Saudi Arabia has highest number of active Twitter users in the Arab world

Updated 27 June 2014
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Saudi Arabia has highest number of active Twitter users in the Arab world

Saudi Arabia has 2.4 million active Twitter users, the highest number in the region, according to a survey issued on Wednesday.
The sixth edition of the Arab Social Media Report was launched on Wednesday by the Governance and Innovation Program at the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government.
The Kingdom accounts for 40 percent of all active Twitter users in the Arab world. There are 5.79 million active Twitter users in the region as of March 2014. An “active user” is someone who logs in once a month, according to Twitter.
Saudi Arabia has more than twice the number of users than second-placed Egypt. However, Egypt gained the largest number of new users since last year, at 571,000, compared to Saudi Arabia’s 514,000.
According to the survey, 55 percent of respondents said they strongly support the government’s use of social media for the design and delivery of public services. Respondents also agreed that social media facilitates better accessibility to government and public sector officials.
A report entitled “Citizen Engagement and Public Services in the Arab World: The Potential of Social Media,” states that social media is still used in the Arab region as a one-way information source for the majority of those who use it to interact with government.
Only 2 percent of respondents reported visiting official government social media pages or using their personal social media accounts for sourcing information on public services.
Of the 63 percent who do use government social media pages, 74 percent only use it to access information on government services and entities, while giving feedback, sending complaints or new ideas to government ranked lower.
The report shows that the public sector in a majority of Arab countries continues to “suffer from mounting deficiencies in terms of quality, efficiency and accessibility of government services despite the continued growth of social media penetration in the Arab region and its increasing potential for governments to engage citizens on enhancing public services.”


Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

Updated 17 April 2018
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Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

  • Previous research has shown a new blood test has potential to detect eight different kinds of tumors before they spread
  • The research starts in April and will run until September

TOKYO: A Japanese firm is poised to carry out what it hailed as the world’s first experiment to test for cancer using urine samples, which would greatly facilitate screening for the deadly disease.
Engineering and IT conglomerate Hitachi developed the basic technology to detect breast or colon cancer from urine samples two years ago.
It will now begin testing the method using some 250 urine samples, to see if samples at room temperature are suitable for analysis, Hitachi spokesman Chiharu Odaira told AFP.
“If this method is put to practical use, it will be a lot easier for people to get a cancer test, as there will be no need to go to a medical organization for a blood test,” he said.
It is also intended to be used to detect paediatric cancers.
“That will be especially beneficial in testing for small children” who are often afraid of needles, added Odaira.
Research published earlier this year demonstrated that a new blood test has shown promise toward detecting eight different kinds of tumors before they spread elsewhere in the body.
Usual diagnostic methods for breast cancer consist of a mammogram followed by a biopsy if a risk is detected.
For colon cancer, screening is generally conducted via a stool test and a colonoscopy for patients at high risk.
The Hitachi technology centers around detecting waste materials inside urine samples that act as a “biomarker” — a naturally occurring substance by which a particular disease can be identified, the company said in a statement.
The procedure aims to improve the early detection of cancer, saving lives and reducing the medical and social cost to the country, Odaira explained.
The experiment will start this month until through September in cooperation with Nagoya University in central Japan.
“We aim to put the technology in use in the 2020s, although this depends on various things such as getting approval from the authorities,” Odaira said.