OBITUARY: Renowned biologist who revolutionized sugar industry dies

27th Feb 2015
OBITUARY: Renowned biologist who revolutionized sugar industry dies

Elham Asaad Buaras

Leading biologist Dr Layla Zakaria Abdel Rahman has died on January 28 at her home in Didsbury aged 59 after a fight against cancer.

The Sudanese-born mother-of-two, uncovered a radically new method of growing sugar cane. The breakthrough meant the plant could be grown from seeds rather than the conventional stem cutting methods. It led to cheaper and more productive cultivation in developing countries.

A funeral service took place at a mosque in Victoria Park on February 3 ahead of burial at Southern Cemetery in Chorlton. Dr Abdel Rahman moved to Manchester to study in the late 1980s after completing her education in Sudan.

She had graduated from the University of Khartoum and went on to complete a Masters degree and a Phd at UMIST. Secretary of Manchester Sudanese Cultural Society, Gaafer Ali, said companies sponsored her research in Manchester. He said: “She had a tremendous and wonderful career. It shows what sort of a person she was.

“She came from a humble background but achieved so much success and was an amazing person. She had an ability to get people to love her. She broke boundaries in her field. “She will be very sadly missed and was a wonderful human being.”

Her breakthrough involved taking cells from plant leaves, shoots or roots and growing them in a liquid culture to produce artificial seeds able to germinate. For years, scientists funded by the sugar industry had been trying to find ways to increase crop yields, without success. But her results and patented techniques garnered global attention and attracted interest.

Leave a Comment

What is 6 + 5 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets