Archive for May 2011
24 May 2011
JORHAT: The North East Institute of Science and Technology, in collaboration with the Assam Science, Technology and Environment Council, has pulled out all stops to make the four-day state-level science exhibition-cum-technology demonstration for entrepreneurs, which began at Jorhat Court Field today, a meaningful exercise.
In the inaugural session, the emphasis was not just on entrepreneurship development but also building an overall scientific environment, sadly lacking in the state.
S.K. Choudhury, council director, Guwahati, said, “I do not want to sound negative but young teachers with energy should be channelised for the training that they have received in order to attract the younger generation to science.”…..
23 May 2011
AHMEDABAD: Researchers at the Central Salt Marine and Chemical Research Institute have standardised a new, cheaper and eco-friendly process to deal with toxic marine algae which can be fatal to fish as well as humans who eat seafood.
The process uses ‘amino acid derived ionic liquid surfactants’ (AADILSes). They are eco-friendly compounds, having an edge over the conventional liquid organic solvents like benzene, toulene and chloromethane.
AADILSes also find use in drug delivery processes, making of bio-molecular devices and nano-material synthesis.
“We have standardised a process to convert natural amino acids into ionic liquid surfactants which are very versatile in nature and highly bio-degradable,” said Dr Arvind Kumar, a scientist at the Bhavnagar-based institute…..
23 May 2011
BANGALORE: In an effort to commercialize innovations in the country, the Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) project of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is now looking to provide affordable healthcare to the developing world. The Union government has already committed funding assistance to the tune of Rs.150 crore towards this project. An equivalent amount of funding would be raised from international agencies and philanthropists. Around Rs.46 crore has been already released by the Government of India, stated Prof Samir K Brahmachari, director general, CSIR and secretary, Department of Scientific & Industrial Research during his recent visit to Bangalore.
CSIR has devised two models: OSDD and Fourth Paradigm of Science for speedy drug development which are cost-effective and efficacious. “Under these projects, the Council is providing a global platform where the best minds can collaborate and collectively make efforts to solve the complex problems associated with discovering novel therapies for neglected tropical diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, leshmaniasis, among others,” he stated.
OSDD is a CSIR team India consortium with global partnership and Fourth Paradigm of Science is based on intensive data analysis. Both OSD and Fourth Paradigm of Science concepts allow to collaboratively combine the biological and genetic information available to scientists and help them to hasten the discovery of drugs. This will provide a unique opportunity for scientists, doctors, technocrats, students and others with diverse expertise to work for a common cause,” stated Prof Brahmachari…..
24 May 2011
CHANDIGARH: Experts of Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee, have stepped into help preserve the buildings in Capitol Complex, besides working out a plan to make these earthquake resistant.
Finance secretary V K Singh said a team from the institute had conducted a survey of the structures last week and a report on effective steps for their preservation will be taken shortly.
”Apart from a long-term strategy to deal with oxidation and rusting of the building material, the recommendations would also focus on whether elements of retro fitting can be added to the structures to make them withstand earthquake tremors,” he said…..
18 May 2011
JORHAT: If Pranjal Baruah has his way, there will soon be a mushroom revolution in the region.
In a bid to organise farmers and boost the region’s socio-economy, the Mushroom Development Foundation, Guwahati, of which Baruah is the founder-secretary, has developed 12 mushroom villages in four states of the Northeast, including Assam and 20 more clusters are in the pipeline this year.
Baruah said mushroom was being used as a tool to organise a cluster of villages so the region could benefit from a cheap nutritious food as well as from its export.
The entrepreneur said in developed countries, seven of 10 persons consumed mushrooms on a daily basis and it was expensive. But mushroom was not looked upon as a healthy and nutritious food item here and mushroom cultivation is not promoted on a large scale so that it could be consumed and exported.
“In 1978, China used to produce only 60,000 tonnes of mushroom and now it produces more than 1 million tonnes, 95 per cent of which is consumed. China stresses mushroom as a main food item to supplement nutritional needs which is not done in the northeastern states. Mushroom is considered an item served only in restaurants.”
Baruah, who is a pioneer in commercial mushroom cultivation in the state and exports mushrooms under the brand, Mushfill, said he started business after accessing the technology from the North East Institute of Science and Technology in Jorhat in 1994…..
17 May 2011
CHANDIGARH: If the draft of the Animal Welfare Bill 2011 gets a nod, scientists can be behind bars for up to five years in case the experimental animal is killed or injured without justifying the killing. Giving is feedback on the draft, the scientific institutes of the city PGI, National institute of Pharamceutical Education and Research (NIPER) and Institute of Microbial technology (IMTECH) have recently submitted the suggestions to the Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi (ICMR).
Retaliating against the animal activists for the draft, director of the IMTECH, Dr Girish Sahni, said: “If the animal activists think that we are cruel to animals while experimenting, slaughterhouses should likewise be penalized or shut down. We are not killing animals per se. Though there is an area of compassion for the animals, we cannot do away with these trials for drug development and innovation.”….
16 May 2011
All the tourist buses in Gir sanctuary now run on bio-disel produced by CSMCRI. After Bhavnagar’s Central Salt and Marine Chemicals and Research Institute’s (CSMCRI) jatropha based bio-diesel was granted patent in the US end of last year, it has started supplying the fuel to tourist buses in Gir sanctuary.
Around six to seven buses in the lions’ sanctuary now run on 100 per cent bio-diesel without any engine modification. The tourism department is consuming close to 3,000 litres per month at an average price of Rs 45 per litre.
As CSMCRI starts work on monetising some of the 50 odd patents that it has been granted in the last eight years, some interesting tie-up opportunities are thrown up. The institute which is a part of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) is planning to earn anything between Rs 5-10 crore per year from royalty and licensing of its patents……..