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News Article | December 16, 2016
Site: www.sciencemag.org

BENGALURU, INDIA—India is home to a flourishing community of predatory journals: outlets that masquerade as legitimate scientific publications but publish papers with little or no peer review while charging authors hefty fees. Many observers assumed that such bottom feeders were mostly attracting papers of dubious scientific value, if not plagiarized or fraudulent reports, from institutions in academia’s outer orbits. But a new analysis has found that many of the weak papers in predatory journals are coming from top-flight Indian research institutions. The finding has turned the spotlight on an academic culture in India that tends to prize quantity of publications over quality when evaluating researchers. This is an especially big problem in the life sciences, and it will take time to fix, says K. Vijayraghavan, the secretary of India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in New Delhi, which funded some of the research that ended up in predatory journals. “Biology, in general, has become ghastly, in that people are chasing the metrics,” he says. “If you chase these surrogate markers of success instead of science, we have a problem.” Recent revelations have pointed to a symbiotic relationship in India between questionable publishers and mediocre researchers. In 2013, a investigation traced the publishers and editors of scores of predatory journals to India. And last year, a team reported in that of a selection of 262 authors published in predatory journals, 35% were Indian. Delving deeper, Gopalkrishnan Saroja Seethapathy, a graduate student in pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Oslo, and colleagues randomly chose 3300 papers by Indian first authors from 350 journals flagged as predatory by Jeffrey Beall, a library scientist at the University of Colorado in Denver. In an analysis in the 9 December issue of , they report that more than half the papers were by authors from government-run and private colleges: hotbeds of mediocre research. But about 11% of papers, they found, were from India’s premier government research bodies, including dozens of publications from institutions belonging to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and the Indian Institutes of Technology. “Funding agencies have to be careful about where papers are published,” says Subhash Chandra Lakhotia, a cytogeneticist at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, which is a source of some papers in predatory journals. “They have to take their jobs seriously and find time to read papers, instead of simply going by the number of papers published.” Some say that the root of the problem is, paradoxically, recent government attempts to improve Indian research output. India’s University Grants Commission (UGC), a body charged with setting educational standards, in 2010 made it mandatory for all faculty in higher educational institutions to publish papers in order to be evaluated favorably. Pushkar, the director of the International Centre Goa who goes by one name, says this move pushed teaching faculty with no expertise in research towards predatory journals. “The research component in the performance metrics for faculty in teaching-focused institutions is the reason why predatory journals attract so many submissions,” he told . When concerns were raised about the proliferation of papers published in poor-quality journals, UGC announced that it would change its performance metrics and compile a list of peer-reviewed journals in which researchers would need to publish. That’s not the best solution, Vijayraghavan argues. “The fundamental problem is an ecosystem that values where you publish and how many papers you publish rather than what you publish. That needs to be changed,” he says. To bring about change, DBT launched an open-access policy in 2014, which requires all published papers to be uploaded to a central repository, so that they can be evaluated according to their merit. The department also plans to launch a preprint repository, along the lines of arXiv, to encourage sharing of research prior to publication. The idea is to galvanize a culture of evaluating research by reading publications rather than focusing on numbers of papers published or impact factors. “This will pull the carpet from under the feet of predatory publishers,” Vijayraghavan says. Some scientists feel that the predatory publishing scourge is overblown. ICAR Director General Trilochan Mohapatra argues that many publications classified as predatory could merely be little-known journals that charge publication fees. “There are many flaws with the paper,” he says. “We will internally analyze this issue, see if a real problem exists at ICAR, and come out with our own study.”


