Showing posts with label study. Show all posts
Showing posts with label study. Show all posts

INDIAN GORKHAS 10th 12th Board Exam TOPPERS LIST 2016

12:23 PM
The results are out for board exams,  ISC exams, Madhyamik  and ICSE 2016 and here are the toppers from the Indian Gorkha community across the country.

Mrinal Pradhan, Scored 98.75% in ISC, Mrinal Pradhan of St. Joseph's School, Darjeeling for scoring 98.75% in ISC exams and standing 2nd topper in West Bengal.The fact that he didn't take any tuition for his finals is what sets him apart. We are proud of you Mrinal and CONGRATULATIONS to You and North Point for upholding the Gorkha name.

Devika Rai Potential Hill Topper
TheDC team sends our Congratulations to Ms. Devika Rai a student of St Joseph's Gitdabling who appeared exams from St George's HS Pedong for scoring 86.6% in Madhyamik and for being the potential topper among all hill students. We are writing "Potential" as we are yet to get complete update from all the hill schools and not even DI office is aware of who topped in the hills, however Devika has likely scored the highest among all hill students.
INDIAN GORKHAS 10th 12th Board Exam TOPPERS LIST 2016
INDIAN GORKHAS 10th 12th Board Exam TOPPERS LIST 2016
Manisha Tamang Scored 82% in Madhyamik -
Highest Among Nepali Schools, our Congratulations to Ms. Manisha Tamang of Dr. IB Thapa Nepali School, Siliguri for scoring 82% in Madhyamik and for being the topper among Nepali medium schools.Her achievement is highly praiseworthy and inspirational as one of our readers Mr. Pradeep Pradhan explained, "She was raised up in an orphanage children's home in Siliguri though not an orphan. Coming from a poor family didn't prevent her from excelling in her studies. Manisha went to Bhanubhakta Primary School School up to class 4 and then to Dr. IB Thapa Nepali School."

Sahil Pradhan and Supal Rai
Congratulations to Sahil Pradhan a student of St Robert's School, Darjeeling for scoring 85% in Madhyamik and for being the sub-division topper, and Supal Rai of Vidya Deep Educational Institute of Parbong, Pulbazar Bijanbari who appeared for exam from Chongtong High School for scoring 82.28% and emerging as Bijanbari Valley topper.Both Sahil and Supal are amazingly talented students, and the achievements of Supal is more praiseworthy as he comes from a small rural school and yet has managed to score such a high marks through his grit, determination and scholarship.We are PROUD of you Sahil and Supal and CONGRATULATIONS to You and St. Robert's, and Vidya Deep School for upholding the Gorkha name.

Anurag Mukhia and Aayush Raj Chettri
TheDC team sends our Congratulations to Anurag Mukhia of Himali Boarding School, Kurseong and Aayush Raj Chettri of Pinehall Academy, Soureni Mirik for scoring 95.25% in ISC, and 94.2% in ICSE.Both Anurag and Aayush come from the tea gardens and while Anurag is from Ringtong below Sonada, Aayush is from Soureni. Coming from rural areas and achieving such high marks in ISC and ICSE shows their grit, determination and scholarship.

Snigdha Pradhan of Loreto Convent School, Darjeeling for scoring 96% respectively in ICSE. It is noteworthy that Snigdha didn’t take any tuition in preparations for her finals

Suman Sharma of Sunshine School, Birpara for scoring 94% in ISC.
What sets Suman apart from other students is that he comes from a very humble family from Makrapara, one of the more impoverished regions in Dooars. Coming from a economically backward family and achieving 94% in ISC shows his grit, determination and scholarship.

Kritisha Pradhan from Lewis English School scored 90% in ICSE
"Kritisha Pradhan of Lewis English School Scored 90% in ICSE. She is daughter of Krishna Pradhan and she is from Panighatta."

Abigail Rai 92% Nagaland 
Abigail Rai From Queen Mary Higher Secondary School Mokokchung District of Nagaland State. The only Gorkha Girl who has bagged Rank 4 (Top-4) securing 92% Science Stream, in the recent Exam of NAGALAND BOARD OF SCHOOL EDUCATION.NBSE.

Pravish Chteri from Nagaland scores 93.83% in HSLC
Mr.Pravish Chetri from ‪‎Kohima‬ Nagaland who has Secured-93.83% and Bagged Top-18 in Class-10 (Matriculation) in the recent Exam of Nagaland Board of School Education (HSLC).

