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  • South Asia News in brief: 16–30 January 2008

Below is a round up of news from or about South Asia for the period 16–30 January.

Bangladesh's 'Champion of the Earth'
Atiq Rahman, executive director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, is among the 2008 winners of the Champion of the Earth award. The prize, to be presented in April, recognises outstanding contributions from individuals taking a lead in environmental issues in their regions. More>>

Analysis uncovers 'black' carbon emissions over Indian region
A new method that uses a geographic information system (GIS) offers information on black carbon emissions over the Indian region. The analysis, published in Geophysical Research Letters, reveals that coal contributed more than half of the emissions between 1991 and 2001, and all metropolitan cities showed high levels of emissions. More>>

India to share satellite data with South Asian neighbours
India will share its satellite data with countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for free. India's operational remote sensing satellites cover the entire SAARC region. The data should contribute to enhanced risk assessment and risk monitoring for situations like earthquakes. More>>

Bangladesh joins astronomers club
Bangladesh has become the hundredth country to join the International Year of Astronomy initiative that aims to promote astronomy and astronomy networks in developing countries. Over 140 members are expected to take part in the scheme, the largest-ever effort to popularise astronomy. More>>

Aerosol concentration 'varies with wind speed'
Aerosol concentration changes with wind speed, find scientists from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. While the concentration of aerosols rises with wind speeds from 4–11 metres per second, it decreases at speeds from 16–22 metres per second, they report in the Journal of Geophysical Research. More>>

Morphine 'helps TB treatment'
A shot of morphine helps get rid of tuberculosis, at least in mice, find Indian scientists from the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research. Morphine boosted the immune responses in infected mice and could have implications in treatment strategies, they report in Life Sciences. More>>

Indian scientists further throat cancer research
Indian scientists report insights into how key protein markers and antioxidant enzymes interact in cancer of the food pipe. The findings, reported in the International Journal of Oncology, Biology, Physics, will help in better clinical management of the cancer. More>>

Placenta extract protects mice from leishmaniasis
An aqueous extract of human placenta protected mice and hamster cells against leishmaniasis infection. Pilot studies in five infected patients also gave promising results, Indian scientists report in the Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology. More>>

Indian rocket launches Israeli satellite
An Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle has launched a 300-kilogram Israeli remote sensing satellite, TECSAR, from the Indian launchpad of Sriharikkota. It is the Indian Space Research Organisation's second commercial launch. More>>

High-tech collar to track Pakistan's snow leopard
The Snow Leopard Trust is using a high-tech collar to track and study the movements of a Pakistani snow leopard via a global positioning system. The information will help in conservation of the big cats. More>>