Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012 for G Protein Coupled Receptors

After a long hiatus, I'm back to blogging about a Nobel Prize that matters very much to me. Nobel Prizes, as its founder Alfred Nobel puts it in his will, aims to reward people for making great contributions without regard to race and nationality.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry rewards scientists for contributing to the field of chemistry. Apart from pure chemistry, prizes are also awarded for discoveries made in molecular biosciences. The prize in chemistry has a lot to do with better medicines used to treat diseases today and chemical processes used in industry to quickly transform raw materials into finished products; in short the Nobel Prizes work touches almost every aspect of our lives. The scientists worked tirelessly in the labs and fields to make our lives better, we should give a big salute for their effort :)

Who wins the award?

Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Koblika
From left: Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Koblika

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was jointly awarded to Robert J. Lefkowitz of Duke University and Brian K. Koblika of Stanford University.

What is it awarded for?

The prize in chemistry was awarded for work on G protein coupled receptors. Have you ever experienced the thrill of adrenaline rush? Apart from the action of the hormone adrenaline, this feeling also depends on adrenaline receptors located on surfaces of your cells.

For a long time, how cells sense their environment has been a mystery. Scientists knew that hormones like adrenaline have powerful effects like raising heartbeat and blood pressure, so they thought there must be a recipient for hormones that are located on cell surfaces. This knowledge has been hidden from us until the Robert Lefkowitz began his work in 1968.

Lefkowitz started to use radioisotope labelling on hormones to trace their corresponding receptors. Thanks to radioactivity, he managed to fish out an important receptor for adrenaline: the β-adrenergic receptor. The receptor looks like this:

seven pass receptor ribbon diagram

The receptor (blue) is a protein chain that passes the cell membrane seven times, hence it is also named seven pass receptors. At the bottom of the receptor lies a G protein consisting of three parts: α, β and γ subunits. Once the hormone molecule (yellow) binds in the pocket at the receptor, it changes the shape of the receptor.  The α subunit of the G protein complex detaches to pass the signal to other parts of the cell.

The next breakthrough came in the 1980s when Brian Koblika found the gene (DNA) in our genome that encodes the adrenaline receptor. Interestingly, they found the adrenaline receptor looks a lot like the receptor found in our eyes - the receptor that captures light that enables us to see. It turned out that seven pass receptors belongs to a very large family!

What does G protein coupled receptors have to do with me?

Today, we known that there exists at least a thousand of such receptors in humans, responsible to sense stuff like light, flavour, smell, nutrients and hormones. The seven pass architecture is highly adaptable- evolution has created and modified so many of them to bind lots of stuff in the receptor's pocket. These receptors play a very big role in our senses - they are found in our nose, tongue and eyes.

But what makes this class of receptors so important? Half of the medicines we buy in pharmacies act on G protein coupled receptors to make us feel better. By understanding how they work, for sure we can come up with better medicines :)

UBAH - 13th General Election theme song for Pakatan Rakyat

Although 13th GE is over but the spirit of change lives on. I am hoping for a better future in Malaysia, so let's not give up.

When I played it for the first time, I was so touched that I teared up. And those who sang the song are seriously talented!

Malay version

Chinese version

Tamil version

I have been hoping for a change, but it's through God's timing that it will be fulfilled.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Pink's Jung Eunji imitating Mashimaro filler

Marshimaro Eunji

My gosh Eunji looks really like a Mashimaro!

She was at the Busan fansign event to promote her group's latest mini album Secret Garden. For more photos of the event please visit the album from A Pink Malaysia Community =)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Printed T shirts by HongJet.com.my

Welcome to the last part of my adventure in 24th Malaysia Sign & LED Exhibition! Have pleasure in reading earlier parts to have a complete picture of my visit to this trade exhibition.

Part 1: Entering the 24th Malaysia Sign and LED Exhibition
Part 2: Hapond Booth for Digital Cutter and UV Dried Plotter
Part 3: Epson SureColor printers and Contex scanners
Part 4: Digital Cutting machine for smooth edge finishing by JingWei CAD/CAM
Part 5: Pantone Capsure: A Great Tool for a Colourful World!

