Saudi scientists take part in COVID-19 research

A team of Saudi researchers were among those who studied the genetic sequence of virus among these patients and conducted immunological experiments. (AP file photo)
Short Url
Updated 27 September 2020

Saudi scientists take part in COVID-19 research

  • Dr. Saleh bin Zaid Al-Mohsen: The study included 659 severe cases and 534 patients with mild symptoms

RIYADH: A team of scientists from the King Saud University (KSU) and King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) took part in research on the genetic mutation of the new coronavirus.
The research was conducted in partnership with 80 countries and 50 research centers to study the genetic sequences of people reporting severe and dangerous symptoms of the virus. The findings of the study have been published in the scientific journal Science.
The head of the KSU research team, Dr. Saleh bin Zaid Al-Mohsen, said the study included 659 severe cases and 534 patients with mild symptoms. The researchers studied the genetic sequence of the virus among these patients and conducted immunological experiments.
Al-Mohsen said that the researchers found 13 different genetic mutations of the virus in 23 patients in critical condition.
The research, he said, will help scientists study the immune response to the virus more effectively and help them discover treatments to reduce complications caused due to the virus. Princess Dr. Haya bint Khalid bin Bandar, KACST team head, said the study is the fruit of joint efforts of various Saudi scientific bodies.
“Cooperation in conducting scientific research ultimately benefits society and this study may contribute to finding a cure for the new coronavirus.”

 

 


Saudi aerial photographer reveals secrets of AlUla Old Town to global audience

Updated 25 November 2020

Saudi aerial photographer reveals secrets of AlUla Old Town to global audience

  • Use of drones by cameraman brings history to life in one of KSA’s most famous archaeological sites

MAKKAH: A Saudi aerial photographer’s passion for history has won him global acclaim for images revealing the secrets of AlUla Old Town.

Ali Al-Suhaimi’s eye-in-the-sky portrayal of the famous Islamic city has helped to provide a fresh insight into the past lives of the inhabitants of the now deserted settlement.

AlUla Old Town, located in the north of the Kingdom about 20 km from the archaeological site of Mada’in Salih, is seven centuries old and filled with mosques and markets that reflect its beauty and heritage.

Rich in history, the region was an ancient trade station linking the north and south of the peninsula and one of the main stopping-off points for pilgrims traveling between Syria and Makkah.

Al-Suhaimi told Arab News that his inspiration to photograph the area from the air came from his deep-rooted desire to find out more about the country’s ancient civilizations.

“The idea from the onset revolved around simulating the history of AlUla region, which has become one of the most important heritage attractions on a local and international level.

“The location includes stone landmarks and high mountains which set a breathtaking rocky harmony depicted by the drones of aerial photographers.

“It was the place of people who set the link with us on architectural and human levels. 

The region is one of the great forgotten treasures of antiquity. (Social media)

They built a town which bears witness to the magnificence and cultural depth and momentum of its human legacy,” he said. Studies of AlUla’s castles have proved that the site was once a thriving community, Al-Suhaimi added. “Photographing these places in all their detail only adds to my enthusiasm for transmitting images to a world craving for the secrets of these places of old times to be unveiled.”

The high-flying lensman has snapped all of AlUla Old Town’s castles and villages, as well as the castle of Musa bin Nusayr, and the Aja and Salma mountains which rise to 1,000 meters.

By using drones, Al-Suhaimi has been able to get close-up pictures of the houses and buildings that occupy the site. “There are monolithic houses that reflect the depth of relationships that linked those people who fused with each other as if they were one family.”

HIGHLIGHT

AlUla Old Town, located in the north of the Kingdom about 20 km from the archaeological site of Mada’in Salih, is seven centuries old and filled with mosques and markets that reflect its beauty and heritage.

He pointed out that although the houses seemed to be randomly clustered together, they were actually “architectural enigmas” which had been cleverly designed to ensure a smooth flow of air in and around them.

Aerial photographs of the town had also raised questions about how its people had been able to move around from building to building in such a close-knit environment.

Al-Suhaimi said he had gained all the necessary licenses to operate drones in the area. “We were keen on taking pictures and transmitting them to the whole world, as internationally it is one of the most outstanding Islamic cities. Its mud houses are living witnesses that resisted time.”

He added that he had been astonished by the positive global feedback from his photographs of the region. One notable feature of AlUla Old Town is the Tantora sundial. The shadow that it cast was used to mark the beginning of the winter planting season.

“They set stones atop one another so that the shadow would be projected on the tip of the stone once per year, which is evidence of the astronomy legacy of the people of the region,” said Al-Suhaimi.