India ranks sixth in Nature
Asia-Pacific Publishing Index
Japan, China, and Australia are the top ranking nations in the Nature
Asia-Pacific Publishing Index, a website that measures the annual
output of research articles from countries and institutions in the Asia
Pacific region. India figures at sixth among the 11 Asia-Pacific
countries. The number of papers published in Nature journals from India
have gone up from just two in 1998 to 18 in 2009, a sharp increase.
India's science ahub from down south tops the list from the country
with the National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, ranking at
53 and Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, at 76. The
east also figures prominently with two research bodies from Kolkata –
the Bose Institute, and the Indian Association for Cultivation of
Science – at ranks 77 and 80 respectively. India's research strength,
as seen in the index, is evenly balanced between the physical and life
First ayurvedic drug
against swine flu launched in India
V Narayanasamy, the Union Minister of State for Planning and
Parliamentary Affairs, has officially released the new ayurvedic drug,
Ayusrem, against swine flu and influenza viruses, in New Delhi, on
March 9, 2010.
The drug was developed by Ramoni Research Foundation (RRF), Chennai,
with the help of Center for Herbal Sciences, University of Madras,
Chennai. Dr K Balasubramanian, an organic chemist and pharmacologist
and Dr N Raaman, a botanical scientist and microbiologist were the
inventors of Ayusrem. The Food and Drug Authority of Puducherry has
given approval for manufacturing this drug and Dr Milton's Laboratory
at Puducherry is involved in the production of the drug.
Ayusrem is a wholly-natural, safe and effective preparation that gives
resistance against influenza virus, asthma, rhinitis, body pain, common
cold and cold-related symptoms. It was developed after many years of
research by Ramoni Research Foundation and is a 100 percent authentic
herbal formulation that is available as capsules that comprise extracts
of 20 medicinal plants used in ayurvedic formulations.
WHO suspends use of Shan5 due to
The World Health Organization (WHO) has suspended procurement and use
of Shan5 vaccine made by India's Shantha Biotechnics, owned by France's
Sanofi Aventis. The recommendation by WHO came on March 12.
WHO, which is the biggest buyer of Shantha's vaccines, said that the
procurement and use of all lots of the Shan5 vaccine supplied to
countries are being suspended pending ongoing investigations over
The decision came after officials in Colombia, Nepal and Comoros
Islands complained of presence of a white sediment that sticks to the
glass of the vaccine vial that is difficult or impossible to re-suspend
with vigorous shaking (flocculation). WHO has advised these countries
to put any remaining vaccine in quarantine until further notice. If it
is confirmed that the country has received shipments of any lot of
Shan5 vaccine, the vaccine should not be used until further direction
is provided by WHO.
Shantha was awarded a two year $340 mn (Rs 1,534 crore) contract by WHO
in September 2009 for the supply of pentavalent vaccine. It is believed
the sediment was found in batches supplied as part of this contract.
Sanofi Aventis officials in France said that the suspension is a
“precautionary measure pending outcome of an investigation of vaccine
Underwriters Lab opens new
facility in Bangalore
Underwriters Laboratories (UL), one of the global leaders in product
safety testing and certification, has opened its testing facility in
Catering to manufacturers throu-ghout India and the surrounding Asian
region, the facility will offer performance, safety and compliance
testing for products and provide global market access services to help
reduce time-to-market. The laboratory will specialize in product
categories including electrical power and controls, appliances,
industrial control equipment, lighting, information technology and
medical equipment, motors and pumps, and other related categories.
UL invested close to Rs 27.10 crore ($6 mn) to set up the new facility
in India. The facility is designed on the basis of specified customer
requirements for product performance and developmental testing in
addition to safety compliance testing.
SRL launches Sports Gene Test in
Super Religare Laboratories has become the first company in India to
launch the Sports Gene Test that would help parents know which sport
their child is most suited for. The test is simple, non-invasive, and
requires no blood test, and only involves buccal swab collection.
Every person has two copies of the ACTN3 gene, one from each parent.
The ACTN3 gene essentially produces a protein which helps fast-twitch
muscle fibers to produce high energy surges for a short time. The X
variant of the ACTN3 gene, however, disables the production of this
protein, resulting in deficiency of the protein, leading to absence of
The sports gene test helps to understand the sports gene and therby
helps to identify the type of sport your child may perform best at.