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Professor Madjid Samii Awarded as Top World Neurosurgeon

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Compiled By: Firouzeh Mirrazavi
Deputy Editor of Iran Review

*Professor Madjid Samii Awarded as Top World Neurosurgeon

The world renowned Iranian scientist in neurological surgery Professor Majid Samii has garnered the 2014 Golden Neuron Award.

The award was announced during a ceremony held at the biannual meeting of the World Academy of Neurological Surgery in Vienna on October 11.

Many leading scientists and neurological surgery scholars have flocked to the biannual meeting that kicked off on October 9 and will run until October 12.

Iranian neurosurgeon and medical scientist, Professor Samii, had earlier received the 2014 Leibniz Ring Prize in Berlin.

Prof. Samii is renowned worldwide for his life trajectory and especially for his work in the Project Africa 100.

The 70-year-old scientist Professor Samii is known as Iranian-German neurosurgeon that has been the president of the International Society for Neurosurgery. He was also elected as the founding president of the Congress of International Neurosurgeons (MASCIN) in 2003.

While the scientific study of the nervous system has increased significantly during the second half of the twentieth century, Professor Samii has recently launched the project of constructing an advanced neurology center in Iran.

*Iranian name 'Homa' selected for asteroid

An Iranian name was chosen for an asteroid out of 1500 other names suggested in an international campaign to name LA1986 (3988) minor planet. Near Earth Objects (NEO) Project Group of Space Generation Advisory Council held an international campaign last year to name the asteroid in which citizens across the world could suggest their names.

Homa Saman-Abadi and Foad Kordani from Iran took part in the campaign, suggesting the name Homa. International Astronomical Union chose the name 'Homa' for the minor planet.

In Iranian myth, Homa is the name of the bird who brings happiness for anyone who sees it. It also sends the message of happiness.

Homa Saman-Abadi whose name has been selected for the small planet, said, "I am so happy that my name has been picked. I want to seize the opportunity and express my feelings.... I wished that the planet will bring happiness for anyone who sees it, and it can be the source of love, peace, joy and pleasure for people on the earth."

Director of Near Earth Objects (NEO) Project Group of Space Generation Advisory Council Alex Karl called the campaign a 'great success'. He also congratulated the two Iranians who offered the name Homa for the planet. Citizens of 85 countries took part in the event. LA1986 (3988), named 'Homa' was discovered on June 4, 1986 in Palomar Observatory in California.

*Iranian helps design robot snake

An Iranian scientist Hamid Marvi, along with his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University, took inspiration from sidewinder snakes and designed a robot that can slide across the sand, for potential use in search-and-rescue missions.

According to ISNA, it was once something biologists only vaguely understood and roboticists only dreamed of replicating.

By studying the snakes in a unique bed of inclined sand and using a snake-like robot to test ideas spawned by observing the real animals, both biologists and roboticists have now gained long-sought insights.

In a study published in the 10th issue of the journal Science, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Zoo Atlanta report that sidewinders improve their ability to traverse sandy slopes by simply increasing the amount of their body area in contact with the granular surfaces they are climbing.

As part of the study, principles used by the sidewinders to gracefully climb sand dunes were tested using a modular snake robot developed at Carnegie Mellon.

Before the study, the snake robot could use one component of sidewinding motion to move across ground level, but was unable to climb the inclined sand track the way real snakes could readily ascend.

In a real-world application — an archeological mission in Red Sea caves — sandy inclines were especially challenging to the robot.

However, when the robot was programmed with the unique wave motion discovered in the sidewinders, it was able to climb slopes that had previously been unattainable. “Our initial idea was to use the robot as a physical model to learn what the snakes experienced,” said Daniel Goldman, an associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Physics.

“By studying the animal and the physical model simultaneously, we learned important general principles that allowed us to not only understand the animal, but also to improve the robot.”

The detailed study showed that both horizontal and vertical motion had to be understood and then replicated on the snake-like robot for it to be useful on sloping sand. “Think of the motion as an elliptical cylinder enveloped by a revolving tread, similar to that of a tank,” said Howie Choset, professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon. “As the tread circulates around the cylinder, it is constantly placing itself down in front of the direction of motion and picking itself up in the back. The snake lifts somebody segments while others remain on the ground, and as the slope increases, the cross section of the cylinder flattens.” At Zoo Atlanta, the researchers observed several sidewinders as they moved in a large enclosure containing sand from the Arizona desert where the snakes live.

The enclosure could be raised to create different angles in the sand, and air could be blown into the chamber from below, smoothing the sand after each snake was studied. Motion of the snakes was recorded using high-speed video cameras which helped the researchers understand how the animals were moving their bodies.

“We realized that the sidewinder snakes use a template for climbing on sand, two orthogonal waves that they can control independently,” said Hamid Marvi, a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon who conducted the experiments while he was a graduate student in the laboratory of David Hu, an associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Mechanical Engineering.

“We used the snake robot to systematically study the failure modes in sidewinding. We learned there are three different failure regimes, which we can avoid by carefully adjusting the aspect ratio of the two waves, thus controlling the area of the body in contact with the sand."

*Iran expert helping develop IoT platform

An Iranian expert and postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Colombia is helping develop a revolutionary platform for a new technology called the Internet of Things (IoT).