News Article | November 12, 2016
Site: www.acnnewswire.com

Management and nutritional strategies are needed to protect livestock from heat stress resulting from climate change, according to a review paper published in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science. Safe and cost-effective animal protein will be vital to food security as the human population grows to an expected 11.2 billion by the year 2100. With climate change already having visible impacts, it is important to understand how it will affect the general health of livestock. Dr Veerasamy Sejian from India's ICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology and colleagues reviewed the latest research on the effects of heat stress on livestock immunity. Livestock immune functions are either suppressed or enhanced, depending on the length of exposure to heat stress. Heat stress mainly affects the immune system through three endocrine glands: the hypothalamus and pituitary glands located in the brain, and the adrenal glands located above the kidneys. Activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis leads to the secretion of hormones that affect various components of the immune system. Stress also impacts the system responsible for what is known as the flight-or-fright response. This system, called the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary system, acts by releasing chemicals that enhance the breakdown of glycogen, increasing blood glucose levels so the body can meet its higher stress-induced energy requirements. Generally, activation of these two systems alters animals' immune functions, affecting the integrity of protective barriers and the response of immune cells to attacking pathogens. Heat stress also impacts critical events in the life cycle of livestock, including the passive transfer of maternal antibodies to offspring via milk and developing an effective response to vaccination. Effective management of animal shelters and providing evaporative cooling systems can play an important role in reducing the effects of heat on livestock. Rearing livestock that are selected for their heat tolerant genes can also form an effective protective strategy. Recent research has shown that modifying livestock nutrition can be an effective approach to manage the impacts of heat stress. Vitamin A and zinc supplements, for example, can help maintain protective barriers against pathogens in the gut and udders. Combined supplements of selenium and vitamin E can positively influence the ability of white blood cells to attack pathogens. Iron can also play an important role in promoting the development of immune-related glands. Another important protective strategy involves the naturally occurring bacteria present in the guts. Prebiotics are indigestible ingredients that stimulate the growth and activity of gut bacteria. When gut bacteria are healthy, they compete against invading bacteria for food, preventing the invaders from flourishing. Probiotics are mixtures of live microorganisms that are beneficial to animal health. These line the gut, strengthening its mechanical barrier. They also compete with pathogenic bacteria, making it more difficult for them to survive. The team's review could serve as a useful reference material for researchers aiming to improve livestock production in a changing climate scenario by means of optimizing livestock immune systems, the researchers conclude. For more information about this research, please contact: Dr Veerasamy Sejian Senior Scientist, Animal Physiology Division ICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology Adugodi, Bangalore-560030, India Email: Tel: +91 9,108,025,711,420; Mobile: +91 9,740,726,121 About Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS) Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS) is published by Universiti Putra Malaysia in English and is open to authors around the world regardless of nationality. Beginning 2012, it would be published four times a year in February, May, August and November. Other Pertanika series include Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology (JST), and Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH). JTAS aims to provide a forum for high quality research related to tropical agricultural research. Areas relevant to the scope of the journal include: agricultural biotechnology, biochemistry, biology, ecology, fisheries, forestry, food sciences, entomology, genetics, microbiology, pathology and management, physiology, plant and animal sciences, production of plants and animals of economic importance, and veterinary medicine. The journal publishes original academic articles dealing with research on issues of worldwide relevance. Website: http://www.pertanika.upm.edu.my/ The paper is available from this link: http://bit.ly/2fJbunT For more information about the journal, contact: The Chief Executive Editor (UPM Journals) Head, Journal Division, UPM Press Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (R&I) IDEA Tower 2, UPM-MDTC Technology Centre Universiti Putra Malaysia 43400 Serdang, Selangor Malaysia. Phone: +603 8947 1622 | +6016 217 4050 Email: Press release distributed by ResearchSEA for Pertanika Journal.


