Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Harikrishna wins Spice Cup title

LUBBOCK (Texas): India's Pentala Harikrishna won the Spice Cup chess with an exciting last-round win that not only got him into a four-way tie, but also earned him the title with the best tie-break score.

The 22-year-old Harikrishna, the former world junior champion and second highest rated Indian after Viswanathan Anand, was lying third before the final round.

He fought till the very last and snatched a win against the Russian-born American Gregory Kaidanov, who is currently the most active chess coach in the United States.

It was a major win for Hari, who in 2004 won the world juniors and then in 2006, won the Chess960 title in Germany.

Harikrishna took his tally to 5.5 points from nine rounds and was tied with Alexander Onischuk, Leonid Kritz and Varuzhan Akobian.

Akobian and Kritz were leading with five out of eight going into the last round, where they had to play each other. Their game ended in a draw but it was not a quick one.

Onischuk and Harikrishna, who were sharing third place, won their respective games with White pieces to join for a four-way tie. Harikrishna had the best tie-break score of 23.2 and was adjudged the winner. He received the Spice Cup put up by Susan Polgar (and a Swiss watch).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rao Musunuru Earns Point Of Light Award

NEW PORT RICHEY Sep-24: A long list of community accomplishments earned Dr. Rao Musunuru a Point of Light Award from Gov. Charlie Crist. This morning, the Pasco County Commission congratulated Musunuru, a cardiologist on the staff of the Heart Institute at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, in Hudson.

"You are a shining example," Crist wrote of Musunuru in his Point of Light Award citation.

State Rep. Tom Anderson, R-Holiday, presented a county proclamation today to Musunuru.

The doctor was instrumental in getting many health-related bills through the Florida Legislature, Anderson said. The measures Musunuru lobbied on behalf of include the Emergency Medical Dispatch Bill, in 2003, Florida Stroke Act, in 2004, and the Student Health Promotion and Tobacco Prevention Program acts, both in 2006.

In addition, he aided the effort to get automatic external defibrillators placed in Florida senior centers and state parks.

Musunuru taught prevention and prompt intervention of cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 killer of both men and women.

He received three national awards in the past five years from the American Heart Association, 2003 National Chairman's Award, 2005 National Physician of the Year Award, and 2007 National Volunteer Advocate of the Year Award, for his outstanding and long-lasting service through advocacy, education and charity.

In addition to his clinical cardiology practice in West Central Florida since 1981, Musunuru was instrumental in transforming what was once a 50-bed community hospital into major medical center with a number of specialized units, including the Heart Institute.

Musunuru is a member of the board of trustees for Pasco-Hernando Community College and is a past chairman of the board and current honorary board member of the elderly services agency CARES. He is on the board of the Good Samaritan Health Clinic of Pasco.

Musunuru earned the 2008 Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award from West Pasco Chamber of Commerce.

The county proclamation pointed out Musunuru led efforts for successful passage of the "Smoke Free for Health" Constitutional Amendment 6 several years ago.

He lobbied for another constitutional amendment that now requires the Legislature to restore millions in funding to the Youth Tobacco Education and Prevention Program.

Musunuru worked closely with state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, for the passage and implementation of Florida's $10.1 million Biomedical Research Program.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Young (Very Young) Science Scholars in Silicon Valley, Deepika Bodapati and Sunil Bodapati

Even though Deepika Bodapati is only 13 years old, she has a patent pending for her latest science fair project — a system that can be used at home to test spinach for contamination.

Deepika developed the project in the unique lab setting of A Schmahl Science Workshop, the nonprofit mobile-science lab that travels to schools throughout Silicon Valley. The program was founded in 1996 by Belinda Lowe-Schmahl. The purpose is to provide hands-on experiments and lessons and offer students a chance to link up with working scientists as mentors.

The program doesn’t come cheap. The cost of the truck, lab and equipment is $200,000, said Muril Smith, curriculum developer at Schmahl.

To help jump-start the mobile-science project, Santa Clara-based
Agilent Technologies Foundation donated $200,000 — $100,000 in cash and $100,000 in equipment. Juniper Networks Inc., donated $1,000 in 2004 and $20,000 in 2007 to the program. To keep the program afloat, the nonprofit charges a fee for its mobile workshops. Cost can range from $175 to $195 for in-school workshops to just $25 for schools that qualify for a reduce fee. That cost is subsidized by Juniper’s donation.

“What we’re able to do is bring state-of-the-art equipment to any school,” Smith said. “You can imagine the expense. Just a small lab could easily be $50,000. And if you multiply that by the number of schools, that’s a lot of equipment.”

The mobile lab is comparable to a university lab for upper-division science classes, allowing for experiments that range from DNA extraction to biochemical analysis.

