Science India Forum Qatar (SIFQ) recently conducted a webinar on ‘Developing Science Ideas into Research Projects.’
In the opening statement, the SIFQ president welcomed all the attendees and introduced guest speaker Dr Lakshmaiah Sreerama, Professor of Biochemistry with Department of Chemistry & Earth Sciences at College of Arts & Sciences, Qatar University.
With a doctorate from Bangalore University, India and post-doctoral training at University of Minnesota, USA, Dr Sreerama has been a faculty member for over 30 years. He has also served as the toxicologist for the state of Minnesota in USA. He has published more than 60 research papers in internationally reputed journals and presented over 100 research papers in research conferences.
Dr Arvind Ranade graced the occasion as a distinguished guest. He is a scientist working for astronomy and space science communications in Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science & Technology, with Government of India. Among the audience were SIF founder member and adviser Saseedharan along with over 120 participants including school students and teachers from various schools in Qatar. In his talk, Dr Sreerama enlightened the participants about how to evolve a science experiment with simple ideas into research project in a step by step process. In a thought-provoking and elaborative presentation on the case study started by a Grade-X student on lawsone extracted from henna plant, he explained the science behind natural dye used to colour hair and skin. The colouring is due to reaction of lawsone with amino acids/proteins in the skin/hair. This simple experiment turned into research on lawsone and its derivatives, having many biological properties including antibiotic and also for anti-Alzheimer’s disease. Certain lawsone derivatives are strongly coloured. Their colours change when exposed to anions. Accordingly, they can be used as sensors for environmental testing as well as biometric/finger printing analysis.
The webinar was well received by the students and teachers. The session culminated in an interactive Q&A session and kindled the young minds to develop a love for scientific research. SIFQ envisages working with the Indian educational institutions in Qatar as well as bridging science and research organisations in India. It also strives to further strengthen Indo-Qatar ties in education, science and technology.
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