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Nigeria set to establish first DNA learning center in Africa


– Inadequate equipment is one of the biggest challenges that hamper the development of science education in Nigeria

– However, this may gradually be over as the country positions itself to become the hub of genetics research in Africa

– An ultra-modern DNA Learning Centre is expected to berth in Nigeria anytime soon

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An initiative to establish a multi-million-naira research and learning centre in Nigeria is in the works.

As Nigeria looks to invest in genetics research, the facility, an ultra-modern DNA Learning Centre is expected to berth in Nigeria anytime soon.

Legit.ng gathered that the facility will be located at the Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu state.

Genetics research: Ultra-modern DNA Learning Centre to berth in Nigeria

Experts say molecular laboratories have become necessary in Nigeria. Photo credit: scienceopen.com
Source: Facebook

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Already, the president of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), Dr Bruce Stillman and the executive director of the DNA Learning Center New York, Dr Dave Micklos, approved the $300,000 waiver and issued a license to the Nigerian university to host its first center in Africa known as the DNA Learning Center, Nigeria.

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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is unarguably one of the most influential research centre in the world, and an important international centre for molecular genetics, where over 600 scientists conduct groundbreaking research in cancer, neurobiology, plant genetics, and bioinformatics.

Established in 1890, CSHL is recognized internationally for its educational activities, including an extensive program of scientific meetings and courses that attracts more than 9,000 scientists to the campus each year.

Experts say the university’s effort is consistent with the policy of the Nigerian government to deliberately scale-up research in science-based disciplines to signify a paradigm shift in favour of research excellence in Nigerian universities.

According to them, molecular laboratories have become necessary especially for the need for increased understanding, rapid testing and diagnosis of COVID-19, Lassa fever and related viral diseases in the county and the African continent.

The objectives of the centre include to support and facilitate adequate hands-on laboratory experience in molecular biology in Nigeria and Africa.

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It is expected to offer top-notch experimental classes and practical workshops for students at all levels and administer diverse pieces of training through workshops and development seminars for teachers in genetics and biotechnology.

It is expected that these interventions will prepare students to effectively compete and gain admissions into strong international degrees or exchange programs in institutions all over the globe.

The centre’s assistant director, research and training, Michael Okoro, a pioneer alumnus of Godfrey Okoye University explains.

His words: “The DNALC is an operating unit of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the United States that is focused on science education and research in order to communicate biological sciences to a young generation of researchers, and students in the secondary and tertiary institutions, carefully extending the training to incorporate genetics, genomics, DNA science and evolutionary studies in their curriculum.”

Meanwhile, the World Bank has approved a $75 million facility to support Governor Godwin Obaseki’s vision of holistically revamping Edo state’s education sector.

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Governor Obaseki made the disclosure on Thursday, August 27, during his re-election campaign rally in Usen, Ovia South West local government area of Edo state.

The governor assured that the money which was approved by the World Bank board on Wednesday, August 26, will be utilised to change the face of education in Edo and Nigeria for the next three years.

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