Current science, vol. 89, No. 4, 25 august 2005



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NEWS 

 

CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 89, NO. 4, 25 AUGUST 2005 



599

*Based on the workshop sponsored by the De-

partment of Biotechnology, New Delhi, orga-

nized on 19–20 July 2005 at Jungle Resorts, 

Bannerghatta. 

 

 



Figure 4. X-ray fluorescence imaging at 

SSRL revealed the hidden text. This X-ray 

iron map shows the lower left quadrant of 

the page (Image taken at Stanford Linear 

Accelerator Center). 

 

 



letters by comparing the layers of text 

from the synchrotron images and from 

the multi-spectral images. 

 According to Bergmann, the studies 

using the X-ray technique have just begun 

and should help to uncover the missing 

25–30% of the text in the palimpsest

4

.



 

The work carried out so far has revealed 

that Archimedes was the first Greek to 

use infinity. The studies have also allowed 

the first interpretation of Stomachion, a 

treaty dealing with the number of ways a 

problem can be solved which is used in 

modern computation. The team, consisting 

of researchers from Stanford, Rochester 

Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins 

University, and Rutgers University, has 

plans to decipher and read the entire text, 

catalog and transcribe it into a digital form. 

 

 



1. Stein, S., Mathematical Association of 

America, 1999. 

2. Usher, A. P., A History of Mechanical In-

ventions, Dover Publications, 1988. 

3. Purchased in an auction for US$ 2 million 

in 1998. The anonymous collector is also 

involved in funding of the present studies.  

4. Bergmann, U., unpublished work and per-

sonal communication; See also Nature, 

2005, 435, 257. 

 

 



 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. I thank Dr U. 

Bergmann SLAC, Stanford University for his 

valuable input, as well as making available 

the figures used in the article. 

 

 



 

 

Mrinalini G. Walawalkar (S. Ramase-



shan Fellow), C-137, IIT Quarters, Indian 

Institute of Technology, Bombay, Powai, 

Mumbai 400 076, India. 

e-mail: mmm@chem.iitb.ac.in 

 

 

 



 

 

Recovery of endangered and threatened species: Developing a national 



priority list of plants and insects* 

 

Conservation of highly threatened and 

critically endangered species demands a 

systematic programme of recovering their 

populations in the natural habitats so that 

the declining trend in their numbers is 

reversed. Such programmes should en-

sure that the population sizes and densi-

ties of the targeted species are enhanced 

above the critical bottleneck levels such 

that they become self sustained in repro-

duction and regeneration in nature. In 

India, though there are good examples of 

recovery of threatened species of large 

mammals, threatened plants and inverte-

brates are generally neglected. In this 

context, a two-day workshop was organized 

at Bangalore for developing a National 

Programme on Recovering Endangered 

and Threatened species through biotech-

nological tools. During the meeting it 

was recognized that while there are hun-

dreds of species that are endangered, it is 

important to prioritize them so that the 



most endangered plants and invertebrates 

that demand immediate recovery pro-

gramme could be identified. In this con-

text, a preliminary list of plants (List A) and 

insects (List B) has been developed in 

consultation with Botanical Survey of 

India and Zoological Survey of India for 

further processing.  

 We invite botanists, zoologists (ento-

mologists), conservation ecologists, field 

workers and all others interested in the 

conservation of species to comment on 

this list. The comments may be structured 

on the following issues: 

 

1. List a maximum of 12 species (from 



the list given here for plants and insects) 

that you think need immediate recovery. 

2. Provide reasons for your suggestions 

based on the following parameters 

(note that these details are important 

for a final prioritization and hence need 

to be provided for each of the spe-

cies): (a) Qualitative and/or quantita-

tive data on their distribution. (b) 

Places where you have recorded/ 

observed them. (c) Any problems that 

you foresee with its reproduction and 

regeneration. (d) Whether you see 

any need for biotechnological inter-

vention in their recovery programme. 

(e) Whether there are any geo-type

ecotype, varietal complexes you see 

with the species. (f) Any other details. 

3. Your name and address (you may be 

referred to/invited for future discus-

sions). 

 

Your response may be emailed to 



kng@vsnl.com or mailed to K. N. Gane-

shaiah, School of Ecology and Conserva-

tion, University of Agricultural Sciences, 

GKVK, Bangalore 560 065 or faxed to 

KN Ganeshaiah, 080 2353 0070. 

List A: Plants 

Trees 

Buchanania barberi Gamble  

Nothopegia aureo-fulva Beddome  

Nothopegia beddomei Gamble var. wyna-

adica Ellis & Chandra 

Phaeanthus malabaricus Beddome  

Popowia beddomeana Hook. f. & Thomson  

Phoenix rupicola T. Anders.  

Atuna travancorica (Beddome) Kosterm  

Garcinia imbertii Bourd.  

Hopea canarensis Hole  

Vateria macrocarpa B.L. Gupta  

Diospyros bourdillonii Brand.  


NEWS 

 

CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 89, NO. 4, 25 AUGUST 2005 



600

Cinnamoum travancoricum Gamble  

Litsea travancorica Gamble  

Gymnocladus assamicus U.N. & P.C. 

