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  • South Asia News in brief: 16–30 November 2007

Below is a round up of news from or about South Asia for the period 1630 November.

Pakistan researchers investigate hepatitis and liver disease
Researchers in Pakistan have studied the link between different genetic variants of the hepatitis B virus and the development of complex liver disorders. The results published in Virology, show that genotype A is more strongly associated with severe liver disease. More

Indian chikungunya similar to African strain
The Indian strain of chikungunya virus that caused an outbreak in Kerala state in southern India this year is genetically similar to the East Central South African strain. It was probably introduced from Reunion Island into India, a study published in Current Science shows. More [322kB]

Oral cholera vaccine can control disease
Research in Bangladesh shows that giving an oral cholera vaccine once every two years can help control cholera in endemic countries. The study by researchers from Bangladesh, Korea and the United States was published in PLoS Medicine. More

Tissue culture biofuel
Scientists in India have developed a protocol to multiply Jatropha curcas, whose oil is a source of biodiesel, through tissue culture. The technique, reported in Current Science, could provide a basic tool for commercial cultivation of jatropha. More [115kB]

India and Russia launch joint moon mission
India and Russia have announced plans for a joint mission to the moon. The Indian Space Research Organisation will develop a lunar orbiter spacecraft and Roskosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, will develop a Lander/Rover to explore the surface. More

MIT and India to set up translational health science institute
The US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology and India's Department of Biotechnology will jointly set up a new Translational Health Science and Technology Institute in India. The institute will be modelled after the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in the United States, and include faculty from multiple disciplines and professions. More

Manure increases peanut yields
Adding farmyard manure to chemical fertilisers improves peanut production, studies by the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur show. The results, published in Bioresource Technology, indicate that it also improves the protein and oil content of the peanut kernels. More

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