Do you need to do printed T-shirts? Then visit HongJet.com.my to get yours done!

Printed T shirt

Two printed T shirts

Three printed T shirts

These badges are adhered onto the shirts (fabric) using heat transfer method. HongJet has specialised equipments for the job, so you can be rest assured of good quality finishes!

Tun Razak Hall 1

My visit has come to an end. See you next year!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Biorefresher: Nuffnang #LepakWithNuffies + MOYA MV


Biorefresher 1

Coffee Art
I was invited to Nuffnang Malaysia's #LepakWithNuffies at Coffee Societe in Publika. Glad to meet fellow Nuffnangers and Nuffies!

Biorefresher 2

AOA Black has released music video for MOYA! The title translates to "What" from Korean. Check out how AOA Black caught a womaniser with his pants down. The teaser which I missed, can be found here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bioinstagrams: Pu Er tea + Meeting Karena Cheow & Jean Lim

Had a refreshing coconut water at a seafood restaurant in Dengkil (near Putrajaya). Was off to check out a piece of vacant land (for sale!) near KLIA.

A serving of Pu Er tea 普洱茶 best enjoyed warm :)

I rushed to Chatime Mid Valley for a giveaway but too bad it was over. But glad to meet Karena Cheow again! The girl beside me was Jean Lim, who is now taking part in the next Miss Universe Malaysia 2014.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Biorefresher: Rum Pum Pum Pum!

Biorefresher 1

f(x) has just released their new piece Rum Pum Pum Pum (Korean title: Wisdom Tooth)!

Biorefresher 2

Epic chess game lol! Look at Godzilla made from pawns :D

Biorefresher 3

What's in a baby's name? Popularity of some names turned out to arise randomly, as mathematicians have worked out. The same applies to social media phenomena and established mutation in a population :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Banning Muslim Participants in Beauty Pageants is a Regressive Move

I woke up to the shocking news of four Malay-Muslim contestants Kathrina binti Rizuan, Miera Sheikh, Wafa Johanna De Korte and Sara Amelia Bernard being dropped out of Miss Malaysia World for religious reasons. Regrettably, the contestants affected were dropped out as finalists in the pageant.

The organiser of Miss Malaysia World has allowed Muslim participants from the start. As an alternative to swimsuits, Muslim participants has the option of wearing sportswear during the swimwear competition so as to reduce exposure of skin. Therefore, all contestants should be able to take part in the pageant without bothering their conscience.

Moreover, the grand final of Miss World will be held in Muslim-majority Indonesia.

I share my outrage with the disqualified participants for their hard work all the way from the beginning, only to have their dream crushed at the last minute. Quoting a 'fatwa' banning Muslim women from participating in beauty pageants is questionable in an era we live in currently. It is but a regressive move.

Beauty pageants have evolved to have a charitable function which participants are called to be advocates, ambassadors and perform social work. Moreover, winners of beauty pageants have important role to play in the society. Apart from physical appeal, winners of beauty pageants are judged by how well they carry themselves. To deny Muslim women from taking part in beauty pageants is to deny a share of representation of Muslim women in the society, which in turn undermine the societal role of women.

The move by Federal Territories mufti Datuk Wan Zahidi reeks of blatant double standard and hypocrisy. If he can criticise Muslim women for participating in beauty contests, why has he kept mum for activities that require revealing clothing and very much involved by female Muslims locally - swimming, gymnastics and cheerleading?

You may also read:
Miss Malaysia World organiser and dropped finalists regret ban
Sara Amelia Bernard (Miss M'sia World contestant)'s thoughts on being disqualified

Monday, July 22, 2013

Biorefresher: Puasa for one day

Biorefresher 1

Salute Joseph Germani (Youtuber) for experiencing fasting for one day himself!

Biorefresher 2

Have you watched Asians at Work 2? Asian behaviours can be so funny! If you have missed Part 1, you can find it here.

