SCINQ Asia: Vikram lunar lander on the verge; African Swine Fever sending Philippines into panic

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Two weeks after initially losing contact with their moon lander, the Indian Space Agency is running out of time to get the Vikram lunar lander. Public statements have shown some on-again-off-again positivity but it doesn’t look good.

African Swine Fever is digging in its heels in the Philippines and the country is on the verge of a full blown panic. More and more pigs are testing positive for the dreaded disease. The country is considering a ban on all pork products.

While we’re on the subject of African Swine Fever, the Japanese aren’t messing around when it comes to the country’s pig population. The Farm Ministry has decided to take action. As per the Japan Times, “In a major policy shift, agriculture minister Taku Eto announced Friday that the ministry now plans to vaccinate pigs against swine fever.” The ministry will also ask pharmaceutical companies to increase production of swine flu vaccines.

A new pain reliever, SR419, is being tested in clinical trials in China. It was developed by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Shanghai SIMR Biotechnology Co., Ltd. According to the CAS website, “According to the research group, the candidate drug proved effective in relieving chronic pain caused by nerve damage. It reduced potential side effects on central nerves and could replace opioid drugs which produce morphine-like effects.”

It’s not a good time for air quality in Southeast Asia. Singapore’s air quality is worsening just as the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix is set to be raced.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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