50 Books That Changed The World


For centuries, books have been written in an attempt to share knowledge, inspiration, and discoveries. Sometimes those books make such an impact that they change the way the world thinks about things. The following books have done just that by providing readers an education in politics and government, literature, society, academic subjects such as science and math, and religion.

1. The Republic by Plato.
2. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
3. The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine.
4. Common Sense by Thomas Paine.
5. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville.
6. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.
7. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe.
8. On Liberty by John Stewart Mill.
9. Das Kapital by Karl Marx.
10. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.
11. Guerilla Warfare by Che Guevara.
12. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.
13. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence.
14. Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.
15. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.
16. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.
17. Moby Dick by Herman Melville.
18. 1984 by George Orwell.
19. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
20. Iliad and Odyssey by Homer.
21. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
22. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
23. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.
24. The Arabian Nights Entertainment by Andrew Lang.
25. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
26. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupry.
27. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
28. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
29. Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi.
30. The Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft.
31. The Second xxx by Simone de Beauvoir.
32. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf.
33. Walden by Henry David Thoreau.
34. A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson.
35. Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton.
36. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud.
37. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.
38. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.
39. Geographia by Ptolemy.
40. The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein.
41. The Bible.
42. The Qur’an.
43. The Torah.
44. The Tibetan Book of the Dead

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45. The Analects of Confucius.
46. The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas.
47. The Bhagavad Gita.
48. I Ching.
49. Tao Te Ching.
BONUS:
50. Bartleby by Hermann Melville.

 

Source: http://paulocoelhoblog.com

One Mystery of Sandstorm Lightning Explained.


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By unlocking the secrets of how sparks come to fly in these storms as researchers are now doing, scientists could help grapple with all kinds of problems, from charged particle clouds that can cause devastating explosions in the food, drug and coal industries to charged dust that could obscure vital solar panels on missions to the moon or Mars.

Sand is an insulator, so seeing sandstorms generate lightning would be somewhat like watching electricity emerge from a storm full of rubber balls. It has been an enigma for more than 150 years as to how sand grains can transfer the huge amounts of electrical charge needed for lightning to happen.

“It really is quite surprising to me that despite our illusions, we really don’t understand the simplest of effects that led Faraday, Kelvin, Maxwell and others to study electromagnetism in the first place,” said physicist Troy Shinbrot at Rutgers University.

Now Shinbrot and his colleagues think a simple new model could help solve one aspect of this mystery.

“We are returning to the roots of physics, and we are finding them rich with unexplored behaviors that have languished for centuries,” Shinbrot said.

How it works

Assuming the presence of an electric field, round particles within the field made of insulators become polarized — that is to say, electric charge gathers on each side of the spheres. When two such particles bounce off each other, the charges in each sphere get rearranged so that each is twice as polarized as before. As these particles recoil off each other again and again, huge amounts of charge could get transferred even in the absence of any kind of conducting medium.

This model predicts thin clouds of dust would only build up weak charges, which makes sense, as thin clouds only have a few particles to collide together. Surprisingly, however, thick clouds with many particles also build up only weak charges as well, due to a phenomenon dubbed “granular collapse.”

“In a thick cloud, particles collide with many neighbors, but since each collision costs energy, particles rapidly lose energy, and a detailed calculation reveals that each particle in a thick cloud endures fewer collisions per unit time than in a moderate thickness cloud,” Shinbrot said. “This ’embarrassment of riches’ is not intuitive, yet computations, simulations and experiments seem to confirm the effect.”

However, in intermediate clouds, dramatic charging can result. Experiments the researchers performed with colored glass beads and electric fields support their model.

Putting it to use

These findings could lead to methods to disrupt any unwanted charges from building up — “for example, in an industrial plant, where charged particles can lead to dangerous explosive conditions,” Shinbrot said.

First, one could apply a modest electric field to attract the charged particles down onto surfaces to neutralize their charge. Second, one might be able to figure out ways to minimize charging within dust clouds — for instance, one might seed a cloud with custom-engineered particles that can help quench charging.

One mystery remains — what in nature generates the electric field that polarizes the sand in the first place?

“External fields from nearby thunderstorms for example are recorded to charge grains, but in the desert there is typically no such external source,” Shinbrot said. “This is an unanswered question.”

Source:Nature.

 

 

What is BRCA1?


