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Posts Tagged ‘research’

S.Korea upholds suspended term for faked stem-cell research

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:41 am

SEOUL, Dec 16, 2010 (AFP) – A South Korean appeals court Thursday upheld a suspended prison term for a scientist whose claims of stem-cell breakthroughs rocked the scientific world until his research was found to be faked.


But the court reduced the penalty on Hwang Woo-Suk, imposing an 18-month sentence suspended for two years.

Hwang Woo-Suk (C) leaves after his trial at the Seoul High Court in Seoul on December 16, 2010. AFP

In October last year Hwang had received a two-year sentence — suspended for three years — for embezzling research funds and ethical lapses in obtaining human eggs for experiments.


Prosecutors appealed, saying he should also have been convicted of fraudulently obtaining funds from two local firms using his falsified lab work.


The appeals court affirmed Hwang was guilty of embezzlement but not fraud, saying there was no causal relationship between the funds he obtained and the faked research.


Hwang, who turned 58 on Thursday, shot to fame in 2004 when he published a paper in the US journal Science claiming to have created the world’s first stem-cell line from a cloned human embryo.


In a follow-up paper in 2005 in the same journal, he maintained that his team had developed 11 patient-specific embryonic stem-cell lines.


The claims raised hopes of new treatments for diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s.


The government showered Hwang and his team from the prestigious Seoul National University (SNU) with money and honours, and Hwang was awarded the title of “Supreme Scientist”.


But his reputation was tarnished in November 2005 by allegations that he had violated medical ethics by accepting human eggs from his own researchers.


In January 2006 an SNU investigative team ruled in a report that his findings were faked and said he had produced no stem cells of any kind.


The appeals court said Hwang had undermined the credibility of South Korea’s scientific community. But it said a suspended sentence was in order in view of his work in animal cloning.


Hwang played a key role in creating Snuppy, the world’s first cloned dog, an achievement which has been independently verified.


He has been on bail since his trial began in June 2006. He lost his government licence for human stem-cell research but still retains a loyal following.

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Source: SGGP

Vietnam, Laos boost social science research cooperation

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 at 3:22 pm




Vietnam, Laos boost social science research cooperation


QĐND – Friday, August 13, 2010, 21:3 (GMT+7)

The Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) will help the Lao National Social Science Institute improve its researchers’ capability for the 2011-2015 period.


The agreement to the effect was signed between the two institutes on August 13 under which both sides will conduct joint research and exchange experiences on theoretical and practical issues of their national development and international integration, their research results and related information.


Vietnam will help train researchers for the Lao institute as well as finance short-term study tours for six Lao researchers at the VASS.


The VASS has joined the Lao counterpart in six research projects, which cover the building and development of democracy in Laos, Lao social development, the globalisation impact on the Lao society and the study of the Mong ethnic group on the common border. The academy has also participated in compiling a book on the Vietnam-Laos history and the Vietnam-Laos social science dictionary.


Source: VNA/ Photo: gdtd


Source: QDND

Prof. Tran Quang Hai donates research to National Music Institute

In Uncategorized on July 17, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Music professor Tran Quang Hai handed over the entirety of his research work on Vietnamese traditional music to the National Music Institute on July 16.

Professor Tran Quang Hai (L) gives his music research work to a representative of the National Music Institute (Photo: Tuoi Tre)

The talented Vietnamese-French renowned musician has collected numerous compact discs and books of great value over the past 40 years.
 
Born in 1944, the professor comes from a family of five generations of musicians. He studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Saigon before going to France in 1961, where he studied the theory and practice of Oriental music with his father, Dr. Tran Van Khe, at the Center of Studies for Oriental Music in Paris. 
 
Hai can plays more than 15 musical instruments from Vietnam, China, India, Iran, Indonesia and Europe.


Since 1966, he has performed over 2,500 concerts in 50 countries, and has taken part in over a hundred international traditional music festivals.


The music master also has delivered over 3,000 talks on Vietnamese music in 65 countries and taught Asian music at 120 universities around the world.


Hai’s music spans several genres including contemporary, electro-acoustical, improvisational, film scores, but he continues to preserve and develop traditional Vietnamese music.


He has obtained more than 20 prizes and international awards such as a Gold Medal for music from the Asian Cultural Academy, the Cristal Medal of the National Center for Scientific Research (France, 1996); he has received honorary doctorates from the International University Foundation (USA) and the Albert Einstein International Academy (USA), and others.


French President Jacques Chirac made Hai a Knight in France’s legendary Legion of Honor in June 2002.

