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Showing posts from August 9, 2017

Climate change has affected every part of US: government report (downtoearth)

People in the US are already feeling the effects of climate change as the average temperature in the country has increased rapidly and drastically since 1980, according to a federal climate change report prepared by scientists from 13 federal agencies. The report, which is awaiting Trump administration’s approval, claims that the recent decades have been the warmest in the past 1,500 years.

Attributing the climate change to human activities, especially greenhouse gas emissions, the scientists observed that even if greenhouse gas emission is completely stopped today, the world would still feel at least an additional 0.30°C of warming over this century as compared with today. The report concludes that a small difference in global temperatures can make a huge difference in the climate. In fact, the difference between 1.5°C and 2°C rise in global temperatures could mean longer heat waves and more intense rainstorms.

The Environment Protection Agency is one of 13 agencies that must approv…

Indian scientists resurrect World War-era drug to fight malaria ( downtoearth)

A neglected and old anti-parasitic drug used during the World War II is emerging as a new weapon in the fight against malaria as malaria parasite becomes resistant to currently available drugs.

A group of Indian researchers have resurrected acriflavine or ACF which was used as an anti-parasite drug in the last century, and have found it to be effective against malaria parasite. Now they are working to make this molecule more effective using nanotechnology.

Researchers at the Special Centre for Molecular Medicine at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have got a patent for antimalarial properties of ACF. They have now joined hands with scientists at the National Institute of Immunology (NII) to develop a nano-formulation of the dug and to study its potential in animal models. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is funding this joint effort.

ACF was previously used as a trypanocidal agent against a range of infections during World War II. But due to preferential use of chloroquine for …

Indo-Afghan trade: Castles in the air? (hindu)

India needs to carry more weight in seeing through connectivity plans with Afghanistan

Two months after the India-Afghanistan air corridor was inaugurated with great expectations, news that it has been hit by a shortage of cargo planes is a cause for concern. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ashraf Ghani had agreed on the project during the Heart of Asia summit in Amritsar in December 2016, as a gamechanger to get around Pakistan’s obstructionist behaviour in delaying truck shipments from Afghanistan to the Wagah border. The fact that Mr. Ghani himself developed the plan, which allowed traders to pay what they would have to transport their goods by road with the Afghan government underwriting the rest, showed Kabul’s commitment to securing its trade links with India. Delhi too affirmed the importance it placed on the trade route: for instance, when the first cargo flight under the arrangement landed in Delhi on June 19, External Affairs Ministers Sushma Swaraj and M.J. Akba…