The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, April 16, 2014


News of: Tuesday, 31st of May, 2011

Front Page

PM's 'no' to caretaker

In a major development regarding constitutional amendment, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday did not consent to the parliamentary special committee's proposal for maintaining the caretaker government system for two more general elections.

Priority for poor

The government has approved the much-awaited National Health Policy 2011 aimed to ensure “good health for all”.

Infamous Hamid gets off the hook

The national committee for withdrawal of “politically-motivated” cases and the public prosecutor of Cox's Bazar are locked in a blame game over letting former Jamaat chief Ghulam Azam's bodyguard Akhter Hamid get off scot-free from several criminal charges.

Barisal crime don escapes

Rapid Action Battalion yesterday arrested a man for giving shelter to the kingpin of a crime ring Morshed Jamaddar and unearthed a bunker used by the gang leader at Sonahar village of Banaripara upazila, said a Rab release.

World 'No Tobacco Day' today

The World 'No Tobacco Day' will be observed in the country as elsewhere in the world today.

It's litchi time

As if the roads cutting through the green, calm northern district are decorated on purpose. Clusters of pink-red delicate beauties with roughly-textured rind sit on green leaf covering on long patches of pitch-road. It's the month of May, season for the pink blush, litchi.

JS bodies won't get more power

Facing opposition from majority members, the cabinet yesterday rejected a proposal to increase the power of parliamentary standing committees.

27 budget pledges unfulfilled

The government has failed to implement 27 of the commitments the finance minister made in his budget speeches in 2009 and 2010.

Sayedee's war crimes found

Investigators have found evidence of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee's involvement in crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.

Food prices worry MPs

A number of ruling alliance lawmakers yesterday came down heavily on the food and commerce ministers in parliament for their failure to arrest the price hike of essentials, and the government's reluctance to procure rice from farmers.

131 UPs go to polls today

Elections to 131 Union Parishads in 17 districts will be held today under the second phase of the staggering polling.

'Criminal' beaten to death

A 'listed criminal' was beaten to death by a mob at Korail slum in the capital's Mohakhali yesterday.

Nigeria probes deadly blasts

Nigerian police yesterday probed a set of bomb blasts that ripped through a crowded beer garden at a military barracks, killing at least 10 people after President Goodluck Jonathan's inauguration.

12 dead in Germany as cucumber crisis grows

Germany yesterday held crisis talks amid news that at least 12 people have died and hundreds have taken ill following an outbreak of a highly virulent strain of bacteria found on imported cucumbers.

Two dead in Iran helicopter crash

An Iranian air force attack helicopter crashed yesterday south of Isfahan in central Iran, killing the pilot and co-pilot, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Sri Lanka execution video authentic

A UN envoy confirmed yesterday that a video allegedly depicting Sri Lanka troops executing Tamil Tigers was authentic, and that the action were "definitive war crimes".

UN blasts 'shocking' Syria crackdown as toll rises

The United Nations yesterday condemned the "shocking" brutality of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, as activists said at least 15 people were killed in the latest crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Editorial

Strengthening EC

Reportedly, there has been a rethinking, particularly on the part of the Election Commission, to strengthen its hand in conducting elections. One could not agree more that the Commission should have all the necessary powers to ensure free and fair elections that are transparent in all respects.

Our ambitious ADP

A 28% increase in the recently approved Annual Development Programme (ADP) of Tk. 46,000 crore for the coming fiscal year brings with it several questions, the key one being, how far will it be implemented?

Sports

Li first Chinese in qtrs

Maybe Li Na's husband should have left the stadium earlier.

All talk but little action

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president AHM Mustafa Kamal met with numerous former national captains and incumbent Shakib Al Hasan yesterday to share views about improvement of cricket standard of the country.

Sheikh Jamal on top

A brace from Nigerian striker Emmanuel Ayuk powered star-studded Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club to a 4-0 victory over visitors Chittagong Mohammedan SC in the Grameenphone Bangladesh League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Badminton's foreign foray

Foreign shuttlers are expected to be the deciding factor in the title race for the Auto Museum First Division Badminton League which gets underway at the Wooden Floor Gymnasium today.

Four more bronze for hosts in archery

After being eliminated from all individual events on the previous day, Bangladesh have raised a hope of clinching a gold medal as the boys' team moved to the recurve bow final in the first-ever Asian Youth Archery Championship at the BKSP ground yesterday.

Ireland 238 for eight

Paul Stirling's third one-day international hundred was the centrepiece of Ireland's 238 for eight against Pakistan in the second and final match of their series at Stormont here Monday.

