By Simeon OSAJIE
Professor Charles Oluwaseun Adetunji of the Edo State University Uzairue has stressed the need to intensify the exploration of modern biotechnology techniques like whole genome and next-generation sequencing techniques as a replacement for traditional isolation techniques applied in microbiology research and industrial production processes.
Prof Adetunji stated this while delivery the Edo State University Uzairue’s 11th inaugural lecture series titled “Microbial Biosphere: The Global Impact And Under Explored Currency”, under the chairmanship of the university Vice Chancellor, Engr. Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor.
The inaugural lecturer also said there is need to identify some new human microbiomes that can be used to manage, suppress, and prevent pathogens or resolve other health related challenges.
“Microbial biotechnology would go a long way to provide safer alternative to synthetic drugs, biocides and antibiotics with beneficial to benign to plants, animals and humans”.
He further stated that there is a need to acknowledge the possible economic benefits that may abound in various diversity of microorganisms, particularly those surviving in extreme conditions because they might be the answer to revolutionizing industrial biotechnology.
Prof Adetunji who is of the Department of Faculty of Science also tasked the relevant stakeholders to pay more attention to lessons learned from the past, to prevent future conflicts between fuel and food and be more adventurous beyond current stereotypic approach to technology.
The lecturer also called for more attention on some key factor that could boost different countries bio-economy such as sustainability, social skills, education, communication, entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer.
Prof Adetunji reiterated the need to place more emphasis on the role of interdisciplinary network programs as one of the key drivers of a bio-economy through the application of beneficial microorganisms as this could be achieved by involving research centers, policymakers, industries and societies in the eventual actualization of the United Nations sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to him, mammals live in continuous contact or close proximity with microorganisms which eventually colonized the gastrointestinal tract of the host in a way that they both undergo growth and evolution together.
“The most significant thing about the microphone-host interaction is that it is a symbiotic favorable crosstalk because there is interdependency for survival and other vital functions”.
He said the only way that could ensure sustainability in bio-economy is to apply some principle that must be adhere strictly to which includes the use of renewable resource from agricultural waste such as feedstock for the production of product of high value, organic materials, plant biomass.
Prof Adetunji also stated that some of the challenges that may be associated with the development of the microbial bio-economy to the genetic composition of the different microorganisms that varies significantly from one species to another making it challenging to standardized the production process.
In conclusion he said, in searching for ample solution to the diverse challenges facing humanity, sustainable opportunities involving the application of microbes are becoming common phenomenal in the development of novel products and solutions to food insecurity, environmental degradation, disease threat and the effects of climate change, hence, there is a need for effective communication of novel innovations to guide policy formulations.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the university Engr. Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor said that the 11th lecture series of the university marks another significant milestone in the remarkable journey of the university’s seven years of its existence.
Prof. Aluyor who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (administration), Prof. Anthony Obioma Nwaopara said the university has accomplished great feats and made indelible marks in the history of education in Nigeria.
According to him, “recently the university hosted a team of Senior Medical Doctors from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to accredit the university’s residency programme for Medical Doctors at the University Teaching Hospital”, he added.
The VC further stated that the university earlier this year inducted her first set of Medical Doctors and in the process graduating her second set of Medical Doctors while the university graduated her second set of Law students who are presently at the Nigerian Law School.
“One of the Hallmarks of the institution is the uninterrupted academic calendar that we have diligently maintained, the university has demonstrated resilience and unwavering commitment to providing quality education without compromising on the academic progression of the students both the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
The Vice Chancellor however used the opportunity to express his appreciation to management and staff for their unwavering dedication to duty, tireless efforts and commitment to excellence which have significantly contributed to the towering image of the institution.
While congratulating the inaugural lecturer, Prof Adetunji for his outstanding achievements and his well-deserved elevation to the rank of professor and global recognition for his scholarly work, said Prof Adetunji’s confidence, expertise have become an inspiration to young African academia.