Monday, February 11, 2008

SCIENCESS Induction Course

Loose and Leisure – that was the theme for last SCIENCESS Induction Course attended by all the Executive members of the society. Held at Dusun Eco Resort, situated in the middle of the jungle of Bentong, Pahang from 25th till 27th January 2008, the members really had fun of it besides other spiritual and mental inputs.

The core objective of the course was to build and strengthen the bond between the Exco members as it was important for the society to work in a friendly and closely environment throughout the tenure. There were many activities in the course covering both outdoors and indoors. The indoors aimed to provide comprehensive medium for them to know each other more and to recognize each and everyone’s strength and weaknesses. Meanwhile, the outdoors like jungle trekking, crossing the hanging bridge, and flying fox challenged their ability to fight the fear in them. Cooperation, laughter and joy shone throughout the course signaling the objective was successfully grabbed. Not only that, but in the end of the course tears were shed as everyone breathed out their feeling sharing about being members of SCIENCESS Exco.

All in all, it is hoped the leaders in our society to be in one united ally to lead the society and its members towards exceptional academic and co-curricular achievements.

Flying without wings!

Who can produce and sell the best cars for obirigin?!

Having meals together...

The HeadComms and their respective assistants are discussing on how to solve problems related to their bureaus.

"Women are better than men!" Dzaqqee says.
"No! We are weak. How come you can say we are better?" Latifah replies.

Reciting ma'thurat together after Subh prayer.

These are the 22 people (including the man behind the camera ;p) - the leaders of SCIENCESS.

Crossing the hanging bridge really challenges your determination to reach the other end.

Preparing for Flying Fox.

Session with Presidential - it's time to analyze their strength and weaknesses.

Prepared by:
Secretary General

Monday, February 4, 2008


From the creators of Shrek...
Eh! From the creators of SVC...


This is what PRI (Public Relations and Information Bureau) have been working for these past few weeks! We're in the final stages of editing, so you can look forward to reading it soon.

Erudition is a by-students-for-students newsletter, so to speak. Every semester, there's going to be two editions. We're now looking for people with ideas on how to make it more interesting or anyone who wishes to become part of the editorial team. People who love to write, draw, and design.

You know how newsletters can be... Boring articles and cartoons that make President Bush with nuts in one hand and a placard in the other saying "America for global peace"... Funny-ish. Help us not make it that (by which we mean both). Help us make Erudition enjoyable to read. Think of Erudition as your newsletter. You decide what's going to be in it. Well, actually, that's if you sign up. We'll be expecting you! ^_^

SCIENCESS Video Competition

PRI is proud to bring you...

The SCIENCESS Video Competition!

The rules are simple. Shoot. Win. That's it, really. There are five cash prizes altogether, amounting to a whopping

RM 990!

Think about it for a second. Just how many people in campus have videocams? Do the math, and figure out your chances of winning!

Of course, this is just a lure to get you guys to participate =) Now that you've taken the bait...

MWAHAHAHA! Our evil marketing scheme worked!

Don't read the fine print on our posters.

ScienceTrex - Malaysian Genome Institute

The group departed from Kuantan at 5 A.M. and, naturally, hibernated all the way to Bangi. Upon waking up (it was already 9 o’clock), we had already arrived at what seemed to be a large premise, with greenery all around and dozens of interconnected one-storey buildings. Cool, spacious, and green. Our still sleepy selves had a pleasant walk to the cafĂ©, where we had a humble, nutritious breakfast of karipap, kuih lapis, teh tarik, and Nescafe. The tour guide, an eloquent Kak Liza, then gave us a splendid briefing of what the Malaysian Genome Institute (GENOMalaysia or MGI) is all about:

MGI is actually a Government-funded not-for-profit research organisation geared towards research of tropical organisms. In other words, it’s finding out the possible applications that Asian plants and animals–Malaysian mostly, and microorganisms included–could offer to medicine or other industries like agriculture. Among its current projects are:

1) Gene study of Burkholderia pseudomallei, a disease-causing bacteria native to the soils and waterways of the Tropics that is increasingly becoming antibiotic-resistant.
2) Genetic improvement of Asian sea bass (Lates calcarifer) for better breeding and management.
3) Gene comparison of species of Eimeria (bacteria).
4) Whole genome sequencing and mapping of extremophiles (bacteria living in extreme environments).
5) Study of the metagenomics of diverse tropical ecosystems.
6) Bioprocessing of oil palm lignocellulosic biomass.

MGI actually has three other sister organisations just like it in Malaysia, the names of which I can’t recall, but which offer gene sequencing services as well other services for a minimal charge. Interestingly, Kak Liza told us it really does not make any profit, as the Government really pays for everything (machines, electricity, etc.) except for the chemicals, which, if you choose to employ the MGI’s service, you’ll have to pay for yourself. Well, that’s to be expected or it’ll be a loss-making organisation, wouldn’t it? But sitting there, listening to the briefing, you suddenly realise how much of a progress the Prime Minister wants biotechnology to make in Malaysia, and what the future holds for people in this sector.

With the support of the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) and the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), MGI is also actively promoting biotechnology as a career for lower secondary students all around Malaysia. They even created this board game called Liku-liku DNA, which all of us got for free! There’s also another game called the Biotechnology Board Game–the game to play with biotech dummies if you’re bent on winning. Sadly, we didn’t get that.

So what did the people who didn’t come along miss? Well, for one, they didn’t see and feel for themselves the kind of environment which they’ll work in should they decide to pursue a career in (biotech-related) research–labs and labs of bulky equipment. They also didn’t get to interview the people in the field up close and personal–their salaries and qualifications. And–the clincher–they didn’t get the chance to enquire for vacant jobs during the semester break–which we did–and… Let’s just say there’s someone to call if ever we need a job in April. Those who went now have an idea of what protein expression, gene sequencing, and microarray is, and how they are used in research. It was really beneficial information for all of us. No doubt about that.

But really, those who went would agree with us if we said that MGI was time and cash well spent. There was nothing to lose and everything to gain by going. SCIENCESS would like to congratulate the organisers of the ScienceTrex trip to the Malaysian Genome Institute for a job well done. It was unquestionably an invaluable experience for the participants, which comprised of second- and third-years–a suitable time for them to be exposed to the field. Let’s organise more trips, guys!

The writer claims no responsibility for any misinformation, intended or not, in the article above. He’ll try his best to write everything down the next time he goes on a trip.