Ck's Blog in Chinese
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) was conducted jointly by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland (DEL).
The primary purpose of the RAE 2008 was to produce quality profiles for each submission of research activity made by institutions. The four higher education funding bodies intend to use the quality profiles to determine their grant for research to the institutions which they fund with effect from 2009-10. Any HEI in the UK that is eligible to receive research funding from one of these bodies was eligible to participate (http://www.rae.ac.uk/).
Assessments are classified into five grades:
• 4* world leading
• 3* internationally excellent
• 2* internationally recognised
• 1* nationally recognised
Anyway, the top rankings still dominated by research-intensive universities belonging to the Russell Group. Glasgow University is part of them as well.
Well, about Glasgow Uni, departmental email I received showed that:-
Biological Sciences graded at 'internationally excellent' and 'world-leading' is amongst the top 10 both in the UK universities as a whole and in the elite Russell group. We rank 2nd in Scotland.
For those who are intending to further study in the UK (especially postgraduate), RAE is a good reference to look for.
Next RAE will release in 2014.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Anyway, I may go out to celebrate too, but still uncertain.. I will go to my supervisor house celebrate new year count down, and then if possible will see fireworks at uni. tower and she will prepare a "flaming cake"...wow.."cake on fire"??!!///anyway we will look then.
In December, really a busy month for me eventhough I have 2-week breaks from christmas onward, as I just completed part of the MRes assesments, and I still need to think about next stage of my experiment, writing progressive report...and most deadly part--an essay topic I never encoutered before, and due first week of jan 09. Makai, plant has slightly different defense mechanism compared with animal, i.e. human,,,and need to understand some signalling pathway..so many knowledge gaps to fill in..and hopefully can fill in, and not like the recession happened currently, whereby the US gov "throw" so many billion and can't fill the big hole, instead all money sink!,,haha..
Put this aside first, let's us celebrate the holiday we have, take a rest, recharge. :-)
a comic I read from phdcomics.com, but I not really clear with the meaning of this christmas song..haha
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Anyway, thing about people in famine, problems encountered by farmers, and so on. This “small” trouble will not bounce me back. However, this time I have to “freeze” winter break, spend more times to settle this problem, as I still have 300 samples in hand, and new batch experiment awaiting me.
Since my course only last for one year, so begin to do some future planning, as mentioned in my Chinese blog last time, I am going to challenge myself, apply for position in one of the world class research institutes. Anyway, not the right time for me to reveal now, will keep you guys update with it.
Therefore, I wish to take this opportunity to inform you guys that I will never send link to people when I was in “offline” mode. Besides, I spend more time in blogging rather than msn.
As a conclusion, delete or close this kind of message directly. Thanks.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
For those who don't know what is PCR. Let's me give a brief explanation about this. PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction, a method use in molecular biology to amplify template gene/DNA, and follow by series of downstream processings.
I mentioned in facebook last time, that I had extract RNA from 400 samples, then to cDNA follow by PCR, gel electrophoresis and qPCR. I did my undergraduate research in the field of phytochemistry, i.e. antioxidant from plant sources. Therefore, shifted from biochem works to molecular, genetic and physiology field are great challenge to me. Besides, catch up with all the technical skills, I also have to do a lot of readings myself..Anyway, this is research..Only passion, prolong interest and commitment will drive you to move forward..hehe
This first PCR, and gel electrophoresis was performed 2 weeks ago. Definitely excited, because had a first hands-on experience, and I seldom do molecular lab work in previous Uni...really paiseh..haha
Basically what I did this three months, mostly on trial and error basis, and made myself familiar and get used to all techniques before proceed to other tough works..
Anyway, nothing much can see from this gel image (both are the same, different contrast). Anyway, when discuss with my post-doc, there might be some "significant thing", anyway, we must prove its significant through qPCR. Also, the low intensity in some band means the PCR cycle might not optimised...
Therefore, what I am going to do now: trial and error again, try varies cycles, dfferent magnitude and so on..OMG
By the way, just received an email from graduate office, about election of course rep, and from the email, 1 representative will be elected for each course. This must be funny, as I am going to elect myself and vote myself..Looking forward for the meeting..hehe...
New year coming soon...hope you guys enjoy it!!!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Feel free to enjoy the video, don’t be impressed with the skills of the driver, because if I not mistaken our dear driver in the video clip—“fat teo” gave us a big surprise, by performing an emergency brake near the school. This was simply because he stepped the brake pedal by his left leg…haha..
I had a great secondary school life last time, and my friends and I were the first group to give farewell show in the form of video. Moreover, we had our class website as well.
keep in touch, all my dear friends from sg.siput and smjk shing chung..cheers
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
As I promise, the literature about this study..Here you go:-
Fierer et al. (2008). The influence of sex, handedness, and washing on the diversity of hand surface bacteria.
PNAS 2008 105:17994-17999; published online before print November 12, 2008, doi:10.1073/pnas.0807920105
Available at :http://www.pnas.org/content/105/46/17994.full
Saturday, December 13, 2008
TIMSS is used to compare over time the mathematics (math) and science (sci) knowledge and skills of fourth- and eighth-graders. TIMSS is designed to align broadly with mathematics and science curricula in the participating countries. The results, therefore, suggest the degree to which students have learned mathematics and science concepts and skills likely to have been taught in school. In 2007, there were 58 countries and educational jurisdictions that participated in TIMSS, at the fourth- or eighth-grade level, or both.
