Saturday, July 31, 2010

Health and Fitness.

Keep turmeric at bay during Salmonella infections'

Tags : Indian Institute of Scienceturmeric,curcuminPosted: Wed Jul 28 2010, 14:58 hrsMumbai:

Consumption of turmeric should be avoided during the outbreak of food-borne diseases, according to a new study by scientists of the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
Experiments conducted at IISc pointed out that Salmonella bacteria that causes typhoid and other food-borne diseases, grew three times faster when exposed to 'curcumin', the main molecular component of turmeric.
"Our data is the first of its kind which suggests that curcumin can increase the pathogenicity of Salmonella by making it more robust. Hence, especially during Salmonella infections, the consumption of curcumin should be avoided," PhD scholar Sandhya Marathe and Dipshikha Chakravortty, Associate Professor, Centre for Infectious Diseases Research, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology at IISc, said.
The findings were carried in the latest edition of 'PloS ONE', a scientific journal published by US Public Library of 


Turmeric is an indispensable spice of the Indian and Asian kitchens, "but the latest experimental data urges us to rethink the indiscriminate use of curcumin especially during Salmonella outbreaks, although curcumin is known for its action against several diseases including cancer, hypertension and Alzheimer's, and is even sold as tablets over the counter as a panacea for all," Chakravortty said.
The scientists hypothesised that the high intake of curcumin could be one of the reasons for the widespread Salmonella infections in Asian countries, where typhoid kills close to five lakh people every year.
In certain Asian communities, each person consumes an average of 1.5 gm of turmeric a day (corresponding to 0.03-0.12 gm of curcumin), the study said.

"Curcumin activates certain genes in Salmonella, making it more robust and increasing its resistance to its host's defences such as anti-microbial peptides," it said.
According to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of Salmonella infection is more in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Also, the prevalence of typhoid is highest in Asia. Of 2,16,000 deaths due to typhoid in the year 2000, more than 90 per cent of morbidity and mortality cases took place in the region.
Last year, Chakravortty had demonstrated the Salmonella bacteria's 'stealthy' modus operandi to colonise its host's cells, dodge and finally paralyse the immune system.

Salmonella Infections:

A salmonella infection is a foodborne illness caused by the salmonella bacteria carried by some animals, which can be transmitted from kitchen surfaces and can be in water, soil, animal feces, raw meats, and eggs. Salmonella infections typically affect the intestines, causing vomiting, fever, and other symptoms that usually resolve without medical treatment.
You can help prevent salmonella infections by not serving any raw meat or eggs, and by not keeping reptiles as pets, particularly if you have very young children.
Hand washing is a powerful way to guard against salmonella infections, so it's essential to teach kids to wash their hands, particularly after trips to the bathroom and before handling food in any way.

Salmonella Basics

Not everyone who ingests salmonella bacteria will become ill. Children, especially infants, are the most likely candidates to get sick from it. About 50,000 cases of salmonella infection are reported in the United States each year and about one third of those are in kids 4 years old or younger.
The type of salmonella most commonly associated with infections in humans is called nontyphoidal salmonella. It is carried by chickens, cows, and reptiles such as turtles, lizards, and iguanas.
Another, rarer form of salmonella, typhoidal salmonella (typhoid fever), is carried only by humans and is usually transmitted through direct contact with the fecal matter of an infected person. This kind of salmonella infection can lead to high fever, abdominal pain, headache, malaise, lethargy, skin rash, constipation, and delirium. It occurs primarily in developing countries without appropriate systems for handling human waste.

Signs and Symptoms

A salmonella infection generally causes nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fever, andheadache. Because many different kinds of illnesses can cause these symptoms, most doctors will take a stool sample to make an accurate diagnosis.
Symptoms of most salmonella infections usually appear within 3 days of contamination and typically go away without medical treatment.
In cases of typhoid fever caused by salmonella bacteria, early symptoms are the same. But in the second week, the liver and spleen can become enlarged, and a distinctive "rose spotted" skin rash may appear. From there, the infection can cause other health problems, like meningitis and pneumonia. (

Health and Fitness.

