Most of us may see ‘Science’ as a subject in school; we experience it in the form of technology, applied in various fields from engineering to medicine, from education to lifestyles. We may not completely appreciate or understand or sufficiently talk about the greater purpose and cause of ‘Science’, which is to help the human civilization evolve and survive the tests of time. Dr. Min-Tze Liong, is a young Malaysian scientist in action, embracing this very purpose and working hard in the lab to discover the miraculous ability of bacteria and yeast to improve our lives. Imagine a stress-free mind! Imagine the immunity of a superman! Imagine flushing out potential cancer cells out of your body! Imagine the power to fight cholesterol and related gastro and liver diseases!
Dr. Min-Tze Liong, only 37 years old, is not afraid to think the many possibilities and what live bacteria (probiotics) can do to improve our health and productivity. These bacteria are cultivated or as Liong puts it “are recruited as talent from just about anything from breast milk, fruit and vegetables to faeces”. Dr. Min-Tze’s research and hypotheses led her to discover that stress causes DNA in the brain to break-down, which could lead to various physical and mental health conditions, including accelerated aging. “I am working to identify the right strains of bacteria or probiotics, which could help preserve DNA and help people beat stress”, shares Liong.
Determined and having developed a liking “to do things others would not do”, Liong elaborates “Science is meant to fish for solutions, which will positively improve our quality of life on this planet. Our generations (present and future) continue to struggle to find a balance between stressful work and healthy lifestyles. While science can help identify solutions (such as probiotics), people need to be educated about the magical marvels and the role of science in our everyday lives. Public awareness can improve public health and wellbeing”.
With a B. Sc. in Food Technology from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Liong pursued her Masters in Food Biotechnology from USM and Ph.D in Food Microbiology and Safety from University of Victoria (Melbourne, Australia). Currently, she is also serving as the Vice Chair of Young Scientists Network of Malaysia and actively involved in Research on Probiotics.