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Actress Angelina Jolie has today written an op-ed in The New York Times explaining that she has opted to have a double mastectomy because she carries the hereditary BRCA1 gene, which she says increases her risk of breast cancer by 87%. Her mother died from breast cancer after a ten-year struggle at the age of 56.

We asked an expert in breast cancer and genetics to explain more about the breast cancer genetic mutation and what it means for women.

What are the BRCA1 (and BRCA2) gene mutations?

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that have been linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Women who inherit one of these faulty genes are at an increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer. Men who inherit a faulty gene may be at increased risk of prostate cancer. Breast cancer in men carrying BRCA2 has also been described in the medical literature.

These genes are important in helping repair breaks in the DNA in our cells, so a faulty gene can mean that DNA repair is less than optimal. In some people this can lead to the development of cancer.

Should I be getting tested for them?

Not routinely. In general terms, genetic testing should be carried out following counselling in a familial cancer centre after a proper assessment of risk.

Testing is offered to people who have developed breast or ovarian cancer where there are features that might suggest a mutation is present.

These can include an early age of onset of cancer, or cancer in both breasts, multiple cancers in the family, male breast cancer, ovarian cancer, certain ancestry (such eastern European Jewish ancestry), or where there is a known mutation in the family.

Sometimes the appearance of a tumour, reported by the pathologist can help make a decision regarding whether testing is necessary.

How are they tested for?

This is generally done through a blood sample.

What is the cost of the test/s and why?

At present testing for these genes in Australia is expensive – about A$2,000 to A$2,500 – but costs are coming down.

Once a mutation has been identified in a family member, other members can be tested and this is much cheaper.

In Australia, the test is offered for free in familial cancer centres where a person meets suitable criteria for testing.

How many people are affected?

About 5% of all breast cancers are hereditary, and can involve the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. That is why it is important to look for special features that suggest risk.

In our community the risk of carrying a gene is relatively rare at about 1:800 for each of the mutations.

Say I have the gene/s, what is the likelihood that I will develop (a) breast cancer and (b) ovarian cancer?

Having the gene does not mean that a woman will definitely develop either of the cancers.

The risk is believed to be on average somewhere between 40% and 65% for breast and 15% to 40% for ovary, depending on the gene.

In her op-ed, Angelina Jolie said her risk of developing breast cancer was 87% and that she had a 50% risk of developing ovarian cancer. This is because the risk for BRCA1 carriers can be higher than for BRCA2 carriers.

Jolie has reported the upper end of risk for breast cancer that was first described when the gene was discovered. Looking at the general population, the risk is probably less, but for some families with very striking family histories, it could be this high.

What are the treatment options?

If a cancer develops, it is often treated in a very similar fashion to other breast or ovarian cancers.

For breast cancer, sometimes women might consider more extensive surgery (such as mastectomies). There are new drugs called PARP inhibitors that are being developed tested for BRCA-associated cancers.

What are the prevention options?

There are a number of options. For breast cancer, this includes close monitoring which includes MRI scans and mammograms starting at a suitable age.

Breast cancer prevention drugs such as Tamoxifen are likely to be helpful and may even halve the risk of getting breast cancer.

Some women may consider mastectomy with breast reconstruction. The uptake of this option differs; on average about 20% of women carrying the genes take this option in Australia but the precise numbers are not known.

Importantly, due to the potential risk of ovarian cancer some women will be advised to have their fallopian tubes and ovaries removed at a suitable age (and after they have had children).

If this is carried out at age 40, it can halve breast cancer risk. It is known to be safe to give women hormone replacement therapy in most cases, so that they don’t experience menopausal symptoms.

What are the side-effects of mastectomies, if any?

These are generally minimal. In the short term, there can be surgical risks of infection and bleeding and, of course, cosmetic results (breast reconstruction) may differ.

What are the chances of survival for preventative measures vs treatment options?

The chances of survival for preventative measures are excellent and the risk of breast cancer is very substantially reduced. Since screening can detect cancer early, this helps improve outcomes.

Treatment for breast cancer has substantially improved over the last two decades, including for BRCA1 and BRCA2-associated cancers, so with proper treatment of early cancers, the outlook can be very good.

 

Source: http://www.sciencealert.com.au

Earth and Moon Got Water from Common Source.


