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Scientists urged to apply nanotechnology to medicine

Nazia Hameed


ISLAMABAD: A weeklong international workshop on 'Nano medicine: Use of Nano particles in Medical Diagnostics' was inaugurated at Comstech Thursday.

It is the 10th workshop of the series held in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission.

HEC Chairman and Coordinator General Comstech Dr Atta-ur-Rahman, in his welcome address, said, "Nanotechnology involves the study of minute particles, a millionth of a centimetre in size, that exhibit special properties proving to be of immense use in medicine, engineering and cosmetics."

He also explained the new nanotechnology-based devices and pharmaceuticals being developed which target diseased areas without side effects, detect diseases at the very early stage and stressed the need for scientists in Pakistan and rest of the Islamic world to venture into the area and reap the benefits of this new technology.

He mentioned Comstech's role in providing e-journals to member countries, as well as over 4500 pages of literature on request on a daily basis. "Under the Young Scientists Support Programme, over 100 projects are supported by Comstech and shortly a Centre for Bioinformatics will also be established at the Secretariat," he added.

Dr Anwar Naseem, science adviser at Comstech, said it was an initiative to bring together bright and dedicated people from Islamic countries to learn and share knowledge and form a knowledge resource. Such forums helped lead to collaborative projects between the participating countries, he added.

Over past two years, he said, workshops had been held on bioinformatics, stem cells, molecular medicine, gene therapy, DNA vaccine and the present workshop would provide a precious insight into new advances in the health sector.

Minister for Health Ejaz Rahim, the chief guest, said Dr Attaur Rahman's contribution to bringing in a knowledge-driven economy not only in Pakistan but also in Muslim states revived the vision of Allama Iqbal and Quaid-i-Azam.

He said Dr Atta was responsible for ushering in a renaissance of science in the Muslim world.

Lauding the role of HEC and Comstech, he said knowledge should bring in enlightenment, justice and power to society and science must remain at the service of human kind.

Foreign resource persons include Prof Mathias Brust, University of Liverpool; Prof Wolfgang J Parak, Philips University Marburg, Germany; Prof Rashid Bashir, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, Indiana via video-conferencing; and Dr Pilar Rivera Gil, Philips University Marburg.

Local resource persons are Dr Irshad Hussain of NIBGE Faisalabad; Dr N M Butt, chairman Pakistan Science Foundation; and Dr Arshad Saleem, chairman Department of Physics, Comsats.

Participants from Malaysia, Sudan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Iran and Libya are attending the workshop. 

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