Published: Friday 31 May 1996

QUITE A SAVING: Those suffering from skin cancer will now have to dish out less money for their medical bills. Scientists from the Cancer Research Campaign in Britain have invented a light emission device called Paterson Lamp that cures the disease at a lOth of the price of laser therapy. The lamp sends out an intense beam of light which kills cancer cells with the aid of a light sensitive cream. The success rate of the device has been fiXed at between 80 and 100 per cent. The product is expected to cost between US $15,000 to US $225,000.

HERBS FOR HEALTH: Cashing in on the growing demand for herbal products, the Calcutta-based UB Group company, Carew Pharmaceuticals will shortly launch two new herbal health products -UB Fit, a chyawanprash-based toffee for inducing strength and UB Balm, an analgesic balm for relieving aches. Each toffee would be priced at Rs 1.60. The UB balm has an organic base, unlike other balms which depend on petroleum jelly. It is a non-greasy, non-staining preparation which nourishes, soothes and cools the affected skin besides being absorbed by it.

GAS GAINS: Japan's Mitsui & Co, Total SA of France and Unocal Corp of the US have made a joint venture pact with the Burmese government for Burma's US $700 million Yadana gas field. The consortium will carry out a project for the commercial and industrial use of natural gas produced from the offshore Yadana field. The project involves building a 250-km pipeline from the Yadana field, which will connect it to a proposed 200,000 KW power plant.

OZONE OPTION: India has taken a major step forward towards eliminating the use of ozone-damaging chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in refrigerators. Mumbai-based Godrej-GE Appliances Ltd recently launched the first Indian-made refrigerator free of CFCs. The company has installed pilot foaming facilities at its plant in Vikhroli near Mumbai under the 'Ecofrig' project, which aims at phasing out the use of CFCs by the year 2010. According to the managing director of Godrej-GE, V M Crishna, the refrigerator that rolled out recently was 100 per cent free of CFCs both on the refrigerant and the insulation side.

MEGA MOVES: In a move to reinforce their reign on top, Japan's computer- chip giants, NEC Corp and Mitsubishi Electric Carp have invested large sums in making the most advanced memory chips. The NEC plans would spend about us $1.86 billion over 10 years on high-precision semiconductor-processing technology. Mitsubishi will spend us $0.28 billion to increase the production of its 64-megabit dynamic randomaccess memory chips. The companies would cater to the demands of the growing computer, satellite- television and digital-videodisk industries.

FIGHTING THE FUNGUS: Mumbai-based Sandoz India has introduced Lamisil for treating a wide range of skin, nail and hair infections. Compared to conventional anti-fungals, the new drug offers higher cure rates, shorter treatment periods and lower relapse rates. Lamisil cures more effectively, as the drug directly kills fungi rather than just curtail their growth. It is being sold in the form of a tablet as well as a cream and is particularly effective against onychomycosis, a fungal infection affecting nails.

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