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IAS Founding Patron visits IAS HQ

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On Monday 8 October 2018, HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal, Founding Patron of the IAS, visited the IAS headquarters. HRH was received by Prof. Adnan Badran Treasurer FIAS, Prof. Mohammad Hamdan FIAS, Prof. Shaher Momani FIAS and Dr Moneef Zou’bi, Director General, IAS.

 HRH was briefed by IAS Treasurer on the activities and programmes of the IAS and its plans to implement a number of programmes over the next two years.

 HRH, after recalling many of the eminent scientific personalities he had interacted with over the years, proposed a number of ideas for how the IAS can move forward effectively in terms addressing a wide range of issues emanating from the Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture and Biodiversity (WEHAB) paradigm, and draw on the experience of a number of international agencies active in the broad domain of development.

 HRH was accompanied by a sizeable delegation representing many local and regional institutions.

IAS Fellow, and Former Science Adviser to PM Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid wins Biodiversity Prize

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Former science adviser to the Malaysian prime minister Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid was today announced as one of the three winners of the Midori Prize for Biodiversity 2018.

The two other winners are chairman of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, Dr Kathy MacKinnon, and director-general of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon, Assad Serhal.

The Midori prize is a prestigious biennial international awards event co-hosted by AEON Environmental Foundation (AEF) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

It is aimed at raising public awareness on the importance of biodiversity and to contribute to the objectives of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020.

Use of Evolution to Design Molecules Nets Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 3 Scientists

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Three scientists shared this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for tapping the power of evolutionary biology to design molecules with a range of practical uses.

Those include new drugs, more efficient and less toxic reactions in the manufacture of chemicals and plant-derived fuels to replace oil, gas and coal extracted from the ground.

Half of the prize and the accompanying $1 million, announced on Wednesday in Stockholm, went to Frances H. Arnold, a professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology. She is only the fifth woman to win a chemistry Nobel and the first since 2009.

The other half of the prize is shared by George P. Smith, an emeritus professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri, and Gregory P. Winter, a biochemist at the M.R.C. Laboratory of Molecular Biology in England.

“I always wanted to be a protein engineer,” Dr. Arnold said in an interview. “Proteins are marvelous molecular machines, tremendously complex but responsible for all the functions of life. I wanted to be an engineer of the biological world.”

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/03/science/chemistry-nobel-prize.html

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 – Tools made of light

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The inventions being honoured this year have revolutionised laser physics. Extremely small objects and incredibly rapid processes are now being seen in a new light. Advanced precision instruments are opening up unexplored areas of research and a multitude of industrial and medical applications.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics” with one half to Arthur Ashkin, Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, USA “for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems” and the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou, École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA and Donna Strickland, University of Waterloo, Canada “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses”.

Arthur Ashkin invented optical tweezers that grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells with their laser beam fingers. This new tool allowed Ashkin to realise an old dream of science fiction – using the radiation pressure of light to move physical objects. He succ

eeded in getting laser light to push small particles towards the centre of the beam and to hold them there. Optical tweezers had been invented.

A major breakthrough came in 1987, when Ashkin used the tweezers to capture living bacteria without harming them. He immediately began studying biological systems and optical tweezers are now widely used to investigate the machinery of life.

Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland paved the way towards the shortest and most intense laser pulses ever created by mankind. Their revolutionary article was published in 1985 and was the foundation of Strickland’s doctoral thesis.

Using an ingenious approach, they succeeded in creating ultrashort high-intensity laser pulses without destroying the amplifying material. First they stretched the laser pulses in time to reduce their peak power, then amplified them, and finally compressed them. If a pulse is compressed in time and becomes shorter, then more light is packed together in the same tiny space – the intensity of the pulse increases

dramatically.

Strickland and Mourou’s newly invented technique, called chirped pulse amplification, CPA, soon became standard for subsequent high-intensity lasers. Its uses include the millions of corrective eye surgeries that are conducted every year using the sharpest of laser beams.

The innumerable areas of application have not yet been completely explored. However, even now these celebrated inventions allow us to rummage around in the microworld in the best spirit of Alfred Nobel – for the greatest benefit to humankind.

The Laureates:

Arthur Ashkin, born 1922 in New York, USA. Ph.D. 1952 from Cornell University, Ithaca, USA.

Gérard Mourou, born 1944 in Albertville, France. Ph.D. 1973.

Donna Strickland, born 1959

in Guelph, Canada. Ph.D. 1989 from University of Rochester, USA.

Prize amount: 9 million Swedish krona, with one half to Arthur Ashkin and the other half to be shared between Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland.

