Bank FD Rates Decline

The State Bank of India (SBI) has reduced interest rates on fixed deposits (FDs) from 9% to...

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Inflation Dips, So Does Industrial Production

The 10-year benchmark government security (G-Sec) yield, which sets the tone of the...

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Pulse Beat

Ebola Might Go On for another 18 Months

While the WHO has put the West African Ebola outbreak’s eventual death toll to reach 20,000, scientists are estimating much bigger numbers and a more prolonged run for the virus.

 

They also feel that the virus might mutate to become even more deadly. However, the pharmaceutical industry seems to be upbeat as they can sell experimental medicines and vaccines without sufficient oversight. The outbreak has become a massive medical field trial and the history of medicine is replete with instances of epidemics becoming goldmines for the drug vaccine industry.

 

There have been reports showing that nano silver solution can cure Ebola; but the industry has pushed hard for their new drugs to be used by terming the silver solution as untested. But the new experimental drugs are as untested as the former; that hasn’t stopped their use. News has also been doing the rounds, that Ebola is the new threat in being used for germ warfare research.

 

Obama Pledges Army Men for Ebola Control

A report in the New York Times said that Barack Obama plans to move beyond the pledge by the Pentagon to establish a 25-bed portable hospital in Liberia—one of the three West African nations hardest-hit by the current Ebola outbreak. This horrifying outbreak has proven to be the worst in the history of the disease.

 

The US president has decided to offer additional aid to Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf “in the construction of as many as 17 Ebola treatment centres in the region,” The Times reported. An international humanitarian intervention is under way to ameliorate the spread of the disease and its effect. Senior department of defense officials from the US will be setting up a joint command centre in the Liberian capital of Monrovia to coordinate and execute the relief efforts.

 

Hand Grip Strength as a Measure of Ageing

With the changing biological scenario, chronological ageing might not be an accurate sign of ageing. Researchers have been studying the hand grip as one of the better parameters of actual age with good success. More than 100,000 people have been studied so far. Researchers think that each time a patient comes for a check-up, his/her hand grip should be recorded for serial measurements. This will provide a progressive measure of the loss or gain in strength and the consequent ageing of the patient.

 

Chelation for Heart Disease

Dr Gervasino Lamas, a Harvard-trained cardiologist recently completed a large double-blind study on the effects of chelation therapy in treating heart disease. In his hospital in Miami, he completed a 14-year study which covered 55,222 patients. Dr Lamas came to know of the results of the study only at the end of the 14 years, as it was a strictly double-blinded study. The results showed a 43% reduction in repeat diabetic heart attacks. This was published by the Journal of American Medical Association but was very severely criticised in an editorial. As The Atlantic reports, he is now being taken a little more seriously in his appeal that chelation therapy needs further study, to understand its benefits and efficacy.

 

Cancer Prevention

The American Association for Cancer Research’s mammoth new cancer progress report lays out the sad fact—that about half of the 585,720 cancer deaths expected to occur in the United States this year are related to preventable behaviour. For a disease that often seems (and is) so senseless, it turns out that many cases can be avoided with lifestyle changes which do not cost anything.

 

Smoking is the biggest one, associated with nearly 33% of preventable cancer diagnoses. Obesity, sedentary living, heavy alcohol and excess meat eating and several chemical poisons in foods and household cleaning agents are the usual culprits.

 

Curiously, all our advances in treatment of cancer have not made any dent in the outcomes.

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