution, reputed in teaching and research in a wide variety of disciplines. The University was established in 1966 and was subsequently renamed as Madurai Kamaraj University. It has taken the lead in starting educational courses in the areas of Bioinformatics, biotechnology, life sciences, computer science, futurology, journalism, etc.||
|Thus there is an increasing number of postgraduate students, research scholars and teachers who carry on the academic activities in the University. The university also has an active distance education programme which reaches throughout the country and has now extended to the neighbouring countries also. The information requirements of this expanding user base encompass a whole spectrum of diverse disciplines and topics covering Computer Science, Futurology, Material Sciences, Library Sciences, Chemistry, Economics, Energy, Mathematics and Physics. MKU is one of the few state-run universities which receive a substantial amount of funding from the Central Government and foreign agencies.In a decade of its existence, the centre has developed a number of databanks using different platforms including DOS and VAX, OSF, etc. These databases include Indian Plant Virus databank, Agrobacterium Tumefaciens, Bacillus Thurigensis, Neem, Rotifera, Graphical identification of protein digestion patterns and corresponding molecular weights, a relational databank for protein analysis, biotechnology instruments database, and macromolecular crystallization database.|
Bioinformatics Centre at Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU), Madurai, was
set up in 1987 as one of the nine distributed Information Centres (DICs)
under the Biotechnology Information System (BTIS) programme of the Department
of Biotechnology, Government of India. The main objectives of the centre
are to provide soft and hard data access, retrieval and analysis, molecular
structural analysis, biocomputational R & D, education and training,
etc. in the area of Biotechnology. The centre is equipped with state-of-the-art
hardware, software and computer networks. The hardware installed at the
centre includes DEC-Alpha, Micro Vax II, Pentium Pcs, LAN, Silicon Graphics
- Crimson Elan, Silicon Graphics O2 and multimedia workstations. The BIC-MKU
has increased its networking capabilities with a multi-environment LAN
providing INTERNET facility to its users. The centre is networked through
a KU BAND VSAT with BTISNET.
The centre has also developed many educational softwares and video tapes which are available to the users. The softwares developed by the centre include the software for enzyme fermentation, flowering plants, genetics, nervous system, protein game, bioleaching, tissue culture, structure of DNA, introduction to cell cycle and introduction to proteins. The video tapes developed include commentary on School of Biotechnology and DNA-Secrets of Life.
A National Facility on High Resolution Graphics was established at the centre in 1993. This provides facilities for structural refinements and molecular modelling to the users. This centre also specializes in giving training to individuals and groups. The training is given at two levels : the short-term orientation programmes, workshops and long-term Advanced Diploma Course in Bioinformatics. The centre has so far trained hundreds of scientists and managers both from R & D and industry.
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