Saturday, March 31, 2007

I want one!

I was surfing for pictures to put in my presentation on bacteriocins and suddenly I came across these guys. I love microbes and these little cuddly bacteria are really so cute. I so want them all. Here's a few of them out of the many that you can get from GIANTmicrobes.

The little syphilis causing bacteria, Treponema pallidum.

Recovering from a gastrointestinal disease? Get a Escherichia coli to cuddle.

How about a Streptococcus bacteria you wont get a sore throat from?

Mad over cows? Get the prion that caused BSE.
And this little guy is the Giardia lamblia.

Friday, March 30, 2007

I have a secret admirer!

My mom received this in the post which was addressed to me. Apparently it's from TheStar publications but there was no letter or anything explaining it.
I can't even remember what contest I joined to deserved this but what the heck, who's complaining.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I have been tagged and to continue the honor of this game, I have tagged six people which can be found at the bottom of my list. The rules are as follows: Each person who gets tagged needs to write a blog post of their own 6 idiosyncrasies (abnormal behaviour, habits etc.) as well as clearly stating this rule. After you state your 6 weirdness you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their multiply id / blog names / nicknames at the bottom of your blog. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says "You’re tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog for information as to what it means."

Tagged by Inaesb

1. I judge books by their covers. My deduction is that successful authors are taken in by better publishing houses which can afford better cover illustrations. I may not be right all the time but heck, at least I'll have beautiful books on my racks.

2. I can only fall asleep in total darkness. Even some ambient light from outside, coming in the door or window can keep me awake.

3. With that said above, it's strange then that I can fall asleep in the afternoons when I'm taking naps.

4. I like to multi task when I'm eating. Food tastes better when coupled with tv or books.

5. I also like to multi task when I'm studying. I can even study while playing a game or watching a movie at home. Without anything to do while studying, nothing enters my brain.

6. I don't like reading or studying in a library. I get self-conscious of everything little sound I make that seems to be amplified by the silence there. Sounds when I'm adjusting my chair, tearing a paper off the pad, turning the page of a book, etc

There it's done but I'm not gonna tag anybody because I feel that everyone I know is already tagged :)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Jamiroquai: Seven Days In Sunny June

A wonderful song by Jamiroquai that simply gives you that feel good vibe. All smiles, with a sugar, spice and eveything nice kinda feeling.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A movie review: Pan's Labyrinth

It is a magnificent movie that will now be counted a one of my favorites. Though it is in Spanish, I enjoyed it very much and I think it will be worth it for everyone to find time to catch it in cinemas.

It tells the tale of Ofelia, whose mother, Carmen, is pregnant with the child of her stepfather, the cruel Captain Vidal. Vidal, a fascist devotee, takes his feelings out on a cell of communist resistance he has been assigned to seek out and eliminate while stationed at a countryside mill. However Ofelia soon meets with a fairy who leads her to a faun that says she is the long awaited Princess Moanna, daughter to the king of the underworld. The denizens of the underworld have been awaiting the return of their princess who got lost on the surface and died years ago. Now the soul of the princess has return in Ofelia and she has to complete three tasks before the full moon to be able to return to the underworld.

Pan's Labyrinth has won numerous film awards, including Academy Awards for Achievements in Cinematography, Makeup and Art Direction. It has also earned BAFTA awards for Best Foreign Language Film, Costume Design, and Makeup and Hair. At the Goya Awards, the Spanish equivalent of the Academy Awards, the film won in many categories including Best Cinematography, Editing, Make Up & Hairstyles, New Actress for Ivana Baquero, Original Screenplay, Sound, and Special Effects.

The faun meets Ofelia. Actually, that is the most ugly faun I have ever seen.

The ghastly pale man is really, really frightening. I mean when he chases Ofelia, the suspense could give you a heart attack.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Constant vigilance!

I had a lecture this morning on emerging infectious diseases by the esteemed Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Lam Sai Kit. He talked mostly on the current issues and outcomes of emerging infectious diseases and his experience of working in the field.

