Philip Ball is no alarmist, but as consultant editor of Nature,1 he had sobering words last week about things that could go wrong in the new field of synthetic biology, where scientists are tinkering with cells to create artificial life forms:The expanding toolbox of ways to re-engineer microbes – and even construct new ones – has opened up extraordinary possibilities for biomedical discovery and environmental engineering. But it also carries potential dangers that could eclipse the concerns already raised about genetic engineering and nanotechnology. If biologists are indeed on the threshold of synthesizing new life forms, the scope for abuse or inadvertent disaster could be huge.Humans are taking existing design to new levels. “Synthetic biology,” Ball explains, is the logical corollary of the realization that cells, like mechanical or electronic devices, are exquisitely ‘designed’ – albeit by evolution rather than on the drawing board. Their functions are enacted by circuits of interacting genes.” But can we trust humans putting them back on the drawing board? He gives some nightmare scenarios:Artificial disease: “In a dramatic demonstration of the potential risks, virologist Eckard Wimmer at the State University of New York at Stony Brook announced in 2002 that his team had built live poliovirus from scratch using mail-order segments of DNA and a viral genome map that is freely available on the Internet. The feat put a spotlight on the possibility that bioterrorists could create even more dangerous organisms – including Ebola, smallpox and anthrax – perhaps endowing them with resistance to antibiotics.” Wimmer’s feat took three years, but last November, Craig Venter took only three weeks to concoct a virus that infects bacteria. And soon, synthetic bacteria themselves may move from concept to reality.New living things: “And researchers are getting close to determining the smallest set of genes necessary to support a living cell, which might make it possible to cook up new life forms.”New molecular machines: “In a parallel development, other researchers have been tinkering with the building blocks of genes and proteins themselves. Naturally occurring proteins are built from a standard set of 20 amino acids. Although these are enough to produce protein chains with a staggering array of functions, expanding this repertoire might enable the design of biomolecules with new functions, such as protein-based drugs that resist being broken down in cells.” Already, some 80 unconventional amino acids have been artificially incorporated into proteins.New genetic codes: Steven Benner has gotten DNA to incorporate an unnatural base pair. He said, “I suspect that, in five years or so, the artificial genetic systems that we have developed will be supporting an artificial life form that can reproduce, evolve, learn and respond to environmental change. This will help define how life not of earthly origin might appear”.New circuitry: “But building a new bacterial genome is not just a matter of chemistry – you have to design the circuitry too,” Ball says, and that’s just what some researchers are attempting. Bioterrorism: “An unclassified report by the CIA released last November warned that synthetic biology could produce engineered agents ‘worse than any disease known to man’…,” he says.Unintentional Risks: Probably riskier than bioterrorism is human errorism. “It is much harder to anticipate the unintentional dangers of synthetic biology,” Ball says. “For example, if new strains of bacteria were developed with unprecedented capabilities, how could they be kept under control?” Even those that have been designed with built-in self-destruct mechanisms have apparently mutated around them.Unanticipated Risks: “Yet as synthetic biology develops, it will be hard to anticipate all the possible problems, whether malevolent or inadvertent.” How can we protect ourselves against the unknown, when the “repertoire over the coming decade is limitless”?In 1975, scientists held a summit at Asilomar, California, to “voluntarily forego” certain kinds of research on recombinant DNA, and institute “safety measures to prevent abuses of new techniques” that might go awry. Is a new summit overdue? There is some self-policing going on, but safety might be a casualty of the promise of great discoveries, carelessness, curiosity or the desire to be first. In addition, the threat of bioterrorism is as real as the memories of 9/11. Either by stealing materials or learning how to do it themselves, there are groups who would have no qualms about unleashing deadly agents that could not only