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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum




N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,2

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

EDITORIAL climate, etc, yet it is one of the most

undeveloped parts. In this regard, if we
consider one of the states of seven sisters,
It’s a great honour and proud privilege Assam, it has literacy rate of 65%, out of
for me to present the first editorial of NE which 70% goes to arts, 6% Commerce, 1.5%
QUEST- the online news letter of North East Technical education and only 12 % goes to
India Research Forum. I would like to take the science education which is a very gloomy
opportunity to share with you some of my picture indeed. So we have a long way to
experience, thoughts and feelings through this move. Through this forum, I dream of science
editorial. to reach every nook and corner of the north
If I look back, when the first thought of east India, whose limitations does not lie only
formation of the forum came to my mind, I was to the intellectual class. I dream of using
almost at a fix whether it would really work. My science for social cause which is not limited to
mind was saturated with diverse questions like- the chapters of science book and experiments
whether I will be able to bring the N.E. in the laboratory. I dream a movement of
researchers together, whether people would science of its own through this forum which
cooperate with me etc etc. The list of questions happened never before. But again I firmly
was endless. Again I thought of great people’s believe dreaming without proper thinking will
works, outcome of all great works did not reach not achieve the goal, for success begins with a
smoothly, success did not come to them fellows will. Its all in a state of mind. Well, the
overnight, there were lots of hurdles. Could group has already started to form and we need
anybody imagine simple observation by to maintain the spirit and we can win only if
Newton- the falling of apple from a tree would we think we can. If we properly utilize our
lead to so many revolutionary scientific knowledge we can transform our region and
theories? But it took time for him to prove present a different outlook. Here, no one can
himself, sometimes things are understood to the deny the role of science and technology as a
world even after a person’s death. All these tool for development of a region.
things moved me most, I thought of doing The future, the health of NE QUEST-
something atleast in a small level. I concluded our quest for excellence will depend more on
thinking’’ it does not matter how many times we the enthusiasm and excellence of younger
win or lose, what matters is how many times we participants. We strongly encourage younger
bounce back.’’. members to publish their research articles in
The forum was started on 13th of NE Quest and work hand in hand with the
November 2004. Fortunately the first member I senior members. It can be considered as the
approached joined the group with out any platform for sharing our views, thoughts,
hesitation which gave me abundant inspiration. dreams with fellow members.
He was none other than our beloved Dr. Prodeep At this point I would like to sincerely
Phukan. Now I feel it is the right time for me to thank all the fellow members and moderators
thank him. of the forum for helping in launching of the
Since last two and half years we have newsletter. This is the beginning and we have
been trying to build a network of researchers miles to go. Hope NE Quest reaches the point
belonging to the most beautiful part of our of zenith.
Nation…the North East part, the Seven Sister
States. The web is being formed through the Thank you &
science’s one of most valuable gift to the Wish you all a very very Happy Bihu and
modern day life..Internet. It was formed aiming Happy New Year.
at bringing all the science researchers of the
North East part of India under one umbrella, no
matter which field of science he or she belongs Arindam Adhikari
Our region is one of the richest in India, (Volunteer Editor of this issue)
if we look at its natural resources, fertile land,

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,2

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

2. SCIENCE, R&D News 3
a) Biofuel Based Rural Energy – The Issues and The Challenges
Dr. Dhanapati Deka 8
b) Glimpses Of Lindau Meeting 2002
Dr. Ashim Jyoti Thakur 12
c) Wastelands: The Hidden Potential
Ms. N. Bhattacharyya 16
d) Smart Materials: The Emerging Technology
Dr. Siddhartha Gogoi 17
e) Lentinula edods (Shiitake) – A mushroom species for human health care
Mr. Mahananda Chutia 20
f) Zeta Potential in Surface Chemistry of Minerals
Dr. Manash Ranjan Das 22
g) X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy: A Synchrotron-based Technique
for Structural Analysis-
Mr. Pankaj Bharali 23
h) Applications of structural adhesives in bonding aircraft structures
Dr. Rashmi Rekha Devi 26
i) Intellectual Property And Its Importance With Special Reference To Patents
Mr. Abhishek Choudhury 29
j) Seaweeds: A renewable reservoir of bio active molecules
Dr. Kamalesh Prasad 31
k) What is Nanoparticles and Why Nanoparticles
Md. Harunar Rashid 37


a) Ph. D. thesis abstract of Dr. Prodeep Phukan 38
(Asymmetric Hydroxylations of Olefins, Reductions of Ketones and Organic
Transformations Using Heterogeneous Catalysis)
b) Ph. D. thesis abstract of Dr. Joshodeep Boruwa 44
(Investigations Towards the Synthesis of Natural Products or Parts Thereof Involving
Nitro Stabilized Carbanions)
Country of this Issue: Germany

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,3

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

THE FORUM 3. Way to have a contact with all

North East India Research Forum was members =29%
created on 13th November 2004. 4. Scientific discussions = 14%
1. How we are growing. 5. Others = 2%

At the beginning, it was a march hardly • Selection of name for Newsletter

with few members and today the forum There were total 36 proposals submitted
comprised of a force of more than 100 by members of the forum for the
researchers. Now expectations have risen Newsletter. The name proposed by Mr.
and there are reasons to be. It is hoped to Abhishek Choudhury, N.E. QUEST
grow more in quality and quantity. received the maximum number of votes
and hence it is accepted as the name of
2. Discussions held in the forum the Newsletter.

• Necessity of directory of all the members 4. Future activities

of the forum.
• Possibility of organising conference in the Proper planning and consequent
N E India. implementation always play an important
• Taking initiation on setting up of South role in every aspect. Some of the
East Asian Scientific Institute. topics/activities/suggestions which were
being discussed, time to time in the forum
3. Poll conducted and results. will get top priorities in our future activities.
Those are mentioned here,
• North East India is lacking behind the rest • Preparing complete online database of
of the country due to- N.E. researchers with details.
1. Geographical constrain =0% • Organising conference in the N.E.
2. Bad leadership = 40% region-proposed by Dr. Utpal Bora.
3. Lack of work culture = 36% • Research collaboration among forum
4. Corruption = 18% members.
5. Apathy from Central Govt. = 4% • Motivate student to opt for science
• Which area of science is going to • Help master’s students in doing projects
dominate by creating a great impact on in different organisation-proposed by
society in next decade? Mr. Khirud Gogoi.
1. Nanoscience & nanotechnology = • Supporting schools in rural areas by
22% different ways.
2. Biotechnology = 11%
3. Nanobiotechnology = 38% To run the forum smoothly, to make it more
4. Chemical Engineering = 0% organised and to speed up activities,
5. Medicine = 11% formation of a committee/team is essential.
6. Others = 16% The combined discussion of the moderators
7. None = 0% and senior members make the forum feel the
importance of Advisors, co-ordinator,
• Kindly let us know your view regarding volunteer, webmasters etc. Of course it
the following topic. What activities of this needs more discussion and will be approved
group you like most ? by poll.
1. Research articles= 33%
2. Information about vacancy/positions

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,2

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

SCIENCE, R & D NEWS • Biology and chemistry researchers from

Virginia Tech, USA, are creating molecular
• Researchers from University of complexes to bind to and disrupt the DNA
Copenhagen, Denmark have achieved a of diseased tissues, such as tumors or
breakthrough in the field of blood groups by viruses. A student at Virginia Tech. has
developing new technology that could convert created an LED system that glows a
blood types A, B, and AB into the universal beautiful shade of blue when the special
type O. As it stands there are constant blood molecules successfully bind to DNA. His
supply shortages, this technology would be invention now provides rapid screening to
beneficial because blood type O can be given accelerate discovery of promising new
to any patient irrespective of their own blood drugs. (News release issued by Virginia
group. They claim to have found two unique Tech)
glycosidase enzymes in bacteria that can • Fats in our stomach may reduce the
convert one blood type to the other. It was also protective effects of antioxidants such as
found that the enzymes can remove sugar vitamin C. Scientists at the University of
molecules from the red blood cells, which Glasgow found that in the presence of lipid
provoke an immune reaction in the recipient. the ability of antioxidants, such as ascorbic
[Nature 446, 586 - 587 (05 Apr 2007)] acid (the active component of vitamin C), to
• Scientists from University of Heidelberg protect against the generation of potential
and the University of Bayreuth, in Germany cancer-forming compounds in the stomach
have created first non-Carbon material with is less than when no lipids are present.
near-Diamond hardness. The material is a • A fungus that can convert waste paper
boron nitride “nanocomposite”. It is made of into an antibacterial and super-absorbent
crystalline boron-nitride grains that are each a material has been discovered by researchers
few to several nanometers in size. Now the at Borås University College in Sweden. The
scientists are involved in preparing a bulk discovery could provide a commercially and
material that is hard, tough, and thermally environmentally viable material for
stable, and thus ideal for cutting and drilling. disposable diapers and sanitary wear. The
(March 8th, Applied Physics Letters, products would not only have improved hygiene qualities but would be entirely
• Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, biodegradable and so reduce the impact on
researchers have built a prototype landfill sites for these bulky products.
"nanogenerator" that can produce continuous • Chemists at the University of
direct-current electricity from such sources as Washington in Seattle are developing
blood flow or vibration. The nanometer-scale ‘smart’ sunglasses that will allow the wearer
generator is based on arrays of vertically to instantly change the color of their lenses
aligned zinc oxide nanowires that move inside to virtually any hue of the rainbow. Clear,
a "zigzag" plate electrode. A piezoelectric- red, green, blue or purple, virtually any color
semiconducting coupling process converts could be obtained instantly by tuning a tiny
mechanical energy into electricity. The zigzag electronic knob in the frame, the researchers
electrode acts as an array of parallel integrated say. (Source: the 233rd national meeting of
metal tips that simultaneously and the American Chemical Society)
continuously create, collect, and output
electricity from all of the nanowires. The
approach presents an adaptable, mobile, and
cost-effective technology for harvesting
energy from the environment, and it offers a
potential solution for powering nanodevices
and nanosystems.( Science 6 April 2007)

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,3

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

NE INDIANS MADE US PROUD forms of cancer, skin diseases and

emphysema continues to this day. These
1. Prof. Rohinikanta Baruah (1910-1968) days however Barua is retired from the
was the architect of the foundation of present research lab. But he still has an interest in
Biochemistry dept. of Assam Medical College, vitamin A.
Dibrugarh. During his time the department
started rising to one of the well equipped 3. Dr. Dhiraj Bora was designated as ITER
research centre. In 1964 he left Dibrugarh Deputy Director-General for CODAC,
Heating and Current Drive Systems, and
Diagnostics, in July 2006. ITER is a joint
international research and development
project that aims to demonstrate the
scientific and

Prof. R.K.Boruah

University and joined Guahati university.

With limited resources he could publish
research article in the prestigious journals like
Nature ( Barua, R. K. et. al. Nature, 1962, 193, Dr. Dhiraj Bora
165 ; Barua, R. K. et. al. Nature, 1963, 197,
594). (With input from Dr. Prodeep Phukan technical feasibility of fusion power. The
and Dr. Rashmi Rekha Devi) partners in the project - the ITER Parties -
are the European Union (represented by
2. Prof. Arun Bhushan Barua is involved in EURATOM), Japan, the People´s Republic
the research of vitamin A. For more than 40 of China, India, the Republic of Korea, the
years, the scientist has researched the Russian Federation and the USA. ITER will
chemistry, biochemistry, bioactivity, be constructed in Europe, at Cadarache in
metabolism, analysis and nutritional aspects of the South of France.

4. Prof. Jitendra Nath Goswami, is the

Director of Physical Research Laboratory,
Ahmedabad. Dr Goswami, who held several
important academic posts during his
illustrious career,

Prof. Arun Bhushan Baruah

vitamin A and carotenoids. The last 25 years

of that research has been conducted in the
Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and
Molecular Biology of Iowa State University.
His research led to the chemical synthesis of a Prof. Jitendra N. Goswami
water-soluble form of vitamin A and
determination of its biological activity in is a Fellow of the three Science Academies
animals and humans. The clinical usefulness in India. He is also a member of the National
of this compound in the treatment of certain Committee for Space Researches. He was

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,4

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

fortunate to analyse for the first time the Lunar University of Missouri-Kansas City
sample carried back by Apollo-11 mission in (UMKC). He obtained the M.S. and Ph.D.
the early seventies of the last century. Dr degrees in
Goswami is also endowed with several
prestigious national and international awards,
namely the Indian National Science
Academy's Medal for Young Scientists
(1978), the NASA Public Service Group
Achievement Award (1986) and the Shanti
Swarup Bhatnagar Award for his pioneering
contributions to Planetary Sciences (1994). Prof. Deepankar Medhi

5. Prof. B. N. Goswami is professor at Center Computer Sciences from the University of

for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, IISc., Wisconsin-Madison in 1985 and 1987,
Bangalore. He was born and brought up in a respectively. Prior to joining UMKC in
remote village Patbausi in Assam. He recieved 1989, he was a member of the technical staff
college education in Cotton college, Gauhati in the traffic network routing and design
(B.Sc. Physics), Masters in Physics from department at the AT&T Bell Laboratories,
Gauhati University Holmdel, New Jersey from 1987 to 1989.


