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The Science and Development Network aims to provide reliable and authoritative information about science and technology for the developing world. Their goal is to help both individuals and organizations in developing countries make informed decisions about how science and technology can improve economic and social development.

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Scientists aid arrest of fake drug producers
February 22, 2008 09:52 AM - , SciDevNet

[BEIJING] The results of analyses of fake antimalarials which led to the arrests of counterfeit drug producers in China have been published. An international consortium of scientists, known as 'Operation Jupiter', conducted physical, chemical and biological analyses on 391 samples of the antimalarial drug artesunate from South-East Asian countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Brave new world: Gulf seeks bold science initiatives
February 21, 2008 10:24 AM - , SciDevNet

The Gulf States are investing in radical initiatives to strengthen science but results are not guaranteed, reports Waleed Al-Shobakky. Farouk El-Baz routinely shifts between two views of the Gulf countries. One day the Egyptian-American geologist will be in his Boston office poring over detailed satellite images of the Arabian Peninsula. The next he will be continuing his study from a much closer range, flying to Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates to do his geology fieldwork — and to serve as a science adviser.

Crop biofuels 'create carbon debt'
February 18, 2008 09:17 AM - , SciDevNet

Two studies have shown that changes in land use to produce crop-based biofuels can actually result in more greenhouse-gas emissions than burning fossil fuels. The studies, both published in Science last week (8 February), estimate the impact of converting forests and grasslands into cropland for the production of biofuels.

Middle East collaborates on seismic mapping
February 14, 2008 09:17 AM - , SciDevNet

Earth scientists from Israel, Jordan and Palestine have formed a research partnership to map seismic activity in the region. The collaboration began last month (January), according to lead scientist Hillel Gilles Wust-Bloch from the Minerva Dead Sea Research Center at Tel Aviv University in Israel, and the team are due to have a meeting next week (21 February).

Germany harmonises development and research
February 12, 2008 10:47 AM - , SciDevNet

[BERLIN] The German research and international development ministries have signed an agreement to coordinate their activities and streamline their approach to research for development. The state secretaries for the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) finalised the agreement last month (25 January).

New network seeks to break down science barriers
February 7, 2008 09:26 AM - , SciDevNet

[NEW YORK] Scientific organisations and researchers working in developing countries will be brought together through a network to be launched later this year. The programme, Scientists Without Borders, is an initiative of the New York Academy of Sciences. It seeks to integrate the efforts of the scientific and health community to address global health, agriculture and energy challenges in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals.

Chile innovation investment 'may hit US$200 million'
February 6, 2008 09:30 AM - , SciDevNet

The Chilean government is investing a record US$100 million in innovative projects this year. The figure is up from the US$73 million invested in 2007 thanks to an increase in a mining tax, which is expected to yield US$150 million in 2008. All tax proceeds will go into the two-year-old Fund for Innovation for Competitiveness, run by InnovaChile, the innovation department of the Ministry of the Economy.

Indian law 'strangulates' biodiversity research
February 5, 2008 10:23 AM - , SciDevNet

[NEW DELHI] A group of Indian botanists say that the country's stringent biodiversity laws are stifling research. In an article in the latest issue of Current Science (25 January), published by the Indian Academy of Sciences, the scientists say India's "draconian" rules on free exchange of biological samples could "totally isolate Indian biodiversity researchers and is akin to a self-imposed siege on scientists in the country".

African, Asian crops 'to be hit hard by climate change'
February 1, 2008 01:16 PM - , SciDevNet

[NEW DELHI] Crops in South Asia and Southern Africa are likely to be worst hit by climate change and need greater investment in agriculture development and adaptation strategies, say US scientists. The conclusions, reported today (1 February) in Science, are based on an analysis of climate risks for crops in 12 food-insecure regions.

Colombia, Costa Rica 'top ten' for environment
February 1, 2008 08:09 AM - , SciDevNet

Colombia and Costa Rica are among the top ten nations in a ranking of excellence in environmental performance. The 2008 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), conducted by US universities Yale and Columbia, was announced last week (23 January) at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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