resist our defenses, but turn out to be uncontainable. Ball says that for the time being, safety protocols are “informal” because no one can properly understand the issues or assess the threats well enough to formalize any policies, let alone enforce them:Synthetic biology is now raising the bar. Should limits be set on what is attempted? If so, what should they be and how should they be enforced? And what steps can be taken to ensure that a rogue organization, or even a state-sponsored bioweapons programme, does not use the technology to synthesize a dangerous microbe?Meanwhile, “into the unknown” march the researchers into this risky yet promising new field, with the public largely unaware of what is going on. Ball ends his article with more apprehension than hope. “Sooner or later, synthetic biology may find itself facing dangers that are far more than hypothetical. As [bioterrorism expert George] Poste puts it: ‘Biology is poised to lose its innocence.’”1Philip Ball, “Synthetic biology: Starting from scratch,” Nature 431, 624 – 626 (07 October 2004); doi:10.1038/431624a.Would you trust a Darwinist, who can say with a straight face, “cells, like mechanical or electronic devices, are exquisitely ‘designed“ … by evolution” (Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week) to have any moral sense? [Dumb Ideas.] Would you trust an unethical scientist somewhere, with eyes on a Nobel prize, or winning a race against a competitor, or getting a big payoff from someone, to be overly concerned about safety, let alone ethics? Big Science resists any political restraints on their work. They like to think they can police themselves. Most scientists are conscientious and ethical, but it just takes one that’s not, and these nightmare scenarios become tomorrow’s reality. Only ethics based on loving God with all our heart and loving our neighbor as ourself will stand the test of time. For those who trust God and his word, there is comfort commensurate to any threat, local or global (for example, read Psalms 144-147). The reason for that comfort is the confidence that the Creator of the world is in control. He understands DNA because He invented it. Scientists might make a superbug that resists all our defenses, but God can – and will – override man’s worst. He is not going to let the world that He formed to be inhabited (see Isaiah 45) be wiped out by man’s mistakes, and the future of this planet is in his hands. That doesn’t mean we should stop fighting evil and working for peace and safety. It does not mean we should forego pursuing good uses of science and technology, even though there is risk. But no matter what comes, even if global terror threatens, our trust should be in the Lord, not in scientists, summits, national defense or human promises to be good. There is only one reliable source of help for mankind. “I will lift up my eyes to the hills– From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth….The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore” (Psalm 121).(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now You can’t win if you have already lost in your mind. Nothing has a greater impact on your results than what you believe. Your results are a reflection of your beliefs.Holding the belief that your competitors are stronger than you will cause you to lose to those competitors. But not because your competitors are stronger than you are. You’ll lose because you don’t believe that you can win, that you deserve to win. And your dream clients will be right to choose your competitors. This contest was lost before it started.Holding the belief that your clients want the lowest price will ensure that your clients buy from a competitor with a lower price. Not because your prospective clients really want the lowest price (they don’t). You’ll lose because you don’t believe that you are worth paying more to obtain. And all things being equal, your clients will be right to choose the lowest price. You didn’t believe enough to make things unequal.Believing that your company is wrong, that “they” are to blame for the difficulty you have selling, that they aren’t trying to produce good results for their clients, or that their motives are suspect, is the fast track to failure. If you don’t believe in your company, I promise you can’t sell it. First, you won’t create many opportunities because you’ll pull your punches. Second, your beliefs will betray you. You will lose opportunities because you don’t believe your company deserves them. That loss happens in your head long before your prospective client informs you that they’ve chosen your