The lists below show top- ranking in both science and math subjects:
- Hong Kong
- United States
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- Hong Kong
- Hong Kong
- United States
I checked the website of TIMSS, and looked the report briefly, and Malaysia only participated in grade eight (14-year-old) assessments.
I believe we can perform better, if we stop debates, arguments on the issue like teaching sci and math in english or mother tongue. We should put more efforts to improve the quality of educaton, in both academic as well as personal, mental developments.
I attended few tutorials previously at Glasgow Uni, and I noticed final year undergraduates performed better than international postgraduates like me, despite a strong foundation build up in my first degree. Tutorial I attended last time (undergrad), mainly focus on qustion-answer, test, exam based, whereby a set of questions passed to us, and we only have to find out the answer from text book or internet (for those who put efforts to do it). When come to tutorial that time, lecturer will correct mistakes, give answers, etc. Most of the time, only few students participated or gave feedbacks.
In contrast, here, you will be given a journal paper and review it. Everyone has to participate, no one can escape. Rather than understood the text/ content of the journal, we were required to give comment based on figure..Yes, is figure..The reason is, looking at the text, you might agree or just read out directly the information of the journal. However, when looked at the figures, you have to explain based on what you observed, and you might disagree with the result obtained (simply because, what you looked was different with what the author wrote).
From the journal, lecturers will challenge us how to improve this study, or what're the weaknesses..etc...
Speak it honestly, I really impressed with this way of learning, If I have the opportunity to involve in the career of academia and research, I will implement this to my students..This is a way to learn, and we come uni "to learn, and not to read"//For me, read on one hand, seems like looking at the material, and accept all the things blindly or simply absorb without any sense of appreciation of the knowldge gained. On the other hand, learn is a long term process and involve a series of judgement, evaluation on materials obtained.
OK, come back to teaching sci and math in english / mother tongue. I strongly agree to teach sci&math in mother tongue, especially in the young age. I think in primary education, pupils' learning capability not fully develop yet, so it's good to teach english as a communication medium, and conducts sci&math in mother tongue. Since sci&math quite complicated, and it needs good understanding. Therefore, teaching sci and math in mother tongue can serve as a better way for student to comprehend course materials. Occasionally, science and math simpy deal with our daily life, and the fact that pupils communicate with friends and families in mother tongue most of the time. Indirectly, this way will enhance their understanding in some numeracy, arithmetic, science skills. I don't think a six years primary education syllabus on another language will severely affect student performance in secondary/tertiary studies.
I learnt sci and math in mandarin last time, and I really proud of it. Even my chinese colleages also impressed that I can communicate scientific idea in both languages. Maybe I not clear with the exact scientific terms in mandarin, but at least I can communicate my ideas, thoughts in a clearer way and this will be an additional advantage for us in globalisation era.
Why don't back to past time, in which pupils learn sci and math in mother tongue, and put more efforts to find out solutions for problems like unemployment in fresh graduates, mental problems in medical students, social problems among teenagers/ young generations, and so on.
That's all my humble opinions based on the report, news browsed through, and tutorials attended last time.
more info, can visit the following info:-
p/s: this post was publised in hurry (simpl because some ideas/thoughts came across my mind when I read news from BBC few days ago), and I not able to give a thorough, comprehensive, rational opinions on it. anyway, hope you guys can gain an insight into this issue. :-)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
feel free to refer the list below:-
FASTEST RISING GLOBAL QUERIES
- Sarah Palin
- Beijing 2008
- Facebook login
- Heath Ledger
- Nasza Klasa
- Wer Kennt Wen
- Euro 2008
- Jonas Brothers
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Let’s me introduce members of kelvinhaugh street 61B, according to “seniority”, haha.
Choon Kiat, Lim (Malaysia)--master in plant science
As a senior resident here, hehe..the earliest arrived at Glasgow. I serve as a welfare and communication officer here. Main responsibilities: ensure availability of household items, and also check any letter in the mailbox.
Edward Kyazze a.k.a. Eddie (Rwanda)-- master in city planning
First flatmate I met, he is our safety officer, ensure and remind we open window whenever we cook.
Donah (Botswana) --master in education study
The guy I interact most, as both of us are volunteers in international career service. Great guy with bright future, have many brilliant ideas in the meeting. Cleaning officer in our flat, set up a basic standard, so that we have a guideline in our weekly duty.haha
Abd. Hye (Bangladesh)--PhD in engineering
One of our “guardians”, overlook progress of young guys like us (donah, eddie and ck), haha…since he is a mature student, and we learn a lot from him, as well suggestions to improve our life at kelvinhaugh street 61 B. my partner in duty rota.
Chan (Malaysia)--PhD in engineering
From Sabah, also our TARC senior, did STPM at TARC long time ago..Another guardian, has rich experiences in UK life, previously did BSc (Hull Uni.), MPhil (Bath Uni.) in the UK too, and worked at Penang, Singapore before come to Glasgow. Give me a lot advice about future planning as well as life in the UK.
Lastly, two friends we often meet in the flat:-
Patience (Botswana), friend of Donah, doing master in accounting, share many funny stories about african's life in China..
Fidel, friend of Eddie (Rwanda), master in engineering..Also, master in cooking, his philosohy-->no more than 15min in cooking..haha..also the main creator of lovely greeting card I got.
and Finally or Firstly my birthday:-
As mentioned in previous post , and also a picture posted. Actually I only took picture with Eddie and FIdel.., and really impress this guy managed to print a card in less than 5min time, after taking pic with me.