School cricket's 1st semi today

Faridpur Muslim Mission take on Donavan Secondary School of Patuakhali at the Madaripur Stadium today in the first semifinal of the Standard Chartered Young Tigers National School competition.

GP Open squash

William Mather emerged champion in division A of Grameenphone Open Squash beating Mohit Chowhan in the final at the Dhaka Club Squash Court yesterday.

Rafael rolls on, Novak gets semi pass

Five-time champion Rafael Nadal reached the French Open last eight on Monday as title rival Novak Djokovic enjoyed a major psychological boost when he was handed a free pass into the semifinals.

England pull off a miracle

A magnificent bowling effort from England, particularly four-wicket heroes Chris Tremlett and Graeme Swann after the tea break on the final day, gave England an unexpected innings and 14-run victory in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Sophia Gardens last evening.

Gayle left out

Former skipper Chris Gayle has been left out of the West Indies squad to face India in the Twenty 20 clash and two opening one-dayers in a continuing stand-off with selectors.

Tharanga fails dope test

Opening batsman Upul Tharanga has become the first Sri Lankan international to fail a dope test after a random check during the cricket World Cup, the country's sports ministry said Monday.

Coppa Italia Inter's

Inter Milan beat Palermo 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico here on Sunday to lift the Italian Cup and rescue an otherwise disappointing season.

FIFA in turmoil

Embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter was set to speak out here Monday on the corruption row that has wracked football's governing body and threatened his own stranglehold on the top job in the sport.

Germans warm up well

Germany warmed up for their up-coming Euro 2012 qualifiers with a 2-1 friendly win over Uruguay on Sunday in a rematch of last year's World Cup third-place play-off.

Sania-Elena in doubles semis

Sania Mirza and and her partner Elena Vesnina shocked top seeds Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta 6-0, 7-5 to reach the women's doubles semifinals in the French Open here on Monday.

Bagai quits captaincy

Ashish Bagai has stepped down as captain of Canada ahead of the Intercontinental Cup which begins in

Contador claims it again

Spain's Alberto Contador of the Saxo Bank team secured his second Tour of Italy title on Sunday, after Scot David Millar of Garmin won the final stage time trial in Milan.

Barca dance to Shakira's tune

Barcelona's Europe-conquering players danced on stage with Shakira in a night of wild homecoming celebrations after they won the Champions League.

Shevchenko set to retire

Ukraine football star Andriy Shevchenko, who played for AC Milan and Chelsea in a glittering career, said he will retire after the European championships next year in his home country.

Business

Tax reforms still at slow pace

The government is set to bring some changes to tax regulations in the upcoming national budget for 2011-12 amid slow pace in implementing many promises to reform tax laws in the previous years.

BB clears stance on market worries

The central bank yesterday said people who now blame Bangladesh Bank (BB) for its inaction in dealing with the banks' overexposure to the capital markets had once put pressure on the BB to go soft on the banks' links with the stockmarket.

Dhaka bourse to introduce e-trade

The Dhaka bourse will introduce electronic trading (e-trading) in the stock market in July, in a move to create a virtual marketplace for share transactions.

Govt gets $40m from WB for Libya returnees

The government signed a $40 million credit agreement with the World Bank yesterday for the Bangladeshi migrant workers escaping the troubled Libya.

Scope for business with UN is wide: official

Bangladesh can grab a large amount of export orders from the United Nations as it buys goods and services worth nearly $14 billion a year for its peacekeeping mission and different agencies, said the UN procurement chief.

Stocks soar on optimism

Stocks gained for a third day as investors bought heavily into the market following the government's steps to restructure the Securities and Exchange Commission.

BRAC Bank launches Probashi Card

BRAC Bank yesterday launched a new product, Probashi Card, to help customers receive overseas remittance directly from ATM booths and point-of-sales all over the country.

Iran oil output may drop drastically by 2015

Iran's oil production may fall to 2.7 million barrels per day within five years unless 150 billion dollars is invested in its energy sector, a top official said in a report on Monday.

BB changes HTM securities rules

Primary dealer banks will now be able to show 50 percent of HTM (held to maturity) securities, up from 25 percent, as tradable assets, according to a new decision by Bangladesh Bank.

UCB elects new chairman

Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury MP has recently been elected chairman of United Commercial Bank. The election took place in a meeting of the bank yesterday.

EPZs exports grow 30pc

Overseas merchandise shipment from Bangladesh's export processing zones grew by 30 percent in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, the regulator said yesterday.

