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Saturday, 5 February 2011

Oysters Becoming Extinct

A comparative study of oyster reefs in the past and present has been carried out through a widespread survey that revealed that 90 per cent of the reefs have been destroyed. These reefs throve in most of the "bays" and ecoregions where the prized molluscs were formerly abundant. In many places, such as the Wadden Sea in Europe and Narragansett Bay, oysters are rated "functionally extinct," with fewer than 1 percent of former reefs persisting. The declines are in most cases a result of over-harvesting of wild populations and disease, often exacerbated by the introduction of non-native species.Oysters have fueled coastal economies for centuries, and were once astoundingly abundant in favored areas. The new survey is published in the February issue of BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. It was conducted by an international team led by Michael W. Beck of The Nature Conservancy and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Beck's team examined oyster reefs across 144 bays and 44 ecoregions. It also studied historical records as well as national catch statistics. The survey suggests that about 85 percent of reefs worldwide have now been lost. The BioScience authors rate the condition of oysters as "poor" overall. Most of the world's harvest of native oysters comes from just five ecoregions in North America, but even there, the condition of reefs is "poor" or worse, except in the Gulf of Mexico. Oyster fisheries there are "probably the last opportunity to achieve large-scale oyster reef conservation and sustainable fisheries," Beck and his coauthors write. Oysters provide important ecosystem services, such as water filtration, as well as food for people. The survey team argues for improved mapping efforts and the removal of incentives to over-exploitation. It also recommends that harvesting and further reef destruction should not be allowed wherever oysters are at less than 10 percent of their former abundance, unless it can be shown that these activities do not substantially affect reef recovery.




A Good Breakfast - Necessary or Not?

An interesting study published in the Nutrition Journal reports that the kind of breakfast we have does not affect our eating at other times of the day.The German researchers under the leadership of Dr. Volker Schusdziarra, a professor of internal medicine at the Technical University of Munich, studied the eating habits of 280 people who included both obese and of normal weight. They were expected to keep a record of all their meals they have during the day for a fortnight. When the number of calories consumed was counted every day for each participant, it was evident that whatever breakfast they may have had, the calorie intake at the rest of the meals was the same. A big breakfast did not mean fewer calories at the other meals. The researchers concluded that a big breakfast actually totaled up to more calories through the day.In fact, Dr. Schusdziarra goes to the extent of stating that he commends people who tell him that they have no breakfast and that he urges them to continue to do just that! On the other hand, Dianne Moeller, a registered dietitian at the Health District of Northern Larimer County, reiterates that breakfast is the most important meal for a number of reasons. Energy level is high, brain function is acute, a healthy weight is maintained, and the risk of developing diabetes is reduced. So, then, what is it to be? A hearty breakfast? Or, no breakfast?



India pulls the plug on yoga as business

In order to stop self-styled yoga gurus from claiming copyright to ancient `asanas', like Bikram Choudhury's Hot Yoga -- a set of 26 sequences practised in a heated room -- India has completed documenting 1,300 'asanas' which will soon be uploaded on the country's Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), making them public knowledge. Around 250 of these `asanas' have also been made into video clips with an expert performing them. According to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research ( CSIR) and Union health ministry's department of Ayush, "once the database is up online, patent offices across the world will have a reference point to check on everytime a yoga guru claims patent on a particluar `asana'." CSIR's Dr V P Gupta, who created TKDL, told , "All the 26 sequences which are part of Hot Yoga have been mentioned in Indian yoga books written thousands of years ago." He added, "However, we will not legally challenge Choudhury. By putting the information in the public domain, TKDL will be a one-stop reference point for patent offices across the world. Every time, somebody applies for a patent on yoga, the office can check which ancient Indian book first mentioned it and cancel the application." Nine well known yoga institutions in India have helped with the documentation. "The data will be up online in the next two months. In the first phase, we have videographed 250 'asanas' -- the most popular ones. Chances of misappropriation with them are higher. So if somebody wants to teach yoga, he does not have to fight copyright issues. He can just refer to the TKDL. At present, anybody teaching Hot Yoga's 26 postures has to pay Choudhury franchisee fee because he holds copyright on them," Dr Gupta added. TKDL will have photos and explanation of the postures. Dr Gupta said, "A voice-over will also point out which text mentions the posture. The information will be available in several international languages. We have screened through several ancient books like Srimad Bhagwat Gita, Vyas Bhashya, Yogasava Vijana, Hatha Praditika, Gheranda Samhita, Shiva Samhita, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Sandra Satkarma to exactly document all known `asanas' and yoga references." Till now, it is estimated that the US patent office alone has issued over 200 yoga-related copyrights. Experts say yoga has become a $225 billion market in the West. Americans supposedly spend about $3 billion a year on yoga classes. Yoga is a favourite among Hollywood stars. Oprah swears by it and so does Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Gwenyeth Paltrow, Jane Fonda, Tina Turner, and Angelina Jolie.
The TKDL, which has 30 million pages of information, has been created to prevent those living abroad from claiming patent for existing knowledge.