Some pictures about my birthday celebration..
I really touched, as each of my flatmates prepared food themselves, and we can try food from different country different cultures.. click the picture below to enlarge:-
Lastly, time for ck to give his speech..haha, enjoy the video clip below:-
After celebration, I only notice I gave the wrong age...makai, really sia sui, instead of only xx year-old, but I said xx+1 year-old..anyway..fine..because follow chinese lunar calendar, I'm xx+1 year-old...:-p
More pics, visit my picasa page
Monday, December 8, 2008
PhD degrees in the UK are offered on the studentship basis, whereby you will get a place to study but doesn't guarantee you can obtain funding for it. In contrast, PhD admission in Germany, US or Switzerland, (if I not mistaken) you will be "employed" for a PhD degree. Therefore, we don't have to pay for tuition fee.
The following are part of the contents of the original article, and it clearly states out the reason I intend to do PhD, and problems I am facing right now as well as students from other developing countries:-
"The passport to scientific leadership is the PhD: without one, it is almost impossible to participate at a high level in the scientific enterprise. It does not matter if you have been working in research for one year or 30: without a PhD you are not even eligible to apply for funding to most research councils, and thus have no chance of building an independent research group and reaping the professional and humanitarian rewards it brings.
Most PhD holders are concentrated in rich countries, because that is where most of the PhD-awarding institutions and career prospects are. Many universities in the developing world offer excellent masters-level training, but not PhD programmes: they have neither the staff nor the infrastructure. An aspiring scientist in, say, Tanzania, must look to the rich world for PhD training but the cost is often prohibitive. Universities in Britain, for example, make no distinction between domestic and international students; all are charged a flat fee of about £11,000 ($16,500, €13,000) a year. However, if you are a UK resident your fees will almost always be fully paid for. Overseas students must pay the full £11,000 fees and support themselves. For rich students from rich countries this may be possible; for those from the poorest it is utterly out of reach.
UK research councils and the main charities commendably support UK scientists to head research programmes based in developing countries that could lead to improvements in health, the environment and socioeconomic status. However, such programmes rarely pay for PhD training for local students. Just as emergency famine relief fails to tackle the underlying difficulties of local agriculture, a rich-world monopoly on scientific enterprise leads to the scientific impoverishment of poor countries. In the past 50 years there have been huge improvements in fighting diseases of affluence but little in diseases of poverty, showing that the responsibility for tackling these problems cannot be left to the rich world.
If the rich world is serious about finding solutions to the most pressing health problems, it must increase the accessibility and affordability of postgraduate training. This is no mere act of charity. The wide-ranging reciprocal educational benefits that would result from real partnerships with researchers and institutes in the developing world are evident. We cannot tackle current and looming global challenges without the experience and commitment of those most affected." (Ferguson, 2008)
Heather Ferguson. (2008). Scientists from poor countries need the west’s help. FT.com (Financial Time). Available at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a92c190c-b589-11dd-ab71-0000779fd18c.html
Saturday, December 6, 2008
On behalf of the residents at kelvinhaugh street 61B and me, we wish to thank Hye for great food he prepared. He really put many efforts and time into it.
An interview with him is published in youtube:-
Friday, December 5, 2008
As I promise to tan sri, I should post some latest news about me, now share some “hot” and “fresh” story about me. Well, today was a great day for me, despite a lot of bad news “de-motivate” previously. I just completed the first assessment in MRes, which is presentation skill evaluation, and I got a band score of A3, and this is very good, according to my professor.
At Glasgow University, marking schedule is very details. An “A (excellent)” can be subdivided in to A1 (highest),A2,A3,A4,A5 and B1,B2,B3 (very good) then C1,C2,C3 (good), D1, D2,D3 (satisfactory), E1,E2,E3 (weak), F1,F2,F3(poor), G (very poor) and H (fail).
Well, description of A grade:
Outstanding in every way and demonstrating a high level of consistency, with all work in suitable scientific format. Project work demonstrates independence of though and all aspects completed to a thoroughly professional standard with data quality and analysis in all essentials of a level expected of refereed publication. No essential information or analysis missed.
Other areas of work show evidence of extensive critical reading and the ability to synthesise the important aspects into comprehensive and coherent text. Work contains only unimportant (trivial) or grammatical errors. Both quantity and quality of work excellent within the time constraints. Conclusions are placed in suitable context as well as summarising details. Truly exceptional work indicating that the student would be an excellent candidate for progression to a research degree.
Anyway, this presentation only carries 8% of the entire master degree, I treat it as a kick start to motivate me, and work hard for the remaining assessments as graduated with a MRes in distinction (grade A1-A5) is the only way for me to stay.
Basically, in the month of December I have to complete RNA analysis (about 400 samples) and follow by RT-PCR, cDNA synthesis and qPCR then only can get a set of gene expression data. Without these, I can’t interpret and evaluate the protocols I proposed last time. Some more, I have 2-weeks winter holiday break soon, so must finish it asap. Hopefully, can begin new batch earlier next year. Other than that, another task awaiting me, as I have to prepare an essay on “ubiquitination and plant innate immunity” which is due in the first week of January 09, I got no idea about this at the moment, something about signalling pathway and gene regulation. Since this knowledge important for second stage of my research, so “die die” also must settle it and again—get a great grade.
