Published: Sunday 15 May 2005

micropropagation: Researchers at the Aligarh Muslim University led by M Anis have developed a new tissue culture method to propagate bijasal ( Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb.), an important tree, whose natural stands are fast disappearing. Known for its medicinal properties and also for heartwood, bijasal is overexploited and is in the list of endangered plant species. What contributes further to the problem is the low germination of its winged seeds.

protein map: After mapping the human genome, scientists have now begun work on human proteome, a map of all the proteins that make up our bodies. Mathias Uhlen of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, released the first maps of about 400 proteins in March.

This marked the launch of a 10-year project to produce an atlas of all the proteins made by the almost 22,000 human genes.

aircraft air: Increasing air circulation may lower the risk of infection during outbreak of diseases such as SARS (or, severe acute respiratory syndrome), according to a US study. Usually, the air in the cabin goes through the system every 3-5 minutes, when half of it is replaced with fresh air. Models show doubling the rate of air circulation could halve the risk of infection, according to Mark Gendreau of the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts.

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