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Saudi engineer invents biotechnology to clean-up oil spills

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Riyadh:  A Saudi engineer invented a biotechnology that could be used in cleaning up oil spills at land or sea.

“This substance in liquid form can decompose any fat into its smallest particles to get rid of it,” inventor Ibrahim Alalim told Arab Times.

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Alalim named the technology ‘Al-Raheef’ which means ‘very elegant’ in Arabic. He took over 12 years to develop the technology.

“Al-Raheef involves a liquid extract from vegetables that could be instrumental in coming up with products that would be useful in cleaning utensils, floors and marble,” he said.  He further added, “If you spray it on an oil spill, it breaks down its composition and the sea water will be cleaned. The broken down composition will sink to the seabed and spraying it on sand with an oil spill cracks the oil to smaller particles and sinks into the soil like water.”

(IANS)

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Shaw: India needs to up its game in Science and Technology

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Bengaluru: Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw stated on Tuesday that India continues to be a sub-optimal country when it comes to investing in the science and technology sector.

Biocon Limited is an Indian bio-pharmaceutical company based in Bangalore, India headed by Indian entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. Shaw was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal for her outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry in 2014.

“Amongst all the countries who invest in science and technology, we are at a sub-optimal level,” said Shaw at Bangalore India Bio.

Referring to South Korea, which is leading investments in science and technology, she said: “I think India needs to basically up its game in science and technology through greater investments.”

She requested the government to increase science and technology investments as it is the future of India.

According to the Biocon chairperson, India needs to invest $5 billion in biotechnology to achieve the target of growing the sector to $100 billion by 2025.

“Today biotechnology is a $11 billion sector, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 20 percent. We also are aspiring to be a $100 billion sector by 2025,” she said.

Addressing the 16th edition of Bangalore India Bio, Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said: “A lot has been achieved in this field in the last 30 years. Bangalore is not only the hub of bio-tech, it is also the destination of all scientists in India. It is the science hub for India.”

He said the government allotted Rs 10,000 to support entrepreneurs and startups in biotechnology.

Scheduled from February 9-11, Bangalore India Bio will cover a spectrum of activities which include an international trade show, keynote talks and multi-track conferences among others.

As many as 25 sessions featuring 110 speakers will deliberate on topics like making tomorrow’s medicine, oncology and precision medicine, rare diseases and orphan drugs, agribiotechnology, synthetic bio-fuels and others. (IANS)

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