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Monday, December 31, 2007

Top 10 Movies 2007 -- Kollywood

Funeral of Bhutto

Pakistan accused an Islamic extremist linked to al-Qaida of assassinating Benazir Bhutto and sent the army into the streets to quell a frenzy of violence by her furious supporters that left 27 people dead.

While many grieving Pakistanis turned to violence, hundreds of thousands of others paid their last respects Friday to the popular opposition leader as she was laid to rest beside her father in her family’s marble mausoleum.

“I don’t know what will happen to the country now,” said mourner Nazakat Soomro, 32. Bhutto’s death and the ensuing violence raised concerns that this nuclear-armed nation, plagued by chaos and the growing threat from Islamic militants even before the killing, was in danger of spinning out of control.

The government blamed Bhutto’s killing on al-Qaida militants operating with increasing impunity in the lawless tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan and said it would hunt down those responsible for her death.

“They will definitely be brought to justice,” interior ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said.The government released a transcript of a purported conversation between militant leader Baitullah Mehsud and another militant. “It was a spectacular job. They were very brave boys who killed her,” Mehsud said, according to the transcript.

Cheema described Mehsud as an al-Qaida leader who was also behind the Karachi bomb blast in October against Bhutto that killed more than 140 people and most other recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

Mehsud is thought to be the commander of pro-Taliban forces in the tribal region of South Waziristan, where al-Qaida fighters are also active. In the transcript, Mehsud gives his location as Makin, a town in South Waziristan.

This fall, he was quoted in a Pakistani newspaper as saying that he would welcome Bhutto’s return from exile with suicide bombers. Mehsud later denied that in statements to local television and newspaper reporters.

Cheema announced the formation of two inquiries into Bhutto’s death, one to be carried out by a high court judge and another by security forces.

Bhutto was killed Thursday evening when a suicide attacker shot at her and then blew himself up as she left a rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi near Islamabad. Authorities initially said she died from bullet wounds, and a surgeon who treated her said the impact from shrapnel on her skull killed her.

But Cheema said she was killed when she tried to duck back into the armoured vehicle during the attack, and the shock waves from the blast smashed her head into a lever attached to the sunroof, fracturing her skull, he said.

He showed reporters a videotape of the attack, which showed Bhutto waving, smiling and chatting with supporters from the sunroof as her vehicle sat unmoving on the street outside the rally. Three gunshots rang out, the camera appeared to fall and the video, which Cheema said was filmed by authorities, then stopped.

Denying charges the government failed to give her adequate security protection, Cheema said it was Bhutto who made herself vulnerable and pointed out that the other passengers inside Bhutto’s bombproof vehicle were fine.

“I wish she had not come out of the rooftop of her vehicle,” he said. Bhutto’s death plunged the nation deep into turmoil less than two weeks before parliamentary elections and sparked deadly rioting that killed at least 27 people, according to an Interior Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Desperate to quell the violence, the government sent troops into the streets of Hyderabad, Karachi and other areas in Sindh. In Hyderabad, the soldiers refused to let people out of their homes, witnesses said.

The army positioned 20 battalions of troops for deployment across Sindh if they were needed to stop the violence, according to a military statement. Paramilitary rangers were also given the authority to use live fire to stop rioters from damaging property in the region, said Maj. Asad Ali, the rangers’ spokesman.

“We have orders to shoot on sight,” he said. Many cities were nearly deserted as businesses closed and public transportation came to a halt at the start of three days of national mourning for Bhutto.

Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro said the government had no immediate plans to postpone 8Jan parliamentary elections, despite the violence and the decision by Nawaz Sharif, another opposition leader, to boycott the poll.

“Right now the elections stand where they were,” he told a news conference. The United States, which sees Pakistan as a crucial ally in the war on terror, was counting on President Pervez Musharraf to proceed with the vote in the hope it will cement steps toward restoring democracy after the six week state of emergency he declared last month.

Keeping the election on track was the biggest immediate concern in sustaining an American policy of promoting stability, moderation and democracy in Pakistan, U.S. officials said Friday.

