School of Chemical Sciences (SCS) at Mahatma Gandhi University will participate in a two-year Indo-German collaborative research project in an advanced research area.According to C.T. Aravindkumar of SCS, who is to lead the Indian research team, the project titled "Oxidative DNA Damage Induced by Reactive Oxygen Substances" has direct relevance in the investigation of the process of human aging and development of cancer. The project sanctioned under the DST-DAAD Programme will have Eckardt-Schupp from Radiation Biology Institute of GSF-National Research Centre, Munich, Germany, as the partner.According to Dr. Aravindkumar, the DNA, which carries all the vital instructions for structure and function of a cell, is subject to continuous damaging effects from various noxious chemical and physical agents.Estimates show that 10,000 to 15,000 oxidative DNA damaged sites are produced per human cell per day on account of formation of reactive oxygen substances (ROS) in living cells. Such oxidative damages are generally regarded as the cause of aging and degenerative diseases such as cancer and an increasing number of non-cancerous diseases such as heart disease, cataract and brain dysfunction. The scientific collaboration includes the chemical investigation using isolated DNA at the SCS laboratories and biochemical investigation using human blood cells at the Radiation Biology Institute, Munich. GEORGE JACOB