News Article | November 12, 2016
Site: www.newsmaker.com.au

Selangor, Malaysia, Nov 12, 2016 - (ACN Newswire) - Management and nutritional strategies are needed to protect livestock from heat stress resulting from climate change, according to a review paper published in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science. Safe and cost-effective animal protein will be vital to food security as the human population grows to an expected 11.2 billion by the year 2100. With climate change already having visible impacts, it is important to understand how it will affect the general health of livestock.  Dr Veerasamy Sejian from India's ICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology and colleagues reviewed the latest research on the effects of heat stress on livestock immunity. Livestock immune functions are either suppressed or enhanced, depending on the length of exposure to heat stress.  Heat stress mainly affects the immune system through three endocrine glands: the hypothalamus and pituitary glands located in the brain, and the adrenal glands located above the kidneys. Activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis leads to the secretion of hormones that affect various components of the immune system. Stress also impacts the system responsible for what is known as the flight-or-fright response. This system, called the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary system, acts by releasing chemicals that enhance the breakdown of glycogen, increasing blood glucose levels so the body can meet its higher stress-induced energy requirements. Generally, activation of these two systems alters animals' immune functions, affecting the integrity of protective barriers and the response of immune cells to attacking pathogens. Heat stress also impacts critical events in the life cycle of livestock, including the passive transfer of maternal antibodies to offspring via milk and developing an effective response to vaccination. Effective management of animal shelters and providing evaporative cooling systems can play an important role in reducing the effects of heat on livestock. Rearing livestock that are selected for their heat tolerant genes can also form an effective protective strategy. Recent research has shown that modifying livestock nutrition can be an effective approach to manage the impacts of heat stress. Vitamin A and zinc supplements, for example, can help maintain protective barriers against pathogens in the gut and udders. Combined supplements of selenium and vitamin E can positively influence the ability of white blood cells to attack pathogens. Iron can also play an important role in promoting the development of immune-related glands. Another important protective strategy involves the naturally occurring bacteria present in the guts. Prebiotics are indigestible ingredients that stimulate the growth and activity of gut bacteria. When gut bacteria are healthy, they compete against invading bacteria for food, preventing the invaders from flourishing. Probiotics are mixtures of live microorganisms that are beneficial to animal health. These line the gut, strengthening its mechanical barrier. They also compete with pathogenic bacteria, making it more difficult for them to survive. The team's review could serve as a useful reference material for researchers aiming to improve livestock production in a changing climate scenario by means of optimizing livestock immune systems, the researchers conclude. For more information about this research, please contact: Dr Veerasamy Sejian Senior Scientist, Animal Physiology Division ICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology Adugodi, Bangalore-560030, India Email: [email protected]  Tel: +91 9,108,025,711,420; Mobile: +91 9,740,726,121 About Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS) Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS) is published by Universiti Putra Malaysia in English and is open to authors around the world regardless of nationality. Beginning 2012, it would be published four times a year in February, May, August and November. Other Pertanika series include Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology (JST), and Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH). JTAS aims to provide a forum for high quality research related to tropical agricultural research. Areas relevant to the scope of the journal include: agricultural biotechnology, biochemistry, biology, ecology, fisheries, forestry, food sciences, entomology, genetics, microbiology, pathology and management, physiology, plant and animal sciences, production of plants and animals of economic importance, and veterinary medicine. The journal publishes original academic articles dealing with research on issues of worldwide relevance. Website: http://www.pertanika.upm.edu.my/ The paper is available from this link: http://bit.ly/2fJbunT For more information about the journal, contact: The Chief Executive Editor (UPM Journals) Head, Journal Division, UPM Press Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (R&I) IDEA Tower 2, UPM-MDTC Technology Centre Universiti Putra Malaysia 43400 Serdang, Selangor Malaysia. Phone: +603 8947 1622 | +6016 217 4050 Email: [email protected] Press release distributed by ResearchSEA for Pertanika Journal.


News Article | April 13, 2016
Site: www.greencarcongress.com

« ARPA-E issues $30M NEXTCAR program funding opportunity; 20% reduction in energy consumption beyond current regulatory requirements | Main | RAND: Autonomous vehicles cannot be test-driven enough miles to demonstrate their safety; alternative testing methods needed » At the 2016 SAE World Congress, Toyota and Clemson University unveiled an innovative, flexible concept called uBox that is intended to appeal to the next generation of car buyers: Gen-Z. Designed, engineered and hand-built by graduate students at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), the vehicle is the result of a two-year collaboration with Toyota Motor North America designers and engineers. The uBox features a compact, dual-purpose, all-electric powertrain providing a fun driving experience and emission-free stationary energy to power consumer electronics, power tools or other devices through various 110-volt sockets located throughout the interior and exterior. One feature in particular caught the attention of Toyota Executive Program Manager Craig Payne, a unique pultrusion technique developed by the students that allows composite carbon fiber rails bonded with aluminum to support a curved glass roof. The roof pultrusion was something unexpected and very interesting when they first started talking about the concept. The fact that they were able to achieve an industry-first manufacturing technique as students speaks volumes for this program. The CU-ICAR / Toyota collaboration, called Deep Orange, immerses students into every aspect of automotive development—from market research and design studies to engineering design and manufacturing. The typical customer for uBox is a young entrepreneur who wants a vehicle that can provide utility and recreation on the weekend but that can also offer office space or other career-centric or lifestyle uses during the week. Some of the many features of uBox include: A bold, youthful and distinctive exterior design that aligns with generation Z’s personality trait to stand out, embodying a muscular stance that looks like it’s sprung forward in motion, even when standing still. A versatile interior that can be rearranged for various activities, from working or operating a business, to hauling bulky cargo. A low floor allows for reconfigurable, removable seats on sliding tracks that can be nested. Vents, dashboard display bezels and door trim that can be personalized and made with 3-D printing technology, and an online community for owners where they can share design ideas.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