Bhutto’s death left her populist party without a clear successor. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, who was freed in December 2004 after eight years in detention on graft charges, is one contender to head the party although he lacks the cachet of being a blood relative from the Bhutto clan’s political dynasty.

Throughout the day, hundreds of thousands of mourners arrived in Bhutto’s hometown of Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in tractors, buses, cars and jeeps for her funeral cortege and burial.

Bhutto’s plain wood coffin, draped in the red, green and black flag of her Pakistan People’s Party, was carried in a white ambulance toward the marble mausoleum, about five kilometers (three miles) away, passing a burning passenger train on the way. Many of the mourners threw petals toward the ambulance. Women beat their heads and chests in grief.

An imam led the mourners in prayers and Bhutto’s son, Bilawal, and her widowed husband helped lift the coffin into the grave beside that of her father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, another popular former prime minister who met a violent death.“As long as the moon and sun are alive, so is the name of Bhutto,” supporters chanted.

Jennifer Lopez & Alessandra Ambrosio

Sunday, December 30, 2007

How to Lose Weight Fast ??

Want to slim down fast for that beach vacation or high school reunion? While there are many things you can do to shed pounds, losing weight too quickly, like any sudden change to your body, can be dangerous. While fad diets, diet pills, and fasting may indeed induce rapid weight loss, these methods can cause you to lose muscle and may also injure your heart and other organs fairly quickly. The best solution? Don't go for an overnight miracle. Instead, follow these steps to lose fat rapidly, healthily, and sustainably.


1.Determine your daily calorie intake . Losing weight is simply a matter of expending more calories than you take in, through exercise and your daily activities. Exercise alone won't make you lose weight if you're still taking in more calories than you burn. However, eating less and exercising more will only decrease your resting metabolic rate, which accounts for roughly 60-80 percent of daily calorie expenditure. Therefore you should exercise harder and eat more protein dense, clean foods; making your calories burned not too far off from your calories taken in will raise your metabolism and allow you to burn fat effortlessly.

  • Write down all the things you eat on a typical day. Carry a small notebook with you and write down every snack, every drink, and the contents of every meal.There are also great websites that you can use to keep track of calories, get recipes, and help achieve your goal. Don't forget to include the pats of butter or the spoonful of sugar in your coffee. It's best to do this for at least a couple weekdays and a weekend; it's even better if you can go a full week. There are also calorie tracking websites that can help you to do this.
  • Do an itemized calorie count. When possible, write down the number of calories in each thing you eat as you eat it. Keep in mind that the recommended serving size is often considerably smaller than the serving you actually eat. Look up the calorie count on the Internet for foods that don't have calories listed on the container or for fast food meals. You don't have to be 100% accurate, but you do want a good estimate of the number of calories you're taking in. In general, to maintain your weight, you need to multiply your weight (in pounds) by 10. So for example, 200 pounds X 10 = 2000 calories per day. Reducing 500 calories per day can help you lose a pound of fat per week

2.Go over the list and decide which foods to cut out or reduce. Cutting calories is usually a lot easier than you might think. For example, that daily tall latte in the morning may pack 500 calories. Since a pound of flab (lost or gained) is roughly equivalent to 3,500 calories, replacing that rich beverage with black coffee can help you lose a pound a week. Other easy cuts include salad dressing(salad dressing is the number one source of fat in the average American woman's diet) candy and butter,Look at the nutritional information for the foods you eat, pay special attention to your intake of saturated fats and empty calories (high-sugar foods). You don't need to cut these things out entirely, but if you reduce your intake of high-fat, high-calorie foods you'll lose weight faster.

3.Seek out alternatives to the unhealthy foods you've identified. You can simply reduce the amount of soda you drink or mayonnaise you put on your sandwiches, or you can substitute healthier choices. Drink water instead of soda, for example, or use mustard instead of mayo. Low-fat and low-calorie options are also available for most foods, and many of these are natural, (although some are made with strange chemicals), and tasty.

  • Choose lean meats. Chicken and fish are both very low in fat (and certain fish like salmon, sardines, and fresh tuna are an excellent source of antioxidants, which are also beneficial to your health), so aim to replace some or all of the beef or pork in your diet with these foods.