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The chemical fingerprints of lunar rocks suggest that Earth and the moon were born with their water already present

Measurements of the chemical composition of Moon rocks suggest that Earth was born with its water already present, rather than having the precious liquid delivered several hundred million years later by comets or asteroids. And in finding a common origin for the water on Earth and the Moon, the results highlight a puzzle over the leading theory for the formation of Earth’s satellite.

Geochemist Alberto Saal of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and his colleagues built on recent studies, including their own, that have revealed a substantial amount of water in the Moon’s interior. To find the source of the water, the team relied on a chemical fingerprint — the relative amounts of hydrogen and deuterium, a hydrogen isotope that has one extra neutron in its atomic nucleus.

In investigating primitive lunar samples carried to Earth by the Apollo 15 and 17 missions, the team found a deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio that matched the isotopic ratio in carbonaceous chondrites, which include some of the most primitive meteorites known. The ratio is also similar to that found in water on Earth. The findings “suggest a common source of water for both objects” and provide “a very important new constraint for models of Earth and Moon origin”, says planetary scientist Robin Canup of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, who was not part of the study.

According to the leading theory of how the Moon formed, a Mars-sized body struck Earth some 4.5 billion years ago, generating a disk of debris that coalesced into the Moon. The simplest explanation for the latest findings, the team says, is that Earth already contained water before the collision. The water could not have been delivered after this because the Moon quickly built up a solid, impenetrable shell — the lithosphere — before meteorites could have delivered enough water to account for the supply in the lunar interior, the researchers argue. Their results are reported today inScience.

A different tack
That still leaves a potential gap in the Moon-forming model. Some planetary scientists had reasoned that the heat generated by the collision would have boiled away any water that Earth might have transferred to the coalescing Moon. The findings “are screaming that there’s something about the Moon’s formation that we’re not quite grasping”, says study co-author Erik Hauri of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC.

Theorists have already suggested several ways out of the apparent dilemma. Moreover, the combination of Earth’s surface gravity and the rapid coalescing of the Moon, which occurred within only about 100 years, would have made it difficult for most of the water to vaporize, Canup contends.

Apart from focusing attention on the Moon’s formation, the isotopic match between Earth and lunar water and carbonaceous chondrites supports a startling theory about the evolution of the inner Solar System, Saal says. According to this theory, known as the ‘grand tack’ model, the youthful planet Jupiter temporarily migrated into the inner Solar System, destabilizing the orbits of water-rich carbonaceous chondrites, which originally resided farther out than the birthplace of Jupiter and Saturn. As a result, some of the bodies could have fallen inwards and become part of the raw material for making Earth and its neighbors.

The isotopic measurements “add strong support” to the idea that those asteroids were the source of Earth’s water, says Sean Raymond of the Astrophysical Laboratory in Bordeaux, France, a co-author of the grand tack model. The results also add credence to models of planet formation around other stars in which carbonaceous chondrites are the source of water, he adds.

Source: Nature

Everest losing its snow ice cover.


Can you imagine Mount Everest without its snow and ice? The time may not be far away because researchers have found that glaciers in the Mount Everest region including the Sagarmatha national park that surrounds the peak, have shrunk by 13 percent in the last 50 years and the snowline has shifted upward by 180 meters (590 feet). They have also been studying temperature and precipitation trends in the area and found that the Everest region has been warming while snowfall has been declining since the early 1990s.

Members of the team conducting these studies led by Sudeep Thakuri, from the University of Milan in Italy will present their findings on May 14 at the Meeting of the Americas in Cancun, Mexico – a scientific conference organized and co-sponsored by the American Geophysical Union.

Glaciers smaller than one square kilometer are disappearing the fastest and have experienced a 43 percent decrease in surface area since the 1960s, the report says. Because the glaciers are melting faster than they are replenished by ice and snow, they are revealing rocks and debris that were previously hidden deep under the ice. These debris-covered sections of the glaciers have increased by about 17 percent since the 1960s, according to Thakuri. The ends of the glaciers have also retreated by an average of 400 meters since 1962, his team found.

The researchers suspect that the decline of snow and ice in the Everest region is from human-generated greenhouse gases altering global climate. However, they have not yet established a firm connection between the mountains’ changes and climate change, Thakuri said.

He and his team determined the extent of glacial change on Everest and the surrounding 1,148 square kilometer (713 square mile) Sagarmatha National Park by compiling satellite imagery and topographic maps and reconstructing the glacial history.

