Archive for June 2011
29 June 2011
MUMBAI: Tar balls have rolled onto a stretch of Juhu beach, worrying environmental and civic authorities. At first sight, it looks like the grounded MV Wisdom is the culprit. But this possibility is ruled out as the ship’s fuel was drained out before it started being tugged away for the Alang ship-breaking yard.
Experts say the formation of tar balls on the city’s most visited beach is an annual phenomenon. It is caused due to the discharge of oil or petroleum products in the sea by ships. During the rainy season, monsoon winds make the oil ride on waves and reach the coast. “Oil leakage or deliberate discharge of used fuel by ships happens regularly at sea, but goes unnoticed. The pollution becomes evident during the monsoon, when winds washing away the (viscous liquids) leads to the formation of tar balls along the country’s west coast,” said Dr Shankar Gajbhiye, scientist in-charge, National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Mumbai…..
27 June 2011
MUMBAI:The National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has not found any marker pollutants such as arsenic, zinc and fluoride in concentrations exceeding the IS (Indian Standard) Drinking Water Standards (2005) in and around Sterlite Industries’ Thoothukudi plant in Tamil Nadu.
NEERI has submitted a detailed report to the Supreme Court on whose direction the study was conducted. The Court is hearing a petition filed by Sterlite against a September Madras High Court order asking the company to shut down its copper smelting plant for not complying with the environmental norms. The apex court’s interim order has allowed the company to operate. The next hearing is scheduled for July 18.
A 15-member NEERI team inspected air quality, stack emissions, effluent treatment plants, water quality, soil and solid hazardous waste, besides assessing the green belt……..
26 June 2011
HYDERABAD: Scientists at the city-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology have found genome regulatory elements that can help in successful introduction of genes from external sources into an organism. Gene therapy, which is already emerging as a major frontier of medical science has its drawbacks too. But the findings of the CCMB team headed by Dr Rakesh K. Mishra may help in overcoming these drawbacks to make gene therapy reliable in treating genetic diseases……
26 June 2011
PANAJI: A combination of several factors, including seaward and land-based pollution and shrinkage of the beach, may have led to a decline in the number of turtles nesting on Goa’s beaches, say marine zoologists.
The state’s beaches lack geological properties for hosting mother turtles, but still a limited number of them arrive for nesting, Zakir Ansari, scientist-emeritus at NIO, said. The beach sub stratum is a major factor as they choose a spot with the least environmental hindrances. “They prefer a particular grain size of sand, neither coarse nor very fine, for easy digging of their nests,” Ansari said, adding that this is the reason why they prefer specific locations on beach stretches……
22 June 2011
HYDERABAD: With a focus on water, the Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) is proposing to carry out a multi-agency comprehensive research study on water-related issues in Krishna-Godavari River Basin, encompassing five states. The project which is in proposal stage aims to undertake research in Krishna-Godavari River Basin which will cover about six lakh square kilometer in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, parts of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, inhabitated by about 135 million population, who depend on these rivers, NGRI Chief Scientist Shakeel Ahmed told PTI. This is NGRI’s major effort and is proposed to be taken up with multi-agencies involved in water sector to work together on research that will not only optimise costs, but also avoid duplication of research work, he said…..
24 June 2011
LUCKNOW: Enjoying a stick of candy floss in attractive shades of red and pink bought at a neighbourhood store or school canteen.
Sucking at an orange bar in the summers. Enjoying jam spread on a slice of bread. All are activities bound to be a joy for kids, and even adults. But, chances are these food items are toxic and harmful for your health. A scientific study has found toxic colours being used in confectionery samples taken from across the country. What’s more, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal had maximum number of samples with banned colours. The Indian Institute of Toxicology Research collected the samples of bakery products, candy floss, sugar toys, ice-candies, ice-creams, beverages, jams, jellies and other confectionary items, which children and teens (in the age group of 4-18 years) consume. The samples were a mix of branded and loose stuff……
23 June 2011
Sourav Pal, director of NCL, said at a press conference on Wednesday, “The students will get a chance to visit our laboratories (NCL and IISER), interact with our scientists and faculty, and also perform experiments in our laboratories.”…..