Logistic Risks in Medical Supplies
HM’s Grant: Social Sciences Get Due Share
Mind Over Matter
College of Law Student Group Holds Forum
News Update
Influence of
Smartphones on
College Students
Department of Public
Relations and Information
Sultan Qaboos University
Issue 316
Straight Talk
Prakasam Annamalai
Prakasam Annamalai Ph.D. is a Research Scientist at the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. He has worked in the Medical University of
South Carolina, Charleston, USA for nearly 10 years until his group moved to
UNC-Chapel Hill in April 2014. Dr. Prakasam earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry
from Annamalai University, India, where his work focused on the identification
of anti-diabetic principles from natural resources and characterization in the
rat model of diabetes mellitus (DM). In 2004, Dr. Prakasam moved to Medical
University of South Carolina (MUSC) Charleston SC, USA for his postdoctoral
research in the department of Neuroscience to understand the common mechanism of degeneration in two important degenerative diseases; Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Dr. Prakasam visited
SQU to attend an international workshop on “Food and Neurocognitive Diseases” organized by Ageing and Dementia Research Group (ADRG), SQU in
which he gave a talk on the role of nano-nutrition on Alzheimer’s disease and
age related macular degeneration.
Horizon: Could you explain the mechanism of Alzheimer’s
disease (AD) and other neurocognitive diseases in layman’s
Dr. Prakasam: AD is a leading cause of dementia that currently affects 15 million people worldwide and this number
is likely triple with the aging of the baby-boom generation by
2050. The prevalence rate for AD is about 8% for individuals
aged 65 or more, and the risk doubles every 5 years after age
65. Research on AD has been extensive and for the first time
brought the processing and turnover of proteins to center
stage in the context of degenerative diseases. Alzheimer’s
disease damages and kills brain cells. A brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease has many fewer cells and many fewer connections among surviving cells than does a healthy brain. As
more and more brain cells die, Alzheimer’s leads to significant
brain shrinkage. The clumps of a protein called beta-amyloid
may damage and destroy brain cells in several ways, including interfering with cell-to-cell communication. Although the
ultimate cause of brain-cell death in Alzheimer’s isn’t known,
the collection of beta-amyloid on the outside of brain cells is a
prime suspect.
Horizon: How do you comment on the usefulness of retinal
examination in detecting Alzheimer’s’ Disease?
Dr. Prakasam: The retina of the eye is an extension of the
central nervous system and is the only nervous tissue that lends
itself to noninvasive examination. Thus, in addition to its vital
role in the independent life of man, it also serves as an excellent
system to understand degeneration of the nervous system, particularly with age. New research suggests that regular eye tests
could in future be used to diagnose early-stage Alzheimer’s.
Early trials of two different techniques show that a key Alzheimer’s biomarker can be identified in the retina and lens of
the eye. Both methods were able to distinguish between probable Alzheimer’s patients and healthy volunteers with a high
level of accuracy. After an initial eye test, more expensive and
costly procedures such as PET (positron emission tomography)
scans or spinal fluid analysis would then be used to confirm the
disease. Although the research is still at an early stage, further
work could lead to such tests being used as a first step in identifying individuals with Alzheimer’s.
Horizon: Can you comment on nano-medicine in the treatment of Alzheimer’s?
Dr. Praksam: As of today, there is no cure for AD. The treat-
ments available only provide symptomatic relief, temporarily improving cognitive function, but are unable to slow the
long-term progression of the disorder. To date, scientists have
mainly focused on the protein fragment beta-amyloid when attempting to create AD treatments. Many treatment strategies
attempt to remove beta-amyloid or use enzymatic machinery
to degrade it; however, drugs that appeared promising in animal studies have faced problems and, even failure, in human
clinical trials, creating an urgent need to develop stratagems
either based on new drugs or on new molecular targets to avert
a financially overwhelming public health problem. At the forefront of these new strategies is nanotechnology. In particular,
nanoparticles (NPs), engineered tuneable devices with the size
in the order of a billionth of a meter, are being considered as
a useful alternative to treat and diagnose neurodegenerative
diseases. By way of treatment, NPs are intriguing candidates
for this purpose because of their potential for multi-functionalization, enabling them to mimic the physiological mechanisms
of transport across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). This barrier is
an important physical fence made of cells protecting brain from
potential hazardous substances in the blood flow; however, it
also prevents the passage of 98 per cent of available neuropharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Scientists have synthesized
NPs able to convey conventional pharmaceutics and biologicals, such as genes, small interfering RNA (siRNA), antibodies
or contrast agents, to the brain in vitro and in vivo.
