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Vol. 3  Issue  1  January - March  2011

The Gazette of Chulalongkorn  University

P. 2// Marine Scientists Combat a Crisis of Coral Bleaching

P. 4// Frozen Boar Semen Project for Artificial Insemination  

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Vol. 3  Issue  1  January - March  2011 The Gazette of Chulalongkorn University Volume 3 Issue 1 January - March 2011

Colorful coral reefs, hailed as a crucial source of marine diversity, are under threat from coral bleaching.

//Advisory Board// President Prof. Pirom Kamolratanakul, M.D. Vice President Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sittichai Tudsri, D.D.S., M.D. Assist. Prof. Dr. M.R. Kalaya Tingsabadh Assistant to the President Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anongnat Thakoengwit Assist. Prof. Dr. Rattachat Mongkolnavin

//Editorial  Board// EDITOR - IN - CHIEF Assist.  Prof.  Dr.  Worawan  Ongkrutraksa News Editors Jutapan Siripan Jim Edward Algie News Writer Jiyakorn Panikodom Hathaipat Poonpolkul The Gazette of Chulalongkorn University

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the publication to: Chula International Communication Center (CICC) Chulalongkorn University 254 Phayathai Rd., Pathumwan, Bangkok, Thailand 10330 Tel:  (66)  2218  3280 Fax:  (66)  2218  3281 E-mail: Website: For international relations enquiries, please contact:

Marine Scientists Combat a Crisis of Coral Bleaching

Office of International Affairs Tel:  (66)  2218  3331  -  5 Fax:  (66)  2216  1299 E-mail: Website: The Gazette of Chulalongkorn University

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Bleaching makes coral turn white and drab.

Take a close look at whitewashed coral.

The Gazette of Chulalongkorn University


// SPECIAL FEATURES Assistant Professor Dr. Voranop Viyakarn (left) and Associate Professor Dr. Suchana Chavanich (right)

Instead of relying on natural production, we extract reproductive cells to create coral larvae and look after them for a year or two before they are ready for the sea. and allow damaged corals to recover naturally,” and, so far, we can successfully culture more

The vibrant and colorful coral reefs along the Andaman coast and the Gulf of Thailand have drawn diving enthusiasts from across the globe to witness the true wonders of the underwater world for decades, but this crucial ecosystem is now in great peril. Caused by seawater warming and rising, coral bleaching poses  a  serious  threat  to  these  marine ecosystems. The Faculty of Science of Chulalongkorn University  held  a  seminar  to  unveil  a  revolutionary and  environmentally  friendly  solution  to  the crisis.  Led  by  two  special  spokespersons  – Associate  Professor  Dr.  Suchana  Chavanich and  Assistant  Professor  Dr.  Voranop  Viyakarn from  the  Department  of  Marine  Science,  Faculty  of  Science,  Chulalongkorn  University,  the  seminar emphasized  sustainable  development  and protecting marine diversity. “To rehabilitate corals died from bleaching,

it normally takes a very long time, approximately

five to ten years or more, and also requires

stringent measures such as closing the affected

areas in order to prevent human interference

Dr. Voranop said. The  scientist  added:  “However,  such techniques have their limitations, considering that corals only spawn once a year, the longevity of  the  rehabilitation  process  and  a  low survival rate of coral larvae merely 0.01 percent in  natural.  Therefore,  to  come  up  with  more effective ways, our marine scientist team at Chulalongkorn  University  has  pioneered  a project since 2004 in collaboration with the Royal  Thai  Navy  (Naval  Special  Warfare Command) and the Plant Genetic Conservation Project under the Royal Initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, to culture  corals  using  sexual  reproduction technique.” Dr.  Suchana  explained  the  complex process,  “Instead  of  relying  on  natural recruitment, we collect coral eggs and sperms, and  bring  them  back  to  the  hatchery  for  fertilization  and  becoming  coral  larvae.  The juvenile corals are raised in the hatchery at least one year before they are ready for the  sea.  This  technique  not  only  increases  the survival rate of new corals after a six-month post-birth period up to 50 percent, but also results in a high genetic diversity of corals that can be resilient to the changing environment.” The  scientist  added:  “Greater  marine  biodiversity  and  genetic  diversity  definitely mean more sustainable development, resulting in a slowdown of coral bleaching in the long run. This technique was pioneered in Thailand

