CABI warns of rapid spread of crop-devastating fall armyworm across Asia

CABI scientists have today warned of the impending rapid spread of the crop-devastating pest, fall armyworm, across Asia following its arrival in India, with major crop losses expected unless urgent action is taken. The warning comes following a pest alert published this week by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on the website of one of…
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Pilgrimage and Peace-building

 by Ian McIntosh It was Aboriginal Australia and the spiritual traditions of the first peoples that introduced me to the world of religious pilgrimage. Over many years, beginning in the early 1980s, I would join the Aborigines of northern Australia on journeys to sacred sites to learn about their timeless mysteries through song, dance, folklore…
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Air pollution, can we reduce the impact of cars on urban air quality?

Air quality in Delhi, India, is so poor due to vehicular pollution that it caused the city to run a 2-week experiment in January 2016: private cars were allowed on the streets only on alternate days, depending on license plate numbers. Delhi's PM10 particle levels are nearly twice that of Beijing, and its PM 2.5 the worst of 1600 cities in the world (including Iran and Bangladesh). Similar experiments have been tried in major cities in France, Italy, UK, China, all suffering public health problems (cancer, heart attacks, asthma, premature death) due to their love affair with the motor car.
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Dengue situation in a Southern Indian state (Andhra Pradesh) – Gaps and opportunities in Community Awareness

Dengue is the fastest growing vector-borne disease worldwide, and reported cases in the Southern Indian state Andra Pradesh have steadily risen from 313 in 2008 to 2299 in 2012. The many missed cases due to partial reporting by private hospitals and clinics in this state, increased urbanisation and lack of people participation in health issues, makes one sceptical of the true burden of this potentially deadly disease. A community physician in Hyderabad summarises knowledge and practice on community awareness of dengue in Andra Pradesh, and looks at strategies to make information & communication a priority for addressing know-do gaps.
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NICE people lend a helping hand

“Nice” is not a word often used in scientific research and when it appears in the UK media, it’s now associated with NICE, National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence. More often than not this government organisation makes headlines with bad news: the press reports quickly when a drug is not approved for general use…
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Recent developments in the world of biofuels

Opinions on the use of crops for biofuel and bioenergy continue to be polarized – are they a ‘good thing’ or not? When are they a ‘good thing’? Who benefits? How do you measure the impacts and their interactions at a local, national and international level on food security, land resources, water, greenhouse gas emissions,…
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Biofuels: a public health hazard?

Jatropha curcas, image courtesy of Biofuels Information Exchange It has come to my attention that Jatropha curcas (physic nut or purging nut) is being pushed in India as a biofuel crop (for oil) and that there is now an emerging public health problem there due to accidental poisoning of children. An Indian member of the…
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The butterfly effect: diclofenac, vultures and rabies.

The idea that the flap of a butterfly wing in China could cause a tornado in Texas comes from the concept of  ‘sensitive dependence on initial conditions’ as part of the chaos theory, and has inspired short stories, poems and films, and the term ‘Butterfly Effect’ has entered the language. Assigning cause and effect in…
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