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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Elephants 1, Astrophysicists 0 in Scuffle over Indian Observatory
23 November 2009 11:34 am
NEW DELHI—In a setback for astrophysicists, the Indian government, citing environmental concerns, has ruled out construction of the proposed Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) at its preferred location near the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in southern India.
During the $167 million project, an underground laboratory would be excavated 2 kilometers deep inside Singara Mountain, where a thick granite overburden would shield a 50,000-ton magnetized iron neutrino detector from cosmic rays. Ecologists have opposed the site because of potential deleterious effects on local elephant populations.
In a 20 November report, the Ministry of Environment and Forests stated that Singara “is ecologically very sensitive owing to its corridor value both for elephants as well as other wild animals.” The ministry urged INO to consider an alternative site that it had investigated earlier: Suruliyar, some 500 kilometers south of Bangalore. “The Suruliyar site should be seriously considered … as the location does not present the type of problems that Singara poses,” environment minister Jairam Ramesh wrote in the report to INO managers.
INO officials have little choice but to ponder the alternative. “We will request the government to at least assure us about the environment and forest clearance [permits], provided the site is found technically alright,” INO Spokesperson Naba K. Mondal, a physicist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, told the Deccan Herald.