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Special Topics
  Last Updated: Dec 18, 2012 - 7:34:23 AM

Special Topics
MPs express anguish at Delhi gang-rape, Shinde assures fast trial
New Delhi, Dec 18 - Members in both houses of parliament Monday expressed pain and anguish at the horrific torture and gang-rape of a young woman in a moving bus in Delhi with Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde assuring a fast trial of the case as well as more measures to ensure safety of women.
Dec 18, 2012 - 8:54:11 PM

Special Topics
Worrying rise in number of medical students in prostitution over last 10 years
One in ten students now claim to know someone who is using prostitution to pay for university fees, a medical student writing for the Student BMJ claims.
Feb 29, 2012 - 5:00:00 AM

Special Topics
Behold India's unfolding democratic revolution
A unique revolution is unfolding across India. No matter what is the immediate outcome of this popular upsurge, triggered by the inspiring determination of a 74-year-old man's refusal to eat food till the first step towards containing the hydra-headed monster of state-encouraged corruption is taken, Anna Hazare's fast has already become an event of great historic proportions.
Aug 24, 2011 - 1:12:16 PM

Healthcare : China Healthcare
Chinese woman cuts open her belly to save surgery cost
A Chinese woman cut open her stomach with a kitchen knife to relieve fluid accumulation so that she didn't have to pay the surgery cost, a media report said.
May 25, 2011 - 4:14:25 PM

Special Topics : Evolution
Improved Sense of Smell Produced Smarter Mammals
An improved sense of smell jump-started brain evolution in the ancestral cousins of present-day mammals, according to paleontologists.
May 22, 2011 - 1:28:18 PM

Special Topics : Odd Medical News
Two-year-old world's first to have extra DNA strand
A British toddler has become the first person in the world to be diagnosed with an extra strand in his DNA.
Apr 13, 2011 - 3:11:27 PM

Special Topics : Odd Medical News
172,155 kidney stones removed from one patient!
A doctor in Maharashtra's Dhule district has been awarded the Guinness record for removing a record number of 172,155 kidney stones from a single kidney.
Nov 16, 2010 - 7:39:54 PM

Special Topics : Evolution
'Primodial Soup' theory for origin of life rejected in paper
For 80 years it has been accepted that early life began in a 'primordial soup' of organic molecules before evolving out of the oceans millions of years later. Today the 'soup' theory has been over turned in a pioneering paper in BioEssays which claims it was the Earth's chemical energy, from hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, which kick-started early life.
Feb 2, 2010 - 2:04:25 PM

Special Topics : Evolution
Human species could have killed Neanderthal man
The wound that killed a Neanderthal man between 50,000 and 75,000 years was most likely caused by a thrown spear, the kind modern humans used but Neanderthals did not, according to the latest research.
Jul 22, 2009 - 3:04:57 PM

Latest Research : Genetics
History, geography also seem to shape our genome
History and geography shape our genome, according to a new study.

Jun 18, 2009 - 6:00:21 PM

Special Topics
3,000 Kerala medical students to attend inter-college meet
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 7 - Nearly 3,000 students from Kerala's 10 private medical colleges will set aside stethoscopes, scalpels and fat medical books for five days next week to participate in an inter-college arts and sports meet.

Nov 7, 2008 - 1:40:07 PM

Special Topics
Tamil Nadu seeks to control deemed universities
New Delhi, Aug 16 - The Tamil Nadu government has sought additional powers from the human resource development - ministry to enable it exercise control over deemed universities in the state, a senior government official said Saturday.

Aug 16, 2008 - 10:18:22 PM

Special Topics
Spiders which eat together, stay together and multiply
Washington, Aug 9 - The ability to work together and capture larger prey has allowed social spiders to flourish beyond the strength of their numbers, according to a new study.

Aug 9, 2008 - 2:53:00 PM

Special Topics
Anna Hazare - the keeper of the earth and human conscience
Pune, April 16 - A name synonymous with multiple crusades, Anna Hazare, who has won the World Bank's 2008 Jit Gill Memorial Award for outstanding public service, has made a journey from despondency to courage, from humble beginnings to glorious heights.

