Saturday, December 31, 2011

To Uplift Science, Nepal Needs him who Published An Obituary in Nature (Journal)

Recently, Prof. Dr. Uttam Lal RajBhandary has published an obituary [1] of Har Gobind Khorana in Nature, one of the most reputed and famous science journals. Har Gobind Khorana (HGK), Nobel Laureate, chemical biologist, was born in Raipur, Punjab, Pakistan (then India) passed away on 9th November 2011. He, along with Marshall Nirenberg, Heinrich J. Matthaei, and Robert W. Holley, had discovered sequences of RNA (UUU, UGA, AUG…… codons) that code for amino acid synthesis and they received the Nobel Prize in 1968.  Prof. UL RajBhandary, Department of Biology, MIT, USA, has been in close association with him since 1962. Quoting HGK’s statement Prof. UL RajBhandary writes, “If you want to get far, you have to travel alone.” To understand science and research, it needs very much enduring patient and deep study, and sometimes makes isolated from normal social life.  In past post of this blog, I had mentioned the name Lujendra Ojha and Deepak Koirala, Nepali bright young scientists who had published their research article in reputed journal this year.

Achievements of Prof. Dr. Uttam Lal RajBhandary / RajBhandary UL,
Scholar Google: - Citations: 9759; Cited Publications: 232; H-Index: 56
Iisiknowledge: - Times Cited: 7153; Results found: 169; H-Index: 46
Pubmed: - Articles: 187

These articles, where Prof. Dr. Uttam Lal RajBhandary is the author and all of them having impact factor above 5.0 including Nature (Impact factor is 36.1), Nature Biotechnology (Impact factor is 31.1), Cell (Impact factor is 32.4). This is a huge achievement and impressive figure, and probably it may be the highest for any Nepali and gives us happiness with the proud. Almost all scientists will to publish their findings to any one of such prestigious journals.

While I was in class 8-10, our science teacher always used to tell about Har Gobind Khorana, and his contribution to science. At the same time, in various newspapers and magazines particularly in Nava-Yuva, I could see the name of Prof. Uttam L. RajBhandary, Prof. Dayananda Bajracharya, and another few names as the successful Nepali scientist. Nava Yuva, and Yuvamanch were my favorite magazines and hardly had left any issue unread. Because, it always had included at least one article related to science and technology. USA, Russia, UK, Germany and France were frequently cited countries in those magazines. Nowadays, I rarely see the name of Russia in the journals, despite it still has been contributing to science.

Historic buildings, arts, sculptures, statutes, Ayurveda and traditional medicine, etc. are still giving proof that Nepal was leader of ancient science and architecture. For the past two centuries, Nepal has been always in a Dark Era for modern science and technology and becoming in a terrible condition. The condition is worsening day by day. In fact, it is situated almost in the bottom line in several indexes. Such a high profile scientist like Prof. Dr. Uttam Lal RajBhandary can contribute to the development of science and technology in Nepal with international collaboration. The equipment and funding are the biggest challenge for Nepal, are more important in addition to knowledge and hardworking, which we are doing (fruitlessly). Other panic part, we know our government neither knows the importance of science nor allow budget and even, I am doubtful, whether provided or not,  moral support to scientists from the government. Ministry of "science and technology" was established to make happy to some political leaders to include them in cabinet rather than to ease science and technology practitioner, what a shame for us.
However, Happy New Year 2012, Adieu 2011.

1 RajBhandary, U. (2011). Har Gobind Khorana (1922–2011) Nature, 480 (7377), 322-322 DOI: 10.1038/

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Install OpenBabel in Fedora 16 to convert chemical file formats

OpenBabel is a software that has been widely used by computational chemist. Usually the structure of any compound are drawn using mainly ChemDraw and ACD ChemSketch  softwares and default file format are .cdx and .sk2, respectively. But for the computational study the required file format are; .mol2 or .pdb etc. OpenBabel can convert as pr required.

People who are lazy in typing may become tired in typing "babel [-i (input-type)] (name) [-o (output-type)] (name)" many times to convert the individual files. They may seek to install the graphical version of OpenBabel by the command "cmake ./openbabel-2.x.x -DBUILD_GUI=ON" but thay may face a lot of difficulties in many Linux Distros such as to install wxWidget.

As I have been mentioning Fedora, a kind of Linux operating, is the leader NOT a follower, many latest Linux software repository can be acquired easily in Fedora through yum. Similarly it is very easy to install OpenBabel in Fedora 15 and 16.

  1. Become root by typing su and then your root password.
  2. Type yum install openbabel-gui
  3. wait and then press y.
It will be installed within 10-15 minutes and enjoy.