At the Indian Science Congress last month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pledged to hike R&D expenditures from around $3 billion last year to $8 billion in 2017. The windfall is meant to turbocharge initiatives to create elite research institutions, bring expatriate Indian scientists home, enrich science education, and equip smart new laboratories. Included in this push is South Asia's first biosafety level–4 lab for handling the most dangerous pathogens, slated to be up and running this spring.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh plans to increase the government's R&D spending and create incentives for the private sector to increase spending on science and technology as well.

In a nod to rising public expectations, China's government work plan for 2010, rolled out last week at the country's two major annual political powwows, puts the environment front and center. At the National People's Congress, officials announced that science priorities include new energy sources, energy conservation, environmental protection, and marine technology.

Researchers from Stanford University and a consortium of nonprofit organizations have been working side by side with colleagues from the North Korean Ministry of Public Health

Southwest China's monsoon-driven climate doesn't bring much precipitation in autumn and winter. But this year's dry season

From paved roads that carry crops to market to modern grain silos that reduce postharvest losses, infrastructure is critical to achieving food security. But nothing is currently having a more profound effect on farmers in the developing world than telecommunications networks.

As scientists worry about the prospect of a catastrophic flood from Lake Sarez in the Pamir Mountains, agricultural communities on the plains below face a very different problem. This arid region in Central Asia has inherited a set of resource blunders made decades ago by the Soviet Union. And since the Soviet collapse in the 1990s, competition for fresh water has increased.

Lake Sarez was born nearly a century ago, when a mountainside in Tajikistan crumbled during a magnitude-7.4 earthquake. The 567-meter-high landslide blocked an alpine river, forming the world's tallest dam. Since then, the valley behind it has filled with 17 billion cubic meters of snow and glacier melt.

China has been accepting vast quantities of discarded televisions, computers, printers, and other equipment from abroad since the early 1990s. E-waste processing, a burgeoning cabin industry in coastal parts of China, may end up dwarfing other examples of contamination, scientists argued at a symposium.

In sections of southern China, villagers and local governments conspire to transform vibrant forests into plantations for money-spinners such as eucalyptus, rubber, and oil palm. Yet forests cover only about 18% of China's landmass, and timber yield and quality are lower than in many other places.