Saturday, May 30, 2009

Red Tide

A kit for the detection of a harmful algae that causes the red tide won a gold medal at the recent International Exhibition of Inventions, New Techniques and Products in Geneva.

Called "Pyroscreen", the kit was the result of comprehensive research by a team comprising Grace Joy Chin Wei Lie, Teoh Pek Lin, Professor Datin Dr Ann Anton and Associate Professor Vijay Kumar of Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

Red tides are a frequent phenomenon in the coastal waters of tropical regions.

The algae species produces a paralytic shellfish toxin, which has been linked to neurological symptoms and human fatalities.

Chin said Pyroscreen was an effective and practical DNA probe for the speedy identification and detection of the harmful algae.
UMS researchers submitted nine works in Geneva, winning a gold, a silver and seven bronze medals.

The medals were displayed at a media briefing by UMS vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Kamaruzaman Ampon at its campus here.

Kamaruzaman said UMS researchers also won two gold medals at the recent International Invention, Innovation and Technology in Kuala Lumpur.

The medals were for an innovation on a new technique for surface tension by Dr Chan Eng Seng, Lee Boon Beng and Pogaku Ravindra, and an efficient pre-cast floor panel for modern buildings by Associate Professor Dr Mohd Abdul Manan, N.S.V.K. Rao, Doh Shu Ing and Ng Chee Hiong.