Community News (V13-I15)

April 7, 2011 by  


Lateef Syed’s biosensor may improve food, water safety and cancer detection

MANHATTAN,KS — A nanotechnology-based biosensor being developed by Kansas State University researchers may allow early detection of both cancer cells and pathogens, leading to increased food safety and reduced health risks.

Lateef Syed, doctoral student in chemistry is developing the biosensor with Jun Li, associate professor of chemistry. Their research focuses on E. coli, but Syed said the same technology could also detect other kinds of pathogens, such as salmonella and viruses.

“Kansas is a leading state in meat production and the poultry industry,” he said. “Any outbreak of pathogens in these industries causes huge financial losses and a lot of health risks. We want to prevent these outbreaks by detecting pathogens at an early stage.”

Syed’s recent research poster, “Dielectrophoretic Capture of E. coli at Nanoelectrode Arrays,” was named a winner at the recent Capitol Graduate Research Summit in Topeka. An article on this work has been accepted for publication in the scientific journal Electrophoresis.

For more than three and a half years, Syed’s research has focused on developing nanotechnology-based biosensors for pathogen detection and cancer biomarker detection. He began the research as a doctoral student under the direction of Li, who has researched nanotechnology for 15 years.

“Nanotechnology is a very exciting area,” Li said. “It really provides an opportunity to solve problems for health care and food safety. It can also be helpful for the environment and energy issues.”

“A goal is to integrate this technology into a hand-held electronic device for pathogen detection so that we can use this device for in-line monitoring of water quality or food quality at industrial processing sites,” Syed said. “We have some preliminary results that indicate this technology is feasible, and I’m quite happy about that.”

The project is supported by a Canadian-based company called Early Warning Inc., which provided the K-State research team with $240,000 for two years as part of the developmental work. Recently, the project was also supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases, or CEEZAD, at K-State.

Shakila Ahmed receives FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award

CINNCINNATI, OH–An official with the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati is being awarded by the FBI for her work in educating the public and bringing diverse communities together.

Keith L. Bennett, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Cincinnati Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced LAST WEEK that Mrs. Shakila Ahmad has been named as the recipient of the 2010 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award.

An active member of the board of trustees at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati since 1995, Mrs. Ahmad has worked to educate law enforcement personnel and community leaders about the Muslim faith through the Tours & Talks program. She also spearheaded the creation of the nationally recognized A Visit to a Mosque in America, an educational DVD which has increased understanding of Islam and the Muslim community in the United States.

In addition to her extensive work at the Islamic center, Mrs. Ahmad has taken a proactive role in promoting peace through dialogue by establishing the Muslim Mothers Against Violence initiative. This group works to connect with mothers of all faiths to increase awareness about violence and find constructive ways to resolve conflict.

Mrs. Ahmad continues to be a dedicated supporter of the FBI’s outreach initiatives. In 2008, she worked with the Cincinnati Field Office in assembling a Multi-Cultural Advisory Council to strengthen ties between the office and local ethnic, religious, and minority communities.

Mrs. Ahmad also serves as the board chair of BRIDGES for a Just Community, a local organization dedicated to achieving inclusion, equity, and justice. In addition, she is on the executive board of directors for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the Islamic Educational Council board of trustees, the Ohio Humanities Council, and the YWCA Cincinnati board.

Mosque to come up in Lincoln Township

LINCOLN,MI–The Islamic Society of Midland is trying to build the area’s first mosque.  For almost a decade, Muslims have been renting spaces to conduct prayers and other cultural activities. The growth in the Muslim population has propelled them to have a permanent home.

Earlier this year the Lincoln Township Planning Commission approved a special land use permit to build a religious facility contingent upon approval of an adequate site plan that satisfies the township’s zoning ordinances, the Daily Midland News quoted one of the leaders of the mosque project as saying.

Lincoln Township will host a public hearing on April 18 at 6:30 p.m. during which time its planning commission is expected to review his organization’s site plan, Khan noted, adding he’s confident his organization will gain the necessary approvals to move ahead with construction plans.

The proposed mosque would be situated on five acres of a 92-acre parcel that is owned by one of the Islamic Society members.

Teenagers who attacked mosque get plea deals

CARLTON,NY–Five teenagers who attacked a mosque in 2010 have received plea deals and will have their cases adjudicated as youth offenders.

The five allegedly drove two vehicles outside the World Sufi Mission mosque yelling obscenities and beeping a car alarm while Muslim congregants prayed inside.

One of the members told deputies he was near the road and was hit by one of the vehicles, suffering a cut tongue and lip and a sore hip.

One of the teenagers  was also  charged with felony criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly firing a shotgun at the mosque three nights earlier. All five were charged with disrupting a church service and first-degree harassment.

The five appeared in Town Court Monday night and entered guilty pleas to unspecified charges. All of the files will be sealed because a judge granted them youthful offender status, Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone said.

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