  • Replace high-calorie side dishes with healthier alternatives. Many people get a ton of calories from side dishes such as macaroni and cheese, French fries, or potato salad. You can eat healthier and lose weight by replacing these with fresh vegetables and salads. Pre-made salads are practically effortless, and when accompanied by a reduced-calorie dressing or no dressing at all, they're weight-loss gold.

  • Start your days off right. A fattening breakfast of bacon and eggs or a pastry can be replaced with yogurt, oatmeal, high-fiber, low-sugar cereals; or fresh fruit or fruit smoothies. However, for those on a low carb diet bacon and eggs are a great combo for breakfast, since neither have carbs. But don't fall into the trap of skipping breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast increases your rest metabolic rate earlier in the day, and reduces snacking before lunch.

4. Plan your meal. Look for healthy, delicious meals online or in your cookbooks, and create a menu for the week. Make sure that your meal plan reduces your total calorie intake: you're not going to lose weight if you consume the same amount of calories by eating different foods. Make a list of what you'll need for these meals, and -- except for a few snacks, of course -- don't stray from your list when you get to the market. Planning your meals helps ensure you get a balanced diet and reduces the temptation to stop off for fast food or order a pizza. Remember, it's easier to stick to your shopping list if you shop when you aren't hungry.

5.Watch your portion sizes. Opening a bag of rice cakes and eating all of them in one sitting isn't going to help you lose weight. When eating chips, nuts, or dried fruit put a portion in a small bowl and then put the bag away. That way you won't mindlessly eat a larger portion than you had intended. Even if you only make minimal changes to your diet choices, reducing portion size will inevitably reduce caloric intake. A great way to watch portion sizes while snacking is to buy one serving 100 calorie packages - and they come in many favorite snack food items!

6. Graze on the healthy Snacks, Just because you're getting healthy doesn't mean you can't snack. In fact, eating small meals and snacks throughout the day, or grazing, has been shown to aid weight loss, (compared to eating three large meals a day), by keeping metabolism steadier. Pick snacks that are low in calories and fat and high in fiber (dried apricots, nuts, rice cakes, fruits, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, and so on). Vegetables are generally very low in calories, very high in fiber, and full of flavor and nutrition. Avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, and try to eat vegetables plain, without fatty dressings or dips. Fruit also makes a good snack. Fruit contains more soluble fiber than vegetables, which slows your body's absorption of carbohydrates, thus releasing energy more slowly, (preventing sugar highs), and keeping you feeling full longer. Fruit juices are not a replacement for the real thing. You need that fiber, and juices often have more calories than the equivalent serving of fruit -- as many calories as soda! Be careful with dried fruits, because without the water, you tend to eat more, and fruits, when dried, are calorie-rich per ounce. With any dry or dried food, be sure to drink plenty of water.

7.Get more fiber. There are many myths about fiber, but there is science to back up its helpful role in the diet. Fiber keeps the right amount of water in your intestines, making your digestive system work more efficiently and helping to keep you regular. Thus, just eating enough fiber may help you feel slimmer in just a day or so. There is also evidence that fiber in the diet can help prevent stroke and heart disease, ease the effects of diabetes, and may even directly help in weight loss.

8.Drink plenty of water.Adequate water is essential for health, and a great many people simply don't get enough. What's more, if you're chronically dehydrated, your body will retain water in unflattering places, so if you make sure to get plenty of fluids you can start visibly trimming down in as little as a day. Remember, the more you exercise, the more water you'll need.

9.Exercise. Remember, you can lose weight either by decreasing your calorie intake or increasing the number of calories you burn. Any health strategy should include both, but if you want to lose weight fast, exercise is essential.

10.Perform high-level aerobic activities. Moderate aerobic workouts incorporating jogging, brisk walking, cycling, aerobic machines, or classes not only burn calories -- they also keep your heart healthy. Swimming is also great, especially if you are quite overweight or have joint problems, because you can get the same benefits of running -- typically burning even more calories -- with much less stress on your joints. Try to get at least 30-40 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three or four days per week.

