Chemistry Nobel prize awarded to antibiotics trio
Stockholm, Oct 8: Three scientists who produced atom-by-atom maps of the mysterious, life-giving ribosome won the Nobel chemistry prize on Wednesday for a breakthrough that has allowed researchers to develop powerful new antibiotics.
While DNA molecules contain the blueprint for life inside each cell of every organism, it is the ribosome that translates that information into life.
Israeli Ada Yonath and Americans Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz shared the 10 million Swedish crown ($1.4 million) prize for showing how the ribosome, which produces protein, functions at the atomic level.
"As ribosomes are crucial to life, they are also a major target for new antibiotics," the Nobel Committee for Chemistry at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.
The academy said many of today's antibiotics cured various diseases by blocking the function of bacterial ribosomes.
Ms Yonath, a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, told a news conference by telephone that she was elated to receive the award: "It is above and beyond my dreams."
All three scientists used a method called X-ray crystallography to map the position for each of the hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosome.
Ms Yonath made the initial breakthrough at the end of the 1970s when she first tried to generate X-ray crystallographic structures of the ribosome, a feat most considered impossible.
The method involves aiming X-rays towards a crystal, which then scatter when they hit atoms. By looking at how the rays spread out, scientists can determine how atoms are positioned.
Ms Yonath started by taking a micro-organism found in the nearby Dead Sea and crystallising its ribosomes. She did this by freezing them at nearly minus 200 degrees Celsius.
Jeremy Berg, director of the US National Institute of General Medical Sciences which funded all three scientists, said he was amazed at how intrepid Ms Yonath was.
"I remember at the time being just completely stunned that she was somewhere between brave enough and crazy enough because it was way, way, way beyond the technology available at that point," he said.
It would take another 20 years before a full map could be made. During that time, two others joined the race: Yale University's Steitz and Indian-born Ramakrishnan of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Britain.
In 1998, Mr Steitz published the first crystal structure of a large part of a ribosome, something that looked like a dim photograph.
The three scientists reached the finish line almost simultaneously in 2000, publishing crystal structures that were sharply enough defined to locate atoms.
Mr Ramakrishnan paid tribute to those who worked beside him. "I have to say that I am deeply indebted to all of the brilliant associates, students and post docs who worked in my lab as science is a highly collaborative enterprise," he said in a statement.
Scientists use ribosome models to develop antibiotics that can fight harmful bacteria. DawnYour Comments
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Education minister apologized for remarks on MPAs
Peshawar: The Provincial Education Minister Sardar Hussain Babak appologised for his remarks against MPAs after a privilege motion was moved against him in Provincial Assembly on Wednesday.
The privilege motion was jointly moved by MPAs Zahir Shah, Nighat Aurakzai, Ghulam Muhammad and Fazl Ullah over the remarks of the minister on training of MPAs about assembly business. To avoid any further embarrassment the Minister Sardar Hussain Babak apologised for his comments.
The movers contented that Minister has breached the privilege of the house by saying that assembly members need training over house business as majority of them are ignorant about attending assembly session.
He said Akram Durrani of MMA is former Chief Minister of the province and there are so many other seasoned parliamentarians in the assembly. The Education Minister's remarks are in total disregard of senior members of the house, he added.
He also alleged that Provincial Minister's behaviour with MPAs is very humiliating who approach him for posting and transfer of teachers of their respective constituencies.
Zahir Shah demanded of the Speaker to allow the house to admit the privilege motion so that proper action could be taken.
Speaking on the occasion, Provincial Minister for Primary Education, Sardar Hussain Babak said his remarks were not aimed at hurting the honor of any member. He said people keep on learning even in the old age and in this spirit he had requested the Speaker to conduct concept clearance training for members about assembly's proceedings.
However, he added, he apologizes from the house over his remarks and avoid giving such statements in future which can be felt by any members as tantamount to breach of his privilege.
Later, the privilege motion was withdrawn by the mover, MPA Zahir Shah of PML(Q) from Shangla district.
Meanwhile, MPAs also lodged complaint in NWFP Assembly of being by-passed in appointments of Class IV and senior employees by provincial Ministers.
The issue was raised by Deputy Speaker NWFP Assembly, Khush Dil Khan who said this during his visit to City Hospital on Kohat road he found two doctors one of them from Rawalpindi and other from Nowshera. Khush Dil Khan said it is tantamount to injustice that doctors of Pindi and Nowshera districts are appointed in Peshawar where hundred of jobless doctors are searching for jobs.
Supporting the contentions of Khush Dil Khan, MPA Javed Tarakai from Swabi district also took up the floor on a point of order and alleged that 186 appointments have been made in his constituency in Class IV, but he was not consulted.
He said it has been decided by the government that all Class IV appointments would be made with the consultation of the MPAs. Leader of Opposition in NWFP Assmebly, Akram Khan Durrani also spoke on the occasion and supported the allegations. He said all the appointments are being made with out consulting the concerned MPAs.
Provincial Minister for Manpower, Sher Azam Khan also expressed the same view point. Speaking on the occasion, Provincial Minister for Law and Parliamentary Arshad Abdullah said consultation of MPAs in appointment of government servant is not mandatory. According to law and Supreme Court hearing, he continued, all the appointment are made on merit.