competitor.Your company has big, strong competitors? Believe you can slay giants.Your competitors sell price? Believe your clients want to pay more for more value—and then create and deliver that value.Your company has problems? Yeah? Like every other company. Believe—and help make a difference by helping make improvements (or else you are part of the problem).You are what you believe. And your results a reflection of what you believe. If you believe you have already lost, you lose before there is ever a contest. Believe otherwise.QuestionsDo you have any beliefs that don’t really serve you? Do you have beliefs that cause doubt?What do you believe that causes you to first lose in your mind? Well, not you, but someone you know well.Why do your beliefs cause you to lose opportunities?How do your beliefs cause you to lose opportunities?
About 200 children, who will become voters taking part in the country’s democratic process after a few years, have called upon the political parties to include their crucial issues in the manifestos for the upcoming Rajasthan Assembly election. Their charter of demands is the outcome of a series of seven workshops organised at divisional headquarters under the ‘Dasham’ initiative.‘Cell for children’The children’s demands included construction of toilets in schools, free distribution of sanitary pads, power supply in villages, mandatory holding of ‘Baal Sabha’ in village panchayats and improvement in Anganwadi centre services. “All political parties should establish separate cells for children,” stated the charter.At the ‘Dasham’ event here earlier this week, Rajasthan Assembly Deputy Speaker Rao Rajendra Singh and State Women’s Commission chairperson Suman Sharma (BJP), Mahesh Sharma (Congress), Sanjay Madhav (CPI-M), Nisha Siddhu (CPI), T.P. Sharma (Aam Aadmi Party) and Shailendra Awasthi (Samajwadi Party) interacted with the children.The event was an initiative of Rajasthan Right to Education Forum, Girls Not Brides — Rajasthan, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan and Baal Suraksha Network. Resource Institute for Human Rights spokesperson Vijay Goyal said though the children below 18 years were not allowed to vote, they should be heard in their capacity as “future voters”.Children below 18 years comprise 41% of the State’s population. If the teenagers till the age of 19 years are included in this population, the figures touch 49.6%, requiring special steps for their development by the government. The participants said the children could not become responsible citizens without an effective intervention for their healthy growth.Parties’ assuranceWhile the political leaders assured the gathering that they would try to get children’s issues included in the manifestos of their respective parties, the children from different districts, including the hearing- and speech-impaired students of schools and colleges, raised the issues which were affecting their natural growth.‘No school or hospital’Amira Khatoon, 17, from Jodhpur, said her village had no school or hospital and the people often died before getting to hospital in case of emergency. Kundan Kunwar from Udaipur said children in the rural families, who did not know anything about career choices, were lagging behind in the competition.The young boys and girls also challenged the traditions of educational opportunities being denied to the girls and the children forced into unwanted marriages at the tender age. The demands of specially abled children pertained to an easy access to public places and the availability of interpreters. .
India post 457 in 1st innings against England at Trent BridgeIndia Today Online | July 10, 2014 | UPDATED 10.18 PM IST July 10, 20148.46 PMVeteran actor Zohra Sehgal passes away52148.01 PMIt was disappointing, did not provide the relief they promised to people during their election campaign: Nitish Kumar1446.49 PMGermany expels US intelligence station chief over spying allegations: Reports666.45 PMMaharashtra Home Minister RR Patil and DGP Sanjeev Dayal are leaving for Pune in the wake of today’s blast006.27 PMMadhya Pradesh Youth Congress workers stage a protest against Union Budget in Bhopal515.50 PMMaharashtra Anti Terror Squad chief Himanshu Roy leaves for Pune in the wake of today’s blast115.48 PMIt was a low intensity blast, I have sought a detailed report; we can’t rule out anything yet: Rajnath Singh on Pune blast1835.45 PMRupee falls sharply by 44 paise to end at nearly three-week low of 60.19 against US dollar105.34 PMHome Minister Rajnath Singh will preside over the Cabinet meeting in the absence of PM Narendra