Source: SGGP

Scientific research investment is essential

In Uncategorized on July 6, 2010 at 4:17 pm




Scientific research investment is essential


QĐND – Tuesday, July 06, 2010, 20:46 (GMT+7)

The objective of the strategy to develop the agricultural mechanical engineering sector to 2010 with a vision for 2020 is to meet about 45-50 percent of the domestic demand for agricultural machinery. So far this objective has not been realized yet. Promoting business cooperation and investment in technology is considered to be a solution to vitalize the Vietnamese agricultural mechanical engineering sector.


 


Heavy dependence on imports


An agriculture-based country, Vietnam has a high demand for mechanical products. Every year, Vietnam manufactures about 550,000 agricultural machinery items, which include mostly diesel engines, power generators and combine harvesters.


About 1,300 companies are operational throughout the country, specializing in manufacturing/trading in tractors and many other kinds of agricultural machinery and equipment. In addition to those, there are 1,218 facilities specializing in repairing and maintaining machinery and equipment.


However, Doan Xuan Hoa, the deputy director of the Department of Processing and Trade of Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Products and Salt Production of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said, “The domestic demand for agricultural machinery and equipment, especially tractors, plough machines and combine harvesters, is very high. Meanwhile the volume of machinery manufactured domestically is insufficient to meet the actual demand.”


Presently, most types of agricultural machinery that are being used in Vietnam are products of China or other countries. Statistics show that Chinese products accounts for about 60 percent of all agricultural machinery and equipment items being used in Vietnam, Vietnamese-manufactured products account for about 30 percent, and the remaining were used products imported from foreign countries such as Japan and the Republic of Korea.


Mr. Hoa said that most types of machinery manufactured in Vietnam still show many shortcomings compared with imported products, for example low capacity, outdated technology and expensive prices.


The Government has released Resolution 497, under which farmers are offered an interest subsidy for the loans they borrow to buy agricultural machinery and equipment. However, domestically manufactured agricultural machinery and equipment do not meet the actual demand in terms of both quality and quantity. Therefore the situation cannot improve yet.


 


Businesses are unwilling to invest


Despite the high demand for agricultural machinery, domestic companies seem to be unwilling to invest in this market. While the State is encouraging investment in the manufacture of some types of agricultural machinery such as high-capacity diesel engines, tractors and machine tools, no domestic company is willing to invest.


Mr. Hoa said, “The manufacture of agricultural machinery requires big investments but does not bring in a high profit as manufacturing other types of mechanical products. This is the reason why domestic companies are unwilling to invest in manufacturing agricultural machinery. ” It takes much time to manufacture a complete farming tool as well as to recover the amount of money that is invested in manufacturing. Moreover, cultivation areas in Vietnam are scattered but not concentrated, and this is another reason making domestic companies unwilling to invest in manufacturing agricultural machinery”.


 


What solution?


For all the above problems, it is not easy to vitalize the domestic agricultural mechanical engineering sector. Nguyen Van Thu, the president of the Vietnam Association of Mechanical Engineering, said, “Appropriate policies must be put in place to encourage investment in the manufacture of agricultural machinery.”


Most importantly, in his opinion, it is necessary to build the linkage between domestic mechanical companies. It will be impossible for a single domestic company to withstand fierce competition with Chinese products.


It will be a good solution for domestic mechanical companies to cooperate with each other so that each of them can specialize in manufacturing some components of agricultural machinery. It is very costly as well as time and manpower-consuming to manufacture a complete agricultural machinery item.


Cooperation helps reduce the manufacture cost and shorten the time needed to manufacture as well as to recover the amount of invested capital. Thanks to cooperation, domestic mechanical companies can become more competitive.


In the long term, to prevent the domestic agricultural machinery market from being swamped with imported products, it is necessary to build and tighten the linkage between scientists and manufacturers in order to improve the quality of products and reduce the manufacture cost, thus enhancing the competitiveness of domestic mechanical manufacturers.


The State has put in place policies that offer preferences to those who do scientific research catering to agriculture but reality shows that every year not more than 10 percent of the research results have been applied in production. So the problem is how to reduce the manufacture cost so that manufacturers can make a profit. “The most important and long-term solution is investing in scientific research,” Mr. Hoa asserted.


Source: VEN/VietnamNet


 


Source: QDND

Mekong delta provinces urged to take social science research seriously

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 9:12 am

Some provinces in the Mekong delta still consider social science research to be frivolous, said participants of a meeting held to discuss scientific issues of the region for the 2011-2015 term.

