Science melas in connection with national science campaign

Understanding Cell Matrix Interactions

From Fundamental Thermodynamics to Applications in Tumor Metastasis
Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
05 August 2008
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore
Abstract: 

Cells reside and operate in a complex and dynamic extra-cellular matrix. The mechanical, structural and chemical properties of the matrix regulate a variety of cellular functions including signaling, adhesion, migration as well as invasion and metastasis in tumor systems. Unfortunately cell-matrix interactions have traditionally been studied in the context of artificial 2D environments, which are far from in vivo conditions. As a result, our understanding of the complex interactions at the cell-matrix interface has been quite limited. In particular, the mechano-chemical effects of the matrix, the proteolytic pathways and surface receptor dynamics on a 3D surface that are critical in invasion and tumor metastasis, and can not be fully studied in a 2D environment. In order to overcome the limited powers of observation in 2D, we utilize a combination of high resolution and high throughput confocal microscopy, bulk and micro-rheological measurements and multi-scale simulations rooted in statistical and continuum mechanics. Using an interdisciplinary approach allows us to understand and quantify the mechanical and chemical roles of the matrix in regulating signaling, adhesion and motility. Our results demonstrate that both cell structure and cell function are strikingly different in 3D than in 2D and that cellular response to minor mechanical changes in its extra-cellular environment is amplified in 3D than in 2D environments. Our experimental results are complemented by multi-scale simulations, that probe the physical foundations of cell-matrix interactions from the nano to the macro level. Our hybrid approach, combining high-resolution experimental and computational techniques demonstrates how a balance of cellular parameters (e.g. integrin expression and MMP activity) co-operate with matrix properties (e.g. composition, stiffness and porosity) to regulate adhesion, invasion and motility of tumor cells in native like environments.

Resource People: 
Speaker
Dr. Muhammad Hamid Zaman
The University of Texas at Austin, USA

DNA Hybridization on Surfaces

Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
28 July 2008
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
Centre for Solid State Physics, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore
Abstract: 

The controlled arrangement of DNA molecules on surfaces represents one challenging contribution of nanotechnology to biology and medicine. In particular, one of the open issues in the field of DNA-based sensors is detecting the hybridization process with high precision in a real-life biological environment. Towards this end, we have studied the hybridization of single stranded (ss)-DNA anchored on a gold surface using the increase in height of the molecules upon hybridization with a label free target which is due to the much larger rigidity of ds- vs. ss-DNA. Nano-scale ss-DNA patches are assembled within oligo-ethylene-glycol terminated alkylthiol self-assembled monolayer on a gold substrate using nanografting (an atomic force microscopy-based nanolithography technique). Differential height measurements indicate that ss-DNA nano-patches do not show significant increase in height upon hybridization with complementary strands in high density regime. Moreover, the advantage of this system for biosensors and genomics applications will be discussed briefly in the end.

Resource People: 
Speaker
Fouzia Bano
SISSA International School of Advanced Studies, Trieste, Italy

Quantum Computing

Myth or Reality?
Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
15 July 2008
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
University of Management and Technology, 2S 43 South Block UMT, C-II Johar Town, Lahore
Abstract: 

Quantum computers have occupied the imagination, time, energy and resources of many researchers worldwide. About ten years after the first prototypes became implementable in labs worldwide, are we still too far removed from a practical, useful realization? This talk will cover the basics of what quantum computers are, what they (or might) look like and why is there so much hype about them. This will be an elementary introduction aimed at the college-level science students.

Resource People: 
Speaker
Dr. Sabieh Anwar
LUMS School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore

Is reality really real?

From Albert Einstein to John Bell and beyond
Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
05 May 2008
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
University of the Punjab, Lahore
Abstract: 

From elementary particles to superconductors, nature of vacuum to electronics industry, radioactivity to black holes, quantum mechanics has emerged as one of the most brilliant outcomes of the modern mind. But quantum mechanics is also riddled with paradoxes and counter-intuitive observations. It has cast doubts on the nature of "reality" itself! Does the moon really exist, whether we look at it or not? Come and explore how the greatest minds of our times have made attempts at reconciling quantum theory with reality, if at all possible? All in the words of one of Pakistan's most distinguished scientists.

