Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Salah satu aktiviti bersama amir dan ilham: start by showing them how to crate things using their meal set.. then the imagination rolls on.. they'll start to create things better than yours.. 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Recombinant DNA and Biotecnology

Biotechnology is an industrial process that uses the scientific research on DNA for practical benefits. Biotechnology is synonymous with genetic engineering because the genes of an organism are changed during the process and the DNA of the organism is recombined. Recombinant DNA and biotechnology can be used to form proteins not normally produced in a cell. In addition, bacteria that carry recombinant DNA can be released into the environment to increase the fertility of the soil, serve as an insecticide, or relieve pollution.

Tools of biotechnology.

The basic process of recombinant DNA technology revolves around the activity of DNA in the synthesis of protein. By intervening in this process, scientists can change the nature of the DNA and of the gene make-up of an organism. By inserting genes into the genome of an organism, the scientist can induce the organism to produce a protein it does not normally produce.

The technology of recombinant DNA has been made possible in part by extensive research on microorganisms during the last century. One important microorganism in recombinant DNA research is Escherichia coli (E. coli). The biochemistry and genetics of E. coli are well known, and its DNA has been isolated and made to accept new genes. The DNA can then be forced into fresh cells of E. coli, and the bacteria will begin to produce the proteins specified by the foreign genes. Such altered bacteria are said to have been transformed.

Interest in recombinant DNA and biotechnology heightened considerably in the 1960s and 1970s with the discovery of restriction enzymes. These enzymes catalyze the opening of a DNA molecule at a “restricted” point, regardless of the DNA's source. Moreover, certain restriction enzymes leave dangling ends of DNA molecules at the point where the DNA is open. (The most commonly used restriction enzyme is named EcoRl.) Foreign DNA can then be combined with the carrier DNA at this point. An enzyme called DNA ligase is used to form a permanent link between the dangling ends of the DNA molecules at the point of union
The production of a a recombined bacterium using a gene from a foreign donor and the synthesis of protein encoded by the recombinant DNA molecule.

The genes used in DNA technology are commonly obtained from host cells or organisms called gene libraries. A gene library is a collection of cells identified as harboring a specific gene. For example, E. coli cells can be stored with the genes for human insulin in their chromosomes.

Pharmaceutical products.

Gene defects in humans can lead to deficiencies in proteins such as insulin, human growth hormone, and Factor VIII. These protein deficiencies may lead to problems such as diabetes, dwarfism, and impaired blood clotting, respectively. Missing proteins can now be replaced by proteins manufactured through biotechnology. For insulin production, two protein chains are encoded by separate genes in plasmids inserted into bacteria. The protein chains are then chemically joined to form the final insulin product. Human growth hormone is also produced within bacteria, but special techniques are used because the bacteria do not usually produce human proteins. Therapeutic proteins produced by biotechnology include a clot-dissolving protein called tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) and interferon. This antiviral protein is produced within E. coli cells. Interferon is currently used against certain types of cancers and for certain skin conditions.

Vaccines represent another application of recombinant DNA technology. For instance, the hepatitis B vaccine now in use is composed of viral protein manufactured by yeast cells, which have been recombined with viral genes. The vaccine is safe because it contains no viral particles. Experimental vaccines against AIDS are being produced in the same way.

Diagnostic testing.

Recombinant DNA and biotechnology have opened a new era of diagnostic testing and have made detecting many genetic diseases possible. The basic tool of DNA analyses is a fragment of DNA called the DNA probe. A DNA probe is a relatively small, single-stranded fragment of DNA that recognizes and binds to a complementary section of DNA in a complex mixture of DNA molecules. The probe mingles with the mixture of DNA and unites with the target DNA much like a left hand unites with the right. Once the probe unites with its target, it emits a signal such as radioactivity to indicate that a reaction has occurred.

To work effectively, a sufficiently large amount of target DNA must be available. To increase the amount of available DNA, a process called the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used. In a highly automated machine, the target DNA is combined with enzymes, nucleotides, and a primer DNA. In geometric fashion, the enzymes synthesize copies of the target DNA, so that in a few hours billions of molecules of DNA exist where only a few were before.

Using DNA probes and PCR, scientists are now able to detect the DNA associated with HIV (and AIDS), Lyme disease, and genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, Huntington's disease, and fragile X syndrome.

Gene therapy.

Gene therapy is a recombinant DNA process in which cells are taken from the patient, altered by adding genes, and replaced in the patient, where the genes provide the genetic codes for proteins the patient is lacking.