Sidhhart Chhetri from Banarhat scores 96% in ICSE
Sidhhart Chhetri a student of Sarwan Memorial School, Banarhat for scoring 96% in ICSE.Sidhhart comes from Palashbari tea garden and is an amazingly talented student, and given that he comes from a small rural school and yet has managed to score such a high marks through his grit, determination and scholarship.

Dawa Sherpa 89% and Urgen Sherpa 87% in HS from St. Robert's School Darjeeling 
St. Robert's School Darjeeling Dawa Sherpa with 89% and Urgen Sherpa 87% in Higher Secondary exams tops GTA region in Higher Secondary Examinations 2016. Dawa Sherpa has topped in HS Science stream with 89% and Urgen Sherpa has topped the Arts stream with 87% in Higher Secondary exams.In addition to Dawa Sherpa other St. Roberts students Subhash Tamang has scored 87.4%. Shailendra Pradhan has scored 85.2% and Sangay Tamang has scored 82%.

Prachi Chhetri scored 95.4% in 12 Commerce CBSE from Jharkhand
Gorkhali Daughter Miss Prachi Chhetri, Daughter of Sri Santosh Chhetri from Ranchi, Jharkhand, Scored 95.4% in 12 Commerce from CBSE Board.

Sushmita Rai Scored 90.02% in 12 Commerce CBSE from Ranchi
Sushmita Rai (Kuki), D/O Sri Subodh Rai Scored 90.02% in 12 Commerce from CBSE Board.

With Input from TheDC, Gorkha Youth, Ranchi

Yeti, actually existed - Himalayas mystery solved

9:15 AM
One of the greatest mysteries of the Himalayas may have finally been solved.

Genetic testing has led scientists to believe that the abominable snowman - the Yeti, actually existed but it was actually a cross between an ancient polar bear and brown bear.

Hair samples from what is believed to be that of the Yeti have been found to genetically match that of an ancient polar bear dating back 120,000 years.

Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University, conducted the research.

Dr Sykes has over many years assembled substantial physical evidence, which he has subjected to the most sophisticated DNA tests available, to answer scientifically the mystery of Bigfoot.

The professor said "This is an exciting and completely unexpected result".

Dr Sykes however said the finding does not mean ancient polar bears are still wandering around the Himalayas.

"But it could mean there is a sub species of brown bear in the high Himalayas which descended from the bear that was the ancestor of the polar bear. Or it could mean there has been more recent hybridisation between the brown bear and the descendent of the ancient polar bear," Dr Sykes said.

Bone chilling stories of the horrifying Yeti have been synonymous to the Himalayas for centuries with local people and some of the world's greatest mountaineers including legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who became the first man to climb Everest without oxygen, claiming to have had a terrifying encounter with a large hairy, ape-like creature.

Himalayan folk lore is rife with tales of an elusive beast that have hardly been photographed.

Professor Sykes has collected and tested hair samples of several animals found in the Himalayas.

He tested two ancient hair samples which locals of high Himalayan villages claimed were that of the Yeti. One of the samples was that of an animal found in Ladakh (India) and the other from Bhutan, 800 miles away.

The DNA tests then compared the results to other animals' genomes stored on the GenBank database. Professor Sykes to his amazement found a 100% match with a sample from an ancient polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard, Norway, that dates back at least 40,000 years - and probably around 120,000 years.

This has made professor Sykes believe that the most likely explanation is that the Yeti is actually a hybrid between polar bears and brown bears.

A Yeti footprint on the base of Mount Everest taken by British climber Eric Shipton sparked a global interest in the abominable snowman post 1951.

Sorce : timesofindia

Too much social media may affect short-term memory - study

9:32 AM
Always online? Take a break!People who spend too much time browsing social media could be squandering their memories or losing important information, a new study has warned.
Contrary to common wisdom, an idle brain is in fact doing important work - and in the age of constant information overload, it's a good idea to go offline on a regular basis, according to a researcher from Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Erik Fransen, whose research focuses on short-term memory and ways to treat diseased neurons, said that a brain exposed to a typical session of social media browsing can easily become hobbled by information overload.

The result is that less information gets filed away in your memory.

The problem begins in a system of the brain commonly known as the working memory, or what most people know as short-term memory. That's the system of the brain that we need when we communicate, Fransen said.

"Working memory enables us to filter out information and find what we need in the communication. It enables us to work online and store what we find online, but it's also a limited resource," he said.

"At any given time, the working memory can carry up to three or four items. When we attempt to stuff more information in the working memory, our capacity for processing information begins to fail.

"When you are on Facebook, you are making it harder to keep the things that are 'online' in your brain that you need. "In fact, when you try to process sensory information like speech or video, you are going to need partly the same system of working memory, so you are reducing your own working memory capacity.

"And when you try to store many things in your working memory, you get less good at processing information," he said.

You're also robbing the brain of time it needs to do some necessary housekeeping. The brain is designed for both activity and relaxation, Fransen said.

"The brain is made to go into a less active state, which we might think is wasteful; but probably memory consolidation, and transferring information into memory takes place in this state. Theories of how memory works explain why these two different states are needed.

"When we max out our active states with technology equipment, just because we can, we remove from the brain part of the processing, and it can't work," Fransen said.

Source :

New AIDS vaccine may completely eradicate HIV from body

9:31 PM
A promising new AIDS vaccine may be able to completely eradicate the deadly HIV from the body, a new study has claimed.

AIDS vaccine
The HIV/AIDS vaccine candidate developed at Oregon Health & Science University has demonstrated the capacity to effectively remove all traces of an AIDS-causing virus from non-human primates, researchers said.
The promising vaccine is being tested through the use of a non-human primate form of HIV, called simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV, which causes AIDS in monkeys.
Following further development, it is hoped an HIV-form of the vaccine candidate can soon be tested in humans.
"To date, HIV infection has only been cured in a very small number of highly publicised but unusual clinical cases in which HIV-infected individuals were treated with anti-viral medicines very early after the onset of infection or received a stem cell transplant to combat cancer," said Louis Picker, associate director of the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute.
"This latest research suggests that certain immune responses elicited by a new vaccine may also have the ability to completely remove HIV from the body," said Picker.
The Picker lab\'s approach involves the use of cytomegalovirus, or CMV, a common virus already carried by a large percentage of the population.
Researchers discovered that pairing CMV with SIV had a unique effect. They found that a modified version of CMV engineered to express SIV proteins generates and indefinitely maintains so-called "effector memory" T-cells that are capable of searching out and destroying SIV-infected cells.
T-cells are a key component of the body\'s immune system, which fights off disease, but T-cells elicited by conventional vaccines of SIV itself are not able to eliminate the virus.
The SIV-specific T-cells elicited by the modified CMV were different. About 50 per cent of monkeys given highly pathogenic SIV after being vaccinated with this vaccine became infected with SIV but over time eliminated all trace of SIV from the body.
In effect, the hunters of the body were provided with a much better targeting system and better weapons to help them find and destroy an elusive enemy.
"Through this method we were able to teach the monkey\'s body to better \'prepare its defences\' to combat the disease," said Picker.
"Our vaccine mobilised a T-cell response that was able to overtake the SIV invaders in 50 per cent of the cases treated. Moreover, in those cases with a positive response, our testing suggests SIV was banished from the host. We are hopeful that pairing our modified CMV vector with HIV will lead to a similar result in humans," said Picker.
The study was published in the journal Nature.

Source :

Why do men rape? Asia - Study

10:43 AM
CNN-- Why do rape perpetrators commit such acts?
In the first of its kind, a multi-country survey looked at how widespread rape and sexual violence is in six Asia-Pacific countries. And it also asked why.
A quarter of the men interviewed, said they had raped a woman or girl.
The report published in the medical journal The Lancet also brought insight into the socio-economic circumstances of the men who rape.
The study by the Partners for Prevention, comprised of several U.N. agencies, asked 10,178 men about their lives. They gathered information from the following countries: Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka.

How widespread is rape?

How widespread is rape?

The questionnaire did not contain the word "rape," because of the researcher's belief that most men do not think they have raped when they force women to have sex.
Instead, participants were asked questions like whether they ever "forced a woman who was not your wife or girlfriend at the time to have sex," if they ever "had sex with a woman who was too drunk or drugged to indicate whether she wanted it" or forced a partner, when she did not want to.
Here is the percentage of respondents who said they had raped a partner or non-partner.

In most countries, between one in five reported perpetrating a rape, although Papua New Guinea leads this proportion with more than half.
Rape of women in marriage was much more prevalent than non-partner rape, the survey found.

