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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 21| May 23, 2010|


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Research & Development

Research on Life Science at UODA

Md. Aynal Haque Rana

The Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Molecular Medicine and Bioinformatics and the Department of Pharmacy are jointly doing some research work at UODA. It is really difficult for doing some world-class research in a developing country like Bangladesh but it is true that our Bangladeshi researchers from both public and private Universities and research Institutions have carried out some excellent research.

At UODA, every year the “Bioscientist Club” arranges an excellent scientific poster exhibition. In 2010, they also arranged an excellent poster exhibition where different projects were demonstrated through outstanding poster presentations. About 70 research posters were demonstrated during the exhibition.

All of these papers were highly appreciated by the visitors. But the Environmental Biotechnology section was totally different from others. Two papers were presented under this section. One was about our very common “Arsenic Problem in Bangladesh” and another one was “The way we are polluting water and making our life vulnerable”. Both of these were different than others in the sense that we are still fighting to overcome these problems. The research on arsenic contamination revealed that arsenic is present in the ground water of at least 57 districts out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh government has done a commendable job in marking every tube-well red, which pump out arsenic contaminated ground water. However, the question of irrigation with arsenic contaminated groundwater remains a thorny issue. The same source of arsenic water may be used for irrigation as well as for drinking, but while the tube-wells supplying drinking water have been marked red, the pumps supplying groundwater for irrigation remain unmarked.

As a result, arsenic contaminated groundwater is leading to arsenic build-up in soil wherever such irrigation takes place. Researchers have previously demonstrated presence of arsenic in paddy when paddy was irrigated with arsenic contaminated groundwater. Now researchers at UODA have found significant amount of arsenic in many winter crops like cauliflower, cabbage, radish and mustard. The presence of arsenic in these crops when irrigated with arsenic contaminated groundwater is much higher than is acceptable as per WHO standards. It may be pointed out that such vegetables are not confined to the areas where they are grown but are sold and distributed throughout Bangladesh. As a result, the total population of the country remains vulnerable to arsenic exposure. Researchers at the University of Development Alternative also observed significantly lower IQ levels and lower heights in children of arsenic affected districts. Researchers at the UODA have also observed higher rates of spontaneous abortions and neonatal mortality in pregnant mothers of arsenic affected areas. Arsenic ingestion can cause some serious diseases like urinary bladder cancer and diabetes.

The environment biotechnolgy section demonstrated the vulnerability of water pollution under the heading of “The way we are polluting water and making our life vulnerable”. It is really threatening for our life that the water we have been using or drinking is so polluted. The contamination level of water is so high that Dhaka WASA does not even have sufficient chemicals to treat water!

The Pharmaceutical Biotechnolgy section demonstrated some excellent work on Diabetes (Hypoglycemic), Analgesic (Pain reliever) and Cytotoxicity test (antitumor activity of some specific medicinal plants). The Plant tissue culture laboratory has been playing a very important role in the biotech research at UODA throughout the year. Research activities on plant Biotechnolgy have a strong role in the research programme of UODA. The in vitro and ex vitro conservation through clonal propagation (Multiplication) of rare and threatened medicinal and fruit plants of Bangladesh are carried out in plant cell and tissue culture laboratory. Both undergraduate and postgraduate students conduct micropropagation of banana, potato, orchids and medicinal plants as their project topics. Young researchers are continuing trials in vitro studies of salt tolerance and arsenic stress on vegetables. All of these researches have been done under the supervision of eminent scientist and Pro- Vice Chancellor Prof. Rahmatullah.

Many of these researches have been published in different internationally recognized journals like Planta Medica, Acta Horticulturae and journal of alternative and complementary medicine. They have also been presented in numerous international scientific conferences.

(The writer is a student of Molecular Medicine and Bioinformatics, UODA.)

The Independent Chronicle

Shafquat Halim

I don't think a morning could have been as grand as the day when an idea came to life, an idea ignited by youth and driven by their mentors. The idea that could be the first real step to opening the eyes of people lost in the trance of money and power. We have been silenced by tyrants for too long and we took a stand once again in an attempt in having our voices heard. Thus introducing the Independent Chronicle, the chronicle of youth.

The Independent Chronicle is a student newspaper initiated and published by the School of Business of Independent University Bangladesh. But that is the end of the role of faculty and management in the newspaper as every piece of work is conjured by the students of the university, and that is what fuels the spirit and essence of the newspaper. The newspaper contains the voice of youth, with a pretty ribbon tied around it, as the newspaper is known for having very good packaging and good quality paper.

I had a chance to talk to the Editor of The Independent Chronicle, and he stated that the newspaper is not just a source of information like all the other clichéd vintage newspapers in our country today, but a tool of communication between the students and the media at large via which they can share their solutions of the prospective problems of the nation and the world as of today, as well as inform and entertain about the latest fashion, music and such, on a less serious note.

On a more personal note, if I were to share my personal belief, I would say that The Independent Chronicle is the first vehicle of its kind to carry the long suppressed voices of youth far and wide because I believe that the coming generations will bring prosperity into the country and relieve the tension that has had the entire nation holding its breath since long. Added to that is that this could very be the next of kin of the newspaper industry of Bangladesh. This is the first step to moving on and keeping pace with the world. I see a bright future for this trend of newspapers and I believe that The Independent Chronicle will flourish and break out in flying colors in the days to come.

Please browse the website

http://sb.iub.edu.bd/chronicle.html to access this chronicle.

(Writer is a BBA Student, Independent University, Bangladesh)

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