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February 2010 Science & Technology

The Arctic writer expedition of Indian researchers is expected to leave on March 20; will spend one month at the International Arctic Research Base at Ny-Alesund, Norway. Coordinated by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, the expedition’s research areas include phytoplankton productvity and modelling, the ice - binding proteins of algae, the diversity of heterotrophic bacteria and their role in phosphorus cycling in the Arctic water and sediment and atmoshpheric and weather - related aspects of the region.

A National Bureau of Forest Genetics is to be established in Dehra Dun under the Indian Council for Forest Research and Education to protect India's diminishing forest resources.

The Environment Ministry has taken a decision to impose a moratorium on the release of the transgenic brinjal hybrid developed by Mahyco, a subsidiary of global seed giant Monsanto.

The launch of Agni-III, the two - stage, surface-to-surface ballistic missile from the Wheeler Island off Orissa coast was a complete success. V.K.Saraswat, Scientific Adviser to the defence Minister, called it ''a fantastic launch and a hatrick''. Agni - III missile has the longest range in India's arsenal.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) declared 2009 the warmest year since 1901.

The Andhra Pradesh Government has opposed the Commercial release of Bt brinjal, relying on a report submitted by the Vice - Chancellors of two principal agriculture institutions - Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University and AP Horticulture University.

Bt brinjal is a genetically - modified variety developed by Majesco by inserting a gene from Bacillus Thuringiensis bacterium into the plant. Such insertion is claimed to give resistance to two important hosts, fruit borer and shoot borer. The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee of the Union Enviroment Ministry has approved it, but the Centre withheld its release pending public consultations. 



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