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Medical developments from around the world

Pet Owners Beware

We are very fond of our pets, especially dogs and cats. Some people have reptiles and exotic birds at home. Having a pet is assumed to be very good for one’s health and also to avoid depression. Yet, if a very high degree of hygiene standards are not kept, the risk to human health from pets could, at times, be even life-threatening.
Toxoplasmosis (infection from parasitic bacteria), intestinal worms like hookworm, salmonella, campylo-bacterial diarrhoea, common cold from dogs, cat scratch disease and the deadly rabies from warm-blooded animals are the risks one takes while keeping pets. We, in India, do not have strict rules governing pets. The main danger to human health comes from dog and cat excreta on roads. Most pet keepers do not clean up after their pets. Strict cleaning is a must. Washing hands after contact with animals and their excreta should be routine.
If one keeps birds, a big risk is psittacosis or parrot fever, a bacterial disease caused by chlamydia psittaci—a type of bacteria—that humans can contract through inhalation of bird secretions, including urine and faeces.

Breast Screening May Reveal Heart Disease

If scanning of breasts show calcified breast arteries, the likelihood of coronary arteries being calcified is also quite high. If a woman past middle age has calcified breast arteries, she is advised to have a full cardiac evaluation for preventive steps.

Smell Sweat, Be Happy!

Pheromones (described as behaviour-altering agents by some) are known to transfer emotions to others. In a recent study at the Utrecht University (The Netherlands), the researchers—both psychiatrists—found that persons could transfer their happy state of mind via their sweat to those who smell them or come close to them. The researchers said: “We observed that exposure to body odour collected from senders of chemo signals in a happy state induced a facial expression and perceptual-processing style indicative of happiness in the receivers of those signals. Our findings suggest that not only negative (effect) but also a positive state (happiness) can be transferred by means of odours.” 
Women showed more signs of happiness in this study, according to Gün Semin, one of the researchers.

Obesity and Cause(s)

Although exercise has many health benefits, not exercising is not a significant cause of obesity, as are sugars and other refined carbohydrates in food. Even if one were to exercise for an hour a day, the amount of calories spent cannot be compensated as much as they are by strict dieting.

Depression and Meditation

A recent study showed that meditation is as effective as any anti-depressant drug in the treatment of depression. This is good news, for two reasons. Most, if not all, anti-depressants encourage suicidal tendencies. They also have many other unpleasant side-effects. Another significant reason is that latest quantum physics puts the mind outside the brain. So treating brain tissues with drugs might not have any relation to human mind. 


Insurance: Fine Print

Car Insurance Claims May Be Settled Faster?

Car-owners might see faster claims settlement...
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KV Kamath named chief of BRICS Development Bank

ICICI Bank chairman KV Kamath, who earlier worked with ADB, is appointed as President of the New Development Bank of BRICS nation. The Bank that will start with an initial paid-in-capital of $50 billion with each country contributing $10 billion


Eminent banker KV Kamath and chairman of India's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank was on Monday appointed as chief of the $50-billion-New Development Bank (NDB) being set up by the five emerging economies of the BRICS grouping.
Kamath will have a five-year term of the bank, which is likely to be operationalised within one year, Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said.
Leaders of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) had last year reached an agreement to establish the New Development Bank, with its headquarters in Shanghai. As per the agreement, India got the right to nominate the first president. Kamath has been named the first president of the NDB, Mehrishi added.
A few days ago, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Dr Subramanian Swamy, while speaking at Moneylife Foundation seminar on Black Money Bill, as well as in a tweet, had mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted him to become head of the BRICS Bank, but he declined the offer. 
The BRICS nations account for nearly $16 trillion in GDP and 40% of the world’s population. The bank will start with an initial paid-in-capital of $50 billion with each BRICS country contributing $10 billion.
After serving at ICICI for more than a decade, Kamath had moved to Asian Development Bank, Manila, in the private sector department in 1988.
His principal work experience at ADB was in various projects in China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and other emerging nations.
Making a strong pitch for speeding up the creation of the BRICS development bank, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said last year that India hopes to ratify the agreement over the financial institution by 2014-end, and 2016 should be set as the target for its inauguration.
Modi had made this remark at an informal meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President President Jacob Zuma on the sidelines of the G20 summit at Brisbane (Australia) in November.
India’s presidency will be followed by Brazil and Russia, who will have a five-year term each under an agreement reached after intense negotiations among the five-country grouping.


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