This year, Malaysian Bioscience Scholars (MBIOS) held its annual flagship event called MBIOSymposium: A Global Pandemic. Spanning two days, a line-up of diverse speakers was invited to touch on different aspects and fields affected by the recent COVID-19 outbreak, not confined to bioscience-related topics.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and the Malaysian Health Coalition urges the government to decriminalise suicide in Malaysia. This is an important step toward destigmatising mental health and improving the health of the Rakyat. This decision will bring Malaysia in line with international norms.
Ammonium nitrate (AN) has become the prime focus recently as it has been alleged to be the cause of the deadly explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. AN has also been reported to be engendering explosion in numerous cases such as in Oppau (1921), Texas (1947, 2013) and Tianjin (2015). But was AN the only culprit here?
As the world grapples with COVID-19, healthcare professionals are working round the clock to keep COVID-19 patients alive, medical scientists are racing to develop treatments and vaccines, epidemiologists are modelling infection rates to predict how the virus will continue to spread, and science journalists are disseminating news while battling the spread of misinformation.
Microplastics, broadly defined < 5 mm, are plastic particles of different shape, size and polymer composition. Recently, there has been extensive media coverage on microplastic pollution including news release from the World Health Organization on the potential environmental health threat from microplastics. Single-use plastics and inappropriate plastic waste management are the primary reasons for pollution.
As of 12 May 2020, 4,425,094 people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 with deaths reaching 297,723.Doctors are desperately looking for an effective drug, and there have been a number of candidates on trial; one of them, remdesivir, is probably the most exciting of all. This is the drug developed for the Ebola epidemic in 2015, but it was found to be less effective in clinical trials than in in vitro studies. Is remdesivir the panacea for COVID-19?
Science is often viewed as the bastion of rationale and objectivity. True meritocracy is therefore expected from a sector that advocates for evidence over tradition. Despite this, the existing scientific workforce is yet to be representative of the increasingly diverse society in the Western world.
This week the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) released a guideline and standard operating procedure (SOP) regarding school management and measures to control the spread of COVID-19. The guidelines have been endorsed by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) and the National Security Council (MKN). This guideline covers all schools under MOE as well as the private educational institutions registered with MOE.
The world is celebrating the World Environment Day for the 46th time. While this day aims to remind ourselves on the importance of environmental protection, we should reflect on how successful we have been in doing so in the last half a decade. The COVID-19 virus, which has infected over 6 million people and has taken more than 300,000 lives to date, certainly gives an alarming signal that humans should put more effort in protecting the environment.
At the initial stages of a new disease outbreak, information about the disease and how it spreads is scarce, limited and often incomplete. Therefore, it is difficult for the government and healthcare authorities to design management policies to contain the outbreak. To overcome this, scientists often rely on mathematical modelling to predict the future trend of a disease and consequently inform the appropriate measures to tackle the outbreak.