20 May 2015
View Point
Learning to Learn
and Relearn
Mohamed Salem Al Ghailani
Editorial Supervision
Santhosh Muthalath
Senior Editor
Sara Al Gheilani
Nasebah Al Muharrami
Ahlam Al Wahaibi
Design & Layout
Photography Dept., CET
Salim Al Sudairi
The world is changing faster than at any time. How do we educate students
to thrive in this rapidly changing world? Community, collaboration, and diversity are important in education. No one work in isolation in this world.
The world faces complex challenges far too large to be solved without the
collaborative skills necessary to work in groups and across boundaries. In a
global marketplace of ideas, students need to take up different perspectives
and create an ethical stance that is sensitive to cultural difference, while guided by fairness and justice. Empathy and respect are essential traits; students
learn them in part by having their own ideas and contributions taken seriously within their classroom communities. Standardized tests, grades, and
learning narrow skills are not adequate for collaborative problem solving in
a rapidly changing world. Learning to learn and relearn, and to pivot quickly
and learn more and differently, over an intellectually agile lifetime, is vital.
The best learning is that in which the student steadily acquires the ability to
teach (their)self.
Lifelong learners incorporate motivations and goals within themselves. This
has implications for the education of college students and also for the young
learners and how they grow to understand themselves as they acquire fundamental skills and find confidence in what they can accomplish. We need to
make room for students to look at their own lives and ask, in their own ways,
what is it that I want to get out of this life, out of this education? Students at
all levels need an education that lets them build on their curiosity, follow interests where they lead, and join a community of co-discoverers. This requires
self-expression at whatever level the learner can do. For college students, it
involves negotiating their own educational paths, working with teachers to
forge an educational plan that is rigorous, coherent, and interesting.
Collaboration, dialogue, and rigorous challenge should define the learning
environment. Our students have to work with their mentors order to become
entrepreneurial, self-reliant, and adaptive. This will help the find new approaches and invent new careers. Such an education requires teachers who
genuinely love teaching, encourage innovation, and will go where the learner
is, discovering and building on the learner’s strengths.
Horizon invites contributions from SQU members of staff and faculty. Contributions in the form of
articles, news, travelogues, stories of unique and interesting experiences, encounters, etc., are welcome. Contributions may be edited for the sake of clarity and length. Please send your contributions
to [email protected] preferably, as MSWord attachments. Authors will be suitably credited.
The views and opinions expressed in the articles published in this newsletter are those of the authors
and are not to be construed as the official views of the publication. Horizon is published three times a
month by the Department of Public Relations and Information, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 50,
P.C. 123, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
Phone: +968 24141045
E-mail: [email protected]
20 May 2015
Fax: +968 24413 391
Website: www.squ.edu.om
Logistic Risks in Medical Supplies
Under the Patronage of His Excellency Said Hamdoon Saif Al Harthy, Undersecretary of Ports and Maritime Affairs, the Operations Management and
Business Statistics Group of Business Society in College of Economics and
Political Sciences held an event on the 19th and 20th of April, 2015 launching a book titled “ Risk in Operations Management”. The book consisted of
six different interconnected research papers done by students and supervised by Operations Management faculty members. All papers studied risk
in different fields within Operations Management covering Supply Chain,
Purchasing, Inventory and warehouse, Project Management and Logistics.