First day of December wasn’t good for me…very “lui”/ (doing ashamed thing). Some real examples as follow:-
1. Winter; walk on icy road, definitely made me felt clumsy
2. Mess out RNA extraction, as I forgot to vortex them at the last stage (after dissolve them with RNA-treated a.k.a DEPC water)—sorry if you guys don’t understand, quite technical. So have to repeat and completed at 9pm
3. Went to supermarket, after paid, forgot to pack sugar (1 kg) I bought, and it cost me £0.79
4.Burned pizza, want to have a simple dinner also cant…makai (vulgar word,)..really black a.k.a. “hak zai” (literally bad luck), luckly I prepared a portion only, so consider "brown", not trully black a.k.a. "hak zai"
To show how “black” I am, the next day finised dinner I went to dustbin and took out the burned pizza..so feel free to check the picture below
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Undeniable, facebook serve as a platform for me to keep in touch with my fellow buddies, their latest info, and so on. Furthermore, we also can make fun with picture uploaded. However, I quite suprised with the impacts of facebook here, after I read news from BBC. I tried to type "facebook" of my google reader, and found the following articles. For more information, feel free to read the following articles.
'Mental risk' of Facebook teens--http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7487723.stm
Facebook 'violates privacy laws'--http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7428833.stm
Bosses 'should embrace Facebook'--http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7695716.stmCrew sacked over Facebook posts--http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7703129.stm
Man killed wife in Facebook row--http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7676285.stmAnyway, my humble opinion is use facebook or other online facilities/ webware in a wise manner. Don't ever get addicted to it, or judge information posted in the internet carefully.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Ong Man (nickname), is my friend since we're in the primary school (know each other about 12yrs)
Thank you friend...wish you all the best too..keep in touch..
last but not least, need to "lan si" and show off a bit
Sunday, November 30, 2008
click the icon below to see more pics
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Results suggested beta-4 subunit of BK channel could controls ethanol tolerance at the molecular, cellular, and behavioral levels, and could determine individual differences in alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
Information from literature showed that alcohol abuse is the third largest cause of preventable mortality in the world. With this discovery, researchers can fill in the knowledge gap about pathophysiology of alcoholism, as well as determining potential therapeutic targets for alcohol abuse.
Undeniable alcohol abuse causes a lot of problem, for instance fatal road accidents, assaults and violence and some psychological side effects like increase anxiety and cause depression. It's good to see there is a great breakthrough in this study.
Martin et al. (2008). Identification of a BK channel auxiliary protein controlling molecular and behavioral tolerance to alcohol. PNAS. 105:17543-17548; doi:10.1073/pnas.0801068105
Monday, November 24, 2008
Oh my goodness, my first impression, when I read this article from BBC. Really unbelievable, this study also can be a topic of interest. It also prompted me to look for the formal journal published in PNAS, a study carried out by US researchers. Anyway, I can’t find it, and I believe this paper will be published in the next issue.
Basically, this study showed that women have a greater range of different types of bacteria on the palms of their hands than men, besides using powerful gene sequencing techniques, researchers found a typical hand had roughly 150 different species of bacteria living on it.
OK, every research also has its purpose and intention, the significant of this research, according to the researchers:- they hope their work will help scientists to establish a "healthy baseline" of bacteria species on the human hand. This could potentially help them to identify which
species are linked to specific diseases.
Some data obtained in this study:-
1. Detected and identified more than 4,700 different bacteria species across 102 human hands in the study.
2. Only five species were shared among all 51 participants.
3. Even the right and left palms of the same individual shared an average of only 17% of the same bacteria types.
4. On average, women had 50% more bacterial species on their hands than men
So, what caused women had “dirtier?” hand—(no gender discrimination, for knowledge sharing purposes..)
* Acidic skin in men, provide harsh environmental condition for bacteria to survive.
* Differences in sweat, oil gland or hormone production, due to different application of moisturizer, cosmetics by man and woman.
As mentioned by my lecturer last time—Dr. Haresh in medical microbiology course, hand washing still remains as an effective way to minimise the risk of disease, (by using anti-bacterial cleansers, not plain water)
More info, feel free to read this article at BBC
I will share the information from the scientific literature of this publish work. Please bear with CK…
Sunday, November 23, 2008
First of all, I wish to apologise for late replies in all the posts at MSN message, email, friendster, facebook’s wall and so on.
I’m fine here, was celebrated birthday with flatmates one week in advance, and will post these details in my blog soon.
Keep in touch, and wish you guys all the best too.
Any latest happenings about me, feel free to visit my blog at:-
The following info are some quick update about me recenlty, or after 2.5 moths in the UK.
--study/ academic/ research--
about my research, so far so good, at least I'm not doing something "sia sui", (or make me felt ashamed), unless some "lui" matters, but not to the extent like at UTAR last time, haha..I just finised the physiology part of my research, will proceed to molecular analysis soon, and quite happy as I got positive feedbacks from both post-doc and supervisor, these definitely will boost my morale.
besides research, I need to take advance courses on Plant Mol. Biology and Plant Botechnology (Next year), and learnt some new things definitely, like what Marccus mentioned in his post, about recent advance technique in sequencing, and I believed I gave a brief and comprehensive comment in his post, for more info feel free to visit it. Undeniable, lecture from both Drs. Alan and Tee helped me a lots..even the lecturer also impress with my understanding in mol. bio.
good news--i passed both IT and radiation protection tests, now this year still have few assessments like essay, presentation. Hopefully can perform well.