A floating market in Can Tho City(Photo: Ng. Nam)

The meeting, held in Can Tho City, the center of the Mekong Delta region, included scientists, presidents of institutes and researchers. Participants claimed the region, despite several achievements of late, still lags behind in its social science research, due to unprofessional methods that are not commensurate with the general growth of the region.


Professor Do Hoai Nam, President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Science, told the seminar that in the future, there would need to be more cooperation among scientists of central and provincial agencies to contribute to sustainable development of the region.


Meeting participants also discussed wide gap between the rich and the poor, the devastation of traditional values due to effects of international integration, maintaining steady growth, the training and utilization of personnel, as well as climate change.


Participants all agreed that collaboration between research and training, among the central and regional agencies, is essential.

Source: SGGP

Research shows bird flu could become more deadly

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 6:08 am

Recent research shows rapid changes have occurred to the bird flu virus (A/H5N1), which could lead to a more deadly, drug-resistant strain of the disease, the Virus Department of the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology has reported.









Doctors examine patients contracted with A/H1N1 in Bac Kan Hospital. (Photo: VNA)


Dr. Nguyen Huy Nga, head of the Preventive Health and Environment Department, said that at least seven antigen groups have appeared in the bird flu virus since it was first detected in Vietnam, and that the virus’s future development would be hard to predict.


She made the announcement on March 12 during a national conference in Hanoi on avian influenza.


However, the ability to transmit the virus from human to human remains low, Dr. Nga said.


She also warned that a bird flu (A/H5N1) epidemic is at high risk of recurrence due to poor pubic awareness of the disease.


Dr. Nguyen Tran Hien, director of the Virus Department of the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology, said that in addition to raising awareness about genetic mutations related to the bird flu virus, people must be educated about how to prevent the disease.


Dr. Nga said that in remote areas, local people still slaughter and eat meat from sick chickens. This may cause the disease to spread further, she added.


The Environment and Preventative Medicine Department has asked people to take strict measures to prevent another outbreak of A/H5N1. The department also stressed the need to tighten control of poultry transport, trading and slaughtering activities.


Anyone who suspects they may have contracted bird flu is advised to seek immediate medical treatment, the department added.


According to experts, the most effective measure to prevent an outbreak of the deadly disease is to promote information dissemination. Public awareness of the virus has remained relatively low since bird flu first broke out in Vietnam seven years ago.


Since the beginning of this year, five people in Vietnam have contracted the A/H5N1 virus, of whom two died.


Bird flu has claimed the lives of 60 people in Vietnam since December 2003.





Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Australian research says TV can kill

In World on January 12, 2010 at 12:37 pm

People who spend more than four hours in front of the television each day have a far higher risk of dying early than those who limit their viewing, an Australian study said Tuesday.








An employee watches a program inside an appliance store selling second-hand television in Manila July 4, 2008. (AFP Photo)

Watching the small screen for prolonged periods is also bad for your heart, according to the research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.


“Compared to people who watch less than two hours of television per day, people who watch more than four hours per day have a 46 percent higher risk of death from all causes,” researcher David Dunstan told AFP.


They also have an 80 percent increased risk from cardiovascular disease, he said.


Sitting down for long periods stops the body from using its muscles and adequately processing sugars and fats, Dunstan said.


The findings come from a six-year study into the viewing habits of some 8,800 Australians which stripped out the influence of other health factors such as age, sex, smoking, weight and exercise.


Australians watch an average of three hours a day, said Dunstan, a researcher with the Melbourne-based Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.


The study found that even people who exercised regularly were potentially hurting their bodies by sitting down for extended periods, he said.


“What these findings suggest is that in addition to regular exercise, people need to consider avoiding prolonged periods of sitting; whether it’s in front of the television, working long hours or driving for prolonged periods.


“And for TV, a specific message could be: switch off, stand up and keep moving,” the researcher said.


 


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Weak scientific research generates marginal income

In Social life on October 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm




Weak scientific research generates marginal income


QĐND – Monday, October 26, 2009, 20:44 (GMT+7)

The income universities receive from scientific research and technology deals account for only 3.92 percent of the total financial resources of universities.


Associate Professor Dr Ta Duc Thinh from the Ministry of Education and Training’s Science and Technology Department observed that the ratio of income from scientific research and technology transfers with the total investment in scientific research between 2006-2008 was 1,784,386 million dong/1,200,485 million dong.  


Polytechnical universities (Hanoi University of Mining and Geology, Hanoi University of Technology, Civil Engineering University, Hanoi and Dalat Industry University) led in earning money from technology transfers with a ratio of 77.28 percent. Economics universities (Trade University, University of Foreign Trade) had the lowest ratios, even with large budgets for scientific research. Scientific research income came primarily from international cooperation instead. 