Modi on seniority basis105.32 PMI appeal to people of Pune not to panic and not to believe in rumours: Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan on today’s blast10245.30 PMPremium petrol to cost Rs.5 less as govt cuts central excise duty from Rs.7.5 per litre to Rs.2.35 in Budget705.21 PMMaharashtra put on high alert after blast in Pune, Mumbai Police commissioner Rakesh Maria calls urgent meeting of DCPs, ACPs205.08 PMAll sections of society have been cheated; where is the BJP’s slogan of Swadeshi now, it’s all about FDI and PPP: Lalu Yadav on Budget72285.00 PMThe Budget converts hopes and aspirations of people into trust: PMWe are going in the right direction to overcome challenges faced in last decade: PM Narendra Modi on Budget.Govt confident of bringing country out of crisis; Budget in line with govt’s vision to create skilled and digital India: PM.944advertisement4.33 PMUnion Budget reflects the seriousness with which the new govt has set about the task of addressing the challenge of revival of growth: Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa4194.27 PMWe’ll come up with a new strategy in next 3 months: Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on natural gas pricing1374.10 PMMotorcycle used in today’s Pune blast was stolen from Satara, police sources say it was a low intensity IED explosion2043.51 PMSensex ends 72 points down at 25,372.75 after initial thumbs up to Jaitley’s maiden Budget, Nifty closes 17.25 points lower at 7567.7512143.33 PMForensic experts recover nails and ball bearings from Pune blast site in which three people were injured today2053.28 PMRSS entrant Ram Madhav meets BJP president Amit Shah, takes party’s primary membership413.23 PMI don’t think inflation will come down by this Budget: Mayawati22332.41 PMBlast in two-wheeler in front of Faraskhana police station in Pune, reason not known; 2 injured212.35 PMWe did not want to burden the common man; we had to resolve a lot of issues: Arun Jaitley on Budget1482.32 PMMy objective was to revive the economy; I hope this leads to its expansion: FM Arun Jaitley on his maiden Budget1552.29 PMMeasures announced in Budget will bring back growth, says Union Finance Secretary Arvind MayaramBudget proposals will instil confidence in investors: Arvind Mayaram.Banking system will see resurgence with Budget measures: Mayaram.54232.23 PMFM Arun Jaitley’s family happy with his first BudgetI feel very happy, it’s a very good Budget: Arun Jaitley’s wife Sangeeta Jaitley (left in pic).This Budget will be very good for the nation, I am very happy with it: Jaitley’s daughter Sonali Jaitley (right).342.17 PMThere are no measures to control inflation in Budget, it’s very disappointing: AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal5122.16 PMThere are no welfare measures, they have only given relief to corporate houses: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Budget68332.14 PM49% FDI in defence is a threat to national security, it is dangerous: Veteran Congressman AK Antony on Budget7172.12 PMIt is only for the rich, not for the poor or unemployed: SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Budget11222.07 PMNo sense of direction or measures to improve the situation of inflation; I’ll have to study figures in detail: Shashi Tharoor on Budget60252.01 PMBudget will improve health and wealth of the nation; it’s aimed at operational revival of economy: Venkaiah Naidu33161.58 PMUnion Home Minister Rajnath Singh calls Budget friendly for the poor, youth, farmers, women and senior citizens4591091.43 PMAll proposals already existed and were just presented in a new way; this will only benefit Adani and Ambani, not the common man: NCP’s Nawab Malik on Budget36311.40 PMVeteran BJP leader LK Advani calls Jaitley’s first Budget as ‘one of the best budgets’, says it lays a solid road map3071.36 PMSensex rises by 330.89 points to 25,775.70 after Jaitley’s maiden Budget, Nifty up by 96.80 points at 7,681.801021.28 PMIt doesn’t quicken the pulse, slows down instead: Rahul Gandhi on Union Budgetadvertisement14191.27 PMThere is nothing new, they have merely continued our schemes; there is very little in it for the social sector: Sonia Gandhi on Budget15191.16 PMLok Sabha adjourned till Friday after Jaitley’s Budget speech721.15 PMJaitley raises investment limit under Section 80C by Rs.50,000FM Arun Jaitley’s Budget speech in Lok Sabha:- I propose to give some relief to taxpayers and some sectors of the economy: FM.- I do not propose to make any changes in tax rate: FM.- Tax exemption limit for small and marginal and senior tax payers changed from Rs.2 lakh to Rs.2.5 lakh: FM.