Injectable-oral vaccine combo for polio

A single injection of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) could boost the immunity of children already vaccinated with multiple doses of live oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV), new research suggests.

A combination of the two vaccine types in routine immunisation programmes could help achieve global eradication of poliovirus, the researchers say. OPVs are cheaper and easier to administer but the intestinal immunity they provide against the virus weakens after a while. Children vaccinated with OPV can still spread the virus through faeces.

An international team of researchers has now tested the efficacy of IPV in boosting intestinal immunity of OPV-vaccinated children. In clinical trials conducted in the Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh, they tested stool samples of nearly a thousand infants and children vaccinated multiple times with OPV. The children were divided into random groups and given either bivalent OPV (bOPV), containing type 1 and type 3 polioviruses, or IPV. A third group (the control) was not given any vaccine.

Read more here at Nature India.

Companies flout norms, regulators look away

National and multinational electronic and electrical companies in India are violating e-waste management norms while regulatory authorities are failing to take action against them, says a report published on 24 June 2014 by Toxics Link, an environmental research and advocacy group based in New Delhi.

Currently, India produces a whopping 2.7 million tons of e-waste every year but there are a handful of 42 e-waste collection units and 55 recycling units registered in the entire country, says the report. A chunk of the e-waste generated is managed by the informal sector, which has been operating illegally, putting humans and environment at great risk.

It was in light of the illegal operations and associated risks that the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, notified the E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules in 2011 and enforced these a year later in May 2012. A year’s time between notification and enforcement of the rules was meant for companies and regulators to implement the rules and set up an infrastructure for e-waste management.

Read more at India Together. 

Indian scientists applaud research budget

The newly-elected Indian government laid out its plans for the country in its 2014–15 budget last week and research has fared reasonably well. Indian scientists had feared that there would be cuts to the country’s science and technology base, but were relieved to see a small increase in overall funding.

About Rs 35.44 billion (£344 million) has been earmarked for the Department of Science and Technology in the proposed budget. It’s a hike of 11% over last year’s allocation of Rs 31.84 billion. ‘The Department of Science and Technology has some of country’s leading research centres in areas such as nanotechnology, materials science and biomedical device technology,’ Arun Jaitley, the finance minister, said in his budget speech. He added that the government will strengthen such centres through public–private collaborations.

Read the rest at Chemistry World.