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Scientists vie for Viet Nam's Golden Globe

Update: January, 12/2014 - 16:49

Kidney treatments:Vu Duy Hai (first from right) presents the dialyser and bloodline reprocessing system to the judgement board of Bach Mai Hospital. — VNS File Photos

by Phan Hau and An Vu

They work with different sciences, but Vu Duy Hai and Tong Van Hai share an interest in and devotion to humanitarian work.

The two young intellectuals were among the outstanding young faces nominated for the Vietnamese Golden Globe Award by the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour and Ministry of Science and Technology in 2012.

For Vu Duy Hai, who is the vice chairman of the biomedical and electric sector under the Ha Noi University of Science and Technology, science has always been a medium to save human lives. His current research on the recycling of dialyser and bloodline reprocessing systems in kidney treatments is receiving good reviews from experts.

"Most of the patients are from rural areas, so they cannot afford to pay the high cost of kidney treatments. As you know, the cost in each case is high, mostly because of the use of dialysers and bloodlines. Across the world and in Viet Nam, these devices are only used once, so they can only be recycled four or five times. With this new system, they can be recycled ten to twelve times. Therefore, the cost will decrease," Hai says.

As he puts it, nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. The project met with obstacles posed by others in the industry, since each dialyser is used only once to ensure the patient's safety. Moreover, the technique is completely alien to Vietnamese doctors.

"To convince doctors, my team and I have conducted experiments with hundreds of animal blood samples and volunteers, and we invited experts to examine and collate the data. Eventually, the result was positive. Without the help of the doctors and technicians of Bach Mai Hospital's Kidney Department, my team could not have finished this project," Hai adds.

After nearly two years of research, Hai and his partners have completed four sets of filters and blood transfusions. Their productivity has increased from six to eight units and has satisfied all the safety criteria of the public health sector. Hai hopes his project will be implemented.

"The device has been authorised for mass production. Personally, I am very happy that my wish to help lengthen patients' lives is becoming a reality. There are many things to be done to make our community better. All that youngsters need to do is stop for a while for some deep introspection, and then, they can do meaningful things in their lives," adds Hai.

Agricultural science:Tong Van Hai develops genetically modified tomatoes that can resist disease.

The second nominee, Tong Van Hai, was born and raised in the northern province of Thai Binh. His parents' deepest sorrow that their field's harvest could not be sold motivated him to join the Ha Noi University of Agriculture.

"I remember when my brother and I went to the market to sell tomatoes at a price of only VND200 per kilogram. It cost us a great deal and was not worth the effort. I made up my mind not to let this happen again," says Hai.

In his study on new rice varieties, Hai focuses on developing short-term breeds, especially genetically modified and slow-ripening tomatoes, which can resist viral diseases.

"With these kinds of seeds, farmers can harvest green tomatoes and ripen them with biological products, causing no harm to people but still managing to retain the fruit's flavour. Therefore, they can sell their products without worrying about ruining their agricultural products," he adds.

He says Vietnamese agriculture is facing many challenges such as the abuse of chemical sprays for plant preservation, which reduces the available arable area. Hai points out that the application of biotechnology and the development of high-quality new varieties that can limit the use of chemicals are the main focus areas of scientists.

Hai has been patiently conducting significant research on new rice varieties for the last few years. Besides the NV1 rice breed, which is planned for the northern midlands, the N91, created solely by him, is a significant achievement.

"I am glad that the N91 rice seed not only provides sustainable productivity, but its flavour is similar to nep cai hoa vang - a traditional strain of fragrant sticky rice in the northern Bac Ninh Province," Hai states.

He started conducting scientific research when he was just a student, and to date, he has published three research papers in foreign agriculture magazines and nine research papers in local publications that have been highly appreciated.

"At present, my latest T65 rice breed, which is thought to beat the laws of Nature since it can grow in cold weather and enables farmers to harvest more often, has been approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology for widespread plantation," the young scientist says. — VNS

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