than 10 species of corals, ably assisted by our marine scientists.” Coral bleaching came to the attention of

the Thai public in the middle of 2010. That’s

when a series of reports surfaced, claiming that

60 percent of the corals along the coasts of

the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand,

had been severely bleached. Climate change is the culprit. Corals live in harmony with zooxanthellae algae which are packed into the inner cells of the coral tissue. They have a symbiotic relationship. The coral gives protection to the zooxanthellae while the algae, in return, utilizes the light and dissolved bicarbonate  ions  through  the  process  of  photosynthesis  to  supply  food  and  give  distinctive  colors  to  the  coral.  However,  the algae is sensitive to the slightest changes in the environment. Even a shift in temperatures of one or two degrees has a disastrous effect. Once damaged,  the  zooxanthellae  can  no  longer photosynthesize. Consequently, the corals turn pale or white and eventually die. Because coral is the second most diverse and productive ecosystem on earth, and some 40  percent  of  the  world’s  fish  species  are dependent on them, the crisis could turn into a  calamity  with  far-reaching  circumstances. Only  a  team  effort  between  the  public  and  private  sectors  will  prevent  these  aquatic treasures from being whitewashed.

Vol. 3  Issue  1  January - March  2011



Frozen Boar Semen Project for Artificial Insemination A project to develop frozen boar semen at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University,  has  been  a  success.  Leading  the project was Prof. Dr. Mongkol Techakumphu, a researcher in the program of CHE-TRF Senior Research  Fund.  This  research  has  greatly benefited the country’s swine-raising industry by significantly reducing the reliance on technology and  frozen  semen  imported  from  foreign countries. “The difficulties of frozen semen application

in swine are twofold: low pregnancy rate and small

litters, but the research showed that after AI using

frozen swine semen, the results were good with

a 60 to 65 percent pregnancy rate and eight to

nine piglets per litter,” Prof. Dr. Mongkol said.

Thailand’s swine-raising industry will make great gains because of the research on artificial insemination.

Frozen boar semen will help to bolster the pregnancy rate while preserving the best genetic features of the boar.

of boar semen after thawing as found in other species. In addition, we also found that Yorkshire boars’ sperm is more sensitive to the freezing and thawing processes than other breeds,” Prof. Dr. Mongkol said. Private companies, including CP and Betagro Group,  have  collaborated  on  the  research  and are conducting further studies to help the swine industry. Prof. Dr. Mongkol added that there are possibilities to export frozen swine semen to neighboring countries such as China, Vietnam

Our research found that a supplementation of a detergent, Equex STM paste in semen extenders before freezing increases the quality of boar semen after thawing as found in other species He added that each year Thai people

consume about 10 to 13 million pigs, and swine

farming in Thailand meets international standards.

As a result, Prof. Dr. Mongkol jointly conducted

a study called “Frozen Boar Semen” to develop

the technique, and study the factors affecting the

breed, the semen extenders and the packaging.

Sponsored by the Thailand Research Fund (TRF),

this research project took the top honors at TRF

2010. Artificial insemination using frozen semen can  also  help  to  improve  swine  breeding  to preserve the best genetics and prevent venereal disease  transmission.  Due  to  the  difficulty  in producing frozen swine semen compared with other  mammals,  this  research  project  was conducted  as  a  kind  of  feasibility  study  on  successful  inseminations,  pregnancies  and upping the survival rate of the newborn. The results will benefit the farming sector. “Our research found that a supplementation of  a  detergent,  Equex  STM  paste  in  semen extenders before freezing increases the quality

and Cambodia. The product has a higher value than  fresh  semen.  Moreover,  Thailand  is considered one of the top swine producers in Asia.