Apr 16, 2008 - 7:07:36 PM

Special Topics
Indian American scientist wins top IMO prize
Washington, April 1 - Jagadish Shukla, an Indian American scientist, has been awarded the 52nd International Meteorological Organization - Prize, for his research on monsoons and establishing a scientific model for climate prediction.

Apr 11, 2008 - 10:12:05 AM

Special Topics : Evolution : Reproduction
Artificial human sperm could make men redundant: experts
Hamburg -, April 7 - Artificial human sperm could come to the aid of infertile men, according to a team of German scientists who have used lab-grown sperm to inseminate female mice.

Apr 7, 2008 - 11:35:21 AM

Special Topics
Will autopsy on Benazir's body become necessary?
Islamabad, Dec 31 - The body of Pakistan's slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto may need to be exhumed for an autopsy if the government allows international experts to institute a probe into her assassination.

Dec 31, 2007 - 5:45:08 PM

Special Topics
Murders in 'fit of passion' don't deserve death: Apex court
New Delhi, Aug 12 - In what has alarmed friends of slain Delhi University law student Priyadarshini Mattoo, the Supreme Court has held that even a double murder committed 'in a fit of passion' after an abortive rape bid does not deserve death penalty.
Aug 12, 2007 - 3:06:09 PM

Latest Research
Low literacy equals early death sentence
Not being able to read doesn't just make it harder to navigate each day. Low literacy impairs people's ability to obtain critical information about their health and can dramatically shorten their lives.
Jul 23, 2007 - 4:00:00 AM

Latest Research : Psychiatry : Psychology : Behavioral Science
New Insights Into the Nature of Pride as a Social Function
Pride has perplexed philosophers and theologians for centuries, and it is an especially paradoxical emotion in American culture. We applaud rugged individualism, self-reliance and personal excellence, but too much pride can easily tip the balance toward vanity, haughtiness and self-love. Scientists have also been perplexed by this complex emotion, because it is so unlike primary emotions like fear and disgust.
Jun 18, 2007 - 4:00:00 PM

Latest Research : Psychiatry : Psychology : Behavioral Science
Girls Select Partners Who Resemble Their Dads - Research
Women who enjoy good childhood relationships with their fathers are more likely to select partners who resemble their dads research suggests. In contrast, the team of psychologists from Durham University and two Polish institutions revealed that women who have negative or less positive relationships were not attracted to men who looked like their male parents.
Jun 14, 2007 - 5:00:00 PM

Latest Research : Metabolism
Study of protein folds offers insight into metabolic evolution
Researchers at the University of Illinois have constructed the first global family tree of metabolic protein architecture. Their approach offers a new window on the evolutionary history of metabolism.
May 20, 2007 - 4:00:00 AM

Special Topics : Ethics
Regulating stem cell research
Regulations governing human stem cell research must strive to assure strict oversight while simultaneously fostering scientific innovation through collaboration, says a group of scientists from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), one of the world's largest supporters of such research.
May 11, 2007 - 12:03:55 PM

Special Topics : Evolution : Reproduction
Is Sex Necessary for Evolution?
If you own a birdbath, chances are you are hosting one of evolutionary biology's most puzzling enigmas: bdelloid rotifers. These microscopic invertebrates - widely distributed in mosses, creeks, ponds, and other freshwater repositories -abandoned sex perhaps 100 million years ago, yet have apparently diverged into nearly 400 species. Bdelloids (the "b" is silent) reproduce through parthenogenesis, which generates offspring with essentially the same genome as their mother from unfertilized eggs. Biologists have yet to find males, hermaphrodites, or any trace of meiosis- the process that creates sex cells - challenging the long-held assumption that evolutionary success requires genetic exchange.
Mar 26, 2007 - 7:59:12 AM