Ali Kashani, the Vancouver-based Energy Aware Technology’s vice president of software, is helping the company develop the Neurio platform, billed as a revolutionary new technology that makes an ordinary home smart.

The evolution of the IoT involves the embedding of sensors in physical objects. The sensors are, in turn, linked through networks to computers that analyze the vast amounts of data they produce.

Neurio’s development, however, has drawn upon the fact that all electronic devices have a power signature, hence just enlisting the help of a Wi-Fi power sensor.

Kashani has described Neurio as the “brain of the home,” not a “fancy” remote control, like other smart-home products.

“Now in your pocket, it’s your phone that is reminding you no matter if you are downstairs, taking the garbage out, listening to music in the living room,” he said. “So it’s going to change the way that home operates.”

Energy Aware Technology’s founder and CEO Janice Cheam has predicted that Neurio would make the home “become an active member of the family.”

“The home of the future, I would say, it’s more about anticipating and getting you that information when you need it, without you having to go and search for it,” she said.

*Iran shines in ISI rankings

Head of ISC announced that Iran’s place in world rankings in different scientific scales such as engineering and chemistry have considerably improved.Head of the Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC) Ja’far Mehrdad announced that Iran has ranked 16 in engineering and 19 in chemistry in the rankings of Institute for Scientific Information (ISI).

Iran has submitted about 26 thousand articles in the field of engineering to which 106,542 references have been made.

Ja’far Mehrdad noted that Iran holds a significant place in the world rankings in different scientific scales based on ESI documentation and said, “Iran's scientific production is quite notable in chemistry. During the past 10 years, Iranian scientists have achieved the ranking of 19 among 140 countries.”

The first ranking belongs to the USA with more than 200 thousand articles submitted. The next rankings belong to China, Japan, German, India, France, Russia, Spain, England and South Korea respectively.

Between the ranking of 11 and 19, which belongs to Iran, there are countries such as Italy, Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Australia, Taiwan, Poland and Sweden.

Iran has taken wide strides in science and technology, particularly in medical and medicinal fields, in recent years.

The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) founded by Eugene Garfield in 1960, maintains citation databases covering thousands of academic journals. This database allows a researcher to identify which articles have been cited most frequently, and who has cited them.

*Iranian engineer wins 2014 O.H. Ammann Research Fellowship Award

Mahdi Arezoumandi, an Iranian structural engineer from Qom, has won one of the five awards of 2014 O.H. Ammann Research Fellowships in Structural Engineering.The O. H. Ammann Research Fellowship in Structural Engineering is bestowed annually to a member for the purpose of encouraging the creation of new knowledge in the field of structural design and construction. This year, one of the five winners was an Iranian structural engineer from Qom, Mahdi Arezoumandi.

After completing his Master’s Degree in Earthquake/Structural Engineering from Tehran Polytechnic in 2002, Mahdi Arezoumandi worked as a structural engineer at Small Industries and Industrial Park Organization (SIIPO) where he was involved in the design of a wide range of civil engineering structures. He came to the United States to continue his education in structural engineering in 2009, seeking PhD degree at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

He has published 19 journal papers and 11 conference papers so far, won couple of scholarships from Post Tensioning Institute (PTI) and Chi Epsilon Honor Society, and awarded the Nevada Medal for Distinguished Graduate Student Paper in Bridge Engineering in 2013.

More recently, he was awarded the National University Transportation Center (NUTC) student of the year in 2014.He has served as a vice president of both Chi Epsilon Honor Society and the Council of Graduate Student (CGS) at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

In regard to his proposal, Arezoumandi explained, “Concrete is one of the most common type of human-made product in the world the main constituent of which is cement.”

“Studies show that for every kilogram of cement produced, about one kilogram of carbon dioxide is released, which is harmful,” he continued, “One way to solve this problem and reduce the amount of released CO2 is to produce concrete from fly ash which I have evaluated in my PhD research.”

Fly ash is a by-product of coal-fired electric generating plants. The use of these byproducts offers environmental advantages by diverting the material from the wastestream, reducing the energy investment in processing virgin materials, conserving virgin materials, and allaying pollution.

*Iran to establish largest Oncology Research Center in region

The ground-breaking ceremony of the largest Oncology Research Center in the region was held at Rasht, northern Iran, on September 2.

Professor Madjid Samii, renowned neurosurgeon, and Professor Ali Akbar Sayyari, deputy health minister, attended the ceremony.

Gilan Medical University and Oncology Research Center are establishing the center with the support of Professor Samii.

The center will be built in four years in an area of 20,000 square meters.

Samii was also commemorated in the ceremony for his 50-year scientific efforts. 

Born in 1937 in Rasht, Professor Samii received his MD in neurosurgery at the age of 33. He has been the president of the International Society for Neurosurgery and was elected as the founding president of the Congress of International Neurosurgeons in 2003.

Also in 2004, the Board of Directors of the Social Security Organization of Iran has offered Professor Samii the chairmanship of Neurosurgical Department in Tehran’s Milad hospital. Under his leadership, a very strong educational program for the staff has been implemented.

The department is now one of the most developed neurosurgical centers. Since 2006, Professor Samii has set annual international neurosurgical symposiums in motion in Tehran.

*Iranians discover direct MS-diet link

Iranian scientists in Lund University in Sweden have discovered a direct link between MS and food.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system and renders the brain ineffective in sending messages to the rest of the body.

