It’s amazing what research can deliver

lifestyle August 23, 2017 17:06

By The Nation

4,946 Viewed

Thailand Research Week begins today as part of the national Thailand 4.0 initiative, aimed at getting people and businesses to rely more on research in fostering innovation and building knowledge.

The National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT), Thailand Research Fund (TRF) and Agricultural Research Development Agency Public Organization will be hosting activities through Sunday (August 27) in central Bangkok.

These include the fourth International Rice Bran Oil Conference at the Pathumwan Princess Hotel on August 24 and 25, co-organised with Naresuan University. 

It will bring together experts from 22 organisations as far away as India and Japan. The use of rice-bran oil in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics will be one focus in an event designed to put Thailand at the forefront of the field.

The exhibition “25 Years of the TRF: Promote Human Development, Create Knowledge and Create Future” will be in Siam Paragon’s Royal Paragon Hall on August 25 and 26. 

Each TRF unit will outline its outstanding research projects amid discussions on public health, agriculture and support for TRF scholarship and products.

The NRCT’s Thailand Research Expo at Centara Grand at CentralWorld from August 23 to 27 has as its theme “Research for developing the country to stability, prosperity, and sustainability”. 

Plans include exhibitions honouring His Majesty the late King Bhumibol, regarded as “the Father of Thai Research”, and His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn. 

Now in its 12th year, the exposition highlights research projects around the country, and this year more than 1,000 undertakings will be examined. Among them is the “LeO-Trap” mosquito-fighting device invented by Drs Usawadee Tawara and Apiwat Thawatsin of the Department of Medical Sciences. 

It takes the form of a small jar made of black plastic. Mosquitoes are chemically lured into the tall gap between top and bottom and lay their eggs, but the liquid inside kills the larvae – 500 mosquitoes dead in the space of a week, studies found, and the dangers of dengue fever avoided.

Professor Alisa Soontornwat of Huachiew Chalermprakiet University’s Faculty of Science and Technology has concocted a healthy jelly drink that’s beneficial to elderly people and promises to add value to Thai-grown mulberry and namdokmai mango, which are high in antioxidants and other nutrients. 

Professor Sitthichai Samanchai of Ubon Ratchathani University’s Faculty of Applied Arts and Architecture demonstrates that research doesn’t just apply to science.

He and his community assistants in Korat have come up with a way to weave and dye fabric so it matches the look and texture of a lotus blossom – the bloom of the pink Ubon lotus, to be exact. Sitthichai calls it “Pagleebbua”. 

The innovation is expected to both help preserve Ubon weaving traditions and carry the local textile trade into the future. Pagleebbua looks like it will be popular, promising weavers a good income – it currently sells for Bt8,000 per two metres.

The week holds many other surprises –amphibious houses for use in emergency situations, a miniature sausage cutter, a mobile museum, a “life lamp” and a “bird’s nest light detector”. 

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