Posts tagged ‘first’

July 11, 2011

First solar park due to power up

 By Iolo ap Dafydd BBC Wales environment correspondent Dr Glen Peters, who owns the land and the nearby county mansion and art centre, has funded the project

The first solar park in Wales is expected to start converting sunlight into electricity later at the Rhosygilwen estate in Pembrokeshire.


Almost 10,000 solar panels have been imported from the United States and are placed in 12 lines in a six-acre field.


The £2.5m investment will be onstream three weeks before the UK government lowers the subsidy for large-scale solar energy investors.


The site’s owner Western Solar still hopes to double its size.


It is run by Dr Glen Peters who owns Rhosygilwen mansion and art centre with his family.


He said: “There are 10,000 panels here. They are very cutting edge from the States.


“They are thin film, particularly suited to our climate here of largely cloudy skies.”


He has planning consent for a development twice the size but had to rethink his plans.

“There was no bank financing available. I then had to take a total act of faith and said ‘okay, we will halve the scheme, we will do one megawatt initially’ and I basically raided my pension fund.”


Other applications for three and five megawatt solar parks at Cynheidre and Ffos Las in west Wales are said to be still in planning.


But while Rhosygilwen has beaten the government’s closing of a lucrative loophole, developers like Nigel Payne of Allied Renewables in Swansea are setting their sights lower.


His company hopes to complete three 50 kilowatt solar parks, half the size of Rhosygilwen, by September.

Expansion concern

Another ten are in the planning stage and, by reducing the size of the output, will still be able to generate a return of 30.7p per kilowatt hour.


“It spreads the fund in tariff to what it was designed for – not supporting large-scale solar farms where subsidies would be absolutely gobbled up,” he said.


The Department of Energy and Climate Change has said from 1 August tariffs would be reduced for large solar panel investors.


Any large-scale solar farms above 250 kilowatts, and up to 5 megawatts, will be able to claim 8.5p per kilowatt hour.


Schemes between 150 kilowatts and 250 kilowatts will be able to claim 15p per kilowatt hour and schemes ranging from 50 kilowatts to 150 kilowatts 19p per kilowatt hour.


Solar installations below 50 kilowatts are unchanged.


The average household installation, less than 4 kilowatts, will still be claiming the highest bracket of 43.3p per kilowatt hour.


With the solar industry increasing over the past 12 months from generating 4 megawatt of power in Britain to 96 megawatts, Dr Owen Guy, Swansea University’s senior lecturer in nano technology, said there were some concerns that expansion could slow down.


“It’s still available for the small-scale projects. Individuals will be able to install four kilowatt systems on their homes and will still be able to get a good return on their investment,” he said.


“But the large scale companies wont be able to make the profit they have been.”

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July 8, 2011

First solar park due to power up

By Iolo ap Dafydd BBC Wales environment correspondent Dr Glen Peters, who owns the land and the nearby county mansion and art centre, has funded the project

The first solar park in Wales is expected to start converting sunlight into electricity later at the Rhosygilwen estate in Pembrokeshire.


Almost 10,000 solar panels have been imported from the United States and are placed in 12 lines in a six-acre field.


The £2.5m investment will be onstream three weeks before the UK government lowers the subsidy for large-scale solar energy investors.


The site’s owner Western Solar still hopes to double its size.


It is run by Dr Glen Peters who owns Rhosygilwen mansion and art centre with his family.


He said: “There are 10,000 panels here. They are very cutting edge from the States.


“They are thin film, particularly suited to our climate here of largely cloudy skies.”


He has planning consent for a development twice the size but had to rethink his plans.

“There was no bank financing available. I then had to take a total act of faith and said ‘okay, we will halve the scheme, we will do one megawatt initially’ and I basically raided my pension fund.”


Other applications for three and five megawatt solar parks at Cynheidre and Ffos Las in west Wales are said to be still in planning.


But while Rhosygilwen has beaten the government’s closing of a lucrative loophole, developers like Nigel Payne of Allied Renewables in Swansea are setting their sights lower.


His company hopes to complete three 50 kilowatt solar parks, half the size of Rhosygilwen, by September.