• All the Central Universities of N.E.
India to have medical studies faculties.
• Central Govt. is planning to set up
Regional Cancer Centres (RCCs) in
Prof. B.N.Goswami each of the eight ( + Sikkim ) North
Eastern States.
in 1971. He completed his Ph.D. in Plasma • Proposal of upgrading Jorhat science
Physics in 1976 under the guidance of Prof. college to Indian Institute of Science.
Buti in Physical Research Laboratory, • India’s first science village is being set
Ahmedabad. His doctoral work involved up at Jamugurihat in Assam. The
studies of linear and non-linear instabilities in science village will have a planetarium,
magnetic plasmas. He joined the newly botanical garden, heritage park, a
formed group "Climate Research' in PRL in wetland project, bird sanctuary,
1976. Met Prof Jule Charney in 1977 and his aquarium, science museum, library,
invitation to work with him made him auditorium, children's park and a
Atmospheric Scientist. He received many laboratory. The first phase is scheduled
prestigious awards. He is also recipient of to open by the end of this year. Gramya
Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award, in Earth, Jana Bigyan Mancha (GJBM), an NGO
Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, engaged in spreading scientific
1995 by Council of Scientific and Industrial awareness, is executing the project. The
Research, India. brain behind the project is Shri Radhika
Mohan Bhagawati, a journalist at whose
6. Prof. Deepankar Medhi is Professor (and behest scientist Shri Dinesh Chandra
past Head) of Computer Science & Electrical Goswami prepared the project for
Engineering (CSEE) Department, School of GJBM. The president of GJBM is Shri
Computing and Engineering (SCE) at the Kshiradhar Baruah, a national award
winner for popularisation of science.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,5

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum


MEMBERS IN NEWS, AWARDS AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy)
The atomic force microscope, AFM,
/ FELLOWSHIP RECEIVED BY is a high resolution type scanning probe
MEMBERS microscope. It was invented by Gerd Binnig,
Calvin F. Quate and Christoph Gerber in
1. Dr. Prodeep Phukan, Reader, Chemistry 1986. It is used not only for molecular scale
Department, Guwahati University microscopy (high resolution imaging), but
received Ramanna fellowship (Dept. of also for the study of interaction forces
Science & Technology, India 2007-2009). between two surfaces. Repulsive or
2. Mr. Khirud Gogoi, Senior Research attractive interactions, adhesion, friction,
Fellow, National Chemical Laboratory lubrication etc. can be accurately measured
(NCL), Pune in RSC Chemical Biology and analyzed by AFM. The AFM is being
news, for their discovery of a series of used to study many different systems in
modified nucleic acids that show potential Material Science, Surface Chemistry,
as gene targeted drugs. Biology, Medicine, Nanotechnology, etc. It
3. Dr. Tridib Sharma receives JSPS is being also used to solve processing and
fellowship. materials problems in a wide range of
4. Dr. Utpal Bora receives JSPS fellowship. technologies affecting electronics,
telecommunications, biological, chemical,
INTERNATIONAL automotive, aerospace and energy industries.
The AFM uses a microscale
CONFERENCE ATTENDED BY cantilever with a sharp tip (probe) at its end
MEMBERS OF THE FORUM to scan the specimen surface (placed on a
piezo-scanner) in order to obtain an image
• Dr. Dhanapati Deka, Reader, Dept. of of it. The cantilever tip is typically made of
Energy presented a research paper on silicon or silicon nitride with a tip radius of
‘Biofuel consumption and future needs-a curvature on the order of nanometers. When
case for North east India’ in the World the tip is brought into proximity of a sample
Bioenergy Conference 2006 held in surface, forces between the tip and the
Jonkoping, Sweden during May 30th – sample lead to a deflection of the cantilever.
June 1st 2006. The deflection is measured by monitoring
the incident spot on a photodiode of a laser
------------------------o----------------------- beam reflected from the top of the cantilever
(Figure 1).
Information about Cover Page Image:
The way in which image contrast is
In the cover page of the newsletter two images
obtained can be achieved in many ways. The
are of AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy)
three main classes of imaging modes are
imaging of conducting polyaniline dispersed
contact mode, tapping mode and non-
in Polyvinyl Acetate matrix coating. The
contact mode.
image left side is simple imaging (topography)
Contact mode is the most common
and the right side is the simultaneous
method of operation of the AFM. As the
conductivity mapping of the sample. In the
name suggests, the tip and sample remain in
topography pinholes could be seen and in the
close contact as the scanning proceeds.
conductivity mapping the yellow spots
Tapping mode is the next most
projecting upwards are conducting polyaniline
common mode used in AFM. In this mode
the cantilever oscillates at its resonant
frequency (often in the range of kilohertz or

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,6

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

hundreds of kilohertz) and positioned above In this way, different kind of forces between
the surface so that it only taps the surface for a surfaces can be detected and quantified by
very small fraction of its oscillation period. AFM: mechanical contact forces, Van der
This is the recommended mode for imaging Waals forces, capillary forces, chemical
soft samples, which could be damaged in bonding, electrostatic forces, magnetic
contact mode. forces, solvation forces, friction forces, etc.
Non-contact mode is, in practice, Even conductivity in a sample can also be
similar to contact mode, but the applied load mapped using special AFM tip.
of the tip on the sample is so low that, in fact,
they are not in contact. The repulsive
interactions between the tip and the sample
allow the tip to scan the sample without
touching it. Usually this is a difficult mode to
operate in ambient conditions with the AFM.

Image of a typical AFM

The potential, the versatility and the

sensitivity of the AFM have converted this
sophisticated device into one of the most
popular devices nowadays in many different
research lines around the world.
Schematic representation of AFM
( With inputs from Dr. Juan Jose΄ Valle
Delgado, Institute of Surface Chemistry,
The colloid probe technique is widely
Stockholm )
used for the study of interaction forces
between two surfaces by AFM. In this
technique, a spherical particle (usually with a References
diameter of a few microns) is glued at the end 1. G. Binnig, C. F. Quate, C. Gerber, Phys.
of the cantilever (colloid probe). The forces Rev. Lett. 56 (1986) 930. [Creation of the
between the colloid probe and a substrate AFM]
placed on the piezo-scanner are measured as 2. W. A. Ducker, T. J. Senden, R. M.
they approach or separate each other Pashley, Nature 353 (1991) 239. [Colloid
(interaction forces) or as they slide each other probe technique]
(friction forces). The forces are measured by 3. J. Ralston, I. Larson, M. W. Rutland, A.
monitoring the deflection of the cantilever A. Feiler, M. Kleijn. Pure Appl. Chem. 77
with the same optic system mentioned (2005) 2149. [ Measurements of interaction
previously. That deflection is converted into forces and friction forces. ]
force by applying Hooke’s law. To do that, the
cantilevers have to be calibrated previously to ------------------o---------------
get their spring constants.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,7

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

ARTICLES SECTION balance is needed among, technical, social

and economic benefits derived from these
sources and the social and economic costs
Biofuel Based Rural Energy – The required for operation and maintenance.
Issues and The Challenges
Rural Energy Scenario
From historic times, rural people
were solely dependent on biomass-based
fuels (wood, animal dung and crop residues)
to meet their energy requirements. Later,
fuel mixing has been taken place after fuel
switching partially to fossil fuel based liquid
(kerosene) and gaseous (LPG) fuels. At
Dr. Dhanapati Deka present, biomass fuels meet 85–90% of the
Introduction domestic energy demand and 75% of all
Energy is an essential input for rural energy demand. Cooking accounts for
industrial and economic development and for almost 90% of household energy. The fuels
improving the quality of life. Non-availability and devices available to people living in
of energy supply means absence of energy poverty are typically less efficient, more
services, which will in turn mean the inability hazardous to users and more damaging to
of vast number of people to satisfy their basic the environment than those enjoyed by the
needs. A better life and an improved standard better-off. The use of traditional fuels has a
of living are the fundamental aspirations of the negative impact on the health of household
70 per cent of humanity living in the poor members, especially women and children,
countries of Africa, Latin America, Middle when burned indoors without either a proper
East, and Southeast Asia. For the poor, a better stove to help control the generation of
life first means satisfying the basic human smoke or a chimney to vent the smoke
needs, including access to jobs, food, health outside (Smith, 1987). Traditional
services, education, housing, running water, cookstoves cause indoor concentrations of
sewage, etc. In providing for these needs, important pollutants, such as small particles
energy is an important element. less than 10 microns in diameter, known as
India has more than 5.6 lakh villages and 80% PM10, carbon monoxide, benzene and
of its populations are living in rural areas. formaldehyde. Such exposures are linked to
One of the most important tasks is to provide acute respiratory infections, chronic
adequate, reliable, convenient and efficient obstructive lung diseases, low birth weights,
supply of energy if quality of life for this mass lung cancer and eye problems, primarily,
section is to be raised from its present level of among women and children. Besides, the
grinding poverty. Access to modern energy fuels and devices available to people living
provides the productive capacity for in poverty are typically less efficient, more
stimulating economic development and hazardous to users and more damaging to
reducing conditions of poverty while the environment than those enjoyed by the
improving health, air quality, productivity, better-off.
comfort, education and hardship imposed on The main fuels used for lighting in
women and children. In most of the rural the rural households are kerosene and
areas, different energy sources and devices are electricity. Kerosene used in household
available, which are capable to meet their lamps is a poison and a major fire hazard;
energy requirement. However, these sources yet, lighting using kerosene can be twice as
contribute to the well-being of people only if expensive as and up to 19 times less
these sources are properly harness and efficient per lumen of output than
utilized. To attain specific goals, a proper fluorescent lights using electricity as the

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,8

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

energy carrier (Reddy, 1994).. Majority of the said that an increase in the family income
kerosene lamps are hurricane type lamps, leads to an increase in quantity of energy
which produce very poor light of about 60-70 consumed, a change in the type of fuel used
lumens (lm) (a 100 W bulb produces ~ 1300 and a change in the end use of the fuel
lm and for reading about 200 lm/m2 or lux is consumed ( Deka, 2000). In most of the
sufficient). Moreover, inefficient lighting rural areas, different energy sources and
services in the home and in public areas are devices are available, which are capable to
directly related to poor safety and personal meet their energy requirement. However,
security. these sources contribute to the well-being of
Insufficient access to modern and people only if these sources are properly
affordable energy services and technologies harness and utilized.
for agricultural activities, forces rural Regional variation on geographical
producers to cultivate more land, spending setting, socio-economic conditions of the
more times with excess manpower. Irrigation people, culture, food habit, abundance of
is mainly through electrical and diesel energy resource in the locality etc are also
pumpsets, while the rural industries and the playing important role in energy
transport sectors rely primarily on animal consumption pattern of a locality. Therefore,
power and to some extent on commercial there is need to identify problems along with
sources of energy like diesel and electricity. the demand and supply of energy in rural
Transport sectors in most of the villages are areas for each region before going for a need
still relying on animal power. Due to their base rural energy planning. Assam is a small
poverty, only small fractions are able to use state with a total population above 26
diesel or petrol driven vehicles. Rural millions. It is the centre of north-eastern
industries affect badly due to erratic supply of India and is a strategic corridor for South
electricity. The lack of energy is equally East Asia. Assam per capita income is
debilitating in the social service sector such as almost two third of the National Average.
education, health care, water supply, water 89% of the population are widely scattered
treatment, communicating roads etc. in rural areas and 41% are living below
The use of commercial fuels such as poverty line. Per capita electricity
kerosene, diesel, electricity etc. are largely consumption at 140 kilowatt hour (kwh) is
confined to urban areas whereas their less than one third of the national average
availability in the rural areas is limited due to and the lowest in India. Therefore improved
remoteness and high transportation cost power supply at a reasonable cost is
involved in them ( Singh et al., 1996). essential to revive the state industry and
Availability of electricity, kerosene, petroleum economic development. Most of the
etc makes life easy for the urban people. villagers in this region are still not aware of
Incomes of the households play important role the renewable energy systems, which are
on purchasing of these energy sources to meet thought to be bringing a change of their
their energy needs. LPG occupies major part energy use pattern. Fuel wood is a
as cooking fuel followed by kerosene. Per predominate fuel satisfying about 80% of
capita energy consumption is much higher the cooking energy need of the rural areas of
than rural people. There have always rural- Assam, which are burnt in inefficient
urban disparities on income distribution, traditional cook stoves.
expenditure pattern, energy availability, To address these problems, several
economic development etc. On an average, efforts have been made by both
one in every 25 households in rural areas had governmental and non-governmental
an income of more than Rs. 72,000 while organizations in the form of national
every fourth household in urban areas reported programmes for rural electrification, and
a similar income (Pradhan, 2000). It can be promoting renewable energy technologies

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,9

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

like biogas, improved cook stoves and solar oriented rural energy programmes in India.
cookers. However, in spite of the existence of We should analyze the most effective rural
these programmes for nearly two decades, energy policy in China for implementation
their impact on the rural energy scenario has in India also.
been limited. There is urgent need of It is increasingly being realized that
reorientation of the existing programmes to if local communities are to contribute
meet the energy need of the rural people. significantly and find sustainable solutions
to their environment and energy related
Rural Energy Policy and Issue concerns, there is need to build capacities at
The present supply-demand scenario the grassroots level in terms of creating
indicates that biomass would continue to be awareness regarding energy and
the mainstay of the rural energy sector in the environment issues, and developing
foreseeable future. The penetration of various technical and managerial expertise to plan
commercial fuels will remain quite low, and at and manage programmes effectively. The
the present rate, it would take a long time for existing target oriented programme on rural
the Renewable energy technologies to make energy of Govt. of India including National
any significant impact on the sector. Project for Biogas Development (NPBD),
Therefore, any policy formulated to deal with National Programme of Improved Chullah
rural energy will have to look for highly (NPIC), Integrated Rural Energy Planning,
innovative options and make judicious Solar water heating programme, solar
investment choices. cooker programme etc are fail to generate
There are several issues to be much response from rural people and it is
considered while formulating such policies found that only about 20% has been
such as technological options, dissemination implemented in our state so far out of the
approach, commercialization of rural energy total potentials. For rapid participation of the
technologies and capacity building at the root rural people on any rural energy programme
level. The principal thrust of any meaningful and for a successful implementation of such
rural energy policy is to shift from the present programme, it can be suggested that a
traditional biomass technologies to efficient decentralized rural energy programme is
biomass technologies, which provide greater necessary with the active involvement of the
energy service with same resource. Most rural local communities. Any such programme
energy programmes so far have been run as may be fruitful if the energy requirement in
centralized, target-oriented programmes a particular locality according to food habit,
exclusive of other programmes. However, socio-economic conditions, social
experience suggests that while determining the acceptability to new technologies etc. is
feasibility or adaptability of a particular considered as priorities.
programme or technology, it would be
important to consider the priorities of the local Conclusion
people, and bring about an integration of We need to evolve a comprehensive
various development programmes. The rural energy policy to meet the challenges.
problem of energy development in rural India Seeing the possibilities of supplement the
has many similarities to that in rural China. future cooking and lighting energy by liquid
Enormous challenges face both countries and gaseous fuels obtained from locally
regarding the design and implementation of available biomass sources, the production of
suitable strategies to accelerate the ethanol, biodiesel and pyrolysis oil may be
development of rural renewable energy. While emphasized. Similarly, supply of biogas
some strategies may exit similar forms in both from extremely efficient biogas digesters
countries, China has the state based rural together with efficient storage system may
energy planning against the centralized target be the basis of clean cooking energy. A

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,10

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

compact LP gas system supplied from a Short Biodata of the Author:

potable bottle of LP gas may give rural, low- Dr. Dhanapati Deka has been working in
income families access to modern cooking, the field of Bioenergy since last 15 years.
space and water heating, drying and lighting Presently, he is working as Reader,
services. Kerosene distribution to rural people Department of Energy, Tezpur University.
through public distribution systems may be He published at least 13 research papers in
reorganized with increased availability. national and international journals as well as
Minimized Need programme for rural conference/seminars/workshop proceedings
electrification may be pooled to meet the related to bioenergy, biofuels and fuelcells.
objective of 100% electrification. Temporary He completed two minor projects on
funding for rural electrification programme bioenergy. He has been invited as resource
may be obtained from Member of Parliament person in the workshop on bioenergy
Local Area Development Scheme ( MPLADS) organized by IIT Guwahati, Regional MNES
and Jawahar Gram Siddhi Yojana (JGSY). Office, Nagaland Renewable Energy
Village level organization like PRIs, NGO can Development Agency and other institutions
take active role for electrified the remote located in North-eastern Region of India. He
villages with government initiatives. Thus, a was awarded INSA Visiting fellowship by
comprehensive and integrated (considering Indian National Science Academy for doing
both conventional and non-conventional collaborative works on lignin characteristics
energy sources) decentralized rural energy at Institute of Wood Science and
programme can change the present energy Technology, Bangalore. He presented a
scenario of the rural areas of Assam. research paper on ‘Biofuel consumption and
future needs –a case for North east India’ in
References the “World Bioenergy Conference 2006”
1. Deka D. (2000) “Energy consumption held in Jonkoping, Sweden during May 30-
pattern in rural areas of Assam. A June1, 2006. Recently, during October1-
comparative study on three different October 14, 2006 he was included in a Study
categories of villages in Sonitpur District”. Tour Team from India to United States of
In the proceedings of the National America related to Incident Command
Renewable Energy Convention 2000, held Systems and Disaster Management
at IIT, Bombay, Nov 30 – Dec 2, 2000. sponsored by United States Forest Services.
2. Pradhan K Basanta, P K Roy, M R Saluja E-mail:
and Venkatram Shanta (2000). Rural- ----------------------o-------------------------
Urban Disparities- Income Distribution,
Expenditure Pattern and Social Sector. -Science is always wrong. It never
Economic and Political Weekly. July 15, solves a problem without creating ten
Pp 2527-2539. more.
3. Reddy B. Sudhakar (1994) Biomass
Energy for India: An overview. Energy
Conversion and Management. Vol. 35
(40), pp 341-361.
4. Smith K. R. (1987). Biofuels, air pollution
and health. A global Review, Plenum
Press, New York.
5. Singh, Rai, Singh, Hazarika (1996). TERI
report on Rural Energy Plan for by George Bernard Shaw
Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh.
Pp.4 Born: 26th July 1856 Dublin, Ireland.
Death: 2nd November 1950

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Glimpses Of Lindau Meeting 2002 the same discipline. The meeting in 2002
was the 52nd meeting. Every year, about 20-
30 Nobel Laureates and around 500
students/researchers from the different parts
of the globe assemble at Lindau. It is only in
the year 2000, when the meeting completed
50 years of its existence, around 53 Nobel
Laureates from all the discipline gathered
there. The aim of the meeting is to keep the
Dr. Ashim Jyoti Thakur
spirit of Alfred Nobel alive and to have
informal discussions and exchange of views
14th May, 2002, Wednesday.
among students/researchers and Nobel
Place: RRL Jorhat
Laureates through small group interactions,
round table conferences, invited lectures etc.
At 4.50 PM, only 10 minutes before
On the formal request of DFG
the closure of the working day, an urgent fax
(Deutch Forschungsgemeinschaft),
came from the Director’s office. I was
Germany, India started participating in the
winding up my works to have a cup of evening
Lindau meeting since 2001 (physics). On
tea. Seeing the fax, my joys knew no bounds.
behalf of India, Department of Science and
The partial content of the fax is as
Technology (DST), Govt. of India has been
given the responsibility for selecting
students/researchers to represent India in the
meeting. After getting the news of my
selection, it took me several days to come to
Dr. Thakur,
a normal state, as I was excited and at the
Hearty Congratulations!
same time confused with what to do, how
and what to talk with the Nobel Laureates,
I am pleased to inform you that you have been
how they will respond, at what level they
selected for the DST Award for “Participation
will talk, will I be able to understand their
in the Meeting of Nobel Laureates and
explanation etc.. etc.. thousands of such
Students in Lindau, Germany.” A team of 20
questions were having their Brownian
students/young researchers has been chosen to
motions inside my brain. Frankly speaking,
represent India in this meeting.
at that time, I did not have so much of
exposure to the national and international
Yours sincerely
science. Therefore, confidence level inside
‘me’ was not up to the mark.
G. Padmanabhan
Because, the intellectuality level
within the Nobel Laureates are far above my
Historically, this Lindau meeting is
normal level of intellectuality (if I have
the only gathering where one can have very
any). However, keeping in mind the great
close interactions with the Nobel Laureates in
remark, “Every human being is endowed
a informal way. Dates back to 1951, when the
with his/her faculty of intelligence, but
first of this meeting was organized at Lindau.
intellectuality is perhaps a bit distinct from
Since then every year the same has been
common intelligence”, my confidence level
organized for a week in the month of June by
moved to a higher (how much?) degree.
the Committee of the meetings of Nobel
That was my maiden abroad visit
Laureates in Lindau. The meeting has been
and air travel as well. Actually, the moment
dedicated to one discipline-chemistry, physics
I stepped into the Lokopriya Gopinath
and physiology & medicine rotation wise.
Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati,
That is, every third year will be dedicated for

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everything was quite new to me, my hours. The earlier night Germany lost the
experiences started piled up. Our World cup final. Otherwise we could have
accommodation at Delhi was arranged in a been a part of Germany’s triumph. Without
guesthouse at Safdarjang Enclave. The two having sufficient sleep, in the morning at 8
days stay at the guesthouse was very am we headed for the venue to attend the
enjoyable, memorable one. I was shocked opening ceremony, an excellent hall called
about the knowledge the other people had ‘Inselle Hall’ near to our Hotel, Gasthof Stift
about North East. They were very much almost 5 min walk.
interested in this part of India and asked me so Our programme started at 8.30 in
many silly questions. To my opinion, we the morning, 1st July. Some of the
cannot blame them, because media have interesting events and moments will be
exposed the North East as a dense jungle full mentioned here. The topic of the round table
of extremists, wild animals, cannibals etc., conference was “What can chemistry and
uncivilized people and customs. North East is the scientific community contribute in
far from the ray of modern civilization. But Alfred Nobel’s spirit to the benefit of
eventually, I was able to convince them. mankind in the 21st century.” The
Anyway, it was nice to meet the people of conference was chaired by Prof. Bengt
other premier institutes of India like IITs, IISc. Norden, other participants were Prof. Paul
etc. Before leaving for Germany, we had Crutzen, Prof. Richard Ernst, Prof. Sir
couple of briefings and warm up activities at Harold Croto, Prof. George Olah and Prof.
Delhi. There were tours to Ranbaxy Ahmed Zewail. It was emphasised by all
pharamaceutical Ltd, Institute of Genomics that chemistry should shake hand with
and Integrative Biology (IGIB) etc. and we biology for further progress. The role of
had the opportunity to look at the applied part chemists at the genomic research was
of chemistry and chemical engineering. The discussed in detail. In the afternoon, the
interactive session was very interesting. Then officials conducted Lindau tour for the
S&T minister Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi; DG, participants. In the dinner, I was amazed to
CSIR, Dr. Mashelkar; Secretary, DBT, Dr. see the Nobel laureates taking part in ball
Manju Sharma; Secretary, S&T Dr. V.S. dancing.
Ramamurthy are some of the eminent persons Prof. Ahmed Zewail (1999 Nobel
who addressed us at the briefings. Dr. Joshi’s Laureate) delivered a beautiful lecture on the
lecture was very inspiring, illuminating and topic “Chemistry and Biology in a new
thought provoking. How a strong and focused light.” All realized his research on
observation coupled with a prepared mind can Femtochemistry and its great potentiality. In
gift a researcher excellent piece of work that his lecture it was the feeling like the
was clear from personal experiences in his marriage of chemistry and biology. He
brief lecture. Dr. Padmanabhan sir was kind described success as - “The path of
enough to listen our views and problems. He discovery is not straight. The path is full of
tried to fulfill all our requests at his best. surprises, full of hard work; it depends on
Our journey started on 30th June, 4-15 being in the right place at the right time.
am. Lindau, a picturesque city on the bank of Discovering something also depends on
Constanz, Germany. After a journey of around passion. If you have the passion and you are
23 hours from New Delhi to Lindau via Paris honest about it, you will do something
and Munich, we were completely exhausted. important.”
Only the driving force was our spirit, Self organization is an important
otherwise we did not have any stamina that phenomenon in supramolecular chemistry.
could fuel us and kept us going. We reached Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn put forwarded his
Germany on the wee hours of 1st July 2002. findings in self-organisation of functional
For lack of time, hardly we could sleep for 4 supramolecular systems.

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Evergreen, 1991 Nobel Laureate Prof. fossil fuel, tropical and sub tropical region is
Richard Ernst discussed the application of badly affected.
Fourier Transformation (FT) methods in Prof. George Olah, pointed out the
spectroscopy, especially the revolutionary challenges to come in the future with
changes in 2-D NMR spectroscopy. Although extensive data in his lecture, “Hydrocarbons
FT is an integral part of Mathematics, but and Global Warming: Facts, Challenges and
nevertheless it also occupies an important possible solutions.” It is well known and
position in other disciplines. We were very well recognized that among the
much delighted to know his other interests.
Can you believe? He has vast knowledge and
collection of Tibetan arts. He criticized the
foreign policy of Bush administration
vehementally in cartoon he prepared himself.
An interesting presentation was from
Prof. Paul Boyer. Our general perception is
that the oxygen we breathe is our friend.
Because with breathing it goes to the cells and
helps in the synthesis of energy molecule,
namely ATP. ATP breaks down to provide the
energy required for the different functions of
our body. But can it be our foe? The free
radical character of oxygen makes it so
reactive that we cannot ignore the dark side of
it. At this stage it becomes dangerous. environmental problems, Global warming is
The subject matter of Prof. Paul one of the extremes. The main reason for
Crutzen (1995) of Mainz was atmospheric this is the emission of carbon dioxide due to
chemistry and climate. The ozone layer in the the excessive use of coal, oil, natural gas etc.
stratosphere acts as a blanket and cut the UV His research is how to synthesise methanol
radiation so that it cannot reach the earth, from carbon dioxide and water and from
thereby saving the lives on earth. On the other methanol ultimately hydrocarbon in a
hand, reacting with water molecule it forms sustainable manner. In this way we can
hydroxyl radical. This hydroxyl radical reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the
destroys the unwanted gases coming out from atmosphere and at the same time fuel
the industries. Hence, the hydroxyl radical is scarcity will also be reduced.
called the ‘detergent’ of atmosphere. Due to The most popular Nobel Laureate
geographical reasons, the amount of hydroxyl was Prof. Harold Croto of Sussex University
radicals is larger in the tropical region. (1998) with a smile always. When he
Therefore a large amount of the emitted gas is proceeded to the stage with models of
removed from this area. On the other hand, Fullerene and carbon nano tube in hand, it
since the amount of rain fall and the water looked so attractive that everybody was
vapour content is highest in this region, happy. Croto described this nanotube as
tropical region plays an important role in order “elongated cousins of Buckminister
to keep our environment clean. In this regard, fullerene.” His suggestion to us was, “You
we find the relevance of studying atmospheric need to learn is doubt. Don’t believe
chemistry. On the basis of these arguments, anything you’re told without good reason
one can think that the tropical region is the and argument.”
cleanest part of the atmosphere. But the reality Olah is very much true in the saying
reveals something different. With the increase that Science is international-there is no
in the burning of anthropogenic mass and American or German Science. A scientist

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Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

shouldnot worry about the nationalities rather To wind up, “Lindau in general and
concentrates on solutions. We should find out this meeting is like a magnet.” Like other
the best science and solutions. participants, it attracts me a lot and I hope I
After genome sequence, now it is turn will have opportunity again to visit Lindau
for structural genomics. The aim is to find out at least once more during my life time, so
the 3-D structures of all proteins. Prof. Johann that it doesn’t remain as ‘once in lifetime’
Deisenhofer illustrated these developments in achievement. With that hope, I sign out here.
simple and lucid way. He was more confident
that the research in structural genomics would Short Biodata of the Author:
help in understanding the protein folding and Ashim Jyoti Thakur, hails from a small hilly
unfolding. town, Diphu in the Karbi Anglong District
of Assam. Presently, a lecturer (since 29th
July 2004) in the Department of Chemical
Sciences, Tezpur University, Napaam,
Tezpur, Assam. He graduated from Cotton
College (1995), Guwahati and completed his
Masters from Gauhati University in 1998
(1997 batch).

A recipient of CSIR-UGC research

fellowship, Ph.D. was awarded to him by
Dibrugarh University (2002).
These are few to be mentioned. After
this meeting, I started thinking to what point --------------------o.-------------------------
science has been leading us, what is the limit
of that? The different aspects of human -Most people say that it is the intellect
genome project were discussed. At this point, I which makes a great scientist. They are
want to mention one statement from Prof. wrong: it is character.
Zewail, “When you work on a discovery, you
don’t necessarily know what the bad
applications of that science will be. For
example, consider cloning. Society will have
to decide what it wants to do, but you cannot
stop scientists from doing the work.” Prof.
Croto was of the opinion, “Our technologies
are becoming so powerful that they can be
used for detriment or benefit of mankind. How
do we police that? Its very difficult. Thats the by Albert Einstein
worry. Scientists need to be involved in that
discussion.” Born: 14th March 1879
Our small group discussions did not Died: 18th April 1955
end in science only. It goes beyond that Nobel Prize: Physics, 1921
because we were very eager to know their Citizen of Germany, Switzerland and USA
other sides also, their personal life, their
hobbies, as a human being how were they etc.
Their attitudes towards life and scientific
approach to a problem attracted me a lot.

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Wastelands: The Hidden Potential degradation to various degrees. The

International Food Policy Research Institute
(IFPRI, 1999) predicts that if land loss
continues at current rate, an additional 150-
360 million hectares could go out of
production by 2020. At present,
approximately 68.35 million hectares area of
the land is lying as wastelands in India. In
Northeast India (excluding Assam), about
Ms. N. Bhattacharyya 23% (1993) of the total land is wasteland.
Age old practices of shifting (Jhum)
According to the National Wasteland cultivation coupled with excessive
Development Board (NWDB), India, deforestation for firewood and the wanton
wasteland means- “the degraded lands which mismanagement of natural resources have
can be brought into vegetation cover with brought more than 40% area of North East
reasonable effort and which is currently lying Himalayan states under wastelands (Bhatt
as under utilized and land which is BP et al, 2005). Till three decades ago,
deteriorating for lack of appropriate water and shifting cultivation was not alarming as its
soil management or on account of natural cycle was 15-20 years, but of late it has been
causes.” Accordingly, wastelands can be reduced to 3-5 years partly due to population
categorized into two groups- Culturable and explosion and partly to loss of fertile soil
Unculturable. Culturable wastelands include due to over exploitation of forest resources.
surface water logged and marshy lands, salt India shares 16% of the world
affected lands, shifting cultivation areas, population, while its land is only 2% of the
degraded forest lands, strip lands, mining total geographical area of the world.
spoils or industrial wastelands, degraded non- Naturally, the farm lands in India are in the
forest plantation lands, degraded pasture or constant process of various degrees of
grazing lands, gullied or ravenous lands, degradation and are fast turning into
undulating upland with or without scrubs. wastelands due to pressure on the land
These lands can be utilized for cultivation or beyond its carrying capacity.
to create vegetation cover on by proper The President of India, Dr. A.P.J.
management measures. While the unculturable Abdul Kalam has recently called for a
wastelands include barren rocky, stony waste second green revolution, while inaugurating
sheet rock, steep sloping areas, snow cover or the Triennial Conference on Global Forum
glacial areas. These lands can not be avoided on Agricultural Research at New Delhi on
to leave as unutilized. Increasing biotic 9th November, 2006. Need of food grains
pressure, absence of adequate investment and will be doubled by 2050, in India
appropriate management practices, high rate (Vancatesan, 2006). Hence, depletion of
of population growth and high incidence of agricultural fertile lands due to extending
poverty in rural areas, overexploitation of wastelands is one of the burning problems of
natural resources, faulty land use practices, the the world in current scenario. Due to fast
break down of traditional institutions for depleting forest resources, crop productivity
managing common property resources and has declined remarkably in the Northeast
failure of new institutions to fill the vacuum regions of India since the crop husbandry is
are the basic causes of land degradation and interlinked with the forest resources.
wasteland formation. Recently, wastelands utilization for
According to the World Resources cultivation of economic plants is a
Institute (WRI, 2005), globally, nearly 2 challenging programme worldwide for the
billion hectares of lands are affected by land benefit of the mankind and the environment.

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,16

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This practice will reduce the pressure on the Smart Materials: The Emerging
agricultural lands available. Technology
With the help of proper management
techniques, the wastelands can provide
adequate support to the majority of our
population, which still lives on a bare
subsistence level. These lands are capable of
producing enough fodder, forage, fuel or at
least some vegetation cover to prevent further
soil degradation. Recently, experimental
practices are going on in various parts to
utilize the wastelands successfully to grow
market oriented medicinal and aromatic Dr. Siddhartha Gogoi
plants, bio-diesel plants etc. Possibilities are
bright for the considerable improvement of What is Smart material? The
fertility status of wastelands due to material can be treated as a smart when it
accumulation of biomass, crop stubbles, leaf exhibit interesting intrinsic characteristics
litter, rhizospheric microbes etc. from the which can be exploited within systems, or
cultivated lands. structures that, in turn, can exhibit ‘smart’
References: behavior. For example, a photo-chromic
1. Bhatt BP et al (2005), Restoration of material that changes its colour when
degraded land through Agro-forestry exposed to light is smart but a simple metal
inventions; Agroforestry in Northeast that changes its physical state when heating
India, Opportunities and Challenges. Pp to its melting point is not smart.
427-436. Science and technology have made
2. IFPRI, (1999) “How large a threat is soil amazing developments in the design of
degradation?” 2020 News Letter. electronics and machinery using standard
3. Vancatesan J (2006), Wastelands: is it time materials, which do not have particularly
to rethink? Current Science, 91(11): 1454- special properties (i.e. steel, aluminum,
1455 gold). Science and technology in the next
4. WRI (2005) World Resources 2000-2001; century will rely heavily on the development
People and Ecosystem- the Fraying Web of new materials. "Smart" or "intelligent"
of Life. materials will play an important role in this
development. Imagine the range of
Short Biodata of the Author: possibilities, which exist for special
Ms. Nabanita Bhattacharyya is working as a materials that have properties scientists can
lecturer Department of Botany, Nowgong manipulate. Some such materials have the
College, Assam. Her research area is Plant ability to change shape or size simply by
Physiology and Biochemistry. The title of her adding a little bit of heat, or to change from
Ph.D thesis is ‘Investigation on physiological a liquid to a solid almost instantly when near
performances on Houttuynia cordata Thunb a magnet; these materials are called smart
(Masandari)- with reference to its materials. These are materials that have one
phytoremediation potential in uncultivable or more properties that can be significantly
land’ altered in a controlled fashion by external
stimuli, such as stress, temperature,
Email: moisture, pH, electric or magnetic fields.
Research on smart materials is
------------------------o----------------------- concentrated in the United States and Japan
and shows a distinct difference between

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Western and Eastern approaches. American Potential applications are similarly

"smart structures" have emerged from the widespread and have excited interest in
defence industry and have tended towards industrial, military, commercial, medical,
applications in aerospace and civil automotive and aerospace fields. Embedded
engineering, whereas the Japanese have fibre-optic sensing systems are employed in
concentrated more on imbuing the materials many engineering disciplines to monitor
themselves with "intelligence". In India also, critical characteristics. Several smart skins
research on smart materials is going on but lot programmes have been initiated for both
of exposures to this field are yet to be given. civil and military aircraft. Large space
Why smart materials? To achieve a structures are also candidates for the
specific objective for a particular function or incorporation of smart structural systems
application, a new material or alloy has to because of the variable service conditions in
satisfy specific qualifications such as which they operate.

• Technical properties There are a number of types of

• Technological properties smart material, some of which are already
• Environmental Characteristics and common. Smart materials can be classified
• Economic criteria as follows:
• Piezoelectric
Smart materials and structures incorporate one • Electrostrictive
or more of the following features: • Magnetostrictive.
• Shape Memory Alloys.
• Sensors or actuators which are either • Optical Fibers.
embedded within a structural material • Rheological materials
or else bonded to the surface of that • pH-sensitive materials
material • Fullerenes
• Control capabilities which permit the • Smart gels
behavior of the material to respond to • Materials with Added Functions.
an external stimulus according to a • Sensor Materials, Catalytic
prescribed functional relationship or Materials, Textile Materials
control algorithm
A few of them are described here:
At a more sophisticated level, such smart
materials become intelligent when they have Piezoelectric materials are materials
the ability to respond intelligently and that produce a voltage when stress is
autonomously to dynamically changing applied. Since this effect also applies in the
environmental conditions. reverse manner, a voltage across the sample
will produce stress within the sample.
The technologies encompassed by Suitably designed structures made from
intelligent materials are diverse and include these materials can therefore be made that
electrorheological fluids, fibrious materials, bend, expand or contract when a voltage is
ceramics, photonics, microsensors, signal applied.
processing, piezoelectrics, biomimetics, shape
memory alloys, neural networks, Thermoresponsive materials, either
nanotechnology, conducting and chiral shape memory alloys or shape memory
polymers, liquid crystals, microactuators, polymers, are materials that can hold
biotechnology and information processing. different shapes at various temperatures.