Kanjilal  



Inga cynometroides (Beddome) Baker 

Ormosia travancorica Beddome  

Cynometra beddomei Prain  

Cynometra bourdillonii Gamble 

Aglaia barberi Gamble  

Dysoxylum beddomei Hiern  

Syzygium palghatense Gamble  

Syzygium travancoricum Gamble  

Bentinckia condapanna Berry  

Helicia travancorica Beddome ex Hook. f.  

Madhuca bourdillonii (Gamble) H.J. Lam  

Madhuca insignis Radlk.  

Palaquium bourdillonii Brandis  

Shrubs 

Neuracanthus neesianus C.B. Clarke  

Strobilanthes dupenii Beddome ex C.B. 

Clarke  


Schefflera bourdillonii Gamble  

Vernonia multibracteata Gamble  

Reidia gageana Gamble 

Pogostemon travancoricus Beddome  

Psychotria andamanica Kurz. 

Saprosma fragrans Beddome 

Herbs 

Wiesneria triandra (Dalz.) Mich.  

Crinum brachynema Herbert  

Rauvolfia beddomei Hook. f.  

Aponogeton bruggeni Yadav & Govekar 

Arisaema sarracaenioides Barnes & C. 

Fischer  



Ceropegia panchganiensis Blatter & 

McCann  


Impatiens aliciae C.E.C. Fischer  

Impatiens anaimudica C.E.C. Fischer  

Impatiens cochinica Hook. f.  

Impatiens coelotropis C.E.C. Fischer  

Impatiens johnii Barnes  

Impatiens munnarensis Barnes  

Impatiens nilagirica C.E.CFischer 

Impatiens pandata Barnes 

Impatiens platyadena C.E.C. Fischer  

Impatiens rivulicola Hook. f.  

Impatiens verecunda Hook. f 

Begonia aliciae C.E.C. Fischer  

Begonia phryxophylla Blatter et McCann  

Haplothismia exannulata Airy Shaw 

Anaphalis banesii C.E.C. Fischer 

Ellipanthus neglectus Gamble 

Didymocarpus meeboldii Smith & Ramas. 

Drimia razii Ansari  

Rotala malampuzhensis R.V. Nair ex Cook 

Habenaria flabelliformis Summerh. ex 

Fischer 


Piper barberi Gamble  

Hybanthus travancoricus (Beddome) Mel-

choir  



Kaempferia rotunda L. 

Climbers 

Ceropegia beddomei Hook. f.  

Seshagiria sahyadrica Ansari Hemadri  

Toxocarpus palghatensis Gamble 

Salacia beddomei Gamble  

Salacia brunnoniana Wight & Arn.  

Salacia jenkinsii Kurz.  

Ipomea clarkei Hook.f.  

Hugonia bethi Sedgwick  

Others 

*Poeciloneuron pauciflorum Beddome 

*Dialium travancoricum Bourd. 

*Humboldtia bourdillonii Prain  

*Paphiopedilum druryi (Beddome) Stein  

*Hubbardia heptaneuron Bor  

*Ceropegia fantastica Sedgwick 

*Coscinium fenestratum (Gaertn.) Colebr. 

*Semecarpus kathalekanensis Das & 

Swam  



*Mantisia wengeri C.E.C. Fischer 

*Nymphea tetragona Georgi 

*Nepenthes khasiana Hook. f. 

 *These species are already considered 

for recovery programme. 

List B: Insects 

Mesovelia indica (Horvath, 1915) Hemi-

ptera, Mesoveliidae 



Taeniopalpus imperialis Hope, Lepidop-

tera 


Almandia lidderdalei (Atkinson), Lepi-

doptera 


Papillion dravidarum Wood-Mason, Lepi-

doptera 


Genus Poenaesius Snow Apollo’s, Lepi-

doptera 


Kallima philarchus (Westwood), Lepido-

ptera 


Euploea crameri Moore, Lepidoptera 

Mycalesis orseis (Heuritson), Lepidoptera 

Erebia narasingha (Moore), Lepidoptera 

Vanessa ladabensis Moore, Lepidoptera 

Atrophaneura pandiyana; Lepidoptera 

Paratirrhoea marshalli, Wood-Mason 

Lepidoptera 



Graphium antiphates Lepidoptera  

Ants 

Vombisidris occidua, Formicidae 

Vombisidris humbolticola  

Dilobocondyla sp.  

Leptallina escheri 

Indomyrma dasypyx 

Rhoptromyrmex mayri 

Dragon flies 

Phylloneura westermani Myristica Reed 

Tail  


Davidoides martini Syrandiri Club Tail

Gomphidae 



Chlorogomphus campioni Nilgiri Moun-

tain Hawk; Corduligasteridae 



Chlorogomphus xanthoptera Mountain 

Hawk; Corduligasteridae 



Tiger beetles 

Cicindela (Pancallia) shivah Parry Col-

eoptera; Cicindelidae 



Anthea sexguttata (Coleoptera, Carabidae)  

Others 

*Onthophagus imperator 

*Papilio buddha Westwood 

 

 *These species are already considered 



for the recovery programme. 

 

 



K. N. Ganeshaiah, Department of Plant 

Genetics and Breeding, School of Ecology 

and Conservation, University of Agricul-

tural Sciences, Bangalore 560 065, India. 

e-mail: kng@vsnl.com 

 

 




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