School of Biotechnology

Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai



Dr.K.Dharmalingam (Scientist in Charge)


Computer Graphics or Molecular Modelling is a mechanism whereby structural analysis, molecular design, databases of experimental information & molecular structure, and computed molecular properties were brought together as a powerful collection of tools for answering chemical and biological questions.  Presently, the impact of computer graphics is  extensively felt because of the rapid development of new computing and graphics technology.  This   has allowed the scientists to understand and explore the structure and functional relationship of molecules at their atomic level.  Such a way of seeing the macromolecules interact has been shown to be necessary to find ways of comprehending the situation and making attempts to redesign the interacting molecules.

The success of protein engineering today is a result of the combination of genetic manipulation techniques and three-dimensional modelling advances.  Thus for example more efficient enzymes and viruses with altered immune responses are constructed.   How the proteins and nucleic acids interact with themselves as for example in protein-DNA binding, receptor attachment antibody recognition - and in relation to the smaller molecular weight ligands can be seen, understood and simulated in real time using high resolution graphics facilities.  Molecular dynamics calculations can be checked using the graphics.  Real time manipulations of the interactions can be done by moving the molecules on the screen and seeing the effect in three  dimensions along with the energy of the interactions.

The emerging area of  application using the graphics is protein engineering and drug design.   This is known to involve three-dimensional manipulations of the structure and genetic engineering.   A typical use of the facilities will be to look at three dimensional structures of macromolecules that are known to have homology with a sequence of interest.  By superposition of either a predicted or a crystallographic ally determined structure with such known structures it will be possible to provide information of what mutant proteins or recombinant could be usefully tested.

The National Facility on High Resolution Graphics is available at Bioinformatics Centre  from 1993 and it was considered as the only of the its kind in this whole of this region that has turned out to be a boon to several institutions located in the South.  Presently, based on the extensive research knowledge gained by the use of this facilities has resulted in several major institutions such as the Madras University, Central Leather Research Institute and Bharathidasan University to acquire their own high resolution graphics facilities for their institutions.  In a way this facility acted as a catalyst to several of the south Indian augmentation of the  One Year Advanced Diploma Course in Bioinformatics at the Bioinformatics Centre, School of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University.