Expansion concern

Another ten are in the planning stage and, by reducing the size of the output, will still be able to generate a return of 30.7p per kilowatt hour.


“It spreads the fund in tariff to what it was designed for – not supporting large-scale solar farms where subsidies would be absolutely gobbled up,” he said.


The Department of Energy and Climate Change has said from 1 August tariffs would be reduced for large solar panel investors.


Any large-scale solar farms above 250 kilowatts, and up to 5 megawatts, will be able to claim 8.5p per kilowatt hour.


Schemes between 150 kilowatts and 250 kilowatts will be able to claim 15p per kilowatt hour and schemes ranging from 50 kilowatts to 150 kilowatts 19p per kilowatt hour.


Solar installations below 50 kilowatts are unchanged.


The average household installation, less than 4 kilowatts, will still be claiming the highest bracket of 43.3p per kilowatt hour.


With the solar industry increasing over the past 12 months from generating 4 megawatt of power in Britain to 96 megawatts, Dr Owen Guy, Swansea University’s senior lecturer in nano technology, said there were some concerns that expansion could slow down.


“It’s still available for the small-scale projects. Individuals will be able to install four kilowatt systems on their homes and will still be able to get a good return on their investment,” he said.


“But the large scale companies wont be able to make the profit they have been.”

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July 7, 2011

First synthetic organ transplant

By Michelle Roberts Health reporter, BBC News, in Stockholm Synthetic windpipe The replacement windpipe was grown in the lab Surgeons in Sweden have carried out the world’s first synthetic organ transplant.


Scientists in London created an artificial windpipe which was then coated in stem cells from the patient.


Crucially, the technique does not need a donor, and there is no risk of the organ being rejected. The surgeons stress a windpipe can also be made within days.


The 36-year-old cancer patient is doing well a month after the operation.


Professor Paolo Macchiarini from Italy led the pioneering surgery, which took place at the Karolinska University Hospital.


In an interview with the BBC, he said he now hopes to use the technique to treat a nine-month-old child in Korea who was born with a malformed windpipe or trachea.


Professor Macchiarini already has 10 other windpipe transplants under his belt – most notably the world’s first tissue-engineered tracheal transplant in 2008 on 30-year-old Spanish woman Claudia Costillo – but all required a donor.

Indistinguishable

The key to the latest technique is modelling a structure or scaffold that is an exact replica of the patient’s own windpipe, removing the need for a donor organ.


To do this he enlisted the help of UK experts who were given 3D scans of the 36-year-old African patient, Andemariam Teklesenbet Beyene. The geology student currently lives in Iceland where he is studying for a PhD.


Using these images, the scientists at University College London were able to craft a perfect copy of Mr Beyene’s trachea and two main bronchi out of glass.


This was then flown to Sweden and soaked in a solution of stem cells taken from the patient’s bone marrow.


After two days, the millions of holes in the porous windpipe had been seeded with the patient’ own tissue.


Dr Alex Seifalian and his team used this fragile structure to create a replacement for the patient, whose own windpipe was ravaged by an inoperable tumour.


Despite aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the cancer had grown to the size of a golf ball and was blocking his breathing. Without a transplant he would have died.


During a 12-hour operation Professor Macchiarini removed all of the tumour and the diseased windpipe and replaced it with the tailor-made replica.


The bone marrow cells and lining cells taken from his nose, which were also implanted during the operation, are able to divide and grow, turning the inert windpipe scaffold into an organ indistinguishable from a normal healthy one.


And, importantly, Mr Beyene’s body will accept it as its own, meaning he will not need to take the strong anti-rejection drugs that other transplant patients have to.


Professor Macchiarini said this was the real breakthrough.


“Thanks to nanotechnology, this new branch of regenerative medicine, we are now able to produce a custom-made windpipe within two days or one week.


“This is a synthetic windpipe. The beauty of this is you can have it immediately. There is no delay. This technique does not rely on a human donation.”


He said many other organs could be repaired or replaced in the same way.


A month on from his operation, Mr Beyene is still looking weak, but well.


Sitting up in his hospital bed, he said: “I was very scared, very scared about the operation. But it was live or die.”


He says he is looking forward to getting back to Iceland to finish his studies and then returning to his home in Eritrea where he will be reunited with his wife and young family, and meet his new three-month-old child.


He says he is eternally grateful to the medical team that has saved his life.

July 7, 2011

Wayne Goes Seaside For Her First Resort Collection

Wayne Goes Seaside For Her First Resort Collection

July 5, 2011

Buy Them Now: Alexander Wang’s First Small Leather Goods

Hot on the heels of his CFDA Award for Accessory Designer of the Year, Alexander Wang has more accessory news to share: For Fall, he’s debuting wallets and small leather goods. That doesn’t mean you have to wait until July to get your hands on them. Next Friday, June 17, the designer will offer the first of the new category of accessories—the Zelmira wallet in ponyskin ($525), the Mini Adriel bag in ostrich ($275), the Compact Quillon in metallic ($235), and the Prisma biker purse in printed ostrich ($295)—exclusively on eBay’s Fashion Vault. For 24 hours, shoppers will be able to buy (not bid on; the pieces will be sold under eBay’s “Buy It Now” option) wallets and mini-bags direct from the Fall runway that won’t be available anywhere else.


Designing small leather goods, Wang tells Style.com, is no different from their bigger sisters. “It’s always the same approach,” the designer says. “How do we create without overdesigning? There’s always a sense of masculinity and irreverence we look to, but also an ease of usage.” How, then, to carry these small pieces? In some cases, as a clutch instead of a larger bag. “Less is more,” Wang advises. “Ditch all the makeup and keep it to the essentials—keys, money, and phone. It’s a lot sexier when a girl isn’t carrying around a bag full of tricks.”

—Matthew Schneier

Photos: Courtesy of Alexander Wang

Tags: bag, cfda award, designer, ebay, Leather, small leather goods

July 4, 2011

PUCIT wins first prize in innovative research

LAHORE: The Punjab University College of Information and Technology (PUCIT) won the first prize in innovative research over all categories and second prize in the category of information systems in All Pakistan Inter-Colleges and Universities Project and Research Competition.
The Ministry of Information Technology and College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, NUST jointly arranged the competition. More than 300 projects were presented in the areas of electro mechanical systems, information systems, communication systems and digital systems from more than 40 universities. Dr Arif Mahmood, PhD, Assistant Professor, PUCIT, won the coveted innovative research award.
His research is in the area of digital image processing and the title of the project was ‘computation elimination algorithms for fast template matching’. Four BS students of the college, Muhammad Ahsan, Muhammad Shaban, Fareed Babar and Waqar Ameen won the second prize for their project named “agile project management tool”.Daily Times.

July 4, 2011

Who really wrote our first `official` national anthem?

Jagan Nath Azad (1918-2004) was known for his fascinating Urdu poetry. His contribution to Iqbal Studies was equally important. But what gave him renewed fame a year after his death was the controversy that raged in the Indian and Pakistani media for quite some time and Azad was at the centre of the controversy.

A few days before his death in 2004, Jagan Nath Azad gave an interview to Luv Puri, an Indian journalist, in which he claimed to have written Pakistan`s first national anthem. According to the interview, published in The Milli Gazette `s issue of 16-31 August, 2004, at the time of Independence Jagan Nath Azad was in Lahore, his beloved city, and did not want to leave it. Some of his Muslim friends asked him not to migrate to India and stay on, instead. They also took the responsibility for his safety and security. On August 9, 1947, a `friend` (not named in the interview) working at Radio Pakistan`s Lahore station brought him a message from Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, saying that the Quaid wanted Azad to write Pakistan`s national anthem.

Jagan Nath Azad claimed in the interview that he wrote the anthem within five days and the Quaid approved it within a few hours. He also claimed that it was Pakistan`s first national anthem and was broadcast (the interviewer has used the word `sung`) from Radio Pakistan`s Karachi station (the interviewer has used the words `Pakistan radio, Karachi`) since Karachi was then the capital of the newborn nation. Later, due to the worsening law and order situation, his friends advised Azad to migrate to India and he took their advice.

The interview did not have much impact at that time but Luv Puri got a report based on the same interview published in the June 19, 2005 issue of ` The Hindu `, one of the leading newspapers of India. Titled `A Hindu wrote Pakistan`s first national anthem`, the report somehow struck chords among some Pakistani media persons and intellectuals and they began spreading the report, some of them feeling quite overjoyed over Quaid`s gesture of asking `an Urdu-knowing Hindu` (to borrow the words from Puri) to write the national anthem of the nascent Muslim country. Well, this is indeed something one should be quite proud of.

But there was a little problem: there were a few odd pieces that did not quite fit into the puzzle because the overjoyed writers did not bother to crosscheck the historical facts. Aqeel Abbas Jaferi in his new book ` Pakistan ka qaumi tarana: kya hai haqeeqat kya hai fasana ` (Pakistan`s national anthem: what is fact, what is fiction) has candidly listed all these facts ignored by Puri and his Pakistani counterparts while debating the issue. Jaferi has yet again come up with a book based on research and has very unemotionally presented his point of view, though it was quite possible for him to get emotional since he, as we all know, is a `pakka Pakistani`. But, at the same time, he is a level-headed and fair-minded research scholar, too. What disturbs him, however, is that many of our friends get too emotional when bent upon proving something that suits their stance and in the process tend to forget their facts.

Jaferi has built his case like an intelligent lawyer. First he enlists the interview and report, translates their certain parts into Urdu, then he reproduces some excerpts from the writings of Pakistani intellectuals, such as Mahreen F. Ali, Zaheer Qidvai, Aadil Najam and Beena Sarwar. He also quotes from a write-up in PIA`s in-flight magazine `Hamsafar` and the reader is convinced that they all looked too eager to accept Azad`s claim without any serious research. Jaferi also refers to a TV talk show anchored by Hamid Mir wherein everybody, except for Dr Khwaja Muhammad Zakaria, tried to prove that Jagan Nath Azad had written Pakistan`s first national anthem on the Quaid`s request and it used to be broadcast from Radio Pakistan till 1954. Pointing to yet another TV channel, Jaferi comments that the programme it aired on the issue was full of errors that it does not merit a mention even. This is the first chapter of Jaferi`s book and after summing up all the incorrect notions he ends it with the words: “repeat a lie till it becomes truth”.

Then in the following chapters he slowly unfolds the facts one after another and after partially dismissing Azad`s claim tells the story of how and when Pakistan`s first, official national anthem was conceived and approved. As for Azad`s claim, he invites readers to consider some facts before deciding. He says, for instance, Radio Pakistan`s Karachi station had not even begun its transmissions in August 1947 and it was exactly a year later that it started its formal broadcasts, let alone broadcasting Azad`s newly composed national anthem. Secondly, the authentic record shows that neither Radio Pakistan`s Lahore station nor Peshawar station broadcast any anthem on the night of Independence. The maiden broadcast by Lahore station on the occasion included Iqbal`s poetry, a Punjabi song by Sehrai Gordaspuri and a poem by Zafar Ali Khan. In the case of Peshawar station, two nationalistic songs written by Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi were broadcast on the night between August 14 and 15, 1947. So even if we give the benefit of doubt and suppose `Karachi station` was wrongly mentioned by Azad, it is incorrect after all. Dr Safdar Mahmood, an authority on Pakistan`s history, carried out a thorough research on the issue and it was confirmed by him that no anthem composed by Azad was broadcast on the night of Independence.

What seems strange, according to Jaferi, is that Azad remembers the names of all his friends except the one who conveyed the Quaid`s message to him. He never mentioned the name in any of his interviews or writings. Also, Azad traveled to Pakistan many times after migrating to India and attended many mushaeras here. He composed many poems about Pakistan in the later part of his poetic career. In ` Watan mein ajnabi `, he has collected all his poetry on Pakistan but it does not contain Pakistan`s `first national anthem`. In fact, it is not included in any of his books. In 1993, `Uni-Karians Pakistan` arranged a function in Jagan Nath Azad`s honour in Dubai and on the occasion Azad said that the first `tarana` (anthem) of Pakistan broadcast at the zero hours of August 14, 1947 was written by him. Here Jaferi concludes that Azad had used the word ` tarana ` (song or anthem) and not ` quami tarana ` (national anthem).

Before concluding the debate, Jaferi has mentioned that there were many poetic compositions titled ` Pakistan ka tarana ` in the run-up to the independence. Asrar-ul-Haq Majaz was the first poet who wrote ` Pakistan ka milli tarana `. Later, many poets tried their hands on writing national songs for Pakistan. They were Makhdoom Mohiuddin, Raees Amrohvi, Mian Basheer Ahmed, Asgher Saudai and many more. A few of the anthems were even titled ` Pakistan ka tarana ` but no poet claimed to have written Pakistan`s first national anthem. To cut a long story short, Jaferi has proved that the anthem written by Hafeez Jallundhry was officially approved in 1954 as Pakistan`s first national anthem though it too has a long story behind it. Before the anthem was approved, a tune composed by Ahmed Ghulam Ali Chagla was approved as official tune and poets were invited to write an anthem that went with it.

Published by Virsa Publications, Karachi, the book contains some rare photographs, too.Dawn.

July 1, 2011

Wayne Goes Seaside For Her First Resort Collection

Wayne Lee is packing up her city sidewalk-ready aesthetic and taking it shoreside with a debut capsule collection for Resort that will be sold exclusively at Barneys. “Barneys is really where Wayne got its start,” said Lee of the her namesake label’s partnership with the retailer. (Literally, in this case: Lee was a buyer for the store before her co-workers encouraged her to turn her self-designed work outfits into a full-fledged label.) “Barneys has always supported my career and vision. This just made sense.”


A recent vacation the designer took to Saint Martin gave rise to the 18-piece lineup, which features Caribbean-inspired shades of cerulean and cobalt blue, as well as black and white stripes reminiscent of beach umbrellas. Keep in mind that Lee is seven months pregnant (read: those tropical climes felt even hotter), so it was all about super-lightweight fabrics and easy silhouettes. There were simple silk rompers with pockets that peek out from the bottom hem, a shrunken white jacket with a mesh back to show off a cute bathing suit, and plenty of matte jersey halter looks. Lee noted she’s been focusing on showing off the back “because it’s the one part of you that always looks good when you’re pregnant.” You don’t need to be expecting to wear her clothes, but it’s nice to know it couldn’t hurt.

July 1, 2011

first Pakistani to have genome mapped Dr Atta-ur-Rehman,


Dr Atta has become the first Muslim man with this distinction, while he is the third one among a list of renowned people in the world whose genomes have been mapped by scientists. PHOTO: FILE



MANCHESTER: Prof Dr M Iqbal Choudhary, Director International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University (KU), disclosed on Thursday that former Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rehman is the first Pakistani whose genome has been mapped by Pakistani scientists at a cost of $40,000 in just 10 months. <!–more–>


China has contributed $20,000 in the total cost of the genome project. Pakistani and Indian genomes have similarities compared to others, he said, while speaking at a press conference, held on Thursday at Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine & Drug Research (PCMD), Karachi University (KU).


Dr. Kamran Azim, Assistant Professor in the Dr Panjwani Center and other faculty members were also present on the occasion.


Dr Iqbal Choudhary said that the success of our scientists on this genome project is in fact a national pride for us; they have acquired remarkable scientific achievement at a time when Pakistan is passing through a terrible time in its history.


With this historical achievement, Pakistan has taken a step forward in the genome world and joined the ranks of the few countries – the US, UK, China, Japan and India – which have successfully sequenced the human genome, he said and added that Pakistan, however, is not new in this genome world as we have already sequenced DNA of mangoes and other fruits.


“Dr Atta has become the first Muslim man with this distinction, while he is the third one among a list of renowned people in the world whose genomes have been mapped by scientists. The names of the first two persons are Prof Watson and Dr Ventor (2007), while others are unnamed.


Pakistan has become the sixth country, working on the genome projects after US, UK, China, Japan and India.


We need advanced equipments to further gain progress in this unique field; an institute of Genome will also be setup in the country soon. Millions of pages are required to write the details of genome and that the genome of the first American was mapped at a cost of $6b, across a ten year period,” he said.


It is pertinent to mention here that the research team, who mapped the genome, comprised of Dr Kamran Azim, Assistant Professor in the Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research and Dr Yong Zhang, head of the genomics department at the Beijing Genomics Institute, Shenzhen, China, one of the leading authorities  in genomics.


Dr Kamran Azim has acknowledged the fact that the complete Pakistani genome has been sequenced for the first time, and said that this research will improve the diagnosis of disease, while the earlier detection of genetic predispositions to diseases will also be a benefit of this research. He said, “The new thing in the study was the technique which can trace back a mutation to the specific parent. We are still studying the actual genome data itself and how the genetic differences we identified may predispose this particular individual to certain diseases”, he said.

June 30, 2011

French minister Lagarde becomes IMF’s first female head

France saw victory in Finance Minister Christine Lagarde’s nomination as the first female head of the International Monetary Fund. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: France Tuesday saw victory in Finance Minister Christine Lagarde’s nomination as the first female head of the International Monetary Fund Tuesday, after the shame of the last French holder’s departure.

The government and Lagarde herself also hailed as a triumph for women her nomination, which will spark an imminent reshuffle in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government.Lagarde, respected for her leadership during Europe’s financial crisis, was chosen to replace fellow French national Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned after his arrest in New York for the alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid.The arrest had embarrassed French politicians and shocked the political world. The leader of the ruling UMP party Jean Francois Cope had warned that the sight of Strauss-Kahn in handcuffs damaged France’s image.In a statement on Tuesday Cope called the choice of Lagarde “a point of pride for France” and “a chance for Europe.”An official in Sarkozy’s office, who asked not to be named, called it “a victory for France,” in comments to AFP.The French presidency has remained virtually silent on the Strauss-Kahn affair, though Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet at the time said France’s image had fallen “victim” to it.Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said in a statement that France “is happy and proud of her success.”Lagarde’s first reaction to the nomination came from her account on the online message service Twitter: “I am honoured and delighted that the Board has entrusted me with the position of MD (managing director) of the IMF!”Shortly afterwards she appeared on TF1 television. Asked if her nomination was a victory for women, she replied “yes”.”In the interview I had with the IMF board there were 24 male administrators, not one single woman,” she said.”When I felt myself being interrogated for three hours by 24 men, I thought it good that things begin to change a bit. We can each bring our difference and our respective qualities.””The French presidency is delighted that a woman is taking up this major international responsibility,” the presidential official added.Lagarde said her priority was to encourage IMF staff after the drama of Strauss-Kahn’s arrest.”The first thing I want to do is rally the teams… give them confidence, courage and energy,” she told TF1.Beyond that, she is faced with the task of helping settle a crisis in the eurozone as it scrambles to prevent Greece defaulting on its debt.A French cabinet reshuffle is expected imminently. Sarkozy and his Prime Minister Francois Fillon held a 20-minute meeting at the Elysee presidential palace on Tuesday evening after the IMF announcement.Fillon left without commenting. An Elysee official said Lagarde would attend the weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning as usual.Budget minister Francois Baroin, Higher Education Minister Valerie Pecresse and Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire are tipped as favourites to take over the key finance ministry post.Lagarde meanwhile said she was unfazed by a judicial case hanging over her linked to accusations of conflict of interest.In May a prosecutor called for a probe into her handling of a high-profile dispute that resulted in a 240-million-euro ($345-million) government payout to flamboyant tycoon Bernard Tapie.But judges have put off until July 8 the decision on whether a full investigation is merited.”I am totally calm. I always acted with respect for the law,” Lagarde said Tuesday.”I entered politics scarcely five years ago and I have learned and served a lot,” she said on TF1, recalling her days as a teenage synchronized swimming champion.”I am a competitive swimmer and when it is hard, when you get bad timings, you start again and train again and get back into the pool. That’s what I have done also in my life.”fz-npk-rlp/boc