More information: www.kva.se/nobelphysics2018

 

2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine goes to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo

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STOCKHOLM — The Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded Monday to two researchers from the United States and Japan for advances in discovering how the body’s immune system can fight off the scourge of cancer. The 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize will be shared by James Allison of the University of Texas Austin and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University.

Their parallel work concerned proteins that act as brakes on the body’s immune system and it constitutes “a landmark in our fight against cancer,” said a statement from the Nobel Assembly of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, which selects winners of the annual prestigious award.

Allison studied a known protein and developed the concept into a new treatment approach, whereas Honjo discovered a new protein that also operated as a brake on immune cells.

“I’m honored and humbled to receive this prestigious recognition,” Allison said in a statement released by the university’s MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he is a professor.

“A driving motivation for scientists is simply to push the frontiers of knowledge. I didn’t set out to study cancer, but to understand the biology of T cells, these incredible cells that travel our bodies and work to protect us,” he said.

Last year’s prize went to three Americans for work in identifying genes and proteins that work in the body’s biological clock, which affects functions such as sleep patterns, blood pressure and eating habits.

 

HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan joins the AETDEW as an Honorary Fellow

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HRH Princess Sumaya has accepted an invitation to become an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Engineering and Technology of the Developing World (AETDEW), based in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

HRH expressed her admiration of the work of the AETDEW and its attempt to become the leading Engineering and Technology think tank in the Global South and its commitment to contributing to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. HRH also stressed that the determination of AETDEW to achieve functioning academy status and commitment to fully embrace the UN SDG slogan of ‘Leave No One Behind’ are admirable.

Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) and Chair of the Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), is a leading advocate for science as a catalyst for change in the Arab World and the South. The Princess is committed to being a science enabler in a region where so many challenges urgently require solutions derived from science, research and technology.

IAS Vice President Dr N M Butt honoured

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IAS Vice President Dr N.M.Butt, was honoured as Notable Alumnus- Physics of the University of Birmingham, UK out of a total of 24 Alumni of Physics listed  over a period of 118 years since the establishment of the University in 1900.

Dr. N. M. Butt was a Ph.D student in the Department of Physics of the University of Birmingham from 1961 to 1965. He passed his Ph.D (Physics) in 1965 and later passed the degree of D.Sc (Physics) in 1993. His Ph.D supervisor  was the world famous Nuclear Physicist Professor P.B.Moon, F.R.S  who had earlier worked  in the Manhattan Project of Atom bomb of the USA during the  world war-II. Dr.N.M.Butt had also the fortune of learning courses in nuclear physics and solid state physics of  other two famous Physicists ,Professor W.E. Burcham F.R.S and Professor R.E. Peierls, CBE, F.R.S who was the head of Implosion device  in the Manhattan Project.

Dr.Noor Mohammad Butt has recently been listed as Notable Alumnus in Physics from the University of Birmingham. There is a total list of 24 Notable Alumni of Physics ( almost all British Physicists)  listed over a period of 118 years since the establishment of the university in 1900.The Birmingham university has been on the forefront of Nuclear Physics and is one of the leading British Universities of U.K and is particularly  famous for experimental Nuclear Physics in the U.K.   This list published in Wikipedia at the site: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_Birmingham_alumni” has been confirmed by the Alumni Office of the  University of Birmingham(attachment No.1). Dr. Butt is the only Physicist from Asia and the only Fellow of IAS honoured as Notable Alumnus of this University.

Dr N.M.Butt was elected Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences in 1993 and  is currently the Vice–President of the Academy.

 

Mohamed Hassan FIAS named to the Pontifical Academy

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3 July 2018

For a career of accomplishments in research and international cooperation, TWAS founding Executive Director Mohamed Hassan has been elected a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Mohamed H.A. Hassan FIAS, the President of the Sudanese National Academy of Sciences and former Executive Director of The World Academy of Sciences, has been appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Mohamed H.A. Hassan, chairman of the Governing Council of the United Nations Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries, was notified of this lifetime appointment by Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Academy. He will receive the insignia in an official induction ceremony, which will be celebrated during a solemn pontifical audience at a meeting of the Academy 12-14 November in Rome, Italy.

The Pontifical Academy is one of the world’s oldest and most august scientific bodies, with roots dating to the early 17th century. Under Academy statutes, members receive lifetime appointments “on the basis of their eminent original scientific studies and of their acknowledged moral personality, without any ethnical or religious discrimination.”

“I am humbled and privileged to be appointed a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, one of the world’s most prestigious academies,” Hassan said. “I look forward to joining the Academy’s 80 international members and contributing to the fulfilment of its mission – the advance of knowledge in science and in related ethical and philosophical issues.”

Hassan served as TWAS’s first executive director, a position he held from 1983-2011. During that period, he guided the Academy through a period of great growth and expanding influence. In the global scientific community, he has a reputation as an ambassador for scientific excellence and international science cooperation.

Using his experience and diplomatic skills, Hassan has been an advocate of scientific advancement for the developing world, and a driving force in establishing South-South and South-North partnerships for sustainable development. He has also fostered the organization of science diplomacy events, bringing together scientists and policymakers to address the challenges of poverty, scientific development and gender equality.

With a PhD in mathematics from the University of Oxford (UK), Hassan’s scientific contributions range from theoretical plasma physics to the development of mathematical and physical models in environmental, geoscience and space science. He has also authored articles on science, technology and innovation in the developing world. In addition to his leadership at the Sudanese National Academy of Sciences[link: snas.org.sd], Hassan currently he is a professor of mathematics at Khartoum University and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Al Mashreq University, both in Sudan.

He formerly served as president of the African Academy of Sciences and is a current member of several merit-based international academies. In 2012 he received the Abdus Salam Medal, named after TWAS founder Abdus Salam, the Pakistani physicist and Nobel Prize winner.

Indeed, the election of Hassan to the Pontifical Academy has important symbolic significance. It was at a meeting of the Academy in 1981 that Salam and other scholars conceived of an academy of sciences for the developing world – and from that idea, TWAS was born in 1983. Salam was a member before his death in 1996.

The Pontifical Academy (Pontificia Academia Scientiarum in Latin) is an international and independent body with roots that date back to the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Academy of the Lynxes), an esteemed scientific body founded in Rome (1603).

Today the Academy’s goals are focused on promoting the progress of mathematical, physical and natural sciences, fostering interaction between faith and reason and offering authoritative advice on scientific and technological matters. Academy statutes limit membership to 80 elite academicians, all serving lifetime terms. They represent all the principal branches of science and all regions of the world.

The academicians are expected to attend Academy meetings, and to suggest topics for study. They help to select new members, and also to nominate exceptional early career scientists for the Pius XI Medal.

The Pontifical Academy is a member of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), which is hosted by TWAS in Trieste, Italy, and of the International Science Council (ICSU).

International Statement on Dementia from IAP for Health

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نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪iap health‬‏

IAP Statement: “A Call for Action to Tackle the Growing Burden of Dementia”

Release Date: 5 July 2018; 00:01 CET
Contact: Peter McGrath
IAP Coordinator, Trieste, Italy
Email: mcgrath@twas.org, iamp@twas.org
Tel: +39 040 2240 571; +39 040 2240 681

 

Howard Chertkow, MD, FRCP, FCAHS
Professor of Neurology, McGill University;
Scientific Director, Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), Jewish General Hospital, Lady Davis Research Institute
3755, chemin de la Côte-Ste-Catherine, Bureau F-408
Montréal (Québec) H3T 1E2
Email: howard.chertkow@mcgill.ca
Tel: +1 514 340 8222

Trieste, Italy, 5 July 2018
The InterAcademy Partnership for Health (IAP for Health) today issues ‘A Call for Action to Tackle the Growing Burden of Dementia’. This IAP Statement is endorsed by more than 50 members of IAP for Health (i.e. academies of medicine and academies of science with strong medical sections from around the world).

In the Statement, IAP highlights the fact that, worldwide, the proportion of the population that is 65 years of age or greater has grown over the last decades, and this trend will continue. Also, because advancing age is the greatest known risk factor for dementia, the number of individuals living with dementia worldwide will nearly triple by 2050. Most of this increase – from 47.5 million people to some 135.5 million – will occur among people living in low- and middle-income countries.

A mixture of brain diseases often underlies dementia, with many people showing changes consistent with both Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia) and cerebrovascular disease. But while we are learning more about the risk factors commonly associated with dementia (e.g. smoking and diabetes that are linked with stroke and heart disease), dementia continues to be a slowly progressive illness where the diagnosis is made after the process has been present for years.In addition, while young onset (under 60 years) dementia is rare in many countries, this may not be the case where HIV/AIDS is prevalent, such as in sub-Saharan Africa and other low-income countries. Thus young people in such countries may bear a disproportionately greater burden of dementia in years to come.