Facebook founder: Mark Zuckerberg's Father dishes out parenting advice

The father of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg unwittingly became an agony uncle on Friday as listeners to a local radio interview called in desperate for his secrets to the successful upbringing of his billionaire son.The dentist described his son's childhood but insisted he is not an expert on childrearing, claiming his 26-year-old son’s success is due to an early exposure to computers at his dental surgery in Westchester, New York.Dr Edward Zuckerberg also revealed when Mark discovered he had been named Time magazine’s person of the year he said to his father: ‘It must have been a really slow year.’
Speaking to Westchester station WVOX he explained: ‘My kids all grew up around the office and were all exposed to computers.
‘There are advantages to being exposed to computers early on. That certainly enriched Mark's interest in technology.’
Dr Zuckerberg said he computerised his home offices in 1985, a year after Mark’s birth.
The dentist said his own computer science background was ‘limited’ - he majored in biology at college - but he said he's ‘always been technologically oriented in the office’ and ‘always had the latest high-tech toys,’ including an early Atari 800 computer.
‘It came with a disk for programming,’ he said. ‘I thought Mark might be interested and I imparted that knowledge to him. From there it took off.’He said Mark - who is the youngest self-made billionaire in the world - got a book on programming, but ‘ultimately his ability to programme was self-taught.’
A number of callers to the live radio program asked Dr Zuckerberg for advice on parenting.
He said: ‘Probably the best thing I can say is something that my wife and I have always believed in – rather than impose upon your kids or try and steer their lives in a certain direction, to recognise what their strengths are and support their strengths and support the development of the things they're passionate about.’
Dr Zuckerberg said he didn't believe in ‘physical discipline’ but added that certain behaviours require parents to let children know ‘right there on the spot, this is a behaviour that will not be tolerated. 'If you impart your dislikes about certain negative behaviours early in their lives, they will learn to understand what your feelings on certain matters are.‘I think that extremes in any form in parenting are not good. Children need to be well-rounded. There's a place for work and a place for play.’
He described Mark as ‘a good student’ with ‘a special affinity for math and sciences,’ as well as a ‘very quiet guy’ who is ‘very humble’ and ‘doesn't like to boast about his accomplishments’.
‘I'm proud of his accomplishments and the accomplishments of all my kids,’ he added.
Dr Zuckerberg was asked for his opinion of the film ‘The Social Network’, which portrays how Mark and his friend Eduardo Saverin co-founded Facebook and recently won Best Picture at the Golden Globes.
He said: ‘If I sat back and looked at it as a movie and not as a story about my son, it was a tolerable experience.’ 
But he added that there were aspects of the film ‘which did not accurately reflect the way certain situations occurred. That was disturbing to me.’
Dr Zuckerberg said he uses Facebook to promote his dental practice and spends about an hour a day on the site. He also still does Mark's ‘routine dental care.’
Source:Daily Mail Reporter






Friday, 4 February 2011


Contact:Dr Navin Joshi

'Master Switch' for Sperm Production in Plants Discovered

Gene DUO1, acts as a control system and governs the sperm cell production in flowering plants, says a study . This gene ensures that twin fertile sperm cells are made in each pollen grain. The study was carries by Biologists at the University of Leicester.The research identifies for the first time that DUO1 switches on a battery of genes that together govern sperm cell production and their ability to produce seeds. The findings have implications for plant fertility, seed production - and could be used to help produce improved crops to help meet food shortages. Professor David Twell and colleagues in the Department of Biology at the University of Leicester previously reported the discovery of a master regulator protein called DUO1 that has a critical role in allowing precursor reproductive cells to divide once to form twin sperm cells. The discovery of a battery of genes governed by DUO1 has shed light on the mechanisms by which plants control sperm cell formation and fertility. Twell said: "Unlike animals, flowering plants require not one, but two sperm cells for successful reproduction. These two sperm cells are housed within pollen grains, which act as a vehicle to deliver the sperm cells to the female sex cells within a flower. "One sperm cell will join with the egg cell to produce the future plant or embryo, whilst the other will join with a second cell deep within the flower (the central cell) to produce a nutrient-rich tissue called the endosperm. Together these two structures make up the seeds and grains that form the staple food of humans and livestock across the globe.



Nobel Prize Winner Luc Montagnier Supports Science of Homeopathy

(NaturalNews) Dr. Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for discovering the AIDS virus, has surprised the scientific community with his strong support for homeopathic medicine.In a remarkable interview published inSciencemagazine of December 24, 2010, (1) Professor Luc Montagnier, has expressed support for the often maligned and misunderstood medical specialty of homeopathic medicine. Although homeopathy has persisted for 200+ years throughout the world and has been the leading alternative treatment method used by physicians in Europe, (2) most conventional physicians and scientists have expressed skepticism about its efficacy due to the extremely small doses of medicines used.
Most clinical research conducted on homeopathic  medicines that has been published in peer-review journals have shown positive clinical results,(3, 4) especially in the treatment of respiratory allergies (5, 6),influenza, (7) fibromyalgia, (8, 9) rheumatoid arthritis, (10)childhood diarrhea, (11) post-surgical abdominal surgery recovery, (12) attention deficit disorder, (13) and reduction in the side effects of conventional cancer treatments. (14) In addition to clinical trials, several hundred basic science studies have confirmed the biological activity ofhomeopathic medicines. One type of basic science trials, called in vitro studies, found 67 experiments (1/3 of them replications) and nearly 3/4 of all replications were positive. (15, 16)
In addition to the wide variety of basic science evidence and clinical research, further evidence for homeopathy resides in the fact that they gained widespread popularity in the U.S. and Europe during the 19th century due to the impressive results people experienced in the treatment of epidemics that raged during that time, including cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, scarlet fever, and influenza.
Montagnier, who is also founder and president of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention, asserted, "I can't say that homeopathy is right in everything. What I can say now is that the high dilutions (used in homeopathy) are right. High dilutions of something are not nothing. They are water structures which mimic the original molecules."Here, Montagnier is making reference to his experimental research that confirms one of the controversial features of homeopathic medicine that uses doses of substances that undergo sequential dilution with vigorous shaking in-between each dilution. Although it is common for modern-day scientists to assume that none of the original molecules remain in solution, Montagnier's research (and other of many of his colleagues) has verified that electromagnetic signals of the original medicine remains in the water and has dramatic biological effects.Montagnier has just taken a new position at Jiaotong University in Shanghai, China (this university is often referred to as "China's MIT"), where he will work in a new institute bearing his name. This work focuses on a new scientific movement at the crossroads of physics, biology, and medicine: the phenomenon of electromagnetic waves produced by DNA in water. He and his team will study both the theoretical basis and the possible applications in medicine.Montagnier's new research is investigating the electromagnetic waves that he says emanate from the highly diluted DNA of various pathogens. Montagnier asserts, "What we have found is that DNA produces structural changes in water, which persist at very high dilutions, and which lead to resonant electromagnetic signals that we can measure. Not all DNA produces signals that we can detect with our device. The high-intensity signals come from bacterial and viral DNA."
Montagnier affirms that these new observations will lead to novel treatments for many common chronic diseases, including but not limited to autism, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Montagnier first wrote about his findings in 2009, (17) and then, in mid-2010, he spoke at a prestigious meeting of fellow Nobelists where he expressed interest in homeopathy and the implications of this system of medicine. (18)French retirement laws do not allow Montagnier, who is 78 years of age, to work at a public institute, thereby limiting access to research funding. Montagnier acknowledges that getting research funds from Big Pharma and certain other conventional research funding agencies is unlikely due to the atmosphere of antagonism to homeopathy and natural treatment options.