whatever I do here, the aim and target is be the only and the best MRes Plant Science student at Glasgow Uni. I will strive for it
Currently work as a part-time waiter for about 2 months at one of the chinese restaurants (will put pictures later), so I am in the semi-working life now, my conclusion is: it's never been easy, not only in proper time management, sometime you will get harsh critics from those so called "managerial" staff. As a student worker, they tend to take more advantages on you, and have great demands on you..anyway, i treat it sounds like mosquito fly beside me, keeps on mumblering. It's really tough sometimes, as you are facing stress at tight deadline in your research, and at the sametime you have to suffer critics from those f*****s. I understand that I'm here to learnt, and willing to accept constructive comments/ opinions and not because when you are moody, or etc..then keep on blaming people. These so-called Chinese or Malaysian even worst than westerner I faced in the UK. Idiot!
Another work, as an un-paid volunteer in the Glasgow Uni. International Career Service Group, our aim is to provide guidance/advice for students at Glasgow Uni. who wish to pursue further study / work in the UK or other foreign country once they completed their degree here. I incharge in blog/facebook session, and recently give a great presentation about the design of this blog..(haha, kiding and blowwater only), will inform you guys about the blog, and hope you will feel free to leave comments& feedbacks to improve arrangement, content of this blog. Since it is unpaid, so benefits are I can have quick assess for resume checking, career advice without any prior appoiment (as it takes 3 weeks for yours turn). Also, I can have a impress and good refree..
--future career planning--
As I mentioned at here and here. Yeap, some facts and realistic issues that worry me. Anyway, some how I have to face it, and do something against the odds. Recently, I read an article written by research fellow from Glasgow Uni, will share with you guys soon..This article really states out the problem/ fact that I knew or my supervisor told me, and I share some similar point of views with him.
Finally, birthday...yup, I celebrated one week in advance with other flatmates. Really happy and touch, will share with you guys later, after arrange all the pics and content for blog. Meanwhile, feel free to see the pic below, a greeting card I got from them. Actually, I took pictures with 2 guys only, but they are so fast, within 5 minutes, can produce a greeting card that showed I took pic with all other friends.
lastly, wish you guys all the best, and keep in touch
Friday, November 21, 2008
Due to aging, our brain function is progressive decline, and eventually reduce brain tissue, cell's activities. This will cause brain degenerative disease like Alzheimer's disease.
Surfing net will enhance brain circulatory activity, "stimulate" our brain to "work more". Results obtained showed the presence of significant activity in regions of the brain controlling language, reading, memory and visual abilities.
For more information, feel free to read article below:-
** Internet use 'good for the brain' **
For middle-aged and older people at least, using the internet helps boost brain power, research suggests.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Below are some interesting comic (I think) to share with you guys, hope you enjoy it..:-
THE LAB/ OFFICE WHITEBOARD
YES AND NO
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The other cities in the top 10 were: Antwerp, Beirut, Chicago, Lisbon, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Warsaw and Zurich.
My previous post (in chinese version) gave some brief introduction about the city of Glasgow, but I only introduced the historical sites, parks, etc here. However, this travel guide states:"
Forget castles, kilts, bagpipes and tartan. You come for the cocktails, cuisine and designer chic (plus the legendary native wit)."
"Glasgow has shaken off its shroud of industrial soot and shimmied into a sparkling new designer gown."
Included in the "what's hot" in Glasgow list is actor James McAvoy and pan-fried scallops.Earlier time, Lonely Planet also publish a guideline for student who wish to study at Glasgow University, for more info feel free to visit the e-version of this booklet:-
As I mentioned in my previous posts, Glasgow is a great place, feel free to visit here in the future. :-)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Skills I learnt in this course were proper way to search for journal by using academic database. Evaluate a good journal base on impact factor, citation index, apply Boolean operator like AND, OR, NOT to refine search target, subscribe to article alert, so that we can always update with all the recent published paper which are related to our field of study.
In contrast to my undergraduate life, I always use **google scholar or more advance by science direct. Anyway, this is not the only way, instead we can use academic database like medline, etc. to refine our search, look for paer really for academic purpose, rather than “commercial” paper. What I mean here is some companies might hire researchers to work for them. Therefore, this is always a good idea that we can read/refer article that solely for academic purpose, can give us a fair judgement, and definitely not aligned to certain party.
**I not intend to comment about usefulness of these services, instead with reference to academic database, and then we can have another alternative way to look for scientific literatures.
Besides, I also learnt some features offered by these databases, i.e. refine/ narrow down our search results. For instant, I wish to locate literatures about crop improvement; I can limit the search engine to locate articles which were published in certain period, e.g. last 10 years, or types of paper (review, short communication, journals, publishers, etc.). also, by applying Boolean operator, we can save a lot of time, as we don’t have to look for noon-related
Some new thing I learnt was looking at the quality of a paper based on “impact factor” & “citation index”. Impact factor refer to the influence of that particular journal, e.g. nature & science have considerably high impact factors. Meanwhile, citation index refers to how many people cite this particular paper.
Furthermore, we can subscribe to paper alert by email notification or RSS feed, so we can keep update with latest development and discovery in our field of study. This especially important for PhD student, because they have to ensure their literature review always follow the trend with recent development.
Interestingly, impact factor and citation index also become a common criteria for institution to recruit PhD, post-doc or academic/research staff as well as grant application. So, we should publish quality paper rather than simply publish large volume of paper. I was wondering if I can publish my paper in nature or science, with the fast pace like I published my posts in blog..Then that time I don’t worry about future career already, haha.