Biorefresher 3

Breaking news! Four Muslim contestants in Miss Malaysia World 2013 were disqualified following the advice of Federal Territories religious mufti. Even I was quite outraged to hear that! The contestants are okay with wearing sportswear instead of swimwear during the swimsuit segment; moreover the grand final will be held in Indonesia. As far as I can remember there was one contestant winning beauty contests with costumes complete with headscarf. Beauty contests nowadays are no longer about showcasing attractiveness but presenting the overall quality of a person.

I have so much to say about this, but this is said nicely as Josh Lim (founder of Advertlets) puts it, "Progress is made one funeral at a time. Maybe one day it'll be possible."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Biorefresher: A Pink 'Secret Garden' MV + AOA & f(x) comeback teaser

Biorefresher 1

A Pink revealed their 'Secret Garden' MV this morning. Look they've transformed into budding wood nymphs!

Is that all? Wait! There's one more MV from the mini album. Stay tuned!

Biorefresher 2

AOA Black What?
The band unit of AOA, AOA Black will debut on 26th of July. What they have in store for us?

Wait till the actual MV teaser to be released on 24th July ok? You're only seeing "teaser movies"!

Biorefresher 3

The girls of f(x) will be back! First comeback stage on the 25th (M! Countdown); full album Pink Tape expected on 29th July. The title track translates to 'First Wisdom Tooth' in Korean lolz. Their song titles are usually very bizzare.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bioinstagrams: Jonker Walk + Mimosa pudica + Turmeric prawns

Found this giant Mimosa pudica in Segambut. Also known as sensitive plant or touch-me-not, in Chinese it's called 含羞草

Jonker Walk
Welcome to Jonker Walk, Melaka! One of the must visit places when you hit the town, where you can find the street lined with hawkers.

Went to a networking session by MINDS Malaysia at Royal Lake Club. Prawns cooked in turmeric powder is superb!

But hey, what's wrong with Jonker Walk?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pantone Capsure: A Great Tool for a Colourful World!

Part 1: Entering the 24th Malaysia Sign and LED Exhibition
Part 2: Hapond Booth for Digital Cutter and UV Dried Plotter
Part 3: Epson SureColor printers and Contex scanners
Part 4: Digital Cutting machine for smooth edge finishing by JingWei CAD/CAM

Greetings readers, here we meet again. We are now entering Part 5 of my visit to the 24th Malaysia Sign and LED Exhibition, have you found them to be interesting? I'll be writing a colourful post ahead, so read on.

I'm sure you are familiar with colours like red, blue, yellow, orange, purple, etc that are enough to describe the colours we see in everyday life. Sometimes we use additional words like pale, light, dark to describe colours more specifically.

But, in an industrial setting, there comes a need to pinpoint the exact colour to be used, important for those working in publishing, graphic design, interior design, architecture or fashion industry. While we enjoy our reading of colourful newspapers and magazines everyday, publishers and printers working behind the scenes are working hard to bring the best to us, thus having a need to talk about colours in a non-ambiguous way.

In order to refer to colours accurately, products from Pantone readily answers our need.

Colour Guides from Pantone
Colour guides have all the colours that we see on print and screens. Each colour is given a number for identification purpose.

CMYK Color
What is CMYK? It stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black). It is a system used by printers to identify colours. To get a specific colour, inks of cyan, magenta, yellow are mixed while black ink is used for darker shades.

Pantone view

Pantone View is actually a service to provide inspiration as well as information on colour trends for designers.

Pantone Capsure
Meet the product that caught my eye - Pantone Capsure!

It's a novel scanner to tell apart colours! How do you use it? Just place its detector on a shade of colour you see and you'll get the code for the colour. Search the code in the colour guide you've read above and what you get is the colour that has been identified. You can save yourself from painstakingly telling colours apart with your naked eye.

Pantone Capsure comes in Bluetooth and non Bluetooth versions.

You can visit Pantone's website to know more. To buy the products, you can contact Superlink, which is based in Singapore.

Review: Turbo

I was glad to be able to catch the special screening of Turbo courtesy of Nuffnang Malaysia at TGV Cinemas in 1 Utama. This marked my first special screening since Wall-E (by Advertlets) a few years ago.

