KU research sheds light on diabetes link to genes
Karachi, Feb 18: Experts have suggested that the risk of developing diabetes at an early age becomes four times higher if the parents have diabetes and also due to inter-family marriages.
University of Karachi's (KU) Genetics Department collected data from several families where inter-family marriages were common to determine how much their children were at risk of developing the disease.
Diabetes causes the glucose level in the blood to rise beyond normal ranges, which can affect several parts of the body. People with diabetes have a much higher risk of their eyes, kidneys, nerves and coronary blood vessels being damaged than the people who do not suffer from the disease.
"Diabetes is hereditary and can be genetically transferred from generation to generation. There are two main types of diabetes, type I and type II. Type I diabetes is also known as insulin dependent diabetes, whereas, type II diabetes is non-insulin dependent diabetes," said KU Genetics Department Professor Dr Farzana Nasir Naqvi.
"By collecting blood samples from different ethnic groups it has been found that the risk of inheriting type II diabetes is much higher in children whose parents have the disease," she said.
"Usually type II diabetes develops after the age of 40 but if both parents have diabetes then type II diabetes can develop after the age of 28."
Type I diabetes is an auto-immune disease, as the body's immune system destroys insulin producing cells. Type I diabetes also known as juvenile onset diabetes and can occur at any age and the patients are normally under the age of 40. Although type II diabetes is more common and is also known as late onset diabetes in which deficiency of insulin occurs due to insulin resistance, she maintained.
A researcher Feroza Naseer Ahmed said, "The child can inherit the disease from either of the parents."
She explained that the family history index exposure is important to see the possibility of transference of diseases. The exposure can be weak, strong or negative, each indicating the number of people having the disease in the family and the probability of the disease being transferred to the offspring. If a family has a strong exposure it indicates that the prevalence of disease is high while a weak exposure shows that the disease is moderately prevalent while a negative exposure signifies that that no family member has the disease.
She said, "We also conducted a research to identify the biochemical markers inside the body to diagnose the cause of diabetes. The body has several enzymes, which are a part of the body's defence mechanism. If enzyme activity slows down, the body's immune system is negatively affected and the person in question can contract many diseases. Daily Times
Karachi University protest against HEC decision
Karachi: Tanzeem-e-Asatza Pakistan (TAP) University of Karachi (KU) has roundly condemned the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for its actions, that they believe are tantamount to killing education in Pakistan. They appealed to President Zardari to bail out the universities from the current financial crunch.
The KU teachers vented their anger against the HEC in a protest demonstration held in front of the administration building. A number of teachers from various departments of the university attended the demonstration, and heard their colleagues speaking against the policies of HEC.
Dr Rafeeq Alam Khan, Department of Pharmacology Chairman, criticised the cut in the aid for the KU that had produced a strong reaction amongst teachers. "The reduction in the grant has resulted in the dwindling supply of lab equipments and chemicals, thus decreasing research opportunities. The KU administration is adopting policies which are not conducive to the welfare of the university. Two finance directors are eating our resources, while academic activities are affected", Dr Khan said.
President TAP Dr Junaid Sagheer Siddiqui, Dr Hisamuddin Mansoori, Prof Ishaq Mansoori and Dr Shafeequr Rahman were also present at the occasion.
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FUUAST resumes activity amidst tense environment
Karachi: The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (Abdul Haq Campus) has yet to resume normal classes following clashes between various student groups that began on February 10 and continued till February 12. The university remained closed from February 13 till February 16, and reopened on February 17 amid tight security. Police vehicles were posted outside the campus to avert further clashes.
The bad blood between Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) and Pakistan Students Federation (PSF) – normally allies under the umbrella of Students Action Committee (SAC) – began on the night of February 10, when IJT activists objected to the presence of an 'outsider' who allegedly belonged to the PSF. Some teachers and senior students of the two parties talked the warring parties into a ceasefire. However, the next day (February 11), tension erupted on the campus and resulted in an exchange of fire.
According to a student activist of IJT, a PSF student had taken the cell phone of an IJT activist and when the IJT activist demanded it back, the PSF activist slapped him. This prompted an intense quarrel, and when Usman Gilgiti, an activist of the PSF, fired in the air, the two parties took positions and exchange of fire ensued.
According to an eye witness, about 20 to 25 IJT and 75 to 80 PSF activists pitched in, and a shoot out began after PSF activists Fazal and Tahir fired in the air. Some students from IJT and PSF sustained minor injuries. However, the seniors of the two parties tried and succeeded in bringing the battle to a close.
Two office bearers of the PSF informed that the clash between PSF and IJT was unfortunate, and they are more concerned with the attempted incursion of about 70 Pukhtoon Students Federation (Pukhtoon SF) in the university. Both IJT and PSF strongly resisted the attempt. Even some teachers came out to stop the 'Invasion of the Huns', as a professor, requesting anonymity, commented. Police mobiles arrived at the scene and arrested the activist of the Pukhtoon SF and lodged them in a police station.
One PSF activist said that SAC consists of PSF, IJT, Punjabi Students Association (PSA) and Anjuman Tulba-e- Islam (ATI) and they do not have any problem with these parties.
FUUAST Vice Chancellor, Dr Muhammad Qaisar, visited the Abdul Haq Campus on Tuesday afternoon. He said that his administration is trying to persuade students to reach an amicable agreement.
Former Chairman of the Mass Communication Department, Prof Tauseef Ahmed Khan, said, "The problem is of the presence of Pukhtoon SF activists inside the campus. They can come inside the campus if they are students in the university. We cannot allow the situation to continue like this. The university opened today (Tuesday) after nearly a week, but the attendance was not more than 40 percent. Tomorrow it might be even less."
Prof Khan added that the university administration had talked to the leaders of Awami National Party, Jamaat-e-Islami and Pakistan Peoples Party to curb the activists of their student wings but without much success.
FUUAST Dean of Faculty of Arts and Law, Dr Hasan Waqar Gul, said, "Today was peaceful and we have taken all parties on board to talk to the Pukhtoon SF. We will welcome genuine students, but cannot allow them to bring in 50 outsiders. It is unacceptable," he clarified. He further said that examinations were held on Tuesday and they (the university) had called the Rangers and Police to control any disturbance created by the students or their supporters.
FUUAST exam registration
Karachi: The Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science & Technology (FUUAST) has directed prospective external students who want to improve their divisions to submit their registration forms from February 20 to March 21, 2009. Candidates for B.Com (Part I and II), MA Previous and Final and special examinations for Higher Madressahs can submit their examination forms up to February 28 without late fee. The News
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International moot on computer, communication begins
Karachi: The computers in the past several years have revolutionised the advancements in the engineering sciences and in technology.
This was stated by the Vice-Chancellor of NED University of Engineering and Technology, Engr. Abul Kalam. He was speaking as chief guest at the inaugural session of the second International Conference on Computer, Control and Communication (IC4) commenced here on Tuesday.
The moot is being held under the auspices of National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and Pakistan Navy Engineering College at the Bahria Auditorium here.
The theme of two-day conference is the 'encouragement of the upcoming generation in the fields of research and indigenous development with joint collaboration of industry and academia'.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that it is a matter of pride that researchers from 26 different countries have presented 290 papers for the conference and authors from 11 countries are participating which would be pivotal for the encouragement of the organizers.
The Vice-Chancellor appreciated the valuable contribution of Pakistan Navy Engineering College in the field of research by publishing large number of technical papers and Research and Development projects.
He said that when we talk of computers and communications it must be borne in mind that the equipment is not that important as the individuals who are working.
Engr Abul Kalam said that the computers should be used to the maximum extent possible but not to the extent that the human beings become unable to write properly and calculate quickly and accurately. He said that the computers is a wonderful machine but basically is a machine which remains in our service and let it not become our master.
The Vice-Chancellor said that this conference would provide a platform for local and international researchers, academicians, participating engineers and industry to share their research and experiences for the future development in all areas relevant to the Computers, Control and Communications.