The researchers found that the Everest region has undergone a 0.6 degree Celsius (1.08 degrees Fahrenheit) increase in temperature and 100 millimeter (3.9 inches) decrease in precipitation during the pre-monsoon and winter months since 1992. This emerged from analysis of hydro-meteorological data from the Nepal Climate Observatory stations and Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology.

“The Himalayan glaciers and ice caps are considered a water tower for Asia since they store and supply water downstream during the dry season,” said Thakuri. “Downstream populations are dependent on the melt water for agriculture, drinking, and power production.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Water Research Institute-ItalianNational Research Council are funding this research.

Source: TOI

 

 

World’s fastest robot clocks faster than Usain Bolt.


The world’s fastest robot has now left the world’s fastest man behind.

Scientists at the world’s oldest vet college, the Royal Veterinary College, have studied the cheetah in the African wild for over five years, to create the world’s fastest robot.

Funded by the US military, the Robotic Cheetah has now beaten the fastest man Usain Bolt.

Speaking to TOI, RVC’s expert of locomotor biomechanics Alan Wilson said the robot has now clocked 29 miles per hour compared to Bolt’s speed of 27.

A real cheetah can clock 70 miles per hour.

Robot designers Boston Dynamics look to nature for inspiration for the design of dynamic free four legged robot.

Alan’s role in the Cheetah project was to study the animal in the wild and translate the mechanics of cheetah locomotion into engineering principles that can be used by robot designers.

Alan told TOI “we studied the cheetah’s speed for over five years to understand the basic principles of how animals run, remain stable and use their muscles. This would help make legged robots that are faster and more capable on varied terrain.”

Dr John R Hutchinson, professor of evolutionary bio-mechanics at RVC added “the cheetah robot can greatly help military technology. It can help create fast vehicles with manoeuvrability in all types of terrain. A machine inspired by this robot can one day outrun a normal soldier, or tank and even help in rescue and search operations.”

Dr Hutchinson adds that the battery on the collar were solar powered which helped scientists follow and study the cheetahs for years without a break.

The experts studied cheetahs from several sources – including the wild – high-speed video cameras and motion sensors (attached to collars).

For this work the team used a 30 gram GPS inertial measurement unit attached to a collar on the cheetah. The data from the unit gave measures of speed, position, acceleration and orientation.

From these measurements angular velocity and acceleration can be calculated during the many twists and turns that the cheetah perform when hunting, the scientists said.

Alan who is leader of the Locomotion (muscle, tendon and biomechanics) Research Group, has been awarded a grant of £600,000 to study the dynamics and energetics of hunting in the cheetah, in order to identify what enables cheetahs to sprint so fast.

The collars monitored where the cheetah is and what it is doing – resting, walking, and most importantly, hunting and only collects detailed information when the cheetah is moving quickly (logging data up to 300 times per second).

 

“From the data, we reconstructed the exact movement of the cheetah during a hunt,” Alan added.

Source: TOI

 

 

Funny-looking plane designed to make history.


Call it a historic technological achievement. Call it a victory lap across America. Call it a shameless promotion for a controversial energy agenda. Its owners simply call itIt’s the first manned plane to fly for 24 hours on nothing but solar-powered batteries. That’s right — we’re talking about a sun-powered plane that can fly at night. “Theoretically,” said its pilot, Bertrand Piccard, “the plane can fly forever.”

plane

 

The Swiss-made Solar Impulse is in the middle of a U.S. tour this month, flying five legs from California to New York. In 2015, Piccard and his co-pilot, Andre Borschberg, hope to make the next generation of Solar Impulse the first solar-powered plane to circle the globe.

It’s a lofty goal for this funny-looking, slow and unwieldy design — with one main wheel, a tiny cockpit and no toilet. It’s made of revolutionary lightweight materials and its solar cells are built in as part of the wings. Basically, it’s a giant flying solar cell.

NASA tests this solar-powered robot

Planet Solar sails a ‘green’ wave

Can solar power fuel future flight?

Solar aircraft the future of flight?

Circling the globe is only part of the plan. The mission also includes an environmental agenda aimed at promoting the use of green technology and renewable energy sources such as the sun and the wind.

We caught up with Piccard on the phone at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, where he landed after flying the first 18-hour, 650-mile leg of Solar Impulse’s journey from Mountain View, California. As a safety precaution, Piccardreportedly had to circle the airport to wait for officials to suspend commercial flight operations for his landing.