Support from Another Nobel Prize winner

Montagnier's new research evokes memories one of the most sensational stories in French science, often referred to as the 'Benveniste affair.' A highly respected immunologist Dr. Jacques Benveniste., who died in 2004, conducted a study which was replicated in three other university laboratories and that was published inNature(19). Benveniste and other researchers used extremely diluted doses of substances that created an effect on a type of white blood cell called basophils.Although Benveniste's work was supposedly debunked, (20) Montagnier considers Benveniste a "modern Galileo" who was far ahead of his day and time and who was attacked for investigating a medical and scientific subject that orthodoxy had mistakenly overlooked and even demonized.In addition to Benveniste and Montagnier is the weighty opinion of Brian Josephson, Ph.D., who, like Montagnier, is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.Responding to an articleon homeopathy inNew Scientist, Josephson wrote:Regarding your comments on claims made for homeopathy: criticisms centered around the vanishingly small number of solute molecules present in a solution after it has been repeatedly diluted are beside the point, since advocates of homeopathic remedies attribute their effects not to molecules present in the water, but to modifications of the water's structure.Simple-minded analysis may suggest that water, being a fluid, cannot have a structure of the kind that such a picture would demand. But cases such as that of liquid crystals, which while flowing like an ordinary fluid can maintain an ordered structure over macroscopic distances, show the limitations of such ways of thinking. There have not, to the best of my knowledge, been any refutations of homeopathy that remain valid after this particular point is taken into account.A related topic is the phenomenon, claimed by Jacques Benveniste's colleague Yolene Thomas and by others to be well established experimentally, known as "memory of water." If valid, this would be of greater significance than homeopathy itself, and it attests to the limited vision of the modern scientific community that, far from hastening to test such claims, the only response has been to dismiss them out of hand. (21)Following his comments Josephson, who is an emeritus professor of Cambridge University in England, was asked byNew Scientisteditors how he became an advocate of unconventional ideas. He responded:I went to a conference where the French immunologist Jacques Benveniste was talking for the first time about his discovery that water has a 'memory' of compounds that were once dissolved in it -- which might explain how homeopathy works. His findings provoked irrationally strong reactions from scientists, and I was struck by how badly he was treated. (22)Josephson went on to describe how many scientists today suffer from "pathological disbelief;" that is, they maintain an unscientific attitude that is embodied by the statement "even if it were true I wouldn't believe it."Even more recently, Josephson wryly responded to the chronic ignorance of homeopathy by its skeptics saying, "The idea that water can have a memory can be readily refuted by any one of a number of easily understood, invalid arguments."In the new interview inScience, Montagnier also expressed real concern about the unscientific atmosphere that presently exists on certain unconventional subjects such as homeopathy, "I am told that some people have reproduced Benveniste's results, but they are afraid to publish it because of the intellectual terror from people who don't understand it."Montagnier concluded the interview when asked if he is concerned that he is drifting into pseudoscience, he replied adamantly: "No, because it's not pseudoscience. It's not quackery. These are real phenomena which deserve further study."

The Misinformation That Skeptics Spread

It is remarkable enough that many skeptics of homeopathy actually say that there is "no research" that has shows that homeopathic medicines work. Such statements are clearly false, and yet, such assertions are common on the Internet and even in some peer-review articles. Just a little bit of searching can uncover many high quality studies that have been published in highly respected medical and scientific journals, including the Lancet,BMJ,Pediatrics,Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal,Chestand many others. Although some of these same journals have also published research with negative results to homeopathy, there is simply much more research that shows a positive rather than negative effect.Misstatements and misinformation on homeopathy are predictable because this system of medicine provides a viable and significant threat to economic interests in medicine, let alone to the very philosophy and worldview of biomedicine. It is therefore not surprising that the British Medical Association had the sheer audacity to refer to homeopathy as "witchcraft." It is quite predictable that when one goes on a witch hunt, one inevitable finds "witches," especially when there are certain benefits to demonizing a potential competitor (homeopathy plays a much larger and more competitive role in Europe than it does in the USA).Skeptics of homeopathy also have long asserted that homeopathic medicines have "nothing" in them because they are diluted too much. However, new research conducted at the respected Indian Institutes of Technology has confirmed the presence of "nanoparticles" of the starting materials even at extremely high dilutions. Researchers have demonstrated by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction and chemical analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES), the presence of physical entities in these extreme dilutions. (24) In the light of this research, it can now be asserted that anyone who says or suggests that there is "nothing" in homeopathic medicines is either simply uninformed or is not being honest.Because the researchers received confirmation of the existence of nanoparticles at two different homeopathic high potencies (30C and 200C) and because they tested four different medicines (Zincum met./zinc; Aurum met. /gold; Stannum met./tin; and Cuprum met./copper), the researchers concluded that this study provides "concrete evidence."Although skeptics of homeopathy may assume that homeopathic doses are still too small to have any biological action, such assumptions have also been proven wrong. The multi-disciplinary field of small dose effects is called "hormesis," and approximately 1,000 studies from a wide variety of scientific specialties have confirmed significant and sometimes substantial biological effects from extremely small doses of certain substances on certain biological systems.A special issue of the peer-review journal,Human and Experimental Toxicology(July2010), devoted itself to the interface between hormesis and homeopathy. (25) The articles in this issue verify the power of homeopathic doses of various substances.In closing, it should be noted that skepticism of any subject is important to the evolution of science and medicine. However, as noted above by Nobelist Brian Josephson, many scientists have a "pathological disbelief" in certain subjects that ultimately create an unhealthy and unscientific attitude blocks real truth and real science. Skepticism is at its best when its advocates do not try to cut off research or close down conversation of a subject but instead explore possible new (or old) ways to understand and verify strange but compelling phenomena. We all have this challenge as we explore and evaluate the biological and clinical effects of homeopathic medicines.