Anyway, recent publication in science by Simon (2008) stated about misused of impact factor by some people. Simply because, these black sheep of scientific community do so in order to get advancement in their career.
This training definitely helps me a lot. Unlike my undergraduate studies, when I carried the final year project or practical reports, I just simply searched and downloaded whatever full text available in the internet. These really time-consuming and “labour intensive”,,haha. Unfortunately, no body taught us last time, I think maybe this skill not suitable for undergraduate at the moment.
Anyway, my intention to write this post is to share some experiences I learnt from here, especially to my friends who are still involve in research and academic activites..hope this is helpful, cheers.
SIMONS, K. (2008) The misused impact factor. Science, 322, 165.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
After performed a quick checked by using google, I notice this was a research by scientists at Melbourne's La Trobe University. More infomation, feel free to visit the follwing sites:-
**The post(s) just for sharing purposes, I not responsible for any false/ controversial statements that might arise.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Hmmm...,next time when i eat shark porridge, I have to appreciate potential great contribution from shark, haha.
Adapted from BBC News
More info, visit the link below:-
** Shark blood 'offers cancer hope' **
Shark antibodies could be a weapon in the fight against cancer, say Australian scientists.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7668154.stm >
Friday, November 7, 2008
How much is your tuition fee, accommodation fee and living expenses?
Well, for first and second question, normally I don’t answer to them, as you can get this anywhere, i.e. university website, British council, etc. In contrast, living expenses largely depends on individual behaviour.
The projected monthly expenses, provided by Glasgow Uni.:-
Bus, underground, taxi fares £30
Laundry, stationery, stamps, toiletries £30
Ck’s expenses—refer diagram below, click figure to enlarge
There’s a great difference between expenses projected by uni, and my living style.
Anyway, living expenses here not really high (don’t perform currency exchange, as pay rate here similar to Malaysia, means if you get 2000MYR as a sales executive, likewise you receive 2000GBP in UK too ); I don’t think I can survive in KL with monthly expenses of 120MYR. Since I work in the weekend, so my wages can sufficiently cover my monthly expenses, some more i can have some balance as savings.
Well, some golden rules in financial planning knowledge, record all your incomes and expenses, save at least 10% of your monthly salary, prepare at least 6 months living expenses as emergency funds, etc. Anyway, ”cakap senang, buat susah” /easy to say, but hard to act, some more I people prefer to key in by using computer rather than record down in a notebook, so CK also share a software for you guys to record down all the transactions involve.
Click the link below to download:
You can go to my personal webpage （still under construction） and download this software
Besides, investment, or other financial instruments as recommended by most people “so called financial planner” nowadays, Other saving tips I read from news feed (info adapted from, Lloyds TSB Savvy Saver-http://www.lloydstsbsavvysaver.com/):-
- Get a clear understanding of not only your incoming and outgoing, but the exact amount of money you need to live on each week or month. (These are your non-discretionary expenses.) You can only set up an effective saving plan if you have a totally realistic picture of where your money is going and how you use it.
- Having a clear goal can certainly improve your motivation to save. Some people are saving for major life events, such as such as a house deposit, wedding or retirement, whereas others have shorter term goals such as a holiday or a new car. If you don’t have a tangible goal, set yourself a weekly, monthly, or annual target amount to strive towards.
- Save up to 10% per year on your electricity bill (and reduce your carbon footprint) by turning your electrical appliances off standby mode
- Savings in lunch boxes-- making a packed lunch
- Take a series of low-cost mini holidays instead of one big holiday
- Don’t buy things just because they’re “bargains”… Always sleep on a decision to buy
- The skills you use in a hobby or passion could earn you extra cash.
- Collecting your loose coins is a painless way to save
- Unnecessary accelerating can increase your petrol consumption by 20%.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Well, my routine activities are carry out research in the lab, perform some background readings, search for scientific literatures, update daily lab observation, attend some workshop, seminar, and so on. There is a requirement from research council in the UK, that each researcher has to attend personal development training programme at least 10-hr per year.
Since I completed IT competency skill (passed) and radiation protection course examination (hopefully can pass), so I have nothing much worry about other assessments in this month. I only have to put my effort in research activity.
The info below illustrates my typical life as a postgraduate student here:-
Weekday—Monday to Friday
Wake up at 0600-0630, drink a glass of water (to flux all the toxin later, haha), go toilet and does small business.
Then, start review plans made in the previous day. Turn on laptop, connect to the internet, and do the following tasks:-
Listen to MyFm, read/browse through news feed from google reader. News I subscribed are BBC’s national, Scotland (Glasgow), world, education, science news, Glasgow Uni’s news, Tips on Savvy Saver.
Read news from Malaysia—sin chew jit poh, and nanyang
Read emails: google, yahoo, msn, and uni. Email
Check my blog, reply comment if applicable
06.30: Go toilet and do big business. Read through some scientific journals, check any update/ publication of paper in my field of study. Prepare draft/ outline for my research project (if applicable)
07.30: Bath, breakfast
09.00:If got lab work, then go to Bower Building (my department) otherwise to library. If nothing to do, or lazy, then hangout at home, do some paper work.