In the early 1990s, gene therapy was used to correct a deficiency of the enzyme adenosine deaminase (ADA). Blood cells called lymphocytes were removed from the bone marrow of two children; then genes for ADA production were inserted into the cells using viruses as vectors. Finally, the cells were reinfused to the bodies of the two children. Once established in the bodies, the gene-altered cells began synthesizing the enzyme ADA and alleviated the deficiency.

Gene therapy has also been performed with patients with melanoma (a virulent skin cancer). In this case, lymphocytes that normally attack tumors are isolated in the patients and treated with genes for an anticancer protein called tumor necrosis factor. The genealtered lymphocytes are then reinfused to the patients, where they produce the new protein which helps destroy cancer cells. Approximately 2000 single-gene defects are believed to exist, and patients with these defects may be candidates for gene therapy.

DNA fingerprinting.

The use of DNA probes and the development of retrieval techniques have made it possible to match DNA molecules to one another for identification purposes. This process has been used in a forensic procedure called DNA fingerprinting.

The use of DNA fingerprinting depends upon the presence of repeating base sequences that exist in the human genome. The repeating sequences are called restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs). As the pattern of RFLPs is unique for every individual, it can be used as a molecular fingerprint. To perform DNA fingerprinting, DNA is obtained from an individual's blood cells, hair fibers, skin fragments, or other tissue. The DNA is extracted from the cells and digested with enzymes. The resulting fragments are separated by a process called electrophoresis. These separated DNA fragments are tested for characteristic RFLPs using DNA probes. A statistical evaluation enables the forensic pathologist to compare a suspect's DNA with the DNA recovered at a crime scene and to assert with a degree of certainty (usually 99 percent) that the suspect was at the crime scene.

DNA and agriculture.

Although plants are more difficult to work with than bacteria, gene insertions can be made into single plant cells, and the cells can then be cultivated to form a mature plant. The major method for inserting genes is through the plasmids of a bacterium called Agrobacterium tumefaciens. This bacterium invades plant cells, and its plasmids insert into plant chromosomes carrying the genes for tumor induction. Scientists remove the tumor-inducing genes and obtain a plasmid that unites with the plant cell without causing any harm.

Recombinant DNA and biotechnology have been used to increase the efficiency of plant growth by increasing the efficiency of the plant's ability to fix nitrogen. Scientists have obtained the genes for nitrogen fixation from bacteria and have incorporated those genes into plant cells. By obtaining nitrogen directly from the atmosphere, the plants can synthesize their own proteins without intervention of bacteria as normally needed.

DNA technology has also been used to increase plant resistance to disease. The genes for an insecticide have been obtained from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis and inserted into plants to allow them to resist caterpillars and other pests. In addition, plants have been reengineered to produce the capsid protein that encloses viruses. These proteins lend resistance to the plants against viral disease.

The human genome.

One of the most ambitious scientific endeavors of the twentieth century was the effort to sequence the nitrogenous bases in the human genome. Begun in 1990 and completed in 2003, the effort encompassed 13 years of work at a cost of approximately $3 billion. Knowing the content of the human genome is helping researchers devise new diagnostics and treatments for genetic diseases and will also be of value to developmental biologists, evolutionary biologists, and comparative biologists.

In addition to learning the genome of humans, the project has also studied numerous bacteria. By 1995, the genomes of two bacteria had been completely deciphered ( Haemophilus influenzae and Mycoplasma genitalium), and by 1996, the genome of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was known. The Human Genome Project is one of colossal magnitude that will have an impact on many branches of science for decades to come. The project remains the crowning achievement of DNA research in the twentieth century and the bedrock for research in the twenty-first.

Read more: http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/CliffsReviewTopic/Recombinant-DNA-and-Biotechnology.topicArticleId-8524,articleId-8439.html#ixzz0aRDdRxUP

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fundamentals of A Happy Marriage

Faith: The most basic and essential attribute of a Muslim marriage is the common faith that binds the couple.

Since Islam is a way of life and not just a religion confined to weekly worship it becomes an integral part of a Muslim's life. The frame of reference shared by the couple eases communication and sharing of values which is not possible in an interfaith marriage. It is highly recommended that faith play an important role in the developing a loving relationship.

For example, as the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, that when a husband feeds his wife, he gets a reward for this act and Allah increases the bond of love between them. So when we love each other for the sake of Allah WE ACTUALLY INCREASE OUR FAITH.

