A new human atlas initiative has been launched for creating a holistic picture of working of the human body.

Project Manav

  • It has been launched by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Persistent Systems, a biotechnology company.
  • The aim is to create a unified database of molecular networks of all the tissues in the human body and to derive a holistic picture of working of the human body.
  • In this public-private venture, DBT and Persistent Systems will invest Rs 13 crore and Rs 7 crore respectively.
  • This mega project will collate and integrate molecular information on human tissues and organs that currently remain in research articles in an unstructured and disorganised form.
  • The project would utilise a large biological community, both students and scientists, for extracting and adding the information from scientific literature at the level of cells and organs.
  • The database, that would get created, would eventually help researchers identify gaps in current knowledge and help in future projects in diagnostics and disease biology.
  • The project will be executed by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and the National Center for Cell Sciences (NCCS) based in Pune.
  • Manav will engage biology students to build their skills in reading scientific literature and deepen their understanding of the biological system.
  • The project will be executed in four steps
    • First will be creation of a robust online data annotation platform. 
    • Second step would involve data annotation and curation by students on the platform. 
    • Evaluation of generated data and model by faculty and then senior scientists for quality check would constitute the third step. 
    • Finally, integration of data, model building and visualisation.
  • This initiative will also help in creating a trained population of biologists.