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Medical developments from around the world
 
Cancerous Confusion
 
Asenior cancer biologist seems to be in a dilemma. “Half a million U.S. women were diagnosed with non-invasive DCIS by January 2005 and the number continues to climb, propelling people to accept medical intervention even when none is needed.” Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), according to majority of cancer biologists, is not a cancer and should, thus, be removed from the carcinoma tab! But who bothers, as long as it is one of the leading causes for breast removal and other therapies!
 
All cancers need not be fatal without treatment; “However, cancers are heterogeneous and can follow multiple paths, not all of which progress to metastases and death, and include indolent disease that causes no harm during the patient’s lifetime,” according to the abstract of a study titled “Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment in Cancer: An Opportunity for Improvement”, published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
 
What If Medicine Disappeared?
 
This is the title of an interesting book written by Frances B McCrea and Gerald E Markle. I feel every lay reader of this book would benefit because the main reason why patients get caught in this ‘health scare’ system is fear of disability and death. Although many of my writings, books and speeches have been saying this, coming from the West, this book would give our Indian readers a fresh point of view as opposed to the biased Western mind-set. I wish to stress that the authors show how almost half of the cancer diagnosis was only a scare in the first place. But the gravity of the situation is not assessed by these numbers. Cancer scare kills as effectively as the most invasive cancer. Enjoy reading the book folks! 
 
Genome Mystery
 
Most of us think that our genome is one single large entity. Dr Christopher Walsh, from the Boston Children’s Hospital, thinks otherwise. He has now shown that most of the cells from the pre-frontal cortex have their neighbours having the genealogy of a heart cell or liver cell, rather than another neuron! This is not surprising, if we understand that we are born as a single nucleated cell (the zygote) which divides and divides to make us what we are today: 100 trillion-odd cells. This cell division, on the way, must have collected enough and more bits and pieces from its environment thus giving this genomic mosaic.
 
Genetic basis of diseases and predicting genetic predilection for hapless patients is so inadequate today that, for example, many neurological disorders like schizophrenia run strongly in families; but large studies have identified genes that explain just a small fraction of this heritability. Maybe that’s because “we’ve been looking at blood genomes to understand brain genomes,” says McConnell. By analysing DNA taken from blood samples, we’re missing a lot of the important mutations that are hidden in neurons themselves—or in specific pockets of neurons. “Maybe the missing heritability lies in these brain genomes.”
 
Shocking Revelations
 
The journal, Atherosclerosis, published these findings in its June 2015 issue: Men who had measles and mumps as children suffered 29% less heart attacks and 17% less strokes! Women with a history of both infections had a 17% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 21% lower risk of stroke. This could mean that natural infection with measles and mumps prevents millions of heart attacks and strokes. Why is this information not all over TV and the Internet? What is the mainstream media hiding? 
 
In countries which use BCG vaccinations against tuberculosis, the incidence of type-I diabetes in children under 14 is nearly double, writes Mike Adams, the editor-in-chief of Natural News (USA). I think we must ponder over this, if we are interested in our future generations.
To me, somehow, the very foundation of vaccination looks like pseudoscience. But, since I am not a vaccine scientist, I cannot refute their claims adequately. 

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Ignoring Ambedkar's economic thoughts unjust: Book
 Indian society has done great injustice to itself by ignoring the economic thoughts of national icon B.R. Ambedkar, a new book says.
 
"After all, his economic thoughts were not parochial," says scholar Narendra Jadhav in his latest book, "Ambedkar: An Economist Extraordinaire" (Konark).
 
"What Ambedkar always had in mind was in the best interest of the nation as a whole," the author says. "To brand him only as a leader of the downtrodden in India is an insult to this great patriot."
 
The 270-page book adds: "What is equally disheartening is depriving the Indian society of the benefit of his (Ambedkar's) economic thoughts, an act which is self-defeating for India as a nation."
 
Ambedkar's basic training was as an economist, Jadhav points out.
 
Ambedkar (1891-1956) was awarded the degrees of M.A. and PhD in economics by Columbia University in the US in 1915 and 1917 respectively.
 
The degree of doctor of science (DSc), which the London of School of Economics conferred on him in 1923, was also for research in economics.
 
Ambedkar's PhD dissertation, "The Evolution of Provincial Finance in British India", is considered a seminal contribution to the field of public finance. It analysed the evolution of the centre-state financial relations in British India.
 
His DSc dissertation, "The Problem of the Rupee: Its Origin and Its Solution", is a magnum opus and seen as a major contribution to the field of monetary economics.
 
"Ambedkar's professional career bears a distinct imprint of an economist," the book says.
 
"Various memoranda and statements that he submitted to the government (under British rule as well as in independent India) are indicative of his deep insights into India's economic problems.
 
"His speeches are replete with stimulating economic thoughts. He is probably the first thinker to analyse economic dimensions of social maladies in India, such as the caste system and untouchability."
 
Jadhav says that not many economists are even aware that on the currency question, Ambedkar crossed swords with influential economic thinkers such as John Maynard Keynes.
 
The book says that Ambedkar -- who later embraced Buddhism -- presented a perceptive critique of Marxism in his essay, "Buddha or Karl Marx".
 
He also spelt out his views on the ideal strategy for India's economic development in his Memorandum, "States and Minorities" (1947).
 
The book says that the widespread ignorance regarding Ambedkar's contribution as an economist was "shocking and unfortunate".
 
Jadhav says that due honour had been given to the contributions of Dadabhai Nauroji and Mahadev Govind Ranade both as freedom fighters and as economists.
 
"But the same, unfortunately, has not happened in the case of Ambedkar although his contribution to economics was no less important, to say the least."
 
Jadhav, an economist, educationist and administrator, has been a member of the Planning Commission and chief economist of the Reserve Bank of India.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

YOGESH GAUTAM

1 year ago

very true.All govermernt irrespective of their political paries did unjustice with ambedakar

Ezhilarasan M

1 year ago

True

Belgium to power 170 trains with wind energy
Belgium has launched an ambitious project to power 170 trains by wind energy -- and the first seven of the planned 25 turbines entered service on Saturday, local media reported on Sunday.
 
Sudpresse newspaper group said turbines will be built along the main rail line from Leuven to Liege, generating enough power for every high-speed and local train using the line.
 
The number of trains to be covered by the wind energy project represents about five percent of the country's total rail traffic, Belgian railtrack operator Infrabel said.
 
Belgian broadcaster RTL reported that once all 25 turbines are operating, they are expected to produce 35,000 megawatt hours -- enough energy to power 10,000 homes. About two-thirds of the produced electricity is needed for the rail line and the surplus will be added to the domestic electricity supply grid.
 
Philippe Van Troeye, production director at Belgian energy firm Electrabel, told reporters on Saturday: "Wind energy, like solar power, is intermittent, but it will play a more and more important role in our energy provision in the future."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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