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SciDevNet

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.


Website: http://www.scidev.net/


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India stops further trials of HIV vaccine
December 4, 2007 12:04 PM - T. V. Padma, SciDevNet

NEW DELHI - Human trials of a US-produced HIV/AIDS vaccine were halted in India last month (November) after it was found to induce poor immune responses.

The vaccine, developed by the US-based Targeted Genetics Corporation, uses the adeno-associated virus (AAV) as a vector to deliver an AIDS vaccine against subtype C, the dominant HIV subtype in India.

 

 

India's National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) tested the vaccine on 30 volunteers.

China moves to tackle pollution effects on health
December 1, 2007 03:42 PM - Taige Li, SciDevNet

BEIJING, China launched its first national environmental health action plan to enable research in the environment and health sectors to be combined more effectively. The Ministry of Health and the State Environmental Protection Administration announced the plan at the third National Environment Health Forum in Beijing this week (21 November).

 

Cutting forests for farmland 'yields meagre financial benefits'
December 1, 2007 03:38 PM - Ella Syafputri, SciDevNet

Nairobi, Kenya - Converting Indonesian forests and peatlands for various agricultural land uses has released huge amounts of greenhouse gases with little economic benefit, according to a new report.

 

 

The report, by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Indonesian partners, was released last week (21 November).

 

 

Data on changes in land use — such as deforestation for oil palm, rubber, coffee and mixed agroforestry — and carbon emissions in the provinces of East Kalimantan, Jambi, and Lampung were collected between 1990 and 2005.

 

Tunisia opens bank of genetic resources
December 1, 2007 12:37 PM - , SciDevNet

Tunisia's president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, inaugurated a national gene bank this month (11 November) to promote the development of sustainable agriculture in the country.

Located in Tunis, the National Gene Bank aims to preserve biological diversity and protect genetic resources, boost scientific research in agricultural biotechnology and promote sustainable genetic diversity for research into plant breeding and crop improvement.

UN: Rich countries driving 'ecological debt crisis'
November 30, 2007 09:16 AM - , SciDevNet

Developed countries are failing to meet Kyoto Protocol targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and must drastically cut them for the sake of poorer countries, says a UN report.

The authors argue that rich countries are driving an "ecological debt crisis", which will affect the world's poor earliest and hardest.

Technology alone will not solve energy crisis
November 17, 2007 09:01 AM - , SciDevNet

There is a strong sense of déjà vu in the bleak picture that the International Energy Agency (IEA) –– sometimes described as "the rich world's energy watchdog" –– painted last week of likely global energy consumption over the next two decades, and its consequences for climate change.

In the early 1970s, open conflict between the Arab states and Israel set oil prices skyrocketing. Simultaneously, the Club of Rome and other organisations warned that the world risked running out of many key natural resources. Both led to widespread calls for massive investment in alternative renewable-energy sources, and for new, non-energy-intensive lifestyles.

Turning the brain drain from threat to opportunity
November 14, 2007 08:29 AM - , SciDevNet

Europe's recent bid to attract more skilled workers underlines developing countries' need for greater – not less – investment in their intellectual capital.

Listen to any developing country leader talk about the difficulties of building a knowledge-based economy, and chances are high that the brain drain will top their complaints. What is the point in investing in training cadres of scientists and engineers, they argue, if they immediately leave for better-paid jobs in the developed world?

Germany and India to enhance science alliance
October 31, 2007 01:59 PM - , SciDevNet

India and Germany have agreed to enhance scientific collaboration and networking, focusing on reducing the impact of climate change and developing clean energy technologies. Yesterday (30 Oct) the two countries committed €10 million (US$14.5 million) each over the next five years to set up a joint science and technology centre.

African Expert: Wary Farmers, Not climate Change Is Problem
October 29, 2007 02:02 PM - Henry Neondo, SciDevNet

Low crop yields in Africa is not due to climate change but rather farmers failing to exploit opportunities in wetter years, says a Kenya-based scientist. Peter Cooper, principal scientist for Eastern and Southern Africa at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Nairobi, argues that much of African society, particularly politicians and policy-makers, wrongly blames climate change for harvest irregularities.

Academies: We must address energy imbalance
October 22, 2007 02:23 PM - Jia Hepeng, SciDevNet

[BEIJING] An energy report released today (22 October) by the world's science academies has highlighted the need for sustainable energy projects to prioritise the basic energy needs of poor people.

The InterAcademy Council (IAC) — made up of 15 national science academies, including those from Brazil, China, India and the United States — stated in their report that the unequal distribution and use of energy between and within countries was a fundamental problem that the energy sector must address.

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