When does it start?

Early. More than half of respondents who raped a non-partner first did so as a teenager, with most of their first crimes occurring between the age of 15 and 19.

The study's authors say this "reinforces the need for early rape prevention if one is to intervene before the first rape is committed."

What's the likelihood of repeat offenses?

High. Nearly half of the respondents who said they had committed rape, perpetrated the crime on different women.

They were asked how many different women they had raped:

55.4% said they have raped 1 woman
28.3% said they have raped 2-3 women
12% said they have raped 4-10 women
4.2% said they have raped 10 or more women
Are women always the victim of sexual violence?


6.2% of respondents say they have raped a man and a woman as a single perpetrator
30.2% of respondents say they have raped a man and a woman among multiple perpetrators (with others/in a group setting)

Why did they commit rape?

Sexual entitlement means a man feels he has a right to have sex, despite what the woman wants. Some respondents expressed they were bored, so rape was a pursuit of entertainment. Punishment was also cited as a reason, saying that some wanted to punish a female or was angry with the person.

Are there consequences for the rape?

Prison sentences were rare, with less than a quarter of the perpetrators receiving jail time. The study found:
55.2% said they felt guilt
35.7% said they were punished by friends or family
32.5% said they were arrested
22.9% said they were sent to prison

What's the background of a repeat rape offender?

Men with a history of victimization, such as experiencing childhood physical or sexual abuse, emotional abuse or neglect in childhood, were more likely to commit sexual violence than those without such a past, according to the study.
It also found that men who were poor or had no high school education were more likely to have raped in a group setting.
50% of multiple perpetrators had no high school education
74.8% of multiple perpetrators had ever married or co-habitated
60.5% of multiple perpetrators experienced childhood physical abuse
43.1% of multiple perpetrators rarely or never had their father at home

Source :

Fruit juices and smoothies risk to our health - Study

1:25 PM
Researchers from the US have pointed out that fruit juices and smoothies are now a new risk to our health because of the amount of sugar the healthy drinks are believed to contain.
Image courtesy Shutterstock

Barry Popkin and George Bray pointed the finger at high fructose corn syrup in soft drinks in 2004, causing a huge headache for the big manufacturers, including Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Popkin, a distinguished professor at the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, told the Guardian that smoothies and fruit juice are the new danger.

He added that it’s kind of the next step in the evolution of the battle, and it’s a really big part of it because in every country they’ve been replacing soft drinks with fruit juice and smoothies as the new healthy beverage.

Researchers from the UK, USA and Singapore found that, in large-scale studies involving nurses, people who ate whole fruit, especially blueberries, grapes and apples, were less likely to get type 2 diabetes, which is obesity-related, but those who drank fruit juice were at increased risk.

People who swapped their fruit juice for whole fruits three times a week cut their risk by 7 percent.

The British Soft Drinks Association says that consumption of soft drinks containing added sugar has fallen by 9 percent over the last 10 years, while the incidence of obesity has risen by 15 percent.

The study is published in the journal Pediatric Obesity.

Source :

Indian men have the least sex

12:08 PM
A survey conducted by Men's Health found that males in India have sex an average of once a week, while Croatian men were the mostly likely to get dirty in parks, pools and cars.

When it comes to the sexcapades of men around the world, Croatians have the most partners in their lifetimes, Indians think their women are faking it, and British men and women are most likely to take a page from "50 Shades of Grey," according to a new survey.
Men's Health found that Indian men have sex less than once a week on average. This was the lowest rate among the 30 participating countries. Almost half of the Indian males surveyed (48%) said they believe their partners often fake orgasm, and the average man has had just three bedroom companions.


Meanwhile, men in Croatia reported having an average of 11 partners each, making them the most promiscuous guys on the planet. They were also more likely than males from other countries to get it on in parks, fields, pools and cars, according to The Telegraph.
British men and women were deemed the kinkiest based on the survey. British ladies had an average of nine partners each.
And men around the world might want to learn a thing or two from their Dutch brothers. The Netherlands was the only country where women said they were happy with the amount of foreplay that was offered.
Nearly 50,800 people around the world participated in the survey.


