Science melas in connection with national science campaign

First Falakyati Mela at the Punjab University

Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
29 January 2009, Thursday
Time: 
6 pm
Venue: 
Jogging Track, Punjab University, Lahore
Resource People: 
Lead astronomer
Umair Asim
Khwarizmi Science Society
Astronomer
Omer Bin Abdul Aziz
Lahore Astronomical Society

Usefulness of Extra Dimensions of Spacetime

Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
27 January 2009, Tuesday
Time: 
6 pm
Venue: 
Environmental Law College, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore
Resource People: 
Speaker
Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy
Chairman, Department of Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad

The LHC Computing Grid

Registration: 
Registration is required.
Date: 
5 January, 2009
Time: 
11 am
Venue: 
Department of Physics, University of the Punjab, Lahore
Resource People: 
Presenter
Dr. Ashiq Anjum
CERN and University of West England, Bristol, United Kingdom

Nanowires Grown by Beam Epitaxy

Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
04 December 2008
Time: 
11 am
Venue: 
Centre for Solid State Physics, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore
Abstract: 

Semiconductor nanowires (NWs) are attracting wide interest due to their unique physical properties and potential for application in nanodevices. NWs can be obtained by a number of growth methods, and their highly anisotropic growth originates by the presence of a metal particle, the catalyst, that determines the position and the diameter of the nanostructure. The most widely used catalyst is gold. The growth mechanism of catalyst assisted nanowires involves the incorporation of material both impinging on the catalyst particle and diffusing from the free substrate surface to the sidewalls of the wire. The interplay of these two phenomena is critical especially for the growth of alloy semiconductor compound NWs and one dimensional (1-D) heterostructure. Difference in the surface mobility between the constituents could give compositional inhomogeneities in alloy NWs and degradation of the interface sharpness in 1-D heterostructure. The systematic presence of a metal particle at the NWs tip could be exploited in single NW devices. Moreover, one of the most interesting characteristic of the III-V NWs grown by catalyst assisted self assembling is the peculiarity of having an hexagonal lattice structure (wurtzite), while their bulk and epitaxial parent materials have the cubic structure (zinc blend). In our laboratory we have synthesized GaAs NWs by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) either using a thin gold, manganese, Ga layer as the growth catalyst or without any catalyst. In this talk some of the basics of NWs, their growth and potential applications will be covered.

Resource People: 
Presenter
Fouzia Jabeen
Elletra Synchrotrone, University of Trieste, Italy.

Understanding Cell Matrix Interactions

From Fundamental Thermodynamics to Applications in Tumor Metastasis
Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
05 August 2008
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore
Abstract: 

Cells reside and operate in a complex and dynamic extra-cellular matrix. The mechanical, structural and chemical properties of the matrix regulate a variety of cellular functions including signaling, adhesion, migration as well as invasion and metastasis in tumor systems. Unfortunately cell-matrix interactions have traditionally been studied in the context of artificial 2D environments, which are far from in vivo conditions. As a result, our understanding of the complex interactions at the cell-matrix interface has been quite limited. In particular, the mechano-chemical effects of the matrix, the proteolytic pathways and surface receptor dynamics on a 3D surface that are critical in invasion and tumor metastasis, and can not be fully studied in a 2D environment. In order to overcome the limited powers of observation in 2D, we utilize a combination of high resolution and high throughput confocal microscopy, bulk and micro-rheological measurements and multi-scale simulations rooted in statistical and continuum mechanics. Using an interdisciplinary approach allows us to understand and quantify the mechanical and chemical roles of the matrix in regulating signaling, adhesion and motility. Our results demonstrate that both cell structure and cell function are strikingly different in 3D than in 2D and that cellular response to minor mechanical changes in its extra-cellular environment is amplified in 3D than in 2D environments. Our experimental results are complemented by multi-scale simulations, that probe the physical foundations of cell-matrix interactions from the nano to the macro level. Our hybrid approach, combining high-resolution experimental and computational techniques demonstrates how a balance of cellular parameters (e.g. integrin expression and MMP activity) co-operate with matrix properties (e.g. composition, stiffness and porosity) to regulate adhesion, invasion and motility of tumor cells in native like environments.

Resource People: 
Speaker
Dr. Muhammad Hamid Zaman
The University of Texas at Austin, USA

DNA Hybridization on Surfaces

Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
28 July 2008
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
Centre for Solid State Physics, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore
Abstract: 

The controlled arrangement of DNA molecules on surfaces represents one challenging contribution of nanotechnology to biology and medicine. In particular, one of the open issues in the field of DNA-based sensors is detecting the hybridization process with high precision in a real-life biological environment. Towards this end, we have studied the hybridization of single stranded (ss)-DNA anchored on a gold surface using the increase in height of the molecules upon hybridization with a label free target which is due to the much larger rigidity of ds- vs. ss-DNA. Nano-scale ss-DNA patches are assembled within oligo-ethylene-glycol terminated alkylthiol self-assembled monolayer on a gold substrate using nanografting (an atomic force microscopy-based nanolithography technique). Differential height measurements indicate that ss-DNA nano-patches do not show significant increase in height upon hybridization with complementary strands in high density regime. Moreover, the advantage of this system for biosensors and genomics applications will be discussed briefly in the end.