Professor Dr. Mongkol Techakumphu from Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Veterinary Science has successfully developed frozen swine semen.

The Gazette of Chulalongkorn University



Chula’s Research Presentation on Thailand’s Media Reform Prime  Minister  Abhisit  Vejjajiva  presided over the opening of a presentation hosted by the Faculty  of  Communication  Arts,  Chulalongkorn University, at the Miracle Grand Convention Hotel. The objective of the event was to present the results  of  research  aimed  at  reforming  the  media. The  Dean  of  Chulalongkorn  University’s Communication  Arts  Faculty,  Associate  Professor  Dr.  Yubol Benjarongkij, who is responsible for media reform, said, “Proposing research results is a part of reforming the media by gathering opinions and ideas  from  all  relevant  agencies,  including the professionals, academics and the public and private  sectors.” The  results  could  be  divided  into  five  different groups, namely, media practitioners, organizations responsible for controlling the media, academics from Communication Arts and other institutions, media associations, and consumers. Moreover, concerned  citizens  were  also  encouraged  to participate  in  this  debate  to  overhaul  the  country’s  media. For more information, please contact Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University Tel.  (66)  2218  2205-6  or  e-mail:  commarts@

“Proposing research results is a part of reforming the media by gathering opinions and ideas from all relevant agencies, including the professionals, academics and the public and private sectors.” Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yubol Benjarongkij is in charge of

national media reform.

Vol. 3  Issue  1  January - March  2011



Ms. Pacharaporn Panomwon na Ayutthaya, a postgraduate student of the Southeast Asian Studies  program  of  Chulalongkorn  University,  has  been  selected  by  Thailand’s  Ministry  of Foreign Affairs as a youth representative and an attending member of the diplomatic staff to the 65th United Nations General Assembly in New York.  As  a  representative  of  Thai  youth,  Ms. Pacharaporn  was  granted  the  special  opportunity  to  deliver  a  speech  before  other  representatives from 193 nations. Aside  from  the  United  Nations  General  Assembly,  Ms.  Pacharaporn  was  chosen  as  a  speaker  at  a  forum  on  youth  employment promotion organized by the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN in New York City. She was also  the  one  and  only  youth  representative handpicked to give a speech at the International Day  of  Poverty  Eradication  at  the  UN,  along with other diplomatic staff and delegates from independent international organizations. Ms. Pacharaporn also played an important role in various activities organized at the Royal Thai Consulate-General, New York, in an effort to promote public understanding of “sufficiency economy”  principles  and  gross  national happiness.  Such  activities  yielded  fruitful collaborations from Bhutan’s diplomatic staff, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Good Governance for Social Development and the Environment Institute Foundation, as well as other delegates. While  doing  her  undergraduate  degree,  she  led  the  university’s  English  debating  club  to  the  final  round  of  16  finalists  at  the  World  Universities Debating  Championship.  She  also  played  a  pivotal part  as  the  head  of  the  team  to  organize  the  Inaugural  Asian  British  Parliamentary  Debating  Championship  2009.

Ms. Pacharaporn Panomwon na Ayutthaya was privileged to be Thailand’s youth representative at the 65th United Nations General Assembly

Chulalongkorn Student Attends 65th UN General Assembly in US  

A warm welcome from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The UN Forum inspired some lively debates

Two Teams of Chulalongkorn University Win Design Awards   Chulalongkorn students from the Faculty of Architecture bagged two more awards from

Siam City Cement Plc.’s Young Creative INSEE Contest. The contest was held to encourage

university students to fulfill their creative potential by coming up with ideas for redesigning

the interiors of used condominiums in Thailand. The team of Theerawan Theerawutti, Pattarin Tangkasetthakul and Orn-a-nong Yoonaisil took

the top honors with the “Under Construction” concept that allows shoppers to find products

more easily. Meanwhile, another team from Chulalongkorn University, Pavin Supasri, Phumpat

Leelapanyalert, and Wittaya Bunyasirikul, won the first runner-up prize from the INSEE Green

Society thanks to an environmentally friendly concept that reduces pollution and electricity. Condominiums play a key role in Thai people’s lives as they often stay in a particular family

for a long time. In Thailand, condominiums are considered multi-purpose buildings with shops

and restaurants on the ground floor and residential areas upstairs.