11.Pump some iron. Resistance training, (weight training), can help both sexes stay lean by building muscle and raising metabolism. The fact is, hours and hours of aerobic exercise won't help most people lose weight fast because your metabolism drops back to normal fairly quickly after stopping the exercise. If you gain muscle, however, your body's resting metabolism, (the amount of calories you burn when you're just sitting still), increases, because muscle requires a lot of calories to maintain. Studies have shown consistent weight training to raise the body's metabolism by 15%. This means an average woman might burn 200-300 more calories at rest every day! Resistance training is the gift that keeps on giving! Although, keep in mind that muscle mass weighs more than fat (don't be surprised if you gain weight but look slimmer).

12.Rest properly. This means not only taking at least 24-48 hours between strength training the same muscles, (and taking 1-2 days off from exercising each week); it also means getting enough sleep at night, since sleep deficiency impairs your ability to lose fat.

13.Be realistic. Don't expect a miracle. Healthy weight loss can be achieved fairly quickly, but you'll need to be patient. In addition, be sure to set realistic goals. Make sure that the weight you're trying to reach is a healthy weight for you, and keeping in mind that gaining pounds of muscle will help you lose fat, be trimmer, and look better even though you don't actually lose any weight. Your goal should be a healthy body, not a number of pounds!

14.Make adjustments. A successful weight loss strategy based on reducing calorie intake and increasing activity can be adjusted to maintain your desired weight once you reach it. Unlike typical diets, this method is sustainable -- it is a lifestyle change, not a binge-and-purge exercise. Slowly adjust your diet and exercise to include more weight training and calories, as much as is comfortable for you. If you do gain any weight back, you want that weight to be lean, toned muscle, not fat. In addition, weight training, no matter what your age, prevents muscle atrophy and can help stave off osteoporosis.


  • It's very good to do a blood test before you begin your new diet and exercise regimen. Some people may not need to lose a lot of weight, but they may need to lower the blood sugar level slightly. You can also check for mineral deficiencies

  • The goal is to lose fat, not just weight in general. If you are doing strength training during your weight loss (which you should be), you might actually see an initial gain in weight -- don't worry! You have probably lost fat and gained muscle, which is denser than fat and is much healthier.

  • With regard to weights, men and women differ on their goals with weight training. Women, don't worry, no amount of weight training will make you as bulky as a man; women just don't have enough testosterone to build large muscles. The female bodybuilders you see are either taking steroids or training 2-3 hours every day. Male and female beginners should start with 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions, and should use the heaviest weight you can while still maintaining good form, even to the last repetition of the last set. Get a weight training book or find a reputable website that will show you different exercises and the correct form. When lifting properly, you will stretch the muscle during the exercise, but you should still stretch properly to prevent injury!

  • No matter what the magazine article says, spot improving is a myth! When your body burns fat, it takes it from all over your body, even if all you do are crunches. No amount of crunches will get rid of that gut if they are not backed up by proper aerobic exercise and diet! Washboard abs do not come from millions of sit ups; they come from having low levels of body fat. So if that is your goal, make sure you do plenty of aerobic exercise in addition to your ab routine.

  • Sugar comes in many disguises. Check your food labels: fructose, glucose, molasses, and corn syrup are all sugars. Limit all sugars, but especially stay away from high-fructose corn syrup. It is just a corn syrup full of sugar. Choosing foods without it will help you reach your weight loss goals faster.

  • Remember your body needs 'fuel' just like a car needs 'fuel'. Your body needs the 'right' kinds of food to lose weight effectively.

  • Don't taunt yourself by not letting yourself eat the occasional snack that you're craving. Just make sure you burn it off later with exercise

  • Despite popular belief it is not terrible to eat after 6 p.m. A reasonable dinner (with extra protein if you've had a good weight training session) is going to help deliver nutrients to the body to prepare it for the next day. Additionally if you find yourself very hungry before bed, a small bowl of high fiber cereal and low fat milk will actually help maintain your metabolism while you sleep. The key is to not overeat in the evenings.

  • Take a multivitamin. While it is better to always get your nutrients from your food, most people miss something in their diet, especially when they're trying to cut calories. Vitamins and minerals play an important role in keeping your body chemistry balanced and your energy levels healthy.

