[BRAZZAVILLE] Saturday April 16, 2022 saw the inauguration of two laboratories in the physical sciences department of the National Institute for Research in Exact and Natural Sciences (IRSEN).
These two laboratories devoted to applied physics are respectively the nuclear physics and applications unit and the nanomaterials and nanotechnology research unit.
Edith Delphine Emmanuel, Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technological Innovation (MESRSIT), says that the nuclear physics and applications laboratory is dedicated to monitoring marine, natural and environmental pollution.
“These two laboratories will provide access to atomic-scale research beneficial to society and the acquisition of environmental data”
Delphine Emmanuel, Minister of Higher Education
“In this laboratory, we analyze the quality of the water in rivers and seas, as well as the danger of the products from the seas that we consume”, specifies Guy Blanchard Dallou, head of this laboratory.
In addition, “we monitor mining sites. We take the samples to see if people are exposed to products that companies use to separate pure gold from natural gold,” he adds.
Questioned by SciDev.Net, Guy Blanchard Dallou continues by saying that “this will allow us to measure radon, a dangerous and very toxic gas which emanates from the ground. When a person inhales a large amount of this gas, they will develop lung cancer”.
As for the nanomaterials and nanotechnology research unit, the Minister for Higher Education affirms that it will devote itself to applied research work in two main areas.
On the one hand, she cites the development of new nanotechnology techniques for the detection and treatment of diseases in hard-to-reach parts of the body.
It also evokes the development of a new generation of low-cost solar cells with an efficiency that can rival that of silicon, thus offering better prospects for the problems of electrical energy.
These two laboratories were inaugurated in a ceremony which also served as the launch of Science and Technology Week; an event that takes place until April 22 in Kinshasa on the other side of the Congo River at the initiative of the non-profit association Investing In People (IIP ASBL) which supported the setting up of these laboratories.
On this occasion, Edith Delphine Emmanuel indicated that these research units are equipped, among other things, with NanoDrop which make it possible to detect and quantify DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), hoods for working under sterile conditions, and microscopes for the applied physics laboratory.In addition to this equipment, alpha and gamma spectrometry is used to detect dangerous substances at the surface of water and soil.
“These two laboratories will provide access to research at the atomic scale that is beneficial for society and the acquisition of environmental data,” underlines the Minister.
For Christian Aimé Kayath, researcher in biotechnology (applied microbiology and molecular biology), this equipment endowment is a good opportunity for Congolese researchers in general and those of IRSEN in particular.
Because, he explains, they will attach themselves to new technologies, which will allow them to identify whether or not the water is contaminated by hydrocarbons, radioactive sources or other toxic particles.“The technology of radioactive sources is used in the fields of human radioactivity, security and the fight against environmental pollution, agriculture, health and artificial intelligence”, specifies Christian Aimé Kayath who is also an adviser to the cabinet of the MESRSIT
Joseph Tchimbakala Goma, Director General of IRSEN, recalls in passing that for several years, the institution has been working to modernize its research infrastructures with the help of the Congolese State and the solicitude of partners, mainly the United Nations system. -United.
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Congo embarks on research in nuclear physics and nanotechnology – Sub-Saharan Africa
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