(1) Enserink M, Newsmaker Interview: Luc Montagnier, French Nobelist Escapes "Intellectual Terror" to Pursue Radical Ideas in China. Science 24 December 2010: Vol. 330 no. 6012 p. 1732. DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6012.1732
(2) Ullman D. Homeopathic Medicine: Europe's #1 Alternative for Doctors.
(3) Linde L, Clausius N, Ramirez G, et al., "Are the Clinical Effects of Homoeopathy Placebo Effects? A Meta-analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials," Lancet, September 20, 1997, 350:834-843.
(4) Ludtke R, Rutten ALB. The conclusions on the effectiveness of homeopathy highly depend on the set of analyzed trials. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.October2008. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2008.06/015.
(5) Taylor, MA, Reilly, D, Llewellyn-Jones, RH, et al., Randomised controlled trial of homoeopathy versus placebo in perennial allergic rhinitis with overview of four trial Series, BMJ, August 19, 2000, 321:471-476.
(6) Ullman, D, Frass, M. A Review of Homeopathic Research in the Treatment of Respiratory Allergies. Alternative Medicine Review. 2010:15,1:48-58.
(7) Vickers AJ. Homoeopathic Oscillococcinum for preventing and treating influenza and influenza-like syndromes. Cochrane Reviews. 2009.
(8) Bell IR, Lewis II DA, Brooks AJ, et al. Improved clinical status in fibromyalgia patients treated with individualized homeopathic remedies versus placebo, Rheumatology. 2004:1111-5.
(9) Fisher P, Greenwood A, Huskisson EC, et al., "Effect of Homoeopathic Treatment on Fibrositis (Primary Fibromyalgia)," BMJ, 299(August 5, 1989):365-6.
(10) Jonas, WB, Linde, Klaus, and Ramirez, Gilbert, "Homeopathy and Rheumatic Disease," Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America, February 2000,1:117-123.
(11) Jacobs J, Jonas WB, Jimenez-Perez M, Crothers D, Homeopathy for Childhood Diarrhea: Combined Results and Metaanalysis from Three Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trials, Pediatr Infect Dis J, 2003;22:229-34.
(12) Barnes, J, Resch, KL, Ernst, E, "Homeopathy for Post-Operative Ileus: A Meta-Analysis," Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 1997, 25: 628-633.
(13) M, Thurneysen A. Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial. Eur J Pediatr. 2005 Dec;164(12):758-67. Epub 2005 Jul 27.
(14) Kassab S, Cummings M, Berkovitz S, van Haselen R, Fisher P. Homeopathic medicines for adverse effects of cancer treatments. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 2.
(15) Witt CM, Bluth M, Albrecht H, Weisshuhn TE, Baumgartner S, Willich SN. The in vitro evidence for an effect of high homeopathic potencies--a systematic review of the literature. Complement Ther Med. 2007 Jun;15(2):128-38. Epub 2007 Mar 28.
(16) Endler PC, Thieves K, Reich C, Matthiessen P, Bonamin L, Scherr C, Baumgartner S. Repetitions of fundamental research models for homeopathically prepared dilutions beyond 10-23: a bibliometric study. Homeopathy, 2010; 99: 25-36.
(17) Luc Montagnier, Jamal Aissa, Stephane Ferris, Jean-Luc Montagnier, Claude Lavallee, Electromagnetic Signals Are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA Sequences. Interdiscip Sci Comput Life Sci (2009) 1: 81-90.
 (18) Nobel laureate gives homeopathy a boost. The Australian. July 5, 2010.
(19) Davenas E, Beauvais F, Amara J, et al. (June 1988). "Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE". Nature 333 (6176): 816-8.
(20) Maddox J (June 1988). "Can a Greek tragedy be avoided?". Nature 333 (6176): 795-7.
(21) Josephson, B. D., Letter, New Scientist, November 1, 1997.
(22) George A. Lone Voices special: Take nobody's word for it. New Scientist. December 9, 2006.
(23) Personal communication. Brian Josephson to Dana Ullman. January 5, 2011.
(24) Chikramane PS, Suresh AK, Bellare JR, and Govind S. Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective. Homeopathy. Volume 99, Issue 4, October 2010, 231-242.
(25) Human and Experimental Toxicology, July 2010..
About the author:
America's leading advocate for homeopathic medicine and author of "The Homeopathic Revolution."
Courtesy:Natural News

Ayurveda therapies & drugs viewed as future relief options for growing cancer patients