  • If you find yourself missing some of your favorite foods, don't worry. There is no harm in having your treat once a week. Pick a day each week where you treat yourself to your guilty pleasure--remember, everything in moderation. If it's pizza, try going to a gourmet pizza place that will use better ingredients and fresher vegetables. If it's a Big Mac, try making your own. A homemade burger is generally much healthier than the food they serve in fast food restaurants. Electric grills that are slanted to allow most of the fat to slide off make nice, lean burgers.

  • Save some calories for potassium and protein for after you work out, this will help reduce soreness. (A banana and an egg does the trick.)

  • Do not forget to stretch. Stretching can help increase your strength and flexibility.

  • Try to keep off weight gainer powder shakes if you want to lose weight. Fat can easily be turned into energy for your muscles so no need to use weight gainer.

  • Stay off of weight loss pills or shakes if you really want to keep those pounds off.

  • Take losing weight slow, keep a healthy diet but don't push it too hard.

  • Cut down on your sodium. Many prepared foods have as much as 30% of your daily value. You get your daily requirement of sodium from a healthy diet; too much can cause you to retain water weight.

  • Don't get upset at yourself if you don't lose the weight at first, because you have to keep trying.


  • Do not try to starve yourself. In the short run, reducing your calorie intake to unhealthily low levels will slow metabolism and actually cause you to lose weight more slowly. Then your body cannot process potassium so when you DO eat again, (the alternative to dying,) you will gain much more weight than you would if you weren't starving yourself and overall, you may end up gaining more than you lost. In the long run, starving yourself (anorexia or bulimia) can kill you.

  • When creating a weight lifting routine, do not focus on a single muscle or group, doing so will overbuild that muscle while under building others - in other words, if you work your biceps, and not your triceps, your arms will begin to curl inward and you will look silly. If you work your chest and not your back, you will have a hard time maintaining good posture as your pectoral muscles overpower your back muscles and pull your shoulders forward.

  • If you have a serious medical condition (such as asthma or diabetes, or allergy to protein such as dairy products or you have lactose intolerance) or you are severely obese, consult with your doctor as well as a dietitian.

  • Do not take any harmful drugs. They are unhealthy and may ultimately make you gain weight instead.

  • Carefully consider whether you need dietary supplements. Most people can get the mineral and nutrients they need through eating food, For example, the multivitamin supplements can make you overdose in other vitamins you need, and you can't store most water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C as excess will be urinated. But just because you are under the recommended value don't always mean you are deficient in it. So only use supplements when the doctor and dietitian says you need to.

  • Losing weight too quickly is dangerous and can have adverse effects on your health. Despite the title of this article, getting into shape is best done slowly. If you find yourself losing more than a pound or 2 (or more than 500g)each week, you are probably doing something wrong.

  • Be regular in your sleeping habits.

  • Talk to physician/nutritionist if you are starting something major, even if it's a change for the better, because dramatic changes can affect one's body negatively if not balanced out.

Clots in the lungs

Clots in the lungs are increasingly being diagnosed as a cause for unexplained for dyspnoea. These clots form in the legs in those who travel long distances and do not move form their seats at all or those who consume excess alcohol during flights.This also occurs in people who are ill and immobile due to various reasons.More important is the situation of the young patient labelled an asthmatic but who is, in reality,suffering from a more serious but potentially treatable disease.

Increasing Awareness

There has been an increasing awareness about this illness in the past five years thanks to the facilities available now.Radiology plays a key role in the diagnosis.Chest X-rays,ECG and heart scans give a clue to the diagnosis.It is the helical computerised axial tomogram(CAT scans) that has revolutionised diagnosis.Later developments like 64 slice CT with pulmonary angiogram can confirm the diagnosis.

Any unexplained breathlessness that does not respond to medication or gradually worsens should alert the patient or physician to an alternative diagnosis.Many times patients are investigated for cardiac ailments and declared normal.There have been many instances both in India ad abroad where pulmonary embolism was picked in patients who had undergone detailed check-up for cardiac ailments.Patients are initially reluctant to undergo investigations for clots in the lungs as this is relatively new; heart attacks and hypertension are more frequently heard and treated


According to a report from PGI in Chandigarh, pulmonary embolism strikes at the younger age than in western parts.Some of the studies done abroad and in the India have revealed that pulmonary embolism can occur in association with many medical illnesses where people are immobilised for a long periods like the post operative states and prolonged medical illness like malignancies.