SAE 2016 SAE/JSAE 2016 Small Engine Technology Conference & Exhibition offers up-to-date information on the state of technology, safety and sustainability for small engines including the challenges and developments from OEMs, suppliers and academia from around the world. The technical program will be conducted November 15-17 in Charleston, SC and features an opening keynote address from industry leaders, a plenary panel and more than 30 additional sessions. The Tuesday Opening Ceremony and keynote address will take place from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. on November 15 and will include insights from Jaal B. Ghandhi from University of Wisconsin Madison, Hiroshi Ito from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Zoran S. Filipi from Clemson-ICAR. In this three-part keynote, these industry experts will address the evolution of the industry. Ghandhi will explore the impact of sustainability considerations on different areas of the small engine industry. Ito will discuss the impact of automatic drive and ICT technology on future of motorcycles. Filipi is a recent addition to the program and will give a vital update on the use of thermal barrier coatings for improved HCCI engine efficiency and operating range from the small engine perspective. The Plenary Panel will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 16 and will discuss the conference’s theme, Towards Safer and More Sustainable Small Engines and Applications. Moderated by Tony Szczotka of Robert Bosch LLC, the panel will feature Janet Buyer from US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Geoff Liersch from Robert Bosch (Australia) Pty. Ltd and Thomas Wallner from Argonne National Laboratory. In addition to these featured sessions, the SAE/JSAE 2016 Small Engine Technology Conference & Exhibition offers an exciting line-up of special events. The Technical Tour will be held on Monday, November 14 and includes stops at the Robert Bosch NA plant, Boeing South Carolina Final Assembly Tour Balcony and Cummins Technical Center Charleston. The Wednesday Evening Banquet on November 16 at 6:30 PM provides an excellent opportunity to network with industry peers. The banquet has recently been relocated to Cannon Green, an acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant in Charleston. For the most up-to-date information about keynote speakers, plenary panel and other sessions along with information for the exhibition and special events, please visit the SAE/JSAE 2016 Small Engine Technology Conference & Exhibition website at http://www.sae.org/events/setc/. SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting more than 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Journalists and other credentialed members of the media are invited to attend the SAE 2016 SAE/JSAE 2016 Small Engine Technology Conference & Exhibition. Slated for Nov. 15-17 in Charleston, S.C., the event will offer up-to-date information on the state of technology, safety and sustainability for small engines including the challenges and developments from OEMs, suppliers and academia from around the world. In addition, the program will feature an opening keynote address from industry leaders, a plenary panel and more than 30 additional sessions. The Tuesday Opening Ceremony and keynote address will take place from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. on November 15 and will include insights from Jaal B. Ghandhi from University of Wisconsin Madison, Hiroshi Ito from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Zoran S. Filipi from Clemson-ICAR. In this three-part keynote, these industry experts will address the evolution of the industry. Ghandhi will explore the impact of sustainability considerations on different areas of the small engine industry. Ito will discuss the impact of automatic drive and ICT technology on future of motorcycles. Filipi is a recent addition to the program and will give a vital update on the use of thermal barrier coatings for improved HCCI engine efficiency and operating range from the small engine perspective. The Plenary Panel will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 16 and will discuss the conference’s theme, Towards Safer and More Sustainable Small Engines and Applications. Moderated by Tony Szczotka of Robert Bosch LLC, the panel will feature Janet Buyer from US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Geoff Liersch from Robert Bosch (Australia) Pty. Ltd and Thomas Wallner from Argonne National Laboratory. For the most up-to-date information about keynote speakers, plenary panel and other sessions along with information for the exhibition and special events, please visit the SAE/JSAE 2016 Small Engine Technology Conference & Exhibition website at http://www.sae.org/events/setc/. SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting more than 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.


Bershadskii A.,ICAR
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences | Year: 2013

The universal role of the nonlinear one-third subharmonic resonance mechanism in generation of strong fluctuations in complex natural dynamical systems related to global climate is discussed using wavelet regression detrended data. The role of the oceanic Rossby waves in the year-scale global temperature fluctuations and the nonlinear resonance contribution to the El Niño phenomenon have been discussed in detail. The large fluctuations in the reconstructed temperature on millennial time scales (Antarctic ice core data for the past 400 000 years) are also shown to be dominated by the one-third subharmonic resonance, presumably related to the Earth's precession effect on the energy that the intertropical regions receive from the Sun. The effects of galactic turbulence on the temperature fluctuations are also discussed. © 2012 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society.


