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Latest happenings at Bitsym and emerging tech scene

Biteze Hydro: Solution for micro-hydro power plants in Pakistan

Hydro power stations are a major source of providing our nations’ electricity. The total Hydropower resource in Pakistan is estimated at about 50,000 MW. Most of the assets are located in the North of the nation, mainly in the areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit, Chitral etc. where waterfalls, rivers and streams exist in a huge number hence providing ample sources of running water. Even though smaller (less than 50 MW) micro hydro plant sites are present throughout the country, if leveraged correctly, they can help reduce the power shortage that Pakistan increasingly has been facing over the past few years. The usual sponsors for such ventures are Agha Khan Foundation’s Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) and Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO), Pakistan’s Hydel Development Funds and other agencies like Asian Development Bank. The micro hydro plants deployed have not been utilized to their maximum potential as of yet due to the fact that these are mainly ‘deploy and forget’ schemes i.e. once the plans have been executed, no proper follow-ups are made on the operations of the plant, as these ventures are usually donor funded and the donors are interested up till the point that the money given has been utilized fully to the point of the plants’ inauguration, after that their eagerness and focus is shifted elsewhere as they usually have no say in the operational aspects of the micro hydro plant, instead just sound their grievances that the money given is not yielding the results promised when they were donating the amount and no return on investment (ROI) and feasibility is apparent to them for investing huge amounts in such... read more

Bitsym Healthcare: Development of Indigenous Semi-Automated Cell microinjection system

Cell microinjection system is a widely used tool in the domain of cell biology and it allows us to deliver a specific amount of substance into a cell using a fine tipped needle (or a microinjection pipette) under the observation of a microscope. Cell microinjection systems are widely used for delivering drugs to a single cell for the treatment of diseases, like Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Sickle cell anemia and Cystic fibrosis, developing organs, like heart, lungs and kidney, and in-vitro fertilization. The cost of most commercially available microinjection systems is in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars, which makes their purchase and usage in developing countries very rare. This is one of the biggest reasons for the limited amount of research done in the areas of cell biology, Genetic engineering, trans-genetics and cloning, in the developing nations. As a first step towards overcoming this limitation, Bitsym has partnered with a team of renowned researchers that has developed a manual microinjection system, which can be manipulated by humans using various knobs under the microscope to perform cell injections. However, the manual nature of analysis makes the injection process very time consuming and error-prone. Under the financing of National ICT R&D fund in amount of $400,000, Bitsym  has entered into a collaborative arrangement with National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) to overcome these problems and come up with an affordable and efficient semi-automated cell micro-injection system. The project team, lead by Dr. Osman Hasan and Dr. Saad Bin Qaisar in collaboration with Dr. Nasir Jalal is developing a virtual reality simulator along with a joystick like manipulator for training scientists to... read more