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Research

Natural elements keep homes comfortable

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1993

Birth of a galaxy

Issue Date: Apr 15, 1993
THANKS to the Bubble Space Telescope, scientists can now actually see ancient galaxies being forI The instrument, unlike earthbound telescopes, can be aimed at galaxies 4 billion light years away. Because le the light that is picked up was emitted 4 billion years ago, it provides a view of the galaxy as it was then. Astronomers at USA's Carnegie Institution recently saw a galaxy cluster that was formed about 5 billion years ago, a third of the way back to the Big Bang, one of the theories used by scientists to explain the tic birth of the universe. According to

Energy funding shifts to hi-tech projects

FINANCE minister Manmohan Singh contends non-conventional energy sources (NCES) have been given a boost through customs duty reductions of upto 20 per cent on a variety of items and continuation of the tax holiday for renewable energy projects. Funding for solar and wind energy programmes have been raised from 22.9 per cent in 1992-93 to 35.34 per cent of total budget allocation for NCES this year. Biogas, improved chulhas and biomass plantations have all had their funding drop sharply.

Barbarism to animals has a hoary pedigree

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1993
FORMER environment minister Maneka Gandhi's exhortations against cruelty to animals were often extreme -- depriving itinerant animal trainers of their pets or campaigning against the killing of stray dogs even though this could expose children to rabies.

Fresh light illumines search for dark matter

Author(s): P S Sandhu
Issue Date: Mar 31, 1993
ASTRONOMERS are excited about the recent observations made by the satellite ROSATwhich provide the strongest evidence yet that as much as 90 per cent of the matter in the universe is invisiblewhose presence is indicated by its gravitational pull on matter in space.

Technology policy draft is irritant to many

Author(s): Manoj Gairola
Issue Date: Mar 31, 1993
INEFFECTIVE funding and easily accessed foreign technology are twin reasons for Indian industry's halfhearted funding for research and development. In 1990-91, industry's share of the R&D expenditure of Rs 4,186 crore was only Rs 970 crore, or about 23 per cent. In comparison, industry's R&D funding in technologically progressive countries was about 80 per cent.

Persistence helps masquerading ant raiders

Issue Date: Mar 15, 1993
SOCIAL insects such as ants, bees, wasps and termites fascinate us. Few, however, believe we have direct lessons to learn from social insects. Much like our fascination for a tribal society, it's more a question of wanitng to know how they do things.

Front isn't best in a bus

Issue Date: Mar 15, 1993
THE NEXT time you board a bus, don't make a beeline for a seat in the front and avoid the rear seats like the plague. They are the least comfortable. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Bombay say the seats in front, including the driver's seat, and the rear seats are the most uncomfortable because they experience the most vibrations (Indian Journal of Technology, Vol 30, No 6).

Human hand inspires scientists

Issue Date: Mar 15, 1993
INSPIRED by the human sense of touch, robotics engineers are trying to build a mechanical hand that can feel, grab and manipulate objects just like the human hand. Ultimately, engineers trying to design sensitive robotic hands picture their research coming full circle to biology -- by restoring tactile sensibility to people who have lost it.
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