Insects self-medicate if you see a sick dog eat grass, you will know what self-medication in animals is all about. Many animals tend to increase their intake of certain food items when they are unwell. African chimpanzees, when infected by parasites, have been observed to drink the bitter sap of the young leaves of the herb, Vernonia amygdalina, and get better in a few hours. Such

A quarter of the world

Aerogels could help in treating oil-contaminated water an aerogel is best described as jelly sans the moisture. But unlike jelly that dries up and cracks when water is removed from it, aerogels do not crack. They are like sponges with a surface containing millions of nano-sized pores that can absorb anything

Location of a gene active against rust diseases pinpointed COME winter and wheat plants might exhibit symptoms every farmer dreads. The leaves and stems show small orange to brown flecks that soon enlarge and spread. The infected parts mature and go from brown to black. Gradually the plant withers and dies. Farmers throughout the world know it as the rust disease. There are three kinds: leaf

What is overweight for Caucasians is now obese for Indians Veena Katyal

But not as much as was thought, says a study SOIL erosion worldwide is threatening our agricultural base. Our farmers are suffering. The maximum amount of soil that an area can lose without affecting its ability to sustain plant growth is the soil loss tolerance value or the T value. Previously the T value for India was set at a uniform 11.2 tonnes of soil per hectare per year. Debashis Mandal


Agents to control this dreaded weed work well in labs, need to be taken to fields congress grass or parthenium, a native of tropical America, came to India accidentally in 1955. A rapidly growing invasive species, this grass competes well for nutrients and space and reproduces fast. One of the world

Is not cool, it increases risk of various diseases, says report THE rich and the middle class are spending more on unhealthy food, according to the quick estimates of the national consumption expenditure 2007-08. The study measures the amount of money that consumers spend on food. This has led to increase in incidence of lifestyle-related diseases. The report was released by the

Of how leaves can affect global warming FROM planting a million artificial trees capable of absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide to growing an algal carpet in the ocean turning it into a carbon storehouse, various attempts at mitigating global warming are on. Andy Ridgewell and his team from the University of Bristol have suggested that agricultural practices can also help lower air