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  • South Asia News in brief: 16–30 October


Below is a round up of news from or about South Asia for the period 16–30 October 2008.

Global connection for Pakistan scientists
Scientists in Pakistan are now linked to their colleagues across the globe through the world's largest computer network for researchers. This follows an agreement between the European Union-funded Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TIEN), the US National Science Foundation and the Pakistan Education Research Network. More>>

Scientists find 'nitrogen dioxide' hotspots over India
Using data from Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment, Indian scientists have identified hotspots for the greenhouse gas nitrogen dioxide over India. They report these hotspots are located over thermal power plants and major urban and industrial sites, and have risen steadily from 1996–2006. More>>

Scientists study makeup of biomass fuel emissions
An Indian–US team of scientists have reported the chemical, physical and optical properties of particles emitted by burning different types of biomass fuels common in South and South-East Asia. The measurements can be used to revise regional emission inventories and derive optical parameters for climate modelling. More>>

India in rush to the moon
Indian space scientists launched their maiden unmanned mission to the moon on 22 October, to study the moon's crust and atmosphere in detail. The Indian Space Research Organisation has confirmed that the spacecraft Chandrayaan has crossed the 150,000 kilometre mark from the earth to enter deep space.

Mutant fungus 'produces more cellulase'
Scientists have developed a mutant form of the fungus Trichoderma citrinoviride, which produces more cellulase enzyme — giving it potential use in the paper and textile industries. The enzyme breaks down cellulose, a substance present in plant cells and of use in the paper, cardboard, cellophane, cotton and linen industries. More>>

Bangladeshi brick kilns 'leading to health problems'
A rise in brick kilns to cater for Bangladesh's expanding construction activities is causing a series of health problems due to air pollution. The country has more than 3,000 brick kilns, with over 500 located in and around the capital Dhaka. More>>

How Chandipura virus strikes the brain
Chandipura virus, which caused a fatal form of encephalitis in children in recent outbreaks in India, stimulates the production of substances called cytokines in the brain. Studies in mice have shown that once the virus is established in the brain, immunisation is of no help. More>>

Genetic variations linked to gall bladder cancer
Scientists have identified genetic variations that make people with gallstones more susceptible to developing gall bladder cancer. Long-standing gallstones are present in 65–80 per cent of gall bladder cancer patients. More>>

Coral bleaching 'affects reef fish communities'
Coral bleaching caused by global warming has a significant impact on the structure and health of reef fish communities. The first large-scale study on 66 coral sites from seven countries, including the Maldives, shows corals do not manage to recolonise their former habitats once bleaching has taken place. More>>

Global warming 'causing Indian tiger attacks'
Global warming has led to habitat loss for tigers in one of their largest reserves in India's Sundarbans mangrove forests. Increasing numbers of tigers are beginning to attack nearby villages for food. More>>

Yeti in the Himalayas?
A group of Japanese explorers claim they have seen footprints of the yeti in the Himalayas. They have photographs of what they say are the yeti's footprints, about 20 centimetres long, but not of the animal itself. More>>

Compiled by T. V. Padma, with additional reporting by Khagendra Dahal.

If you would like to suggest a story for this news in brief, please contact the South Asia Regional Coordinator T. V. Padma ([email protected]).

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