Special Topics
Seven ways to survive life without the Internet
Hong Kong, Jan 25 - The devastation caused to Internet lines by the Taiwan earthquake before the dawn of 2007 left millions across Asia cut off from email and websites for days.
Jan 25, 2007 - 8:22:08 AM

Special Topics : Evolution
Indians make one major human race: US study
Washington, Dec 27 - Indians make up one of the major human ancestry groups, with relatively little genetic differentiation among the people from different parts of the country, according to a new US study.
Dec 27, 2006 - 5:01:32 PM

Special Topics : Ethics
Overcoming Ethical Constraints
By repeating the Stanley Milgram’s classic experiment from the 1960s on
obedience to authority – that found people would administer apparently
lethal electrical shocks to a stranger at the behest of an authority figure
– in a virtual environment, the UCL (University College London) led study
demonstrated for the first time that participants reacted as though the
situation was real.

Dec 24, 2006 - 8:00:37 AM

Special Topics : Ethics
Drug tests on animals may be unreliable: study
London, Dec 16 - Tests of drugs on animals may be unreliable and may not be accurate about their effect on humans, says a new study.
Dec 16, 2006 - 7:55:26 PM

Special Topics : Feature
India's patent, copyright laws outdated: US official
New Delhi, Dec 4 - India needs to update its patent and copyright laws with modern regulatory framework to attract more foreign capital, US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Franklin L. Lavin said here Monday.
Dec 4, 2006 - 10:02:56 PM

Special Topics : Evolution
Gendered division of labor gave modern humans advantage over Neanderthals
Diversified social roles for men, women, and children may have given Homo sapiens an advantage over Neanderthals, says a new study in the December 2006 issue of Current Anthropology. The study argues that division of economic labor by sex and age emerged relatively recently in human evolutionary history and facilitated the spread of modern humans throughout Eurasia.
Dec 4, 2006 - 11:38:29 AM

Special Topics : Euthanasia
Blacks, Whites Divided on End-of-Life Treatment
Black patients are more likely than white patients to prefer life-sustaining care when confronted with an incurable illness or serious mental and physical disabilities, according to a study by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers.
Dec 4, 2006 - 11:01:33 AM

Special Topics : Feature
Many patients don't understand prescription medicine labels
When Michael Wolf paged though dusty, yellowing pharmacists’ logs from the 1890s at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, he found the following entry about a druggist’s encounter with a confused patient: “Shake well,” a patient apparently read out loud to the pharmacist from his prescription bottle label. “Does that mean I shake myself"”. It sounds like the punch line of a bad joke, but it wasn’t. And the confusion experienced by that patient more than a century ago hasn’t changed much. Many people still don’t fully understand the seemingly simple label instructions on their prescription medication, according to a new study of low-income patients by Wolf, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
Nov 29, 2006 - 11:01:14 AM

Special Topics : Evolution
Genetic variation: We're more different than we thought
New research shows that at least 10 percent of genes in the human population can vary in the number of copies of DNA sequences they contain--a finding that alters current thinking that the DNA of any two humans is 99.9 percent similar in content and identity.
Nov 28, 2006 - 10:40:37 PM

Special Topics : Odd Medical News
18 kg tumour removed from woman
A team of doctors in Himachal Pradesh have removed an 18 kg ovarian tumour from a woman in her 20s.
Nov 23, 2006 - 6:53:11 PM

Special Topics : Feature
Bibliometrics can improve research into research
The methods used to evaluate the quality of research can be far more accurate and far-reaching, according to a new doctoral thesis on bibliometrics from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. "A common pitfall is that bibliometricians assess the average quality of journals instead of the individual scientific articles," says PhD Jonas Lundberg.
Nov 19, 2006 - 2:47:17 PM

Special Topics : Evolution
New approach will pinpoint genes linked to evolution of human brain
Six million years ago, chimpanzees and humans diverged from a common ancestor and evolved into unique species. Now UCLA scientists have identified a new way to pinpoint the genes that separate us from our closest living relative – and make us uniquely human.
Nov 14, 2006 - 5:46:00 PM