The logistics group, as one example, conducted a study of logistical risks
in medical supplies of Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH). The
study was done by Al Yaqdhan Al Jadidi, Muhannad Al Maimani, Hama Al
Mamari, Rayya Al Khalili, and Shadha Al Hashmi, under the supervision of
Dr. Abdullah Al Hajri. Medical supply logistics is a very sensitive sub-section of logistics since it can directly affect the lives of people within which
hospital and healthcare administrators continually look for processes and
solutions that help improve performance and drive workflow efficiency.
By streamlining the flow of goods and information throughout the facility,
and controlling medication access and distribution, hospitals can effectively
enhance the overall patient life and experience. Optimal hospital logistics
allow nursing services to concentrate on the core competence; patient care.
The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals defines logistics
as “the process of planning, implementing, and controlling procedures for
the efficient and effective transport and storage of goods including services
and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirement. This definition
includes inbound, outbound, internal, and external movements”
The final results of the study referred to three main operations (Order processing, Transportation, and Warehousing) that provide the hospital with
equipment and medicines, and these three operations can be exposed to five
categories of risks as follows: Physical risks that express the actual movement of supplies between firms and they include: transportation, warehousing, handling, processing and manufacturing. Those risks are transportation disruption, the destruction or ruination of goods, the inability to access
inventories, manufacturing discontinuity.
Financial Risks: The financial risks are activities that include capital’s investment, firm’s investment in different locations that have some differing costs
of capital incurred, cash movement and settlements between two parties.
The financial risks occur due to disruption, improper investments and not
bringing cost transparency to the overall supply chain.
Informational Risks: The informational risks are the processes and electronic
systems that firms use to track down products movements and service mobilization. These risks involve the creation and investment into information
systems that are neither fully capable nor efficient for intended purposes
and future medical needs.
The relational risks express the relation between buyers, sellers and logistics’ parties which are very important, as the flow of products depends on
them. The relationships between the different members should move away
from the traditional arms-length which leaves parties at risk of opportunistic behaviors to a more sophisticated one, which includes cooperative, collaborative, innovation and strategic alliance focusing on long-term goals.
Another risk is the one related to Innovation. It is the processes of linkages
across the firm, its customers, suppliers and resource parties for the purpose
of discovering and bringing the product, service and process opportunities
to the market. Innovational risk involves excessive time-to-market and lost
opportunities due to wrong innovations. It is worth mentioning that logistical risks are related to each other and they have a clear effect in the logistic
operations in different standards of medical care.
20 May 2015
News Round Up
Challenge Bowl: SQU Bags First Place
Ten of SQU Earth sciences students (Geology and Geophysics
Major) attended this event with Dr. Hesham El-Kaliouby (Faculty
advisor of the SEG student Chapter in SQU). Along with the Challenge Bowl competition, the students also participated in the best
oral and best poster competitions. Six students won all the first
places and their results are as follows: Challenge Bowl, first placeYousuf Ahmed Al-Wardi (Geophysics) and Yasser Ali Al-Shehhi
(Geology); Oral presentation first place- Asma Saleh Al-Kindi
(Geology); Poster presentation group 1, first place-Makiya Abdulwahab Al-Kamali (Geophysics), second place: Khalil Hamed
Hilal Al-Yahmadi (Geophysics); poster presentation, group 2, first
place- Thuraiya Al-Mawali (Geophysics), second place-Marwa AlHarassi (Geophysics) and Iman Al-Qassabi (Geophysics).
A group of Earth Science students from the College of Science at Sultan
Qaboos University brought home accolades from the 3rd SEG/DGS
Middle East Geoscience Young Professionals and Student Event held
in Bahrain from 26 to 28 April 2015. Participants from SQU bagged
first place in the 9th SEG Middle East Challenge Bowl. As many as 12
teams representing 10 universities in the Middle East had competed
in different categories of the student event that was organized by the
Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) and Dhahran Geoscience
Society (DGS). This is the second time in a row, where SQU team wins
the first place in SEG Middle East Challenge Bowl. The event included universities from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates,
Egypt, and Sultanate of Oman. This qualifies SQU team to compete
in the International SEG Challenge Bowl in USA during the annual
meeting of the SEG in October 2015.