Forgiving: When the Prophet Muhammad asked his Companions ‘do you wish that Allah should forgive you' they said, of course O Prophet of Allah. He responded, ‘then forgive each other'. One of the main components of a happy marriage is that the spouses are able to forgive, that they do not hold grudges or act judgmental towards each other. It is expected that when we live with someone, situations may arise when we end up saying or doing things that hurt our spouses. The challenge is not to dwell on it or lay blame but to move past it. This can only happen if we are not too proud to ask for forgiveness and we are not stingy to forgive.

If we expect Allah to forgive us than we must learn to forgive.

Forget: When we constantly remind our spouses of all the times they let us down or hurt us we have not truly forgiven. Things that happened in the past must be left there and not be used as fresh ammunition in new situations. Couples who use this technique usually fall in a rut and become victims of their own pettiness, unable to break free.

Forbearance: Sabr (patience) is the most useful tool to have in managing a healthy lifestyle. Being patient and forbearing puts us in a proactive frame of mind it brings us closer to Allah through Tawakul and reliance .We develop an inner mechanism that empowers us to handle life's difficult moments. As Allah states in Surah al-Asr: "Surely by time humans are at loss, except those who believe and do righteous deeds and counsel each other to the truth and counsel each other to Sabr' (Quran, chapter 103).

Flexible: Many couples unnecessarily make themselves miserable because they are unwilling to bend a little.

We should not expect our spouses to be our extensions. They are their own selves with personalities, likes and dislikes. We must respect their right to be them selves as long as it does not compromise their Deen (religion). Being inflexible and not accommodating for individual differences leads to a very stressful and tense home atmosphere.

Friendship: This aspect of marriage has three components.

First is to develop a friendship with our spouses.The relationship based on friendship is more able to withstand outside pressures.

We honor, trust, respect, accept and care for our friends, in spite of our differences. These are the aspects of friendship we should bring to our marriages.

Unfortunately the only aspect that people think of bringing to their marriage which is highly inappropriate is the buddy scenario. Shariah (Islamic law) has placed the husband in a leadership role within a family. This requires a certain decorum, which cannot be maintained if the spouses consider each other as pals.

This should not be taken to mean that husband is a dictator but a shepherd who is responsible for and to his flock. This is a position of grave responsibility and places an enormous burden on the husband. Further more the children need to see their parents as friends but not as pals as this encourages disrespect.

Friendly: Second aspect of friendship is to have friendly relations with in-laws. When couples compete as to whose parents are more important it becomes a constant source of grief. Much valuable time is wasted trying to convince, one another of whose parents are most desirable. It is better if we accept, that our spouses will not overnight fall in love with our parents just because we want them to. As long as they maintain friendly relations that are cordial and based on mutual respect we should not force the issue.

Friends: The third aspect of friendship is our circle of friends. It is okay to have individual friends of the same gender but couples must also make effort to have family friends so that they can socialize together. If there is friction being caused by a certain friendship it must not be pursued at the expense of the marriage. Prophet Muhammad advised us to choose God fearing people as friends since we tend to follow their way. Friends should be a source of joy and not mischief.

Fun: Couples that do not laugh together have to work on sharing some fun times. The Prophet was known to play with his wives. A simple walk in the park can add much spark to the relationship. Taking up a sport together or watching clean funny movies is another way of sharing a laugh.

Faithful: It is commanded by Allah that we be faithful to our spouses. Adultery is a capital crime in Islam that is punishable by death. However there are various forms of unfaithful behavior prevalent among some Muslims.

The most common form is maintaining friendships with the opposite sex over the boundaries set by Islam, and the misgivings of the spouse. The latest trend of Internet relationships is also contrary to Islamic Adab (etiquette) and is causing serious problems between couples. Once a sense of betrayal sets in, repairing that relationship is difficult. Another form of not being faithful is when couples betray confidences. This is a trust issue and one when compromised eats away at the heart of a marriage.

Fair: Usually when we are angry or displeased the tendency is to not play fair. We try to convince ourselves that since we have been wronged it is okay to be unjust in our behavior and our statements. Allah states in the Quran do not be unjust under any circumstances, even if they be your enemy, and here we are talking about our life partners and the parent of our children. To use words such as "never" and "always" when describing the behavior of the partner is unfair and puts the other on the defensive.

Finance: One of the most common points of contention in marriages is money. Experts tell us that 80 percent of marital conflicts are about money.

