Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October 15, 2014

India bans import of animal-tested beauty products

With this, the country has earned the distinction of becoming the first cruelty-free cosmetics zone in South Asia. With its ban on the import of animal-tested beauty products, India becomes the first cruelty-free cosmetics zone in South Asia. Humane Society International-India’s (HSI) “Be Cruelty Free” campaign is celebrating a historic victory for animals as India bans the import of animal tested cosmetics. Coming just a few months after implementation of a national ban on cruel cosmetics testing in India’s labs, the import ban now makes the country the first cruelty-free cosmetics zone in South Asia and an example for other nations to follow, Ms. Norma Alvares, People for Animals, toldThe Hinduon Wednesday. The ban comes in the form of Rule 135-B that states that no cosmetic that has been tested on animals after the commencement of Drugs and Cosmetics (Fifth Amendment) Rules, 2014 shall be imported into the country.” The notification will come into effect on November 13, 2014. Ms. …

Canada offers ‘wooden multi-storey housing technology’ for Housing for All scheme

hows keen interest in building Smart Cities
Canada’s Minister Shri Ed Fast holds talks with Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu Canada has strongly pitched in with the offer of its wood based high density house construction technology to enable India meet its ‘Housing for All by 2022’ target. This offer was made by the visiting Canadian Minister of International Trade Shri Ed Fast during his meeting with the Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu here today (15.10.2014).

The Canadian Minister made detailed queries about the new initiatives in urban sector including building of 100 Smart Cities, Housing for All and infrastructure development in urban areas of the country. He sought to know the clear timelines for execution of these schemes and specific areas requiring technologies and investments.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu gave a detailed account of various initiatives and suggested cooperation in respect of affordable housing, waste water recycling, sani…

Science journal’s top 10 breakthroughs, 2013 (theHindu)

“Ultimately, we concluded, cancer immunotherapy passes the test. It does so because this year, clinical trials have cemented its potential in patients and swayed even the sceptics. The field of cancer immunotherapy hums with stories of lives extended — the woman with a grapefruit-size tumour in her lung from melanoma, alive and healthy 13 years later; the 6-year-old near death from leukaemia, now in third grade and in remission; the man with metastatic kidney cancer whose disease continued fading away even after treatment stopped,” notes a paper published recently in the journal that ranked the top 10 science breakthroughs of 2013. The cancer research community experienced a sea change in 2013 as a strategy, decades in the making, finally cemented its potential. Promising results emerged from clinical trials of cancer immunotherapy, in which treatments target the body's immune system rather than tumours directly. The new treatments push T cells and other immune cells to combat ca…

Week in science: How harmful crack cocaine is & others (SciTech TheHindu Update )

Excerpts from science, technology, environment and health reports from around the web. How harmful is crack cocaine? Hollywood seldom depicts junkies in suits and ties. But in recent weeks several public figures have admitted taking hard drugs while working in high-powered jobs. Toronto’s serially scandalous mayor, Rob Ford, has admitted that he smoked crack cocaine two years ago, while in office. Trey Radel, a Florida congressman, is under pressure to resign after being convicted of possessing powder cocaine. In Britain Paul Flowers, a former chairman of the Co-op bank (and a Methodist preacher to boot) was arrested after a newspaper filmed him apparently buying methamphetamine and other drugs. If people can take hard drugs and still go on running a national bank or Canada’s biggest city, how dangerous can such substances be? Fossil yields oldest known human DNA Researchers have successfully sequenced the oldest known human DNA, and it points to unexpected relationships between homini…

Coastal cities need to be climate-proof, says study(TheHindu)

“It is imperative to assess sea level rise, storm surge and cyclones” A devastated Vishakapatnam has brought home the need for coastal cities to be climate resilient in terms of extreme events with respect to preparation and infrastructure. Recent studies indicate that there is a long way to go in achieving this. Both the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 and the Environment Ministry had said there would be a high likelihood of increase in the intensity of cyclonic events on the east coast of India. A working paper on Planning Climate Resilient Coastal Cities — Learning from Panaji and Visakhapatnam by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), released last week, says that it is highly pertinent to start climate proofing infrastructure and services, given the climate sensitive nature of the existing infrastructure systems in the cities. The study says it is imperative to assess sea level rise combined with other factors like storm surge and cyclones and chang…

How we get a sense of place and navigate(TheHindu)

Results from functional imaging (fMRI) studies on human brains demonstrate the existence of place cells and grid cells The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 has been divided among three scientists with one half being awarded to John O'Keefe of University College, London, and the other half shared by May-Britt Moser of the Centre for Neural Computation, Trondheim, Norway and Edvard I. Moser of Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Trondheim, Norway “for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.” Their discoveries tell us how we are able to get a sense of place in any given environment and an ability to navigate. If the sense of place gives us a perception of the position with respect to the environment, the ability to navigate is linked to the direction and distance from the previous positions. In effect, the two together provide us with an internal positioning or “inner GPS” with respect to the environment. American experimental ps…

A prize for illuminating lives with blue light (TheHindu)

Winners of Nobel Prize in physics, from left, Meijo University Prof. Isamu Akasaki, 85, Nagoya University Prof. Hiroshi Amano, 54, and Shuji Nakamura, 60, of the University of California at Santa Barbara, U.S.A. This year the Nobel prize in physics goes to Isamu Akasaki, Meijo University and Nagoya University, Hiroshi Amano, Nagoya University, and Shuji Nakamura, University of California, Santa Barbara, for inventing the blue light emitting diode (blue LED) 20 years ago. After the announcement, when asked how he felt on being awarded the Nobel Prize, Akasaki said “It’s unbelievable.” “Their inventions were revolutionary. Incandescent bulbs lit the 20th century; the 21st century will be lit by LED lamps,” notes a statement by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel Prizes. This is a prize that would be after Alfred Nobel’s own heart, because he had intended that the prizes should go to those who have “conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.” The blue LED forms…

Turning an optical microscope into a nanoscope (theHIndu)

American scientist and Nobel prize winner Eric Betzig APStefan Hell
Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been equally divided among the Laureates Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner for having bypassed a presumed scientific limitation stipulating that an optical microscope can never yield a resolution better than 0.2 micrometres (half the wavelength of light). Using the fluorescence of molecules, scientists can now monitor the interplay between individual molecules inside cells; they can observe disease-related proteins aggregate and they can track cell division at the nanolevel. Living organisms were studied for the first time in the 17th using an optical microscope. The instrument opened a new window to studying living organisms non-invasively. Despite the advantages, the optical microscope suffers from a major drawback — a physical restriction as to what size of structures is possible to resolve. Ernst Abbe in 1873 said that microscope resolution is limited by, among other …