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.
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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The bias will remain upwards as long as Nifty does not go below last week’s low
Today the indices opened marginally higher and tried moving higher. It was soon followed by a highly volatile session with the indices occasionally trading in the negative. In the last hour of the session the benchmark hit its day’s high but it could not sustain at that level and moved to the low of the day. We had mentioned in Friday’s closing report that as long as CNX Nifty does not go below the day’s level, it can go up to 8,000-8,050.
S&P BSE Sensex opened at 26,694 and moved in the range of 26,518 and 26,716 while Nifty opened at 7,978 and moved between 7,935 and 7,992. Sensex closed at 26,597 (down 29 points or 0.11%) while Nifty closed at 7,959 (down 10 points or 0.12%). NSE recorded a lower volume of 73.88 crore shares. India VIX rose 3.54% to close at 13.3850.
Among the other indices on the NSE, the top five gainers were Pharma (1.99%), Smallcap (1.82%), IT (1.69%), Media (1.09%) and Midcap (0.86%) while the top five losers were FMCG (1.04%), Metal (0.94%), Bank Nifty (0.86%), Finance (0.77%) and Dividend Opportunities (0.70%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 19 ended in the green. The top five gainers were Sun Pharma (3.64%), TCS (3.35%), Gail (2.41%), Power Grid (2.19%) and Hindalco (2.07%). The top five losers were Jindal Steel (3.89%), DLF (2.68%), Kotak Mahindra Bank (2.18%), Tata Steel (1.74%) and Coal India (1.55%).
Of the 1,587 companies on the NSE, 1,003 companies closed in the green, 536 companies closed in the red while 48 companies closed flat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a five-day official visit to United States starting 26 September 2014. The Indian Prime Minister will meet US President Barack Obama at the White House on 29-30 September 2014. The two leaders will discuss a range of issues of mutual interest in order to expand and deepen the US-India strategic partnership.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) undertakes its bi-monthly monetary policy review on Tuesday. Strides Arcolab (9.20%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. Its board of directors have approved a scheme of amalgamation between the company and Shasun Pharmaceuticals wherein, Shasun Pharma will amalgamate with the company. They foresee the combined entity to be amongst the top 15 listed Indian pharmaceutical companies by revenue with a turnover in excess of Rs2,500 crore. On the other hand, the company has also entered into an agreement with GMS Holdings whereby GMS will invest USD 21.90 million for a 25.1% stake in Stelis Biopharma Private Limited, the biotech arm of Strides, to fund its greenfield project. The transaction is expected to close in Q4 of 2014.
Suzlon Energy (4.90%) continued to be the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE today. GMR Infrastructure (4.40%) was among the top two losers in the group. It clarified on Friday that in view of the cancellation of 214 coal blocks by Supreme Court, Rampia, coal block allocation in the state of Odisha also stands cancelled. GMR Group is one among the six stakeholders. It said that the mine could not be developed on account of variety of reasons beyond the control of the developers.
The software stocks TCS (3.17%), Infosys (1.90%) and Wipro (1.18%) in the Sensex 30 pack were among the top six gainers today.
Tata Steel (1.61%) was among the top two losers in the Sensex 30 stock. B Muthuraman, vice-chairman of the company, after his 48-year of association with the company, has stepped down from the board of the company on Friday.
US indices closed in the positive on Friday.
The US economy grew at its fastest pace in 2-1/2 years in the second quarter with all sectors contributing to the jump in output in a bullish signal for the remainder of the year. The Commerce Department on Friday raised its estimate of gross domestic product to show the economy expanded at a 4.6% annual rate.
Asian indices showed mixed performance. Nikkei 225 (0.50%) was the top gainer while Hang Seng (1.90%) was the top loser.
Chinese industrial profits fell 0.6% in August from a year earlier, reversing from July's 13.5% rise, the government said on Saturday adding to problems such as unsteady exports, a housing downturn and cooling investment growth in the world's second largest economy.
European indices were trading in the red. US Futures were trading hugely in the negative.