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IMU Second Year Medical Biotechnology Students win Professional Judges Award in Social Media Challenge

06 Apr 2023

Three Semester Four students from MB1/21 cohort of the International Medical University (IMU) have explored beyond their comfort zone and took part in a TikTok video competition organised by the Malaysian Society for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MSMBB).  Their 1-minute video, entitled “Bacteria: World of Tiny Creatures” won the Professional Judges Award. Here, they share their journey preparing for the competition.

As medical biotechnology students, we have always wanted to put our understanding of science to the test, while breaking down the real science behind everyday activities in our lives.  We were thrilled to find out about the TikTok video competition by MSMBB from our lecturer, Prof Anna, which provided us with an opportunity to communicate science to the public through social media.  This competition aimed to bring together students from various science disciplines to showcase their skills and knowledge.


Preparation for the competition was interesting. We have always been interested in bacteria that are present in almost everything and everywhere, such as the good and bad bacteria in our environment.


Coincidentally, in a Semester 4 module “Applied Biotechniques in Biotechnology and Community Health”, we collected soil samples from a field visit. The soil samples were taken back to the IMU multi-disciplinary lab for a series of experiments to isolate and identify the bacteria present in these samples.


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A post shared by MSMBB (@msmbbofficial)

Videos were taken during a series of experiments, where we applied laboratory techniques to culture and isolate bacteria from the soil samples, followed by identifying the species of bacteria through microbiological, biochemical and molecular biology methods.


Compiling the recorded footage and annotating the video before the submission deadline of the competition amidst our busy timetable, co-curricular activities and other submission deadlines for reports proved to be the most challenging part of this video production.

We were grateful to have acquired the necessary skills from Medical Biotechnology Programme to properly analyse and interpret data from the lab, which are needed for the production of this video. The programme also bestowed students with proper time management and science communication skills to deliver relevant findings concisely to the public. Apart from that, we would like to express our utmost gratitude to our MB121 batchmates for their cooperation and support, as well as lecturers for providing insightful comments during our practical sessions.

Weeks of research and data interpretation had paid off upon video submission. We were flushed with excitement upon receiving engaging responses from the public on the official Instagram page of MSMBB and overwhelmed with joy when we were announced as one of the winners for the most liked content by professional judges. The experience of joining the competition was incredibly valuable, as we had gained beneficial skills and enjoyed the enriching experience of learning from industry professionals.

The competition and experiment echoes what we have learnt in Medical Biotechnology that science is in everything and every day. We were grateful for the opportunity to present our findings and introduce the life of a medical biotechnologists to the public as it undoubtedly gives a general prospect of the hardships of every scientific research in the world.


We hope this article inspires our peers to take advantage of the many opportunities available out there as you never know what adventure it brings you.


With this, we would like to make a closing remark, quoting Walter Elliot “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” The most important lesson we obtained from this experience is that persistence may not show at first but through cumulative efforts. Be it weeks, months, or years, never stop working towards your dreams!


Written by MB121 students: Low Jun Ying, Tam Kah Way and Emily Wong Yan Yi

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