By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDMar 13 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Wireless earphones could be releasing potentially carcinogenic radiation into the heads of the users, finds a new study. Mohd Syis Zulkipl | ShutterstockA group of 250 experts and researchers have signed a petition to the United Nations and World Health Organisation to stop the use of these and other wireless devices.The researchers explain that these wireless ear pieces use a type of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiowave via Bluetooth technology to transmit data. The closeness of this radiation to the brains of the users is cause for concern, say the researchers.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedJerry Phillips, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Colorado said, “My concern for AirPods is that their placement in the ear canal exposes tissues in the head to relatively high levels of radio-frequency radiation.” Phillips is one of the many scientists who have called for a restriction on use of such devices.The petition reads, “Based upon peer-reviewed, published research, we have serious concerns regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices.” It goes on to say that the risk of cancer, neurological disorders, and DNA damage that have been associated with EMF exposure cannot be ignored.The International Agency for Research on Cancer too recently agreed that these EMF waves could be “possibly carcinogenic” to humans. These waves are similar to UV rays or X raysbut are not as powerful. They can cause burns at high concentration but are generally of less impact. The debate about whether they are carcinogenic is still ongoing.The World Health Organisation developed guidelines that regulate the amount of EMF the devices are allowed to emit. The petition adds, “The various agencies setting safety standards have failed to impose sufficient guidelines to protect the general public, particularly children who are more vulnerable to the effects of EMF. By not taking action, the WHO is failing to fulfil its role as the preeminent international public health agency.”The guidelines insist that phones should be kept away from the body when not in use. Sleeping with the phone is not a good practice and usage of headsets or headphones to conduct phone calls is suggested as a good option. Sources:Original editorial article: “Are AirPods and Other Bluetooth Headphones Safe?”.IARC classifies radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans. WHO.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 17 2019The commonly used diabetes drug metformin could reverse the harmful thickening of heart muscle that leads to cardiovascular disease, according to a study at the University of Dundee.Scientists led by Professor Chim Lang, Head of the Division of Molecular and Clinical Medicine at Dundee, discovered that metformin has the potential to be repurposed as a heart disease treatment in non-diabetic patients.The MET-REMODEL Trial, published today in the prestigious European Heart Journal, showed that metformin, used to treat type 2 diabetes safely for the last six decades, reduced left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in patients with prediabetes and pre-existing heart disease. LVH is the thickening of the muscle wall in the heart’s left pumping chamber and is a serious risk factor for future heart attack, stroke and heart failure.LVH is often a silent symptom and most people do not know they have it prior to experiencing a heart attack or stroke. Large studies have previously shown that patients with LVH are at higher risk of adverse cardiovascular events and reducing LVH can substantially reduce mortality rates.Professor Lang said, “Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of global mortality. We have previously shown that metformin can have beneficial effects in patients with cardiovascular diseases. But this is the first time anyone has looked specifically at the effects of metformin on LVH in nondiabetic patients with coronary artery disease in a clinical trial.”The study involved treating prediabetic people with coronary artery disease with metformin or a placebo over a period of 12 months to see how the drug affected the heart muscle wall, using state-of-the-art MRI technology.”The major causes of LVH are high blood pressure, obesity and insulin resistance, which are also thought to be key contributors of coronary artery disease. The dangerous thickening of the left ventricle was reduced by twice as much in those taking metformin compared to the placebo.Related StoriesHeart disease is still the number 1 killer in Australia, according the latest figuresTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockRNA-binding protein SRSF3 appears to be key factor for proper heart contraction, survival”We also found that metformin reduced blood pressure, oxidative stress and lost body weight – an average of 3.6 kg, compared to no changes in the placebo group. If the findings from this study are substantiated in a larger-scale study, metformin could offer hope for millions of patients across the globe.”The MET-REMODEL trial, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), is the first clinical trial in the world to show that metformin could reverse harmful thickening heart muscle wall in a clinical trial. Repurposing cheap and readily available drugs, such as metformin, to treat other health conditions could potentially save the NHS billions of pounds every year.Mohapradeep Mohan, lead author and principal investigator of the MET-REMODEL trial, said blood pressure medications were the standard treatment modalities for LVH but that this approach was not particularly effective as LVH can also be present in patients who have well-controlled blood pressure. This highlighted the need for new treatment strategies in these patients.”In this context, we need non-blood pressure medication and we had good reason to suppose that metformin should help to reduce thickening of heart muscle wall,” he said.”The findings from our study reinforce the notion that metformin has the potential to improve cardiovascular health, offering the possibility of improving life expectancy of patients. From the standpoint of clinical practice, this drug is already approved and well tolerated with minimal side effects.”If our findings are backed up by bigger studies, using metformin to target LVH presents a novel treatment option and unique opportunity for a quicker translation to the clinic. We are thankful to BHF for funding this study and extremely grateful to all the participants of this study.” Source:https://www.dundee.ac.uk/ read more