Turbulence poses the biggest danger when piloting Solar Impulse, Piccard said. While flying near San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, he said, he experienced some of the worst turbulence since he started flying the aircraft in Europe several years ago.

 

Even with the aircraft’s lumbering 43-mph cruising speed, Piccard “was really fighting hard to keep the plane on track,” he said. Flying through clouds and near mountains, he said, offers the biggest potential for turbulence. He keeps a parachute handy for a worst-case scenario, which he said is unlikely.

The men

At age 54, Piccard is a bona fide adventurer — with world records to prove it. Decades after pioneering ultralight aircraft in the 1970s, Piccard and his colleague Brian Jones were the first to circle the earth nonstop in a balloon in 1999. Their gondola is displayed at the Smithsonian.

Breaking barriers is a Piccard family tradition. His grandfather explored the stratosphere in a pressurized chamber carried by a balloon. Ten miles high, he was the first human to see the curvature of the planet with his own eyes.

Piccard’s father plumbed the Pacific, taking a special submarine to a record-setting depth of nearly 7 miles.

“I was deeply influenced by them,” he said. “Each of my adventures is a way to pay tribute to everything they’ve showed me and taught me and initiated me to do.”

Oh, and on a random note, Piccard is a respected psychiatrist with a recognized expertise in hypnosis.

Borschberg, 60, came to the project with more than two decades as a Swiss Air Force fighter pilot. It was Borschberg who was in the cockpit during the Solar Impulse’s 24-hour flight.

The machine

This beautiful example of elegant engineering looks like a giant goose. Its wings are huge: 208 feet — that’s wider than a Boeing 747.

A 747’s maximum takeoff weight is 833,000 pounds. This plane weighs only 3,500 pounds — about the same as a Honda CR-V. Its batteries are able to store enough energy from the sun during the day to power the aircraft throughout the night.

And what happens in the cockpit when nature calls? Piccard, always the gentleman, explained it like this: When the plane takes off, “you have full bottles of water on the right side and empty bottles on the left side,” he said. “And when you land, it’s the other way around.”

In 2012, Solar Impulse flew from Spain to Morocco, making it the first manned sun-powered plane to fly to another continent. But it won’t be the first solar aircraft to soar the entire width of the United States. The Sunseeker I, piloted by Eric Raymond, crossed the nation in 21 legs back in 1990. Four years earlier, Burt Rutan and Jeana Yeager flew a fossil fuel-powered plane, the Voyager, around the world nonstop without refueling. But it’s never been done with a solar-powered aircraft — so far.

The mission

The Solar Impulse project’s goals amount to more than breaking records and making history. The group hopes to change minds and influence future generations. With each stop on their itinerary, Piccard and Borschberg bring with them a message: Use technology that saves energy and support government-mandated targets for creating electricity from renewable sources.

Many U.S. states have passed legislation calling on utilities to generate specific percentages of their electricity from renewables — wind, water, solar or others — by a certain date. Supporters say such regulations will cut pollution caused by burning fossil fuels. Opponents say it will drive energy prices higher.

The Obama administration has opened millions of acres of public land to be used by private companies for giant solar power farms.

What does the future of solar-powered transportation look like?

As more consumers buy electric-powered cars, more vehicle charging stations are popping up which are powered by the sun. But a commercially viable solar-powered car, experts say, is still very far down the road. And many engineers say the development of a solar-powered airliner is very unlikely because they don’t believe it’s possible to build an onboard system that can produce the massive amounts of energy required.

A few tinkerers are coming up with solar-powered scooters and pedal vehicles, like the Elf trike being sold in North Carolina.

Development of Solar Impulse may contribute to better designs of “long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles,” as the Pentagon calls them. Engineers are developing giant solar-powered flying wingsthat are remote-controlled and designed to remain aloft at high altitudes for weeks, months, or even years — nonstop. Such machines could be used for scientific research or surveillance, or as relay stations to transmit communication signals across long distances.

Piccard and Borschberg are looking forward to a future that includes more solar power. In the meantime, they’ll be focusing on their plan to circle the globe and their current journey across America. That will include a stop in St. Louis, the hometown of aviation icon Charles Lindbergh.

“I think we share the same spirit,” Piccard said of Lindbergh, the first pilot to solo across the Atlantic. Global excitement from that 1927 flight sparked the beginning of a “new cycle,” Piccard said, which led to the international airline industry we enjoy today. Piccard hopes Solar Impulse will start a similar cycle that will lead to unimaginable new dimensions in the development of technology.