With Ayurveda viewed as an adjuvant to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and post surgery to minimize the side effects, there is considerable interest evinced by traditional healthcare providers and herbal drug manufacturers to offer the much-needed relief to the 7.9 million cancer cases globally.On the occasion of the World Cancer Day observed annually on February 4, Ayurveda specialists are looking at contributions of the herbs and plant based medicine to treat and control the dreaded disease which affects 7.9 million globally a year. Going by the growing consumption of tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and alcohol consumption, experts estimate that new cases of cancer would jump to 15.5 million by 2030 globally.This is where AyurVAID Hospitals, promoted by Kochi-based Kerala First Health Services Pvt. Ltd and herbal drug major The Himalaya Drug Company are looking at the segment of oncology as their future growth area. While the former is looking at the scope of Ayurveda treatment and the integrative management of cancer rehabilitation, the latter has chalked out its efforts to strengthen its research activities in areas of oncology.According to Rajiv Vasudevan, managing director, AyurVAID Hospitals, physicians and researchers in Ayurveda are looking to retard the progress of cancer with the help of a pragmatic and conservative strategy in improving strength and immunity, besides pain management, compensate or reverse the side effects of chemotherapy/ radiotherapy in nausea, vomiting, excessive body heat, fatigue and insomnia.Ayurveda texts: Charakasamhitha and Susruthasamhitha, classifies cancer as inflammatory or non inflammatory swelling and are called Granthi or Arbuda. “This is where we are also assessing Ayurveda therapy and drug regimes to compensate for loss of strength and immunity during the treatment phase, besides looking to enhance the quality of life of cancer patients during and post conventional modern treatments,” he added.It had earlier reported that for Himalaya, cancer would be the key focus of research and drug development in the coming years. “There is immense potential for well-researched, safe and efficacious herbal formulations. This is fuelled by a growing realization amongst medical practitioners across specialties that integrated healthcare, incorporating the best of different medical systems, will provide better treatment options to patients”, said Philipe Haydon, president & CEO, pharmaceuticals, The Himalaya Drug Company.While there are treatment modalities mentioned for the treatment of cancers in classical Ayurveda texts, with the critical and life threatening implications of cancer, a more pragmatic and conservative strategy is to leverage Ayurveda’s ability to be an effective adjuvant to cutting edge cancer treatment methods, averred the AyurVaid Hospitals chief.At our six centres in the country, Rasaayana or revitalisation therapy is rendered for cancer patients in a personalized and systematic manner process by a team of physicians and dedicated Ayurveda nurses. On discharge, each patient is given a personalized diet and lifestyle plan which helps accelerate recovery at a physical and mental level, stated Vasudevan.

Nepal President gets nostalgic, ‘learnt art of medicine at PGI’

Ram Baran Yadav says it’s a homecoming for him, cracks jokes about his student days, says ‘I and all PGI alumni are proud of this Institute’s global reputation’
When Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav stood up to speak at the convocation of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, (PGIMER), Chandigarh, every one in the auditorium was keenly listening. He began with “Namastey” amid applauds and soon became nostalgic about the city and the Institute, of which he was a student 25 years ago. “I am happy to be in the city beautiful and PGIMER,” he said while addressing the convocation. “I still remember when I was here as a student. It was a very good time. It is a homecoming for me.”
Yadav cracked jokes about his studying days at PGIMER and Nepal, much to the delight of the audience. He said that when he was admitted to the post-graduate course at PGIMER, a few teachers even lovingly taunted him at times.
“But I must say that these teachers taught me the lessons and it is because of them that I was a good doctor,” he said while naming a few of his teachers. “When I was admitted to PGIMER, my teacher told me who had referred me here,” he said amid the cheers.
Earlier the PGIMER Director congratulated Yadav, saying that it was also his birthday today. But when Yadav spoke, he informed that his date of birth was forged back in Nepal. The Nepal President shared many of his memories with the audience in the form of anecdotes and was all praise for PGIMER in his convocation speech. “I and all alumni of PGIMER are proud of the reputation of the Institute at the global level,” he said.
Sourece:Express News Service

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Increased Risk of Pregnancy Among HIV Infected Teens

A new study has revealed that teens and young women who are HIV positive carry an enhanced risk of getting pregnant as compared to their HIV negative counterparts. They are also at increased risk of suffering pregnancy associated complications.According to lead researcher Dr. Kelly Gebo, MD and an infectious disease specialist from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, study results showed that teens that are infected later in life have a tendency of indulging in different sexual behaviours than those who got infected at birth. "Further analysis into these differences will help us find ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies and avoid complications from planned ones," Dr. Gebo added. 



World Cancer Day 2011

World Cancer Day, celebrated on the 4th of February each year is a day when the world projects its concerted effort to fight cancer. 
Cancer is one of the leading cause of death world wide.According to WHO estimates, around 84 million people are likely to die of cancer   between 2005-2015 if they are denied treatment for the disease. 
The poor and the developing countries are more burdened by cancer than the developed countries and, therefore, it is important to address this ever-increasing burden.
World Cancer Day- Beginning World Cancer day began as a part of the World Cancer Campaign, which is in response to the Charter of Paris that was adopted for the New Millennium at the World Summit Against Cancer on February 4, 2000.
The charter called for a concerted effort between governments, scientists, health-care professionals, patients, pharma industries and the media to fight cancer.
What happens? Each year on 4 February, the UN’s health authority, WHO, supports  a united  effort  to ease the global  cancer  burden by promoting ways to   spread awareness on early detection, treatment, risk reduction and prevention of  cancer. A lot of effort is taken to  improve the quality of life for cancer patients.
On this day WHO, along with International Union against Cancer, world  governments, NGOs, business people, health care professionals and  celebrities  participate in  discussions  on cancer  to increase awareness among the general public  on matters related to the disease.
Nation wide campaigns are held and fund-raising events are organized to inform the general public on  risk reduction in cancer.
2011 - Motto & Significance The motto for the year 2011 is "Teaching Children and Teenagers to limit their sun exposure by being SunSmart!"
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Skin cancers are largely brought on by overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. It can also be brought on by sun lamps and sun parlors.
The sun burn that a person acquires can take more than two decades to transform into a malignanacy.
Skin cancers are more prevalent than before, what with increasing number of people, particularly the young, taking to sun tanning and sun- bathing to get a tanned look, which is in vogue.
Skin cancer is largely preventable and there is a need to advise those at risks, to avoid excessive exposure to the harmful rays of the sun.
This year the World Cancer Day is even more significant as the UN Summit on Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is taking place this year.
World Cancer Declaration The World Cancer Declaration focuses on bringingthe attention of world leaders and health policymakers to the growing cancer crisis  and reduce  the  burden globally  by 2020.
The targets by 2020 include-

• Reduce tobacco and alcohol consumption globally

• Reducing obesity

• Hepatitis B and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccination programmes all over the world for and to prevent liver and cervical cancer

• Reducing emigration of health care providers with special cancer training

• Ensuring the global availability of pain medication

• Dispelling misconceptions related to cancer.

