Published: Thursday 15 October 1998

A CASE FOR CONCRETE: New concrete varieties have been developed by Russian experts which are resistant to moisture, frost, water and chemicals and do not dry up fast. Researchers from the Moscow-based Stroi-progress company have developed a novel binder with low-water yield. This is the key component of this wonder concrete. For construction in remote areas, the new binders can be a good alternative, say the researchers as only clinkers have to be delivered to these areas. Top quality concrete and related products can be produced by using this technology.

NIGHT LIGHT: A night vision technology to be developed by the General Motors Corp will make possible for the car drivers to see possible obstacles beyond the reach of car headlights. The technology is being offered on its 2000-model Caddillac DeVille. The technology, which uses an infrared sensor behind the grille to detect heat from people, animals or vehicles in the car path was used during the Gulf War. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the technology will go a long way in checking more than 700,000 accidents caused worldwide every year due to lack of night vision.

NOVARTIS' REVENUE RISE: The world's largest Healthcare company, Novartis AG's first-half earnings rose by 14 per cent as income from investment soared. The company has announced that it will sell some nutrition units to boost returns from food products, it's least profitable division. The company's sales rose by one per cent while it's net income rose to 3.553 billion Swiss francs from 3.117 billion a year earlier. In a bid to raise returns, the company said it will cut down on 380 employees.

POWER DRINKS: The makers of Horlicks, Smithkline Beecham Consumer Healthcare Ltd (SBCHL) is planning to expand on its range of nutritional drink brands. According to a SBCHL spokesperson, the company is committed to its philosophy of a science based healthcare system. Further innovations in it's brand will be linked to new nutritional breakthroughs made by the research division, said the official. SBCHL core product are broadly divided into consumer healthcare, pharmaceuticals and clinical diagnostics.

MEASURING DIABETES: There is good news for diabetics patients. India's first glucose monitor, the Gama Blood Glucose Monitor, has been launched by the Centre's department of science and technology. This instrument provides a convenient way of measuring blood glucose levels of diabetic patients. The machine which has been indigenously developed takes barely 40 seconds to get results. The pocket size machine is said to be very light with an accuracy level of five plus per cent and which can measure blood glucose from a single drop of blood. Gama Auto Picker, which is part of the kit, can be used for painlessly taking blood from the fingertip.

ULTRA PURE: Ace Hygiene Products plans to launch Alfa brand of water purifiers in Delhi, Banglore, Hyderabad and Goa in the near future. According to the company spokesperson, water purifier, with ultra violet technology, adheres to the World Health Organisation standards. But while the mineral water market has grown at a rate of 70 per cent, that of water purifier has only increased by 10 per cent. This reflects that consumers still prefer to use traditional methods of purifying water when at home.

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