The message is clear.Don't think all breathlessness is due to asthma or cardiac ailments in nature.There can be something that more than meets the eye.A well informed patient can guide the physician in the right direction.

Helpful tips

  • Keep moving so that your calf muscles are active.

  • Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.

  • Do not take excess alcohol before a flight especially if you suffering from sleep apnoea.

  • Avoid dehydration.

  • Carry a new inhaler in your bag.

  • Patients with asthma,COPD and on oral anti-coagulants should be assessed before travel.

  • Patients with active infectious disease should get advice from their doctor before travel.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Akshardham Temple

The Akshardham temple here has made it to the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest Hindu temple complex.

An official of Guinness World Records came here to present two world records certificates to the head of Swaminarayan Sansthan,Pramnkh Swami Maharaj. The official presented the awards to Bochasanvasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sansthan ( BAPS ) under 2 categories : the most Hindu temples consecrated by a single person and the world's largest comprehensive Hindu Temple.

"His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj internationally revered spiritual leader and the head of BAPS, has created and consecrated in accordance with the Hindu rituals, a world record of 713 temples in five continents between April 1971 and November 2007 ", the certificate said " Amongst these, the majestic, ornately hand carved BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, India, stands apart as the largest Hindu temple in the World ".

"It took us 3 months of research. poring over the extensive architectural plans of the Akshardham and also those of the other temples of comparable size, visiting and inspecting the site,before we were convinced that Akshardham deserved the title, "the official said.The temple is spread over grounds covering 86,342 sq.feet. It is 356 feet long, 316 feet wide and 141 feet high.

This is the first time that the Guinness Book has recognised a Hindu Temple in its list of large religious structures.

Benazir Bhutto Dead

Benazir Bhutto, the eldest child of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto ,was leaving an election rally in Rawalpindi when a gunman shot her in the neck and set off a bomb. At least 20 other people died in the attack and several more were injured.

President Pervez Musharraf has urged people to remain calm but angry protests have gripped some cities, with at least 11 deaths reported.Security forces have been placed on a state of "red alert" nationwide.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack. Analysts believe Islamist militants to be the most likely group behind it.

Ms Bhutto, leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), had served as prime minister from 1988-1990 and 1993-1996, and had been campaigning ahead of elections due on 8 January.

It was the second suicide attack against her in recent months and came amid a wave of bombings targeting security and government officials.

Nawaz Sharif, also a former prime minister and a political rival, announced his Muslim League party would boycott the elections. He called on President Musharraf to resign, saying free and fair elections were not possible under his rule.

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency session and later said it "unanimously condemned" the assassination.

Police has confirmed reports Ms Bhutto had been shot in the neck and chest before the gunman blew himself up.She died at 18.16 said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of the PPP who was at hospital.

Protests erupted in other cities as news of the assassination spread, with reports of 11 deaths in the PPP's heartland province of Sindh, including four in provincial capital, Karachi. More than 100 cars were burned in Karachi, while cars and a train were reportedly set on fire in Hyderabad.

1. Benazir Bhutto had addressed a rally of thousands of supporters in Rawalpindi's Liaqat Bagh Park
2. As her convoy was leaving the park via the rear gate onto Murree road, she was shot twice in the neck and chest
3. The gunman then blew himself up killing at least 16 people
4. Ms Bhutto was taken to Rawalpindi General Hospital, but was pronounced dead at 1816 local time.

Fight Autism

A treatment for inherited Autism and developmental disorders may be closer than thought,with new understanding of the Fragile X syndrome,the most common inherited cause of mental impairment,emerging.

In a research paper published in the jouranl Neuron on December 20,scientists have demonstrated that the symptoms of Fragile X can be reversed in mice that were genetically engineered to manifest the symptoms found in humans. Fragile X syndrome is associated with developmental disorders such as learning disorders,attention deficit disorder and vulnerability to seizures. A third of those with the syndrome are autistic.

