Siachen is the biggest glacier after the North and South poles. The 76 sq km glacier has been the stage for several wars between India and Pakistan. The aftermath is heaps of human waste, plastic sheets, ammunition boxes, parachutes and food packets. The world’s highest battlefield has turned into the ‘most polluted glacier’! But amidst this pile of waste, there is now a stick of hope.
The Indian army is launching a massive clean-up operation as part of its ‘Green-Siachen, Clean Siachen’ plan. It would take help from the air force to airlift garbage from the glacier. Now let’s imagine our army-men with brooms instead of guns…
There are 182 species of bacteria on human skin! And few more just drop in often. Don’t be scared. Dr. Martin Blaser, microbiologist from New York University School of Medicine, says that they have been with us for a long time and some are helpful.
Four major types of bacteria seemed to be permanent residents of our skin, and others were more transient. About 8 per cent of the species were previously unknown. "Without good bacteria, the body could not survive," added Dr. Zhan Gao, a scientist in Blaser's lab involved in the study.
It’s not Olive fruits, but the Olive Ridley sea turtles that are nesting these days. Their nesting season has begun well in Chennai, India. Activists have sighted various nests, and their eggs are being relocated to hatcheries. There are nearly 48 nests along the beaches from Besant Nagar to Reddy Kuppam in Kanathur, Chennai.
And their eggs are being relocated by the Volunteers of Sea Turtle Protection Force. Wildlife authorities have appointed a volunteer to monitor some nests. The sighting of egg-laying Olive Ridleys is also good this season, says V. Arun, co-ordinator of the Student Sea Turtle Conservation Network, another group involved in this task.
World’s urban population would soon rule out the rural population. According to United Nation projections, nearly two-third of the world's people will be living in cities by 2030. And by 2050, world's population will rise to nine billion! In India, an estimated 30 per cent of the total population of 1,128 million (July 2006) now lives in the urban cities, due to the high rate of migration to larger cities in the recent decades.
A mine at Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu has dinosaurs! Dead of course. About 20 pieces of different body parts of a couple of dinosaurs were recently unearthed. The pieces are head, tail, jaws, spinal chord ornamentations, legs, eyes and skeletal parts that weigh nearly 10 tonnes, says AV Udayana Pillai, professor of geology and paleontologist.
The dinosaurs could have been trapped in a squeeze bond of freshwater lakes, and their cells and tissues were converted into mineral matter.
WIndia is second after Nigeria! Unfortunately, in the highest incidence of Polio. There was an increase of 909% in the number of polio cases, as 16 Indian states reported 666 fresh new cases last year.
A government report on Intensified Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme reveals that eight states that had not reported a single case in 2005 saw new cases in 2006.