Men's Health India's managing editor Bobby Varkey told The Telegraph that Indians may live in noisy "joint homes," which prevents them from having sex as often as they'd like because of the lack of privacy. He said that having an extramarital affair is incredibly taboo in India. Varkey also drew a link between apparent sexual frustration among men and the nation's epidemic of rape and violence against women.
Ranjana Kumari of the Center for Social Research, however, challenged this notion. She pointed out that 95% of people in India are in arranged marriages, and half wed by the time they turn 18.
"Sexual access is very much there for men," she told The Telegraph. "I wouldn't want to generalise that India is a frustrated [sexual] culture. Rape isn't about sex but about men who think they can control women and instill fear in them."

Source :

Study : Eating raspberries can enhance fertility

12:00 PM
London, August 26 (ANI): A new study has claimed that eating raspberries could potentially enhance fertility in both men and women.

Eating raspberries can enhance fertility
Raspberries can enhance fertility

The berries are believed to have high levels of Vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient in male fertility , and magnesium that helps in the production of testosterone, the Daily Express reported.

Raspberries also contain 10 times additional antioxidants than tomatoes, and are potent in protecting sperm.

Even after a woman has conceived, the antioxidants continue to protect the embryo and decrease the risk of miscarriage. (ANI)

Skipping Breakfast Increases Risk Of Heart Attack

10:33 AM
Yet another reason to eat breakfast in the morning–doing so may prevent you from having a heart attack.
Skipping Breakfast Increases  Risk Of Heart Attack
Skipping Breakfast Increases  Risk Of Heart Attack

A recent study of men aged 45-82 who regularly skipped breakfast demonstrated a 27% increase in risk of having a heart attack or developing coronary artery disease compared with those who ate breakfast daily. Although the research was done in older men, researchers believe the results may likely apply to the broader population as a whole.

It is important to note that this was an observational study, and cannot prove a cause and effect relationship between consumption of breakfast and risk of heart attack.

The research was published in the Journal, Circulation, July 22.

The researchers evaluated 27,000 men regarding their daily eating habits in 1992. Based on their results, 13% of the respondents stated that they routinely skipped breakfast. These men were all at least 45 years of age and had professional careers. Over the next 16 years, 1,527 suffered a heart attack-fatal or nonfatal.

After accounting for other variables such as smoking, alcohol use, diet, high blood pressure and diabetes, this equated to a 27% percent added risk for skipping breakfast.

More details of the study revealed that younger men were more likely to skip breakfast than older men. Other factors associated with skipping breakfast included smoking, drinking alcohol regularly, working full time, being unmarried, and being less physically active overall.

Of note, previous research has shown a relationship between skipping breakfast and developing high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes—all a precursor to the development of the dangerous metabolic syndrome- an important risk for heart disease.

What distinguishes the current study is the role of skipping breakfast and its future relationship to having a heart attack.

So why does skipping breakfast lead to an increased risk for having a heart attack?

Researchers believe that people who skip breakfast tend to eat larger, more calorically dense meals later in the day, often late into the night, to compensate for the lack of an early morning meal. They also tend to eat more meals later into the night.

Eating later into the night–the case for a small number of men in the study who awoke after initally going to sleep– was associated with a 55 % increase in the incidence of developing coronary artery disease. The overall risk, however, was perceived to be small, since only a minority of men in this study exhibited this behavior.

Ultimately, however, this means fewer hours in the day to process additional, more calorically dense foods, which lead to higher levels of blood sugars and more intense and frequent insulin spikes. This process is thought to be a precursor to premature development of coronary artery disease, more commonly termed atherogenesis.

One drawback of the study was that researchers did not ask what participants actually ate for breakfast. So whether they ate sausage, biscuits with gravy, or a big stack of buttery pancakes was never investigated. The question is whether eating fat laden, highly caloric breakfast foods is better than skipping breakfast altogether.

The issue of when you eat, as well as the content of what you eat is currently a topic of debate. It is unclear what is more important, but it is likely a combination of both factors that is pivotal.

The bottom line is that people who eat breakfast generally eat fewer calories throughout the day, and are usually healthier than those who do not eat breakfast.

According to data from the NPD group, as many as 10% of US adults–30 million people–routinely skip breakfast.

The take home message is that eating breakfast is an important component of a healthy lifestyle.

If results of the research examined here can be demonstrated in women, as well as among other races and ethnic groups, then eating breakfast may become an important preventive health measure for the public.

Of note, a January, 2013 New England Journal of Medicine article published this year called into question the concept that eating breakfast actually reduces obesity, examining various myths associated with gaining weight. The article evaluated data from two specific studies that demonstrated that breakfast eaters did not have a reduction in rates of obesity.