Make Sassy Water To Flatten Your Belly
Make Sassy Water To Flatten Your Belly
How to Make Sassy Water To Flatten Your Belly
What is Sassy Water? And, will it really help you lose up to seven pounds and five inches in just four days? According to the four day, flat belly diets published in Prevention Magazine and The Daily Mail, the answer is yes. Lemon water has long been touted as a great way to cleanse your body, and help you lose weight. The addition of few new ingredients apparently boosts that weight loss power. Although, you'll have to look up the diet on your own, the recipe is simple and healthy.
Difficulty: Easy
  1. Step 1
    First, you'll need 3 1/2 to 4 quarts of water in a pitcher. Use filtered water to make sure it is pure.
  2. Step 2
    Thoroughly wash one lemon. Slice it very thin, and add it to the water. You don't need to squeeze the juice out, just drop the slices in.
  3. Step 3
    Peel and thinly slice one cucumber, and add to the water. Add 12 fresh, clean mint leaves.
  4. Step 4
    Next, you will need one teaspoon of finely grated ginger. Make sure it is fresh ginger, not the dried powder from your spice rack. Add the ginger to the water. Give it a quick stir, cover and place in the refrigerator over night. Drink it chilled throughout the following day.
  5. Step 5
    Make a fresh batch every day for four days.

Supercomputer Annapurna

Supercomputer Annapurna unveiled in IMSc
Press Trust Of India
Chennai, July 30, 2010
First Published: 20:32 IST(30/7/2010)
Last Updated: 20:34 IST(30/7/2010)
India's latest supercomputer 'Annapurna' was unveiled at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) in Chennai on Friday. Atomic Energy Commission chairman Srikumar Banerjee unveiled the country's seventh fastest high-performance computation (HPC) cluster having 1.5 Tera Byte (TB) memory and 30
TB storage space cluster capacity.
Banerjee lauded the technical team behind the effort for creating the super computer in a completely non-commercial domain.
Complex issues ranging from biological applications and others could not have been approached in the absence of a supercomputer, he said.
"Among broad-based scientific institutions in India, the Annapurna cluster is the third fastest, ranking below the IISc Bangalore and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai," an IMSc release said.
The device will be used in simulations and numerical calculations in the areas of statistical mechanics and condensed matter physics among others, it added.

Woman techie found murdered in Pune

Pune: A 21-year-old woman, working with a software company in Pune, was found murdered near her residence at Bavdhan, police said on Saturday.
Darshana Tongare, an employee with IBM, was murdered on Friday night by unknown assailants when she was returning home from office at Yeravada, they added.
The motive behind the murder was being investigated, police said, adding no arrest has been made till now.

According to initial reports, Darshana was a resident of the Bavdhan area. Police suspect her lover to be behind the murder.
According to her friend, Darshana did not have enmity with anyone.
"She never told me that she has any friend who is behind her. She was good by nature and she was good with everyone," says Srikant, the victim's friend.
Police say that prima facie, the motive behind the murder seems to be a one-sided love affair.
(With PTI and CNN-IBN inputs)

Seven Great Apps


An unscientific poll of colleagues and friends list those apps they considered indispensable.

APPS, THE FAMILIAR GEEK-SPEAK for software applications, are what make smartphones smart. We ran an unscientific poll of colleagues and friends to see which they considered indispensable, focusing on the seemingly half-billion or so available for the Apple iPhone and iPad. While a few cost as much as $15, most are free or cost less than a buck. Our respondents' selections:
1Password: If you select too easy a password, a hacker can make life hell for you. But remembering a complicated one is hard. So a password-keeper is essential. Though it's relatively expensive at $9.99, 1Password syncs with Macs and Windows PCs and integrates with many browsers for automatic log-ins.
barrons graphics

Digital Calc: It's the best of the basic calculators. Big buttons eliminate typing errors and a "memory tape" lets you look back at all the numbers you have entered, just as the real paper tapes did on adding machines of yore.

Currency: This handy little guy converts dollars into any one of 112 other currencies, or vice versa—and the exchange rates are updated several times a day.
Pulse News: Who needs to spend hours surfing the 'Net for news, when this app aggregates articles from scores of sources of your choice, displays them clearly and are easily navigated? You can read the front page of The Wall Street Journal, breaking news on Politico or the latest addition to

Instapaper: You can save a few trees, and a lot of time at the printer, by firing up this app. It lets you save Web pages (news or otherwise) on your device for later offline reading.

GoodReader: This is manna from heaven for investors and others deluged with PDF reports. It opens PDFs and other file types and lets you store them in files of your own creation, separate from your other e-mail.
Documents to Go: Some Barron's reporters say they can't live without this one, which lets you open, edit and save Word and other Microsoft Office programs in an iPhone or iPad.