It is shown that the correlation function of the mean wind velocity generated by a turbulent thermal convection (Rayleigh number Ra∼1011) exhibits exponential decay with a very long correlation time, while the corresponding largest Lyapunov exponent is certainly positive. These results together with the reconstructed phase portrait indicate the possible presence of chaotic component in the examined mean wind. Telegraph approximation is also used to study the relative contribution of the chaotic and stochastic components to the mean wind fluctuations and an equilibrium between these components has been studied in detail. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.


A female specimen of the new parasitoid wasp species Idris brevicornis. Credit: Dr. Veenakumari Kamalanathan Long accustomed to parasitising spider eggs, a large worldwide genus of wasps has as few as 24 known representatives in India. However, Dr. Veenakumari, ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, and her team have recently discovered five new species of these interesting wasps from different parts of the country. Because of their uniqueness and their strong resemblance to each other, as well to aid taxonomic studies they have been considered as constituting a group of their own. The discoveries and the suggestion of 'the first long-haired ones' species group are available in the open-access journal Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift. Among the unique features that bring together the new five species, discovered by Drs. Veenakumari Kamalanathan, Prashanth Mohanraj and F. R. Khan, are the long hair-like structures along the margins of both of their wings. This is also the reason behind the authors' choice of naming the proposed group adikeshavus, meaning 'first one to have long hairs' in Sanskrit. Within this parasitic superfamily of wasps each group has been long accustomed to a specific host. The tribe to which the new five wasp species belong, for instance, is characterised by its exclusive preference for spider eggs. Parallel evolution accounts for the tiny wings of these wasps which allows them to slip through the silk strands of the egg sacs which are deposited in leaf litter by the spiders. Furthermore, all these species have a uniform length of 1 to 2 mm as a result of their getting used to parasitising relatively medium-sized spider eggs. With over a thousand species supposed to exist in this genus the scientists suggest that their clustering into groups is a necessity to facilitate future studies. The authors conclude that it is highly likely that this group of wasps will yield a much larger number of species of parasitoids attacking spider eggs in India. Explore further: Remarkable 32 new wasp species from the distinctive Odontacolus and Cyphacolus genera More information: Veenakumari Kamalanathan et al. 'The adikeshavus-group': A new species group of Idris Förster (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae) from India, with descriptions of five new species, Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift (2015). DOI: 10.3897/dez.62.6219


News Article | September 6, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

A farmer harvests cotton in his field at Rangpurda village in the western state of Gujarat, India, October 20, 2015. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian scientist whose team has developed a genetically modified (GM) mustard variety that is inching towards a possible commercial launch said he could soon hand to a state agency a GM cotton variety that can rival Monsanto's seeds. Deepak Pental and his colleagues at the Delhi University worked on GM mustard for around a decade, and a government committee said on Monday it found the seeds to be safe for "food/feed and environment". Reuters reported the technical clearance last month for what could be the country's first GM food crop. (http://bit.ly/2cnUOkZ) "The government has taken the right path and experts have looked at all the data," Pental told Reuters on Tuesday, acknowledging that public opposition to lab-altered food remains fierce. "Our scientists have the capability to do more, but you will have to strengthen research further, educate people." Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nationalist government, keen to cut the country's heavy annual food import bill, will soon decide on the commercial launch of the high-yielding mustard and plans to indigenously develop other GM food to reduce reliance on multinationals such as Monsanto. The move has been opposed by activists and politicians amid fears GM food could compromise food safety and biodiversity. Some experts have also questioned claims that GM crops are more productive than normal varieties. St. Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto dominates India's GM cotton market, but is embroiled in a high-stakes battle with the government which wants the company to cut the royalty it charges for its technology, apart from a proposal that will make the seed giant share its technology with local firms. Monsanto has even threatened to pull out, prompting Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave to say that Indian scientists are capable of meeting the requirements of its farmers on their own. New Delhi-based Pental said he was willing to help the government with that goal and would approach the state-run Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to pass on a laboratory-tested GM cotton variety his team has developed over the past decade. The variety is similar to Monsanto's Bt cotton but can be more resistant to pests, Pental said, adding he handed another GM cotton variety to ICAR last year for further research. No field trial has yet been done on either cotton strands. This comes at a time when Monsanto has withdrawn an application to sell its next-generation cotton seeds protesting the Modi government's proposal to force it to share its technology with local seed companies, which has also worried other foreign firms such as Bayer, Dow, Dupont Pioneer and Syngenta. Experts warn that even if India did develop a home-grown GM cotton variety in the next few years, it would struggle to sustain a programme that needs to refresh seeds every decade or so.

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