Coronavirus: What explains WHO’s hesitancy to regularly update its website?

It is surprising that the WHO does not considering sharing on its website, which was finally updated on January 21 after four days, the information it tweets considering that the website will be the first place that any person would check for latest information. At a time when the novel coronavirus outbreak is becoming alarming … Continue reading Coronavirus: What explains WHO’s hesitancy to regularly update its website?

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Editorial: The wages of scientific fraud

With the Supreme Court of South Korea upholding its 2010 ruling, Hwang Woo Suk, the notorious stem cell researcher from the Seoul National University in South Korea, will serve a suspended jail term of one-and-a-half years for embezzlement and violation of the country’s bioethics law that came into effect in January 2005. This brings to … Continue reading Editorial: The wages of scientific fraud

The “landmark” stem cell paper may be retracted

  The landmark studies on “stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency” (STAP) published in Nature on January 30 this year, which first came under intense scrutiny and severe criticism very soon after their publication, have progressed to their next logical step. Prof. Teruhiko Wakayama from the University of Yamanashi and one of the authors of the studies … Continue reading The “landmark” stem cell paper may be retracted

Duplication of images in stem cell papers spotted

After Hwang Woo Suk of Seoul National University plunged into ignominy for duplicating images and for other unethical practices in the June 2005 paper on stem cell study in the Science journal, image duplication has been quite regularly spotted in many other studies, particularly in stem cell research. After a few years of hiatus, instances … Continue reading Duplication of images in stem cell papers spotted

Now, reversing adult cells to stem cells becomes easy

If in 2006 Shinya Yamanaka showed to the world that reversing adult cells (differentiated cells) to behave like stem cells — induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) — is indeed possible by introducing four transcription factors, two studies published today (January 30) in Nature have gone a step further. Haruko Obokata from the Harvard Medical … Continue reading Now, reversing adult cells to stem cells becomes easy

Editorial: After sayonara, second thoughts

Published in The Hindu on September 25, 2012 Now that the dust has settled, the Japanese government’s failure formally to approve a cabinet panel proposal to phase out nuclear energy by 2040 is being seized upon by nuclear industry advocates intent on pressing for the deadline’s eventual abandonment. The government’s Energy and Environment Council — … Continue reading Editorial: After sayonara, second thoughts

Editorial: Sayonara nuclear power

Published in The Hindu on September 22, 2012 The much needed big push towards low-cost, highly-efficient, cutting-edge renewable energy technologies was lacking till recently. Even the compulsion to cut down carbon dioxide emission levels by 2020 failed to overcome the inertia. But the landscape has squarely and dramatically changed following the 9 magnitude earthquake and … Continue reading Editorial: Sayonara nuclear power

Editorial: Price of collusion

Published in The Hindu on July 19, 2012 The recently released report of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission provides official confirmation of what has been common knowledge since the March 11, 2011 disaster: that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) cared little for safety right from the point of choosing sites for its … Continue reading Editorial: Price of collusion

Editorial: Let truth prevail

Published in The Hindu on February 29, 2012 Japan's Nuclear Safety chairman Haruki Madarame's recent admission at a parliamentary investigation that the “safety requirements” of the 40-year-old Fukushima Dai-ichi plant for “tsunami and power losses were too loose” goes against the grain of expecting the unexpected when dealing with nuclear power reactor safety. If overdependence … Continue reading Editorial: Let truth prevail

Editorial: Lessons from Japan quake

Published in The Hindi on June 25, 2011 The 9 magnitude Tohoku-Oki earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, and triggered the deadly tsunami, was more powerful than expected. The magnitude of quakes in this region has been around 7-8 in recent centuries. Papers published recently in Nature and Science journals reveal why the … Continue reading Editorial: Lessons from Japan quake