TO SPOIL EYESISHT
Don’t gorge on those burgers and footlongs.
You might get shortsighted . A report in the journal
New Scientists suggests that growing consumption of
highly refined starches such as bread and cereals
may explain rising shortsightedness in Europe. This
was borne out by studies on the Inuit and on the Pacific
populations, where one group on western diet has high
rate of myopia ,while the other which relies on protein
rich fish diet , does not.
Scientists at the University of Sydney argue
that refined starches are digested more rapidly promoting
pancreas to make high level of insulin to break down
the resulting sugars. But high levels of insulin are
also known for a drop in the levels of protein crucial
in the growth process and to which the eye is particularly
THE UNIQUE BRITISH GLASSES
Glasses developed by British defense scientists
to reduce fighter pilots’ workload by enabling
their eyes to direct weapons could aid in diagnosing
dyslexia, reports the Nature the British government
has just given a grant to make child-size prototype
Dyslexia , the inability of some kids to read or
write properly, affects 5-10% of the world population.
It often goes undiagnosed and as result children suffering
the humiliation of being perceived as stupid. Scientists
think that eye movement often clues as to why dyslexics
struggle to read and write.
Until now, dyslexia researchers lacked a means of
measuring eye movements accurately. The technology
could potentially be used in primary schools for diagnosis
, for catching the disorder early is important for
child’s education and self-esteem.
| Workshop: Will today's innovations
in graduate education meet the challenges of the future?
Advanced education faces significant challenges
from the impact of changing population demographics,
the information technology revolution, the globalization
of science, and evolving workforce needs, but lacks
key data needed to evaluate educational innovations,
according to participants of the National Science
Foundationhosted "Future of Graduate Education
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KANPUR STUDENTS ON A GREEN
School children in Kanpur [Uttar Pradesh,
India] are ushering in a silent revolution. And
to lend a voice to their efforts the state urban
development industry has asked the Kanpur Development
Authority (KDA) to prepare a film on them.
A group of 35000 students from 27 schools
in the city are busy creating awareness about the
menace of pollution and the importance of planting
trees. The film will later be shown in other districts
of the state to educate the masses about environment
The students under initiative of the
KDA have been planting sapling and cleaning ghats
for the last 6 months. So far they have planted over
10,000 saplings in the different parts of the city.
They have also been educating the masses about the
hazards of using ploy bags.
The members hold weekly meetings in
their respective schools to discuss environmental
issues and devise methods to change the attitude of
the people. The state government is keen to launch
this campaign in other districts also.
COVERS SHELTER THIS GUJARAT VILLAGE
The jungle is becoming so thick in Dhanturi village
and its neighborhood that the forest department would
like to cut some of the healthy growth of the rest.
A process called “thining”. But the 5,000
odd villagers of Dhanturi , Palwadi and Mangalia would
have none of this despite being offered 50% of the
proceeds from the sale which would run into lakhs
This was not the case till 1985 when this
cluster of tribal villages, inhabitedmainly by the
Gamit community was completely denuded of all vegetation.
This is also the home ground of former Chief Minister
Amarsihn Choudhary. Who still faces an enquiry for
facing large scale destruction of forests. In those
days the forests officials would not even enter the
forests for fear that the villagers attacking them.
All that has changed now with the participation
of the people in what is known as Joint Forest Management
(JFM). But Dhanturi green revolution started much
before the Centre gave legal sanction.
LARGEST WIND FARM HERALDS WINDS OF CHANGE
The windmills burst into view when you take the
final turn on your way to the top of the hills of
Vanakusawade. They remind you of Wordsworth’s
daffodils – you see a thousand of them at a
glance. Welcome to Asia’s largest wind farm
in Satara district of Maharastra championed by the
Maharastra Energy Development Agency (MEDA).
The wind farm which runs 25 kms along the Sahyadri
hills, straddling on the Konya reservoir ,is expected
to generate 300MW of electricity. About 250 companies
separately own the 1000 windmills at the farm. They
are run on contract by the manufacturers. The companies
sell their electricity either to Maharastra State
Electric Board (MSEB). Or to the third parties. They
sometimes even use it themselves.
weather forecasting tool outperforms competing models
The dramatic rescue of a physician from a remote
science station at the South Pole two years ago provided
researchers here with an opportunity to test how well
current weather forecast models actually perform.
The results of this study ranked four current models.
They suggest that the refinement of one of them might
even support longer Antarctic field seasons and make
potential rescues from that distant part of the world
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Unusual But True
He hasn’t eaten a bite of solid for the last 8 years.
No, he is not suffering from anorexia. Hira Ratan Manek whose
theories have been recognized by NASA says that his success
lies in pineal gland.
Perhaps soon enough ,science
fiction films may not sound like so much fantasy. One may
actually fly or be simultaneously at several places. Already,
65 years old Hari Ratan Manek claims that he has been zealously
pursuing such navigational and psychic powers by simply
activating his brain with solar energy. How? He uses the
simple techniques of gazing at the sun and walking barefoot
on bare earth. The remarkable thing is that , according
to Manek, for the last eight years he has subsisted on nothing
but solar energy and water. When paying social calls, he
allows himself to accept tea, coffee and buttermilk. But
no solid food. He claims that solar energy is powerful enough
to ensure a distressed mind and a disease free body.
He has since offered to have himself examined several
times before national and international community of doctors
just to prove his point. The result? Today NASA has initiated
a project on him called the HRM Project on survival on solar
energy. He also involves himself with plans for making seawater
potable using sunlight and running automobiles using photovoltaic