News - Science

Recommendations on Reducing Hazardous Metals and Minerals Pollution in India

Based on paper presentation made during Indian National Science Congress Sciences (INSA)’s Society Programme and a position paper on ‘Hazardous Metals and Minerals Pollution in India: Sources Toxicity and Management.

New Delhi, Nov 18, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) While anthropogenic activities are the major source of heavy metal pollution, natural sources contribute significantly to the burden of arsenic and fluoride. Apart from industries, road runoff is also an important source.

The toxic elements enter the body mainly through water, food and air. Cosmetics, dental products, some drugs, particularly Ayurveda and Unani drugs also contribute. More research is needed to assess the extent to which these products affect human health. Public awareness should be created. There should be monitoring and control over the concentration of heavy metals in cosmetics.

The existence of metals in nano form or otherwise should be determined. Toxicity of metals bearing nano particles is a domain where systematic research needs to be carried out to establish or negate toxic factors.

Susceptibility to toxicity is influenced by age, physiological status, nutrition status and genetic factors. More research is needed to study these interactions, particularly since malnutrition is rampant in India. Where specific interactions are known: e.g. lead and calcium, fluoride and calcium, populations exposed to these toxic substances (factory workers, communities living near the factories) should receive periodic health check-up and nutritional support.

International Year of Chemistry: A History of Chemical Sciences

Antoine Lavoisier's famous phlogiston experime...

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By A.N.Khan

The author is National Award winning Scientist and Former Assistant Director, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur.

New Delhi, Sep 19, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) United Nations Organization has declared 2011, as the ‘International Year of Chemistry”.  It is  to honour the completion of 100 years of awarding the Nobel prize in chemistry to Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) who  discovered a new radio-active element called polonium. She was often ill due to her excessive exposure to radioactive rays and died at the age of 61 due to Leukemia.  The year is to remember great scientists who sacrificed their lives for the service of the mankind through science.

NCAOR: The Indian Gateway to Polar Regions

Artificially coloured topographical map of the...

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By Kalpana Palkhiwala

Deputy Director (M & C), Press Information Bureau, New DelhiNew Delhi, July 15, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) is the nodal agency coordinating and implementing the Indian Polar (Arctic, Antarctic and southern Ocean) Program. It is the only institute in the country that has the capability to archive & process ice cores from Polar Regions. India has successfully launched 30 scientific expeditions to Antarctica and 5 expeditions each to Arctic and Southern Ocean till now. In the year 2010-11, NCAOR accomplished the first ever Indian expedition to South Pole. Apart From Maitri in Antarctica, India now has a research Base – Himadri – in Arctic. The first phase of the construction of new research base in eastern Antarctica, Bharati, is complete and station is likely to be commissioned in 2012-13. The process for acquisitions of a new Ice Breaker Polar research Vessel is in advanced stage.

India Progresses on Research of Ice Core and Lakes in Antarctica

New Delhi, July 7, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) The Antarctic Continent is the coldest region on the earth. Most of  the land here is buried underneath masses of ice and snow. Indian scientists are studying the ice core to unravel history of geographical features of the continent and to learn various aspects of climate change due to environmental variations, volcanic activity, signs of life etc. Two main studies being done are Ice Core Study and Lake’s Study.

Scientist Team from India in Antarctica Ice Core and Lake Research

Father of Indian Chemistry Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray

New Delhi, April 26, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) One often wonders if there is any other manner to start this piece on Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray, more popular as P C Ray. Some years a community or country’s life span is blessed specially. So was the circa 1861 when Bengal and India gave birth to two illustrious sons, Rabindranath Tagore and Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray. Born on 2 August, 1861, P C Ray turned out to be a pioneer of chemical education, chemical research and chemical industries in India.

Caracal - The Elusive and Mysterious Cat of the Himalayas

New Delhi, Feb 23, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) Certain species are very hard to find like the snow leopard and the red panda that live in the high reaches of the Himalayan Mountains and  in the rain forests. But, this is not so with the Caracal because it resides in the easily approachable main lands of India, some are also the main tourism hubs of India such as Ranthambhore and Sariska. Yet, to sight  this mysterious cat  is not easy.

NASA Confirms Chandrayan’s Discovery of Water on Moon

Moon Impact Probe

Image by Harsha 24/7 via Flickr

New Delhi, Feb 17, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) The discovery of water on moon was till recently attributed to NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, M3 on board India’s Chandrayan space craft. It was claimed that the  instrument detected water on moon’s polar region on 14 November 2008 while the space craft was rotating the earth’s natural satellite in a 100 kilo meter circular orbit. In an important development that wrong was set right on February 12, 2011 when the American Astronomical Society announced that the NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST) had confirmed the discovery of water on moon by the Indian built Moon Impact Probe (MIP) on board Chandrayan. The MIP, a 34 kg box shaped object carried the Chandra Altitudinal Composition Explorer, CHANCE which had three devices,  a video imaging instrument, a radar altimeter and a mass spectrometer. While the video imaging instrument was for taking pictures of the moon’s surface as MIP approached it, the radar altimeter was for measuring the rate of descent of the probe to the lunar surface. The mass spectrometer was for studying the extremely thin lunar atmosphere. It took the MIP 25 minutes after it was detached from the orbiting space craft to reach the moon’s surface. During that time before hard landing on moon’s surface, the MIP radioed all the information to Chandrayan which it instantly recorded in its onboard memory for reading out later. With the MIP’s sending of information to Chandrayan, India’s very first attempt to send a lunar probe was successfully concluded.

Green Productivity for Sustainable Energy and Environment In India: Need of the Hour

New Delhi, Feb 15, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India)  The process of Industrial growth plays a vital role in economic development, but any Industrial growth seems to go hand-in-hand with environmental deterioration. Several decades of applying the conventional methods to reduce environmental damage has proved to be just treating the symptoms, the world is suffering from disease of environmental damage and a fear of getting it chronic is a possibility. It is high time to combine technological solutions to overcome urgent pollution problems with ways to prevent wastes from being generated or to reuse their valuable material. We, in India, are mindful of this growing problem and have started interventions in form of awareness and practical solutions to reduce the impact of environmental degradation. To reinforce this belief, National Productivity Council, under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, is celebrating Productivity Week from 12th to 18th February, 2011 with a theme ‘Green Productivity for Sustainable Energy and Environment’. The Productivity Week will revolve around the core concept of ‘Green Productivity (GP)’.

Protestant appointed After 400 Years as President of Vatican Science Academy

Nevada, Jan 16, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) A Protestant has been appointed as President of Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which is reportedly a first time for this Academy launched in 1603.

Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif top Times 50 Most Desirable Men and Women poll

Mumbai, Jan 11, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PRLog) THE LIST of the Times 50 Most Desirable Men and Women of 2010 is out. After weeks of voting online, with more than 3.1 lakh votes, the order has been decided.

And the winners (in correct order of ranking) are: the hotly desirable Hrithik Roshan – with his Greek God looks – who sits at the top spot for men; and Katrina Kaif's sway to Sheila that catapulted her to No 1 on the women''s list, for a second consecutive year, which has never happened in the past.

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