SQU students left a good impression about the quality of academic
profile of their university among the universities in the Middle
East. All attendees from the different Middle East universities and
international oil companies’ representatives appreciated the high
standard of SQU students through the presented research projects
and the method of delivering it. Dr. Hesham El-Kaliouby, Faculty
Advisor of the students, said: “Attending such events gives the opportunity for SQU students to present their work in regional and
international levels. It also develops their presentation skills and
self-confidence. Moreover, it increases the awareness for the opportunities in geoscience and related disciplines and reduces the
gap between academia and industry as the students meet directly
with the oil industry experts and get feedback from them about the
work presented”.
Book Delves into Effective Writing Instruction
Through writing, knowledge is preserved and
passed down through the
generations. Without the
written word, civilizations
would not have arisen and
human advances in science,
technology and all other
fields of endeavor would
not have been possible. As
English is now the world’s
international language and
is globally used as a medium of instruction in schools
and higher education institutions, and because a
mastery of English written
communication is routinely
demanded in many local
and international job markets, English writing instruction must evolve to help English as a Foreign
Language (EFL) and English as a Second Language (ESL) students achieve
competency in this vital language.
There is a dearth of books that exclusively deal with the writing competencies of EFL/ESL students. In this context, the book titled “Methodologies
for Effective Writing Instruction in EFL and ESL Classrooms” edited by Dr.
Rahma Al-Mahrooqi, Vijay Singh Thakur and Adrian Roscoe, is valuable
for both native and non-native English language teachers to help them see
clearly why their students often struggle to acquire writing skills and to
understand more about what can be done to help them overcome the obstacles they face. The book will also be useful for undergraduate and postgraduate students as a study resource as its contents are current and mul20 May 2015
tifaceted. This book aims to examine EFL and ESL writing from a wide
range of perspectives and to investigate issues that are of importance to
both learners and teachers. the book was published by New York’s IGI
Global and was classified as a premier reference book for EFL/ESL writing instruction.
The book contains 20 chapters in 4 sections. Section 1 contains chapters
dealing with cultural details and influences. These are important aspects
of ESL/EFL writing instruction since it involves two cultures, native and
non-native, and deciding which one should assume the dominant place
in the writing classroom is still a controversial issue. Section 2 of the book
focuses on two main approaches to teaching writing, namely those privileging the product and process, in addition to task-based approaches.
Section 3 of the book concerns itself with strategies to enhance student
success in learning how to write in ESL/EFL classes. The last section concerns itself with error correction, plagiarism, assessment and evaluation.
Even though all 20 chapters focus on writing, each is unique in that it addresses specific aspects and features of teaching writing in EFL/ESL contexts. The contributors are experienced professionals from different parts
of the world and most have taught English in a variety of countries. The
book will provide guidance on how ESL/EFL writing can be taught in a
manner that helps students to overcome their challenges and master this
vital skill for their academic success and their lives in general. The book
will be a springboard for new research in the field, whether on writing in
a native, foreign or second languages.
Two of the editors of this book, Dr. Rahma Al-Mahrooqi and Prof. Adrian
Roscoe are academics from the Department of English of the College of
Arts & Social Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University. Dr. Al-Mahrooqi currently serves as the Director of the Humanities Research Centre at SQU.
Dr. Vijay Singh Thakur, co-editor, is an Assistant Professor in Language &
Translation at Dhofar University.
News Update
College of Law Student
Group Holds Forum
The Rights and Legal Awareness students group at the College of Law,
SQU, in cooperation with the National Human Rights Commission organized the 15th Law Forum under the title ‘Kistas’. The opening ceremony of the four day event was held under the patronage of HH Sayyid
Dr. Fahd bin Julanda Al Said, Assistant Secretary-General for the Promotion of Innovation at the Research Council, in the presence of H.E Dr. Ali
bin Saud Al Bimani, V.C of SQU, and a number of dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Yaqoob bin Mohammed Al-Waeli, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies at the College of Law and the
Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Forum said: “student activities is one of the main pillars in SQU; therefore the university pays
adequate attention to this side in order to refine and gain academic, extracurricular and social skills. Further, the student group at the College
of Law organized about ten events, including series of lectures on various aspects in order to raise awareness of law and legal culture, which
emphasizes that the group is keen to achieve its mission.”