- Tax exemption limit for senior citizens changed from Rs.2.5 lakh to Rs.3 lakh: FM.- I propose to increase investment limit under Section 80C from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1.5 lakh: FM.- Housing loan rebate on I-T to be hiked from Rs.1.5 lakh to Rs.2 lakh: FM.- Income Tax Dept is expected to function not only as an enforcement dept but also as a facilitator: FM.- The net effect of direct tax proposals is a revenue loss of Rs.22,200 crore: FM.- FM announces measures to encourage manufacture of LCD and LED panels of TVs, proposals to make CRT TVs cheaper.- FM hikes customs duty on flat steel products to 7.5%, enhances export duty on bauxite from 10% to 20%.- Solar Power equipment manufactured in India to become cheaper.- FM announces reduction in excise duty for specified food package industry from 10% to 6% and on footwear from 12% to 6%.- Specific excise duty on cigarettes raised in the range to 11 to 72 per cent.- Tax proposals on indirect tax front would yield Rs.7,525 crore, says FM Arun Jaitley.911.05 PMGovt to provide finance to 5 lakh landless farmers: FMFinance Minister Arun Jaitley resumes his Budget speech in Lok Sabha:- I propose to provide finance to 5 lakh landless farmers through NABARD: FM.- All govt departments and ministries to be integrated through e-platform by December 31: FM.- MSMEs are the backbone of the economy; to be revived through a committee that will examine and give report in 3 months: FM.- FM announces Rs.200 crore for 6 more textile clusters in Rae Bareli, Lucknow, Surat, Bhagalpur.- New airports to be developed through PPP model: FM.- Rs.4,200 crore set aside for 1620 km long Jal Marg Vikas project on Ganga, connecting Allahabad to Haldia: FM.- New and renewable energy deserves high priority; ultramodern power projects to be taken up in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Ladakh with Rs.500 crore: FM.- The ongoing impasse in coal sector will be resolved: FM.- FM proposes to raise PPF ceiling from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1.5 lakh.- Pending Insurance Amendment Bill to be taken up in Parliament: FM.- FM announces ‘Namami Ganga’, an integrated Ganga Development Project; allocates Rs.2037 crore to it.- FM gives Rs.100 crore for Varanasi-Gaya-Saranath Buddhist circuit; Gaya to be developed as world class tourism spot.- NRI fund to be set up for conservation of river Ganga: FM.- Rs.1,000 crore to be provided for rail connectivity in North-East region: FM.- Govt proposes to set up a sports university in Manipur: FM.- Rs.100 crore set aside for training of sportspersons for the Asiad Games: FM.advertisement16311.50 AMThe Budget aims at 7-8% GDP growth in 3-4 years: JaitleyFinance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget speech in Lok Sabha:- The steps I will announce are only the beginning of the journey we wish to take for macro economic stabilisation.- The Budget aims at 7-8 per cent GDP growth in 3-4 years.- There’s urgent need to generate more resources for economy, need to revive growth in manufacturing, infrastructure sectors.- This govt won’t create any law which will retrospectively lead to tax liability.- Composite FDI in defence to be raised by 49%, FDI in insurance to be raised to 49% from 26%.- As large number of people migrate to cities, unless new cities are developed the present ones would become unliveable.- We’ll examine proposal to give additional autonomy to banks and make them more responsible.- Propose to set up a committee to examine how huge money lying unused in postal schemes can be utilised.- EPFO will launch a unified account scheme for portability of provident fund accounts.- I propose to set up 4 more AIIMS in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Vidarbha and Purvanchal; Rs.500 crore set aside for this.- Six new AIIMS started recently have become functional.- Govt will promote Metro Rail Projects on PPP model; Rs.100 crore set aside for Lucknow and Ahmedabad projects.- Rs.100 crore set aside for Community Radio Centres; 600 new and existing ones will be supported.- FM laments apathy towards girl child; announces Beti Padhao, Beti Badhao scheme; sets aside Rs.100 crore for this.