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  • South Asia news in brief: 15–31 August 2007

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Below is a round up of news from or about South Asia for the period 15–31 August.

Second US tsunami warning station in Indian Ocean
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will install a second tsunami warning station in the Indian Ocean next month. This follows the setting up of the deep-ocean assessment and reporting of tsunamis station in the Indian Ocean, halfway between Sri Lanka and Thailand, by NOAA and the Thai government in December 2006. More>>

India turns to China for help on glaciers
Faced with the spectre of receding Himalayan glaciers wreaking havoc with regional ecology, India has turned to China to find a joint solution to the problem of climate change. More>>

Study says Indians and Chinese heading home
Researchers at Duke University in the United States have released an analysis of "reverse brain drain" that shows that while foreign nationals — mostly Chinese and Indians — contributed to 25.6 per cent of all US international patent applications in 2006, thousands are heading home due to difficulty in becoming permanent US residents. More>>

Male Asian elephants get photo ID
Asian male elephants — valued for their ivory tusks — are being tracked by a new photographic tool. The tool identifies them by the shape and size of their tusks and ears. The method, reported in the journal Animal Conservation, will also help monitor their survival rates. More>>

Artificial insemination of Indian black buck
A female blackbuck antelope (Antilope cervicapra) has delivered a baby following artificial insemination with frozen semen from a male buck, say scientists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, India. The procedure — so far used only in domesticated animals — could help conserve this declining species found mainly in India, and parts of Nepal and Pakistan. More>>  [24MB]

Villages making biopesticide from cotton bollworm
Villages in India and Nepal are successfully producing a biopesticide from the bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) that causes devastating cotton crop losses. The villages are using technology developed at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in Hyderabad, India and disseminated under a project funded by the World Bank. More>>

India offers medical research training
The Indian Council of Medical Research is to offer five fellowships a year to scientists from other developing countries for them to work in its laboratories. The council has expertise in epidemiology, surveillance and diagnosis of tropical and communicable diseases. More>>

High-risk behaviour could lead to HIV epidemic in Afghanistan
Increasing drug use and associated high-risk behaviour could fuel an HIV epidemic in Afghanistan, warn scientists from University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in the United States. The study, published in the September issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, is reported to be the first of its kind in Afghanistan. More>>

Insect control with East Indian satinwood
Natural oils present in a medicinal and aromatic plant that grows widely in southern India can help fight crop pests, including the bollworm. Oils present in Chloroxylon swietenia — known as East Indian satinwood — can reduce insect growth and feeding. The results, reported in Current Science, indicate that the oils could be an environmentally safe method to control insects. More>>  [1.25MB]

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