He said that it would also provide an opportunity to re-align the scattered strength specially in the areas which used to be the trade marks of Pakistan such as leather and cotton industry.
In his welcome address, the commandant of the Pakistan Navy Engineering College (PNEC), Commodore Imdad Jafri, said that a record number of 290 papers were received from 26 countries and these were reviewed by national and international scholars.
He said that various awards are being presenting to the contributing authors and these include travel awards and best papers awards.
Commodore Jafri also apprised the audience of the academic activities at the PNEC which is a constituent college of the NUST. He said that this conference would help bridge the gap between the two important sectors- the industry and the academia. Air Vice Marshal Dr. Asif Raza Pro Rector of the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), speaking on the occasion said that NUST is a premier institution of the country with the international standard.
He said that this institution is offering 15 undergraduate and 21 post graduate programmes in the engineering, information technology, medical and management sciences.
Dr. Raza pointed out that as many as nine new programmes for MS, M.Phil and Ph.D were introduced last year and that a few more are in the pipeline.
He said that NUST was granted charter in 1993, has earned the reputation of quality education and excellence in research. Dr. Raza announced that NUST has been included in the list of top 400 universities of the world.
He said that it was ranked 376 as against the 470 position it was holding in the year 2007- a jump of 96 position in one year is no mean an achievement. The plenary lectures were delivered by Prof. Dr. Shafaat Ahmed Bazaz of the GIK Institute of Science and technology Topi, Martin Fegg of Rhein Mettal of Germany Prof. Dr. Athar Mahboob of PNEC and Taha hamid of Mobilink. The chief guest also performed the inauguration of an exhibition on the occasion. The Nation
NED students visit Gul Bahao Research Centre
Karachi: Around 70 students from the Environment Department of the NED University made a study tour of the Gul Bahao Complex located on Rashid Minhas Road recently.
The students were divided into four groups, and were taken on a round of the centre. The students visited the Safai-Kamai Bank, which is the earning arm of the organisation. Habib Malik, a spokesman of the centre, said that the Safai-Kamai Bank funds more than 60 per cent of the research work of Gul Bahao. Nargis Latif, the Managing Trustee of Gul Bahao, said that the project cannot sustain itself entirely on the basis of its own funds, and at times money had to be borrowed at exorbitant rates from other sources.
The students expressed their surprise that the centre was being run on a self-help basis since the past fifteen years. They showed special interest in the fuel pack, which the organisation claims is cheap fuel for running power plants. Malik said that Attock Cement had shown keen interest in this project and had offered to buy 500 tonnes of this fuel on a daily basis for its cement plant. Latif urged the students to lobby with the government for using Karachi's waste to produce electricity. She said Gul Bahao would provide the fuel at economic rates and will also help producers to make these fuel packs in the cottage industries. The News
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CDGK schools lack funds for co-curricular activities
Karachi: The education department of city district government has failed to start girls guide programme, scout and sports activities in the CDGK-run schools due to the delay in release of approved SMC funds worth Rs 70 million.
The CDGK authorities had approved SMC funds to reactivate extra-curricular activities as well as to restore missing facilities in the schools.
Sources in the education department disclosed that SMC funds had been allocated more than two years ago, but so far have not been released due to which various activities in these institutions could not be started.
According to the planning, Rs 210/- per student had been approved for the schools which was to be spent on various activities besides improving physical structure and providing other missing facilities, sources said.
But due to the delay in the release of funds all projects are in limbo. Moreover, the funds could also be utilised to remove the shortage of teachers in these schools.
Sources further said that City Nazim Mustafa Kamal had approved a summary proposed by education department and declared that the schools would be allowed to use School Management Committees' (SMC) funds in the co-curricular activities such girl guide, scouts and sports competitions.
It may be mentioned here the World Bank in its recommendation about good governance and reforms in education system in the Sindh province had stressed proper use of SMC fund in the interest of the students. While honouring these recommendations, Sindh education department allocated huge funds in this regard.
City nazim Mustafa Kamal also approved and assured the delivery of SMS funds for this purpose. The Nation
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