The big test for malaria vaccine RTS,S

Beginning next year, the World Health Organisation will begin pilot tests of the injectable malaria vaccine RTS,S (or Mosquirix) on 750,000 children aged 5-17 months in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. The vaccine has been successfully put through a Phase III trial, in which the drug is tested for safety and efficacy. Any decision on wider … Continue reading The big test for malaria vaccine RTS,S

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The self-test option for HIV

With the World Health Organisation releasing guidelines on HIV self-testing, a major obstacle in improving access to diagnosis has been cleared. Though much progress has been achieved in India in making HIV testing accessible and free of cost, many infected persons remain unaware of their status. Across the world, nearly 40 per cent of people … Continue reading The self-test option for HIV

No complacency on Zika

The World Health Organisation has declared that the Zika virus no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. This brings to an end the heightened global focus on the virus that has caused about 2,300 confirmed cases of microcephaly (a birth defect manifesting in a smaller head size) since May 2015. The WHO … Continue reading No complacency on Zika

Time India got serious about fighting TB

Pushed to a corner owing to lack of political will on the part of countries with a high burden of tuberculosis, the World Health Organisation has called for the first United Nations General Assembly session on the disease. The fight against TB cannot be won as long as the high-burden countries, particularly India which has … Continue reading Time India got serious about fighting TB

Nobel Prizes – The lure of the exotic and esoteric

If “wonderful discoveries happening in biology” had acted as a trigger for Nobel Laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan to switch from physics to chemistry, the nearly matured and well-established field of chemistry failed to enthuse Yoshinori Ohsumi, and he shifted to biology. Autophagy — a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components — was known long … Continue reading Nobel Prizes – The lure of the exotic and esoteric

ISRO makes India proud again

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) crossed an important milestone with the successful launch of weather satellite INSAT-3DR using a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle equipped with the indigenous cryogenic upper stage. The successful launch marks a departure from the long history of failures with the GSLV; except for the first, every launch of the Polar Satellite … Continue reading ISRO makes India proud again

Editorial: ISRO’s scramjet on course

The Indian Space Research Organisation joined an elite club when, on Sunday (August 28, 2016), it successfully launched a rocket using a scramjet engine that was developed indigenously. This is ISRO’s first major step towards developing an air breathing propulsion system. The scramjet engine functioned for around six seconds. There are many reasons why the … Continue reading Editorial: ISRO’s scramjet on course

CSIR sends a strong message to Indian scientists

In a rare and highly commendable move that has sent out a strong message to the Indian scientific community, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has dismissed a senior scientist working at the Chandigarh-based Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) over serious charges of data fabrication in at least seven papers published in peer-reviewed journals. … Continue reading CSIR sends a strong message to Indian scientists

Using fat tax to change food consumption behaviour

Using tax as a tool to alter consumer food preferences has been recommended by the World Health Organisation. Mexico provides us with proof that levying additional taxes on non-essential food items that are rich in fat or calories can effectively alter food choices. The country witnessed a 5.1 per cent dip in consumption levels in … Continue reading Using fat tax to change food consumption behaviour

At last, Juno enters Jupiter’s orbit

In yet another remarkable achievement, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Juno spacecraft has successfully entered the orbit around Jupiter without being knocked down by the planet’s intense magnetic field and radiation. That the spacecraft, which had travelled 2.8 billion km since its launch on August 5, 2011, passed through a spot that was originally … Continue reading At last, Juno enters Jupiter’s orbit