India's RCom quarterly profit plummets

Indian telecoms firm Reliance Communications on Monday showed a worse-than-expected drop in quarterly net profit -- its seventh straight quarterly fall -- as costs outpaced revenues.

CSR and SRI: the growing business imperatives

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an emerging, as yet poorly defined, process used by some as a fashion statement through glossy reports and websites, and by others as a potential framework for demonstrating a more responsible approach to doing business.

India takes unique path to lower carbon emissions

With four times the population of the United States, an economy growing 8-9 percent a year and surging energy demand, India's race to become an economic power has propelled it to No. 3 in the list of top carbon polluters.

Inflation: the seen and unseen effects

Waiting for a bus to come around, they were relieved when one finally stopped in front of them. The four passengers boarded the bus, found a seat and settled down. But within a moment, they got annoyed, stood up and stepped out after the young conductor declined to accept the fare they were offering.

How to ease inflationary pressure

The government should increase investment in infrastructure to facilitate a rise in job opportunities so that the unemployed and underemployed people can withstand the negative impacts of high inflation, said economists.

EU, IMF to judge Greece as protests swell

European Union and IMF officials are expected to deliver their verdict this week on Greece's faltering drive to bring its budget deficit under control, but ordinary Greeks have warned that their patience is running thin.

Taiwan show to feature Apple tablet challengers

Computer manufacturers of all sizes and descriptions have been pushing to get a piece of the ever-expanding tablet market created by the launch of Apple's iPad in April 2010.

Rivals likely to reach for Google's "Wallet"

With the announcement of "Google Wallet" the Internet giant became the first player to dash into a future where people use smartphones as credit cards, but rivals are expected to cut its lead short.

Germany to close all nuclear plants by 2022

Germany on Monday became the first major industrialised power to agree an end to nuclear power in the wake of the disaster in Japan, with a phase-out due to be completed by 2022.

British business group cuts growth forecasts

A leading British business group on Monday cut its growth forecasts for the country's economy over the next two years but insisted the government's austerity measures were correct.

Asian shares fall

Asian shares mostly fell Monday as bargain hunting was weighed by uncertainty over European debt.

Metropolitan

First community radio on air

The country's first community radio named Lokobetar has begun test transmission in the district town of Barguna to build public opinion on development issues like democracy, good governance, human rights, anti-corruption, health and women empowerment.

Anniversary of Zia's death observed

Leaders and workers of BNP and its front and associated organisations across the country observed the 30th death anniversary of late president Ziaur Rahman, the founder of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, yesterday.

Jhilmil form distribution starts tomorrow

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) tomorrow will start distributing application forms for some 1,200 plots under Jhilmil Residential Area project in Keraniganj.

Govt to buy Tk 164cr equipment more

More search and rescue equipment worth Tk 164 crore would be procured to face post-earthquake situation, said Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque.

CAG blames errant secys

The secretaries, the government's principal accounting officers, in most cases do not ensure accountability in expending the taxpayers' money, said the auditor general in an interaction with the media at his office yesterday.

Road accidents kill 12

Twelve people were killed and 18 others injured in separate road accidents in Rangpur, Faridpur, Brahmanbaria, Chittagong and Cox's Bazar yesterday.

Nine more detected with anthrax

Nine more people in Sirajganj and Pabna have been diagnosed with anthrax, district health officials confirmed yesterday.

SC order on June 2

The Supreme Court yesterday fixed June 2 for passing an order on a review petition filed by BNP leader Tarique Rahman against its verdict saying the money laundering case against Tarique can be run under Money Laundering Prevention Act 2002.

Draft contempt of court act okayed

The cabinet yesterday approved three draft bills including the draft of Dhaka Elevated Expressway Project (Land Acquisition) Bill 2011.

Statements of two Pws recorded

A Dhaka court yesterday recorded statements of two more prosecution witnesses in connection with a money laundering case filed against Arafat Rahman Koko, younger son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Verdict on June 12

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed June 12 for verdict of a graft case filed against Awami League (AL) lawmaker and former state minister for civil aviation and tourism Dr Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir and four others.

Press enjoying full freedom: FM

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said the press in Bangladesh is enjoying complete freedom.

Woman beaten to death

A woman was allegedly beaten to death by her husband following an unspecified family feud in Kadomtoli of the city yesterday.

Ahmedejinad invites Zillur to counter terrorism summit

Iranian President Ahmadinejad has invited President Zillur Rahman to attend a high-level counter terrorism summit, to be held in Tehran on June 25-26 next.