The paper is co-authored by seven scientists,including two are bangalore based : Sumantra Chattarji, Professor,National Centre for Biological Sciences; and B.S.Shankaranarayana Rao,Associate Professor,NIMHANS.

The paper discusses the "Major therapeutic implications" of this finding and possibilities of developing drugs to treat the disorder. " We have known for a long time now that individuals with the Fragile X syndrome have very low concentrations of an important protein,FMRP ( Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein ), which is instrumental in the developmental of the brain and in the forming of synaptic connections "explains Prof.Chattarji.

The new understanding pertains to its interaction with another protein,called mGluR5 (metabotropic glutamate receptor), the level of which increases in people with reduce FMRP. This contributes to the disorder,preventing neural connections from maturing, he says

Says Dr.Rao : " Our research shows that by reducing mGluR5 by 50% in mice, immature connections in the brain grew into mature synapses, the ability of the brain to process information improved, incidence of seizures reduced and social interaction increased "

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

David Beckham Follows the Spice Girls to Spain

While Victoria Beckham is doing her thing with the Spice Girls, her hubby David is enjoying the perks of being married to a major pop star.

The soccer stud was spotted in Madrid, Spain yesterday, living it up in his former team’s city. Becks grabbed some dinner at Asador Donostiarra (reportedly a fave of his) and hammed it up with some fans

As always, David looked just plain hot, wearing a black cardigan over a white shirt with tie, rounded out with a pair of distressed jeans.

Victoria’s Spice Girls reunion tour made a stop in the Spanish city this past weekend, playing to a sold-out crowd (what’s new?). For both Posh and Becks it was a refreshing reminder of times past.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Benefits of Coffee

Before we get all excited over the recent news about coffee being our new antioxidant, we need to take a look at the entire picture. Is there truly a coffee antioxidant? If there is, how exactly is coffee an antioxidant? Does it become the antioxidant when it's heated? Does the coffee antioxidant benefit everyone? Are there still dangers to drinking coffee? How much coffee is good for us and when does it become bad for us?

Brewed coffee contains many antioxidants and consumption of antioxidant-rich brewed coffee may inhibit diseases caused by oxidative damages. Antioxidants are said to be an inhibitor of certain types of diseases. However, coffee beans are not all a like. Not all coffee beans are of the same quality or even the same make up. Sort of like comparing tennis shoes to sandals. Both go on your feet, but they are not made up of the same components. You can actually break coffee down into several different water-soluble components. The dietary fiber derived from roasted coffee silverskin. This is one component of the coffee bean that has high antioxidant content. This is how the scientists find out about the antioxidant benfits of coffee in their studies. What they do in fact is the break down the coffee beans into different components. They filter out the components that the coffee antioxidant is found in, and then they test lab rats in a variety of experiments to determine how well they survive with or without the various additives in their diet. When they discover something really swell, like a coffee antioxidant, our culture of coffee drinking addicts suddenly becomes a feverorish mob.

For years and years we've heard bad things about coffee. For example: it's bad for your heart, increases blood pressure, may cause breast cancer, probably keeps you awake at night, and my personal favorite, has a poisonous gas when brewed.When the world of coffee addicts even gets a tiny hint that coffee could have something beneficial, believe me they don't just drink more coffee, they try to get everyone to join them. So, here we now have scientific studies proving to us that coffee has antioxidants.

Researchers have identified several compounds in coffee that create a coffee antioxidant. Why would this be of interest to us? Because scientific studies are showing that antioxidants may help prevent cancer. You see the connection here. However, until human studies are done, science cannot state exactly how much coffee must be consumed in order gain this protection against colon cancer or any other type of cancer. Before the coffee is roasted the antioxidant benefits are varied. However, once the coffee is roasted and served as a drink things get evened out. They all seem to have the same degrees of antioxidants.

Some studies suggest coffee having other benefits such as added fertility in men and some benefits for those suffering from diabetes. You'll have to read those studies on your own. The fact that a coffee antioxidant exists may be true, but the reality is that coffee can be just as harmful if your body doesn't like it, if you consume too much, if you have high blood pressure, and if it keeps you awake at night. Is there truly a coffee antioxidant? Yes, but the actual amount needed to be consumed in order to receive the anti-cancer benefits by humans is unknown. How exactly is coffee an antioxidant?

