Current Affairs: Science, Technology & Environment: 27.6.09

June 19, 2009 : Current carbon dioxide levels highest in past 2.1 mn years
June 21, 2009: Duty cuts sought on cancer, AIDS medicines
June 23, 2009 NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captures never-before-seen images of Saturn
June 23, 2009 : Ashoka education foundation world’s first international environment Olympiad
June 27, 2009 : Dutch firm launches pain-free cancer treatment in India

June 19, 2009 : Current carbon dioxide levels highest in past 2.1 mn years
Present day carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have touched the highest mark in the past 2.1 million years which may result in large scale climatic changes from the greenhouse effect, says a study published in the June 19 edition of the journal Science says the present levels of carbon dioxide are 38 per cent higher than the levels that hovered around 280 parts per million during last 2.1 million years.

June 21, 2009: Duty cuts sought on cancer, AIDS medicines;
The Department of Pharmaceuticals which was created in 2008 under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, has sought an across-the-board cut in these critical segments cancer and AIDS medicines in the budget. Excise and customs duties on select drugs in these segments are already reduced or down to zero. It also requested the Ministry of Finance that weighted deduction on research be extended from 2010 to 2017. At present drug companies get 125 per cent weighted deduction on research outsourced to a third party and 150 per cent on in-house research.

June 23, 2009 NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captures never-before-seen images of Saturn
The imaging science team on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has released never-before-seen images and movies from the planet Saturn. Thease images include time-lapse sequences in which Saturnian moons eclipse each other and cast long shadows onto the planet’s famous rings, represents.
About the Mission:
This is named as Equinox Mission,of Cassini a robotic explorer that has been orbiting Saturn since July 1, 2004.
June 23, 2009 : Ashoka education foundation announces world’s first international environment Olympiad
With a view to enhance the awareness of the schools and students of the world, Dr. Jawahar Surisetti, director of Ashoka Education Foundation, in association with the American Center (the cultural wing of the US Consulate) have come together to devise an Olympiad which will reach the schools and students from classes 1 to 12.
The Olympiad tests the awareness of the children about the environment and rewards them with the title of Earth Genius. The International Environment Olympiad is designed to involve the student, nudge their thought processes and force them to think about the world that they are going to inherit. Reliance Webworld is the Communications Partner for this event. The American Center provides expertise and resources to facilitate conduction of the Olympiad.

The Olympiad is held for 3 levels, the primary level for classes 1to 4, the middle level for classes 5 to 8 and the secondary level for classes 9 to 12. The first round kicks of on the world ozone day, ie. 16th September 2009.

June 27, 2009 Dutch firm launches pain-free cancer treatment in India
Dutch pharmaceutical major Brema Pharma International has launched photodynamic therapy, a pain-free technique for treating cancer with lasers and light sensitive drugs, saying it will invest 1 million euros ($1.4 million) in its Indian operations. Presently this technique is used in every leading hospital of Europe and is recognised by all medical institutions. Brema Pharma has started its operations in a private skin hospital in Panchkula in Haryana. It will first treat skin cancer patients and will cover all cancer patients in the coming months. The Photodynamic therapy requires no cuts. It is pain-free and the recovery period is also very short.

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    THANKS TO NATIONAL SKIN HOSPITAL, MANSA DEVI COMPLEX