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Electrostrictive materials when A smart fluid is a fluid whose

subjected to a magnetic field and vice versa, properties (for example the viscosity) can be
the material will undergo an induced changed by applying an electric field or a
mechanical strain. Consequently, it can be magnetic field. The most developed smart
used as sensors and/or actuators. This material fluids today are fluids whose viscosity
has the same properties as piezoelectric increases when a magnetic field is applied.
material, but the mechanical change is Small magnetic dipoles are suspended in a
proportional to the square of the electric field. non-magnetic fluid, and the applied
This characteristic will always produce magnetic field causes these small magnets to
displacements in the same direction. line up and form strings that increase the
viscosity. These Magnetorheological or MR
Magnetic shape memory alloys are fluids are being used in the suspension of the
materials that change their shape in response 2002 model of the Cadillac Seville STS
to a significant change in the magnetic field. automobile and more recently, in the
Magnetostrictive materials refer to the suspension of the second-generation Audi
material quality of changing size in response TT. Depending on road conditions, the
to either an electric or magnetic field, and damping fluid's viscosity is adjusted. This is
conversely, producing a voltage when more expensive than traditional systems, but
stretched. it provides better (faster) control. Similar
systems are being explored to reduce
pH-sensitive polymers are materials vibration in washing machines, air
which swell/collapse when the pH of the conditioning compressors, rockets and
surrounding media changes. satellites, and one has even been installed in
Japan's National Museum of Emerging
Halochromic materials are commonly Science and Innovation in Tokyo as an
materials that change their colour as a result of earthquake shock absorber.
changing acidity. One suggested application is
for paints that can change colour to indicate The Future of Smart Materials:
corrosion in the metal underneath them.
The development of true smart
Chromogenic systems change colour materials at the atomic scale is still some
in response to electrical, optical or thermal way off, although the enabling technologies
changes. These include electrochromic are under development. These require novel
materials, which change their colour or aspects of nanotechnology (technologies
opacity on the application of a voltage (e.g. associated with materials and processes at
liquid crystal displays), thermochromic the nanometre scale, 10-9m) and the newly
materials change in color depending on their developing science of shape chemistry.
temperature, and photochromic materials, Worldwide, considerable effort is being
which change colour in response to light, for deployed to develop smart materials and
example, light sensitive sunglasses that darken structures. The technological benefits of
when exposed to bright sunlight. Smart glass such systems have begun to be identified
or switchable glass, also called smart windows and, demonstrators are under construction
or switchable windows in its application to for a wide range of applications from space
windows or skylights, refers to electrically and aerospace, to civil engineering and
switchable glass or glazing which changes domestic products. In many of these
light transmission properties when voltage is applications, the cost benefit analyses of
applied. such systems have yet to be fully

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,19

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

The Office of Science and Lentinula edods (Shiitake) - A

Technology’s Foresight Programme has mushroom species for human health
recognized these systems as a strategic care
technology for the future, having considerable
potential for wealth creation through the
development of hitherto unknown products,
and performance enhancement of existing
products in a broad range of industrial sectors.

The concept of engineering materials

and structures, which respond to their
environment, including their human owners, is
a somewhat alien concept. It is therefore not Mahananda Chutia
only important that the technological and
financial implications of these materials and
Edible mushrooms are valuable
structures are addressed, but also issues
health food- low in calories, high in
associated with public understanding and
proteins, chitin, iron, zinc, fiber, essential
amino acids, vitamins and minerals. A good
number of mushroom species are known to
Short biodata of the Author produce some effective constituents
Dr. Siddhartha Gogoi was born in Sivasagar, (glycoproteins, polysaccharides etc) having
Assam (India) in 1977. He completed his a range of action on human body including
B.Sc. degree (1998) from Dibrugarh immune modulation, antitumor activity,
University and M.Sc. degree (2000) in liver protecting activity, cholesterol
chemistry from Gauhati University, Guwahati, lowering, antiviral and blood pressure
Assam (India). He did his Ph.D. in 2006 from lowering effect. The medicinal mushrooms
Dibrugarh University, Assam in organic are safe for human consumption. Although
chemistry under the supervision of Dr. N. C. frequently mistaken as vegetables,
Barua at the Regional Research Laboratory in mushrooms are actually fungi and possess
Jorhat, Assam, India. He has published six unique molecular nutrient profiles that are
international papers and one short review taking centre stage in the Broadway of
article to his credit. His research interests are medicinal food. Although, researchers are
the total synthesis of bioactive natural just beginning to explore a handful of the
products and the development of new hundreds of mushroom species with
methodologies. He is now working as a medicinal benefits, it is exciting piece of
scientist ‘B’ in High Energy Materials pharmacognosy knowledge for those of us
Research Laboratory, Pune. who want to use fungi to prevent immune
dysfunction and other health problems.
---------------------o------------------------- The Japanese wood mushroom
Lentinus edodes is one of the most important
and speciality mushroom and is commonly
-Try not to become a man of success but known as Shiitake (Japanese name).
rather try to become a man of value. Lentinan and other compound of shiitake
mushroom have several beneficial effects on
by Albert Einstein human health care which prevent or inhibit
brain tumor; prostrate, stomach and
pancreatic cancer; Hepatitis B, virus
infection and genital wart, HIV infection,
platelet aggregation, anti thrombogenic

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,20

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

agent, liver function, controls high blood medicine as well as special food in China
pressure and heart ailments and helps in and Japan. However, South Asian countries
building resistance. The most significant also started Shiitake cultivation in large
shiitake product on the market today is LEM scale. The eco climatic condition of NE
(trade name), an extract produced from region is congenial for large-scale
mycelia that shows high oral activity. propagation of quite a number of medicinal
Lentinan, an approved drug in Japan is the mushroom species, which can be harnessed
highly purified polysaccharide fraction of to take care of human health. A concerted
extracted mushrooms. It is generally effort from government, NGOs, educational
administered by injection and has been used as institutions and corporate sector is essential
an agent to prolong survival of patients in for assured market of Shiitake for country
conventional cancer therapy as well as in wide growers as well as its popularization of
AIDS research. Lentinan is currently in Phase this high value medicinal mushroom.
II clinical trials in the U.S.
Short Biodata of the Author
Mr. Mahananda Chutia is working as a
project assistant at Regional Research
Laboratory, Jorhat, Assam in the Plant
Science Division in a project related
mushroom and medicinal & aromatic plants
(DBT Project). He did his M.Sc. (2003) in
Botany with specialization in Microbiology.
He has also qualified NE SLET. He has
published several research article in national
North- Eastern region of India and international journals. His research
comprising hills and plains with varied eco- interests include Microbial diversity and
climatic pockets offers tremendous scope for Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and
large scale cultivation of medicinal Immunology.
mushrooms. Shiitakes grow naturally on Asian Email:
oaks and beeches. For cultivation purposes, --------------------o--------------------------
they will also grow on other hard woods
including oak, sweetgum, poplar, cottonwood,
eucalyptus, alder, ironwood, beech, birch, Once you start a working on something,
willow, and many other non-aromatic don't be afraid of failure and don't
broadleaf trees. In India, the tribal population abandon it. People who work sincerely
of Manipur, Nagaland, and Mizoram grow this are the happiest.
medicinal mushroom species. At present,
Manipur is the only state in NE India, where
active cultivation of Shiitake has been initiated
in an organized way. However, Horticulture
Department, Govt. of Meghalaya has also
started working with Shiitake in order to
introduce this important species of mushroom.
A small Shiitake farming unit can earn at least
75 to 80 thousand rupees annually which can Chanakya(Indian politician, strategist and
provide very good incentive to the rural poor. writer, 350 BC-275 BC)
Shiitake cultivation and marketing is
indeed a global industry. For thousand of
years, Shiitake has been revered as traditional

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Zeta Potential in Surface Chemistry of solution viscosity, a is the particle radius

Minerals and k is the Debye-Huckel parameter.
Zeta potential predict the cleanness of
the mineral oxide surfaces. When mineral
oxide in contact with aqueous medium
develops charge on its surfaces. The surface
charge on the mineral oxide surfaces can be
modified by changing the pH of the solid-
liquid suspension. The surface hydroxyl
groups on the mineral oxide surfaces behave
Dr. Manash Ranjan Das as a amphoteric in nature.

The physico-chemical properties of the

surface chemistry of minerals determined The surface hydroxyl group (−SOH) reacts
directly or indirectly by the electrical charge with potential determining ion (H+ or OH−)
or potential on the particles. The theoretical and an oxide surface becomes positive site
basis of the surface chemistry of mineral oxide (S–OH2+) or negative site (S–O–) at solid-
demands knowledge of the potential liquid interface depending on the pH of the
distribution around the particles. The medium. Each mineral oxide is characterised
knowledge of zeta potential can be used in the by its own isoelectric point (IEP) and point
areas of colloid science to study the detailed of zero charge (PZC). At a certain pH
features of charge and potential distribution at
majority of surface sites are neutral (−SOH)
the interface in the presence of ions,
and that pH is known as a point of zero
multivalent ions, surfactants, polymers,
charge. The IEP means the pH at which the
protein and other areas like biomedical
charge is zero and the fact that it is
polymers, electrokinetic transport of particles
independent of ionic strength of the
or blood cells, membrane efficiency and
medium. At pH lower than the PZC the
surface has a net positive charge and
The term of zeta potential comes from the
positive surface potential whereas, at pH
concept of electrical double layer. It is the
above the PZC, the surface charge and
electrostatic potential, which is measured at
surface potential are negative. The surface
the shear plane (the interface between the
behaviour of the mineral oxide surface in
compact layer and the diffuse layer). The zeta
aqueous medium is different depending on
potential of mineral oxides can be evaluated
the pH of the medium. Nevertheless, the
based on the four elctrokinetic effect:
zeta potential provide a basic knowledge of
electrophoresis, electroosmosis, streaming
surface property of mineral oxides in
potential and sedimentation potential. Zeta
aqueous medium and can be made extensive
potential (ξ) of mineral oxides can be easily used in developing their understanding of
determined by measuring the mobility of the the processes involved in mineral flotation.
fine particle in an electric field. The mobility
of the fine particle can be converted to zeta
Short Biodata of the Author
potential using Smoluchowski equation as
Dr. Manash Ranjan Das hails from Khetri,
Kamrup District, Assam. He did his B.Sc
µE = 4πεoεrξ(1+ka)/6πη from Jagiroad College in the year 1998. He
did his Masters in Science in chemistry
where µE is the particle mobility, εo and εr are (Special paper: Physical Chemistry) from
the relative dielectric constant and relative Gauhati University in the year 2000. Then
permittivity of a vacuum respectively, η is the he joined Material Science Division of
North East Institute of Science and

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Technology (NEIST)Assam [Formerly: X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy: A

Regional Research Laboratory, Jorhat] for his Synchrotron-based Technique for
Ph.D. He received his Ph.D. in the year 2007. Structural Analysis
Title of his thesis is "Adsorption of Organic
Anions on the Metal Oxide Surfaces". His
research interest includes Adsorption
behaviour of benzenecarboxylic acid at the
metal oxide-water interface, Dissolution of
metal oxide in presence of organic anions,
Propensity of simple organic anions at
solution-vapour interface, Synthesis of
inorganic nanomaterials by microemulsion
method, Hoffmeister series effect on cmc of Pankaj Bharali
surfactant and on adsorption. X-ray absorption spectroscopy
E-mail: (XAS) is a powerful technique for probing the local structure around almost any
specific element in the periodic table (except
----------------------o-------------------------- the lightest) gives information on the
number and chemical identities of near
neighbours and the average interatomic
distances up to 5-6 Å. XAS studies can be
- Everything can be sacrificed for truth, performed at trace levels (< 1000 ppm),
but truth cannot be sacrificed for which is useful e.g., for studying metal
anything. complexes on surfaces, catalysis and metal
sites in bioinorganic samples. The X-ray
- The earth is enjoyed by heroes”—this is source is synchrotron radiation, allowing the
the unfailing truth. Be a hero. Always XAS technique to be used for atoms in any
say, “I have no fear. aggregation state (solid, liquid or gas) in all
kinds of environment: crystalline solids,
- A few heart-whole, sincere, and glasses, amorphous phases, liquids and
energetic men and women can do more in solutions.
a year than a mob in a century. An x-ray absorption spectrum is
generally divided into 4 sections: i) pre-edge
(E < E0); ii) x-ray absorption near edge
structure (XANES), where the energy of the
incident x-ray beam is E = E0 ± 10 eV; iii)
near edge x-ray absorption fine structure
(NEXAFS), in the region between 10 eV up
to 50 eV above the edge; and iv) extended x-
ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS),
which starts approximately from 50 eV and
continues up to 1000 eV above the edge.
Swami Vivekananda The minor features in the pre-edge region
are usually due to the electron transitions
from the core level to the higher unfilled or
half-filled orbitals (e.g., s → p or p → d). In
the XANES region, transitions of core
electrons to non-bound levels with close

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energy occur. Because of the high probability coordinating shells. In the EXAFS region,
of such transition, a sudden raise of absorption the photoelectrons have high kinetic energy
is observed. In NEXAFS, the ejected (E-E0 is large), and single scattering by the
photoelectrons have low kinetic energy (E-E0 nearest neighboring atoms normally
is small) and experience strong multiple dominates.
scattering by the first and even higher

Figure 1: Different parts of X-ray absorption spectrum. Schematic diagram of multiple

and single scattering are also presented.

Figure 2: Schematic diagram of XAS experimental set up. The sample holder
(Koningsberger cell, golden colour) is also shown.

Figure 3: Actual XAS experimental set up showing different Ionization Chambers (ICs).

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To bring out the importance of XAS, title of

two recent articles have been cited from
literature. More details could be found in the
corresponding publications.
1. Fe L-Edge XAS Studies of K4[Fe(CN)6]
and K3[Fe(CN)6]: A Direct Probe of Back-
Bonding. -Those who cannot work with their
2. Atomic XAFS as a Tool To Probe the hearts achieve but a hollow, half-
Reactivity of Metal Oxide Catalysts: hearted success that breeds bitterness
Quantifying Metal Oxide Support Effects. all around.

