Bytes

Tuesday 15 February 2005

banana respite: Indian researchers have found an environmentally friendly way of fighting Panama disease -- one of the main diseases that strike banana, a major cash crop. The disease is caused by a fungus, Fusarium oxysporum cubense.

Scientists from Gujarat's Sardar Patel University found banana seedlings 'vaccinated' with substances taken from the fungus, made the plants resistant to the disease.

alcoholic bacteria: Before giving an injection, doctors rub the skin with alcohol that is believed to instantly kill any bacteria present on the skin. But Pious Thomas of the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research in Bangalore has now found a bacteria -- Bacillus pumilus -- that can survive for weeks in alcohol.

The finding is significant because B pumilus belongs to the same genus as the dreaded Bacillus anthracis, which causes anthrax.

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