Though we know relatively little about multiple sclerosis, recently it was discovered that MS not only affects the brain tissue but also the intestinal system. This significant discovery by an Iranian scientist can be a new clue toward discovering methods to treat this disease.

In an exclusive interview with Mehr News Agency, Dr. Shahram Lavasani, associate professor in the university’s Department of Biology, explained about this recent discovery. Excerpts follow:

 When did you begin your studies on MS and the intestinal system, and what led you to focus on the intestines of patients with MS?

It has been 10 years since we started this project. From the very beginning we have been conscious of the fact that one should not be totally focused on tissues attacked by the immune system. What we have learned from MS so far is that the immune system is attacked which causes the loss of the insulating myelin sheath. Thus, the transmission of signals from the brain to the various organs is impaired. In the past, there have always been speculations about the intestinal system as being affected by MS and now we have been able to present evidence for it.

But until now it has been thought that genetics is mostly responsible for MS?

Yes, for a long time genetics was held solely responsible for causing MS, and much research has been done into it; yet, no one has been able to prove that gene is the only deciding factor. It is now known, however, that environmental factors are also effective.

Does the intestinal system have anything to do with diet?

Definitely. That’s where the intestinal system comes into focus since the food that we consume ends up there. Therefore, we should accept this conclusion that diet is closely associated with MS and its development, as it is obvious that food after getting into the intestinal system, disrupts its bacterial composition.

What was the scientific communities’ attitude toward this discovery and at what stage is your project now?

10 years ago when the project was first started, no one believed that there could be a relationship between MS and the destruction of the nerve sheath, and the intestinal system and the bacteria residing in it. For this purpose, we carried out a significant experiment in 2010 in which certain probiotics were injected into mice with MS-like symptoms. During this experiment we found out that the course of the disease kept changing. The moment we infected the mice with MS, the intestinal system underwent sever reactions before showing the crippling effects of MS.

The results showed that when dealing with MS, one must consider various tissues as MS may not only attack the immune system. Perhaps, one of the main reasons that so far no permanent treatment has been found for this disease is that there hasn’t been an overall check-up of the patient’s body and only certain tissues have been examined. In this regard our research team is examining other factors causing inflammation to the intestines. Together with Mehrnaz Nouri, an Iranian PhD student in Lavand University, we are trying to find new ways to make the restoration of the intestine mucous membrane in MS patients possible.

*Iran researchers design stress calculator

Iranian researchers have developed a device in the form of a bracelet, which can be used to calculate and register the amount of people’s stress.

Dr. Hossein Hassanpour, one of the project’s researchers, said the device is supposed to be equipped with a computer game, which can be used to reduce people’s stress.

He said one way the device can be used on professional athletes and said, “One of the problems of professional athletes in national teams’ camps is stress, which even themselves are not aware of. Even the least amount of stress sometimes changes the result of a game.”

Stress accelerates heartbeat and reduces skin resistance, Hassanpour said and noted, “Therefore by calculating the amount of skin resistance through sensors attached to fingers, one can produce signals…, which indicate 16 signs of stress.”

The researcher said the bracelet is connected to computer through Bluetooth, showing the amount of stress in the form of sound, image or a chart.

*Iranian Scientist Wins UNESCO Biology Award

An Iranian researcher and scientist of the country's Royan Institute won the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for the first time in the history.

Professor Hossein Baharavand from the Stem Cell Research Center of Royan Institute was qualified to win the 2014-2015 UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize.

This is the first time an Iranian researcher is qualified to receive this award.

On May 4, 2014 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization called for nominations for the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in Life Sciences.

UNESCO-Equatorial prize is awarded to those projects and activities of an individual, individuals, institutions, other entities or non-governmental organizations for scientific research in life sciences, which have led to improving the quality of human life.

Three scientists are prizewinners at maximum who are selected by the Director-General of UNESCO on the basis of the assessments and recommendations made to her by an international jury.

Hossein Baharvand is an Iranian stem cell and developmental biologist and director of Iran's Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology.

Hossein Baharvand was born in 1972 and obtained his PhD degree in 2004 in the field of Developmental Biology from Khwarizmi University (formerly Tarbiat Moallem University), Tehran, Iran.

He began work at the Royan Institute in Tehran from 1996. He is currently full professor and head of Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology at Royan institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology.

Moreover, Baharvand is the head of department of Developmental Biology at University of Science and Culture in Tehran.

He and his colleagues have established several human embryonic stem cell lines since 2003 and later human induced pluripotent stem cells. This has enabled them to pursue many avenues of research into methods of generating therapeutic cells from stem cells and made them the pioneer in stem cell research throughout the Middle East.

Professor Baharvand has published more than 150 peer-review papers in national and international journals, as well as 4 international books and 9 books in Persian. He is editor of Trends in Stem Cell Biology and Technology book. He is an editorial board member of five international journals. He has won 11 national and international awards and presented as invited speaker in several meetings.

*Iranian PhD student revolutionizes plastic surgery

Iranian Sydney University PhD student Ali Fathi is changing the face of medicine with his new healing, injectable invention.Iranian Sydney University PhD student has developed an injectable biomaterial that will allow patients with really bad cartilage damage or spinal cord injuries to avoid unnecessary surgery.