It is therefore highly recommended that the couple put serious time and effort in developing a financial management plan that is mutually agreeable and is reviewed every six months or so. Preparing a budget together is also a helpful and wise way to handling household finances. It should be remembered that the wife's money in Islam is hers to do with as she pleases and therefore should not be considered family income unless she chooses to contribute it to the family

Family: Parenting can be a stressful experience if the parents are not well informed. This in turn can put extra pressure on the marriage.

Sometimes couples are naive about the changes that come in the lifestyle. This can cause in some cases depression and in some resentment and misunderstandings. One golden rule that must always be the guide is; that family comes first.

Whenever there is evidence that the family is not happy or not our first priority it is time to assemble at the kitchen table and discuss with open hearts and mind. Couples who have elderly parents have an added responsibility to take care of them. This can also be very stressful if the couple is not prepared.

A care plan must be worked out with respective siblings and parents as to who will be the primary care giver and what type of support network they will have. In case of mental incompetence a power of attorney must be in place. The making of a will is most essential .

Feelings: Prophet Muhammad stated that Allah forgives all sins if we repent but not those we have committed against others i.e. hurt their feelings unless the person we have hurt forgives first.

Couples are sometimes very careless when it comes to their spouse's feelings, they take them for granted and assume that the other knows what they mean. It is surprising that people are more sensitive and courteous to strangers than they are to their loved ones. One must be ever vigilant and careful that they do not hurt the feelings of their spouses and if they invariably do, they should apologize as soon as possible. Since one does not know when someone they love will leave this world, is it not better to make amends when we have the time?

Freedom: Marriage in Islam is a partnership and not bondage or slavery. To consider the wife one's property is alien to Islamic concept of husband and wife role. The team spirit is enhanced and not curtailed when members of the team are free to be themselves. Freedom in the common western since is to be free to do as one pleases or to be selfish. On the contrary, to allow freedom to one's spouse is to be considerate of their needs and to recognize their limitations.

Flirtation: A sure way to keep romance in marriage is to flirt with your spouse. Many successful marriages have maintained a youthful demeanor in their marriages by adopting special names for each other and secret communication styles.

Frank: Misunderstandings happen when couples are not honest with each other. Marital relationship is where the partners must feel safe to speak their mind with due consideration to the other's feeling, without compromising their own views. When the communication is not frank it hinders in the development of closeness and deep understanding of each other's inner self.

Facilitator: When choosing our life partner, we must, as the Prophet advised, look for a pious Muslim. The reason is that their first and foremost goal is the pleasure of Allah. This commitment to Allah makes them an excellent facilitator for enhancing their partner's spiritual development. In essence, the couple facilitates their family's commitment to Allah and His Deen.

Flattering: Paying compliments and indulging in honest flattery is a very inexpensive way to win your spouse's heart. Everyone likes to be appreciated and noticed. So being stingy about compliments is actually depriving oneself of being appreciated in return.

Fulfilling: To be all one can be to one's spouse is a very fulfilling and rewarding experience. To be in love means to give one's all. The heart does not put conditions or make stipulations. It gives without expecting anything in return, but such selfless giving is always rewarded tenfold.

Fallible: It often happens that our expectations sometimes are so high that we lose focus of the fact that we are fallible beings. When couples start to nitpick and demand the impossible they must remind themselves that only Allah is perfect.

Fondness: So many times couples fail to work on developing fondness for each other by [failing] to see their spouses as people through the eyes of their respective friends. Spending quality time alone doing and sharing activities are ways in which one can develop fondness.

Future: Smart couples plan for their future together. They work on their financial and retirement plans, make wills and discuss these plans with their children. This provides peace of mind and secures the relationship.

by Shahina Siddiqui

When Life Is Too Good..

When life is too good.. jalan dakwah yg kita lalui tak ada masalah,semuanya lancar… kita kurang waspada. Maybe ada perkara2 yg halus yg kita terlupa, terleka… ujub misalnya. Dr. majdi says (in his book; Adakah Berhala Pada Diri Anda?), dalam kita dok bekerja bersungguh2 tu, dalam kita dok sedaya upaya menjadi yg terbaik, berkali2 Allah jatuhkan kita, bertubi2 kita dilemahkan.. ada sebabnya. Maybe ada penyakit dalam hati kita yg Allah nk sembuhkan…

Seorang pelajar yg diberikan anugerah pemahaman dan kekuatan hafalan oleh Allah bisa jatuh dalam penyakit ini, jika ia meyakini bahawa dalam dirinya ada kemampuan internal untuk memahami dan menghafal

Wanita yang pandai memasak juga bisa jatuh dalam penyakit seperti ini, jika ia meyakini kemampuannya untuk memasak makanan tersebut bila pun yg ia mahu..