Special Topics
Accelerating Loss of Ocean Species Threatens Human Well-being
In a study published in the November 3rd issue of the journal, Science, an international group of ecologists and economists, including lead author, Boris Worm of Dalhousie University, show that the loss of biodiversity is profoundly reducing the ocean’s ability to produce seafood, resist diseases, filter pollutants, and rebound from stresses such as over-fishing and climate change. The study reveals that every species lost causes a faster unraveling of the overall ecosystem. Conversely every species recovered adds significantly to overall productivity and stability of the ecosystem and its ability to withstand stresses.
Nov 3, 2006 - 4:06:00 AM

Special Topics : Evolution
New genetic analysis forces re-draw of insect family tree
The family tree covering almost half the animal species on the planet has been re-drawn following a genetic analysis which has revealed new relationships between four major groups of insects. Scientists have found that flies and moths are most closely related to beetles and more distantly related to bees and wasps, contrary to previous theory.
Oct 29, 2006 - 10:26:00 PM

Special Topics
Cell Phone Use Associated with Decline in Fertility
In an observational study, researchers from Cleveland, Mumbai, and New Orleans found that the number of hours in a day that a man uses his cell phone can affect all aspects of his sperm profile.
Oct 24, 2006 - 6:05:00 PM

Special Topics
Marijuana-like Chemical Can Restore Sperm Function Lost to Tobacco Abuse
A compound chemically similar to those found in marijuana can improve the ability of smokers’ sperm to bind to eggs. Researchers in Buffalo and Boston have previously shown that two-thirds of tobacco smokers’ sperm showed a significant decline in the capacity to bind to an egg compared to that of non-smokers. They hypothesized that treating the smokers’ sperm with a cannabinoid compound would improve sperm binding. Human sperm have chemical receptors that respond to both nicotine and cannabinoids- compounds like those found in marijuana.
Oct 24, 2006 - 6:02:00 PM

Special Topics
Reporters struggle to cover comas in newspaper articles
Newspaper articles skew coverage of comas by focusing heavily on patients who are more likely to awaken and recover, thus possibly leading the public to believe that coma patients have better odds than they truly do. These findings of a Mayo Clinic study on how U.S. newspapers cover comas are published in the October issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. This study is the first of its kind and follows a study published earlier this year in Neurology on how comas are represented in film. The lead author of both articles is Eelco F.M. Wijdicks, M.D., a neurointensivist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
Oct 19, 2006 - 11:56:00 PM

Special Topics
Drug Company Research Reports Should Be Read With Caution
A study published on bmj.com recently has found that reviews of drugs which are supported by the pharmaceutical industry are less transparent, and are more likely to reach favourable conclusion on drugs, than independent reviews.
Oct 12, 2006 - 1:19:00 PM

Special Topics : Evolution
Giant insects might reign if only there was more oxygen in the air
The delicate lady bug in your garden could be frighteningly large if only there was a greater concentration of oxygen in the air, a new study concludes. The study adds support to the theory that some insects were much larger during the late Paleozoic period because they had a much richer oxygen supply, said the study's lead author Alexander Kaiser.
Oct 12, 2006 - 4:52:00 AM

Special Topics : Evolution : Reproduction
Infection Status Drives Interspecies Mating Choices in Fruit Fly Females
Hybridization is a constant possibility for two closely related species. Geographic isolation prevents interbreeding in some cases, but when the range of the two overlap, other mechanisms must come into play if they are to remain genetically distinct. Behavioral isolation is one such mechanism. If members of each group preferentially mate with their own kind, the two species can remain distinct even while residing together. Over time, such isolating behaviors may become more pronounced, and the genes governing them more widespread, a phenomenon termed “reinforcement.”
Oct 11, 2006 - 5:25:00 AM

Special Topics : Ethics
Waiting For Trial Results Sometimes Unethical
Waiting for the results of randomised trials of public health interventions can cost hundreds of lives, especially in poor countries. Researchers in this week’s BMJ argue that, if the science is good, we should act before the trials are done.

