10th-29th October 2011

School of Health Sciences
Kampala International University, Bushenyi, Uganda

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Good news for scientist in developing countries!

The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE) will be offering free subcriptions through the HINARI initiative to developing countries in South America, Asia and Africa.
In 2000 a WHO survey found that 56 percent of institutions in the poorest countries had no current subscriptions to academic journals. In response, WHO founded HINARI, which now grants developing countries access to one of the largest collections of biomedical and health literature. Now JOVE is joining this amazing initiative.
JOVE publishes video articles demonstrating advanced experiments performed in laboratories of top research universities. Visualizing the experiments rather than trying to reproduce them from the often brief materials & methods section of papers is the best way to be able to reproduce previous experiments and set-up new techniques in a lab. This becomes particularly important in developing countries, where  learning cutting-edge experimental techniques, whether via courses or by visiting laboratories with the desired expertise, is often very difficult.
We will celebrate this great news by using several JOVE articles as part of the teaching materials in the course.

Friday, 9 September 2011

On how to get cheap laptops for a course in Uganda

If you ever want to organize a neuroscience course in Uganda, then you will realize of all the things you need to get, how much they cost, and how it is possible to get them cheaper. A starter are the computers. Best is obviously to get laptops, as big PCs are difficult to transport. Now I have come across two different ways to get cheap laptops. A somehow more straight forward, and a bit more expensive way (which I didn't use, but I want people to know about it), is to apply to some computers in this link Computer Aid, where you can get a dual core laptop for £85. As the course I am organizing is under a bit of a limited budget, and as I am a very lucky person surrounded by a generous world. I got 15 old not working IBM laptops from the FMI research institute in Basel, somehow I brought them over to the UK in an low-cost airline flight, and to the lab. (with the help of Marco Tripodi on the Swiss side, and Pedro Saavedra at the UK side). Then, with the invaluable help of Gerit Linneweber (see picture), we (rather, he), tested them, found what was wrong (most of the times either the main board, or the screen were the problem), exchanged pieces (mostly screens) of some of them with others, and managed to get 6 fully working laptops. So far the cost was nearly £0, well it cost me a bit to transport them, so lets say £20 per computer. We then needed to put some hard disk on them as they come without it due to security reasons. We bought some on ebay for £10 each. And voila! we got 6 working laptops for £30 each :) So this second option is cheaper, but I do not recommend it if you don't have a Gerit around.

Dr. Dolores Martin-Bermudo is teaching in the course!

I am extremly happy to announce that Dr.Dolores Martin-Bermudo, will be joining Dr. Isabel Palacios as faculty  to teach the first module of the course. Dr.Dolores Martin-Bermudo was also a Principal Investigator at the University of Cambridge. Currently, she  works as a lecturer and Principal Investigator at the CABD (Centro Andaluz de Biologia del Desarrollo, a research Council Institute in Seville, Spain). Her research focuses mainly on the molecular and genetic study of the mechanisms that regulate cell migration using /Drosophila/ /melanogaster/ as a model system (http://www.cabd.es/).