Interestingly, it was originally developed as a new material to help patients with serious bone fractures; however, this Iranian scientist expanded his invention and pronounced himself a hero in the cosmetic surgery industry.

His material can act as an alternative to existing dermal fillers to puff out wrinkles, saggy cheeks or lips.

What distinguishes his material from other already available not-so-effective materials is that it helps the skin to build new issues and remove wrinkles.

“We can generate new muscles and skin under the skin, so we won’t have wrinkles,” Mr Fathi said.

The material is liquid at room temperature, but converts to a gel when injected into the body. It acts as a scaffold for new cartilage and tissue to grow and dissolves afterwards, without leaving behind any trace.

At the moment, this innovation is used to heal fractured bones, but it will soon be utilized in plastic surgery.

According to this scientist, this material can also be used to stabilize dental implants and, hopefully, to help victims of spinal fractures.

*Iranian Mathematician, First Female Winner for Fields Maths Medal

An Iranian mathematician working in the US has become the first ever female winner of the celebrated Fields Medal.

In a landmark hailed as "long overdue", Prof Maryam Mirzakhani was recognised for her work on complex geometry.

Four of the medals were presented in Seoul at the International Congress of Mathematicians, held every four years.

Also among the winners was Prof Martin Hairer from the University of Warwick, UK, whose work on randomness could prove useful for climate modelling.

Awarded by a committee from the International Mathematical Union (IMU), the Fields Medal is regarded as something akin to a Nobel Prize for maths. It was established by Canadian mathematician John Fields and comes with a 15,000 Canadian dollar (£8,000) cash prize.

First awarded in 1936 and then every four years since 1950, the medal is awarded to between two and four researchers, who must be no older than 40, because Fields wanted to encourage the winners to strive for "further achievement" as well as recognise their success.

The other two medals were won by Dr Artur Avila, a Brazilian mathematician who earned his PhD in dynamical systems at the age of 21, and Prof Manjul Bhargava, a Canadian-American number theorist at Princeton University.

Iran’s president has heaped praise upon Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian professor at Stanford University who has become the first woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal, also known as the “Nobel Prize of mathematics.”

“I congratulate you on winning the world’s topmost award in the field of mathematics,” said President Hassan Rouhani in a message to extol the success achieved by the Iranian mathematician.

“Today, Iranians can justly feel proud that the first woman to win the Fields Medal is their fellow citizen,” the Iranian president added.

“Yes, the most competent should verily sit at the highest position and enjoy respect,” noted the president.

“On behalf of the Iranian nation, I value your scientific endeavors,” Rouhani said, adding all Iranians across the globe are the country’s national asset.

*Ramin Golestanian wins the 2014 Holweck Medal

The Holweck Medal for 2014 has been awarded to Professor Ramin Golestanian "for his pioneering contributions to the field of active soft matter, particularly microscopic swimmers and active colloids." The gold medal and a prize of Eu3000 is awarded by the Société Française de Physique, and will be presented to Professor Golestanian at a ceremony in Paris on August 27.

Golestanian is a professor at the university’s Rudolf Peierls Center for Theoretical Physics. He obtained his BS from the Sharif University of Technology and his MS and PhD from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences (IASBS), both in Iran.

The Iranian scientist has been a visiting scholar at MIT, postdoctoral fellow at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB, Joliot Chair and CNRS Visiting Professor at ESPCI, and visiting professor at College de France. Before joining Oxford, he held academic positions at the University of Sheffield.

This award was instituted in 1945, jointly by the French and British Physical Societies as a memorial to Fernand Holweck, Director of the Curie Laboratory of the Radium Institute in Paris, who was tortured and killed by the Gestapo during the occupation of France 1940-44.

The money for the prize was, initially, subscribed by Fellows of The Physical Society and others. A medal, originally in bronze, but since 1972 in gold, is given by the Société Française de Physique. The award is made in alternate years by the Councils of one of the two societies to a physicist selected from a list of nominees submitted by the other.

The award will be made for distinguished work in any aspect of physics that is ongoing or has been carried out within the 10 years preceding the award. In selecting the recipient of the award, the primarily experimental interest of Holweck will be borne in mind. Until 1974 it was given in even-dated years to a physicist based in France and presented in the UK or Ireland, and in odd-dated years to a physicist based in the UK or Ireland and presented in France. In 1974 on the occasion of the joint celebration of the centenaries of the two physical societies, two awards were made. The award is now made in odd-dated years to a physicist based in France and presented in the UK or Ireland and in even-dated years to a physicist based in the UK or Ireland and presented in France. The medal is gold and is accompanied by a prize of 3000€.

*Iran ranks 17th in world in medical science productions

The Islamic Republic of Iran has ranked 17th in terms of science productions in medicine in the world, according to the latest statistics released by several international scientific centers.

According to the statistics, Iran produced over 39,000 articles in 2013, which gained the country the world’s 17th rank in science production and fixed its top position in the region, above Turkey.

The promotion is mainly due to the achievements at the two areas of medical researches and medical technology of Iran’s Pasteur Institute.

Iran’s scientific progress was the result of the country’s recent policies and programs to develop knowledge and facilitate researchers' access to the world’s top academic resources.

Assessing and promoting research centers and universities of medical sciences as well as launching some 50 new research centers were among the activities that have paved the way for the country’s science improvement, according to the report of the Iranian Health Ministry's Center.