Restaurants fined for stale food

A mobile court here yesterday in seperate drives fined six different hotels and restaurants Tk 55,000 on charge of selling stale and adulterated food.

CU vacation starts tomorrow

Chittagong University (CU) will begin its month-long summer vacation from tomorrow.

10,000 people to get food security help

World Food Programme (WFP) and LG Electronics (LG) will help boost the resilience to disasters and household food security of more than 10,000 people in Patharghata upazila of Barguna district.

Obituary

GM Yakub, a permanent member of the Jatiya Press Club and former senior sub-editor of the Dainik Sangbad, passed away at his Mirpur residence in the city yesterday due to cancer at the age of 64, says a press release.

Azizur Rahman

Maulana Mohammad Azizur Rahman Chowdhury, a former lawmaker of Dinajpur-6 constituency, passed away at his residence in Birampur upazila on Sunday midnight at the age of 59, says a press release.

Asghari Akhtar

Asghari Akhtar, mother of Ambassador Shahed Akhtar and mother-in-law of Dr Simeen M Akhtar, passed away at Apollo Hospital in the city on Sunday.

Delshad Ali

Delshad Ali, a former professor of Chapainawabganj Government College passed away at his Ajaipur residence in the town yesterday due to cancer at the age of 74, says a press release.

Death anniversary

Today is the 23rd death anniversary of Shaheed Jamil Akhter Ratan, a former president of Rajshahi Medical College unit Bangladesh Chhatra Moitri, says a press release. On this day in 1988, Ratan was brutally killed by Shibir, a fundamentalist students' organisation.

AFM Nurul Huq

Today is the 38th death anniversary of AFM Nurul Huq Hawlader, a former lawmaker and organiser of the Liberation War, says a press release.

Faruk for action against food adulteration

Commerce Minister Col (retd) Faruk Khan yesterday in parliament said the government should be more sincere and take action against fruit and food adulteration.

Bomb hoax call at DU

An anonymous caller over telephone threatened to destroy Arts Building of Dhaka University (DU) using bombs, prompting a frantic search inside the building, but finally proved to be a hoax.

Tk 9.50 lakh fined for flouting laws

Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI) yesterday fined Tk 9.50 lakh to two chemical factories and a fruit shop in Farmgate and Mohammadpur area for selling chemicals and chemical mixed fruits.

13 houses for hajj pilgrims

The government has rented 13 houses in the holy city of Makkah to accommodate Bangladesh's hajj pilgrims during hajj season this year.

Feroza Khatun

Today is the 1st death anniversary of Feroza Khatun, wife of former deputy secretary and finance adviser late Mohammad Nurul Huq, says a press release.

National

Farmers' hope begin to fade as Boro sells at low price

Smiles of farmers harvesting a bumper Boro crop here are fading fast as they are not getting fair prices for their produce.

Election to 7 UPs in Dinajpur today

Election to seven union parishads (UPs) in Hakimpur and Ghoraghat upazilas of Dinajpur will be held today, reports our correspondent.

20 new power tillers seized on way to 'black market'

Local farmers seized a truck loaded with 20 new power tillers and caught three people from Amkhola Bazar in Galachipa upazila under the district as the machines, meant for free distribution among farmers, were allegedly being sent to the black market on Sunday evening.

3 more remanded in Rasu murder case

Three more Jubo League men have been remanded in the case for May 23 murder of party activist Abu Bakkar Siddik Rasu.

Experts start working at five Kala-Azar affected unions

A two-member expert team has started working in five Kala-Azar affected unions in Debiganj upazila of Panchagarh district.

3 schoolgirls drown in Shreepur

Three schoolgirls met a tragic death at Bhitipara village under Shreepur upazila of the district yesterday.

Manikganj bus workers on indefinite strike

Workers of Shuvajatra Paribahan here went on an indefinite strike yesterday protesting illegal toll collection and assault on fellows.

International

Yemeni air force bombs Qaeda-held city

The Yemeni air force bombed an al Qaeda-held southern city yesterday and residents in another city said soldiers had opened fire on a demonstration and run protesters over with bulldozers, killing at least 15.

Pakistan to launch offensive in North Waziristan

Pakistan will launch a military offensive in North Waziristan, a newspaper reported yesterday, days after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated a US demand to tackle sanctuaries for al Qaeda and the Taliban on the Afghan border.

Gaddafi's 'reign of terror' nearing end: Nato chief

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's "reign of terror" is coming to an end, Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said yesterday.

