Young Lecturer of IPB University Give Philosophical Views About Parasites and Their Relationship with the COVID-19 Pandemic


The Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (FMIPA) IPB University again held Ngabuburit Bermanfaat with the theme "Ballad Corona: Final Year Students and Choice to Become Parasites" through live broadcast of BioIPB Instagram account (05/18). The event was guided by a young lecturer in Plant Physiology and Genetics, Mafrikhul Muttaqin, SSi, MSi who was studying as a research student in the symbiosis plant laboratory of the NARA Institute of Science and Technology, Japan.

Mafrikhul explained that only a small number knew what was meant by parasites, especially parasites in plants or plants that were parasites. An example is the Rafflesia flower, which has the nickname puspa langka. Only 16 percent of the total survey answered correctly that the flower is a parasite of its host, liliana or vines.

"Rafflesia flowers belong to the holoparasites that are often found in the Malacca Peninsula. Some sources say besides being a protected plant in Indonesia, the flower is said to be a source of medicine or ornamental plants. However, due to lack of information about the parasitic properties of the flower or other plants, it is difficult for researchers to propagate or cultivate it," he said.

Parasites themselves are divided into two types, namely hemiparasites and holoparasites, hemiparasites take nutrients, air and organic matter from their host but can still photosynthesize and do not disturb the host too much. While holoparasites take the entire material from its host so it destroys the host. The hallmark of holoparasites is also the absence of roots or leaves, like the rafflesia flower. In addition, parasites can also be classified by life cycle, namely obligate and facultative parasites. Or based on attachment, on the stem or on the ground.

Mafrikhul himself is researching striga, a soil parasitic plant which is the main enemy of sorghum production. Striga seeds themselves can survive for 15 years in the soil which can then germinate when there is sorghum around, due to a signal from the host in the form of germination inducer. The uniqueness of this parasite inspired Miftakhul to share his personal experiences especially to the final year students not to become parasites in the middle of this pandemic.

Mafrikhul's philosophical view of the parasitic nature of plants and their relationship with humans, especially in the midst of this pandemic, is a reason for him to provide some enlightenment. "Feeling lazy often arises when you have to work from home where there is a lot of distraction around. Students, especially final year students, can follow a few tips to avoid parasites or laziness when working from home (WFH). Among them, use ergonomic furniture to avoid the wrong posture while working, arrange the room to be free from distractions, avoid wearing clothes like pajamas and start wearing clothes like they would work out, maintain communication so communication skills don't sink and keep updating information and knowledge general," he said.

Mafrikhul's philosophical view of the parasitic nature of plants and their relationship with humans, especially in the midst of this pandemic, is a reason for him to provide some enlightenment. "Feeling lazy often arises when you have to work from home where there is a lot of distraction around. Students, especially final year students, can follow a few tips to avoid parasites or laziness while working from home (WFH). Among them, use ergonomic furniture to avoid the wrong posture while working, arrange the room to be free from distractions, avoid wearing clothes like pajamas and start wearing clothes like they would work, maintain communication so communication skills don't sink and keep updating information and knowledge general," he said.

Another common problem often faced by final year students, according to Mafrikhul, on average is limited information and willingness to learn due to research that may have to be delayed due to a pandemic. "My advice is, students can arrange or re-examine methods or preliminary research that has been made or do research scheduling with the help of applications such as Mendeley. If research is forced to be postponed or due to lack of access to the laboratory, students can study literacy through various scientific sources, learn about data analysis and make revisions to the introduction to the presentation of research data. That choice can be made so that the nature of the parasite does not appear, especially in the final year students who are struggling to complete their research. The key is only one, follow the direction of the campus and communicate with the supervisor," he added. (IAAS/SAR)



Published Date : 20-May-2020

Resource Person : Mafrikhul Muttaqin, SSi, MSi

Keyword : IPB lecturer, Biology Department, FMIPA, IPB University

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