In 2000, the Islamic Republic ranked 53rd in the world in terms of highly cited medical articles, but improved to the 23rd rank in 2011.

According to the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), Iranian researchers and scientists published a total of 60,979 scientific articles in major international journals from 1999 to 2008.

Iran has taken wide strides in science and technology in recent years despite US sanctions.

Iran’s 2009 growth rate in science and technology was highest globally, being 11 times faster than the world’s average rate.

*Iranian woman gets COMEST membership

Professor Azam Irajizad has become a member of the World Commission on Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST).

She got her BS in Physics from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran in 1977.

Irajizad received her MS and PhD in physics from Sussex University in the UK in 1986 and 1990 respectively and obtained her post-doctorate degree in surface physics from the university in 1991. 

Her research interests are as follows:

- Thin films deposition and characterization, andelectrical, magnetic and optical properties of thin films,

- Surface investigation using techniques like Auger, XPS electron spectroscopies, and low electron energy diffraction,

- Surface roughness study using atomic force microscopy and optical methods,

- Study and fabrication of gas sensors and biosensors based on metal oxides, porous silicon, carbon nanotubes and graphene,

- Fabrication of solar cells based on CdS/CdTe, dye sensitive TiO2 layers, nanostructured solid state solar cells, and

- Nanoparticles formation using various methods, including pulse laser ablation, arc discharge, Sol Gel and CVD.

Irajizad has published more than 120 papers in international journals and about 20 in national journals.

She also presented more than 200 papers in national and international conferences and workshops related to physics and nanoscience.

COMEST is an advisory body of reflection set up by UNESCO in 1998.

Chaired by Rajaona Andriamananjara, the commission comprises 18 leading scholars from scientific, legal, philosophical, cultural and political disciplines from various regions of the world. They are appointed by the UNESCO chief in their individual capacity, along with 11 ex-officio members representing UNESCO’s international science programs and global science communities.

The commission is mandated to formulate ethical principles that could provide decision-makers with criteria that extend beyond purely economic considerations.

COMEST works in several areas: environmental ethics, with reference to climate change, biodiversity, water and disaster prevention; ethics of nanotechnologies along with related new and emerging issues in converging technologies; ethical issues related to information technology; and gender issues in the ethics of science and technology

*Iran 15th in world science output

Iran ranks 15th in world science production in the first eight months of 2014.

“According to the latest statistics released by Scopus, Iranians have published 25,217 articles in many remarkable international journals indexed in Scopus,” President of the Islamic World Science Citation Center Jafar Mehrad said.

He added that Turkey ranks 19th by publishing 22,311 articles.

“USA is placed first by publishing 324,879 articles and China, the UK, Germany and Japan ranked second to fifth,” he said.

“Iran is in 16th place after Russia that produced 24,495 articles.”

Based on the latest statistics by Thomson Reuters, Iran ranked 20th in terms of global science production in 2013. The country published over 21,000 articles in international journals in 2013.

Scopus is a bibliographic database containing abstracts and citations for academic journal articles. It covers nearly 21,000 titles from over 5,000 publishers, of which 20,000 are peer-reviewed journals in the scientific, technical, medical and social sciences, including arts and humanities

*Iranian students rank second in Intl. Olympiad in Astrophysics

Iranian students have achieved the second place at the 2014 International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) in Romania.

Iranian first team participated in Astronomy section swept three gold and two silver medals while the second team garnered one gold and four silver medals of the Astrophysics section at this year’s IOAA held in Suceava, Romania.

Ali Reza Alavi, Yazdan Babazadeh Maqsoudlou, Ali Zeynali, Amir Reza Asadzadeh Mohammad Nabizadeh and Mohammad Reza Hassanpour were among the winners of the competition.

International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics is an annual astronomy competition for high school students.

The IOAA as one of the international science Olympiads is organized annually in a different host country.

The first IOAA was held in the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 2007. The 2014 IOAA took place from August 1 to 10.

According to Scopus ranking, Iran’s scientific community has been recently placed in the 15th country in the world, which represents a breakthrough for the country’s scientific establishment.

The Iranian government has committed to a comprehensive plan for science including boosting Research and development (R&D) investment to 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030, compared with just 0.59 percent of GDP in 2006.

*Sharif university students shine at IMC 2014

Tehran’s Sharif University of Technology students won two gold and four bronze medals at the 21st International Mathematics Competition for University Students.

Some 73 teams from around the world participated in the competition held in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, from July 29 to August 4.

Mina Dalir-Rouyfard and Pedram Safayei gwere awarded gold medals and Mojtaba Tefaq, Mahed Abroshan, Morteza Soltanipour and Mohammad Hassan Gol-Mohammadian earned bronze medals.

Professor Morteza Fotouhi Firouzabad accompanied the students.

This year’s competition was co-organized by University College London and American University in Blagoevgrad.

The competition consisted of two sessions of five hours each. Problems were posed from the fields of algebra, analysis (real and complex), geometry and combinatorics. The working language was English.

Problems were chosen by the jury from those received in advance by the jury chairman, Professor John Jayne.

*Iranian team nabs top award at Chinese international robotics contest

An Iranian robotic team has scooped the first award at the International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC) in Shanghai, China.

Dispatched from Saravan Azad Univeristy in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan Province, the team garnered the best aerial systems integration prize of the competition.