Friday, July 30, 2010


How APJ Abdul Kalam finished mission impossible
Are leaders born?No. Leadership is all about creativity and learning to grapple with failure and success, as former president APJ Abdul Kalam learnt in the course of becoming a leader of the nation’s scientific community and later of the nation itself.
Kalam headed the Satellite Launch Vehicle mission when it was first attempted in 1979. The mission failed. Kalam did not have any explaining to do as his boss fielded all the questions at the press conference that ensued. But the next mission in 1980 was bang on, and this time Kalam was allowed to announce it to the world.
“A creative leader gives credit to his team when there is success, and when there is failure he absorbs it,” Kalam said, recalling his days in the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro)while delivering a talk on leadership on the campus of SAP Labs in Whitefield on Friday. The global software applications developer had invited Kalam to speak to its employees and motivate them. 
Pointing out the difference between how leadership was perceived a decade back and how it changed later, Kalam said that competitiveness was the key to success and it was important for one to work and succeed with integrity. He said “vision, power of travelling to the unexplored depths, management skills, courage, nobility, transparency in action and to work and succeed with integrity” were a few concrete qualities that make a leader.
Kalam recalled the “best advice” he had received when in Isro.
“One should not let problem be the captain of one’s ship. One should be the captain of the problem and defeat and overcome it.”
Asserting that pressure could sometimes create wonders, he recalled how, as an aeronautical engineering student, he had to design a low-level aircraft under a nine-month project. The design he had developed after labouring for seven months was rejected and he was told that if he failed to come up with a successful design in three days his scholarship would be in soup. Kalam and his five batchmates lost their sleep and food for the next three days and came up with another design that was appreciated and accepted. He said the experience taught him how valuable time was, as he could accomplish in three days something for which nine months had been reserved.

The Pak. Puzzle.

Majority of Pakistanis call US enemy, 

India a threat.

WASHINGTON: Though terror groups continue to strike in their country, a majority of Pakistanis still consider India as a major threat, view America as an enemy and are far less concerned about Taliban and al-Qaida.

While Pakistanis express serious concerns about the US, they have also deep worries about neighbour and long-time rival India than extremist groups within Pakistan, according to the prestigious Pew Research Centre opinion poll carried out inside Pakistan.

"When asked which is the greatest threat to their country - India, the Taliban or al-Qaida - slightly more than half of Pakistanis (53 per cent) choose India, compared with 23 per cent for Taliban and just 3 per cent for al-Qaida," it said.

However, despite the deep-seated tensions between India and Pakistan, most Pakistanis want better ties with India.

Roughly seven-in-ten (72 per cent ) said it is important for relations with India to improve and about three-quarters support increased trade with India and further talks between the two rivals, it said.

Inspite of pumping in billions of dollars in economic and military aid, the US image in Pakistan was at its lowest ever among the 22 nations included in the poll. Fifty-nine per cent of the respondents described America as an enemy and only eight per cent trusted President Barack Obama.

The Pakistanis saw little threat from Taliban and al-Qaida and only 25 per cent of the people said it would be bad for Islamabad if Taliban takes over again Afghanistan.

While 18 per cent said it would be good for Pakistan 57 per cent were not concerned.

State Department spokesman P J Crowley conceded that there is a huge trust deficit between the US and Pakistan.

Sexual Acts and Rape.

First intercourse not rape if consensual sexual acts follow

NAGPUR: In yet another interesting verdict, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has ruled that "series of sexual acts take away and destroy the version of victim that first incident was by way of rape". The judgment was delivered by a single-judge bench of justice Ambadas Joshi. He had recently also ruled that "sexual relations with a woman under a mistaken belief that the man would eventually marry her can't be a termed as rape" while acquitting a man accused for raping a 16-year-old. 

The court acquitted petitioner Anwar Khan Iqbal Khan, a medical representative from Amravati, and set aside the Nagpur session's court's judgment which had sentenced him to seven years rigorous imprisonment along with Rs 20,000 fine two years back for allegedly raping a girl repeatedly. 

"Seen from any angle, present case is not a case of mistaken belief being the cause of giving consent for sexual intercourse recurrently and for over two years," the judge observed while delivering the verdict. 

Prosecution said, Khan was charged with raping the victim Shaila (name changed) from April 14 to May 5, 2004. He was accused of cheating the victim by fraudulently and dishonestly inducing her to sexual intercourse for over two years by giving an assurance of marriage. 

The victim knew the accused as both worked in the same company. The accused called her to his hotel room for the first time in Nagpur and raped her. He promised to marry her when she started weeping and threatened to commit suicide. Thereafter, Khan called her to hotels in Amravati and Yavatmal, and sexually exploited Shaila with assurances of marriage. This continued till the accused finally refused to marry her. 

The defence argued that the complainant was crazy and had been running after the accused and it is a case of one-sided passion. Citing some high court and Supreme Court verdicts, they said that consent given by the victim on promise to marry cannot be said to be consent given under misconception. 

After arguments from both sides, the high court observed that it is very much a possibility that the victim was unaware of the need for self-restraint and chastity, and therefore she had succumbed to sexual passion induced due to promise of marriage. 

"The victim is of the age of maturity and it can't be believed that she does not have knowledge of the consequences of sex, particularly after one abortion which she claims followed the first two acts of rape on her," the judge stated.