MENAFN - Gulf Times) About 2,500 undergraduate students from universities in Qatar have been supported by Qatar National Research Fund's (QNRF's) Undergraduate Research Experience Programme (UREP), a top QNRF official said yesterday. One third of the participants were Qatari.
Speaking at the award ceremony of the seventh annual UREP competitions, Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie, executive director, QNRF, noted, "So far we have supported about 2,500 undergraduate students since the inception of UREP in 2006. Students have participated in 761 projects during the 16 UREP cycles that have been held so far with 656 UREP projects completed in the past seven and half years."
Dr al-Taie added, "It is not only an opportunity for the budding researchers to show their potential to the public but also an occasion to get recognised for their outstanding work. In the spirit of inclusion, the UREP competition also embraces wider community outside of the academic sector to undertake research in an effort to promote Qatari youth."
Qatar University's project on effective remediation method for desalinated water bagged the top prize at the 7th Annual Undergraduate Research Experience Program Competition held at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University.
The project accomplished by QU students Sana Khan, Maymoona Ayesh and Fatemeh Fahraei under the guidance of Dr Mohammad al Ghouti was among the top five projects that made it to the final stage of the prestigious competition.
The second prize went to a group from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) for their work titled 'Metformin improves endothelial function and protects vasculature against glucose toxicity'.
Another WCMC-Q team project titled 'Validation and Functional Characterisation of Novel Factors in Senescent 3T3-L1 Pre-adipocytes' won third prize.
Other winners were Texas A&M University at Qatar (Tamuq) at fourth place while another team of QU students took the fifth place.
Previous calculations may have overestimated the importance of HIV transmission from recently infected individuals ("acute phase infectivity") in driving HIV epidemics, according to an article published by Steve Bellan of The University of Texas at Austin, and colleagues in this week's PLOS Medicine.
The lower estimates of acute phase infectivity suggest that recently infected individuals--who have not had the chance to start antiretroviral treatment--although still more infectious on average than those in the chronic stage of infection, are not as likely to infect others as was previously thought. Transmission from individuals in the acute phase of HIV infection could therefore pose less of a threat to effectiveness of Treatment as Prevention programs, while programs aimed at early identification of HIV infection could have less of a population-level impact, than previously thought.
The authors used two approaches to estimate acute phase infectivity. The first approach used viral load trajectories and the known relationship between viral load and infectivity to estimate that additional risk of transmission during the acute phase was equivalent to 5.6 extra months of chronic-phase infectivity (5.6 excess hazard months or EHMacute). The second approach used a mathematical model to simulate HIV infection and transmission among couples in the principal prior study that directly measured acute phase infectivity, a cohort study from Rakai, Uganda. This simulation estimated EHMacute to be 8.4. Both approaches yielded EHMacute estimates well below the two most cited previous estimates of acute phase infectivity (EHMacute 31 and 141). Bellan and colleagues determined that the higher estimates in previous studies were mainly the result of unaccounted-for heterogeneity in risk among study couples, and bias due to the exclusion of serodiscordant couples who were lost to follow-up. The authors caution that, even in their updated estimates, the small number of couples in this study result in wide confidence intervals.
CARNEGIE Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) recently hosted an 'Enhancing Teaching Arabic in Qatar' workshop for 25 primary, private and independent schoolteachers in an attempt to complement their language learning pedagogy.
Led by Zeinab Ibrahim, PhD, professor of Arabic Studies at CMU-Q and a renowned sociolinguist, 'Enhancing Teaching Arabic in Qatar' introduced the teachers to the linguistic theories behind the Arabiyyatti project, which is supported by the Qatar National Research Fund's National Priorities Research Program (NPRP).
Ibrahim said Arabiyyatti aims to introduce teachers to recent best practices in teaching Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) to schoolchildren. While Arab children are able to speak their local dialect, they are often unable to communicate using Modern Standard Arabic, otherwise known as fus'ha.
"There are common problems with teaching Arabic across the entire region, and Arabiyyatti is the result of research indicating the need to support educators by introducing them to updated teaching methods as well as recent linguistic theories that deal with language acquisition and learning. I hope the participating instructors gained value from the workshop, and that it will inspire them to use Arabiyyatti in their classrooms not only for the benefit of their
Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and the Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), members of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), have announced their collaboration for the launch of a new research grant focused on the Arab family and policy related issues.