As part of the Law Forum, 8 papers were presented in three sessions; the
first session was about ‘Introduction to the Concept of Social Justice; the
second session was about ‘ Social Justice from International Perspective’
and third one was about ‘ Social Justice from Social perspective’. During the opening ceremony a movie about the group’s achievements was
showed to the audience, apart from recitation of poem and honoring the
patron of the ceremony.
Outstanding Students
Under the Patronage of H.E. Dr. Ali bin Saud Al Bimani, the Vice
Chancellor of SQU, the Deanship of Student Affairs honored 249 outstanding students for excellence in extracurricular activities.
The university honored the students in order to improve their skills,
help them to take full responsibility for their learning and become
involved in their own future planning and to encourage students to
participate in different activities organized by the university. Speaking on the occasion Mr.Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Harthi, Director
of Cultural and Sport Activities Department, said that the purpose
of the students activities in each educational institution is to achieve
number of goals according to certain rules set by the society and its
intellectual, political and social patterns.
College of Nursing Hosts
Accreditation Forum
Event Sheds Light on
‘Vocalcom’ Products
The College of Nursing at Sultan Qaboos University, hosted four
keynote speakers from the Accreditation Commission for Education
in Nursing (ACEN) to present a forum on academic accreditation of
nursing programs on Wednesday and Thursday, May 6 and 7, 2015.
The forum was opened under the patronage of His Excellence Dr. Ali
bin Saud Al Bimani. The forum targeted nursing faculty and experts
in the field from Oman and neighboring countries. Nursing programs
representatives from Bahrain, Jordan, Sudan, Egypt, and Turkey attended the forum, as well as program representatives from most Omani nursing institutes.
The Customer Service Department of Sultan Qaboos University recently hosted a presentation by Vocalcom, a technology provider of
multi-channel contact center solutions for customer service, sales and
telemarketing. Apart from administrative staff from different units of
SQU, employees from other educational institutions also attended the
event titled “Best practice in contact center Vocalcom”. The event was
held under the patronage of Sheikh Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al
Hinai, Vice Chancellor’s Advisor for Environment and Community
The objective was to provide the audience with knowledge about the
ACEN standards and criteria and current policies in accreditation.
Dr. Esra Al-Khasawneh, Dean, College of Nursing at SQU, took this
opportunity to encourage other institutions to follow the steps of the
College to pursue academic accreditation. Attendants found the forum helpful as it presented knowledge about systematic planning for
program evaluation and assessment of outcomes. They also found it
a great opportunity to discuss areas of mutual interests, participate
in networking opportunities, and earn continuing education credit. P3
20 May 2015
Influence of
Smartphones on
College Students
Dr. Ali Al-Badi
Abir Al-Harrasi
The use of social networking by college students has become increasingly
relevant to their academic lives. Smartphones have added great potential
by enabling an increase in the use of social networking and in the number
of hours spent on such sites. Being online for a long time and being able to
access different information from different sources at the same time could
cause information overload. Students could face problems in filtering the
information they receive and they might find it difficult to decide which
sources they can trust and, therefore, which to select.
A study conducted by Ms. Abir Al-Harrasi, a student from the Information Systems Department of the College of Economics & Political Science
at SQU and Dr. Ali Al-Badi, Associate Professor in the same department,
investigated the impact of social networking on college students. The researchers employed various methodologies which include descriptive or
interpretive studies of the literature and previous studies carried out by
academics and industrial institutions. It also utilized surveys taken among
university students. A questionnaire was distributed among 179 students
(60 male and 119 female) at different universities and higher education institutes in the Sultanate of Oman in order to explore the influence of social
networking on college students using their smartphones.
