This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – brightrecruits.com can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today

Blog

Welcome to dreamland

eastham.jpg
Tony Eastham shows off his new facilities

By Matin Durrani

I wrote yesterday about whether the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia will attract researchers to the new venture.

One thing is clear: the facilities are second to none.

Tony Eastham, KAUST’s lab director, greeted me as I stepped off the media bus into the melting heat. First stop was the visualization “cave” — basically a white, walk-in room onto which colour images are beamed by four cinema-quality projectors. Put on a pair of goggles and the cave lets you see images of, say, protein molecules to look for possible binding sites or to view 3D fly-through of archaeological sites. Although such rooms exist elsewhere, this has apparently a better resolution than any other; it can even play sound, should you wish.

As we headed down to the nanotech facilities, Eastham, who used to be based at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, told me that KAUST has a whopping $1.5bn over its first five years for lab equipment. Tasty.

In one of the downstairs labs a total of 10 NMR spectrometers stood sentry, all unused so far. Then it was through a side door and down a corridor with tall doors leading off. Eastham opened one to reveal a state-of-the art electron microscope and then a second and then a third. Each boasted another microscope – five TEMs and five SEMs in all, each barely out of its packaging. Another room had a suite of confocal and Raman microscopes.

And so into the clean rooms – a total of 2000 square metres in all. All spotless so far. “KAUST,” claimed Eastham, “is the most exciting thing happening in academia anywhere in the world.”

Whether all the new toys can be used for anything useful, however, remains to be seen.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Leave a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guidelines

  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="http://www.google.com">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="http://iop.org/">IOP</blockquote>
IOP
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/index.html">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux