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Saturday, March 24, 2001

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Newscan

Counting complications

Taking census is proving to be complicated in the worlds most populous country - China - so admits Xu K ang, head of the Department of Population's statistics bureau.

Since workers are never at home during the day, counting has to wait till evening. The census takers are then only able to complete two or three when they have to complete five.

The count of China's estimated 1.3 billion people is further hampered by the tallying of the floating population of migrant workers, estimated to be around 200 million.The results of the census has been delayed by a month.

Space detectives

Evidence, presented by two orbitting satellites, has dispelled doubts about the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Researchers till recently have depended on theoretical models and ground based measurements to gauge the change in the greenhouse gases, which is beleived to be the cause of global warming and major climate disruptions.

Bugs hoodwinked

It looks like a harmless, black plastic birdcage - yet its a deadly trap to lure biting insects to their doom. Developed jointly by Singapore's local exterminator Pest Busters and New Zealand-based Enviro Safe Technologies, this new trap was launched in Singapore last week.

Ken Child, Enviro Safe's managing director, told a news conference that "It basiacally replicates a human target to a mosquito"

The unique factors as he explained are:"Its got colour that mosquitoes find attractive. Its got a heat source thats set to the human skin temperature. It breathes out carbon dioxide gas, proven scientifically as the main attractor to mosquitoes."

This bug bait is tailor-made for hot humid climates and common mosquito species which cause malaria or dengue fever.

Compiled by ROHINI RAMAKRISHNAN

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Section  : Features
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