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  • South Asia News in brief: 1–15 April 2008

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Below is a round up of news from or about South Asia for the period 1–15 April.

Bangladeshi stove saves fuel
A new stove introduced in Bangladesh halves the biomass fuel needed for cooking in rural areas. The stove, made by Bangladesh's Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, with funding from Germany's Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, will also reduce harmful air pollution. More>>

Leishmaniasis antigen 'potential vaccine candidate'
Scientists have isolated an antigen from the surface of the parasite that causes leishmaniasis, a common infection spread by sandflies in many developing countries. The antigen, from patients infested with Leishmania donovani, could be a potential candidate vaccine. More>>

Pakistan and US link up for research
Pakistan's Higher Education Council and the US National Science Foundation will set up a research and education network to support bilateral research. The network will link scientists, research facilities, supercomputers and databases in the two countries. More>>

Radars accurately map Indian Himalayas
Depth of snow cover and the location of buried objects in the Himalayas can be effectively detected using helicopter-mounted ground penetrating radars (GPRs). Studies carried out in the Indian Himalayas, reported in Current Science, show that GPR results match ground data. More>> [471kB]

FAO awards Indian prime minister
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) director-general Jacques Diouf has conferred the organisation's highest award, the Agricola Medal, on Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh. The award recognises his contribution to agricultural development and the reduction of hunger and poverty. More>>

Dhaka's lead pollution 'highest in the world'
About 50 tonnes of lead are released into Dhaka's air every year, a study by the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission shows. In the dry season between November and January, Dhaka's lead concentration — at 463 nanograms per cubic metre — is the highest in the world. More>>

Millions of Bangladeshis 'could be climate refugees'
Millions of poor living along the Bangladesh coast may be forced to move due to rising sea levels and floods triggered by climate change, warn experts. The country is already facing the consequences of sea level rise, in the form of increased salinity and unusually high tides. More>>

Novel bacterium found in pesticide-contaminated site
Scientists have isolated a novel bacterium from a pesticide-contaminated site, which can oxidize indole, a carbon-containing substance present in human faeces and coal tar. Detailed genetic analysis shows it is a new Pseudomonas species, and the scientists suggest it should be named Pseudomonas indoloxydans. More>>

Jupiter's clouds 'charged depending on pressure'
An Indo–US team of scientists has described how particles in the atmosphere of planet Jupiter are charged positively or negatively depending on the pressure. Such studies could be useful in planning exploratory missions. More>>

Compiled by T. V. Padma

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