TRACKING DOWN TUMOURS: Cancer detection will be much easier with the help of a cancer monitoring device developed by the Bangalore-based Defence Bio-Engineering and Electro-Medical Laboratory. The tab has designed a software for cervical cancer detection and is developing other devices that would diagnose breast cancer and oral cancer on a mass scale. A computer is connected with a charge-coupled-device camera to detect abnormal growth in organs. The software identifies turnout cells from normal ones when a slide made up of blood samples is transferred to the computer through the camera.

ELECTRONIC SHEETS: Sony, the electronic giant, has developed a document storage system that completely does away with papers. The system uses Sony's MiniDisc, which can store the equivalent of 140 megabytes of data, or about 1,000 pages of text and graphics. The system, MiniDisc Data Eata, consists of a scanner, microprocessor, MiniDisc drive, inkjet printer and eight-inch liquid crystal display screen and costs around US $1,477. The company has also produced a Picture MiniDisc System which stores 200 high-quality photographic images on a MiniDisc.

GREEN BOILERS: Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd has launched eco-friendly boilers that make use of low-grade coal, available in plenty in India. It is the latest in the series of circulating fluidised bed combustion boilers that can be installed in power stations and process industries like paper, pulp, food processing and oil refineries for utilisation of low-grade, low-cost fuels like high ash and sulphur content coal, lignite, coal washery rejects and bio-mass fuels.

SHOOING OFF SILENTLY: No more poisons or traps to get rid of pests. A new device developed by a US-based company, Comtrad Industries, claims to get rid of pests by non- lethal methods. The device, named Yard Gard, uses high frequency sound waves to repel unwanted animals. An electronic ultrasonic generator sends out powerful high frequency noises that are unobtrusive to people but annoying to the animals. The device, costing US $99, is an ideal alternative to repellants, poisons and pesticides that can pose health hazards for neighbourhood pests and humans and pollute soil and water sources.

RACING AHEAD: Mazda Motor Corporation, Japan, is set to beat its larger rivals in the race to produce eco-friendly cars. The company has evolved the technology for mass production of cars fuelled by clean-burning hydrogen that can stand the test of tough emission control measures. The hydrogen-car technology is claimed to be an improvement upon the electric-car technology in the most important aspects of performance, such as, range, acceleration and refuelling time.

WINNING YARNS: Another addition to the fast expanding green band is the Viniyoga group based near Delhi. It has joined the eco-friendly cotton production chain started by Swiss group Remei AG. The group would market garments made from bio- cotton produced in Kesravad district of Madhya Pradesh. The cotton is cultivated without the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The Viniyoga group would buy the yarn and dye, process and knit the garments avoiding the use of hazardous chemicals. The bio-garments would then be exported to Swiss retailers.