28 killed as bus falls into gorge

Newsroom24x7 Network

Shimla: Twenty-eight passengers were killed and eight others injured when a bus skidded and fell into a 500 feet deep gorge near Rampur in HImachal Pradesh.

The ill-fated bus, which was on its way from Rekong Peo town in Kinnaur district to Nauni in Solan district, was carrying about 40 passengers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief on loss of lives in tragic bus accident in Himachal Pradesh. “My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones in the tragic bus accident in Himachal Pradesh. May those injured recover quickly”, the Prime Minister said.

Ram Nath Kovind to be 14th President of India, defeats Meira Kumar by 3.34 lakh votes

Newsroom24x7 Network

Ruling NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind will be the 14th President of India.

Kovind defeated in the presidential election the joint Opposition candidate Meira Kumar by a huge margin of 3.34 lakh votes.

Kovind secured 2930 votes of the value of 7.02 lakh as against 3.67 lakh of Ms Kumar.


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Ram Nath Kovind on being elected the President of India.

“Congratulations to Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji on being elected the President of India! Best wishes for a fruitful & inspiring tenure. Gladdened by the extensive support for Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji among MPs & across various states. I thank members of the Electoral College.


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I also congratulate Meira Kumar Ji for her campaign, which was in spirit of the democratic ethos & values we all are proud of ”, the Prime Minister said.

New way to grow sandal trees could boost production

Sunderarajan Padmanabhan

In recent years, production of sandalwood has dwindled while the demand has been going up. Production has dropped from 4000 tonnes in the 1950s to 500 tonnes a year, mainly due to indiscriminate felling of trees.

New Delhi: Cultivation of sandalwood trees could get a boost with Indian researchers figuring out how sandal trees derive their nutrition from other plants.

Sandalwood is a parasitic plant deriving its nutritional requirement from other plants. It has modified roots called haustoria which penetrate host plants and draw nutrition from them. Scientists from the College of Forestry and College of Horticulture under Kerala Agricultural University in Thirussur have found out how sandal trees suck nutritional food from their host plants.


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The study has revealed that a sandal tree could connect with its host plants up to a distance of three metres. Not just this, an individual tree can form a network with several hosts including the grass around them. This process of nutrition uptake, however, is not one-sided. While meeting their nutrition needs from hosts, sandal trees partly meet nutrition needs of their hosts, according to the study published in journal Current Science.

“Till now only a few studies were available on the relationship between the host and field-grown sandal trees. Since understanding of the anatomy and functional status of haustoria in field-grown sandal would give important clues on how sandal takes up food material from the hosts, we carried out studies to understand physiological state of haustoria,” explained lead researcher Dr A V Santhosh kumar.


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At present, sandal trees and host plants are grown alongside each other in the same pit. The new findings would mean that farmers can try out innovative cropping patterns like agro-forestry to get maximum benefit from a given plot of land.

In recent years, production of sandalwood has dwindled while the demand has been going up. Production has dropped from 4000 tonnes in the 1950s to 500 tonnes a year, mainly due to indiscriminate felling of trees. The central and state governments have taken measures to attract farmers to sandalwood tree cultivation, but large scale planting has not picked up because trees don’t get established properly.

The study team included P.K. Ashokan, E.V. Anoop and D. Rocha of College of Forestry and P. Sureshkumar of College of Horticulture. (India Science Wire)

Twitter handle: @ndpsr


Antibiotic resistant bacteria found in chicken, sprouts

Bhavya Khullar

Dr Archana Rath in her lab

New Delhi: A study in Mumbai has detected antibiotic resistant bacteria in commonly consumed food items like raw chicken and sprouted beans.

Scientists have isolated bacteria resistant to antibiotics from food products available in the market. Consumption of such items could make people resistant to drugs and make treatment of infections with antibiotics difficult.

“We have isolated multiple antibiotic-resistant bacteria from chicken and mung sprout samples, which can have serious health concerns”, says DrArchana Rath, professor at the University of Mumbaiand lead author of the study.


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Researchers collected fourteen samples of raw chicken from retail shops and thirteen ready-to-eat sprouted mung bean samplesfrom street vendors.Chicken samples were procured within 2-3 hours of slaughter and sprouted mung beans were less than 72 hours post-sprout.

The samples were analysed in lab, bacteria were isolated from these samples and then these bacteria were tested for sensitivity to various antibiotics. It was found that manyfood-derived bacteria were resistant to one or more commonly used antibiotics such aspenicillin, rifampicin, streptomycin and ciprofloxacin.

“Abundance of opportunistic pathogens like Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, Klebsiella in mung, and Acinetobacter, Enterococcus, Serratia, Providencia in chicken could be a serious health issue. Acinetobacter is a clinical pathogen known to carry genes for antimicrobial resistance,” researchers have noted in the studypublished in journal Current Science.

Most of the bacteria in mung samples were similar to those found in wastewater treatment plants of in contaminated manure. “Sprouted mung is generally consumed raw hence the presence of resistant bacteria in it is a matter of concern,”Dr.Rath told India Science Wire.

In chicken, high number of resistant bacteria could be attributed to indiscriminate use of antibiotics in livestock industry. Although chicken is cooked before consumption which kills microbes, it can still spread antibiotic resistant bacteria to raw salads or veggies in the vicinity especially in fast food joints and restaurants, Dr.Rathadded.


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The study team included OnkarNaik, RavindranathShashidhar, DevashishRath, Jayant Bandekar and Archana Rath at the University of Mumbai and Food technology division and Molecular Biology Division of the Bhabha Atomic Research Center.(India Science Wire)

Twitter handle: @BhavyaSc

Antimicrobial resistance, bacteria, infection, food, BARC, University of Mumbai