better roads ahead: Delhi-based company, Tinna Oils and Chemicals Ltd has introduced a new bitumen modifier which improves the quality of roads and prolongs their lives by 2.5 times. According to Vijay Sekhri, managing director of the company, the new technique substantially improves the vital properties of bitumen and bituminous mixes such as softening point, marshall stability, resistance to water stripping, ageing characteristics and elasticity.
driving in the dark: Night driving is about to become safer. Astucia, a company in Nottinghamshire, UK, has developed Intelligent Road Studs, devices that could be embedded in the highway, marking out the road more than 10 times further ahead and warning drivers of dangerous conditions. The studs contain sensors that allow them to detect ice, wet or foggy conditions. According to a spokesperson of the company, instead of using reflectors, the studs are fitted with solar powered light emitting diodes. Even in poor weather, just one hour of daylight provides enough power to keep them going all night.
chemotherapy substitute: US-based biotechnology company Coulter Pharmaceuticals has developed Bexxar, a new drug to treat Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL). The drug has proved more effective than traditional chemotherapy. Bexxar, technically called iodine I 131 tositumomab, uses monoclonal antibody to target the surface of B-cells, some of which are involved in NHL. "This is the first drug of its type in the world that brings radiation down to the cellular level," said Michael Bigham, president of Coulter. He said Bexxar could be taken as an outpatient treatment over eight days.
recycling scrap: In a major development, automobile manufacturers in France, in association with steel and plastic manufacturers, have developed new recycling technologies to utilise automobile scraps. At present only 75 per cent of each vehicle can be recycled. The remainder consisting of glass, plastic and other residues is thrown away. In 1992, car manufacturers Renault linked up with Compagnie Francaise De Ferrailles (CFF), a company specialising in recycling of scrap metal, to create a centre devoted to scrap vehicles.
y2k solutions: Oracle Software India Ltd (OSIL) has announced the availability of Y2K solutions for Indian enterprises which can be implemented within two months. Many Indian companies have still not addressed the Y2K issue and a significant number of those who have initiated some measures are having trouble in its implementation. According to a company spokesperson, OSIL package can be used by individuals and institutions facing the Y2K crisis.
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