Each one of us can sign the World Cancer Declaration and help towards the global cancer cause.

Cancer Prevention - Tips Almost 30-40% of cancers can potentially be prevented or the risks reduced. Here are a few easy tips -

• Those who fall in the risk groups, such as those who are above a certain age or those with a familial history, must go for periodical screening

• Ensure vaccination against HBV and HPV

• Avoid over exposure to the sun; apply a sunscreen when outdoors and protect yourself with appropriate accessories like a broad –brimmed hat and sunglasses

• Eat plenty of fruits and fresh green vegetables

• Indulge in moderate exercises or go for regular walks

• Monitor your weight –avoid obesity

• Learn how to do self-examination for early diagnosis of cancers such as breast and testis. 




Spinach Really Gave Popeye the Sailor His Rippling Muscles

'Superfood' spinach actually gave 'Popeye the Sailor Man' his bulging muscles, suggests a new study. The new Swedish study has suggested that after eating leafy green vegetables, a source of inorganic nitrate, healthy people showcase increased efficiency of the mitochondria that power our cells.And the effect is so strong that it starts working in just three days. However, the researchers aren't recommending anyone begin taking inorganic nitrate supplements based on the new findings. "We're talking about an amount of nitrate equivalent to what is found in two or three red beets or a plate of spinach. We know that diets rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes but the active nutrients haven't been clear. This shows inorganic nitrate as a candidate to explain those benefits," said Eddie Weitzberg of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Weitzberg and his colleague Jon Lundberg have suggested that the increased mitochondrial efficiency is owed to lower levels of proteins that normally make the cellular powerhouses leaky. The new results have shown that increased dietary nitrate can have a rather immediate effect. But it's not yet clear what might happen in people who consume higher levels of inorganic nitrate over longer periods of time. As an interesting aside, Weitzberg said that the benefits of dietary nitrates suggest that powerful mouthwashes may have a downside. "We need oral bacteria for the first step in nitrate reduction. You could block the effects of inorganic nitrate if you use a strong mouthwash or spit [instead of swallowing your saliva]. In our view, strong mouthwashes are not good if you want this system to work," he said. The study has been published in the journal Cell Metabolism. 



CBI attaches property of the late UP Ayurveda official

The CBI has attachedproperty worth crores of Uttar Pradesh Ayurveda department''sDirector in the multi-million Ayurveda scam, officials saidhere today.Shivraj Singh, a native of Muzffarnagar, was arrestedfor his alleged involvement in the Rs 32-crore scam. He died in the jail, an official said.Singh was among 54 government officers against whom the CBI had filed a case in Lucknow''s special court forirregularities in purchasing medicines and withdrawing money from the state exchequer by producing fake documents 15 years ago.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Top Jesuit university in USA teaches Vedas

Georgetown University in Washington DC, oldest and prestigious Catholic and Jesuit institute of higher learning in USA established in 1789, is offering various classes in Hinduism.

Courses include Hindu Religious Tradition, Hinduism Today, Modern Hinduism, and Hindu Dharma; involving study of Vedas, Upanishads, Gandhi, Ramana Maharshi,  sadhus, gurus, yogis, rituals, festivals, worship, devotional poetry and music, family, healing practices, pilgrimage, storytelling, Kabir, Mirabai, Laws of Manu, etc.
 Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, described Georgetown’s approach as “a step in the right direction”.
 Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that religion was a complex element of our lives and religion comprised much more than one’s own individual experience or specific tradition. God, as a sign of God’s munificence and benevolence, constructively wished presence of different faiths.
 Rajan Zed urged the schools/departments of religion and philosophy of major world universities to strengthen their Hinduism sections. Hinduism being the oldest religion with rich philosophical thought and a vast array of scriptures needed more exploration. Zed especially asked the Harvard, Cambridge, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, Stanford, Columbia, McGill, Australian National, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Uppsala, and Utrecht universities to further enrich their Hinduism resources.
 Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions with 16,437 students representing 135 countries, out of which over 73 percent are Christian. Its library holds over 2.3 million volumes and its annual tuition per student can be up to about $46,000. Dr. John J. DeGioia is President; Paul Tagliabue is Board of Directors Chair, while Terrence P. Reynolds is Theology Department Chair.
 Roman Catholics, headed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, are the largest denomination of Christianity with about 1.17 billion adherents out of which Jesuits form the largest single religious order of priests and brothers. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about a billion followers and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Yoga Combo Gets New Yorkers To Build Up Strength, Slow Down Stress

Some one wants to burn calories and sometimes one just wants to take it easy. At YogaWorks in SoHo, two new classes -- "YogaWorks Slim" and "Candle Flow" just might provide the best of both worlds.YogaWorks Slim, led by instructor Anna Hughes-Dioguardi, is the interval-cardio style of yoga that is designed to speed up metabolism and stimulate weight loss. Poses in shorter intervals get the heart rate pumping."A high lunge, the whole point is strengthening the legs. High-lunge with arms lifted, strengthening the legs, opening up through the chest, so going up and going down helps to increase the heart rate," says Hughes-Dioguardi. "Plank pose, side plank strengthens the arms, abdominals, strengthens the belly. All of those intervals have the benefit of arm strengthening, belly strengthening, leg strengthening. And also, all the standing poses we are doing are very grounding."The intense exercise can be followed up with a bit of restoration. Slow-paced Candle Flow yoga poses are meant to destress and detoxify, including reclining hip and chest openers along with forward bends."According to the surgeon general, the best thing we can do for our health is relax," says Huges-Dioguardi. "Ten minutes of silence a day, it has been proven that it can make you happier in your life. And then also relaxation brings out who you really are."Huges-Dioguardi says one of the major benefits of trying Yoga Slim is that it prepares people to get to the relaxed state needed for the Candle Flow restorative practice."If you come in tense to a restorative class, it's hard to relax. So if you combine it with a Slim class, you get sweating and you work out all this stuff that you built throughout the day -- anxiety, tension, worry," says Hughes-Dioguardi. "So you kind of get that out of your system and then you're better, you're more able to relax."So to slim down and chill out, go for yoga.