Gold on Earth must have come from colliding dead stars

10:24 PM
NEW DELHI: All the gold on Earth must have come from colliding dead stars, scientists have suggested after studying a gamma ray burst (GRB) that happened when two neutron stars collided on June 3 rdthis year.

Gold on Earth must have come from colliding dead stars

It was known that gold must have cosmic origins like many of the heavier elements. But gold is so heavy that it could not be created even in stars, like iron. It needed a cataclysmic event for gold to be forged.

Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astronomy (CfA) observing the gamma ray burst last month found that a unique glow that persisted for days at the GRB location potentially signifies the creation of substantial amounts of heavy elements - including gold. The gamma ray burst was a death scream of two neutron stars colliding and merging, some 3.9 billion light years away.

Neutron stars are super-dense stars made of just neutrons. They are born after a star explodes in a supernova. A neutron star is said to have a density like a Boeing 747 compressed to the size of a grain of sand.

"We estimate that the amount of gold produced and ejected during the merger of the two neutron stars may be as large as 10 moon masses - quite a lot of bling!" says lead author Edo Berger of the CfA in a statement.

Although the gamma rays disappeared in just one-fifth of a second, a slowly fading glow dominated by infrared light persisted for some more time. Its brightness and behavior didn't match a typical ""afterglow,"" which is created when a high-speed jet of particles slams into the surrounding environment.

Instead, the glow behaved like it came from exotic radioactive elements. The neutron-rich material ejected by colliding neutron stars can generate such elements, which then undergo radioactive decay, emitting a glow that's dominated by infrared light - exactly what the team observed.

"We've been looking for a 'smoking gun' to link a short gamma-ray burst with a neutron star collision. The radioactive glow from GRB 130603B may be that smoking gun," explains Wen-fai Fong, a graduate student at the CfA and a co-author of the paper.

The team calculates that about one-hundredth of a solar mass of material was ejected by the gamma-ray burst, some of which was gold. By combining the estimated gold produced by a single short GRB with the number of such explosions that have occurred over the age of the universe, all the gold in the cosmos might have come from gamma-ray bursts.

"To paraphrase Carl Sagan, we are all star stuff, and our jewelry is colliding-star stuff," says Berger.

The team's results have been submitted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters and are available online.

Inadequate sleep during pregnancy can lead to complications

6:01 PM
Los Angeles: Scientists have shown that inadequate sleep during pregnancy can lead to complications and hinder normal immune processes, says a study.
Inadequate sleep during pregnancy can lead to complications

Women with depression are more likely than non-depressed women to suffer from disturbed sleep and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine conducted the research and the study was published in the journal "Psychosomatic Medicine".

"Our results highlight the importance of identifying sleep problems in early pregnancy, especially in women experiencing depression, since sleep is a modifiable behaviour," said Michele Okun, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Pitt`s School of Medicine and lead author of the report. "The earlier that sleep problems are identified, the sooner physicians can work with pregnant women to implement solutions."

There is a dynamic relationship between sleep and immunity, and this study is the first to examine this relationship during pregnancy as opposed to postpartum," added Dr. Okun.


Androgen deprivation therapy risk of developing kidney problems

8:50 PM
The treatment, known as androgen deprivation therapy, lowers the risk of death among men with advanced, aggressive prostate cancer.

Androgen deprivation therapy risk of developing kidney problems
Coloured scanning electron micrograph of two prostate cancer cells in the final stage of cell division. Photograph: VVG/Science photo library

However, researchers said it's increasingly being used to treat possible recurrences among men with less advanced disease - for whom the benefits are less clear, and the risks more worrisome.

"Our study does raise the concern that perhaps we should be more careful in prescribing androgen deprivation therapy in patients who do not have the clear indication for it," said Laurent Azoulay, who worked on the research at McGill University in Montreal.

"It's all about the balance, finding the right population for which the benefits clearly outweigh the risks," he told Reuters Health.

Hormone-targeted treatment has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.

For their study, Azoulay and his colleagues used UK data on 10,250 men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1997 and 2008. The men were followed for an average of just over four years after their diagnosis.

During that time, 232 of them developed an acute kidney injury - a rapid drop in kidney function. The researchers compared those men to 2,721others from the study who were the same age and were not diagnosed with kidney problems.

In total, just over half of the men were taking androgen deprivation therapy.

