Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Jolting July

WHAT  an eventful month July turned out to be. After an exciting month for football fans all over the world in June, there was a series of  shocking airplane tragedies in July – the worst being the loss of our own airplane – MH17 which was downed by a surface-to-air missile.

Just too many innocent, aspiring and promising lives were lost in a blink of an eye over the Ukrainian airspace. While we lost big number of IT engineers in the MH370 tragedy in March, this time around the world lost a number prominent AIDS scientists and a spokesperson. Another potential scientist is Malaysian Mohd Ali Salim, future lecturer in the field of Neuropsychopathology Development. But no life is above another. The Petri Dish and MABIC team is saddened by every single life that perished in this disaster. We hope the families and the loved ones of the victims will stay strong.

On a lighter note – some takes from the World Cup. I am not a big football fan and would not like to sacrifice much of my sleep to watch the game, but every World Cup I do catch glimpses of important matches. Germany vs Argentina was a must and I made sure to set my alarm clock. While our Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak urges Malaysians to emulate the teamwork among Germany players, I saw something else which is equally worth of emulating – an investment and hard work of 10 years. Joachim Loew says the victory was the culmination of a project they started 10 years ago.  It simply goes to say that we cannot achieve anything with flip flop policies and direction, be it in education or research. This is something we really need in Malaysia. I have said this many times and I will repeat myself here – advancement in science and technology does not come overnight. We need to set our research priorities and follow it through till we achieve the desired results. This may take decades but perseverance is the key to success in research, development and commercialisation.

This month I am very happy to announce that the Petri Dish now has an on line version, where the content is partially available. Please visit: www.thepetridish.jimdo.com. We are hoping this will increase the newspaper’s visibility and add value to our partners who are supporting by taking up space, e.g. BiotechCorp, University of Malaya, MARDI and Monash University. I also trust this will help public research to really go public through the centerspread ResearchDigest.

Incidentally, last month we received two opinion pieces from two of our scientist readers – Dr Subhash Bhore from AIMST University and Prof Kalai Mathee, a Malaysian at Florida International University;  on antibiotic resistance. Their articles are published on page 5 & 9 respectively.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue. Your comments are most welcome as usual.

By Dr Mahaletchumy Arujanan

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