Thursday, February 22, 2007

SCIENCESS Sports Carnival : From the eyes of participant

On February 11, 2007, SCIENCESS had organized the first ever Sports Carnival in IIUM Indera Mahkota campus. This event was held in IIUM Indera Mahkota compound. As the main objective of this sports carnival is to strengthen the brotherhood and sisterhood between all Kulliyyah Of Science (KOS) students and staffs, all the activities are team-based. The students are divided to 4 main groups : Coral, Chartreuse, Magenta and Dodge Blue whereas the staffs have their own team. As for the activities, there are futsal, 3 on 3 basketball and volleyball tournament for the brothers. As for sisters, there are netball and volleyball tournament plus two local games i.e. “Galah Panjang” and “Bola Beracun”.

Furthermore, there is also an activity that collaborate both brothers and sisters i.e. the Explorace. As it’s the only activity that needs explanation (plus I, myself competed in the Explorace), I’m going to elaborate more on it. Each team comprises of 8 members. There are 8 teams competing in this race. First team to arrive at the finish line i.e. IIUM football field wins the game. Explorace is not for the faint-hearted and “slow motion” runner as we have to race against the time. There are 8 checkpoints that participants have to go before reporting at the finish line. Upon arrival at each checkpoint, participants will obtain their clue for the next checkpoint. The clues aren’t given for free; participants have to complete all the tasks given by the committee at each of the checkpoints. The most not-so-sweet moment for me is that, at one of the checkpoint (KOS cafĂ© to be exact), we have to transfer 10 disgusting centipede-like worms (I’m not sure about the genus or species. Still, it’s the kind of worm that you never ever thought of holding with your bare hands) into a container! However, only two members of each team have to do this task (that was me and my friend!). The catch is, you can only transfer one worm at a time. All the tasks given need teamwork, plus mental and physical fitness as well.

In spite of the extreme tiredness, (as a result of running all around campus under the hot sun), we find ourselves enjoying most of the time during the race. After all, the main objectives of this sports carnival are to enjoy ourselves and get to know each other. The final results and standings, however, will be announced during the upcoming SCIENCESS Family Day (you’ll get your prizes, don’t worry).

From my opinion, this sports carnival is a success! Congratulations to the director, and all committee members that have made it a wonderful experience for us, the students and staffs of KOS.Keep up the good work! Go SCIENCESS!!

Reported by : Saif

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Career Talk: Report

One question I was always asked during family reunions, was “what are you studying now?”. This wasn’t hard to answer. “Biological science”, I would say proudly. That was at the Matriculation Center, or as it is known now as, the Center for Foundation Studies. Today, when asked the same question, I would say “biomedical sciences”. But one question I could never answer, regardless of whether I was at the CFS or in Kuantan now, was “what are you going to work as after you graduate?”. This question has always caused me problems. Luckily for me though, Sciencess had just recently organized a career talk, “The Scientific Apprentice”.

On the 10th of February, at our very own KOS, Sciencess held career talks for it’s students, from all three courses, biomed, biotech and CTS. Originally, there were supposed to be three separate talks for each separate course. Unfortunately, the speaker who was invited for the biotech students had some last minute plans which could not be avoided, so in the end, the biotech and biomed students attended the same talk. Also unfortunately, we had no representative from CTS students, so this report will be focusing on the talk for bio-related students. Sorry CTS guys!!! =’(

The speaker for the career talk, entitled “Career in Biology: Commercialization and Contemporary Issues”, was Dr. Ahmad Aman, the Board Director of Far East Company. The talk for bio students was initiated by Quranic recitation by bro. Badrul Aini bin Sha’ari, followed by a speech by the Head of Department of biomedical science, Dr. Ibrahim. This was followed by a video show, produced by the students, with the intention of providing the students and speaker, a rough idea of what the students knew about their future prospects, and what they expected from the career talk.

Now, I know I said we don’t have a representative from CTS, which is why this report will be based on the bio-talk, but even so, I think I’ll share with you Dr. Ahmad’s advice for the students, which can help us all, not just the bio-students =)

First off, some bad news. Based on a current survey, Malaysia has been categorized under “technologically lagging”. This isn’t good for us. When our neighbors Indonesia is considered “technologically developing”, and Singapore “technologically proficient”, we need to pray and work for the development of our country’s technological requirements.

For this to be possible, Dr. Ahmad had some pretty good advice for all science students in general (take note now =p). Firstly, he said we need to think “global”. Malaysia is not the only place where we can work. And Malaysia is not the only place where we can make a difference. Sure we need to support our country, but sometimes, we need to leave it for the better. We could for example, continue our studies or do research overseas, and come back to share our knowledge and findings, which can help develop Malaysia even more. Also, we need to be hardworking (you should know that already =p). With about 20 universities in Malaysia, and with a few hundred graduates from each university, finding work will definitely be a challenge. A few things which could help tip the scales in our favour though, include the following.