ministers (government) SHARE SHARE EMAIL Former Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar took charge as Union Minister for External Affairs on Friday gaining the distinction of becoming the first career diplomat to be given the key portfolio.Jaishankar, who was sworn in as the Foreign Minister about sixteen months after retiring as the Foreign Secretary, has to focus on improving India’s ties with neighbouring countries, tackling Pakistan, as well as making a mark in global forums like the G-20 alliance and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.A former ambassador to the US who also spent a number of years in China, Jaishankar is expected to delicately handle India’s diplomatic and economic relationship with both the countries which, at the moment, are engaged in a trade war.The touch decision of whether India should continue sourcing oil from Iran, a long-standing partner of India, at the risk of irking the US which has threatened sanctions against such action, will also need to be taken by India under the new Minister’s leadership. S Jaishankar, the first-time Minister SHARE RELATED Published on COMMENTS May 31, 2019 COMMENT S Jaishankar read more
May 30, 2019 politics COMMENT Published on SHARE Prasad is a key face of the party nationally and will be a vital cog in the wheels of the new Cabinet Ravi Shankar Prasad, who emerged victorious against the Congress’ Shatrughan Sinha in a high-stakes battle for the Patna Sahib constituency, is making his Lok Sabha debut. Prasad, who started out as a volunteer of the ABVP, the students’ wing of the RSS, played an active role in protests against Emergency. He became a member of the national executive committee of the BJP in 1995 and was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the first time in 2000. Prasad has held Minister of State portfolios in the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led government and was appointed the BJP’s national spokesperson in 2005. As the Electronics and IT Minister in the previous Modi-led government, Prasad played a leading role in boosting the manufacturing of electronic products in India, with major players such as Samsung and Xiaomi widening their presence. Under the Digital India initiative, he also focused on setting up Common Service Centres that helped people avail digital services from the government. Prasad also served as Law Minister and handled the Triple Talaq issue. Prasad is a key face of the party nationally and will be a vital cog in the wheels of the new Cabinet. ministers (government) Elections 2019 national politics 0 SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS read more
Press Trust of India New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 16:25 IST Shashi Tharoor with Rahul Gandhi.Parliamentarians who have a slightly different relationship with their constituencies and are less frequently seen there have a rough time, according to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.Speaking at a conclave in Delhi on Thursday, Tharoor, who has been elected to the Lok Sabha from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala thrice in a row since 2009, said he believes he has done his job properly and that is the reason why people have reposed faith in him.After the recent Lok Sabha elections results, critics attributed the loss of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from his family’s pocket borough Amethi to his disconnect with the voters of that constituency.Tharoor, though, pointed towards only MPs from the BJP and those from northern India in support of his contention.”MPs, particularly those from the north, who have a slightly different relationship with their constituencies and are less frequently seen there have a rough time,” he said.”They are the ones who can perhaps win only in Narendra Modi’s name and they do, like this time. But for most of us what differentiates us is precisely the work we do in our constituencies,” he said.He said people re-elected him as they believe that he has done his job properly.”People have seen me, seen me attending to their needs and that’s why they have trusted and voted for me.”Tharoor was speaking on the topic “Clients and Constituents: Political Responsiveness in Patronage Democracies” which is also the title of a book by academician Jennifer Bussell.The third edition of the South Asia Conclave organised by Oxford University Press witnessed researchers, policymakers, bureaucrats, academicians, and journalists from debating contemporary ideas that define modern South Asia.The conclave closely examined the key issues impacting the region, such as political challenges related to ethnic and religious diversity, identity politics, ethnic violence, terrorism, separatism, governance, economic growth, gender consciousness, national security, changes in culture and social structure as well as the significance of diaspora.Also Read | Shashi Tharoor uses cricket analogy to criticise Union BudgetAlso Watch | Congress altered ground reality while in power, Shashi Tharoor hits back at PM ModiFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanchari Chatterjee Next MPs not frequenting their constituencies have rough time: Shashi TharoorCongress MP Shashi Tharoor has said MPs who do not visit their constituencies often have a tough time.advertisement read more