Chemistry: The Key for our Future

August 2, 2012

The second International Conference on Pure and Applied Chemistry (ICPAC 2012) was held from 2 to 6 July 2012 at Hilton Mauritius Resorts and Spa, Mauritius and was opened by Dr The Honourable Rajeshwar Jeetah, Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology. The Organising Committee adopted the theme “Chemistry: The Key for our Future”, highlighting the importance of chemistry in our life and the crucial role it has to play in the future. This recognition was one of the factors for United Nations to declare the year 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry. It was also the year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize awarded to Marie Curie.

One of the outcomes of these celebrations was that the activities organised in different countries to promote Chemistry, and its contributions to the well-being of mankind, should be pursued. Also, an evaluation of these efforts cumulated over several years would be a better indicator of the progress made. Read the rest of this entry »

Fox news cites research on effects of black tea consumption in reducing risk factors for heart disease

June 25, 2012

The research study being mentioned in the article ‘Cup of tea lowers heart disease risk’ published in Fox News on 14 June 2012 was conducted locally on Mauritian black tea. Laurie Tarkan, award-winning health journalist, wrote that this “new study has found that drinking black tea appears to reduce several risk factors for heart disease, potentially lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke. In the study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, drinking three cups of tea for 12 weeks (with no milk or sugar) led to highly significant reduction in blood sugar levels and triglycerides which are unhealthy fats.”

The scientific team who probed into the effects of black tea regrouped researchers from the ANDI Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials including Prof Theeshan Bahorun, the Cardiac Centre of the SSR National Hospital, the Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences of the University of Glasgow, UK, and the School of Biomedical Sciences and School of Pharmacy, American University of Health Sciences, Signal Hill, USA. Read the rest of this entry »

Transit of Venus observed at different places by staff and students of UoM

June 6, 2012

Sky conditions were not ideal this morning for the observation of this rare alignment of the sun, venus and earth but even the cloudy weather could not defeat the enthusiasm of University staff and students. The transit of Venus was observable today, 6 June 2012, in Mauritius from sunrise up to around 8.52 am. Arrangements were made for safe observations to take place near the Faculty of Agriculture and at the Mauritius Radio Telescope, Bras d’Eau. On the campus, telescopes were set up on the lawn and those who crowded early there viewed the phenomenon by projection and saw a tiny black dot (Venus- 32 times smaller than the Sun’s disc) gliding slowly on the bright face of the sun. University physicists had previously given clear instructions not to gaze directly at the sun which could cause permanent eye damage. Read the rest of this entry »

SKA awarded to Africa

June 4, 2012

Square Kilometre Array Bid Announcement

At a meeting in Amsterdam, on the 25th May 2012, the independent Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Site Advisory Committee (SSAC), composed of world class astronomers and engineers, has decided that Africa will be hosting the SKA.

The African bid consortium consists of Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia. Mauritius’s involvement has contributed to this success.

The UoM has taken part in this bid for the SKA since 2004. It has also contributed to this by maintaining an active radio astronomy programme: MRT helical array, CALLISTO and MITRA. Two UoM academics, R. Somanah and G.K. Beeharry, have maintained an active presence in the International SKA Working Group committee. This situation gives Mauritius a unique opportunity to participate in an international cutting edge endeavour.

Square Kilometre Array

The SKA will be about 100 times more sensitive than the largest existing radio telescope on Earth. Read the rest of this entry »

University of Mauritius partners with University of Cape Town initiative to boost profile of local research

May 18, 2012

This week, the University of Mauritius has partnered with a University of Cape Town (UCT) programme to boost the profile of local research and enhance our collaborative opportunities with scholars around the world.

In conjunction with the Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme (SCAP) at UCT, the UoM launched a pilot initiative, called Profiling Academics Online (PAO), which uses Web 2.0 technologies to promote university scholarship and international collaboration. It was launched to ensure that Mauritian research continues to contribute to the global marketplace of ideas in the Internet age. Read the rest of this entry »

Sustainable Marine Environment Special Issue

May 9, 2012

The UoM Research Journal special issue on “Sustainable Marine Environment” Vol 18A published in 2012 was cited in the Nairobi Convention & UNEP Marine & Coastal news round-up of May. The news round-up helps disseminating information on news, events, activities and publications on the Western Indian Ocean region.

This issue compiles the findings of several UoM researchers and international experts. Their scientific contributions put in evidence the great potential of the Mauritian sea flora and other unexplored utilization of the resources in our vast ocean. They also raise the pertinent issue of global warming and its related impacts on the oceans such as ocean acidification and degradation of the coral environment among others. Addressing this issue, the scientific community proposes the creation of a coral nursery to encourage conservation and rehabilitation of the reefs.

“This Special Issue is aimed at improving scientific knowledge to promote a sustainable marine environment. It will hopefully foster further knowledge generation in the coming future to inform ‘Maurice Ile Durable’ concept in the Republic of Mauritius” Editorial on Sustainable Marine Environment of Mauritius- Dr Ranjeet Bhagooli and Prof Theeshan Bahorun from the Department of Biosciences, UoM, and Okezie I Aruoma, School of Biomedical Sciences and School of Pharmacy, American University of Health Sciences, USA

 The Research papers are available on the UoM Research Journal website: Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond University campus: Challenging the frontiers of Science

December 19, 2011

The ANDI Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research (CBBR) settles itself on the premises of the historic Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute at Reduit, where it aims to spearhead innovation and scientific research on a national level. The building which now houses the CBBR was formerly the Cane Breeding Unit of the MSIRI. “Since its setting up in 1953 and throughout the years, the MSIRI has shown excellence in sugar-cane research and it is for us a matter of great pride to be given the opportunity to work on its premises in the pursuit of research excellence” said the Head of the CBBR, Prof Dhanjay Jhurry. The CBBR was inaugurated on Thursday 15 December 2011 by Dr the Hon. Rajeshwar Jeetah, Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology, in the presence of the Hon. Lormus Bundhoo, Minister of Health and Quality of life, Prof Konrad Morgan, Vice-Chancellor of the University, and key partners from the private and medical sectors. Read the rest of this entry »