Sama juga dengan guru yang meyakini kemampuannya untuk mengajarkan sesuatu pelajaran berdasarkan kemampuan dan pengalaman mengajarnya ang panjang..

Seorang daie yang memberikan nasihat kepada manusia, sehingga mereka terpengaruh dengan ceramahnya, juga bisa terjatuh dalam penyakit seperti ini..

Sama juga semua org yg menyangka bahawa dalam diri mereka ada kemampuan yang tidak di miliki oleh org lain, sebesar apapn kelebihan itu… maka dalam hatinya ada penyakit iaitu ujub

Jika anda megatakan, ‘tapi semua kelebihan itu mmg benar2 ada pada diri saya, dan sy tidak lihat ada org lain yg memiliki kelebihan yg sama..’

Itu mmg benar, dalam diri kita semua mmg ada sesuatu yg tidak terdapat dalam diri orglain. Tetapi semua itu milik siapa?

Allah berfirman, ‘Kepunyaan Allah lah kerajaan langit dan bumi, dan apa yg ada di dalamnya’ (al-kahfi:7)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

UNESCO donuts

Sunday, September 13, 2009

25 checklist questions..

Ramadan, as usual, has flown by. Despite planning beforehand, many of us may have gotten caught up in a routine after accustoming ourselves to the change in schedule the blessed month brings.

This may have affected our initial plans to increase our worship, contemplation and to seek Allah's Forgiveness and Mercy with greater fervor. But the last ten days and nights of Ramadan are still ahead for us to benefit from. Ask yourself these questions and see what you can do to make the most of what's left of Ramadan this year, Insha Allah.

1. Have I kept pace with the amount of Quran I wanted to read, or have I fallen behind?

2. If so, how much do I have to read on a daily basis the rest of Ramadan to catch up?

3. Have I tried to attend Tarawih regularly, or did I use weak excuses to get out of it?

4. Did I ever pray the night prayer?

5. Did I try praying my five daily prayers with more sincerity, concentration, and focus than usual?

6. Did I invite anyone over for Iftar (breaking the fast)?

7. Did I help any needy person, even a panhandler or beggar, when I was fasting?

8. Did I regularly seek Allah's Forgiveness and Mercy with sincerity, fear and hope?

9. Did I encourage my family to fast or participate in regular opportunities for more rewards that come with Ramadan (i.e. good deeds in general, but also Tarawih, more reading of the Quran, etc.).

10. Did I memorize any more Quran than what I knew before Ramadan started?

11. Did I try to be more patient in Ramadan than I normally am?

12. Did I try to control my anger, especially while fasting?

13. Did I try harder to avoid backbiting and slander?

14. Did I constantly check my intentions, to make sure that my good deeds were for the sake of Allah alone, not to impress others, gain their favor, or to show off?

15. Was there even an atom of pride in my heart?

16. Was I quieter and more contemplative?

17. Did I cry in my prayers?

18. Did I read more Islamic literature apart from the Quran?

19. Did I make sincere repentance to Allah, really feeling sorry for my sins?

20. Did I forgive those who hurt me?

21. Did I avoid hurting anyone with my attitude, words, intentions or actions?

22. Did I give any more Sadaqah (charity) than I normally give?

23. Did I share the message of Ramadan and Islam with a non-Muslim?

24. Did I share the message of Ramadan and Islam with a non-practicing Muslim family member or friend?

25. Did I feel annoyed at being hungry while fasting or did I rejoice?

Poem: I ask myself tonight

"Oh how swiftly, it's mid-Ramadan now
I sit here, wondering and thinking how,
Have I spent my first days of Ramadan fruitfully?
Or have I wasted the time unknowingly?"


Ramadhan comes, for a short month it's here
Will I ever meet the Ramadan next year?
Allah Oh Allah, help me guide my heart through
For only You know, if I've devoted enough to You."

May Allah strengthen our heart in the remaining days of Ramadhan to be able to answer yes to all the questions. Thank you. Assalamualaikum.

source: soundvision.com
Doa Penerang Hati

“Ya Allah, keluarkan aku dari kegelapan yang ragu-ragu, kurniai aku dengan sinaran kefahaman, bukakanlah bagiku pintu ilmu dan hiasilah aku dengan akhlak yang baik dan kasih sayang.
Ya Allah, sinarilah hatiku dengan cahaya hidayahMu seperti Engkau menyinari bumi dan langit dengan rahmatMu ya Allah yang Maha Pengasih dan Penyayang.