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Skin Gel to protect farmers from pesticides


In an effort to reduce harmful effects of pesticides on the handlers, a 13 member team from the Bengaluru - based Institute for Stem Cell Biology and regenerative medicine (Stem), under the Department of Biotechnology have formulated and patented a skin gel poly-Oxime made of chemically modified chitosan. Chitosan is a sugar obtained from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish, lobster, shrimp, and crab. The extract is used for medicine. 

Scientists are working to develop this gel since 2015. In Indian agriculture, organophosphate is the most commonly used one. This kind of pesticide affects the nervous system. Several numbers of farmers are affected by the use of this chemical.

While using this chemical precaution must be taken, masks, gloves, and suits should be used. But in Indian Scenario, no such measures are done and moreover, they are bit costly and bit suitable for Indian tropical climate.

It is in this background the gel can help farmers to protect themselves. The gel experimented on animal model proved to reduce the impact. The experiments are yet to be done on humans. Researchers are optimistic about its application on human beings. 

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