Dr Lam, regarded as one of the most influential figures in the area of medical virology had received many awards including the Honorary Professorship of the Institute of Microbiology and Epidermiology, China (1991) and Japan Nikkei Asia Prize for Technological Innovation (2002).
He has also been made a fellow in various medical and scientific academies in the US, UK and Malaysia.
Lam retired at the end of 2003 as Professor and Chair of Medical Microbiology and Deputy Director of the Institute of Research Management and Consultancy of Universiti Malaya, and was later conferred Professor Emeritus by the university in August 2004.
The research findings of Lam had contributed significantly in reducing morbidity and mortality in a number of viral diseases, such as in the area of dengue, the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), and the discovery of Chikungunya virus as a cause of a dengue-like illness.
But it was the discovery of the Nipah virus as the new agent causing viral encephalitis (brain inflammation), after the severe outbreak of the illness in Malaysia between 1998 and 1999, that brought international attention and fame to the Malaysian scientist.

As I was siting there listening to him, it struck me that he somehow resembles Mad Eye Moody from the Harry Potter books. Not physically of course, but the way he talked about his experience during the Nipah virus and HFMD outbreaks in Malaysia really puts him as someone who knows what it is like to be out there combating these infectious diseases. He was at odds with the government, mainly the Ministry of Health when he disagreed with their diagnosis and manage to find the real cause of those outbreaks. To complete the picture, he constantly reminded us that everyone has to be on their guard and not relax, for doing so could give the opportunity for a disease to enter our country and cause an outbreak. Constant vigilance!

For those who read Harry Potter you'll know what I'm talking about and for those that don't, maybe you should :)

The wonders of modern medicine

Russian Man Grows Penis on Arm


Russian doctors have conducted an 11-hour operation to replace a patient’s deformed penis with one grown on his forearm, the Moskovskiy Komsomolets daily reports.

The 30-year-old Russian man, whose name was changed in the article to protect his privacy, had a defect from birth — his penis was crooked, two-and-a-half-inches long and lacked a scrotum, the newspaper writes.

The doctors had the penis removed and attached to the man’s arm. Using his body tissue it grew to six-and-a-half inches and was sewn back on to his groin. Silicone tubes were inserted into the organ to ensure an erection was possible. Doctors also created a scrotum from the patient’s own skin and placed silicone testicles in it.

A Moscow surgeon said the man will be able to have sex in a few months. He added: “Women will never suspect it is artificial.”

Monday, March 12, 2007

A movie review: The Queen

The Queen is an emotionally explosive movie that I think everyone should watch. I did indeed enjoy it.

It tells the tale of Elizabeth Windsor, the Queen of England and the royal family in the wake of Princess Diana's death. It takes us into the private life of the royal family and narrates the situation that develops between the royal family, the newly appointed Prime Minister, Tony Blair and the British people.
The movie hasn't much of a plot to thrill us with but it feeds the viewers emotionally.

Let me just add that Helen Mirren certainly deserved the Oscar for best actress she won for portraying the queen of England. She did a splendid job capturing the character and she does indeed look like the queen.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Another week and it's another reunion dinner, this time with my course mates. Another few kilos added :S

This lucky symbol in an angpow packet actually won me something at the dinner :)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Squeek? Screech? Err... Nibble?

A visit to the animal house today as a part of the ethics lecture proved to be enlightening yet disheartening. I have always been against the use of animals as test subjects but it is something unavoidable in my line of study. The animals I seen in the animal house were cute and it is just so hard to accept that many of them will be subjected to various tests that would inevitably shorten their life.

Meet Ina the baby monkey. She is so cute isn't she? She even has a playmate, a male baby monkey called Mawi :)

Spot Gemok, the monkey anyone? He's called Gemok because he was weaned later than all other baby monkeys and thus he is larger and fatter.

Then we have giant rabbits. These rabbits are so large they could easily trounce cats in a battle . They look rather average in the pictures but up close they are damn huge!

And of course the animals famed for experimentation that a whole new term were named after them, the guinea pigs.

There were also giant rats that reminded me of my sixth form days where we dissected these guys. Poor things.

This is the label of cages. There are various acronyms used for different cages for description. SHR simply means spontaneous hypertension rats. This means these rats are bred to have hypertension naturally.

Here we have tiny, delicate baby mice all suckling on their mother. Love the pink tails!

And lastly the ultimate picture. Can anyone spot the baby elephant in the picture? :)