Thailand is looking forward to co-operate with Cuba on biotechnology which could bring changes in food and herbal studies. Both the countries have entered into an agreement on scientific co-operation in the areas of nanotechnology, biotechnology, computer and electronics and materials science. The agreement would enable Thailand to gain from knowledge of Cuba since Cuba is quite advanced in the field of biotechnology as it’s quite rich in biological resources. Prime minister of Thailand is on a visit to Cuba and this visit is expected to open up gates of opportunity for both the countries in exchanging their studies and research. As far as Cuba is concerned it has large variety of plants and cereals which have been developed through biotechnology and in order to gain from the experience of Cuba, Thailand is co-operating with it in this field. With regards to the development Thai scientists have undertaken researches on food and herbal studies in Cuba and in order to gain expertise have also undertaken a visit to Cuba’s Cancer Research Institute. It seems Thailand is all set to develop itself in the field of biotechnology.
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All eyes are set at the flora exposition in Thailand as some people fear that the exotic foreign plants being displayed among the four million local trees might harm the local environment. Until and unless stricter measures are taken there is a chance that these foreign plants might lead to the contamination of the gene pool in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Officials of the agriculture department have been working hard for the past six months in order to ensure that these foreign plants did not damage their environment. A wide variety of species have been brought from countries such as South Africa and Japan. The country has banned genetically modified plants from the event in order to avoid any opposition from conservationists. It seems that genetically modified plants are not being welcomed by a number of countries who fear that these altered varieties could upset their surroundings.
The Thai agriculture department has landed in a soup. It has been sued by the Greenpeace for contaminating Thai farms with GM papaya. It wants the guilty officials to be punished for illegally distributing GM papaya seeds to farmers across Thailand. Thailand has been pushing GMO research for improving the crops but environmentalists are not pleased and they stated that these seeds caused the violation of the rights of consumers and farmers and had a damaging effect on the environment. This was also a violation of the 2001 law which banned field trials of genetically modified organisms. Thailand’s Human Rights Commission said in September that the genetically modified seeds had spread to one third of 31 papaya orchards in four provinces they surveyed in July. This law had banned all GMO field trials and the current law prevents publicly any sale of GMO seeds and requires labeling of products containing more than five percent of genetically modified ingredient.
Soon it would be possible that doctors can detect tuberculosis within one minute with the help of bio-sensors. Scientists from Thailand based Srinakharinwirot University’s nanotechnology centre are close to develop a new technology, which will diagnose micobacterium tuberculosis within 60 seconds. Biosensor is a technology in which enzymes or antibodies are used to detect sugars and proteins in body fluids, contaminants in water and gases in air. Scientists are widely using biosensors for several medical targets, which are given below: 1) Glucose monitoring in diabetes patients 2) Detection of pesticides and river water contaminants 3) Remote sensing of airborne bacteria 4) Detection of pathogens 5) Routine measurement of folic acid 6) Biotin and Vitamin B12 Kosum Chansiri, associate professor, said, The new technique will be a breakthrough as present day testing methods like culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are time consuming and unable to determine accurately if the TB strain is resistant to any drug. While private hospitals in India use PCR, the country’s National TB Control Programme still believes in the sputum microscopy test that takes over two days. The Thai announcement comes after Rapid Biosensor Systems, a Cambridge-based developer, has recently developed a TB breathalyzer, a portable device, which can detect TB in less than 5 minutes. It is expected that soon the trial of the technology is about to start in the UK and India. Dennis Camilleri, the chief executive officer of RBS, said, the system does not require samples to be sent to a lab for analysis, it could potentially be used at airports and seaports to screen people as they enter a country and also enables the screening to be done “while you wait”. Image Credit: MPA & CNR Via: Times of India