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Fungi picture sits pretty at science award in Qatar
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Fungi picture sits pretty at science award in Qatar

Competition launched by Qatar National Research Fund seeks to promote research projects through images that highlight their outcomes to a wider audience

The winners of the inaugural ‘Best Representative Image of an Outcome’ (Brio) competition have been announced.

Launched by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) in September 2015, the competition aims to encourage QNRF-awarded research teams to use artistic images and visuals to highlight the outcomes of their research to a wider audience.

Designed to showcase scientific discoveries, the award demonstrates QNRF’s dedication to building the nation’s innovation and technology capacity.

From a total of 50 submissions, ten were shortlisted and three outstanding images have been awarded.

“The artistic quality of the images submitted has been quite astounding,” Abdul Sattar Al Taie, Executive Director, QNRF, said. “They give the public a unique insight into the research as seen through the eyes of scientists. These are more than just pictures; they are the art of science.”

First prize was awarded to an image of a novel species of fungi discovered during the analysis of sediment collected from Salwa beach in Qatar.

Through their project ‘Mapping the Microbial Diversity in the Arabian Gulf Surrounding Qatar using Genomics, Metagenomics and Culturing Approaches’, Rashmi Fotedar, a lead principal investigator from the Ministry of Environment, and her team demonstrated that Qatari marine sediments could harbour a variety of yet-to-be-discovered fungal species.

Second prize went to an image taken using a high-speed camera operating at 20,000 frames per second, and was entitled ‘Converting Liquid Fuel into Small Droplets During Spray Process to Enhance Engine Performance’. The picture showed the relevance of predictive models for fuel spray research in a real-life application, and was captured by Kannaiyan, a principal investigator in the project.

The project, called an ‘In-depth Characterisation of Spray and Combustion Performance of Alternative Jet Fuels at Gas Turbine Combustor Conditions’, is led by Reza Sadr from Texas A&M University at Qatar.

An image entitled ‘Fat Stem Cells Full of Red Fat Droplets’ submitted by Mohammad Al Rayess and his team from the Anti-Doping Lab Qatar, from their project entitled ‘The role of preadipocyte differentiation in site-specific adipocyte dysfunction and development of obesity-induced insulin resistance’, took third place. The research relates to fat deposition on the liver, kidney, and heart, and illustrates sensitivity to type-2 diabetes.

“It is very rewarding to receive images representing the research funded by QNRF, and we are very keen on encouraging researchers to share the outcomes of their work with the larger community,” Noor Al Merekhi, Director of Programmes at QNRF, said. “Whilst the winning images stood out, all submissions received were significant and had artistic value in their respective areas, and I want to thank all those who took part.”

The shortlisted images will be displayed by QNRF, a member of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), at the QF R&D’s Annual Research Conference (ARC’16), and the winners will be recognised during the award ceremony of ARC’16.

Additionally, a number of the images will be featured on the QNRF website, in books, and online publications in order to encourage research teams to compete in future competitions.

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CONFERENCE SPONSORED BY QNRF FOCUSES ON FUTURE OF ELECTRIC POWER

Texas A&M University at Qatar and Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA) recently hosted the Second International Conference on Smart Grid and Renewable Energy (SGRE2019) focusing on smart grid and renewable energy resource integration for Qatar and beyond.

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