The team also beat the competitors in another category and won the prize for the best vertical flight robot design at the contest.

Abdolahad Pakbaz, Nasser Nosrat Zehi and Mohammad Baset Derazehi are the members of the winning team titled Makran Robotic Team sponsored by Chabahar Free Economic Zone.

The International Aerial Robotics Competition is the longest running collegiate aerial robotics challenge in the world.

Entering its third decade of advancing the state of the art in autonomous aerial robotic behavior, the competition continues to tackle challenges that are currently impossible for any flying robots owned by government or industry.

The aerial robots vary in design from fixed wing airplanes, to conventional helicopters, to ducted fans, to airships, and beyond to bizarre hybrid creations.

The 2014 edition of International Aerial Robotics Competition took place from August 1 to 7.

*Iran wins award in American Solar Challenge

Qazvin Azad University’s team has won the award for the best foreign team and ranked eighth in the American Solar Challenge.

The eight-day, 1,700-mile (2,700-kilometer) race began on July 21 in Austin, Texas. Twenty-three teams of college students raced across seven states before crossing the finish line in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on July 28. The race is held every other year.

Iran’s four-wheeled car, named Havin-2, which means “Brilliant Sun” in Persian, placed first in the technical section due to its dynamics and suspension system.

Teams from Michigan, Minnesota and Iowa universities ranked first, second and third respectively.

The 220-kilogram vehicle is 4.5 meters long, 1.8 meters wide and 1.1 meters tall, with a cockpit-like canopy for the driver.

With photovoltaic cells covering some 65 square feet (6 square meters) of its surface, the car’s lithium-ion batteries can drive it for up to four hours.

The car’s predecessor, Havin-1, ranked 17th in the 2011 World Solar Challenge in Australia.

*Ali Khademhosseini wins US Chemical Engineering Award

The Iranian-Canadian scientist Professor Ali Khademhosseini has won the 2014 award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Khademhosseini was named to receive Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum (NSEF) Young Investigator Award.

This award is bestowed annually and recognizes outstanding interdisciplinary research in Nanoscale science and engineering by a scientist or engineer in the early stages of their professional career (within 10 years of completion of highest degree).

Born in 1975 in Iran, Professor Khademhosseini has spent his academical education in Canada and the United States.

He is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology as well as  Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Khademhosseini’s interdisciplinary research has been recognized by over 30 major national and international awards.

He is also one of the recipients of the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) by President Barack Obama.

He has also received career awards from three major engineering discipline societies including electrical IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology award as well as IEEE Nanotechnology award.

Thomson Reuters has been recognized Professor Khademhosseini as one of the most Highly Cited Researchers in their updated list that was published in June 2014.

Established in 1908, AIChE has over 45,000 members including members from over 100 countries worldwide.

Dr. Khademhosseini has also been announced to have won the IUMRS-MRS Singapore Young Researcher Award.

This award recognizes outstanding contributions by a researcher under the age of 40 in materials science and engineering, and will be presented at the 2014 IUMRS-ICYRAM conference on October 24-29 in China along with a plenary lecture.

*2014 Clay Research Awards for Iranian Mathematician

The Clay Mathematics Institute announces that the 2014 Clay Research Awards have been made to Maryam Mirzakhani and Peter Scholze.

Maryam Mirzakhani is recognised for her many and significant contributions to geometry and ergodic theory, in particular to the proof of an analogue of Ratner's theorem on unipotent flows for moduli of flat surfaces.

Peter Scholze is recognised for his many and significant contributions to arithmetic algebraic geometry, particularly in the development and applications of the theory of perfectoid spaces.

*Iranian teams shine in RoboCup 2014

Iranian high school and university students have excelled in RoboCup 2014, winning first, second and third places in separate events.

The competitions were held in Joao Pessoa, Brazil, from July 19 to 25.

In Virtual Rescue League, a team from Amirkabir University of Technology and Qazvin Islamic Azad University team ranked first and second respectively, Morteza Mousakhani, the head of Iranian RoboCup National Committee, said, Qazvin Azad University’s MRL team topped the RoboCup Rescue Simulation League.

“Iran’s Baset Pajouh team ranked first and a team from Germany placed second in Teen Size Humanoid Robot League,” he said.

“In Humanoid Robot League, kid size, Baset Pajouh team stood at third place.”

Mousakhani added that YRA team from Yazd Islamic Azad University ranked first in RoboCup Rescue Robot League.

“In RoboCup Soccer Small Size League, a team from Tehran University, Kish International Campus ranked second,” he said.

Mousakhani explained that teams from Imam Javad and Kherad high schools ranked first and second respectively in RoboCup Soccer Open Weight League.

Farzanegan High School team placed first in the SuperTeam section of Light Weight Soccer League.

*Iranian Researcher Wins First Award in  Princeton Art of Science 2014

The exhibit consists of both still images and video of artistic merit created during the course of scientific research. Forty-four still images were chosen from more than 250 submissions from undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, staff, and alumni representing more than 25 different University departments. Twelve videos were chosen from more than 50 submissions.

Zach Donnell, a graduate student in molecular biology and one of the 2014 organizers, noted that the exhibit highlights the interplay between art and science. "While the scientific methods behind the exhibit strive for objectivity and consensus, everyone's individual response to the images is subjective and highly personal," he said.

