Stars of Science innovators tackle environmental challenges
The top seven innovators from the Qatar Foundation’s (QF) 14th Stars of Science (SoS) season took to the stage this week to prove the feasibility of their projects – inventions that have taken on a pressing challenge for communities around the world – environmental sustainability.
Hosted at QF’s technology hub, the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), SoS participants can develop and commercialize their projects through the latter’s range of support services, including mentoring and incubation programs and of financing.
Scientist Sumaiya Said Sulaiman al-Siyabi from Oman has sought to tackle plastic pollution plaguing the world’s oceans. Its Sanitation and Microplastic Removal is a floating sphere composed of microbial mats and nanomaterials that dissolves microplastics it comes in contact with. Free of harsh chemicals, the device is an effective and environmentally friendly way to clean up plastic waste in our oceans.
“When the environment is damaged, our communities are also damaged. For example, microplastics in the ocean have had a direct impact on the food chain, and we are now seeing those same microplastics accumulating inside humans, which can lead to dangerous side effects in the future.” , al-Siyabi said.
Youcef Fermi, a doctor in micro-nano-electronics, aims to introduce a new method of harvesting scorpion venom without endangering them. His home country, Algeria, has some of the deadliest scorpion species that are of enormous medical interest. One gram of scorpion venom costs around $7,500 to extract, making it one of the most expensive and sought after materials in the pharmaceutical and medical world.
Fermi’s Scorpion Venom Safe Milking is an automated venom extraction system featuring new electronic vibrations and moth sound emulation. The device tricks a scorpion into stinging a specially designed capsule coated in moth powder, which then collects the venom without endangering the creature.
“The Arab world is home to a diverse ecosystem filled with unique flora and fauna that are part of the region’s beauty and history,” added Dr. Khaled Mahmoud, research director at the Institute of Qatar Environment and Energy Research, part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University. QF member.