15th International DNA Day Celebration by GEB
The DNA Day commemorates both the completion of the discovery of the double helix of DNA in 1953 and the Human Genome Project in April 2003. Every year from 2003 onward, annual DNA Day celebrations have been organized by multiple organizations and groups throughout the world to recall the tremendous events that have taken life science to a whole new level. This year’s DNA Day was on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 and it was the 15th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2018.
To celebrate these glorious achievements in the history of bioscience and to allow students, teachers and the public to learn more about how advances in genetics and genomics have changed people’s lives and what the future holds, Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Dhaka hosted ‘DNA DAY- 2018’, on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at the Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka. This year Prof. Dr. Md. Anwarul Azim Akhand was the convenor of this celebratory program.
GEB department has been celebrating this day long program three times in a row since 2016. The program mainly highlights the significance of the miracle molecule DNA and its enormous applications in different research areas to solve modern day challenges. This year the theme of the program was ‘Biotechnology for Clean and Green Bangladesh’. Students (both undergraduate and graduate) were invited to submit their abstracts which can concisely state the objectives, significance and implication scheme of the theme for idea-based presentation on the main event.
In the formal session of the event day, Prof. Dr. Md. Akhtaruzzaman, Honourable Vice Chancellor was present as the Chief Guest and Prof. Dr. M Imdadul Hoque, Dean, Faculty of Biological Sciences, graced the occasion as the Special guest. The event was opened by the Chairman of the Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Prof. Dr. Mohammed Nazmul Ahsan which was followed by a thought-provoking keynote speech by Prof. Dr. Zeba Islam Seraj, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka.
After the formal session, most waited idea presentation session begun with full rhythm. This session provided high-voltage presentations by the presenting authors of the final 12 ideas that were selected from numerous submissions. The ideas were separated in two categories in the session. In the first part, presentations were on using biotechnology for clean Bangladesh and the later part focused on green Bangladesh.
Before awarding the best idea presenters, Prof. Dr. Sharif Akhteruzzaman of the Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology gave his popular lecture on forensic science and his notable works on his field in recent years.
During the prize giving ceremony, the excitement among the audience peaked to learn the outcome. The first prize was given to Auroni Semonti Khan and Kamran Khan for their idea ‘An integrated biotechnological approach: Obtaining clean and sustainable environment in Bangladesh’, followed by Rafeed Rahman Turjya and Shouvik Sarker Aubhro winning the 2nd prize for their idea called ‘Build the (Green) Wall’. The third prize went a duo from the department of Microbiology, University of Dhaka. This year’s honourable mention was received by two participants from the Sylhet Agricultural University, Sylhet.
The winners expressed their gratitude and every participant was motivated by the honourable Jury so that they remain stick to their passion and work hard to show extraordinary performances like they had shown on the competition. The audiences also responded in the affirmative to work for the betterment in the field of bioscience, for our world and its population.
The day showed participations of students studying biological sciences in various universities throughout all the divisions of the country. The program was a treat to the eyes of the audience as the gathering served the purpose of holding this event. Such positive and warm responses motivated the organizing committee to make the celebration of the day more widespread in near future.
Sarah Umaymah Mahdiyah is a 3rd year student of the Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, university of Dhaka