- FM announces Crisis Management Centre for women in Delhi; money to be provided from Nirbhaya fund.Lok Sabha adjourned till 11.50 am as Budget speech halted for 5 minutes.Speaker allows FM Arun Jaitley to present Budget while sitting as he isn’t feeling well.561311.00 AMFM Arun Jaitley begins his maiden Budget speech in Lok Sabha5310.48 AMPoor people should benefit from Budget; if they won’t benefit, rich people won’t benefit, says industrialist Rahul Bajaj121210.37 AMUnion Cabinet clears Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s first General Budget, meeting at Parliament ends9510.24 AMCongress is ruining its own image by asking for the status of Leader of Opposition like this, says BJP’s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi13610.20 AMUnion Cabinet meeting begins at Parliament ahead of presentation of General Budget5010.17 AMUnion Minister Jitendra Singh says Budget will meet expectations of people and everything will be fine519.32 AMSensex gains 47 points, opens at 25,51314129.10 AMFinance Minister Arun Jaitley leaves for Finance Ministry2109:00 AMFinance Minister Arun Jaitley to present maiden Union Budget amid high expectations7266.30 AMHamas rockets target Israel nuclear reactorAccording to media reports, Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system has intercepted a rocket and two others fell in open areas as Palestinian group Hamas targeted the nuclear reactor in southern town of Dimona.4505.05 AMBrazil police denies entry to 267 foreigners in World CupSince the beginning of the FIFA World Cup June 12, Brazil’s Federal Police has denied entry to the country to 267 foreign citizens for various reasons.There are many Argentinean nationals among those denied entry — before the FIFA World Cup, the Argentine authorities sent to Brazil a list of over 2,000 so-called ‘barrabravas’, football fans with a history of violence in stadiums,1004:11 AMArgentina overcome Netherlands in penalties, to face Germany in World Cup finalArgentina overcome Netherlands in penalties, to face Germany in World Cup final Argentina set up a FIFA World Cup final clash against Germany after overcoming the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout. Both teams failed to score at the end of regular and extra time at the Arena Corinthians here Wednesday.021.55 AMIt’s dream come true for me, says Murali Vijay after scoring tonElated at scoring his maiden overseas hundred and fourth of his career, Indian opener Murali Vijay today said his fine effort on the opening day of the first Test against England here was a dream come true for him.4012.06 AMRussian economy stagnates as capital flight hits $75 billionRussia’s economy is stagnating as data showed on Wednesday that capital worth $75 billion has left the country so far this year following sanctions on Moscow over its involvement in Ukraine.1012.04 AMChina to take measures to promote judicial independenceChina will act to promote judicial independence over the next five years with measures including specialised tribunals for environment and intellectual property cases, state media reported on Wednesday.Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/breakingnews.html
Marie Sklodowska Curie’s long list of achievements is extended by adding another feather to her hat. In a major poll, she has been voted number one as the woman who made a significant impact on world history.#MondayMotivation from Marie Curie, 1st woman to win a @NobelPrize, 1st person to win twice & the only one to win in 2 different sciences. #WomenInScience pic.twitter.com/lGF0qB7SQWUN Women (@UN_Women) August 6, 2018Two-time Nobel Prize-winner in Physics (1903) and Chemistry (1911), Curie pioneered in research on radioactivity, chemical element radium, and polonium which literally shook the scientific world.Who conducted the poll?BBC History Magazine conducted a reader’s poll of 100 women who changed the worldIn this poll, Marie Curie has been voted the woman who made the most significant impact on world historyWhat is the process of selecting the most renowned female figure in history? Women from several fields in areas like politics, science, sports, technology and literature were shortlistedExperts from 10 different fields were asked to provide the names of 10 women who changed the world, to create a list of 100 women to be included in the poll.Curie was nominated by Patricia Fara, president of the British Society for the History of Science, who said: “She [Curie] was the first woman to win a Nobel prize in physics, first female professor at the University of Paris, and the first person — note the use of person there, not woman — to win a second Nobel prize.”The odds were always stacked against her, added Fara.advertisement”In Poland, her patriotic family suffered under a Russian regime. In France, she was regarded with suspicion as a foreigner — and of course, wherever she went, she was discriminated against as a woman,” Patricia finished.List of some other awards Curie won:Davy