However, he added, government will ensure consultation of respective MPA in appointment of Class IV employees. F.P report
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Importance of life skills education
Islamabad: Equipping young people with 'Life Skills' information is the key to protect them from abuse and exploitation.
These views were expressed by Jo Reinders, Technical Advisor Sexuality & Youth World Population Foundation, the Netherlands, on the occasion of the third National Life Skills Based Education (LSBE) Forum, organised by the World Population Foundation (WPF) Pakistan in collaboration with Aahung and Plan-Pakistan.
The forum was aimed at propagating the importance of Life Skills Education and its effective integration into national curricula as pledged in this year's national youth and education policies.
Officials from Ministries of Health, Education, Youth Affairs and Population Welfare, relevant UN agencies (Unicef and UNFPA), NGOs, media personnel and implementing partners of LSBE from across the country attended the forum. Representatives of local education departments from Districts Vihari, Mitiari and Karachi were also present on the occasion.
Reflecting on the positive impact that Life Skills Education has on the local youth, the participants were assured of full support in every way possible for the effective implementation of LSBE.
Recommendations presented to the ministries at the end of the forum reiterated the need to integrate Life Skills Education into national curricula, while the need to introduce a Child Protection Policy was also voiced. It was further recommended that an LSBE Forum at national level should be formulated with representation from the ministries of population welfare, youth and education.
The recommendations called for including topics, such as bodily changes, in the curriculum to ensure that young people are well prepared and at ease with the biological changes they experience upon reaching puberty.
Talking on the occasion, Country Representative WPF Pakistan Qadeer Baig emphasised the need to translate LSB Education from policy to implementation in order to raise a confident and progressive generation for the greater development of Pakistan.
Around the world, LSBE is being adopted as a means to empower young people in challenging situations. It refers to an interactive process of teaching and learning, which enables learners to acquire knowledge and develop attitudes and skills that support the adoption of healthy behaviours. It is also a critical element in Unicef's definition of quality education.
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Eid Mela, China Day celebrated at IIU
Islamabad: Celebration was in the air at the International Islamic University (IIU),Islamabad, as the students arranged an 'Eid Mela' along with celebrating the Chinese Independence Day here Wednesday at the university's women campus.
The chief guests for the event were Mushahid Hussain, Chairman Pakistan-China Institute, along with Dr Dushka, Executive Director of the Institute, Prof Fateh Mohammad Malik, Rector IIUI, Parveen Qadir Agha, Director Women Campus IIUI, and Qaisera Alvi, Provost Women Campus.
Students took great interest in the stalls of eatables, garments, 'mehndi', fast food and jewellery, while there was an unusual turnover at the Chinese stalls where various items of jewellery, clothes, purses, mobile phone accessories and packed eatables were being offered. The Eid Mela also included a few joyrides like a merry-go-round and a swinging boat that had long queues of students, waiting in line for their turn.
Chairman Pakistan-China Institute Mushahid Hussain while addressing the students said they have launched this new Institute with a special emphasis on bringing the two countries closer in areas of security, trade, investment and economy, energy, education, youth, women and culture.
"The Institute has been recently launched here at the University on October 1, coinciding with the founding anniversary of Peoples Republic of China. This non-governmental, non-party and non-political organisation is the first Pakistani think tank, devoted exclusively to promote, strengthen and expand Pak-China relations in different fields, and would work in key sectors of Pakistani state and society, including political parties, civil society, educational institutions, opinion leaders, media and the business community.
Dr Dushka, Executive Director of the Institute, while addressing the students said the Pakistan-China Institute would hold regular seminars and briefings on important developments pertaining to Pak-China relations and maintain an interactive website. She asked the students to give their suggestions and assured that the Institute would entertain the ideas coming from them.
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Students took part in Press Club show
Rawalpindi: Students of various schools and colleges of Rawalpindi participated in a number of competitions, held at Rawalpindi Press Club here Wednesday that were organised in collaboration with Chohan International Consultants and Multimedia Zoom.
The competitions as part of a Funfair Mela included those of singing, cooking, 'mehndi' application and a fancy dress show, in which girls participated enthusiastically. In the cooking competition, the students of Hina Academy prepared doughnuts, cakes, biscuits, 'pulao', Chinese noodles, salads and several other mouth-watering dishes, while the singing contest and the fancy dress show were held inside the Press Club auditorium.
Moreover, many stalls were also set up as part of the arts and crafts exhibition at the 'mela'. Among various stalls of fast food, cellular companies, sewing machines, garments and jewellery, there was also a stall by the Progressive Women Association, whose members distributed handouts and information regarding domestic violence to the girls.
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Yale Educator Award for Khadija
Rawalpindi: Roots College International Director for External Programme Khadija Omair was given the '2009 Yale Educator Award' by the Yale University, USA.
The Yale Educator Recognition Programme recognises only outstanding educators from around the world, who have supported and inspired their students to reach at high levels.
Matriculating students are invited to nominate high school educators, and a committee, composed of Yale admission officers, reviews the nominations individually and designates recipients.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions of Yale University, this year, received 175 nominations from 36 US states and 15 countries, out of which only 36 teachers and 16 counsellors were selected to receive the prestigious award.
In September, the winners were sent engraved desk sets and congratulatory letters, and the high school administrators were notified of their achievements. The news
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