 

Source: CNN

India unveils first indigenous rotavirus vaccine.


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Rotavirus responsible for approximately 4,53,000 child deaths due to diarrhoea globally each year

The Phase-III clinical trial of low cost Indian-made rotavirus vaccine Rotavac has demonstrated strong efficacy and excellent safety profile and if approved by the Drugs Controller General of India, it would be available at Rs. 54 per dose.

This vaccine, developed under a public-private partnership, will be the third to hit the Indian market, but will be more affordable than the two vaccines now available costing more than Rs. 1,000 per dose.

The clinical study has demonstrated for the first time that Rotavac is efficacious in preventing severe rotavirus diarrhoea in low-resource settings in India, and developing countries in Asia and Africa. Strain diversity, too, has not apparently affected its efficacy.

Rotavirus is responsible for approximately 4,53,000 child deaths due to diarrhoea globally each year. It is particularly threatening in India where — according to a recent study — around 1,00,000 children die each year from severe diarrhoea and dehydration caused by rotavirus.

India accounts for 22 per cent of the estimated global deaths from diarrhoea-causing rotavirus.

Rotavac is an oral vaccine and is administered to infants in a three-dose course at the ages of 6, 10 and 14 weeks.

It is given alongside routine immunisations in the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) vaccines recommended at these ages.

“Once sanitation and drinking water supply in the country improves, the efficacy of the vaccine is bound to go up. Rotavirus is also associated with gut infection and the vaccine is known to give ‘herd immunity.’ Even if 25 per cent infection is prevented, it will mean a substantial public health gain,” said M.K. Bhan, former Secretary, Department of Biotechnology.

“This is an important scientific breakthrough against rotavirus infections. Clinical results indicate that the vaccine, if licensed, could save the lives of thousands of children each year in India,” K. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, said.

The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase-III clinical trial enrolled 6,799 infants in India (aged six to seven weeks at the time of enrolment) at three sites — the Centre for Health Research and Development, Society for Applied Sciences, in New Delhi; Shirdi Sai Baba Rural Hospital, KEM Hospital Research centre in Vadu; and Christian Medical College in Vellore.

Infants received Rotavac and the UIP vaccines, including the oral polio vaccine (OPV).

Result showed that infants receiving OPV at the same time as Rotavac generated comparable immune responses to all three polio serotypes as the infants receiving OPV without Rotavac, supporting the concurrent administration of OPV and Rotavac.


Source: The Hindu

5 Million Farmers Sue Monsanto for $7.7 Billion.


Go home Monsanto, you're drunk

Launching a lawsuit against the very company that is responsible for a farmer suicide every 30 minutes, 5 million farmers are now suing Monsanto for as much as 6.2 billion euros (around 7.7 billion US dollars). 
The reason? As with many other cases, such as the ones that led certain farming regions to be known as the ‘suicide belt’, Monsanto has been reportedly taxing the farmers to financial shambles with ridiculous royalty charges.

The farmers state that Monsanto has been unfairly gathering exorbitant profits each year on a global scale from “renewal” seed harvests, which are crops planted using seed from the previous year’s harvest.

The practice of using renewal seeds dates back to ancient times, but Monsanto seeks to collect massive royalties and put an end to the practice. Why? Because Monsanto owns the very patent to the genetically modified seed, and is charging the farmers not only for the original crops, but the later harvests as well. Eventually, the royalties compound and many farmers begin to struggle with even keeping their farm afloat. It is for this reason that India slammed Monsanto with groundbreaking‘biopiracy’ charges in an effort to stop Monsanto from ‘patenting life’.

Jane Berwanger, a lawyer for the farmers who went on record regarding the case, told the Associted Press:

“Monsanto gets paid when it sell the seeds. The law gives producers the right to multiply the seeds they buy and nowhere in the world is there a requirement to pay (again). Producers are in effect paying a private tax on production.”
The findings echo what thousands of farmers have experienced in particularly poor nations, where many of the farmers are unable to stand up to Monsanto. Back in 2008, the Daily Mail covered what is known as the ‘GM Genocide’, which is responsible for taking the lives of over 17,683 Indian farmers in 2009 alone. After finding that their harvests were failing and they started to enter economic turmoil, the farmers began ending their own lives — oftentimes drinking the very same insecticide that Monsanto provided them with.

