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Denmark

Bug exterminators

Issue Date: Jun 15, 1998
Molecules that mimic DNA could be turned into a new family of antibiotics, say Danish scientists. The molecules are based on peptide nucleic acid (PNA). In PNA, nucleotide bases like those in DNA and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are attached to a backbone of linked amino acids. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen say that they have now produced PNA molecules that have base sequences designed to stick to key parts of RNA in the food-poisoning bacterium Escherichia coli . They hoped this would stop the bacteria from making proteins and kill them.

Towards cheaper fuel

Issue Date: May 15, 1998
A metal catalyst may one day bring cheaper fuel. Flemming Besenbacher of the University of Aarhus, and Jens Norskov at the Technical University, Copenhagen, Denmark, took a catalyst for steam reforming, where hydrocarbons from natural gas are converted to molecular hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be used to produce ammonia, methanol and fuels. Nickel is used as active ingredient in the catalyst. But if pure nickel is used, carbon atoms tend to stick to it and eventually stop its working. The key was to change the catalyst's reactivity slightly.

MONEYMAKERS

Issue Date: Feb 28, 1998
leprosy vaccine soon: Ahmedabad-based Cadila Pharmaceuticals Limited has planned to launch the world's first immuno-therapeutic leprosy vaccine, called Leprovac by June this year. Pran Talwar and his colleagues at the National Institute of Immunology (NII) have developed the vaccine that would cost Rs 6 per dose and of Rs 50 for a total of eight doses over a period of two years.

Pregnancy and cancer

Issue Date: Sep 15, 1997
doctors often warn women who have breast cancer not to get pregnant. Since estrogen is believed to stimulate tumor growth, nine months of elevated levels of the hormone seem just too big a risk. But a study conducted by scientists in Copenhagen suggests that the risk may be worth taking. Using the Danish Cancer Registry and the National Birth and Induced Abortions Registries, the researchers coordinated the databases and found that 5,725 women of childbearing age had been treated for breast cancer. They examined their reproductive histories.

Aqua guard

Issue Date: Jan 31, 1997
torbang vang, a Danish marine geologist, is understandably proud of his country's expertise in developing advanced marine monitoring systems.

Look before you leap

Issue Date: Sep 15, 1996
an amendment to the Danish law of environmental protection stipulates as of June, 1996, that foreign countries about to buy shut-down and potentially dangerous industrial plants, must receive full information about their environmental consequences. The law does not ban the transfer of such technology.

MONEYMAKERS

Issue Date: Jul 31, 1996
clean drink: With California Pure, a US-based company, all set to lease 400 mini water purification and treatment plants for the Indian market, the mineral water industry at home is awaiting a revolution. The president of California Pure, Shanti Dewan, stated the plants will be available for lease for a period of seven years upon an investment of Rs 28 lakh. Each unit can fill up to 22,000 one-litre bottles. The system of purification involves forcing water through pores 75,000 times smaller than a human hair.

Bum deal at the summit

Author(s): Sumita Dasgupta
Issue Date: Apr 15, 1995
ONLY the pathologically optimistic expected the recently-concluded un World Summit for Social Development to trumpet to a momentous, pathbreaking climax.

Playing dice with development

Author(s): M C Nanavatty
Issue Date: Mar 31, 1995
THE trappings of power were all there, and so were the traps. The United Nation's World Summit on Social Development, held in Copenhagen between March 6-12, had been projected as a potential washout. The preparatory committees and rounds of meetings, the charting of highly charged agenda, the government delegations and the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) -- all came together with priorities and proclivities of their own, often exclusively their own.

Confusions over green tax

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1995
THE Danish government is all set to paint the country a vibrant green. It plans to impose a set of "green taxes" which will encompass both the industrial sector and the consumers. While it is not likely to take much of a toll on the latter, it seems the corporate world is in for a major jolt. They will be saddled with hefty taxes on carbon dioxide emissions.
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