Proposal to Legalize Non-Penetrative Consensual Sex Among 12-year- Olds is Rejected by Ministry

While finalizing the draft for the new child sexual abuse bill, Union Minister for women and child development , Krishna Tirath revealed that The ministry has rejected the recommendation which sought to legalize non-penetrative consensual sex among 12-year-olds.  Responding to media reports, Tirath said, “It is wrong. Any sexual act below 16 years will be an offence, and there is no difference of opinion on this.”


High Dose of Folic Acid is Unsafe in Pregnancy

High doses of folic acid (vitamin B9) can lead to pregnancy problems, says a study from the McGill University. Folate reduces the chances of neural tube defects which later become the brain and spinal cord. It decreases the occurrences of birth defects like spina bifida (spinal cord protrudes through an opening in the bone.Researchers studied the effects of high doses (about 8mg per day) of folic acid on pregnant mice and found that they experienced embryonic delay and growth retardation. The daily recommendation of folic acid is 0.4mg 3months prior to conception and 3months after conception i.e. the first trimester. Lead researcher, Ms. Rima Rozen said, "Just because a small amount of something is a good thing, doesn't mean more is better." 



Tuesday, 1 February 2011

South Africa's Latest High is HIV Street Drug Whoonga

A street drug called ’Whoonga’, which is a cocktail that includes the antiretroviral (ARV) medication prescribed to people with HIV is threatening South Africa’s battle against AIDS. Users crush the ARVs and smoke them with a mixture of rat poison, detergent and marijuana to get high, and the powder is said to be so addictive that users get hooked within days.The nation has been facing thefts of AIDS drugs after the demand for the substance intensified. "If I don’t smoke it, I get pains and I can’t sleep until I get some more," Sky News quoted Jomo, 31, whose eyes became red and glazed after a few deep drags on a "joint", as saying. He and his fellow whoonga addicts smoke up to 30 "packets" of the drug every day at a cost of almost 100 pounds. "I just rob people to get the money. I don’t have a job, this is all I do," Jomo added as he rolled another joint. Whoonga dealers in the back streets of Durban sell the powder for about 3 pounds per packet, and the highly toxic drug has been blamed for the deaths of scores of addicts across South Africa during the past year.
In the township of Umlazi, near Durban, officials say dozens of AIDS patients are being robbed of their antiretroviral drugs every week. Doctors have said that the prescription medication does not contain anything that could deliver a "high", even when smoked.




Use of Alternative Medicine Rises Sharply, Study Shows

Significantly higher numbers of people began using complementary and alternative medicine therapies during the past decade, according to a new analysis.Dejun Su, PhD, director of the South Texas Border Health Disparities Center at the University of Texas-Pan American, and colleagues examined data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. The survey included interviews with more than 23,000 adults.In addition to overall use, researchers were interested in the rates of increases for different demographics. Between 2002 and 2007, CAM use increased by 18.1% for whites, 17.2% for Asian Americans, 6.6% for African-Americans and 1.01% for Hispanics.Overall, according to the survey, 33% of whites use at least one CAM therapy, not including prayer. About 32% of Asian Americans, 20% of African-Americans and 17% of Hispanics use at least one such therapy.The study was first reported by Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health.Su said rising healthcare costs may lead people to try CAM therapies — acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage, herbal medicine and meditation — when they have nowhere else to turn. More than a third of respondents who reported trying CAM in 2007 stated that they had an untreated medical condition or had put off getting care.Going forward, Su said, researchers must try to determine the effectiveness and possible risks of CAM therapies, as well as how they interact with conventional medicine.

Yoga teacher, 90, from Oldham in world record bid

A 90-year-old woman from Greater Manchester is hoping to be recognised as the world's oldest yoga  teacher.
Gladys Morris from Royton, Oldham, has been teaching yoga for 40 years and has been described as an "inspiration".Friends and students are now writing to Guinness World Records to see if she can be entered in the record books.If accepted, Mrs Morris would beat the current record holder by five years three months.Linda Grime, 62, from Royton, has been studying yoga in Oldham for the past 15 years.She is one of 40 women and one man who regularly attend Gladys Morris's class at Shaw Community Centre."She's so supple," she said."She can do handstands and she can do the plough, which is one when where you flick your legs over your head and put them on the floor behind."
According to Mrs Grime, Mrs Morris suffered from osteoporosis a few years ago and even damaged some bones in her back.But she was determined to get back to teaching and Mrs Grime said she showed no sign of giving up."She does a class on Monday evening, one on Tuesday afternoon and two on Thursday evening," added Mrs Grime."For a 90-year-old, she's absolutely grand. She's an inspiration to us all."Mrs Morris celebrated her 90th birthday on Monday by doing her usual evening class.Guinness World Records currently list the world's oldest yoga teacher as Bette Calman from Victoria, Australia, who is 85.