The top three image entrants as chosen by a distinguished jury received cash prizes in amounts calculated by the golden ratio (whose proportions have since antiquity been considered to be aesthetically pleasing): first prize, $250; second prize, $154.51; and third prize, $95.49.

1st – Sara Sadri, postdoc, Civil and Environmental Engineering, "Watermarks"

2nd – James S. Waters, postdoc, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, "Fungus among us"

3rd – Yasmin Afsar, graduate student, Electrical Engineering, "Portrait of the artist in the air shower"

This is the seventh Princeton University Art of Science competition but the first to include a category of video. The top video award was a GoPro camera, awarded to Sabine Petry, assistant professor of molecular biology, for "Microtubules branch out."

"So much of science and engineering involves video or animation these days that it was inevitable we would include it in Art of Science," said Dan Quinn, a graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering who is one of the 2014 exhibit organizers.

The jury for the print images included David Dobkin, Dean of the Faculty; Katherine Bussard, Peter C. Bunnell curator of photography at the Princeton Art Museum; and Naomi Ehrich Leonard, Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and director of the Council on Science and Technology.

The jury for the videos included Renee Hlozek, postdoctoral research associate in astrophysical sciences; Sam Wang, associate professor of molecular biology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute; and filmmaker Michael E. Wood '08.

*Iranian students win 1 gold, 3 silver medals at int’l chemistry contest

Iranian chemistry Olympiad team won one gold and three silver medals at the 46th International Chemistry Olympiad, held in Hanoi, Vietnam, from July 20-29.

The Iranian team, comprising four 12th graders, won the medals in the IChO 2014, which was joined by 291 contestants from 77 countries and territories.

The gold medalist for Iran was Hirbod Heidari, who won 77.41 scores, while the silver medalists were Iman Foroughmand, scoring 69.24, Mohammad Parsa Jabbari, scoring 57.02, and Mohammad Mobin Hosseini, scoring 57.02.

The host country, Vietnam, won two gold and two silver medals at the 46th International Olympiad.

Other 28 gold medalists came from Romania, the US, mainland China, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, South Korea, Russia, Turkey, Thailand, Iran, Japan, Taiwan, Ukraine and Singapore.

The contest gave 63 silver and 92 bronze, besides ten consolation prizes.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung who attended the closing ceremony said chemistry is an important pillar of basic science and chemical researches will continue to be cared for and pushed by any country.

“Vietnam government always pay attention to develop scientific, including chemistry, talents. The contest is a good environment for [the budding talents] to learn from each other and share their passion or chemistry,” he said.

“I believe many students from this contest will become excellent scientists, leaders and successful managers who will contribute largely to their countries’ prosperity.”

The contest started in 1968, is open to high school students below 20 and held in turn by the participating countries.

Next year edition will return to its 1999 host Azerbaijan.

*Iranian students rank sixth in Intl. Olympiad in Informatics

Iranian national computer team has achieved the sixth place in the 26th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) held in Taiwan.

Iranian students swept two gold and two silver medals at this year’s World Computer Olympiad that took place in Taiwanese capital city of Taipei.

Amir Hossein Ahanchi and Mohammad Amin Khashkhashi Moqadam received gold medals while Iliad Ramzani and Mojtaba Fayyaz were named as winners of silver medals.

Some 83 students participated in this year’s competition. The Olympiad is led by the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST).

The competition is held in several rounds and each round takes nearly five hours.

The 26th International Olympiad in Informatics took place from July 13 through 20, 2014.

According to Scopus ranking, Iran’s scientific community has been recently placed in the 15th country in the world, which represents a breakthrough for the country’s scientific establishment.

The Iranian government has committed to a comprehensive plan for science including boosting Research and development (R&D) investment to 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030, compared with just 0.59 percent of GDP in 2006.

*Iran pioneer in bone marrow transplant

Almost 500 cases of bone marrow transplants are performed annually in Shariati Hospital, Tehran, announced the head of the hospital.

Dr. Ahmad Reza Soroush said that about 5,000 bone marrow transplant operations have so far been conducted in the hospital.

He added that the hospital’s bone marrow transplant center is among the top three in the world to undertake this type of surgery.

Pointing to the number of bone marrow transplant in children, Soroush said the hospital is among the high-rate centers for such surgeries worldwide, adding that about 120 cases of bone marrow transplant operations are performed annually in children.

“The hospital’s achievements in bone marrow transplant are unique in the Middle East,” he pointed out.

Soroush explained that a wide range of diseases can be treated through bone marrow transplant, including thalassemia, metabolic complications and different types of cancers.

A bone marrow transplant is a procedure to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells.

Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue inside your bones. Stem cells are immature cells in the bone marrow that give rise to all blood cells.

*Iranian universities among Asia’s top 100

Three universities of Iran have made it to the top 100 in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2014.

Sharif University of Technology, Tehran Medical University and Isfahan University of Technology ranked 37th, 83th and 85th respectively.

The rankings follow the criteria of the World University Rankings powered by Thomson Reuters.

“World-class universities are judged across all of their core missions teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook,” the head of Islamic World Science Citation Database (ISC), Jafar Mehrad, said.

Five countries represented in the top 10 Asian universities were Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and China.

Mehrad noted that Japan retained its top spot with 20 representatives in the top 100, including the University of Tokyo at first place, but has lost two institutions since 2013.