Azoulay and his colleagues found that men taking hormone-targeted therapy were between two and three times more likely to have their kidneys stop working, once their other health conditions and medicines were taken into account.

Unlike current use, past use of androgen deprivation therapy was not tied to a higher risk of kidney injury, the study team wrote Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Azoulay said it's possible that changes in testosterone and estrogen levels among men on hormonal therapy might affect kidney health and how the kidneys repair themselves after an injury.

If the finding is replicated in other studies, he said doctors should consider checking men's kidney function before prescribing androgen deprivation therapy.

Dr. Vahakn Shahinian, who has studied risks of hormone treatment at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, called the findings "a bit of a surprise."

He told Reuters Health that it's still not clear if a link between androgen deprivation therapy and kidney injury makes sense biologically.

"It's interesting, but it certainly would require some kind of further validation… before I'd be willing to believe that this was a real effect," said Shahinian, who wasn't involved in the new study.

Still, he agreed with Azoulay that doctors should be cautious about prescribing hormone-targeted therapy.

"Where there's a clear-cut benefit, people should continue to use it and not worry about this," Shahinian said.

However, he added, "it's in those settings where there's an uncertainty about the benefits that you have to be more worried about the side effects. And I think this adds to that list."

He said that if men's doctors prescribe androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, they should ask how much evidence there is for its use in their particular situation.

"They should find out if it's an area where there's been a clear-cut established benefit or if it's an area where there's a gray zone," Shahinian said.

SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, online July 16, 2013.

Fat moms-to-be gives birth to bigger and fatter babies

5:22 PM
Moms-to-be who gain too much weight early into their pregnancy are nearly three times as likely to give birth to bigger and fatter babies, warns a University of Alberta researcher.

A study of 172 expectant mothers found that women who gained excessive weight during the first half of pregnancy gave birth to heavier and longer babies with more body fat than babies of women who either did not gain as much weight or put it on later in their pregnancy.

Fat moms-to-be bigger and fatter babies

The results underscore the need to educate expectant mothers about the dangers of early weight gain during pregnancy and importance of healthy eating and exercise, said lead author Margie Davenport, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation.

"Expectant mothers and health professionals need to be aware of pregnancy weight-gain guidelines and follow them to build a foundation for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby," said Davenport.

The study

The study included data from 172 healthy, expectant mothers living in London, Ontario, between 1995 and 2011. The women were non-smokers with a body mass index of at least 18.5 when they were between 16 and 20 weeks pregnant. A BMI below 18.5 is considered too thin; anything above 25 is considered overweight.

All women in the study were encouraged to follow a basic exercise program of three to four aerobic workouts a week. They also had access to eating guidelines to promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

Maternal weight gain was scored against the 2009 Institute for Medicine guidelines for pregnancy, comparing data with their pre-pregnancy BMI.

More than half of the study participants – 52% – gained excessive weight during their pregnancies; however, women who gained weight during the first half of their pregnancy were 2.7 times more likely to give birth to bigger, heavier babies. These babies also had excessive body fat, greater than 14%.

"Healthy eating and physical activity when pregnant have long-lasting benefits to mother and child," Davenport said. "Infants who are larger at birth tend to become larger children, and that creates a risk for developing into obese and overweight children and adults."

Eating for two

Sarah O'Hara knows the dangers of gaining too much weight too quickly, both as a new mom and a registered dietitian who specialises in obstetrics. One of the key challenges to ensuring expectant mothers eat properly is overcoming the old saying "eating for two", she said.

"For many mothers, eating for two is taken too literally. People feel like they've been given an allowance to eat whatever they want, and that can lead to weight gain," said O'Hara, a University of Alberta graduate.

During her own pregnancy she closely monitored her weight, stayed active and followed the Canada Food Guide, adding additional servings later in the pregnancy and eating extra dairy and protein, and limiting caffeine.

Staying active hasn't been a challenge for Carolyn Terry, who is seven months pregnant. A yoga instructor and University of Alberta graduate in kinesiology, Terry said expectant moms like her can maintain their physical activity levels, although some modification may be required.

"You have to work at your own level and listen to your body," she said.


Study : Statin-takers are less likely to die from cancer

10:04 AM
Washington, July 14 (ANI): A new study suggests that Statin-takers are less likely to die from cancer.

Statin-takers are less likely to die from cancer
Enzyme-inhibiting drugs known as statins have been widely used to lower cholesterol for decades.

