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Endosulfan: Another Kasaragod

By:  Savvy Soumya Misra Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa in December announced that his government would consider banning endosulfan. The highly toxic pesticide is banned in over 70 countries.

Briefs

Earth’s magnetic powers The strength of the magnetic field of the earth’s core is 25 Gauss; 50 times stronger than at the surface. A geophysicist, for the first time, calculated it using observations and not mere calculations. The strength of the magnetic field tells us about the source of heat within the core. Strong magnetic fields have been generated by sources of energy like the heat formed four billion years ago when the earth was hot and molten, release of gravitational energy and radioactive decay of long-lived elements.  

Sponge iron's dirty growth

In the years to come, India's expanding steel production will be largely driven by sponge iron. Sponge iron, also known as direct reduced iron(DRI), is produced from direct reduction of iron ore (in the form of lumps, pellets or fines) by a reducing gas produced from natural gas or coal. Sponge iron gives a cheaper way of producing steel which has a high demand in the market. 

The endgame at Cancun

By: Sunita Narain As I write this, some 24 hours are left to finalise the agreement at the 16th Conference of Parties to the climate change convention being held in Cancun. At this moment it seems the predictable deadlock in talks will continue. Like all other global climate meetings, the world remains deeply divided on the matter of how to cut emissions of greenhouse gases that even today determine economic growth. Not much is expected to happen at the beach city of Cancun.

Nano-sensor

By: Shruti Chowdhari New tool to detect viruses quickly at low cost It takes over Rs 10,000 and over 24 hours to detect the presence of chikungunya, dengue or H1N1 virus in the body. US scientists have developed a biosensor that could detect viruses in 30 minutes and would cost about a dollar (Rs 45).

Don't pee in pool

By:  Vibha Varshney It reacts with disinfectants, can cause diseases including cancer Do chemicals used to disinfect water harm our health? Evidence suggests drinking water purified with common disinfectants like chlorine and bromine causes urinary bladder cancer. But it was not clear whether the chemicals can affect health when used to keep swimming pools or bathing water clean, until now.