As the information continues to surface on Monsanto’s crimes, further lawsuits will begin to take effect. After it was ousted in January that Monsanto was running illegal ‘slave-like’ working rings, more individuals became aware of just how seriously Monsanto seems to disregard their workers — so why would they care for the health of their consumers? In April 2012, another group of farmers sued Monsanto for ‘knowingly poisoning’ workers and causing ‘devastating birth defects’.

Will endless lawsuits from millions of seriously affected individuals be the end of Monsanto?

– See more at: http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/03/5-million-farmers-sue-monsanto-for-7-billion.html#sthash.m8uhK5Sr.awUQ0aBj.dpuf

 

Source: http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com

 

 

Practical Steps to Living a More Mindful Life.


mindfulness

If you practice mindfulness, you might be an expert at meditating, you might be aware of your inner thoughts, and sensations. You might be great at not letting external events and other people’s behavior affect your moods. Mindfulness is a growing practice that many of us use to decrease stress and manage pain. Although, did you know, it can also be a catapult to sustainable living for a healthier world? That’s right! Mindful Living is a way to bring harmony and balance to ourselves, our families, our communities, and the earth!

It begins with a deep, personal commitment to embrace change for the health of all living things. Every day we are bombarded with information on the web and on TV about hazards and toxins in our food and our environment. New reports are out each day informing us how pesticides, GMOs, exhaust, chemical cleaners, and synthetic hormones are contributing to a multitude of problems including cancer, dementia, autism, obesity, and birth defects, as well as the depletion of our earth’s natural resources. This can seem extremely depressing and hopeless; it’s easy to feel powerless or lost when so much conflicting information is being thrown at us.

The truth is we are powerless until we become mindful of these issues and develop a deep commitment to change. Anyone who practices mindfulness is aware of their own personal power and how our behaviors influence the outcome of our happiness. By honoring our personal power we no longer have to rely on others for change to take place. We can not wait around for our political system make policy changes that will address these issues. But what we can do take an active role in our daily lives.

How do we make this happen?

It begins with self-reflection and by asking ourselves these questions. What does healthy living mean to you and why it’s important to you? Does it mean you stay free of diseases? Does it mean you live to be a certain age? Does it mean you maintain your well-being despite a current chronic health condition? These are meant to be personal questions and your answers must resonate deep within your soul.

Consider what you need in order to be healthy and what that looks like. What things are you already doing to avoid toxins and other health dangers? Maybe you shop at farmer’s markets, or grow your own vegetables, maybe you invest in a water filter, maybe you recycle, or eat mostly organic. Once you begin to cultivate awareness of your own personal relationship with healthy living begin to reflect on how your health is or is not in your own control.

Unfortunately you’ll start to notice that there seems to be a lot we are not in control of; it many seem that society is not conducive to healthy, sustainable living. For example “health” food is often double or triple the price of unhealthy food, working long hours with long commutes makes it impossible to prepare fresh cooked meals, and keeping up to date with the new research out about harmful toxins is more than overwhelming. These obstacles can be overcome by Living Mindful.

Once you have decided why your health and the health of those around you is important, the next step is to start doing some research on your own to think critically about topics that concern you. Do not take all information pumped into our brains from the TV and internet at face value. Consider the sources you are getting your information from and be aware of hidden agendas. This will allow you to make educated decisions about what’s right for you, your body, and the earth.

Below I have shared some practical steps to help you take back your power. I urge you to share your experiences and ideas with others so we can strengthen harmony among communities and increase a greater likelihood for sustainability.

Here are some practical Solutions to live a more mindful life:

At Home Ideas

Use natural cleaning products and essential oils to clean your home

Simplify your personal care routine and get rid of items with toxic ingredients

Regularly clean out closets and donate unused items

Avoid plastics by keeping food in glass jars, and cloth (reusable & washable) baggies

Reduce paper towel use by using cloth towels and washing them.

At the Store Ideas

Buy as much as you can in bulk to prevent excess packaging

Instead of meal planning ahead of time, start in the produce and plan your meals around seasonal veggies

Purchase products with ingredients you are familiar with and research what you are unfamiliar with.

Be a minimalist by only purchasing what you need and reconsidering the things you want

When possible buy second hand clothing and furniture to reduce waste

 

Source: purposefairy