References: -Be more dedicated to making solid

1. G. Meitzner, Catal. Today, 39 (1998) 281 achievements than in running after
– 291. swift but synthetic happiness.
2. M. Fernandez-Garcia, Catal. Rev. 44
(2002) 59 – 121. -To succeed in your mission, you must
3. Website: have single-minded devotion to your
4. R.K. Hocking, E.C. Wasinger, F. M.F. de goal.
Groot, K. O. Hodgson, B. Hedman, E.
I..Solomon, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 128 (2006) -We should not give up and we should
10442 – 10451. not allow the problem to defeat us.
5. D. E. Keller, S. M. K. Airaksinen, A. O.
Krause, B. M. Weckhuysen, D. C.
Koningsberger, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 129
(2007) 3189 – 3197.

Short Biodata of the Author

Pankaj Bharali was born in Assam, India.
He received his Bachelor degree in
Chemistry from Govt. Science College,
Jorhat and obtained his Master degree in
Chemistry from Gauhati University, by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Guwahati, India in 2002. Then he joined Born: 15th October 1931
Regional Research Laboratory (RRL),
Jorhat, India as research fellow and -Man needs his difficulties because they
afterwards moved to Indian Institute of are necessary to enjoy success.
Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad,
India. Currently, he has been working for his -Life is a difficult game. You can win it
PhD under the supervision of Dr. B.M. only by retaining your birthright to be
Reddy, Senior Scientist, Inorganic and a person.
Physical Chemistry Division, IICT,
Hyderabad. His research interest is in the -We must think and act like a nation of
area of synthesis of nanostructured mixed- a billion people and not like that of a
metal oxides for catalytic applications.His million people. Dream, dream, dream.
present address is: Inorganic and Physical
Chemistry Division, Indian Institute of ----------------o------------------
Chemical Technology, Uppal Road,
Hyderabad – 500 007, India

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Applications of structural adhesives in Sealents are used in joints around windows,

bonding aircraft structures in fuel tanks etc.; hot melts and pressure
sensitive adhesives are utilized in aircraft
interiors (primarily in fabricating decorative
panels); while thermosetting adhesives are
used to bond load bearing structural
Structural adhesives consist of
adhesive compositions that are normally
used in high strength, permanent
applications. A structural adhesive as
Dr. Rashmi Rekha Devi distinguished from other adhesives, is one
that fastens together elements of a structure.
An adhesive may be defined as a It must therefore be capable of transmitting
material which when applied to surfaces of structural stress without loss of structural
materials can join them together and resist integrity within design limits. The most
separation. This definition was proposed by important feature of a structural adhesive is
Kinloch (1987). In terms of the substances that they are generally formulated from
involved, the principle component of an thermosetting resins that require chemical
adhesive or sealent is an organic polymer, or crosslinking either with the addition of a
one or more (usually two) compounds which curing agent or heat curing at elevated
can chemically react to produce a polymer. temperatures
At the time of application the molecular The first applications of adhesives
contact with the adherends; that is it must for bonding aircraft structure probably date
wet the surfaces. It must then harden (cure) back to about 1920, when lightweight
to a cohesive solid. Pressure sensitive airframes were fabricated with plastisized
adhesives are an exception in that they do nitrocellulose-impregnated fabric stretched
not harden but remain permanently sticky. over a framework of wooden stringers. The
It is impossible to to know for wood adhesives used for these applications
certain when and where adhesive materials were first based on casein, then urea
were first used. According to Roman author formaldehyde resins, and finally phenol
and scientist Pliny the Elder, that glue was formaldehyde resins.
invented by Daedalus. According to legend As aircraft structure shifted from
is that Daedulus and his son Icarus, escaping wood to aluminium, more sophisticated
from Cretan imprisonment using wings adhesives capable of withstanding higher
fashioned from feathers(somewhere around stresses were required. De Bruyne of Aero
1300-1000 BC). In most of the accounts, the Research Ltd. in Britain is generally credited
feathers are joined using wax, although with doing the pioneering work that led to
Apollodorous actually uses the term ‘glue’. the development of the first commercially
This dramatic and highly ambitious use of important adhesive for metal bonding. This
adhesive bonding unfortunately ended in system known as Redux was first used by
failure. Although Daedalus successfully De havilland and Bristol in the mid-1940s.
completed his own journey to Sicily, but The Redux process involved applying a
Icarus showing the over-enthusiasm of his liquid phenolic resin to the surface to be
youth, flew higher and higher, and as he got bonded, covering the liquid with excess
closer to the sun, the wax melted and he felt powdered vinyl resin, allowing the resin
to his death. time to wet out, and then shaking off the
Adhesives are used extensively by excess powder.
the aerospace industry for bonding structural Although redux is still in use today,
components of aircraft (both military and it has largely been displaced by adhesives
commercial), missiles and satellites. supplied in film form. The advantages of

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film adhesives over the redux system are the flow and glow line thickness during
twofold: (1) these are supplied at exactly the cure. AF163-2 is a film adhesive supported
desired weight and (2) the formulation is with nylon scrim to control flow and glue
precisely controlled. line thickness which was developed by 3M
The next major improvement in Co.
aircraft adhesives occurred in the late 1950s Scrims act as carriers for the
with the introduction of adhesives based on otherwise fragile raw adhesive polymers
epoxy resins. They dominate the field of enabling the film to be handled. The scrim
structural adhesives Once cured they are also serves as a glue line control device and
characterized by high chemical and controls the adhesive flow during the curing
corrosion resistance as well as good phase. Scrims may be of cotton fabric,
mechanical and thermal properties. Since polyester, nylon or of glass.
these adhesives crosslink via an addition 2. Metal/Metal honeycomb bonds-hot cure
reaction, no volatiles are released during hot Only epoxy systems are used for
cure. This made low pressure bonding these applications. Hexcel Redux 308 is an
possible and the use of no perforated unsupported epoxy film adhesive with no
honeycomb feasible in sandwich structure. flow modifiers and is bonded at 1800C at a
There are two basic needs of an pressure of 345 kPa.
adhesive bonding in aircraft structures. The AF3109-24 is another unsupported epoxy
first is that the adhesive will stay stuck for film adhesive with no flow modifiers and
the life of the structure, in all service and was developed by 3M Co.
storage environments, while the second is 3. Structural metal to metal- cold cure
that the adhesive will not fail even when the Two epoxy systems most used in
surrounding structure has been broken. aircraft structural bonding are Hysol-Dexter
The adhesive materials used for EA9330.1 and SW9323B/A-150. The two
these purposes fall into three distinct groups. adhesives contain a small amount of glass
These are beads to control the thickness of the glue
1. Metal/metal- hot cure line.
The hot cure adhesive materials Figure 1 gives some of the
used by the aircraft industry are mainly indication of the degree to which bonding is
based on either phenolic or epoxy resin utilized in a modern aircraft. Aircraft
systems. applications to date have included the
Redux film 775 is one of the most bonding of reinforcing doublers and
important of the metal-to metal adhesives stiffeners to both fuselage and wing panels;
used for major structural build applications. the former being employed to reinforce
In the UK, Redux Film 775 was first used in holes for mechanical fasteners and
1962 by DeHavilland on the 125 Business window/door openings. In addition epoxy
Jet. Cytec FM47 is a film adhesive film adhesives are frequently employed for
supported by glass fibre scrim and the production of honeycomb sandwich
toughened with polyvinyl butyral. 3M Co. structures where aluminium or Nomex
developed an unsupported film adhesive honeycomb is bonded to aluminium or
toughened with nitrile rubber (AF31). composite skins. Such structures have been
Hexcel Redux 308A (NA) is an employed to produce aircraft structures such
unsupported film adhesive with spun rock as rudders, flaps, elevators, ailrons, doors,
wool added to control flow during curing floor panels as well as engine structures
and aluminium powder to increase such as nacelles and thurst reservers since
toughness. This adhesive film is also used in they provide attractive combinations of
bonding the metal-to-metal flanges of metal- strength, stiffness and weight in addition to
to-metal honeycomb structures. Cytec offering excellent fatigue and sound
FM73 is a film adhesive supported by insulating characteristics. Cold cure epoxy
polyester knit fabric scrim which controls adhesives are employed in the repair of

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aircraft components which have suffered which could not have been achieved with
damage due to accidents (ground impacts for conventional riveted structures. Cessna made
example), lightning strike and bird impact. an even more extensive application of
Some aircraft manufacturers have bonding to the fuselage of the Citation II jet
made extensive use of adhesive bonding. De aircraft, and used the same technology to
Havilland and Fokker were the pioneers in make wings on other aircraft with far fewer
adhesive bonding in primary aircraft fuel leaks than on conventional riveted wing
structures. Extensive use of adhesive bonding boxes. The secondary structures, control
was seen in bonding aluminium airframe of surfaces and fixed panels, on the Boeing 747
the SAAB 340 aircraft. The aircraft has a made extensive use of metal bonding, mainly
superior structural efficiency and durability, with honeycomb.

Figure1 Diagram of an aircraft showing the sections of the aircraft that are adhesively bonded.

Short Biodata of the Author structures, carbo - graphite materials for high
performance applications and development of
Dr. Rashmi Rekha Devi, has been serving as wood-polymer composites.
Scientist ‘B’ in Defence Materials & Stores
Research & Development Establishment -------------------------o----------------------------
(DMSRDE), DRDO, Kanpur since 2005. She
did her M. Sc. in Polymer Science from the -The world is his who does his job with
Department of Chemical Sciences, Tezpur compassion
University, Assam in 2000. She was awarded
Ph. D. degree by the same university in the by Saint Tiruvalluvar (Tamil poet)
year 2006. Her Ph.D. works are on Wood-
polymer composites. Her areas of interests are
Development of UV-curable adhesives,
structural adhesives for joining aircraft

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Intellectual Property And Its and Technology I would like to highlight the
Importance With Special Reference form of IP which is more useful for us and it
To Patents is nothing but PATENTS.
Now, what is a Patent?
We usually fence our plot where we
planned to stay. The reason for doing that is
to protect it from acquisition by another
party. Patent is nothing but fencing around
our invention. So that we can legally
prohibit the other party from using my
invention for his profit. In a formal way we
Abhishek Choudhury can say that patent is monopoly granted to
the applicant by the judiciary. Patents are
“Intellectual Property”(IP) is issued for a period of twenty years and are
nothing but a type of property. Now what is country specific also. There exist three
the difference between the property we essential criteria which determines the
thought of and the property named as IP. For patentability of an invention. These are
this we have to define first the two types of 1. Novelty
property. One is of tangible form and the 2. Non-obviousness and
other is of intangible form. By tangible 3. Utility
property we mean Land, Jewallaries, After 18 months from the date of
Buildings etc. which we can touch, see and filing of a patent, the patent document is
then feel. But, IP is not a property of such published by the patent office of the
type. This is the one which we, the human respective countries. Legally the most
beings create through our intellectual important part of a patent document is the
understanding. It may be a poem or a story ‘CLAIMS’. The whole invention is legally
or a piece of art or an invention. The protected by claims from any sort of
tangible properties we care a lot. Because exploitation.
we spend money to buy or to acquire those Another part of the patent document
and where there is investment we always try which is very important from researchers
to maintain that. Our aim is to save our point of view is ‘DESCRIPTION’. In this
property for the sake of ourselves and for part we have background of the invention
our coming generations. and the whole experimentation which is
Similarly IP is also a valued done. In this part the inventors have to
property. We use our most valuable time to describe the exact condition of
create it. Directly and indirectly we spend experimentation that can be repeated by
money also for its creation. The ultimate anybody anywhere, which is known as best
work is a outcome of our own effort. This is mode.
not less then that what we invest for Grant of a patent does not guarantee
acquiring tangible properties. Why not to any monitory benefit until and unless we
aware of our IP then? commercialize our invention. We have two
In a formal term IP is a product of ways for commercial utilization of our
the intellect that has commercial value, invention. One is to license our invention to
including copyrighted property such as a second party for production and sell. The
literary or artistic works, and ideational second one is to manufacture, produce and
property, such as patents, appellations of sell by ownself. Developed countries like
origin, business methods, and industrial US, UK, JAPAN etc. are very strong in
processes. protecting their IP.
As we are in a profession, which is University of Texas, North Carolina
related with Research in the area of Science University, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and many more are having

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stronger Patent portfolios. With the help of,

this they are gaining lots of business. The,
profit thus is utilized for developing new,
But in India the Patenting scenario
is yet to meet the level that it can achieve.
As in next few years we are going to Short Biodata of the Author
become one of the economic super powers Mr. Abhishek Choudhury completed
of the world so it is seen that INDIAN his M. Sc. in Polymer Science from Tezpur
scientific and business community now Central University, Assam in the year 2005.
urges a necessity for developing a strong IP At present working as a Project Assistant- II
regime. Thus if we become aware of our IP in CSIR Unit for R&D of Information
and its utility then we can worth use it for Products, Pune. He is also perusing P. G.
the benefit of our society in a larger term. Diploma in Patent Laws from NALSAR
(NOTE: Here are websites of a few free University, Hyderabad. He is also learning
online databases where we can search for TRIZ methodology of Inventive Problem
patent documents. Solving.