CO2 emissions hit a record high in 2010

Carbon-dioxide emissions hit a record high last year, the International Energy Agency said yesterday, dimming the prospects of limiting the global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius.

Suu Kyi plans landmark Myanmar political tour

Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday she is planning a political tour of Myanmar, a move likely to test her popularity and the limits of her freedom after being freed six months ago.

Court declares Musharraf a 'proclaimed offender'

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court yesterday declared former President Pervez Musharraf a "proclaimed offender" or fugitive for failing to cooperate with investigators probing the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.

Dalai Lama formally cedes political role

The Dalai Lama has formally relinquished his political powers "in a historic move" but will remain the symbol of Tibetan unity, a spokesman for the spiritual leader said yesterday.

Afghan Taliban attacks kill four

Twin Taliban attacks killed four people and wounded 24 others, including children, in the Afghan city of Herat and at an Italian-led Nato reconstruction team yesterday, officials said.

Protesters vow to stay in major Madrid square

Protesters decrying Spain's economic woes vowed yesterday to occupy a major Madrid square indefinitely as the movement spread to Europe, despite the risk of police action.

Serbian police detain 180

Serbian authorities detained 180 people who had attacked police injuring 32 during a protest against the arrest of Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said yesterday.

Japan voters want PM to go

Seventy percent of Japanese voters want to get rid of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, a survey showed yesterday, marking more bad news for the unpopular government chief likely to face a no-confidence vote as early as this week.

Berlusconi faces defeat in Milan, Naples

Italy's centre-left looks set to win mayoral races in Milan and Naples, according to voter intention polls released yesterday, in what would be a major blow for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

India, Pakistan meet on glacier dispute

After a gap of three years, defence secretaries of India and Pakistan yesterday met here to discuss the long-pending Siachen issue.

Tanks storm central Syria town

Tanks stormed the town of Talbiseh yesterday, a day after surrounding it, and at least 10 people were wounded, a resident said, in an expanding military campaign in central Syria to crush dissent against Baathist rule.

Iceland's volcano eruption over

The eruption of Iceland's Grimsvoetn volcano is considered over as there has been no activity there for more than two days, experts and officials said yesterday.

Over 100 hurt in Sri Lanka workers' protests

More than 100 factory workers were hurt in Sri Lanka yesterday as police fired live bullets and used teargas to break up protests in the country's main free trade zone, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

Becoming A Star

Sanjida Pritee came into the limelight with her stellar performances in “Sporsher Baire” and “Kachher Manush”. Since then, the actress has a packed schedule, both in the spheres of TV dramas and theatre roles.
The Daily Star (TDS) recently caught up with her.

Homage to Bangabandhu and Freedom Fighters

Jolrong is a newly opened art gallery at Banani in Dhaka. The establishment's aim is to promote and give exposure to the artwork of promising and noted painters of Bangladesh in the country and abroad.

Bengal Foundation launches “Parables-Pavilion of Bangladesh, Biennale Arte 2011”

Bangladesh will be taking part at the Venice Biennale 2011, to be held in Italy, starting from June 4. This is the first time that Bangladesh is participating at this prestigious event.

Rousing Poetry

Recitation of poetry, on the theme of the Liberation War, was the highlight at a programme held recently in Tangail town.

Bari Siddiqui Performance in Manikganj

A solo performance by famed flutist and folk singer Bari Siddiqui was held recently at Captain Abdul Halim Chowdhury Auditorium in Manikganj.

When Ferdous Met Mamata

Bangladeshi actor Ferdous is the latest from the tinsel town to turn a fan of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

OP-ED

It's time for a free state

It was a conventional rhetoric, a newly tuned presentation of the rejectionist, a duplication of arrogant statements. Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu's address to US legislators travelled far from peace. It was a downright defiance of legitimate demand. The natural reaction of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was "if negotiations don't take place, we shall go to the UN and seek recognition from its 192 members for the State of Palestine."

Why is the 1967 border so important?

The borders of Israel and a Palestine state should be based on the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps so that secure and recognised borders are established for both states," President Barak Obama said in a policy statement on May 19 at the State Department. The heart of the matter is that Israel declared independence on the Palestinian land on May 14, 1948, but did not formulate a constitution just to avoid limiting itself to a fixed boundary.

The ball is in politicians' court

The recent judgement of the Appellate Division declaring the non-party caretaker government (CTG) unconstitutional has generated quite a bit of controversy. The opposition BNP has already rejected it. Personally, I welcome the judgement, although, without responsible behaviour on the part of our politicians, it may lead the nation to an uncertain future.

