US-China Chip War Continues

AS the tension between the US and China mounts as a fall-out of Nancy Pelosi's provocative Taiwan visit, the technology war between the two is also taking a new turn. Both houses in the US Congress have approved a $280 billion plan – The Chips and Science Act – to boost US chip manufacturing. Currently, 75 per cent of chip manufacturing in the world takes place in East Asia, centred around Taiwan, South Korea and China. The US aims to re-shore the semiconductor industry back to the US.

Two Hundred Years of Mendel’s Genetic Revolution And the Fight against Scientific Racism

IN July this year, the world is celebrating 200 years of Gregor Mendel's birth, widely accepted as the father of genetics. His experiments with peas, published in 1866 as Experiments in Plant Hybridisation, identified dominant and recessive traits and how recessive traits would reappear in future generations and in what proportion.

Assault on Environment Regulations Continues

THE BJP government’s relentless assault on environmental regulations, and therefore on the environment itself, so as to serve the interests of corporates and their industrial, infrastructure and commercial projects, continues unabated. In a recent issue of this publication, readers would have seen a detailed critique of the atrocious amendments made by the union government to the Forest Conservation Act, giving free rein to the government to divert forest lands completely bypassing the rights of tribals, other forest-dwellers and their gram sabhas as enshrined in the Forest Rights Act.

Webb Telescope Opens a New Window in the Sky

THE new Webb telescope has already shown that NASA's $10-billion investment and 26 years finally is delivering its promise: pictures of the cosmos at depth, in detail and quality far beyond what we currently have. The first set of images has captivated the general public, while the astrophysicists are drooling at the details and the spectra of the distant objects, telling us what they actually are.

Will Monkeypox See a Replay of AIDS and Covid-19?

WITH more than 4,000 cases (as on June 30, 2022), the recent outbreak of monkeypox in Europe and North America has become international news. World Health Organisation (WHO) has reacted by monitoring the progress of monkeypox globally and issuing guidelines regarding testing, and taking immediate measures. But WHO has not yet declared monkeypox a public health emergency.As long as monkeypox was confined to Africa, where similar outbreaks have been happening in Central and West Africa for years, it raised little concern.

In WTO’s Geneva Ministerial Death Trumps Life

THE UNAIDs executive director, Winnie Byanyima had appealed before the 12th WTO Ministerial of WTO in Geneva that the world would face a grim future if patent waivers did not take place. At a press conference, Byanyima had said, "In a pandemic, sharing technology is life or death, and we are choosing death," In the 12th Ministerial of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which ended on June 17th, the rich countries did precisely that. They blocked almost all possibilities of providing cheap vaccines, anti-virals and diagnostics for the world.

17th All India Peoples Science Congress

THE normally bi-annual AIPSC, postponed by two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was held in Bhopal on June 6-9, 2022. The delegate strength had also been reduced, as a measure of abundant caution with respect to the pandemic, from the usual 500-550 to around 350 delegates from all the 37 member organisations of the All India Peoples Science Network (AIPSN), apart from many observers and invited resource persons.

Cryptocurrencies Must Die

AFTER the relentless hype about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Solana, Dogecoin, LUNA, etc., for the last couple of years, we are now witnessing their complete meltdown. The hype was primarily driven by eye-popping increases in valuations of all the major cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin had gone from around USD 4,000 to USD 64,000, a sixteen fold increase, in 20 months. Other cryptocurrencies had even more ridiculous price increases in the same time period – Ethereum had a 50 fold increase, Solana 500 times, and LUNA had a 1,000 times increase.