Resource People: 
Speaker
Fouzia Bano
SISSA International School of Advanced Studies, Trieste, Italy

Quantum Computing

Myth or Reality?
Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
15 July 2008
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
University of Management and Technology, 2S 43 South Block UMT, C-II Johar Town, Lahore
Abstract: 

Quantum computers have occupied the imagination, time, energy and resources of many researchers worldwide. About ten years after the first prototypes became implementable in labs worldwide, are we still too far removed from a practical, useful realization? This talk will cover the basics of what quantum computers are, what they (or might) look like and why is there so much hype about them. This will be an elementary introduction aimed at the college-level science students.

Resource People: 
Speaker
Dr. Sabieh Anwar
LUMS School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore

Is reality really real?

From Albert Einstein to John Bell and beyond
Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
05 May 2008
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
University of the Punjab, Lahore
Abstract: 

From elementary particles to superconductors, nature of vacuum to electronics industry, radioactivity to black holes, quantum mechanics has emerged as one of the most brilliant outcomes of the modern mind. But quantum mechanics is also riddled with paradoxes and counter-intuitive observations. It has cast doubts on the nature of "reality" itself! Does the moon really exist, whether we look at it or not? Come and explore how the greatest minds of our times have made attempts at reconciling quantum theory with reality, if at all possible? All in the words of one of Pakistan's most distinguished scientists.

Resource People: 
Speaker
Dr. M. Suhail Zubairy
Institute for Quantum Studies, Texas A&M University, Texas, USA

Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering

Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
24 January 2008
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus, Lahore
Abstract: 

Biomaterials are defined as materials that are used in medical devices or are in contact with biological systems. Their application can range from skeletal systems (bone implants, knee joints, dental implants etc), cardiovascular systems (stents, catheter, heart valve etc), organs (artificial kidney, heart lung machine, skin etc) and senses (contact lens, corneal bandage etc). The field of biomaterials uses ideas from medicine, biology, physics, chemistry, materials sciences, engineering, ethics, law and health care. Biomaterials are usually integrated into devices or implants hence the interdisciplinary aspect is important for progress. The field brings together researchers from diverse academic backgrounds. They must communicate clearly. Some disciplines that intersect in the development, study and application of biomaterials include: bioengineer, chemist, chemical engineer, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, materials scientist, biologist, microbiologist, physician, veterinarian, ethicist, nurse, lawyer, regulatory specialist and venture capitalist. Biomaterials can be metals, ceramics, polymers, glasses, carbons, and composite materials. Such materials are used as molded or machined parts, coatings, fibers, films, foams and fabrics. One of the major applications of biomaterials is in the field of tissue engineering. This field combines the knowledge of engineering, life sciences and clinical practice to solve the problem of tissue loss or damage, aimed at facilitating the regeneration of damaged or diseased tissue. The essence of tissue engineering is the use of living cells, together with degradable scaffolds and growth factors in development of implantable parts or devices for the restoration of body function. A major component in the revolutionary field of tissue engineering is the development of the suitable scaffold for seeding cells, growth factors and subsequent growth of tissues. There has been a considerable effort devoted to improving material and biological properties of scaffolds used in bone tissue engineering during the past decade. We developed and investigated different porous scaffolds with improved material properties and biological functions. An introduction to various scaffold materials developed in the lab along with future challenges will be presented towards the end.

Resource People: 
Speaker
Dr. Hassna R Ramay
LUMS School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore

The Shape of Space

M-Branes and 11-Dimensional Geometry
Registration: 
Open to all.
Date: 
27 November 2007
Time: 
11:00 am
Venue: 
Department of Physics, University of the Punjab, Lahore
Abstract: 

General Relativity tells us that all massive objects deform the backgrounds into which they are placed so that the very shape of space is changed by their presence. If, in addition, these objects happen to be charged, they give rise to a flux which distorts the background still further. In the talk, we will apply these simple ideas to gather information about the elusive 11-dimensional M-theory which gives rise to string theory. We will try to categorize some of the geometries that are allowed in M-Theory by studying what happens to a background when stable hyper-dimensional objects called BPS M-branes are brought into it.

Resource People: 
Speaker
Prof. Dr. Tasneem Zehra Husain
LUMS School of Science and Engineering, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore