Middle East North Africa Science Platform
Scientists welcome the first compelling evidence that a vaccine can prevent COVID-19. But questions remain about how much protection it offers, to whom and for how long
'Nature Middle East'
Weekly updated World Health Organization figures on COVID-19 cases and deaths within the Arab region.
'Nature Middle East'
Study reveals a promising route for inhibiting the aggregation of harmful proteins associated with Alzheimer’s and other amyloid diseases.
'Middle East Eye'
From decimated fish and wildlife stocks in the Red Sea to declining water resources in Iraq, myriad environmental issues plague the region.
Delegates at the UN conference in Egypt will not have to look far for evidence of ongoing biodiversity loss. The corals of the northern Red Sea around Sharm el-Sheikh and the Gulf of Aqaba are among the richest natural habitats on earth, home to more than 1,000 species of fish and 250 different types of coral.
Red Sea corals have shown remarkable resilience in the face of rising temperatures and climate change. But haphazard tourist development, the dumping of waste in the sea, overfishing, and the use of explosives by fishers have all done serious damage to this rich area of biodiversity.
Spread of agriculture
Luigi Guarino created an interesting image: merging a recent updated map of the expansion of agriculture in Europe with the localities of genebank accessions using barley landrace data from Genesys and importing it into Google Earth.
There are ongoing efforts at ICARDA to maintain and identify new cereal landraces in the MENA region. This underpins global scientific efforts to identify new crop cultivars better suited for agriculture and adaptation to changing climate.
An economic success story combining organic farming , ancient varieties and protecting biodiversity. Two brothers are leading a farming revolution in Greece, which has Europe's highest plant biodiversity. This has lessons for sustainable farming globally and especially for the MENA region with a rich history of crop landraces and evolution.
Genomic Regions From an Iranian Landrace Increase kernel size in Durum wheat. The availability of the latest genome sequences in wheat plus genetic analysis
was used to investigate durum wheat kernel morphology factors and their relationships with kernel weight, and to map the corresponding QTLs.
Kernel size and shape are important parameters determining the wheat profitability, being main determinants of yield and its technological quality.
'Nature Middle East'
'UK-based Egyptian computer science lecturer Mai Elshehaly considers the need for a more inclusive narrative that recognizes the diversity of women in STEM.'
'Mai Elshehaly is a lecturer in computer science at the University of Bradford, UK. Recently, two young women from very different backgrounds and stages in their education asked me if a successful academic career in computer science was possible for ‘someone like them’. Their questions made me think about what was behind the lack of confidence in their ability to excel.'
In February, 2020, a Striped Hyena was released after ten months of nursing care by staff and volunteers at the Palestine Museum of Natural History; a huge victory in a small world.
Research conducted over time in occupied Palestine placed awareness of the Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena syriaca) as being among animals threatened globally according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/ 10274/45195080) as well as being endangered locally. It is widely distributed across Asia, Africa and the Middle East indicating transitional stages among known subspecies. The Striped Hyena is the only hyena of four global species found within the Palestinian territories.
The primary mission of the Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and its companion, the Institute of Biodiversity Research (PIBR) is to promote research and educate people.
The importance of conserving and protecting our natural world places strong emphasis on the teaching of elementary and high school students at the Museum.
Most important is to train the young people to pass on their acquired knowledge so as to promote responsible behavior between people and the environment. To that end, students coming to the Museum play a critical role.
MENA food security
The projected impacts of climate change on food security in the Middle East and North Africa(MENA)
' The BBC'
' Syrian refugees at Za'atari camp in Jordan and scientists from the University of Sheffield in the UK are working together to create a way to grow healthy, fresh food with nothing but water and old mattress foam.
These 'recycled gardens' use the mattresses in place of the soil, which solves two problems in one: It reuses the mountain of plastic mattresses that have piled up in the camp and it allows everyone to grow fresh food in a crowded, desert environment.'
' The independent'
Temperatures in Qatar – one of the hottest places on Earth – have risen so much that authorities have installed air conditioning in the open air including in streets and outdoor markets.
IPCC: UN climate change report calls for change to human diet.
Efforts to curb greenhouse gas-emissions and the impacts of global warming will fall significantly short without drastic changes in global land use, agriculture and human diets, leading researchers warn in a high-level report commissioned by the United Nations.
' Efforts are underway to conduct faunal and floral biodiversity studies in Wadi Zarqa al-Ulwi ,Palestine, to determine the most threatened and endangered species according to the IUCN Red Data Book; identify threats to the existing ecosystems in the wadi; and carry out an environmental-awareness and education program in the area that would lead to sustainability..'
' A Water & Energy Nexus would create a healthy interconnectedness and interdependence between the Levant countries. The Water-Energy Nexus Project aims at researching and advocating for a Water and Sustainable Energy Nexus approach to counter the effects of climate change and its potential negative security implications, while providing solutions to water scarcity in the region.'
' A a monumental construction effort is making headway. Located deep within Dubai's desert interior, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park continues to grow and has just passed another milestone. In its eighth year of development, once finished, the $13.6 billion investment could power as many as 1.3 million homes, reducing carbon emissions by 6.5 million tonnes annually..'
' A UN report presents the first global assessment of biodiversity for food and agriculture (BFA) and represents critical reading for scientists, policy makers and the wider stakeholders in the MENA.
It describes the many contributions that BFA makes to food security and nutrition, livelihoods, the resilience of production systems, the sustainable intensification of food production and the supply of multiple ecosystem services;
the major drivers of change affecting BFA;
the status and trends of various components of BFA;
the state of management of BFA;
the state of policies, institutions and capacities that support the sustainable use and conservation of BFA;
and needs and challenges in the management of BFA.'
'Middle East Eye'
'A group of volunteers from western Libya is striving to protect Farwa, a home to turtles and flamingos, from neglect and disaster.'
'Researchers from around the world can help to support and collaborate with colleagues in troubled regions.'
'In the Palestinian territories, science struggles against all odds
Travel restrictions and paltry funding hamper researchers, who are trying to build a scientific base.'
'Can a breakthrough in stem-cell research revolutionize feminism? Can a scientist apply the scientific method to her own life to find solutions to social problems? In Five Scarves, Jordanian molecular biologist Rana Dajani reveals with passion and cogency how she has explored those possibilities. She speaks to humanity’s capacity to overcome challenges — not least, improving the treatment of women and children.'
'The Middle East and North Africa is becoming a hot bed of activity for research, particularly in the fields of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. A recent report explores the research landscape across the MENA identifying the most prolific institutions for research output, notable areas of research concentration and the most cited papers coming out of each country. '
Many consider renewable energy systems to be the way forward. However, before such systems can power the future, they first need to demonstrate their viability. Researchers from Europe and Morocco have teamed up to make one specific energy system a reality - dispatchable concentrating solar plants.
Water scarcity in the Mediterranean, South America, Africa is a growing global problem, as climate change pressure mounts and inefficiencies in water use and treatment continue, particularly in water-intensive industries. An EU-backed team - working with international partners - has developed an innovative, low-cost inorganic wastewater treatment using agricultural and industrial leftovers.
A professor in Oman has come up with a discovery that promises a breakthrough solution to the issue of carbon emissions on a global level: a rock commonly found just under the crust of the earth could soak up the planet’s entire carbon dioxide emissions, even without being mined.
Palestine Museum of Natural History
The Palestine Institute of Biodiversity Research and its Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) works to research, educate and conserve our natural world, culture and heritage and use knowledge to promote responsible human interactions with our environment.
Threat of 3C warming to Alexandria
The UN is warning that we are on course for 3C of global warming and the report will be published shortly. The impact of such a rise in global temperature is projected to be devastating to cities in coastal regions. The IPCC reported that Alexandria’s beaches would be submerged even with a 0.5-metre sea-level rise, while 8 million people would be displaced by flooding in Alexandria and the Nile Delta if no protective measures are taken. A 3C rise threatens far greater damage than that with added consequences for tourism.
Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win mathematics' Fields medal passes away. She is the first woman and the first Iranian to be honored with the award, known for her work in the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces. “Mirzakhani specialized in theoretical mathematics that read like a foreign language by those outside of mathematics: moduli spaces, Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, Ergodic theory and symplectic geometry,” Stanford press announcement.
Technology companies throughout Saudi Arabia will get startup funds up to $133.3 million from the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) during the first quarter of next year.
The initiative, launched by the Badir Program for Technology Incubators, one of KACST’s leading programs, aims to trigger the growth of Saudi startups for a positive impact on the national economy, increase productivity and create more job opportunities for Saudi youths.
Hottest temperature in Iranian city
Ahvaz city in southwest Iran recorded the country’s hottest temperature , 53.7C, ever recorded on Thursday 29th June 2017.
If confirmed, this may match the world record for the most extreme
high temperature in modern time.
Hot spots in the Gulf region and Arabian Peninsula are projected to endure heatwaves challenging human survival and adaptability if climate change is left unchecked.
One Quarter of 1 % of Turkey’s Surface Area Is Sufficient to Meet All the Power Demand with PV by 2050!
BRUSSELS- Algeria and the European Union (EU) signed Monday, in Brussels, an agreement on EU funding of a EUR10 million supporting programme for the development of renewable energies and the promotion of energy efficiency in Algeria.
The World needs Science, Science needs women.
Founded in 1998, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science partnership was created to recognize and promote women in science.
HESPAL aims to help create the next generation of senior academics who can maintain international quality standards at Palestinian universities .
EU collaboration projects
The Middle East Research and Innovation Dialogue MERID project is a coordination and support action funded by the EU framework programme for research and innovation to intensify and encourage R&I cooperation between the EU and the Middle East region, directly involving partners from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.
Scientific projects targeting cooperation between MENA and EU scientists. EUROSUNMED focuses on the potential for plentiful solar power to adapt solar technology to the region's environment.
I posed this question to a professor at a university in Jordan. The answer was no. This led me to start exploring the reasons behind
this and how to resolve them.
An increasing number of new solar energy technologies are invented every year, the successful development of which depends heavily on accurate measurements of performance, reliability, and durability.
Sustainability Week is a global platform that addresses the interconnected challenges that affect the widespread adoption of sustainable development and clean energy.
Zayed Future Energy Prize
Submissions for the 2017 Zayed Future Energy Prize are open.
Our world is increasingly embracing innovative solutions in order to create a sustainable future, and the Zayed Future Energy Prize is a unique platform that recognises and rewards today’s innovators for their contributions to change.
EU H2020 international research
International Cooperation is vital if research is to fully tap its potential. Active and more strategic international cooperation will also contribute to achieving the EU's wider policy objectives.
The Middle East Science Fund
The Middle East Science Fund is an initiative to support young scientists and education in the sciences throughout the region.
Innovation & Economic Development
The mission of the Innovation & Economic Development department is to help maximize KAUST’s contribution to the economic diversification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its transformation to a knowledge- based economy.
The Fogarty International Center
Middle East and North African (MENA) Region Information, Grants and Resources