**every tuesday, attend talk by divisional speaker in the afternoon, friday talk by external speaker, thursday will attend a research group meeting in the morning at 0915—1100, and will discuss about lab progress, journal discussion, grant review, etc. Right now I attended 2 sessions, and I still the sm individual in this group. (Note: sm stands for silent minority, not sado-masochism, haha). In contrast to life at UTAR, I was nm (noisy minority in the tutorial class). Everyone in the discussion group has critical thinking; they can critic, comment particular journal or grant applications, even though to me, all these papers seem perfect.
Hopefully, I can learn these from them, and in the future I can belong to the group of “noisy majority”..haha
About lab work, I still in the initial stage now, and not really busy, but my lab skills really poor, terrible. Really “sia sui” and my utar lab partners—like tan sri, kimochi, fb, et al.
The reasons were due to the inconvenient I am facing, as I’m a left- handed person, and most equipments are not so “friendly” to me, and some new techniques that I not so familiar with. Really have to apologise to my lab technician, because of my lousy skills, she has to work “OT”..:-(
That’s my life from Monday-Friday, badminton session begin after few weeks, and will go there if have time. Then mostly stay in the lab from 0900 to 1800. Then, back to home, check mailbox first, and then prepare dinner. Night, perform similar task as in the morning, also read others' blog, browse facebook, frenster, etc. as well as review daily plan and plan agenda for the next day.
Recently I just joined as a volunteer in career service department of Glasgow Uni, hope I can share my experience/skill/"expertise" to other international students who are intending to pursue postgraduate studies in the UK or find job in the UK. I will publish some posts about career deveplopment I learnt here in the future.
Normally sleep at 2300/0000
Well, life in the weekend almost the same, I wake up as usual. Maybe there’re some different tasks like go to tesco/ supermarket and buy some food materials, wash cloth at laundry service, chat with family, financial planning, prepare blog entries or join trips organise by international student society. Then, in the evening, I have part-time employment.
Life as a postgraduate student here very flexible, unlike my other friends who’re doing taught master, they have to attend lecture, group assignment, and tutorial and so on. However, research postgraduate must be very independent, and don't ever envy with ck’s honeymoon life here. This is because my course only last for 1 year, so this is a very intensive programme. Besides study, research, & work, I still have to deal with other matters, i.e. prepare PhD proposal, fellowship application, post-study work visa, etc. all these seem tough and challenging, but ck’s philosophy in dealing a matter is :“ no matter what you do, as long as you have commitment, passion and prolong interest in it, then you should be able reach your goal.”
Finally, I would like to conclude my typical life here is pack, simple, & systematic. Also, typical life for “nerd” like me la..:-) Anyway, these are my own way of life, and it doesn’t reflect other postgraduate lifestyle..haha
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I’m doing MRES (MASTER OF RESEARCH) here, specifically designed for students who wish to pursue doctoral program in the future. This is a combine taught and research programme. Whereby research projects accounts for 80% of the study. Taught courses such as: advance plant molecular and plant biotechnology. Other types of master degree are MPHIL, MSC, and so on. As British Research Council required researchers to attend at least 10 hours of training, so
sometimes we have to involve in a number of seminars, talks and so on, and transferable skills trainings.
I carry out research on crop improvement here, mainly through genetic modification; so my research interests focus in the areas like agriculture and plants science. Actually, crop improvement is a broad area of research. Anyway, I carry out a novel study here, and is a funded project (about 3 years 230,000 pounds.) (However, this provision has nothing to do with me).
In this study, I will need to apply knowledges and skills such as: genetic, molecular biological, physiology, plant cell and tissue cultivation, bio-informatics and so on.
Since this study involve a lot of P&C matters, so I just briefly describe this research. In agricultural practice, farmers have been aware that the application of special "treated” seeds can have better production and growth rates in the future. Treatments applied are such as addition of chemicals, or provide some pressures - (high concentration of salt, drought exposure and so on.) to these seeds.
These exposures will stimulate them, and plants are able to withstand these challenges when they encounter any stresses in the future (high temperature, cold, drought, viruses, etc), to the calm in the face. This response similar to the human body defence system. I.e. memory B cells, upon exposure to virus/bacterial invasions in the first time, they will response better in the future, able to recognise quicker, etc.
I will observe and identify what factors make plants have such memory, specifically study on their gene and molecular levels. In the future, we could apply knowledge obtained (if discover something) which enables plants to have this capability possibly by GM, so important crops can resist to severe environmental challenges. Anyway, another university, have begun a similar study. For more info, can click on the following Web site:
Meanwhile, I also had a conversation with my supervisor, regarding my intention to purse doctorate degree in the future, as well as the availability of research funds for foreign students like me. Anyway, my supervisor told me the fact that in the UK, there are a lot of funds, but most of them are allocated to local students. Even if the fund is awarded to international students, such as living stipends (about 1300-1600GBP) and tuition subsidies, we still have to settle the international student tuition fees (Note: International students tuition fees are 4 times of local students’ rate!). As a result, I have to deal with the remaining 70% of the tuition fees. That’s why a lot of excellent international students were “forced” to leave the UK and study elsewhere. This is one of the reasons cause my supervisor so "DU LAN", and frustrated with it.
Although some research councils also provide scholarships to cover tuition fees for the remaining 70%, but there are very competitive, and mostly funds are awarded to people carry out research/studies of their interest. At present, Europe and the United Kingdom are not encountered with food crisis, agricultural problems.