Resource People: 
Speaker
Dr. M. Suhail Zubairy
Institute for Quantum Studies, Texas A&M University, Texas, USA

Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering

Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
24 January 2008
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore
Abstract: 

Biomaterials are defined as materials that are used in medical devices or are in contact with biological systems. Their application can range from skeletal systems (bone implants, knee joints, dental implants etc), cardiovascular systems (stents, catheter, heart valve etc), organs (artificial kidney, heart lung machine, skin etc) and senses (contact lens, corneal bandage etc). The field of biomaterials uses ideas from medicine, biology, physics, chemistry, materials sciences, engineering, ethics, law and health care. Biomaterials are usually integrated into devices or implants hence the interdisciplinary aspect is important for progress. The field brings together researchers from diverse academic backgrounds. They must communicate clearly. Some disciplines that intersect in the development, study and application of biomaterials include: bioengineer, chemist, chemical engineer, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, materials scientist, biologist, microbiologist, physician, veterinarian, ethicist, nurse, lawyer, regulatory specialist and venture capitalist. Biomaterials can be metals, ceramics, polymers, glasses, carbons, and composite materials. Such materials are used as molded or machined parts, coatings, fibers, films, foams and fabrics. One of the major applications of biomaterials is in the field of tissue engineering. This field combines the knowledge of engineering, life sciences and clinical practice to solve the problem of tissue loss or damage, aimed at facilitating the regeneration of damaged or diseased tissue. The essence of tissue engineering is the use of living cells, together with degradable scaffolds and growth factors in development of implantable parts or devices for the restoration of body function. A major component in the revolutionary field of tissue engineering is the development of the suitable scaffold for seeding cells, growth factors and subsequent growth of tissues. There has been a considerable effort devoted to improving material and biological properties of scaffolds used in bone tissue engineering during the past decade. We developed and investigated different porous scaffolds with improved material properties and biological functions. An introduction to various scaffold materials developed in the lab along with future challenges will be presented towards the end.

Resource People: 
Speaker
Dr. Hassna R Ramay
LUMS School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore

The Shape of Space

M-Branes and 11-Dimensional Geometry
Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
27 November 2007
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
Department of Physics, University of the Punjab, Lahore
Abstract: 

General Relativity tells us that all massive objects deform the backgrounds into which they are placed so that the very shape of space is changed by their presence. If, in addition, these objects happen to be charged, they give rise to a flux which distorts the background still further. In the talk, we will apply these simple ideas to gather information about the elusive 11-dimensional M-theory which gives rise to string theory. We will try to categorize some of the geometries that are allowed in M-Theory by studying what happens to a background when stable hyper-dimensional objects called BPS M-branes are brought into it.

Resource People: 
Speaker
Prof. Dr. Tasneem Zehra Husain
LUMS School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore

Science and the Muslim Civilization

Sponsors & Collaborators: 

Engro Chemicals Pakistan and individual sponsorships.

Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
04 November 2007
Time: 
3 pm
Venue: 
Aiwan-e-Iqbal Complex, off Egerton Road, Lahore
Abstract: 

Islam and the Transformation of Greek Science
(Dr. George A. Saliba)

This illustrated talk examines the often repeated characterization of the role of Islamic science as preserving the Greek scientific legacy. It will demonstrate with concrete examples the extent to which Greek science had to be transformed in order to respond to ritual and cultural requirements of Islam, thus critiquing that science and eventually replacing it with a science that was more scientifically consistent. It was this transformed Islamic science that inspired later on the Renaissance scientists.


Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance
(Dr. George A. Saliba)

This illustrated talk will examine the scientific ideas that were first developed in the Islamic world, especially those dealing with planetary theories, and later used in the Latin sources that were produced during the European Renaissance, and in particular in the works of Copernicus. All the evidence for these ideas comes from pages of original Arabic and Latin manuscripts.