The “Under Construction” concept from Chulalongkorn University took first prize in Siam City Cement Plc.’s Young Creative INSEE Contest.

With the inspiration from sustainable society, “Green Society” concept helped another Chulalongkorn team win the first runner-up prize from Siam City Cement Plc.’s Young Creative INSEE Contest.

The Gazette of Chulalongkorn University



Promoting Good Health  


Golden Days for   Chula Athletes  

Professor Pirom Kamolratanakul, M.D., the President of Chulalongkorn

University, has unveiled an ambitious plan to promote good health over the

next few years. The plan calls for the university team up with neighboring

communities and students. “To implement the health-promoting scheme requires an holistic approach that requires coordination from all parties involved, including students, locals and society,” Professor Pirom said. “The university also has teamed up with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation to develop the effectiveness  of  the  program  and  to  reinforce  holistic  health  in  the community.” Wellbeing and helpfulness are necessities to build sustainable health

among the student body and local communities. Both undergraduate and

postgraduate students will be encouraged to do good deeds as well as to

liaise with locals. In this regard, the recent series of activities known as

“5S” (involving five communities around the university, namely, Suan Lumphini,

Si Phraya, Samyan, Silom and Siam Square) that saw volunteer students

working with members of the local community on a range of activities

designed to foster good health was exemplary.

For the third consecutive year, Chulalongkorn University beat out

some stiff competition to run away with Thailand’s 38th University Games.

All told, the school’s athletes earned 51 gold medals, 36 silvers, and 40

bronzes. Rattana Bundit University placed second, and Ramkhamhaeng

University came in third. Hosted by Chula, the big closing ceremony was held on January 22, 2011 at Chulalongkorn Stadium. It was presided over by His Excellency Palakorn Suwanrath of the Privy Council. Professor Pirom Kamolratanakul, the President of Chulalongkorn

University, said that this year’s competition had upgraded the standards

of university games, on both a technical and athletic level. The Games,

he pointed out, also achieved their objective of “Sportsmanship is the

Greatest Victory.” As many noted, the success of this year’s “Chamchuri Games” was all down to teamwork both on and off the field. More than 16,000 athletes and  officers  from  117  educational  institutions  helped  to  make  this a memorable competition. Contributing to the sense of team spirit were more than 1,800 volunteers, 1,500 members of competition committees, 800 referees, and some 300 members of the mass media.

A CU staff is demonstrating exercise for the locals.

Chulalongkorn University handed the flag back to the University Sports Board of Thailand to pass it to the next host of the games, Prince of Songkla University.

Free basic health checkup is part of the university’s health activities.

The grand closing ceremony of Thailand’s 38th University Games.


Vol. 3  Issue  1  January - March  2011



The 4th Academic Consortium 21 Student World Forum 2011 Date: 15 - 21 May 2011 Host: Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University Tel: (66) 2218 3332 E-mail: International Conference on Business and Information 2011 Date: 4 - 6 July 2011 Host: Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy, Chulalongkorn University Tel: (66) 2218 5715 - 6 E-mail: 7th International Conference on Road and Airfield Pavement 2011 Date: 3 - 5 August 2011 Host: Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Ministry of Transport, and Roads Association of Thailand Tel: (66) 2218 2880 ext. 411 E-mail:




The 1st International Conference on English Language Literacy Studies Date: 18 - 20 October 2011 Host: Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University Tel: (66) 2218 2880 ext. 412 E-mail:

Chula International Communication Center (CICC) Chulalongkorn University 254  Phayathai  Rd.,  Pathumwan, Bangkok,  Thailand  10330


The Gazette of Chulalongkorn University # Vol.3 Issue1  
The Gazette of Chulalongkorn University # Vol.3 Issue1