Kallikattu Sivarama Parthasarathy comments

Posted in: Tiny 'fitbits' to keep tabs on the body from within See in context

Very impressive development in microelectronics

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Posted in: Solar firm bankruptcies hit record high for 1st half of 2016 See in context

People who expected massive shift to solar power in Japan post Fukushima are disappointed.

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Posted in: Half-Indian elephant trainer crowned Miss Japan See in context

It is amusing to note that this unimportant topic elicited 169 comments so far!

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Posted in: To reverse damage of sitting, take a brisk, hour-long walk See in context

Least expensive and most useful exercise!

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Posted in: Naturally sweet granola bars are sure to be a hit with kids See in context

A very nutritious food item

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Posted in: For Mother’s Day, consider an epically delicious roast bird See in context

"Tandoori chicken" appears to be not popular with the readers.In spite of the tempting description of the final product, I believe that Ms. Meera's father still remains a vegetarian, just like me; over four years stay in foreign lands and travel to a large number of cities in many countries I remain what I was a strict vegetarian.

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Posted in: Chocolate Brownie Matcha Frappuccinos return to Starbucks See in context

The comments show that brutal uninhibited analysis will kill the joy of the connoisseur!

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Posted in: For some diseases, 'genetic destiny' can be averted: study See in context

Fantastic piece of detective work! That one has to analyze the genes of millions of people to get actionable results makes it virtually impossible to proceed. What is it that which makes human species amazingly sturdy? Ethical difficulties come in the way of genuine progress.

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Posted in: Meditation, cognitive therapy help back pain: study See in context

An important plus point is that mindfulness-based stress reduction and yoga do not cause any side effect unlike medications. Reduction of stress is likely to have other positive benefits such as reduction in BP. It is also beneficial to encourage such practices at an early age, before the arteries get clogged and innocence of childhood vanishes.

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Posted in: More evidence that aspirin lowers risk of cancer: study See in context

What is the exact mechanism which leads to reduction in colorectal cancer among those who eat aspirin regularly is not known. Till that is known what is observed remains just an observation!

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Posted in: Cell-based tests promise respite for lab animals: study See in context

Any step in reducing animal suffering and possibly avoiding it is a welcome development.

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Posted in: Sleeping in on weekends may help reduce diabetes risk See in context

This type of "study" must not be published. Human body and metabolism are too complicated .

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Posted in: Comsys starts up floating solar power plant in Hyogo See in context

There was a general feeling that the simultaneous closure of all nuclear power plants in Japan post Fukushima nuclear accident, may provide incentive to Japanese entrepreneurs and innovators to develop solar power more abundantly. It seems that it did not occur.

The floating solar power generating just over 2 MW may remain a curiosity. It was not clear this plant may be just one of its kind. Innovators must aim at developing individual roof mounted solar plant together with all its accessories rechargeable batteries etc and make it affordable to middle income families.

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Posted in: Exercise prescriptions important for type 2 diabetes See in context

It is a very good piece of advice.If it comes as apart of medical prescription patients tend to comply with them.

Regular exercise needs will power; life style changes need willful, conscious involvement. No wonder many will go for medication! The advantages of the former are not so obvious; exercise and lifestyle change have no side effects.

People with sweet tooth may find willful avoidance of sugar painfully difficult. People diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes may tend to read all labels of packaged ready- to- eat food stuffs to see how mush sugar they contain. Rather than going after variety, it may very well be beneficial to prepare in advance a list of foodstuffs one can consume and stick to it.

The biochemistry of sugar may not be difficult to understand. I have difficulty in understanding cellular kinetics of sugar. It is commonly known that sugar provides energy.The gastrointestinal tract swiftly absorbs sugar. Sugar appears in blood and over time it gets attached to red blood cells. A1C ratio is an indicator of the long term status of sugar absorption. I wondered whether the sugar attached to red blood cells will contribute energy or only those sugar molecules attached to tissues such as muscles will contribute energy.

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Posted in: Gene-editing technique heals mice with muscular dystrophy See in context

Very interesting and heart warming news during the beginning of the year. Past two years were actually the years of CRISPR!