Double Incoherence and Double Jeopardy:
Retelling the Story of Attitudes to Science in Islamic Societies

(Dr. Syed Nomanul Haq) 

Living as we do in the twilight of the Enlightenment, a simple ready-made myth about the career of science in Islamic societies still lurks about. This myth has two pseudo-historical elements that fit nicely into a comforting ideological framework. These two elements can be described as reductionism and double-marginalism. The first has it that any achievement made by scientists in the classical Islamic world is reducible to a linear growth of Greek science; the second that those who engaged in genuine science in the Islamic culture were marginal to their society’s mainstream, and that science itself is marginal to Islam. It is an inevitable expression of this alien nature of science in relation to the Arabo-Islamic milieu, so the pseudo-history announces, that Ghazali wrote his Incoherence of the Philophers, an attack that was refuted by Ibn Rushd’s Incoherence of the Incoherence: but Ibn Rushd was fighting a losing battle, and science came to a grinding halt after Ghazali in the early 12th century. My lecture promises to revisit this story and to demonstrate (1) that it is historically absurd and that (2) it stands on the ideological ground that science—that rational, naturalistic study of nature which is doing wonders for us—is essentially a Western phenomenon.


With Friends Like These Who Needs Enemies:
The Irrationality of Supporting Science by Attacking Religion

(Dr. Basit B. Koshul)

A number of recently published books claiming to support and defend science in the face of mounting threats from the dark forces of religion have made it to different best-selling lists. Almost invariably their support and defense of science is premised on (or requires) an attack on religion. The line of reasoning adopted in these books is based on the claim that science equals rationality and religion equals irrationality. Looking at this argument from the perspective of Max Weber's study of the historical development of rationality it is clear that this argument is held together by an insidious sleight of hand—changing the definition of "rationality" in the middle of the argument and then changing it again just before the conclusion. Weber's thoroughly researched findings at the beginning of the 20th century shed light on the current discussion in two ways: a) his research lays bare the intellectual chicanery of those whose support of science necessitates an attack on religion, b) his insights demonstrate that this irrational and unethical attack on religion is actually a frontal assault on the integrity of science. In short, Weber's work helps us to see that science has very little to fear from (some of) its enemies in comparison to threat that it faces from (many of) its friends.

Resource People: 
Keynote speaker
Professor Dr. George Saliba
Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science, Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures Columbia University, New York, United States.
Speaker
Professor Dr. Noman-ul-Haque
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, LUMS, Lahore.
Speaker
Professor Dr. Basit Bilal Koshul
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, LUMS, Lahore.
Session Chair
Dr. Khalid Hameed Sheikh
WWF, Pakistan
Speaker
Suheyl Umer
Director, Iqbal Academy Pakistan
Moderator
Dr. Sabieh Anwar
Joint Secretary, Khwarizmi Science Society
Qari
Hafiz Ahmad Hashmi
Quran Academy

National Workshop on Crystal Structure Determination Using Powder X-ray Diffraction

Registration: 
Registration is required.
Date: 
15 August 2007
Time: 
09:00 am
Venue: 
Centre for Solid State Physics, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore
Abstract: 

Powder X-Ray Diffraction is now a common technique used in the structure determination of different crystals. Read this Article on the Workshop on structure determination using powder X-ray diffraction.

 

Resource People: 
Presenter
Dr. Falak Sher
Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Allied Sciences (PIEAS), Islamabad
Presenter
Dr. N.M. Butt
Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation, Islamabad
Presenter
Dr. Umair Manzoor
Department of Physics, COMSATS, Islamabad
Presenter
Dr. Saadat Anwar Siddiqi
Centre for Solid State Physics, Punjab University, Lahore
Presenter
Dr. Arshad S. Bhatti
Department of Physics, COMSATS, Islamabad
Presenter
Dr. Sabieh Anwar
School of Science and Engineering, LUMS, Lahore
Presenter
Dr . Menges Goetz
Bruker-AXS, Germany

From Galileo to Darwin

A Story of Science-Religion Interactions
Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
14 July 2007
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
Aiwan-e-Iqbal, Egerton Road, Lahore
Resource People: 
Speaker
Dr. Salman Hameed
Assistant professor of Integrated Science & Humanities at Hampshire College, Massachussetts, USA

Magnetic Resonance

From Brain Tissue to Chloroform Computers
Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
09 May 2007
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore
Abstract: 

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a technique that exploits the spin of certain nuclei to obtain a tell-tale signatures of the molecule. This technique finds immense use in diagnostic imaging of human tissue. We will explore the origins of the NMR effect. In addition to its medical uses, we will also address other novel and esoteric applications, such as quantum computing, low-field NMR, explosives detection, polymer and foodstuff characterization, single-cell and nanoparticle MRI.

Resource People: 
Presenter
Dr. Sabieh Anwar
LUMS School of Science and Engineering, LUMS, Lahore