According to Mehrad, the universities of Singapore and Hong Kong stood at second and third places respectively.

“The Middle East was also well represented, with universities from Iran, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Turkey making the list,” he said.

Malaysia and the UAE failed to find their way into the list of the world’s most prestigious universities.

*10 Iranians on List of World's Most Influential Scientific Minds

Ten Iranian scientists have been named to Thomson Reuters' list of The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014. The list includes more than 3,200 scientists from around the world who have published the highest number of articles that are cited the most frequently by other researchers.

First Name Last Name Category Primary Affiliation
Mehdi Dehghan Engineering Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran
Farnoush Faridbod Engineering University of Tehran, Iran
Mohammad Reza Ganjali Engineering University of Tehran, Iran
Davood Domiri Ganji Engineering Babol Noshirvani University of Technology, Iran
Mehrorang Ghaedi Engineering University of Yasuj, Iran
Parviz Norouzi Engineering University of Tehran, Iran
Siavash Riahi Engineering University of Tehran, Iran
Hassan Ali Zamani Engineering Islamic Azad University, Iran
Saeid Abbasbandy Mathematics Imam Khomeini International University, Iran
Mehdi Dehghan Mathematics Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran

The scientists have all recently published at least 15 papers with notably higher levels of citations.

Thomson Reuters is a leading producer of bibliometric statistics and one of the main sources of impact factors used in the assessment of scientific articles and careers.

*Iranian designs first automatic computer program

Computer scientists from the University of Washington and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle, along with an Iranian scientist Ali Farhadi, have created the first fully automated computer program that teaches everything about any visual concept.

Called Learning Everything About Anything, the program searches millions of books and images on the Web to learn all possible variations of a concept, then displays the results to users as a comprehensive, browsable list of images, helping them explore and understand topics quickly in great detail, Space Daily reported.

“It is all about discovering associations between textual and visual data,” said Ali Farhadi, a UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering. “The program learns to tightly couple rich sets of phrases with pixels in images. This means that it can recognize instances of specific concepts when it sees them.”

The research team will present the project and a related paper this month at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition annual conference in Columbus, Ohio.

*Iranians help expedite prostate brachytherapy

Researchers at North Khorasan Medical University in Bojnourd, Iran, in association with their counterparts at the Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA, boosted absorption of radiation in tumors by using nanoparticles in prostate brachytherapy.

ProstaSeed 125I brachytherapy source was simulated using MCNPX code.

Dose enhancement factors (DEFs) were calculated for Fe2O3, Ag, Gd, Pt and Au nanoparticles with different concentrations.

No general trend in DEF with an increasing concentration of nanoparticles was observed. However, DEF was highest for 30 mg/ml concentration of Au.

The presence of nanoparticles in a prostate tumor increases the dose inside tumor and decreases the dose outside it and the treatment time can be decreased due to dose enhancement.

Results of the research showed that nanoparticles can be a useful tool in prostate brachytherapy.

Au nanoparticles of higher concentrations can be more useful for this purpose when compared to other nanoparticles.

Monte Carlo methods (or Monte Carlo experiments) are a broad class of computational algorithms that rely on repeated random sampling to obtain numerical results.

Typically, one runs simulations many times over to obtain the distribution of an unknown probabilistic entity.

Brachytherapy, also known as internal radiotherapy, is a form of radiotherapy where a radiation source is placed inside or next to the area requiring treatment. It is commonly used as an effective treatment for cervical, prostate, breast and skin cancer, and can also be used to treat tumors in many other body sites.

*Iran wins six medals in IMO 2014

Iranian students won four silver and two bronze medals in the 55th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).

Iran’s team ranked 21st among 109 countries in IMO held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 3 to 13 July, 2014.

Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Seyyed-Salehi, Shayan Gholami, Arian Hossein-Qolizadeh and Ehsan Mokhtarian won silver medals and Armin Behnam-Nia and Yeganeh Ali-Mohammadi received bronze medals.

The country’s students received six gold, silver and bronze medals, and ranked 10th in the 54th IMO.

The IMO is a problem-solving contest for high school students held in a different country in July every year. The first IMO was held in Romania in 1959, with seven countries taking part.

Today, more than 100 countries take part, representing over 90 percent of the world’s population. The IMO is the oldest, biggest and most prestigious event of all the international science Olympiads.

The 2014 IMO was presented by the South African Mathematics Foundation and took place at the University of Cape Town. The event was endorsed by the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Science and Technology of South Africa.

*Four IOI medals for Iranian students

Iranian students grabbed four medals at the 26th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) held at Taipei in Taiwan during July 13-20.

The country’s team ranked sixth among 83 countries that participated in the event.

Amirhossein Ahanchi-Markaz and Mohamad Amin Khashkhashi-Moqaddam earned gold medals and Iliad Ramezani and Mojtaba Fayyaz received silver medals.

The Iranian team earned four gold, silver and bronze medals at the 25th IOI and stood sixth.

The International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) is one of the most reputed computer science competition in the world. The IOI is one of the five international science Olympiads. The primary goal of the IOI is to stimulate interest in informatics (computing science) and information technology.

Another important goal is to bring together exceptionally talented students from various countries and to have them share scientific and cultural experiences.

The idea of initiating the International Olympiad in Informatics for high school students was proposed at the 24th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris by the Bulgarian Professor Blagovest Sendov in October 1987.

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