“We like to put our students through a process where they learn how real science works, which is through hits and misses,” said Lowe-Schmahl, a research biochemist. “You start with a prototype, you test it, and you have to write a budget and figure out how much staff you need.”
Indeed, Deepika wrote a budget and was granted money for materials through Schmahl.

So did her brother, Sunil Bodapati, a senior at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose and a winner of several science fair medals. He is now working on cancer imaging research at Stanford University.

He recently co-authored an article in the trade publication Nature Nanotechnology, quite an accomplishment, Lowe-Schmahl said.

“For kids like Sunil and Deepika, who would probably go to college anyway, for every one of them, there are 20 kids who wouldn’t consider college without meeting a mentor and encouraging them through the process,” Lowe-Schmahl said.

NRI Pratap Suryadevara launches website on health and nutrition

CALIFORNIA: Pratap Suryadevara, an NRI, launched a website, mynutritionandheal th.com, on health and nutrition recently at Shiva temple, Livermore, California.

Pratap is a native of Amaravathi, Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh and his website is an award winning project from the International Pharmaceutical Federation.

This project aims to address the issues of poor diet and malnutrition by providing self assessment programs and the other health related information.

Self assessment has been proven to be a good means of affecting diet and food style changes and by making recommendations to change diet, the website strives to improve one's health and reduce long- term health problems.

It also intends to increase people's awareness about health by providing information regarding nutrition, diet, fitness and diseases.

Highlights of the website are free downloads of vegetables, fruits, vitamins, mineral charts with information on health benefits including color images and a simple health assessment about nutrition for all age groups.

Pratap Suryadevara did his masters in pharmacy in India and PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from UK. The website also aims to extend its support to the benefit of communities through its community programs.

2 Kammas cos find place in Forbes' Best under a Billion list

NEW YORK: As many has 22 Indian companies, including 2 Kammas companies Divis Labs and MIC electronics have been named in the latest '200 Best under a Billion' list for the Asia-Pacific region by US magazine Forbes.

The annual 'Best Under a Billion' list picks the best 200 small and medium sized companies from 24,155 listed firms in the Asia-Pacific region.

Those with less than USD 1 billion in sales are vested for consistent growth of sales and profits over three years.

Natco Pharma launches Albupax to treat breast cancer

Natco Pharma (Nannapaneni V Chowdary, Chairman and Managing Director) has launched its first nanotechnology drug Albupax. Albupax is the first generic version of the international brand - Abraxane of Abraxis Bio-sciences, USA.

Albupax, which is the brand name of Natco consists of Paclitaxel in an Albumin bound nano-particle form.

Albupax is used in the treatment of breast cancer. It has been indigenously developed by Natco in India and is the first albumin bound Paclitaxel in nano- particle to be developed in India.

Each 100 mg vial of Albupax has been priced at Rs 11,500. The estimated Indian market for this product is in the region of Rs 1,500 million and NATCO expects Albupax to garner a reasonable share of this market.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Myneni Adds More than Talent to the Alabama Men’s Tennis Team

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama.-Saketh Myneni, a freshman on the men’s tennis team, had to adjust to more than his surrounding when he came to Alabama in August for the fall semester. Myneni, hailing from Andhra Pradesh in southeast India, is used to a climate quite similar to Alabama’s. However, that might be the only similarity between the place he grew up and his new home.

When Saketh started playing tennis at age 11 with his father it was nothing more than a physical activity. Sports were not strong in his hometown and the only training he received was with his father on the recreational courts.

Shortly after Saketh started playing, he gained attention from numerous coaches in the vicinity telling him that his talent could take him to the next level. That being the case, Saketh’s family packed up and moved to a city that would afford their only son the chance to become a great tennis player.

After the move, Saketh began a more rigorous training schedule and played in numerous tournaments, catching the eye of more than a few scouts. The 6-5 native of India caught the eye of one person in particular that happened to be friends with Alabama head coach Billy Pate. Pate took his friend’s advice and invited Saketh to join the team.

In August of 2006, the India native packed up his belongings, said goodbye to his parents, and headed to the United States, leaving behind the only life he knew. Saketh found himself in a new place and without his parents for the first time in his life.

“In India, family is very important,” said Myneni. “For fun we like to gather as a family and watch a movie or have a meal. It is different from America where the people are more independent of their family.”

It did not take Saketh long to adjust to his new way of life, however. He began getting involved in campus life the minute he unpacked his things, aiding in his transition. He started by touring the campus and getting to know his surroundings, then, when the semester started he went to numerous home athletic events, including his first football game ever and immediately got started on his course work and making friends.