Crusade against corruption

In the early days of April a septuagenarian civil society activist Anna Hazare started a fast unto death crusade against mounting corruption in India. His demands were (i) immediate passing of Lokpal (Ombudsman) Bill and (ii) recasting of the existing committee that was drafting a new anti-corruption law. He insisted that the existing committee was not acceptable as "some of its members (ministers) known for corruption should have already been in jail."

Life on fire!

Today, May 31, is "World No Tobacco Day." Bangladesh has been celebrating this day along with the world since 1987. On this day, smokers across the globe are advised a 24-hour period of self-restraint from all forms of tobacco consumption. Smoking is recognised as a major public health problem in the developing world. In Bangladesh, smoking is very common among male and even more prevalent among youths in slums. Advertising may also have an important influence on students.

This Day In History

May31

1223
Mongol invasion of the Cumans: Battle of the Kalka River Mongol armies of Genghis Khan led by Subutai defeat Kievan Rus and Cumans.

Science & Life

Radical shift in stem cell research

Ishika's daughter has heart disease, Synthia's husband Schizophrenia. Rifat's neighbor has Parkinson's, Martin's nephew is traumatized. Proper treatment of these life-threatening diseases is subject to extensive medical research. On top of the existing medications to alleviate the conditions, permanent solutions for them are called-for. Stem cell research had long been thought as a potential tool to provide a permanent solution to these diseases. However, medical-research insiders now know that embryonic stem (ES) cell technology is proving to be a dead end. The alternatives could be adult stem (AS) cells which are far more controllable than the ES cells, because although ES cells have the capacity to differentiate into many types of cells, they face the pitfall of developing uncontrolled cell division phenomenon leading to cancer and also ethical debate of killing human life taking conception as the start of a new life. In contrast to ES cells, which are regarded totiopotent, that is, capable of developing into any cell type found in adult organism, the types of stem cells found in adults are either unipotent, (stem cells capable of developing into a single specialized cell type), or pluripotent, stem cells capable of developing into a few closely related cell types. So, the question arose, would it be possible to find out an alternative source of totiopotent or at least totiopotent-like stem cells?

First habitable Exoplanet?

It's been forever that mankind has wondered whether our beloved blue planet, the Earth, is the only one in the entire Universe that supports life of various kinds. This uniqueness of Earth has been inspirational in the quest of finding a cosmic neighbour and understanding the strong possibility of extra-terrestrial life-forms. Many researches are dedicated to shed some light on this aspect and it seems scientists from the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (CNRS, UPMC, ENS Paris, Ecole Polytechnique) in Paris, France are decisively considering Gliese 581d as the first confirmed exoplanet (planet outside of our solar system) that could support Earth-like life-forms.

Shuttle science

The space shuttle itself was a scientific marvel. It required scientists and engineers to tackle tough problems, and their solutions led to advances in technology. The material used to insulate shuttles from extreme heat, for example, now protects NASCAR drivers. The shuttle's fuel pump inspired doctors to create a new device that helps people in heart failure. A lighting system used to help grow plants on the shuttle is now used to help treat brain tumors in children. Science on the shuttle is now used in infrared cameras, jewelry design and safety devices.

Nanoengineers' feat

A new biomaterial designed for repairing damaged human tissue doesn't wrinkle up when it is stretched. The invention from nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego marks a significant breakthrough in tissue engineering because it more closely mimics the properties of native human tissue.

Ancient sea monsters

Bizarre shrimp-like monsters that were the world's largest predators for millions of years grew even larger and survived much longer than thought, scientists find.

Hubble finds rare stars in Milky Way

Peering deep into the star-filled, ancient hub of our Milky Way (left), the Hubble Space Telescope has found a rare class of oddball stars called blue stragglers, the first time such objects have been detected within our galaxy's bulge. Blue stragglers -- so named because they seem to be lagging behind in their rate of aging compared with the population from which they formed -- were first found inside ancient globular star clusters half a century ago. The picture at right shows the 42 blue straggler candidates circled in green.

Why is Mercury forgotten planet?

Mercury can claim the title for the "weirdest" planet in the solar system, apart from being the smallest and the innermost. It has the wildest temperature extremes - from 800'c to to 300'c and drifts from being the nearest to being the farthest from the sun. Reaching mercury poses significant challenges as the planet orbits close to the sun. Hence, it is regarded as the forgotten planet in the solar system.


The Daily Star

© thedailystar.net, 1991-2014. All Rights Reserved