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Dr Gold

Gold has a lot of cultural and sentimental value in Asian societies (in addition to huge financial value!). But as researchers at Technical University (TU) Dublin have found out, it may have medical usage and be of golden value, quite literally, in the realms of medicine too.

First, a bit of background. Fungal infections are a pain. They’re often taken for a bacterial or viral infection, thus delaying the diagnosis and treatment of the condition and exasperating the problem in the meantime. At the moment, diagnosing suspected fungal infections takes time as it involves culturing fungi and studying them under microscope. For this to happen the sample as to be first taken by a doctor and then sent a specialist lab for diagnoses. At the minimum this takes five day, highly-trained personnel and expensive equipment.

But time is a luxury that many patients don’t have. Of the nearly one billion people affected by fungal infections worldwide every year, about 1.5 million die as a result of the infection. Children, older people and those with weaker immune systems are at a heightened risk.

These alarming statistics spurred researchers at TU Dublin into action and to thinking unconventionally. Here’s where gold comes into the pictures. Scientists here have found a way to use gold nanoparticles (just a tiny, tiny fraction of millimetre) to diagnose fungal infections. They noticed that when gold particles interact with fungi, their colour and shape changes and these changes are readily visible to the naked eye. They have used gold particles to diagnose common fungal particles like athletes foot, but this technique should even work for complex lung infections too.

TU Dublin, located in Ireland’s capital, Dublin, is a leading university both nationally and internationally. It ranks among top 250 young universities in the world (THE Rankings 2019). They offer a range of programmes across science and engineering, IT, business and management, culinary arts and the humanities. Graduates of Irish universities and institutes are able to stay in the country for up to 2 years after the successful completion of their studies.

Some of courses you could study here are:

  • MSc Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance and Biotechnology
  • MSc Computing
  • MSc Mechanical Engineering
  • MSc Hospitality Management
  • MSc Supply Chain Management

Applications to Ireland and other countries are open for 2019 and 2020 intakes.

Head to your nearest STORM office to find out more and how you can apply for these courses! Also, don’t forget to download 
STORM Overseas app from Google Play store to keep on top of latest news and developments, courses and scholarships and get to speak to current students studying abroad and win cool prizes!