The Archimedes screw. This was a machine with a revolving screw shaped blade,
and was used to drain ships and transfer water from a low-lying body of water into
irrigation canals. Versions of the Archimedes screw are still in use today in developing

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Seaweeds: A renewable reservoir of Health care has two aspects e.g.

bio active molecules healing or amoreliation of disease conditions
with medicines and sustenance of the health
system. Seaweeds have been reported to be
the source of many bioactive and
nutritionally important compounds e.g.
antibacterial, antiviral, immunomodulator,
cytotoxicity, anticancer, blood
anticoagulant, antifertility, vitamins,
proteins and minerals.
Dr. Kamalesh Prasad
Products of marine algae or Contemporary Era
seaweeds have been used as medicine as Antiviral,Antiimplantation /
well as food and feed, and latterly as antifertility, Cytotoxic, Antimicrobial,
nutraceuticals. Advanced societies of the Antitumor, Antifouling agents, Toxins,
world consume seaweed extracts (in the Anti-inflammatory / immunomodulator,
form of alginates, agars and carrageenans) Receptor antagonist, Antiviral including
every day in their foods or pharmaceuticals anti-HIV, Blood anticoagulant /
which is complemented by the excellent antithrombic, Anti-ulcer, Antiheptotoxic,
safety records for commonly ingested Lipid peroxidation.


Some important bioactive molecules isolated from Seaweeds are

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Toxins from Seaweeds:

Some important toxins isolated from seaweeds are

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Inhibitors of quorum sensing bacteria: Antifouling

Sulphated Fucans of Brown Seaweeds

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Fucoidans of seaweeds are consisted gp 1) and macrophage scavenger

mainly of 4-sulfated L-fucose, occasionally receptors.
2,4-disulfated, containing less than 10% Antivirals from Seaweeds of Indian waters
other carbohydrate monomer units, have a Antiviral formulation from Indian
wide spectrum of activity in biological seaweeds. An extract with antiviral activity
systems. Fucoidans exhibited the following including a mixture of extracts from
activities: Spatoglossum asperum, Padina
• Blood anticoagulant / antithrombic tetrastromatica, Sargassum tenerrimum, and
• Anti-inflammatory Stoechospermum marginatum. A process for
• Antioxidant preparation of the extracts, and a method of
• Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) treatment using the extracts are described.
• Hypolipidemic activities [Anil Chaterji et al. US Pat. No.
• Antiviral including anti-HIV activities 20040241185 A1; December 2, 2004]
via antiproliferative and antiadhesive
effect on cells. Isolation, chemical investigation and
• Fucoidans from the temperate brown antiviral activity of polysaccharides from
algae Fucus vesiculosus has been used Gracilaria corticata (Gracilariaceae,
as a “specific” ligand for L- and P- Rhodophyta). [B Ray et al. Int. J. Biological
selectins (Leukemia inhibitor factor and Macromolecules 31:87-95, 2002. ]

Antifertility Activity of Seaweeds is a large molecule, made from carrageenan

The leading non-contraceptive a gelling seaweed polysaccharide, which
micorbiocide, under development by the appears to coat both the pathogens and the
Population Council, is Carraguard, a vagina. Clinical trials are planned in South
seaweed extract that inhibits the attachment Africa [December 2005, The Population
of the pathogen to target cells. Carraguard Council Inc].

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,35

Newsletter of North East India Research Forum

equity, IPR and indigenous/national

Summary: ownership, need to be addressed for
The marine world presents a rich bringing a product to the market.
resource for novel compounds. Seaweeds
belonging to the classes Rhodophyta, Short Biodata of the Author
Phaeophyta and Chlorophyta have shown Kamalesh Prasad (b 16 July.1976 at
various biological and pharmacological Lakwa, Sibsagar, Assam), has been
activities. Substances that are currently working as Scientist-C at Central Salt &
receiving most attention from Marine Chemicals Research Institute,
pharmaceutical companies for the use in Bhavnagar since 2003. After receiving his
drug development, as well as from M.Sc degree (First class first position, 1998-
medicine-related researchers, include 99) from Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh,
sulphated polysaccharides as antiviral Assam in Chemistry (Organic Chemistry
substances, halogenated furanones from specialization), he joined RRL-Jorhat as
Delisea pulchra as antifouling compound research assistant. He joined CSMCRI,
and kahalalide F from a species of Byropsis Bhavnagar as Scientist-B in 2000 and
as a possible treatment of lung cancer, completed his PhD on chemical and
tumors and AIDS. Other substances such as rheological studies on seaweed
macroalgal lectins, fucoidans, kainoids and polysaccharides. He is a recipient of
aplysiatoxins are routinely used in national merit scholar ships, departmental
biomedical research. merit scholar ships during his secondary,
Using a combination of biodiversity, graduation and post graduation as. He is also
high-throughput screening and advances in a recipient of Late Deva Kumar Saikia
analytical techniques, it is anticipated that memorial prize money for securing highest
the bioactive leads would materialize as mark in chemistry in BSc ( Govt Science
drugs or drug intermediates. Seaweeds has college, Jorhat, Assam, 1996). He has also
additional merits of being used as qualified for exams viz., GATE, NET-LS
nutraceuticals. Thus it represents a (CSIR-UGC). His present research area is
significant challenge requiring participation Polysaccharide and carbohydrate chemistry.
of several scientific disciplines such as
marine biologists, chemists, engineers, E-mail :
pharmacologists, clinicians and dieticians. In
such R&D activity with highest level of
scientific inputs and commercial focus, ----------------------o----------------------
complex issues of species conservation,
natural resource management, financial

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,36

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What is Nanoparticles and Why applications. Characterization is done by

Nanoparticles using a variety of different techniques,
mainly drawn from materials science.
Common techniques are electron
microscopy [TEM, SEM], atomic force
microscopy [AFM], dynamic light scattering
[DLS], X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
[XPS], powder X-ray diffractometry [XRD],
optical spectra and Fourier transform
infrared spectroscopy [FTIR].
Md. Harunar Rashid Nanoparticle research is currently an
area of intense scientific research, due to a
A nanoparticle ( or nanopowder ) wide variety of potential applications in
is a microscopic particle whose size is biomedical, optical, and electronic fields.
measured in nanometres (nm) at least one The National Nanotechnology Initiative of
dimension <100nm. Nanoparticles are of the Indian government (by Dept. of Science
great scientific interest as they are & Technology) has driven huge amounts of
effectively act as a bridge between bulk state funding exclusively for nanoparticle
materials and atomic or molecular research.
structures. A bulk material should have Although it is attracted the attention
constant physical properties regardless of its of materials scientist due to its application in
size, but at the nano-scale this is often not various filelds, nanoparticles present
the case. Size and shape-dependent possible dangers also, both medically and
properties of metal and metal oxide environmentally. Most of these are due to
including semiconductors such as quantum the high surface to volume ratio, which can
confinement in semiconductor particles, make the particles very reactive or catalytic.
surface plasmon resonance in some metal They may also be able to pass through cell
particles and superparamagnetism in walls in organisms, and their interactions
magnetic materials as well as catlytic with the body are relatively unknown.
properties are observed. At the small end of However, free nanoparticles in the
the size range, nanoparticles are often environment quickly tend to agglomerate
referred to as clusters. and thus leave the nano-regime, and nature
Metal and semiconductor itself presents many nanoparticles to which
nanoparticles as well as hybrid structures organisms on earth may have evolved
(e.g., core-shell nanoparticles, metal alloy immunity (such as salt particulates from
and organic-inorganic nanocomposites) are ocean aerosols, terpenes from plants, or dust
well known nanomaterials synthesized so from volcanic erruptions).
far. Nanospheres, nanorods, and
nanotriangles, nanosponge of metal, metal Short Biodata of the Author
oxide are just a few of the shapes that have Md. Harunar Rashid from Mankachar,
been grown. Nanoparticles made of Assam, did his B. Sc. from Goalpara
semiconducting material may also be College, Assam. He did his M. Sc. from
labeled quantum dots if they are small Gauhati University, Assam. He is at present
enough (typically sub 10nm) that Senior Research Fellow in the Indian
quantization of electronic energy levels Association for the Cultivation of Sciences,
occurs. Such nanoscale particles are used in Kolkata. His topic of PhD research is
biomedical applications as drug carriers or ‘’Synthesis of Shape Tunable Metal and
imaging agents. Metal oxide Nanoparticles and Their
Characterization of nanoparticle is Applications’’.
necessary to establish understanding and ----------------------o------------------------
control of nanoparticle synthesis and

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Ph. D. thesis abstract of Dr. Prodeep

Phukan The synthesis of enantiomerically
pure α-amino alkyl or aryl ketones is of
wide interest in that it provides a direct route
to the synthesis of biologically active β-
amino alcohols, heterocyclic compounds
and unnatural amino acids. Literature search
reveals that a few direct methods are
available for the preparation of racemic
amino ketones but no method is known for
Dr. Prodeep Phukan the synthesis of chiral amino ketones.
Chapter I describes a direct method of
Title of the thesis: Asymmetric amination of silyl enol ethers using
Hydroxylations of Olefins, Reductions of Sharpless asymmetric aminohydroxylation2
Ketones and Organic Transformations conditions to provide optically pure α-amino
Using Heterogeneous Catalysis ketones (1) ( Scheme-1).

OsO4 - Catalyzed Amination of Silyl Enol
Ethers : Enantioselective Synthesis of α-
Amino Ketones
OsO4, Chloramine-T O
t-BuOH : H2O (1 : 1) NHTs
R2 R1
R1, R2 = alkyl, aryl 1

CHAPTER II Section A :
Synthesis of Optically Active Amino Acids Enantioselective Synthesis of α-Hydroxy β-
Using Asymmetric Aminohydroxylation Amino Acids
In recent years syn-β-amino-α-
hydroxy acids (2) have received
The OsO4 catalyzed asymmetric
considerable attention as crucial component
aminohydroxylation (AA) of olefins has
of peptidomimetic protease inhibitors. For
become the most powerful method for the
instance (2S,3R)-β-amino-α- hydroxy unit
preparation of a wide variety of
has been found in amastatin and a marine
enantiomerically pure aminoalcohols. Direct
natural product microginin which inhibits
and one pot introduction of both amino and
angiotensin-converting enzyme. Several
hydroxyl functionalities make this process
multistep syntheses are known for the
more practical. In this chapter this synthetic
synthesis of this moiety. Here a very short
methodology is applied to synthesize amino
route is described for the synthesis of two
acids. This chapter is further divided into
such compounds (Scheme 2).
two sections.

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Scheme - 2
Section B : important class of non-proteinogenic
A Short and Efficient Synthesis of aminoacids. Aryl glycines are present in
Enantiomerically Pure Naphthyl Glycine many biologically active compounds such as
1–Naphthyl glycine (3) is a cephalosporins or nocardicins. Moreover
representative example of aryl glycines, an they have potential interest as

Scheme - 3

chiral building blocks or as precursors of section provides a short and efficient

chiral ligands for asymmetric synthesis. synthesis of enantiomerically pure naphthyl
Most of syntheses of naphthyl glycine (3) glycine employing asymmetric
are either not stereoselective or based on aminohydroxylation as key step (Scheme 3).
chiral auxiliary approach in which the chiral
inductor cannot be recovered. Some other -x-
syntheses are also reported involving
Sharpless asymmetric epoxidation. This
a variety of naturally occurring and
Chapter III biologically active molecules. These diols
Synthesis of Adrenergic Blockers using can be converted to chiral cyclic sulfates,
chiral cyclic sulfate as synthon which can be opened with a variety of
nucleophiles in a regio and stereoselective
With the new synthetic manner to give optically active product.
developments of the enantiomerically Application of this strategy is described in
enriched diol, their stereoselective this chapter to get enantiomerically enriched
transformations are of contemporary interest amino alcohols. This chapter is divided into
and are widely used for the total synthesis of two sections.

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Section A affinity to the β- receptors. (S)–penbutolol is

Asymmetric Synthesis of β-Adrenergic one of those drugs whose synthesis is not
Blocker, (S)–Penbutolol much known. This section describes the
Although racemic β-blockers have synthesis of (S)–penbutolol starting from
been used over two decades, there is now a phenol by employing asymmetric
great deal of concern about enantiomerically dihydroxylation as a key steps (Scheme 4 ).
pure isomers which are having higher

Scheme 4
Section B : various stages of clinical trials. In the past
Asymmetric Synthesis of the Antiarrhythmia few years considerable progress was made
agent R-(+)–Sotalol in the preparation of R-(+)–Sotalol by chiral
Reentrant ventricular arrhythmia is a major chromatographic separation, chiral
factor for most cases of sudden cardiac homogeneous hydrogenation etc. This
death. Class III antiarrhythmia compounds section describes the enantioselective
such as R-(+)–Sotalol effectively control synthesis of R-(+)–Sotalol using asymmetric
such arrhythmia and these drugs are in dihydroxylation process (Scheme 5).