#1. Craziness. Yup. Craziness. Actually, he meant creativity. It doesn’t help to think along the same lines as everyone else. One of my lecturers once said, in order to be outstanding, you must standout. So think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to try new things. And don’t be shy to share ideas. For all you know, you might have a brilliant idea, but it never gets implemented because you weren’t confident enough to share your idea.

#2. Communication. Knowledge isn’t the only thing which is important. Like I said above, having brilliant ideas is pointless, if you can’t present them in a confident manner. Dr. Ahmad also mentioned how sometimes during job interviews, what we say is of no significance. But how we say it, that’s what makes the difference. So presentation skills are also important to be able to succeed in the job market. So start brushing up your skills in class presentations! =p

#3. Ethics. Being students of IIUM, we are in some way, incorporated with certain ethical values that aren’t found in graduates of other universities. Dr. Ahmad said this is a very significant characteristic which some companies look for in graduates. Being muslim, and brought up in an Islamic university, the ethical perspective of our work could be what raises us higher than grads of other universities. Dr. Ahmad also pointed out that currently, IIUM grads are in high demand. However, there were a few bad apples ruining IIUM’s image. So for all future grads, he advised us to protect the image of IIUM.

#4. Be realistic. It’s good to want to try everything, and to want to do everything possible to be the best. But, sometimes this can backfire, in a bad way. Dr. Ahmad said it would be wise for us to identify a field of interest, and work on that field, rather than target a few fields, and try to be good in all of them, and in the end, not excel in any.

#5. Lastly, awareness. With an ever-changing economy, and an ever-demanding world, the market will definitely change from time to time. Say at the moment, the demand for “X” graduates is high. But by the time we graduate, the demand might shift to a high demand for “Y” graduates, with X and Y representing different fields of work. Anticipation of the market’s demands can be a huge help in deciding which field of work to choose.

Well I guess that’s all I have for you. InsyaAllah, if we work hard, and remember Allah, He will guide us to what is best for us, for our country, and ultimately, for the ummah, insyaAllah.

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Bro Badrul with the Quranic recitation

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Our MC for the nite..bro Matiin

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HOD of Biomedical science..Dr. Ibrahim

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Dr. Ahmad Aman with his speech

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Our "talk show" career talk

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Dr. Ibrahim presenting Dr. Ahmad a sign of thanks

Reported by: Jazli
Pics by: Jazli

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Career Talk

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Design by: Szakif
Report will be updated later...

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Talk on Free Radicals in Cardiovascular and Diabetes and Obese Rights

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Diabetes. Hypertension. Obesity. Those are some of the most commonly flung words in today’s health lingo. The difference between the life threatening diseases of the middle ages and that of today’s is that theirs come from unalterable factors such as plagues and wars, while ours can be greatly prevented with a some good choices of lifestyle. Despite the saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ many of us would only address a problem that has occurred, and not foresee problems in the future. This is reflected by the figures of those diagnosed with lifestyle diseases such as diabetes type II, obesity, gout, and hypertension being on the rise. After all, how long can the human body keep on correcting the gross amounts of fats and sugars that the average modern person consumes? It’s when the over exhausted body can no longer deal with the extra cheese and patty in your delicious double Whopper that our modern diseases happen.

So, it seems that prevention is better sounding in theory than in practice. Does that mean the rest of us shortsighted beings are doomed with a stiff heart in the near future? According to Dr. Lindsay Brown and his team of researchers from The University of Queensland, Australia, this isn’t necessarily true. Currently, Dr. Lindsay Brown and his team are studying the important role of reactive oxygen species in the development of cardiovascular disease in obesity and diabetes. He was delivered a brief lecture concerning his research through invitation from his friend and our very own Dr. Tariqur Rahman. The talk was aimed at giving some of the more senior students some ideas as to what and how to conduct a study for their final year project.

From what was shared with us, the findings of his study using rats as models seem highly promising. A comparison was made between 2 different subjects: rats that are induced via diet to develop symptoms typical of cardiovascular disease only, and rats that are induced via diet to develop the same symptoms, but with an addition of L-arginine in the diet; as a well as control rats that followed a normal diet. In each test, the rats induced via diet to develop symptoms of diabetes and cardiovascular disease mimicked the symptoms of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in humans. However, the rats that were also fed L-arginine, a precursor of an important antioxidant, in high concentrations seemed to suffer no physiological changes typical of disease and measured values similar to the control rats. In other words, the antioxidants prevented the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease! This directly supports his theory that reactive oxidant species or free radicals such as superoxide play an important role in causing the diseases of obesity. Of course, the doctor stressed that the findings are confined to rats but currently they have begun clinical trials with several volunteers of subjects suffering from untreated hypertension in India, coincidentally the country he visited before dropping by Malaysia.

Although we still shouldn’t over do the ice cream and greasy fries, the prospect of preventing, hypertension and diabetes simply by an uptake of L-arginine which seem to show no side effects in the rats, are worth getting cautiously optimistic about.

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Report by: Khayriyyah
Photos by: Szakif

Tuesday, February 6, 2007