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Below is a round up of news from or about South Asia for the period 9–22 July 2009

Power from Bangladesh's first wind battery project
Bangladesh's first wind battery hybrid power project — built on Kutubdia, an island in the Bay of Bengal, a year ago — is functioning well and generating power for the country's grid. Surviving two devastating cyclones in 2008, it is Bangladesh's only renewable energy project to supply 'green power' at 11 kilovolts successfully and regularly. More>>

India working on spacecraft malfunction
Chandrayaan-1's 'star sensor' — a crucial piece of onboard machinery that helps India's lunar spacecraft orient itself correctly — is not functioning. To overcome this problem, the Indian Space Research Organisation has devised a technique that uses gyroscopes to determine orientation and they say this has enabled mission operations to continue satisfactorily. A detailed review of the spacecraft's scientific objectives and future operations is scheduled for October. More>>

Novel microbes rid water of toxic algae
Scientists from Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom have identified three microbes that can break down toxins produced in water by harmful algae. These toxic algal blooms are a barrier to providing safe drinking water in many parts of the world, and the scientists will now work on using the microbes to degrade these blooms in drinking water sources. More>>

Earthworms churn compost from sugarcane wastes
Indian researchers have found that earthworms can help churn compost from 'filter mud', a waste generated by sugarcane mills. The team, from the Malviya National Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Technology, report that one or more of three different earthworm species can help generate high-quality compost free of pathogens. More>>

Nanoparticles for enzyme purification
Scientists have zeroed in on a bacterium, Brevibacterium casei, which produces a natural polymer that can be turned into nanoparticles for use in enzyme purification. They tested nanoparticles of this natural polymer to extract and purify nattokinase, an enzyme extracted from the traditional Japanese soy food 'natto' that promotes healthy blood flow. More>>

Birth control strategies failing in Bangladesh
Birth control strategies in Bangladesh have failed to curb the population growth rate, a study by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics shows. At the current growth rate of 1.39 per cent, the country's population is expected to double in the next 50 years. More>>

Ganges River dolphin endangered
The Ganges River dolphin is in danger of being wiped out, warns an India–UK study. Accidental killing while fishing and the poaching of dolphins for meat and oil are two of the major factors threatening the species, it says. More>>

Indus Valley civilisation maths in Taj Mahal
Traditional measurement units dating back to the Indus Valley civilisation helped in modular planning of the Taj Mahal, an Indian researcher has found. R. Balasubramaniam, of the department of materials and metallurgical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, has also developed novel approach for understanding the metrology of historical architectural structures in the Indian sub-continent. More>> [726KB]

Compiled by T. V. Padma. Additional reporting by Papri Sri Raman.

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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