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Posted in: Smoking bad for pets, study shows See in context

While attending the 10 th Annual Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association held at Hiroshima in May 2000, I was intrigued to note that at the end of every session a few delegates were rushing to a room at the further end the building. I thought that they were going there to collect some complimentary items such as ball pens, key chains etc from vendors of radiation equipment. I was wrong. They were rushing to the "Smoking room". They were specialists in estimating risks! They did not care where it mattered.

It did not surprise me. Many radiation safety professionals were addicted to smoking. A few of them abstained when they suffered clearly identifiable diseases associated with smoking. During the 60s and the 70s they listened to the budget speeches of the finance ministers mostly to figure out the tax proposals on cigarettes!

They knew that about fifty percent of smokers will die of it. Presently, the figure is more. Do they care about the pets when they do not care about themselves and their kids!

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Posted in: Antibiotic resistance threatening post-surgery recovery: survey See in context

This is clearly a very upsetting and scary news. If this could happen in countries where doctors prescribe antibiotics after due caution, what will be the condition in countries where antibiotics are prescribed and consumed with less care?

The way forward may be to make new useful antibiotics! The cycle will go on.

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Posted in: Antioxidants speed up cancer spread in mice: study See in context

When it comes to food, moderation is the key word. Consuming large quantities of antioxidants may have deleterious effects.Patients and diet promoting industries and physicians all must share the blame. Patients, particularly the aged and the infirm expect a "sumptuous" prescription. Physicians oblige. Diet supplements which contain bioactive compounds and other antioxidants form a major part of the prescription

Metabolic reactions in tissue do cause damage at molecular level due to free radical formation. Antioxidants neutralize them and help cellular repair.But these repairs need not always be error free. A few animal studies including the present one show that antioxidants may suppress tumour suppressor genes and speed up cancer growth.

May be if one needs antioxidants, it may be consumed through antioxidant containing foodstuffs rather than direct antioxidants. I am not a specialist. These are my random thoughts!

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Posted in: 10 vegetarian foods you can order at almost any Japanese restaurant See in context

I wish this article appeared in 2001 before I spent a few days in Hiroshima, Japan. It was difficult to begin with the first day. I located a chinese shop. I could get cooked rice and yoghurt. I could pick a few items for a sumptuous salad. I selected butter and cheese and nuts. May not ultimately be very tasty but there was no lack of nourishment!. I could get fruits. They were slightly costly. I located an Indian restaurant. The foodstuffs served by them was good.It was far off and was not reachable easily if I wanted to take Indian dishes daily. Overall, it was better than my experience in China

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Posted in: Glass, PET bottles, dishes thrown from high-rise condo See in context

It may prove to be too dangerous. A spanner dropped from the 16th floor of a building made a six inch hole on a pavement of bricks. It is worse than a bullet. In one instance, a passerby discovered dropping of stones from a sky scrapper as a prank by a minor boy. It stopped only when the parents were threatened with a police complaint against their delinquent son

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Posted in: Antibacterial soap no real threat to germs: study See in context

An excellent experimental study. It demonstrated that perception based on seeing or listening to advertisements may not be correct. Plain water may not be equally effective in removing bugs. water with dilute soap solution is more than adequate.

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Posted in: Pathway launches 'liquid biopsy' to find cancer in healthy people See in context

This DNA voyeurism is troubling! I wonder how a genetic counsellor can cope with the overabundance of data of doubtful use to help a patient to take the right decision. There is an urgent need for educating every one that every one shall die!. How they will die is not really difficult to explain! Cancer may claim 20%. The genomic evidence without clinical usefulness will do more harm than good.

Have we to go for "liquid biopsy" once in a year or twice! Once the scare is created companies selling such service can go laughing to the bank! Medical community should assert. They must save the gullible and vulnerable from exploitation.

Recently, there was a H1N1 scare in Mumbai The Times of India the leading daily in Mumbai reported that in defiance of the Union Health Ministry guidelines which stated that only serious and hospitalized patients need be tested private labs made staggering profits from panic stricken citizens. The labs collected Rs 82.5 million this year. The test costs between Rs 4,500 and Rs 6,000

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Posted in: How nuclear-free Japan made it through hottest summer yet without brownouts See in context

It is an interesting article. The comments of readers reflected their genuine concerns such as climate change due to greater fossil power consumption.I was intrigued to see that except for an indirect reference no one talked about nuclear power.

