DENGUE DETECTION KIT: Casil Health Products Ltd, Ahmedabad in colla-boration with Pan Bio Pty Ltd, Australia has developed a rapid detection kit for the dreaded dengue fever . The detection kit confirms the presence of the dengue flave virus in only five minutes without the aid of any other specia-lised equipment. The kit is also equipped to facilitate mass screening at dengue-prone areas, thereby giving sufficient response time to the health authorities to take pre-emtive steps to contain the outbreak of an epidemic. Last year, a number of people were killed by the onslaught of the fatal mosquito-borne desease.

COOL TRANSFORMERS: Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has established an advanced technology for the manufacture of cast resin dry type transformer. According to the company release, these transformers are safe, risk free and can be installed in fire-prone, high-risk areas. The transformers have a high-quality glass fibre epoxy insulation instead of oil and paper insulation, used in conventional transformers. These transformers are totally maintenance-free and do not cause any load-shedding as they are required to be taken out of service for maintenance.

INFO PACT: An agreement to promote research and cooperation in com-puter software and information technology has been signed between India and Japan. The pact was signed by the Japanese Software Research Committee set up under the aegis of the Indo Japan Trade Centre. The Japan-based Softpia, promotes international exchange in the field of computer software research and development. The areas of cooperation would include joint working on multimedia, animation and virtual reality.

TB DETECTION: A rapid single-step detection test for tuberculosis has been developed by Veda Lab, Paris in collaboration with Ajanta agencies, part of the Nobel group of industries, New Delhi which will market it in India from September. The kit analyses a single drop of blood from the patient and within 10 minutes will give the result. The test can be performed by anyone and its shelf life is about two years. The kit detects the disease even at a very early stage of infection.

PLANTATIONS PACT: The Chennai-based Anubhav Plantations has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with US-based American Forests to exchange information and technology on environmental issues. American Forests would actively promote Anubhav's plantations programme as a primary component of the Global ReLeaf 2000 portfolio of carbon sequestration tree-planting projects. For its part Anubhav "will serve as the developer of teak plantation that will provide environmental, social and economic benefits".

OIL VENTURE: US-based Exxon Corp will undertake a multibillion-dollar oil and petrochemical joint venture in China's Fujian province. In collaboration with the Fujian Petrochemical Co, it will construct a 600,000 tonne-a year ethylene unit, a 450,000 tonne-a-year ploye-thylene plant and a 300,000 tonne-a-year polypropylene unit. The refinery products, including gasoline and heating oil, and the chemicals, used in plastic bottles, bags, containers and other items, would help meet the growing demand for these commodities in China.

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