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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.


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Biodiversity requires global monitoring mechanism
September 6, 2007 08:05 AM - , SciDevNet

Biodiversity has received increasing attention from scientists, governments and the public since the 'Earth Summit' at Rio de Janeiro and the establishment of the international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992. There are local conservation successes to celebrate as a result, but global threats to biodiversity are still on the rise.

Climate And Biodiversity Crisis: The Gap Between Research And Policy Should Be Filled
September 5, 2007 03:36 PM - Michel Loreau, SciDevNet

With global diversity increasingly at risk, a mechanism like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is required, argues Michel Loreau. Biodiversity has received increasing attention from scientists, governments and the public since the 'Earth Summit' at Rio de Janeiro and the establishment of the international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992. There are local conservation successes to celebrate as a result, but global threats to biodiversity are still on the rise. The CBD has failed to reverse this trend for several reasons, but here I focus on one that I believe could be relatively easily addressed.

Clinical Trials To Test Traditional Herbal Medicine To Treat HIV
September 5, 2007 03:31 PM - Carol Campbell, SciDevNet

South Africa - Clinical trials to test a traditional medicine's effectiveness in delaying the onset of AIDS in HIV-positive patients will begin in South Africa within weeks, according to researchers. Approximately 125 HIV-positive patients at Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal province will take part in trials of the herb Sutherlandia frutescens, a well-known South African traditional medicine. The purpose of the trial will be to test the safety and effectiveness of capsules of Sutherlandia in patients newly diagnosed with HIV.

Malaria Mosquito's Odour-Sensing Systems Mapped
August 31, 2007 04:57 PM - Michael Malakata, SciDevNet

Vanderbilt University - Scientists have mapped a sensory organ that the principal malaria-carrying mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, uses to hunt down humans. They hope this will help in developing better mosquito attractants that will divert them away from humans and reduce the threat of malaria infection.

New U.S. Test: CO2 Could Make Grasslands 'Unusable'
August 30, 2007 10:26 AM - Maryke Steffens, SciDevNet

Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels could change the nature of grasslands and decrease their usefulness as grazing pastures, say researchers. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week (27 August). If carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to rise, important grazing areas in parts of Africa, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Mongolia, and southern and South East Asia could be under threat, according to lead author Jack Morgan, a plant physiologist from the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.

Africa: Good nutrition alone cannot fight HIV and tuberculosis
August 29, 2007 07:55 PM - Christina Scott, SciDevNet

Improved nutrition cannot substitute medication to treat people infected with HIV or tuberculosis, says a report released today by the Academy of Science of South Africa. A panel of 15 researchers, funded by the United States National Academy of Sciences, spent 16 months examining local and international medical research on nutrition, HIV and tuberculosis. "No food, no component made from food and no food supplement has been identified in any credible study as an effective alternative to appropriate medication," said Barry Mendelow of South Africa's National Health Laboratory Services, who chaired the study.

Striking Back: Lightning In The Developing World
August 29, 2007 03:50 PM - Anuradha Alahakoon, SciDevNet

Scientists are battling to stop damage and death caused by lightning strikes in the developing world. In July this year, dark clouds and lightning stained the sky above Ushari Dara, a remote mountain village in northwestern Pakistan. After the storm had blown over, police reported that lightning had destroyed a dozen houses and killed up to 30 people.

Chinese Scientist To Lead Global Agriculture Agency
August 24, 2007 08:09 AM - , SciDevNet

The appointment of a leading Chinese scientist at the world's major agricultural research body is expected to better apply Chinese resources and expertise to the global fight against poverty. Wang Ren was this week (22 August) announced as the first Chinese scientist to be appointed director of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a major agricultural research consortium launched by the World Bank to help the poor countries.

Insiders Story: Greening China, Cutting Carbon
August 22, 2007 10:25 AM - Jane Wu, SciDevNet

Zhang Fubin, who works at the Tianjin Cement Industry Design & Research Institute in China, is constantly being interrupted by his mobile phone. Since the institute successfully developed new technology to generate energy from the waste gases emitted during cement making, he has barely had time to himself. "My colleagues and I are busy running between cement plants to update their facilities with this new technology," he says.

Africa Must Commit To Biosecurity Measures
August 22, 2007 10:12 AM - Chandre Gould, SciDevNet

Africa - The threat of biotechnology misuse has implications for the development of science and technology in Africa, argue Chandre Gould and colleagues. Recent African Union summits have identified science and technology as key future drivers for development, and increased investment is being welcomed by African leaders — particularly in areas such as biotechnology. But the growth of the biotechnology industry internationally has raised some important concerns about biological safety issues.

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