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Scheme 5
Transfer Hydrogenation of carbonyl
compounds using transition metal catalysts
The reduction of multiple bonds Section A: Transfer
with the aid of hydrogen donor in the Hydrogenation of Carbonyl Compounds
presence of a catalyst is known as Using Homogeneous Macrocyclic Nickel
transfer hydrogenation. In comparison complex
with catalytic reduction using molecular Compounds of most of the elements
hydrogen, transfer reduction using H- from the second transition series in the
donors such as ammonium formate, periodic table are suitable for catalytic
isopropanol, etc. has real and potential reduction. Both salts and complexes of Pd,
Pt, Ru, Ir, Rh, Fe, Ni, and Co have been
advantages since it avoids the risks and
used as catalysts for the transfer of hydrogen
constraints associated with high pressure from molecular hydrogen or hydrogen
reactors. In this chapter several donors to organic substrates. Most of the
homogeneous, heterogeneous and chiral complexes reported contain the triphenyl
catalysts have been synthesized and phosphine moiety. This section describes the
screened for transfer hydrogenation of synthesis of Ni complex (I) and its
carbonyl compounds. This chapter is remarkable catalytic activity for the
divided into three sections. chemoselective reduction of carbonyl
compounds (Scheme 6).

Scheme 6

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Section B : on carbon or skeletal metals like Raney Ni.

Heterogeneous Catalysis in Transfer This section constitutes a study using Rh
Hydrogenation of Carbonyl Compounds and Ru exchanged Clay as well as Ru on
Of all the methods available for alumina for heterogeneous transfer
addition of hydrogen to organic compounds, hydrogenation process. Moreover, another
heterogeneous catalytic transfer reactions catalyst Nd(acac)3.3H2O, which is not
have been relatively underutilized. Catalysts studied so far, is also screened for this
derived from Rh, Ru, Pd, Ni, Ir, Pt, Co are purpose. Interestingly, this catalyst shows
known to promote hydrogenation process. higher activity in a heterogeneous manner
These catalysts are generally in the form of for transfer hydrogenation with the aid of
finely divided metals, as metals supported isopropanol as hydrogen donor (Scheme 7).

Scheme 7
Section C asymmetric transfer hydrogenation. But Ni
Use of Chiral Nickel Complexes for based catalyst is not studied so far for
Asymmetric Transfer Hydrogenation of asymmetric transfer hydrogenation. This
Ketones section contains a study on various Ni based
The interest over the development of chiral complex for asymmetric transfer
new chiral catalyst is increasingly growing hydrogenation of carbonyl compounds
in recent years and many Rh and Ru based (Scheme 8).
catalysts have been developed for

Scheme 8
CHAPTER V catalyst, these materials exhibit appreciable
acid activity with shape selective features. In
Organic Transformations Using addition, these materials can act as support
Heterogeneous Catalysis for a variety of catalytically active metals.
Zeolites and clays are Use of these catalysts for various organic
aluminosilicates finding numerous transformations are investigated in this
applications in many areas of catalysis chapter which is further divided into three
generating intense interest in industrial and sections.
academic laboratories. Reusability and
recyclability make these catalysts more
useful particularly in the industrial scale. As

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Section A : range of applications in the field of organic,

Oxidation of α, α, α′, α′-Tetrasubstitued polymer as well as in biochemical field. In
Secondary Amines: A High Yield Synthesis this section a single step preparation of
of nitroxyl radical using TS – 1 / H2O2 nitroxide radicals is presented using a
Nitroxyl radicals are compounds heterogeneous catalytic system titanium
containing the >N-O group which has one silicate (TS-1) and aq. H2O2 (Scheme 9).
unpaired electron. These radicals have wide

Scheme- 9

Section B : aminating reagent. The aziridination of enol

Amination of Silyl Enol Ethers With silanes reported by Evans could afford the
PhI=NTs Over Cu – Exchanged Y–Zeolite α-tosylamino ketones in the presence of
The amination of carbonyl various copper salt as catalyst12 under
compounds is an important reaction because homogeneous conditions. Here we are
of its potential applications for the synthesis employing Cu–exchanged Y–zeolite, a
of heterocyclic compounds and unnatural heterogeneous catalyst for this
amino acids. Among the many methods transformation (Scheme 10).
available for the synthesis of amino ketones,
use of PhI=NTs is found to be a good

Scheme 10
Section C : has been studied. The study has resulted in
Cu-Exchanged Montmorillonite K10 clay the development of a convenient
Mediated Insertion Reaction of Methyl methodology for the synthesis of β-acid
Diazoacetate into Acids and Thiols esters and β-thio esters respectively (Scheme
The reaction of methyl diazoacetate 11).
with a variety of aromatic and aliphatic
acids and thiols catalyzed by Cu–Mont K10

Scheme 11

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Short biodata of the Author Ph. D. thesis abstract of Dr. Joshodeep

Dr. Prodeep Phukan is currently working as Boruwa
a Reader in the Chemistry department of
Gauhati University. He did his M.Sc from
Gauhati University in the year 1992. He did
his Ph.D in National Chemical Laboratory,
Pune, in 1999. He has received several
fellowships which include Alexander
Humboldt Fellowship (University of
Tuebingen, Germany, Jan 2002-March Dr. Joshodeep Boruwa
INSA Visiting Fellowship (I.I.Sc, Title of Thesis: Investigations Towards the
Bangalore, June-July -2005), Ramanna Synthesis of Natural Products or Parts
Fellowship (Department of Science and Thereof Involving Nitro Stabilized
Technology, India, 2007-2009). Carbanions.

For the past century, the total

-----------------------o------------------------ synthesis of natural products has served as
the flagship of chemical synthesis and the
principal driving force for discovering new
chemical reactivity, evaluating physical
-If I were asked under what sky the organic theories, testing the power of
human mind has most fully developed existing synthetic methods, and enabling
some of its choicest gifts, has most biology and medicine. This Ph. D thesis
deeply pondered on the greatest describes total synthesis of some
problems of life, and has found pharmacologically important natural
solutions, I should point to India. products involving some novel strategies.

Chapter I
Highly Regioseletive Ring Opening of
Epoxides with NaN3: A Short Synthesis of

Cytoxazone is a microbial metabolite

isolated from Streptomyces sp., which has
been identified as a selective modulator of
Friedrich Max Muller TH2 cytokine secretion. We found 4 Å
(German Scholar, December 6th, 1823 – molecular sieve acts efficient and reusable
October 28th, 1900) solid catalyst for regioselective ring opening
of epoxides with NaN3 to afford the
corresponding azidohydrin. To validate the
potentiality of this methodology, it has been
used for the synthesis of (-)-cytoxazone. The
requisite epoxide 4 was constructed
Sharpless ADH strategy; ring opening with
NaN3, in the presence of molecular sieves
afforded the key intermediate 5, which was
eventually transformed into the target

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1 2 3


Cytoxazone 6
5 4

Scheme 1
Ref: Boruwa, J.; Borah, J. C.; Kalita, B.; Barua, N. C. Tetrahedron Lett. 2004, 45, 7355-7358.

Chapter II structure by removing the 2-methyl group

Synthesis Absolute Stereochemistry and and their activity has been tested against
Molecular Design of the New Antifungal different pathogens. Interestingly some of
Antibiotic Produced by Streptomyces sp. 201 the compounds showed promising activity
against M. tuberculosis. Another important
The absolute stereochemistry of the new aspect of this synthesis is lipase catalysed
antifungal antibiotic isolated in our kinetic resolution of 8, to give 9 and 10,
laboratory has been determined by its which are important synthons in the
synthesis, a series of analogues has also synthesis of pine sawfly sex pheromones.
been synthesized by varying the length of
the alkyl chain, also by simplifying the

7 8
Kinetic Resolution

Important fragments in pha

romone synthesis OH + OAc

9 10


11 12
Scheme 2
Ref: Boruwa, J.; Kalita, B.; Barua, N.C.; Borah, J.C.; Mazumder, S.; Thakur, D.; Gogoi, D.K.;
Bora, T.C.
Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett, 2004, 14, 3571-3574.

Chapter III
Selectively Protected 1, 2-diol from Epoxides Nitrite ester has been projected as new
in Aqueous Media: A Short Asymmetric protecting group for alcohol by synthesizing
Synthesis of Chloramphenicol a series of selectively protected 1,2-diol from

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epoxides in aqueous media. The utility of achieving a short synthesis of widely used
this reaction has been demonstrated by antibiotic Chloramphenicol.

13 14 15


16 17 Cl Cl

Scheme 3
Ref: Boruwa, J.; Borah, J.C.; Gogoi, S.; Barua, N.C. Tetrahedron Lett. 2005, 46, 1743-1746

Chapter IV boronolide has been exploited for a long

time in crude form, Zulu used the roots of
Stereoselective Total Synthesis of (+)- these plants as an emetic, and an infusion of
Boronolide leaves has been reported to be effective
(+)-Boronolide was first isolated from the against malaria. A seteroselective total
bark and branches of Tetradenia fruticosa synthesis of (+)-boronolide has been
Benth and then again from the leaves of achieved. The key steps are Sharpless
Tetradenia barbare, which have been used asymmetric dihydroxylation, Shibasaki’s
as local folk medicine in Madagascar and asymmetric Henry reaction, asymmetric
Southern Africa. Medicinal properties of allylation and ring closing metathesis


18 19 20


21 22

23 24
Scheme 4
Ref: Boruwa, J; Barua, N. C. Tetrahedron 2006, 62, 1193-1198 (Rated among the top 25 articles
published in Tetrahedron in 2006).
and M. Sc from the same university in 2000.
Short Biodata of the Author In 2001 he joined Regional Research
Joshodeep Boruwa was born in 1976 in Laboratory, Jorhat (CSIR) and received his
Dibrugarh, Assam. He obtained his B. Sc Ph. D degree in 2006 working on total
degree from Dibrugarh University in 1997 synthesis of natural products under the

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,46

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direction of Dr. Nabin C. Barua. Currently HIGHER STUDY ABROAD

he is working as a post-doc in the group of
Prof. Dr. Richard R. Schmidt at the Country of this Issue: Germany
University of Konstanz, Germany. His
primary research interest involves natural Information on study and research in
product synthesis as an enabling endeavor Germany: requirements, grants,
for the discovery of new fundamental universities, life in Germany etc you will
processes and concepts in chemistry and find in the following website.
their application to chemical biology.
-Science cannot solve the ultimate
mystery of nature. And that is because,
in the last analysis, we ourselves are a ------------------------o---------------------
part of the mystery that we are trying
to solve.
-Great spirits have always encountered
-Anybody who has been seriously violent opposition from mediocre
engaged is scientific work of any kind minds.
realizes that over the entrance to the by Albert Einstein
gates of the temple of science are
written the words: 'Ye must have faith.'
It is a quality which the scientist cannot -Work spares us from three evils:
dispense with. boredom, vice, and need.
by Voltaire

-Experience is the child of thought, and

thought is the child of action.
by Benjamin Disraeli

-The pessimist sees difficulty in every

opportunity. The optimist sees the
opportunity in every difficulty.
By Winston Churchill
by Max Planck

Born: 23rd April 1858

Died: 4th October 1947

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,47

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Photos from Nobel Lecture 2006 Nature

By Arindam Adhikari By Mahen Konwar

By Mahen Konwar
Aula Magna Auditorium, Stockholm

By Mahen Konwar
Physics: John C Mather

Physics: George F Smoot By Arindam Adhikari

Chemistry: Roger Kornberg

N. E. Quest; Volume 1, Issue 1, April 2007,48

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Details about the Northeast India Research Forum

Date of creation of the foum : 13th November 2004

Area: Science and Technology
Total number of members till date: 115
1. Arindam Adhikari, Ph.D.
Institute of Surface Chemistry, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
2. Jadab Sharma, Ph.D.
3. Utpal Borah, Ph.D.
Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Japan
4. Ashim J. Thakur, Ph.D.
Chemical Science Dept, Tezpur University, Tezpur, Assam

Editorial Team of NE Quest

1. Dhanapati Deka, PhD
Reader, School of Energy, Environment and natural reseources, Tezpur University, Assam
2. Tankeswar Nath, PhD.
Scientist, R&D, Biotechnology, Jubilant Organosys Ltd. Gajraula, UP-244223, India
3. Manab Sharma, Ph.D.
Dept of Chemistry, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel.
4. Áshim Thakur, Ph.D
Chemical Science Dept, Tezpur University, Tezpur, Assam
5. Rashmi Rekha Devi, Ph.D
Scientist B, Defence Material and Stores Research & Development Establishment, DRDO, Kanpur.

6. Pankaj Bharali,
Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, India.
7. Arindam Adhikari, Ph.D. (Volunteer editor of this Issue )
Logo designed by:
Manab Sharma, Ph.D.
Dept of Chemistry, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel.

Cover page designed by: Anirban, Pune

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