They concerned about studies on epidemiology, infection diseases, and so on or other issues that have great impacts to them. E.g. diseases for “developed and rich countries ”(like cancer, diabetes,) study. So, I think this is a reason that the University of Glasgow, has about 100 bio-medical graduates, almost 70% from India this year; and I’m the only plant science graduate student, ha ha, really a strange & unique species. However, I believe this area also crucial as well, due to effects of global warming, food crisis face by many developing and underdeveloped countries. It’s never been too late to plan ahead and find out the solutions, as these problems eventually will affect everyone in the world.
Undeniable, this society is very “realistic”, and frankly say I quite bother and worry about this. Anyway, since ck is a “tough” person and will never bow to reality! I believe that every challenge has its solution, and we should think in a positive way. Provided we have commitment, passion and prolong interest, and determination. Then, we can handle it well. Furthermore, supports from relatives, friends, and family, I am confident to overcome it.
Finally, I would not regret to carry out plant and agricultural studies. Also, decline the offers from other universities to do doctorate research. :-)
By the way, the following photo is my graduate school and location of research lab - (BOWER BUILDING), was established in 1901 Unfortunately, fire occured in it's 100th anniversary, and left only the walls, the loss of millions of pounds. Besides, literatures before the 19th centuryalso burned, and it took 3 years for the plant science research group to recover.
click the link below for pictures/facilities of my research lab, :-
I checked from the BBC site, about news happened in 2001. If you guys are interested, can visit the following websites:-
** University fire: picture gallery **
News Online user Ewan Crawford captures the events as firefghters tackle a huge blaze at Glasgow University.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/1/hi/scotland/1618521.stm >
** Firework link to university blaze **
Firefighters investigate whether a stray firework caused a multi-million pound blaze in a University of Glasgow building.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/1/hi/scotland/1619176.stm >
Thursday, October 30, 2008
- Small genome (114.5 Mb/125 Mb total) has been sequenced in the year 2000
- Extensive genetic and physical maps of all 5 chromosomes
- A rapid life cycle (about 6 weeks from germination to mature seed).
- Prolific seed production and easy cultivation in restricted space.
- Efficient transformation methods utilizing Agrobacterium tumefaciens.
- A large number of mutant lines and genomic resources
- Multinational research community of academic, government and industry laboratories.
The following pictures show plant I used in my research. Finally, I hope these "kids" can reveal their hidden story to me, especially what're their feeling after I "torture" (applying abiotic stress) them. haha, pls pls pls... ////:-)
The Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR), at http://arabidopsis.org/index.jsp
Arabidopsis, The Model Plant, The National Science Foundation, USA. at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2002/bio0202/model.htm
one of my tasks, transfer plant from solid media to hydroponic solution. Again, it's never been easy to get into a hole without formal training, really not easy to put each individual "tiny" plant + long root into such a small hole, because got some "hidden power", maybe due to surface tension or viscoscity by liquid nutrient, so root tends to "move aside" / shaking when i attempted to place it in.
I spent 8hrs to remove >200 plants from agar and placed to hydroponic solution...."*%&$^&..
Place tape to make hole smaller (invention from cklim, haha) and hang the plant properly. Otherwise it will fall down to "toilet bowl", and take a "nutrient bath".
The movie below shows germination of Arabidopsis seed, enjoy it!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Hehe,Now people who were complained they don’t have friends, no one care them, and so on, are no longer have any excuses.
Haha, interestingly, temperature of drink also can reflect an individual selfishness. For more info refer the following articles.
Furthermore, another research from also found that friendships may be the key to happiness and they demonstrated that people with at least 10 close friends are likely to be happier than those with fewer than five.
Conclusion, make more close friend, if hard, start with a cup of hot drink, perhaps coffee is a good choice. This is especially true, I felt warm in the lab seminar, as most of my colleagues hold a cup of hot coffee before we begin our discussion. Even, when we attended any seminar/ orientation events as well as the first day I arrived at Glasgow Uni in September, people here tend to pour a cup of coffee to us...hehe
hot drink promote warm feelings
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The reason is daylight saving time (DST) comes to an end on October 26, 2008. Basically, Daylight Saving Time (or summertime as it is called in many countries) is a way of getting more light out of the day by advancing clocks by one hour during the summer. During Daylight Saving Time, the sun appears to rise one hour later in the morning, when people are usually asleep anyway, and sets one hour later in the evening, seeming to stretch the day longer. The reason DST works is because its saves energy due to less artificial light needed during the evening hours—clocks are set one hour ahead during the spring, and one hour back to standard time in the autumn. Many countries observe DST, and many do not.
Therefore, the coming DST begin on Sunday, 29 March 2009, 02:00:00 and end on Sunday, 25 October 2009, 01:59:59.
Well, about weather here, winter is approaching, average temp now is about 6-8°C
Saturday, October 25, 2008
My life here is getting busier; therefore it’s hard for me to prepare bilingual posts myself. As a result, from now on, most of the time, I will make use of translator service provided by google, yahoo, msn.
This could be English to Chinese or Chinese to English translation, and the application of online translator will definitely reduce time for me to type every single word.
Anyway, meaning/ vocabulary used (especially Chinese translated version) will be a little bit weird. However, I’m still the major contributor of any posts I published. I will proof-read translated post and try my best to ensure the context of the post still stick to the original one.
I assure that I will prepare posts about me and research life in bilingual. Other posts, for sharing purposes, mainly prepare in one language in the future, either English or Chinese.
The pics below show future posts prepared by ck, and will publish on schedule. Please bear with ck ya.
Once again, thank you for your support.