There are three main findings: 1) college students spend a long time on
social networking sites, 2) college students are facing problems in trusting,
filtering, and selecting the right information accessed from social networking sites, and 3) social networks affect students in both positive and negative ways. The respondents who participated in the survey were a combination of both junior and senior students from different majors.
Regarding student involvement in the social networks, it was found that
70% of the respondents were members of an online social network related
to their colleges or universities. Only 20% of respondents were not interested in participating in such groups, whereas 10% of them replied that
they did not know whether or not their colleges or universities had online
network accounts.
The study shows that some universities tend to group their students together in order to improve their educational performance. Furthermore,
it proves the fact that online groups allow students to become members
of collaborative online networks and study groups. When asked about
whether they were using social networking via their smartphones, the majority of students (96%) replied that they were using their smartphones
to access the social networking sites, thereby just 4% did not, and thus
demonstrating that the majority of students tend to access the internet
from their own smartphones, making it much easier for them to use social
networking sites.
20 May 2015
Regarding the main purpose of using social networking sites, it was
apparent that 23% of students used these sites for research, 22% indicated that their main purpose was for entertainment, and 15% indicated they were using social networking for news and media. An equal
number of people (12%) indicated that they used social networking
sites to chat and communicate with their families and friends. However, none of the students used the sites for financial purposes. This
could indicate that when it comes to financial transactions, they do not
trust these sites. What is surprising is that this study shows that the
majority of students use social networking sites for research purposes.
When students were asked about the amount of time per day they
spent on social networking sites using their smartphones, the results
were 25% spent less than 1 hour per day, 39% spent 1-3 hours, 20%
spent 3-5 hours, and 16% spent longer than 5 hours, which indicates
that 75% of the students surveyed spent quite a considerable amount
of time on social networking sites.
When asked which social networks they trusted the most, Facebook
was the most trustworthy site in the opinion of college students (35%),
which may be due to a large percentage of the population being on
Facebook. In contrast, the percentage of students who trust Twitter
was 20%. Surprisingly, although the increase in the number of college
students who use social networking sites appears to be unstoppable,
there are still 28% who do not trust any of these sites.
The survey also shows that the majority of students (71%) use social
networks to communicate with their friends more than with anyone
else. This result might be explained by the fact that students spend a
long time on these sites searching for new friends so that they can expand their online networks. Conversely, they may feel more comfortable spending a long time talking with their friends through social networking sites rather than talking with their professors or colleagues.
When asked whether they thought that using social networking sites
on Smartphones could cause information overload in a way that
makes it nearly impossible to process, it was found that 39% of students agreed, and only 15% of them disagreed. On the other hand,
47% of students were not sure whether or not they had faced information overload while using their smartphones to interact with social
networking sites. The high percentage of “not sure” responses might
be because these students did not realize as yet the consequences of
spending huge amounts of time on social networking sites.
The findings of this study appeared in the Contemporary Issues In
Education Research – Second Quarter 2014 Volume 7, Number 2”.
Mind Over Matter
Efficiency of Oman Insurance Market (Dr. Khalid Said Al Amri,
Department of Operations Management and Business Statistics, College of Economics & Political Science): The aim of this
research is to analyze the performance of the insurance sector in
Oman and do a comparative analysis for its different units. This
study analyses the cost, revenue, and technical efficiency of insurance firms in Oman using DEA and Malmquist Indices to decompose the change of the efficiency into a component reflecting the
individual change in technical efficiency and a second component
reflecting the impact of the change in the market technology on the
technical efficiencies of insurance firms in Oman. The research also
will identify best practices in insurance operations and over and
under-utilization of resources by Oman insurers.
HM’s Grant: Social
Sciences Get Due
Share with Science
Out of the six projects selected for His Majesty’s Strategic Research Trust
Fund for the year 2015, three belong to humanities and social sciences
whereas the remaining three go to science disciplines. This article outlines
the six projects selected for HM’s fund.
