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Thai women inventors win international awards

Thailand’s growing reputation for scientific innovation was underscored last week when four women Thai scientists and researchers won awards and medals for their innovations in the fields of medicine and environmental protection at the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. 
 
More than 60,000 people attended the five-day exhibition in Geneva, which bills itself as the world’s most important annual marketplace devoted to inventions, new techniques and products. This year marked the 42nd year the exhibition has been held, and 790 participants from 45 countries showcased over 1,000 inventions. Asia had the most participants, and the number of inventions in the fields of ecology, medicine and security was very high. The meeting also attracted investors from around the world looking for new products.
 
ProfessorKosum Chansiri of the Department of Biochemistry at Srinakharinwirot University's Faculty of Medicine won a gold medal and received special congratulations from the jury for creating a DNA biosensor to detect Shigella and E-coli. Shigella and E-coli are pathogenic micro-organisms often found in fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, and other foods, and can cause diarrhea and other illnesses in humans.
 
The invention will benefit public health and food exports. Some foods from Thailand and many other countries have at times been rejected by importing countries because of contamination with those bacteria. ProfessorKosum’s invention can detect the bacteria with 100 percent accuracy.
 
Professor Porn-anongAramwit, of Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science won a silver medal for creating socks that can remove dead cells from the feet of diabetics. Her invention will save people from the pain of undergoing dead-cell removal at hospitals. Diabetics will only need to wear them for two hours and the dead cells will fall off within two weeks, and the person would not need to repeat the process for another three months.
 
“It will save them time and money," Porn-anong said. "I must admit that research is exhausting, but aware that my job contributes to healthcare, I am always telling myself to fight on."
 
She promised that when her socks are commercially available, they would be sold at a low price. She said she is overjoyed at the prospect that millions of diabetics will benefit from her invention.
 
Dr. Suwadee Kongparakul of Thammasat University's Faculty of Science and Technology won a gold medal for an invention that could prove extremely valuable in helping to clean up a man-made disaster – reusable oil-absorbing rubber sheets that remove oil spills or chemicals leaked into water.
 
The sheets can absorb the liquid parts of petroleum and water-insoluble solvents/liquids in a remarkably fast and efficient manner. Furthermore, the sheets can be reused more than 30 times.
 
"It has huge potential in minimizing environmental impacts from oil and chemical leaks. Challenges make my job fun," she said.
 
Another gold medalist, ProfessorSoamshine Boonyananta of Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Education, invented a type of clay from green mussel shells. Called “Chula Clay,” it has the flexibility of the best Japanese clays, but has a pearly glitter that makes it especially attractive. More importantly, it does not need to be heated in a kiln to dry, and is considered an eco-product because it leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
 
See the original article at the U.S. Thai Royal Embassy Website.

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