Ck's Blog in Chinese

For chinese version, please visit blog at the link below:-

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year 2009

Happy New Year to all..

All the best, and good luck in the year ahead..


New Year Myspace Comments

Sunday, December 28, 2008

RAE 2008

Result on RAE is one of the factors I considered, before decide which UK’s uni I plan to go. The previous RAE was conducted in 2001. Recent RAE was released few days ago.

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 (

Assessments are classified into five grades:
• 4* world leading
• 3* internationally excellent
• 2* internationally recognised
• 1* nationally recognised
• unclassified

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

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all, especially all my christian friends..Unfortunately, no snow at Glasgow, so can't celebrate white christmas. The previous post about first snow in Glasgow was a mistake. It's just a hail, a.k.a. "fake snow--ck's definition"..haha..anywhere, celebration here definitely different compared with Malaysia.

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""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 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. :-)

Christmas Myspace Comments

a comic I read from, but I not really clear with the meaning of this christmas song..haha

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why?!..faster faster come out

My first PCR was performed in early of December, and I got amplified products in gene I looked for, but somehow the constitutive gene can’t be amplified..This is terrible and annoying. I tried for few weeks, varying different parameter, still get nothing. Now encoutered similar problems that faced by Marccus last time in the FYP--(sorry ya marccus..)

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.

Don’t receive suspicious MSN message from CKLIM

Some feedbacks from my friends recently, they told me that they received some weird “message” from me as showed in the sample picture below.

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

my first PCR

Definitely this post quite technical..sorry for that.

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

youtube video from my secondary schoomates

I so impressed and proud when I found this video in the youtube, thanks for post published by sungai siput boy. This video was produced by my secondary schoolmates in their form 6 farewell celebration. I was part of the teams to produce this video (only contribute the video camera, haha)

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

literature for previous post on microbes diversity in both genders

My previous post mentioned about an article about differences in microbes diversity on male and female palm. Interestingly, no comment in this post. I think most probably this article really annoy my female friends, as they put so many cosmetic, take care their hands well, but how come still dirtier than male couterpart.....Really "paiseh" and sorry..haha..

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 :

Saturday, December 13, 2008

where are we now?! Are we competitive enough?!

Recent report on 2007 The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (Timss) showed that our neighbour contry, Singapore once again placed in the top position (with reference to report in 2003). Timss is a major four-yearly comparison of standards in primary and secondary schools. Compiled by researchers in the United States, Timss is regarded as an important benchmark for comparing standards in maths and science around the world.

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:


Top 10 for 10-year-olds

  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Russia
  • Latvia
  • England
  • United States
  • HungaryItaly

Top 10 for 14-year-olds

  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • England
  • Hungary
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Hong Kong
  • Russia

MATHS 2007

Top 10 for 10-year-olds
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Russia
  • England
  • Latvia
  • NetherlandsLithuania

Top 10 for 14-year-olds

  • Taiwan
  • Korea
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Hungary
  • England
  • Russia
  • United States
  • Lithuania
So, where are we now?

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

2008--top 10 fastest-rising queries on Google

I just browsed an article from BBC, about top 10 fastest-rising queries on Google during 2008 as well as popular searched terms on google in the UK.

feel free to refer the list below:-

  • Sarah Palin
  • Beijing 2008
  • Facebook login
  • Tuenti
  • Heath Ledger
  • Obama
  • Nasza Klasa
  • Wer Kennt Wen
  • Euro 2008
  • Jonas Brothers
  • Facebook
  • BBC
  • YouTube
  • eBay
  • Games
  • News
  • Hotmail
  • Bebo
  • Yahoo
  • Jobs
For more info, can refer to the article at:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ck's birthday and my flatmates

In my previous post, I mentioned about my birthday celebration in Glasgow. Finally, I have time to post it, and also introduce my flatmates to you guys.

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

Slide show:-

Monday, December 8, 2008

Lack of phd training for scientists from developing world

My previous post mentioned about an article that really illustrate my situation in my future PhD application. Recently, my supervisor encourages me to stay back at Glasgow and pursue PhD here, and she will find funding for me. However, these funds only cover UK rate, whereby I still have to settle the huge amount of international tuition fee. I really happy with opportunity given, but I haven't draw any conclusion at the moment. Whether stay back to do PhD here, or other country that come across my mind like Canada, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand, Singapore or homeland. haha, my supervisor suggests me to locate funds from home country to cover tuition fee, but I think the success rate almost "0". Anyway, I will keep on looking for any possible opportunities.

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. (Financial Time). Available at:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cold weather and warm dessert

Today all residents at kelvinhaugh street 61B enjoyed great dessert prepared Hye, our friend from Bangladesh.

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

First mission accomplished :-)

First of all, thanks to “tan sri” for his email, as well as his concern and care on “puan sri”. Therefore, my message to tan sri:" good work, keep it up and get your job done." I really appreciate.

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 feel free to check the picture below

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

dual roles of facebook?!

I have been here for more than 2 months, and used google reader to obtain latest news, literatures alert for more than 1 months. I really shocked when came accross with news reported about the usage of facebook.

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--

Facebook 'violates privacy laws'--

Bosses 'should embrace Facebook'--

Crew sacked over Facebook posts--

Man killed wife in Facebook row--

Anyway, 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

thank you "ong man"

haha, so happy, I just received a postcard from my friend who is doing her exchange programme in the Germany. Really appreciate it, and also want to say "thank you " or danke (german) for the birthday greeting as well..

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

Germany-Vielen Dank fuer die Karte, ich habe mich sehr gefreut und bin so gluecklich darueber.
English-Thank you for the card, I was very pleased and am so happy about it.


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