UK health agency warns over antibiotic resistance

UK health agency warns over antibiotic resistanceGrowing antibiotic resistance a threat to modern medicine said health experts, calling for new antibiotics to be developed.British health authorities issued new guidelines on Saturday to try to halt the spread of "superbug" infections that are resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics, known as carbapenems.Carbapenems are heavy-hitting antibiotics often reserved as the last line treatment for illnesses like hospital-acquired pneumonias, urine infections or blood poisoning caused by strains of Klebsiella and E. coli bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics.Several strains of these bugs are now also becoming resistant to carbapenems, something experts say puts modern medicine under threat."It is critical ... to understand how much of modern medicine -- from gut surgery to transplants -- depends on the ability to treat infection," said David Livermore, director of antibiotic resistance monitoring at the Health Protection Agency (HPA)."If that ability is lost through resistance, then medicine will take a great step backwards."HPA guidelines for all consultant medical microbiologists and infection control specialists across Britain will advise how hospitals should try to detect carbapenem-resistant bacteria, and stress how practices such as screening and isolating high risk patients can help contain infection spread.The advice was drawn up after enquiries from specialist doctors about use of antibiotics after a superbug involving New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, or NDM-1, was found last year to have spread to Britain from Asia."The emergence of carbapenem resistance is a major public health concern and we hope this new guidance will help infection control specialists ... recognise, treat and prevent infections caused by bacteria with these resistances," Livermore said.First described in 2008, NDM-1 is an enzyme that destroys carbapenems, also known as a carbapenemase. It has been found in a variety of bacterial types, including the Enterobacteriaceae family, Klebsiella and E. coli, all of which are common and can cause a range of infections.Scientists from the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said last November that around 77 cases of infections involving NDM-1 had been detected in 13 European countries.A U.S. expert publised a paper last month saying that cases of Enterobacteriaceae-containing NDM-1 had been found in the United States, Israel, Turkey, China, India, Australia, France, Japan, Kenya, Singapore, Taiwan and the Nordic countries.Aside from NDM-1, other carpabenemases have also been detected in Britain and worldwide, the HPA said, including one known as Verona Imipenemase (VIM), another called Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) and another called OXA-48.Experts have been warning for years that poor hospital practices and the overuse of antibiotics will boost the spread dangerous bacteria, but practices are changing only slowly.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) now says there is an urgent need for new antibiotics to be developed, but drug firms are often reluctant to invest heavily into developing such drugs, given that they are often reserved for only the sickest patients and are therefore likely to generate only modest sales.


67 medical colleges gave norms the go-by

The ministry of health and family welfare has allowed as many as 67 ayurveda, unani and siddha medical colleges to admit students, despite the central regulatory body finding them not meeting even a watered-down standard imposed last year. The standards for permitting medical colleges in Indian medicine were diluted by a controversial one-page order of minister of state S Gandhiselvan on July 15, 2010. And new norms were notified ignoring the recommendations of regulator for the sector, the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), and the Supreme Court's observations, resulting in some 170 medical colleges being overnight qualified to admit students. The fresh information about the ministry further diluting norms to allow 67 colleges adds to the murkiness in the sector. In the wake of TOI's earlier report (''Another DMK minister courts controversy — Violated norms to clear Medical Colleges''; January 14), more stakeholders have come out, narrating details of arbitrariness and favouritism.
While the health ministry has denied the report, the sector's regulator CCIM has wondered why the ministry has ignored the government's own norms and allowed so many colleges to operate.
In a letter, the ministry described the TOI January 14 report as ''factually incorrect'' while claiming that ''adoption of realistic criteria for the decision making process was in consonance with the spirit of the observations of the Hon'ble Supreme Court.'' The ministry also defended its decision to permit the 67 colleges to admit new students. In response to a questionnaire sent by TOI, the regulator CCIM has been forthright — it questioned the ministry's decision to grant ''permission to some colleges by deviating from the decided as well as adopted policy by the Government of India.'' It added that CCIM was the sole authority to prescribe minimum standards of education and ''no other authority, including the GOI'' could do so. On the issue of the 67 colleges that were allowed to admit students even though they did not meet standards, CCIM said it made recommendations against them based on details provided by colleges of ''daily average attendance of patients in OPD and bed occupancy in IPD between January 1 and December 31, 2009.'' The ministry, too, admitted that ''visitation reports in respect of the above mentioned 58 ayurveda, eight unani and one siddha college, the CCIM had either reported the deficiency of teacher as found on the day of visit or the OPD/IPD figures of 2009, were found below the criteria, as approved by the Central government for consideration during academic year 2010-11.'' These colleges were given an ''opportunity of hearing'' between July and November 2010, the ministry said. ''It was found that these colleges had achieved the laid down criteria from January 2010 onwards in respect of the deficiencies noted earlier,'' the ministry said. However, it did not explain how the January-December 2009 functionality on teaching faculty, and in and out patients could be assessed based on documents presented later. ''They just shifted the goal posts to accommodate the colleges,'' said a senior official.


Is Sex During Pregnancy is Safe

A group of doctors in Canada have published a set of guidelines in which they say that sex during low risk pregnancy is completely safe though certain precautions have to be taken. Known as Sex in Pregnancy, the guidelines were published in the latest issue of Canadian Medical Association journal in which they say that there is no reason why low risk pregnant women cannot have sex if she wants to.Lead researcher Dr Clair Jones said that However adequate precaution should be taken in high risk pregnancies with doctors suggesting that it is safer to avoid sex until the pregnancy is complete. Some of the cases in which sex should be avoided include when there is a history of early labor or if the woman is suffering from genital tract infection or a condition called placenta previa. 
t having sex during pregnancy is completely normal. “Sex in pregnancy is normal. There are very few proven contraindications and risks to intercourse in low-risk pregnancies. And therefore these patients should be reassured”, Dr Jones said. 



Monday, 31 January 2011

How to keep your Health Fit:Take Environment Friendly Diet

The Livewell report, released by wildlife charity WWF and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health at Aberdeen, has recommended cutting out almost all meat from Britain’s diet. Consuming red and white meat impacts the environment hugely causing a rise in greenhouse emissions, especially as the UK diet includes around 16% meat.  But if a diet has to be environmentally-friendly, only 4% meat could be permitted.The Livewell Plate, a weekly menu compiled by nutritionists, sets out the ideal ingredients to balance healthy eating with sustainable food sources, at an average cost of £29 a person as opposed the spending of more than £32 in 2009.
The diet, besides the small percentage of meat, includes 35% fruit and vegetables, 29% bread, pasta, rice and potatoes and 15% dairy products.
Although the diet is designed to be familiar and simple, say the researchers, it moves away from processed foods and meat. It has been planned to naturally include in environmental concerns, so that people do not have to confuse themselves unnecessarily.  Sustainable eating is what it aims at. A change in dietary habits would cut down greenhouse emissions  by 70% by 2050.
 With a growing world population and limited food resources, changes in eating habits are of grave concern. Experts feel that a lot of education is needed especially in growing economies in Asia where eating meat is a requisite to advertise affluence.



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