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.

The Open Source Drug Discovery network's army of volunteers is building a kind of Wikipedia on tuberculosis, which is the leading cause of death in India for those in the prime of life.

In 1905, Sir William Osler, the most influential physician of his time, stepped down from the medical faculty of Johns Hopkins University at the age of 55. At his farewell, he emphasized that the “effective, moving, vitalizing work of the world is done between the ages of 25 and 40—these 15 golden years of plenty.” Many of us, who are old but still active like myself, may like to strongly disagree. But the power of the creative prime in this age group is irrefutable.

In preparing for the RIO+20 Earth Summit the world community must acknowledge that population trends interact strongly with economic development and environmental change at local and global levels.(Letter)

Issues related to the safety and security of our food supply top the news on a regular basis. Yet the news media continue to undermine the entry of students into the study of agriculture. (Letter)

Humans have been cutting Ethiopian forests for fuel and agriculture for centuries. Only about 35,000 fragments remain in the northern highlands, ranging in size from 3 to 300 hectares. These fragments escaped deforestation because of their religious and spiritual importance; they are protected by, and are an integral part of, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church. (Letter)

An elite group of 22 influenza scientists, public health officials, and journal editors from 11 countries recommended last week that the details of how a highly pathogenic bird flu virus was rendered capable of being transmitted easily among mammals be published in full. The recommendation, agreed to at a meeting at the World Health Organization in Geneva, flies in the face of advice from an influential U.S. committee that key details of the experiments be confined only to those who have a need to know.

Current paradigms generally assume that increased plant nitrogen (N) should enhance herbivore performance by relieving protein limitation, increasing herbivorous insect populations. We show, in contrast to this scenario, that host plant N enrichment and high-protein artificial diets decreased the size and viability of Oedaleus asiaticus, a dominant locust of north Asian grasslands. This locust preferred plants with low N content and artificial diets with low protein and high carbohydrate content.

Prospecting macroalgae (seaweeds) as feedstocks for bioconversion into biofuels and commodity chemical compounds is limited primarily by the availability of tractable microorganisms that can metabolize alginate polysaccharides. Here, we present the discovery of a 36–kilo–base pair DNA fragment from Vibrio splendidus encoding enzymes for alginate transport and metabolism. The genomic integration of this ensemble, together with an engineered system for extracellular alginate depolymerization, generated a microbial platform that can simultaneously degrade, uptake, and metabolize alginate.

Tropospheric ozone and black carbon (BC) contribute to both degraded air quality and global warming. We considered ~400 emission control measures to reduce these pollutants by using current technology and experience. We identified 14 measures targeting methane and BC emissions that reduce projected global mean warming ~0.5°C by 2050. This strategy avoids 0.7 to 4.7 million annual premature deaths from outdoor air pollution and increases annual crop yields by 30 to 135 million metric tons due to ozone reductions in 2030 and beyond.