Although Pakistan was only established in August 1947, there is a rich history of science and culture within its borders. From useful computer viruses to a generator that runs entirely on water, Pakistan is the motherland of numerous inventions that have changed the world!
- The Brain – Chip Connection
Biomedical engineer and faculty member of the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute Dr Naweed Syed is the first scientist to successfully connect a silicon chip to the human brain. The silicon chip, which was created in 2004, has lead to a variety of biomedical breakthroughs, including reversing memory loss and helping amputees to control their artificial limbs.
- The Pleuroperitoneal Shunt
Dr Syed Amjab Hussein of Peshawar was the first to invent the pleuroperitoneal shunt, a surgically implanted catheter used to treat pleural effusions in cancer patients. Once implanted, the catheter delivers fluid, which has built up between the pleura lining (tissue) and the lungs, to the periloneal cavity where it can be absorbed. Once this treatment has been administered patients are usually able to breathe much more easily. Following his invention, Dr Syed Amjab Hussein was inducted into the Medical Mission Hall Of Fame.
- The Ommaya Reservoir
Created by Ayub K. Ommaya, a Pakistani neurosurgeon in 1963, the Ommaya Reservoir allows chemicals to be injected into the brain, via a catheter, to treat brain tumors, leukemia and leptomeningeal disease.
- The Human Development Index
In 1990, Mahbub-ul-Haq revolutionised economics with the creation of The Human Development Index. According to Mahbub-ul-Haq, the sole purpose of the index was “to shift the focus of development economics from national income accounting to people centered policies.” That is, the HDI focuses on the health, education and living standards of areas to measure development, not on the amount of income.
- Higgs Boson
Whilst working with Steven Weinberg, the first Pakistani Nobel Prize winner Professor Abdus Salam predicted the existence of the Higgs Boson subatomic particle.
- The SMB Probe
As far as dangerous energy sources go, nuclear power has to be one of, if not the most dangerous of all. Since it’s creation, nuclear power has created multiple disasters around the globe, causing many deaths and toxic environments. In an attempt to counteract this problem, Sultan Bashiruddin Mehmood created the SMB Probe which is thought to reduce the chance of a nuclear disaster by a significant amount. The SMB Probe’s job is to keep power plant operations under control and check whether there are any heavy water leakages, thereby reducing the possibility of accidents.
- ( c) Brain
In January 1986, the Farooq Alvi brothers invented the world’s first virus for MS-DOS. Born in Lahoor, the brothers created ( c) Brain , a virus that infiltrates the boot sector of storage media and is still used widely today to prevent hacking and identify piracy.
- The Water Generator
Rehan Aziz Farooqi, an engineer from Swat, invented a generator that can not only run on water, but can also allow any engine – whether it’s diesel, gas or petrol – to run on water as well. The generator works by separating the hydrogen and oxygen found in water and converting them into viable energy source. As hydrogen is extremely explosive however, the generator’s inventor wants to ensure there are no dangers before making it available to the public.
- Community Sanitation
For many third-world countries, the risk of contracting deadly diseases due to poor sanitation is a huge problem. In an attempt to lower these risks, Professor of Sustainable Infrastructure at Loughborough University Sohail Khan invented a lavatory that transforms human waste into minerals that can be used to enrich soil. The facility also processes water to ensure it is clean and consumable.
- The World’s Cheapest Electricity
Shahzaib Hussain, a seventeen-year-old from Quetta, created a device that can be used to reproduce electricity when he was only in Grade 11. The device was first proven to work when Shahzaib managed to light 44 LED lights that would usually require 3 Watts with only 1.5 Watts that were fed through his machine. The device is currently still in it’s prototype stage, but could lead to huge developments in the near future.
- The Anti-Terrorist Algorithm
At Startup Cup Pakistan last year, a startup named Go-Fig Solutions dominated the media’s attention. Go-Fig Solutions had created an algorithm that claimed to be able to predict where the next terrorist attack would occur, simply based off of behavioural patterns and data mining. After the algorithm received a success rate of 35%, Go-Fig Solutions won the World Startup Cup.
- Non-Explosive Fertilizer
Pakistani firm Fatima Fertilizers has invented a formula for fertilizers that do not contain ammonium nitrate, thus cannot be used to create bombs. Since it’s creation, the fertilizer has been praised by the Pentagon, with US Army Lieutenant General Michael Barbero, the head of the Pentagon’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization stating: ‘such a long-term solution would be a true scientific breakthrough.’
- The Sagar Veena
Whilst working at the Sanjannagar Institute, Lahore in 1970, Raza Aslam created the Sagar Veena, a string instrument capable of registering a range of pitches that no other instrument can achieve. Although there are already a variety of string instruments used in North Indian Classical Music, the Sagar Veena is unique in its ability to provide a rich array of notes.