The Social, Cultural, Economic Influences of the Developmental Projects in the Duqm Area (Dr. Muneer Karadsheh, Humanities Research
Center): The Duqm economic area is one of the most important economic
areas in the Middle East and North Africa. It is considered a promising
model to become internationally acclaimed one day as it contains a system
supported with various services, which shows the Sultanate’s concern for
the diversification of its economy and stresses its attention to the development of local communities through a win-win relationship between them
and the economy and industry. Since this influence is expected to alter local
people’s life styles in various ways, and since there are no studies that have
investigated the effect of this region on Oman and the local community, this
study is timely. This study will provide an extensive database on the Duqm
area project and will provide vital information that can be used to foster
sustainable development in Oman and the Arab region at large.
Investigating the Anti-Cancer Properties of Natural Products Isolated
from Date Fruits of the Omani Elite Variety “Khalas” (Dr. Younis Baqi,
Department of Chemistry, College of Science): Natural products extracted
from the fruits of dates have been shown to possess many health promoting
properties such as anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antioxidant effects. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the anti-cancer effect
of water, ethanol, ethyl acetate and acetone extract of the date fruit. These include the study of the effect on fibrogenesis and extracellular matrix (ECM)
formation in pancreatic stromal cells. In the first stage several extracts of
the Khalas date fruits will be prepared and their anti-cancer effect will be
thoroughly evaluated by conducting several analytical methodologies in
collaboration with the college of Medicine and Health Sciences at SQU and
the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg Germany.
Geological Exploration, Mapping, Economic Potential and Assessment of the Dimension stone Resources of Oman (Prof.
Sobhi Nasir, Earth Science Research Centre): Oman possesses significant potential of industry rocks and dimension stones including limestone, dolomite, marble, granite, gabbro and gneiss. The
greatest industrial mineral potential in Oman exists mainly within
the Semail ophiolite where significant coarse grained gabbro and
harzburgite are present. Dimension stone potential also exists in
the Hawasina and Sumeini nappes (exotic crystalline limestone
and marble), the autochthonous sedimentary rocks (limestone and
dolomite), and in the crystalline basement (granite, granodiorite
and gneiss. The geoscientific and engineering activities planned in
this project will focus on building a database of spatial and point
information on dimension stones of Oman, that allow for the production of thematic geoscientific and geotechnical maps of different scale and for all areas of interest. This work will examine the
potential to develop the indigenous dimension stone resources of
The Impact of Social Media on Omani Youth: A Multimodal Project (Dr. Najma Jaffar Al Zadjali, Department of English, College
of Arts & Social Sciences): This study explores social media use of
young Omanis to (1) uncover effects social media have on their familial and social communication behaviors (private participation)
and (2) identify best practices (especially for the government) for
using social media to successfully engage young people in these
realms (public or civic participation). Specifically, the project asks
the following research question: What is the reality of social media
impact on Omani youth? It systematically and scientifically analyzes young Omanis’ posts on Twitter and on WhatsApp, and situates them in broader cultural context through qualitative methods
and quantitative methods. The project will increase understanding
of the role of social media in the everyday lives of Omani youth,
while also identifying strategies to facilitate use of social media to
improve their lives as members of families and as Omani citizens.
Diagnosis and reservoir quality evaluation of Middle Cambrian to Early Ordovician clastic hydrocarbon reservoirs in Oman
Interior Sedimentary Basin (Dr. Mohammed El Ghali, Department of Earth Science, College of Science): The Omani economy
is highly dependent on hydrocarbon revenue. Middle Cambrian
to Early Ordovician, Haima Super group; e.g. Amin, Miqrat, AlBashair and Barik formations are considered among the main clastic reservoirs in the South Oman and Ghaba Salt Basin oil fields.
The study will bring together a large spectrum of approaches to
develop our understanding of the geometry and the prediction of
reservoir quality in middle Cambrian to early Ordovician clastic,
continental to shallow marine depositional environments in interior of Oman (surface and subsurface). A detailed assessment of
the mineral content and texture of these reservoirs is, for the first
time, tentatively integrated with facies analysis in a sequence stratigraphy context, exploring the interest of bulk rock geochemistry
in scaling upwards the mineralogical information.
20 May 2015

Influence of Smartphones on College Students