The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science and Technology today announced plans to launch a floating lab on the Brahmaputra.
The aim of this floating lab is to study the biodiversity and ecosystem along the river’s floodplains to help guide river and flood management policies.
The Brahmaputra Biodiversity and Biology Boat (B4) initiative will place a barge equipped with laboratories to analyse soil, plants, microbes and water at different points along the river.
This is expected to generate new knowledge for multiple agencies involved in river management, senior biotechnology officials said.
The lab on the boat will provide scientists an opportunity to study plant biodiversity along the river’s floodplains, interactions between the water and biodiversity and impacts of humans on the ecosystem, said biotechnology secretary Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan.
Taking inspiration from a similar lab on boat in the river Amazon in South America, the science and technology ministry will set it up as part of its three biotechnology missions in the north-east.The other two missions include Phyto-Pharma Plants Mission and Frugal Microscopy Mission.
The Phyto-Pharma Mission will promote cultivation and conservation of endangered medicinal plants in the north-eastern states.
Whereas, Frugal Microscope Mission will provide foldscope (world’s cheapest microscope costing less than Rs 70) to schools, colleges and scientists for education and research.