Dementia also does not affect men and women equally. Women are at both greater risk of developing dementia and then living longer with the condition. Women also provide most of the informal (unpaid) care for people living with dementia.
The IAP for Health Statement, therefore, specifically calls on governments and other healthcare providers to implement a number of practices, including:
• Increasing awareness by educating the public about dementia, how to maintain brain health, and on accepting people with dementia as they are, accommodating to their remaining abilities;
• Supporting research to find and implement effective approaches (both pharmacological and non-pharmacological) to delay, prevent, slow-down, treat, ameliorate, and eventually cure the common causes of dementia;
• Investing in national healthcare systems, including both training a sufficient number and mix of providers as well as building the necessary infrastructure to ensure timely, competent person-centered care is available to those living with dementia and their caregivers through all stages of the illness.
“Our Call for Action is one which aims at developing an evidence-based and a public health orientated approach to this looming problem,” explains Howard Chertkow, chair of the IAP for Health working group that prepared the Statement. “Ultimately each country should make a clear assessment for each population of the potential for primary or upstream prevention of dementia. This should be followed by plans for secondary prevention, i.e. early detection followed by effective treatment, which is considered to be more effective at that stage than later. Such treatment would include both what is currently available and what should soon be developed through therapeutic trials. So-called tertiary prevention (mitigation of dementia and its ramifications through various therapies and end of life care for those with dementia) also needs to be ramped up.”

Depei Liu of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and co-chair of IAP for Health, says: “The growing issue of dementia is affecting all countries, whether they are developed or developing. By releasing this Statement, we hope that IAP for Health and its member academies, representing the global medical science community, will be able to raise awareness of what needs to be done to get ahead of the curve. We expect that our member academies will now present it directly to their national governments and disseminate it through their national scientific and medical networks so that our recommendations can begin to be implemented. I especially call on low- and middle-income countries to do all they can to respond to this burgeoning crisis.”

IAP for Health’s other co-chair, Detlev Ganten of the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina, added: “Like all IAP Statements, this Statement on dementia has been thoroughly reviewed. It presents – based on the latest evidence from our member academies – the best impartial advice to policy-makers in national ministries of health and social welfare, to healthcare agencies and other relevant institutions, and to decision-makers at the international level. The burden of dementia is growing, especially in countries with an ageing society, and it is time to take action.”

 

 The Statement is available at:

http://www.interacademies.org/45731/IAP-for-Health-A-call -for-action-to-tackle-the-growing-burden-of-dementia

Prof. Malik Maaza awarded the 2018 José Vasconcelos World Award of Education

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The award acknowledges Professor Mâaza’s work in promoting education for societal development and sustainability, and recognises his international and humanistic approach to science education as well as his commitment to training and mentoring young scientists on the African continent. To this end, Professor Mâaza has worked tirelessly to raise funds worldwide in support of researchers from less affluent countries. He has helped scientists from war zones in Africa and the Middle East pursue their research and has organised periodic exchanges between renowned scientists of Israeli and Arabic origin, seeking to build bridges through science.

 

Achievements

Professor Malik Mâaza is an African physicist and an accomplished researcher and educator, born in Algeria in 1963 and working in South Africa. His clear vision of how science can be used as a tool to empower individuals to address some of humanity’s most pressing challenges has been demonstrated through his commitment to training and mentoring young scientists.

He is greatly respected for his work as a pioneer of nanoscience and nanotechnology on the African continent and, most importantly, for his accomplishments as an outstanding educator and dedicated mentor. He has significantly contributed to the education of numerous PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.

He has also played a crucial part in keeping South Africa at the leading edge of international research. In this sense, he plays a key strategic planning role in developing South African research programmes and research grant proposals. His work has earned him international recognition from UNESCO, which appointed him to the first South-South Chair in Nanosciences & Nanotechnology: the UNESCO UNISA Africa Chair in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology, also known as U2ACN2.

Recognised by the global scientific community for the value of his published work through frequent invitations to speak at international events, he acts as an ambassador and voice for the African continent in the multidisciplinary field of nanotechnology.

Professor Mâaza’s contributions in the area of education are not confined to the classroom. He has created platforms for the introduction of emerging areas of education like materials science, space sciences and laser sciences. The many new facilities that he has set up underpin a range of scientific programmes, while he has established his own team and exploited his own expertise and ideas to build stronger relations with both academia and industry at national and international level.

His dedication to the cause of women in science is seen through his role as a member of the international as well as the Sub-Saharan juries of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science. He is a major player in promoting the role of women in science, especially those living in low and medium income countries. He is also a peace activist, using science as a powerful path for fostering human relations between young researchers.

His work as UNESCO Chair has had a huge impact on building capacities among the future generation of African scientists.

 

World cultural Council, News
Announcement of 2018 Winners
June 4, 2018