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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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UN: Climate danger for Middle East, North Africa
March 10, 2008 09:26 AM - , SciDevNet

Climate change is likely to cause agricultural losses in the Middle East and North Africa, threatening the food security of many countries, the UN has warned. A report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), released at a conference in Cairo, Egypt, last week (1—5 March), reviewed studies and models of predicted climate-change impacts over the period 1980—99 and for 2080—99 — including reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Indian government boosts science spending
March 7, 2008 12:42 AM - , SciDevNet

[NEW DELHI] India's new science budget, announced last week (29 February) includes a 16 per cent increase in science spending. The 2008—09 budget also includes a new fund to attract students to science careers, the establishment of three new Indian Institutes of Technology and a rise in funds for manned space missions. The total science budget is just over US$6 billion (around 242 billion Indian Rupees), compared with last year's budget of around US$5 billion.

Convert Guantanamo to Disease Research Centre
March 6, 2008 11:54 PM - , SciDevNet

Guantanamo Bay detention camp should be converted into a biomedical research institute dedicated to combating the diseases of poverty in the Western hemisphere, says Peter J. Hotez. In an editorial in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, he says the move would tap into the tradition of vaccine diplomacy that began 50 years ago — when Moscow and Washington put aside ideological differences to collaborate on the development of a live polio vaccine at the height of the Cold War.

Earth sciences need a higher profile
March 6, 2008 05:39 PM - , SciDevNet

Let's encourage the mood of political cooperation on the big issues during the International Year of Planet Earth, says Nasser Ennih. The International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) — launched earlier this month in Paris — is an opportunity to use the knowledge, experience and publications of the world's estimated 500,000 earth scientists to better inform decision-makers and politicians about how to achieve sustainable development.

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.

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