Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Portugal to build a satellite launch pad, lab with China
Portugal plans to build an international launch pad for small satellites in the Azores and has agreed with China to set up a joint research centre to make satellites on the mainland, its science and technology minister said on Tuesday. The government has received tentative proposals from 14 consortiums from Europe, the United States and Russia to design the launch pad jointly with local organizations, and to use the site in the future, Manuel Heitor said.
Gene study reveals secrets of parasitic worms, possible treatments
The largest study to date of the genetic makeup of parasitic worms has found hundreds of new clues about how they invade the human body, evade its immune system and cause disease. The results point to potential de-worming treatments to help fight some of the most neglected tropical diseases - including river blindness, schistosomiasis and hookworm disease - which affect around a billion people worldwide.
Bill Gates, on China trip, lauds free trade - and futuristic toilets
U.S. billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates unveiled on Tuesday in Beijing a futuristic toilet that doesn't need water or sewers and uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertilizer. The Microsoft Corp co-founder, who a day earlier was one of the high profile guests at a major trade event in Shanghai, also lauded the globalized and free trade systems that made the toilet technology possible.
(With inputs from agencies.)