Oct 5, 2006 - 1:17:00 AM

Special Topics : Ethics
NHGRI Funds Assessment of Public Attitudes About Population-Based Studies on Genes and Environment
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced it has awarded $2 million to the Genetics and Public Policy Center of the Berman Bioethics Institute at Johns Hopkins University to conduct a public discussion about future potential large U.S. population-based studies examining the roles of genes and environment in human health.
Sep 29, 2006 - 7:56:00 PM

Special Topics : Evolution
Mother birds give a nutritional leg up to chicks with unattractive fathers
Mother birds deposit variable amounts of antioxidants into egg yolks, and it has long been theorized that females invest more in offspring sired by better quality males. However, a study from the November/December 2006 issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology shows that even ugly birds get their day. Providing new insight into the strategic basis behind resource allocation in eggs, the researchers found that female house finches deposit significantly more antioxidants, which protect the embryo during the developmental process, into eggs sired by less attractive fathers.
Sep 26, 2006 - 10:38:00 PM

Special Topics : Evolution
Mammals Evolve Faster on Islands!
The notion of islands as natural testbeds for evolutionary study is nearly as old as the theory of evolution itself. The restricted scale, isolation, and sharp boundaries of islands create unique selective pressures, often to dramatic effect. Following what’s known as the “island rule,” small animals evolve into outsize versions of their continental counterparts while large animals shrink. Once restricted to islands, small animals often lacked predators and the competition between species that constrained the growth of their relatives on the mainland. Large mammals, on the other hand, no longer had access to vast grasslands and other abundant food sources and grew smaller to survive. Giant tortoises and iguanas still inhabit the Galápagos and a few other remote islands today, but only fossils remain of the dwarf hippopotami, elephants, and deer that once lived on islands in Indonesia, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific Ocean.
Sep 13, 2006 - 3:48:00 AM

Special Topics : Evolution
A Bacterial Protein Puts a New Twist on DNA Transcription
For organisms to adapt, develop, and simply live, they must regulate hundreds to thousands of genes, making fine-tuned, precisely timed adjustments to produce the specific complement of proteins required for the occasion. For bacteria, this task falls largely to proteins called sigma factors. These small proteins associate with RNA polymerase, the enzyme that mediates gene transcription, to form a complex called the holoenzyme. The holoenzyme, guided by the sigma factor, recognizes promoter regions, which are specific DNA sequences that precede protein-coding sequences and mark the transcription start site. Sigma factors also contribute to transcription by facilitating DNA strand separation, which must occur before RNA polymerase can begin copying the DNA code. Once transcription begins, the sigma factor disengages from the RNA polymerase, becoming available for new joint ventures with different RNA polymerases.
Aug 16, 2006 - 9:16:00 AM

Special Topics : Ethics
Physicians More Likely To Disclose Medical Errors That Would Be Apparent To The Patient
While physicians in the United States and Canada generally support disclosing medical errors to patients, they vary widely in when and how they would tell patients an error had occurred, according to two articles in the August 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Research has revealed that most patients want detailed information following a medical error, including an explicit statement that an error has occurred, an apology, information about why the error happened and an explanation of what will be done to prevent future errors. However, less than half of harmful errors may be disclosed to patients, according to background information in the articles. This may diminish trust in physicians and may also increase the risk that patients will file malpractice lawsuits.
Aug 15, 2006 - 1:26:00 PM

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Special Topics  
MPs express anguish at Delhi gang-rape, Shinde assures fast trial
Worrying rise in number of medical students in prostitution over last 10 years
Behold India's unfolding democratic revolution
Chinese woman cuts open her belly to save surgery cost
Improved Sense of Smell Produced Smarter Mammals
Two-year-old world's first to have extra DNA strand
172,155 kidney stones removed from one patient!
'Primodial Soup' theory for origin of life rejected in paper
Human species could have killed Neanderthal man
History, geography also seem to shape our genome

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