Tennis was not an easy adjustment either. In India, Saketh played mostly on clay courts where in Alabama the team plays on hard surfaces. It took Myneni about five months to adjust to the new surface, but with proper training and a little bit of time he modified his game and became a mainstay in the Alabama lineup.

“Saketh has added a lot to our team in many ways,” said Pate. “He is a very talented player and is a remarkable shot maker. Like a lot of players that hail from India, he is gifted at the net and a tremendous doubles player. He is also a very pleasant and gregarious young man that is a positive influence on his teammates. Saketh has the ability to develop into a big-time player for us at Alabama.”

Saketh made an immediate impact on the team posting a 10-2 doubles record in the fall with partner Joseph Jung. Myneni and Jung paired up in the Baylor Invitational, rallying to win the championship after being down match point in their first round contest.

As for life outside of tennis, Saketh is quickly becoming accustomed to the American way of life. Myneni has become one of the most well-known faces on campus in only a semester due to his outgoing personality and friendly smile and has made a name for himself in the classroom, earning a 4.0 grade point average in his first semester. Saketh would frequently double is required eight hour study hall commitment said Pate, often making the coaching staff wonder if he was faking the hours.

As for his ability to deal with change, Saketh’s bike was stolen the first week of school so now he just walks everywhere. He also gained a few pounds in his first few weeks in Alabama due to all the southern-style food and American-sized portions. Saketh has also gotten used to living with roommates since that concept does not exist in India.

One of Saketh’s roommates, teammate Houssam Yassine, came to American in January to start the spring season. Knowing what it is like to be new in a foreign country, Myneni has taken it upon himself to guide Yassine and help him in any way necessary to make his transition as smooth as his own.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

10,000 acres more for VANPIC

HYDERABAD: The State Government on Tuesday issued orders allotting another 10,000 acres to the Vadarevu-Nizampatnam Port Industrial Corridor (VANPIC) (Nimmagadda Prasad, Chairman) for development of the port-based industrial corridor. The Government alienated about 11,000 acres of land for development of the VANPIC, power plants and other industries on Monday.

For VANPIC, the Government allotted 5,451 acres in seven villages of Karlapalem, Pittlavanipalem, Bapatla and Nizampatnam mandals in Guntur district.

The land will be handed over to the VANPIC Projects Private Limited on payment of market value which ranges between Rs 1.18 lakh and Rs 1.68 lakh per acre.

The VANPIC will pay ex gratia to beneficiaries of assigned lands for parting with their land and also remit 10 per cent of the market value to the State Government.

Ch Kiron of Eenadu is new ABC chairman

Cherukuri Kiron, managing director of Ushodaya Enterprises Private Limited which publishes Eenadu, a Telugu daily newspaper, was unanimously elected as chairman of Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) for 2008-2009. Kiron has been a member of the Council of Management since January 2000 and was the deputy chairman of ABC for 2007-2008.

Kiron is involved in both print and electronic media, as Eenadu Television Network has a bouquet of 12 regional language channels. The group's other business interests are in hotel and tourism, film production and distribution, food processing and financial services.

The group company in which Kiron is a director also owns Ramoji Film City, the world’s largest film infrastructure facility.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Muralimohan elected MAA president

HYDERABAD: In a significant development, film actor Maganti Muralimohan defeated character artiste Vijaychander to become president of the Movie Artistes’ Association, winning by 108 votes on Sunday, while ‘Ahuti’ Prasad was elected secretary (both are Kammas).

Known for his affiliation with the TDP, Muralimohan takes over from K. Nagendra Babu, brother of actor-politician Chiranjeevi, president of the Praja Rajyam.

Others also elected unanimously included vice-president Meka Srikanth and joint secretary Gogineni Maharshi (both are Kammas).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Humpy enters semifinals

NEW DELHI: For the second straight day, Koneru Humpy crushed China’s Shen Yang to complete a 2-0 victory on way to the semifinals of the Women’s World chess championship at Nalchik, Russia, on Monday.

Humpy, playing black, destroyed the defence of Shen Yang in 42 moves of Semi Slav Defence.

For a place in the final, second seed Humpy faces Chinese prodigy and third seed Hou Yifan who defeated Armenia’s Lilit Mkrchian in the second game for a 1.5-0.5 triumph.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Capt Parvatanenni Mohan new chairman of National Shipping Board

Captain Parvathaneni Venkata Krishna Mohan, senior-most member of the National Shipping Board, was today named chairman of the Board.

He has been nominated for a two-year term, an official release said.

Captain Mohan is the youngest and also the first master mariner to become chairman of the Board, consisting of four members of the Lok Sabha, two members of the Rajya Sabha, heads of different ports and representatives from the Defence and Commerce ministries and trade unions.

The entire shipping fraternity has expressed happiness over the selection of a technical person and an eminent shipping personality to head the Board, the release said.