Many expected that energy specialists in Japan will use the nuclear free period to develop technological innovations to augment investments in solar and wind power industry. Apparently, it did not happen.Renewed interest in storage batteries capable of storing about 2 to 4 kilowatt is an instance in point. The technology to stabilize solar power by installing electronic stabilizers which play the game when solar and wind power moves up and down is an interesting area.

Bigger power utilities will share the fortunes of solar and wind power in the short term; they may not happy to see solar and wind power to disrupt their business model. The frailties of solar and wind power industry will become evident if they disclose the annual contribution. Accepting these issues, it is still worthwhile to produce wind and solar power to the extent possible<>

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Posted in: Music eases pain after surgery: study See in context

It may very well be that the impact of music after surgery is subjective. Let us not decry such research totally

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Posted in: Environment ministry objects to another coal-fired power plan See in context

Many countries do not have the luxury to choose one mode of power generation over another. Every mode will contribute to the energy mix. Coal power plants face a double whammy because of two reasons: release of large quantities of toxic materials such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium etc and copious amounts of green house gases.The impact of these pollutants are not obvious but accepted by medical agencies such the WHO

Scholarly reports on health impacts of climate change are available. According to The Lancet one of the most respected medical journals "tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century."

**One can access The Lancet report at:http://www.thelancet.com/commissions/climate-change.

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Posted in: Heatstroke sends over 10,000 people to hospital for 2nd week in a row See in context

Is the rise in numbers of heat -strokes a new phenomenon? What is the maximum -minimum temperature range during this season? The news appears to be scary. Is Japan facing the perils of climate change?

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Posted in: Manga relates company's quest to outwit cockroaches See in context

A timely, humorous and interesting piece when readers observe the Hiroshima day, the saddest day for humanity

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Posted in: Super-pricey ice cream cigars are this summer’s hottest cool treat See in context

It is ridiculous that the company created "a cigare ice cream" offering free visual advertisement to "cancer weeds". Their attempt is creative but what they indirectly promote free is destructive. May be their ice cream is the rave of the season. I am afraid I do not wish them well. This is particularly so as I fear that kids will keep the image in their mind to sample cigars when they become old enough to smoke. It is**** worthwhile to find out whether any cigar manufacturer is behind "cigar ice cream"

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Posted in: By The Numbers: The atomic bombing of Hiroshima See in context

Researchers carried out detailed studies of the health effects due to radiation exposure to large populations. They studied over 1,22,000 persons. Cancer deaths is found to increase linearly with dose at radiation exposure at levels above 200 mSv . At lower doses there are uncertainties. The A-bomb survivors studies helped in arriving at robust, practical radiation protection standards.

More recent data showed that radiation exposure can cause health effects other than cancer. Some researchers using different type of analysis of the same data available from Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) demonstrated the presence of a threshold dose below which cancer incidence does not occur. They claimed that this observation is in line with the latest findings at molecular level in tissue. This view is yet to get wider acceptance.

There are a few other important facts on the long term health effects of radiation. Unfortunately, media ignore them. No double headed monsters were born to the survivors of A-bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No genetic effects were seen among the children of the survivors. Since harmful mutations were seen when fruit-flies, mouse etc were studied, radiation safety professionals assume, as a matter of abundant caution, that they are likely in man also . Scientific community must be grateful to A-bomb survivors for their cooperation in participating in the long term studies on them. Over 58% of the survivors have died.

The following links lead to two my articles on the health effects at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/2001/09/06/stories/08060003.htm http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/scientists-question-basic-conclusion-of-abomb-survivors-study/article3742692.ece

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Posted in: Japan riled by WHO's Fukushima cancer warning See in context

The WHO's estimates of the potential health risks of the accident is based on the Linear No Threshold (LNT) hypothesis which assumes that the risk is proportional to dose down to zero. The LNT hypothesis is no more considered as gospel truth. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) is likely to come out with a statement to this effect. Calculating the health consequences of doses below 100mSv is being challenged by many specialists. The LNT hypothesis was a simple and practical way to enforce radiation protection.

Admittedly, it will take a while for public to change its perception. The most important fact is that while we consider the estimates based on LNT, we cannot rule out zero risk as well.

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