IPB Symposium 2019: acyl sugars and cannabinoids

Every year, the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry organizes a symposium. Selected researchers working on plant related biology and chemistry are invited to give a talk on their research. Last year was the IPB’s 60th anniversary, and the focus was on plant hormones. This year, the symposium took place in our institute from the 23rd afternoon to the 24th of May. Six speakers were invited and I will talk about two of my favorite talks.

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A breeder’s brief: Protecting plant varieties in Indonesia via Plant Variety Protection

It’s a typical statement that Indonesia is rich in diversity. However, it is clear that we still lack the hands to manage and exploit all via breeding activities. To my knowledge, these days most of the crossings and selection is done by big companies, hobbyist (especially ornamentals) and some from the academia. In a lot of cases, a lot of our diversity is being exploited by foreigners. That’s why our country is very strict on material exchange which leads to the discussion on the Nagoya Protocol. This time, I won’t elaborate on the genetic resource sharing agreements, but rather on how to protect varieties produced by breeders in Indonesia.

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Commotion during the Indonesian election "Pemilu" week 2019

Exactly 2 days before the general election in Indonesia, I was hoping to hear for once some good news via the Indonesian TV news channel. I hoped everything went well with the election especially for residence living abroad. However, all the news channel were airing problems that occured in relation to the election one after another. Some highlights which I remembered:

  1. 30% of voting boxes were destroyed in one of the district of my city due to flood (Bogor = rain city, should be better prepared for this)
  2. Indonesian citizens who were not able to use their voting rights in Aussie, Hongkong, even Germany!
  3. Problems with Ahok who flipped out during the voting session in Japan.
  4. Investigation of vote-rigging in Malaysia.
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Almost a year old: "Sukses Raih Beasiswa Dalam dan Luar Negeri"

Time flies so fast and yet it's almost a year since Gress and I have published our first collaborative work. A book titled "Sukses Raih Beasiswa Dalam dan Luar Negeri" was released last July and half a year later, we have sold more that 500 books! It may not be so impressive compared to a Harry Potter book, or a book in the teen love and romance section. This was expected since it captures a small niche of the market. Yes, students and other members of the Indonesian society who are currently looking for an opportunity to reach higher education.

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