Synopsis: From the makers of Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, Turbo is a high-velocity 3D comedy about an underdog snail who kicks into overdrive when he miraculously attains the power of super-speed. But after making fast friends with a crew of streetwise, tricked-out es-car-goes, Turbo learns that no one succeeds on their own. So he puts his heart and shell on the line to help his pals achieve their dreams, before Turbo-charging his own impossible dream: winning the Indy 500.

Being a movie meant for kids, it is understandable that the director made extensive use of personification in the movie, to the point of breaking some rules of nature. The director suggested that snails have a closed circulatory system complete with a heart with red blood cells in the blood vessels, which are in fact not true for real snails. Turbo's shell broke but that didn't kill him.

The whole movie has been themed on chasing impossible dreams against all human logic, in which I'd recommend parental guidance for children. Otherwise, the movie stands out at telling this message: knowing who you are and capitalizing the advantage you have over others.

Of course I don't encourage finding loopholes in rules to take part in a race. But that was in the movie for entertainment.

I like how Guy Gagne was used to portray the difference between a person's public life and private life. He may be a nice and inspiring figure in the media but that's not what he actually is.

Trailer 1

Trailer 2

Trailer 3

The movie wins for usage of literary devices but loses out in terms of plot. There is nothing to shout about for visual effects.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Digital Cutting machine for smooth edge finishing by JingWei CAD/CAM

Part 1: Entering the 24th Malaysia Sign and LED Exhibition
Part 2: Hapond Booth for Digital Cutter and UV Dried Plotter
Part 3: Epson SureColor printers and Contex scanners

Was at 25th Malaysia International Sign and LED Exhibition at PWTC, after visiting a few booths I spotted a machine busy cutting away cardboards. The machine was equipped with laser guidance.

In everyday lives, we have got scissors and blades to cut cardboards. But for industrial and commercial applications, machines are used to give a smooth, uniform finishing to the products to make them presentable. Moreover, usage of machines cut costs (but only if you're mass producing).

Digital cutters are computer controlled. On top of that, their cutting tools are interchangable parts suitable for cutting papers, cardboard, gray board, acrylic board, composite materials and foam boards.

Let's see what digital cutters can do!

cardboard horse head

aeroplane cardboard


Smooth edges can be obtained. You can program the machine to cut for any shape you desire.

smooth finishing

The machine is manufactured by JingWei Systemtechnik Ltd based in China. You can visit their website http://www.jingwei.com.cn/ and http://www.jweicut.com/ or call them at +86 574 87913525.

To buy the machine in Malaysia, you can contact their dealer Colorocean (M) Sdn Bhd by calling +603 6038 5880.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Square Dotz Cafe, SS2 Petaling Jaya

While attending Fashion Salad held at the venue, I chilled inside the cafe for a drink.

Instead of usual food post (since I bo lui), I'll be showing you murals found inside the cafe which are said to be the work of Taylor's University architecture students.

Car number plates at the cashier's counter.

These murals can be found downstairs.

I ordered a cup of warm lemon tea and walked upstairs.

And sat at this table.

The mural just above the table.

Paintings can even be found on ceilings.

Wanna sing? The cafe has karaoke facilities for you!

The owner's congratulatory message. Friend's support has been such a formidable driving force.

Time for a sip of warm lemon tea.

Shall return once more to try the food.

Square Dotz Cafe
1, Jalan SS2/66
47300 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Telephone: +603 7865 4386

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fashion Salad with ze fashion bloggers!

Attended Fashion Salad last week (7 July 2013) at Square Dotz Cafe in Petaling Jaya section SS2.

Banner at entrance

I went there for an opportunity to meet up with bloggers. What can I buy at the bazaar? Maybe I should buy them for my (future) girlfriend lolz. Girly stuff were on sale there!

I met the pretty Povyteng! She blogs at Oneveryonelips.com

Elvina Chua
Elvina Chua! Good to see you again since 2 years ago.

Chenellewen who looks like a pretty doll.
I'm sorry this is a #phailed shot

The trio Vickybobo, Chanwon and lilzyumiko.

burger accessory samsung galaxy s3
I bought this cute handphone ornament from Jacsafterparty. She's now a mother!

This is Isabellakuan. Hi girl!

Till then!