The low efficiency of scientific research has been attributed to the “weak force” of leading scientists, inadequate facilities and impractical research projects. 


Questions have been raised about how universities can increase income from scientific research. 


Dr. Dao Van Dong from the Hanoi University of Transportation, explained that universities face great obstacles in obtaining financial support. Projects often cannot meet production utilization requirements and therefore, Dong stated, it is necessary to provide good scientific ideas and skilled researchers. 


Dr Ha Thanh Toan, Deputy President of Can Tho University, revealed that, in the context of present economic difficulties, the university had to mobilize financial support from various sources, including cooperation with businesses and international groups. 


Toan claimed that universities always choose reasonable scientific research projects that are useful for local utilization.


Source: VietNamNet/NLD


 


Source: QDND Bookmark & Share

VND500b Gov’t grants for top agricultural research

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2008 at 10:29 am

HA NOI — Projects aiming to solve agricultural science issues related to crop variety, harvesting, fisheries and food security are eligible to win potential grants of up to VND500 billion (US$30.3 million) each.


Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung gave the directive at a meeting in Ha Noi yesterday to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, research institutes and scientists to select the projects, which should include training and improving technology standards in rural areas to solve relevant issues for farmers to meet the real demands of production.


There are three main elements necessary to build modern rural areas and agricultural techniques and improve people’s living standard, which include implementing new technologies, training experts and attracting talented people to rural areas, and building modern infrastructure, according to Hung.


A report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said nearly VND1.3 trillion was invested in agricultural technology in 2001-05, accounting for 2.3 per cent of total investment in agriculture sector. The sum is expected to be increased by 11.6 per cent in the 2006-10 period.


The amount given for agricultural technology for a farming-based country like Viet Nam was too low as it was only 0.1 per cent of GDP, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat.


Much higher


In other regional countries, the figure is from four to seven times higher.


Phat reported that the country’s rice production was listed high in the world rankings, as was the production of pepper, coffee and cashew.


However, the agricultural sector was still fell short of meeting demand from farmers for consulting on increasing the production of certain crops.


The minister admitted that Viet Nam lacked experts in agricultural science and the sector had not sufficiently caught up with all issues related to research and applying high-tech products for increased production.


Many countries have developed agricultural science by sending their staff abroad and pouring money into international research institutes to acquire about new technologies but in Viet Nam, it is very difficult to persuade management agencies to invest in international research institutes, according to Director of Viet Nam Agricultural Science Institute Nguyen Van Bo.


He felt it was time to earmark and contribute money to such institutes because for every dollar invested in research institutes a potential five to seven dollars gain could be seen from increased production.


Phat admitted that Viet Nam had not yet encouraged the development of agricultural science.


Phat said agricultural science was the most important to help the agricultural sector reach basic development targets, which included maintaining the sector’s growth rate of 3-3.5 per cent per year, reducing the number of rural labourers to below 50 per cent of the population and increasing income for farmers by 2.5 times by 2020. To reach these goals, it was necessary to increase agriculture technology investment to 0.3 – 0.5 per cent of GDP, he said. —

Japan, VN firms open research and development centre

In Uncategorized on September 17, 2008 at 10:26 am

HCM CITY — Vietnamese and Japanese software companies FPT Software Co and Hitachi Joho Ltd launched a joint research and development centre in the city last Saturday.


The Hitachi Joho-FPT R&D Centre will have five Japanese experts and 60 Vietnamese developers working together to come up with attractive products for foreign investors.


FPT Software and Hitachi Joho expect to expand the centre in scale by at least four times by 2010, and become the largest Japanese player in the country’s software industry, officials say.


The Japanese company also plans to support FPT’s training work by hosting Vietnamese coders and enabling potential Vietnamese IT workers to improve their skills and management expertise.


“One of the current most urgent issues of the Japan’s IT industry is the necessity to provide IT services at low cost, while lacking IT technicians. Therefore, shifting production work to foreign countries is obvious.


“Previously, Hitachi Joho placed China at the focus of our global map, and now we expand our focus to Viet Nam, starting with the cooperation with FPT Company in software development,” said Hara Iwao, general director of Hitachi Joho.


Currently, revenues earned from co-operative projects between Hitachi Corp and FPT have accounted for more than 17 per cent of the latter’s earnings, and the new venture is expected to boost this further.


Besides the R&D centre, the Japanese partner plans to set up a centre to collect data on the ties between Viet Nam and Japan and also get involved in providing training services at Vietnamese universities and colleges, including the FPT College. —