Now, the new study suggests that they may offer other benefits beyond their typical use, CBS News reported.

Currently, statins are primarily prescribed to control cholesterol, and are typically prescribed if your total cholesterol is 240 or above, or if your LDL (a.k.a. "bad" cholesterol) is over 130. Some commonly prescribed statins are Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor.

The new study indicates that the drugs were safer than originally thought.

Researchers who looked at data from more than 250,000 people found that the drugs are safe.

Statins not only lower cholesterol, but research has shown that they can also decrease inflammation throughout the body, which leads many physicians to argue that statins can be used to treat problems associated with it.

Statins' heart benefits outweigh diabetes risk in pill-takers, study has shown.

In addition to lowering cholesterol, statins lower inflammation in the body, particularly in the blood vessels.

Inflammation is linked to a number of other diseases: Alzheimer's disease, a number of forms of cancer, strokes.

The drugs could also cause muscle pain or damage, nausea, headaches, or elevated liver enzymes.

The findings are published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. (ANI)

Study:Earth’s 6-year twitch alters day length

7:20 PM
LONDON : Periodic jumps generated in the Earth’s core change the length of a day every 5.9 years on our planet, a new study has found.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool in UK studied the variations and fluctuations in the length of day over a one to 10 year period between 1962 and 2012.
Study:Earth’s 6-year twitch alters day length
Study:Earth’s 6-year twitch alters day length

They found that variations in the length of day over periods of between one and 10 years are caused by processes in the Earth’s core.

The Earth rotates once per day, but the length of this day varies. A year, 300 million years ago, lasted about 450 days and a day would last about 21 hours, researchers said.

As a result of the slowing down of the Earth’s rotation the length of day has increased.

The rotation of the Earth on its axis, however, is affected by a number of other factors — for example, the force of the wind against mountain ranges changes the length of the day by plus or minus a millisecond over a period of a year.

Professor Richard Holme, from the School of Environmental Sciences studied the variations and fluctuations in the length of day over a one to 10 year period between 1962 and 2012.

The study took account of the effects on the Earth’s rotation of atmospheric and oceanic processes to produce a model of the variations in the length of day on time scales longer than a year.

“The model shows well-known variations on decadal time scales, but importantly resolves changes over periods between one and 10 years,” said Holme.

Previously these changes were poorly characterised; the study shows they can be explained by just two key signals, a steady 5.9 year oscillation and episodic jumps which occur at the same time as abrupt changes in the Earth’s magnetic field, generated in the Earth’s core.

“This study changes fundamentally our understanding of short-period dynamics of the Earth’s fluid core. It leads us to conclude that the Earth’s lower mantle, which sits above the Earth’s outer core, is a poor conductor of electricity giving us new insight into the chemistry and mineralogy of the Earth’s deep interior,” said Holme.

The study was published in the journal Nature.

Extinct insects help scientists how animals respond to global climate change

1:34 PM
TORONTO: Biologists have discovered a new, extinct family of insects that will help scientists better understand how some animals responded to global climate change and the evolution of communities.

The researchers have named the new family the Eorpidae, after the Eocene Epoch, the age when these insects lived some 50 million years ago.

The fossils were found in British Columbia and Washington state, most prominently at the McAbee Fossil Beds near Cache Creek.

This new family raises questions about its extinction. Insect families have steadily accumulated since before the Eocene, with few, scattered losses - apart from the distinct exception of a cluster of family extinction within a group of scorpionflies that includes the Eorpidae.

"The Eorpidae was part of a cluster of six closely related families in the Eocene, but today this group is reduced to two. Why were these different?" said Bruce Archibald from Simon Fraser University in Canada.

"We believe the answer may lay in a combination of two large-scale challenges that would have hit them hard: the evolutionary diversification of a strong competitive group and global climate change," he said.

In a major evolutionary diversification, ants evolved from a small group to become major ecological players in the Eocene, now competing with these scorpionflies for the same food resource in a whole new, efficient manner.

"These scorpionfly families appear to have retained their need to inhabit cooler climates, but to persist there, they would need to evolve toleration for cold winters, a feat that only the two surviving families may have accomplished," Archibald said.

"Understanding the evolutionary history of these insects adds another piece to the puzzle of how animal communities change as climate does but in this case, when an interval of global warming ends," he said.

The study was published in the Journal of Paleontology.
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