Steve Kurtz, an art professor at the University at Buffalo, USA, has been absolved of bio-terrorism and instead charged with "petty larceny," says his lawyer. US government officials detained Kurtz on May 11, 2004 after finding bacteria and lab equipment in his house. The bacteria and equipment were later found harmless. The head of the genetics department at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Public Health has also been booked on the same charge. Kurtz's friends say the charge is minor, but can be financially and psychologically draining.
Scientists have voted to boycott a reputed international journal, 'Clinics in Occupational and Environmental Medicine', after its owners allegedly blocked the publication of a paper claiming that several IBM workers have died prematurely of cancers and other diseases. IBM says the paper on health risks facing workers in the computing industry is flawed, but denies forcing the publishing group, Elsevier, to stop the paper's publication in the journal.
Two Indians, Hemant Lamba and Goverdhan Rathore, have won 2004's Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy, popularly called the Green Oscars. Lamba and his team at Auroville, Tamil Nadu, delivered affordable renewable energy products and services in 12 states, benefiting 80,000 people. Lamba was given the award for enterprise. Rathore, founder of the Prakratik Society in Ranthambhore tiger reserve, Rajasthan, won the climate care award for providing villages around the reserve with a cleaner, greener alternative to firewood for cooking in the form of biogas.
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