Medal (1903)Matteucci Medal (1904)Actonian Prize (1907)Elliott Cresson Medal (1909)Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society (1921)A look at Marie’s career graph:Marie was only 15 when she graduated from high schoolShe is the only person to have won the Nobel twiceFirst, she won the Nobel in Physics and later in ChemistryHer family has a legacy of five Nobel PrizesShe coined the term ‘radioactivity’ and gave a theory on itCurie even discovered the two very important elements, Polonium and RadiumIt was under her guidance that the Neoplasms were studied for the first time using radioactive isotopesShe set up the first military field radiological centres during World War IThe Radium Institute and the Curie Institute were founded by herShe has notable work in cancer therapies ahead of its time, like launching effective cures for the disease and helping develop X-rays in surgery for the same. This is why a charity in her name, Marie Curie Cancer Care Charity, was established.Top 20 from the BBC History Magazine’s ‘100 Women who Changed the World’Marie CurieRosa ParksEmmeline PankhurstAda LovelaceRosalind FranklinMargaret ThatcherAngela Burdett-CouttsMary WollstonecraftFlorence NightingaleMarie StopesEleanor of AquitaineThe Virgin MaryJane AustenBoudiccaDiana, Princess of WalesAmelia EarhartQueen VictoriaJosephine ButlerMary SeacoleMother TeresaInterested in General Knowledge and Current Affairs? Click here to stay informed and know what is happening around the world with our G.K. and Current Affairs section.To get more updates on Current Affairs, send in your query by mail to email@example.com
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license There should be more accuracy and transparency in declaration of cargo to shipping companies, Diego Aponte, President and CEO of Switzerland-based MSC Group said.“It is imperative that shipping companies are well informed on what is being transported in containers in order to safely manage dangerous or potentially dangerous cargoes. The public may assume the shipping line is at fault – it is our logo on the ship – but many of the tragedies that occur in our sector are down to incorrectly declared cargo,” Aponte said in the company’s Sustainability Report for 2017.In September 2018, New York District Court said that MSC was not liable for the explosion and losses related to the MSC Flaminia fire from July 2012 that claimed the lives of three crew members and destroyed thousands of cargo containers.Instead, Deltech, the manufacturer of the chemical transported aboard the ship, and Stolt Tank Containers B.V. (Stolt), responsible for trucking the chemical,were found responsible for not informing MSC of the dangers related to the storing of the chemical that eventually led to the incident.“And where there have been accidents at sea, we have always taken all necessary actions and moved promptly to rectify the situation to limit environmental damage and protect lives. No amount of technological progress or digitalisation, it seems, can help fix this relatively simple problem in our industry,” Aponte added.According to the report, in 2017 MSC achieved an 11% reduction in CO2 per tons of cargo moved on a per mile basis, compared to 2015.The reduction was ascribed to a comprehensive fleet retrofitting program, optimisation of bulbous bow and propellers, ballast water management, as well as installation of scrubbers.The company’s overall climate action strategy involves an investment of approximately USD 1.5 billion.“This enormous financial commitment was made possible by MSC’s growing and stable economic performance as well as by the continuous support of key financial institutions,” MSC said.Commenting on its path toward achieving compliance with the sulphur cap, MSC has been exploring the viability of three key solutions: scrubbers, LNG and low sulphur fuel.“Based on current forecasts and considering the size of our fleet, there is a strong business and environmental case for retrofitting our ships with Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (ECGS). The systems are costly and complex to install, however, with drydock, manufacturing and installation capacity all being potential limiting factors,” MSC explained.As for LNG, MSC pointed to the shortage of global bunkering infrastructure, especially for bigger ships, while numerous concerns remain with regard to the quality, availability and reliability of new fuel blends.“Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (ULSFO) plays a significant role in our current fuel mix and we will continue to monitor developments,” MSC added.