Coffee alone isn't the antioxidant, it's several different components that are part of the coffee bean. Roasting and heating the coffee changes the total antioxidant output. Does it become the antioxidant when it's heated? It seems that although some coffee beans like green coffee beans may be higher in antioxidants that other more common beans, once they are roasted and heated for consumption, the results are the same regarding the antioxidantal benefits. Does the coffee antioxidant benefit everyone? Honestly, this is NOT a question easily answered. In fact, the truth is it is still unknown just how beneficial coffee antioxidants are for humans. Are there still dangers to drinking coffee? Yes, of course there is. If you have high blood pressure and you have seen how coffee enhances this problem, you know it's bad for YOU personally. If you can't get proper sleep or you drive everyone around you nuts because you can't sit still or shut-up, you know coffee is bad for you.

Use common sense and listen to your body. Coffee is not good for everyone and unknown just how good for anyone. How much coffee is good for us and when does it become bad for us? Again drink coffee in moderation, pay attention to your own body. Exercise and good eating habits are a far better way to get healthy than drinking 10 cups of cappuccino a day. All things in moderation. After reading everything about this new thing called a coffee antioxidant I have decided that there are better ways of getting antioxidants into my blood.

Coffee may have many benefits, but so does water and it is possible to drown from drinking too much water. Yes, I know, you have to really drink a lot to accomplish this, but it's the principle of the matter. Too much of anything is not a good thing.

Top 10 Gadgets

1.Apple iPhone

The iPhone changed the way we think about how mobile media devices should look, feel and perform. The design is exceptional inside and out: It's got a slick glass-and-stainless steel case and an elegant touch screen loaded with eye candy. It's an iPod and a 2-megapixel camera. Images and video clips display vertically or horizontally — they reorient themselves depending on how you hold the thing. When the phone detects a wireless network within range — your own home wi-fi set up or somebody else's — it lets you tap once to connect, and then proceed with your Web surfing, Google mapping, emailing and other activities that can otherwise be painfully slow over AT&T's cellular network — the only one, unfortunately, that carries iPhone calls.

2. Nikon Coolpix S51c

Have you ever maxed out your digital camera's memory card midway through a vacation? The 8-megapixel Nikon Coolpix S51c point-and-shoot is tricked out with built-in wireless capability, so you can email your images or beam them directly from the camera to your Flickr account or to Nikon's own online photo bank. It's also got a 3x zoom and a roomy 3-in. LCD screen — and it comes in black.

3.Netgear SPH200W Wi-Fi Skype Phone

This cordless wi-fi phone comes with Skype software already built in, so you can log in to an existing account and start making cheap Internet calls immediately. If you've never used Skype before, do not fear: It takes a few moments to create a new account and you can do it right from the phone's keypad. (The first 10 minutes are free; after that, you'll want to visit from your computer to sign up for a service plan with a credit card.) The phone will also work at most public hotspots (including T-Mobile's) so if you have lots of friends overseas, you may not want to leave home without it.
4. Palm Centro

Do you secretly covet your friend's smart phone while dismissing it as way overpriced? The new Palm Centro provides an opportunity to get all the essential smart-phone features without breaking the bank. This light and bright device supports Web surfing, emailing, instant messaging and text messaging, and sports a 1.3-megapixel camera and a touch screen that works best with a stylus. A mobile version of Google Maps comes preloaded. The qwerty keypad is seriously small, but the bubble-like tactile design of the individual keys makes them easier targets.

5.Sony Handycam HDR-CX7

The CX7 records rich high-definition footage straight to a flash memory card (Sony's Memory Stick PRO Duo), so it feels light and compact in your palm, and the 2.7-in. LCD screen features touch controls for set up and playback. Should you get the shakes while shooting, the CX7 has the ability to stabilize the image (using optics, which is more effective than a digital correction) and smooth out the action. A built-in HDMI port lets you connect the camera to an HDTV and watch your home movies in all their high-def glory.

6.Samsung P2

The slim and sexy P2 sounds terrific and plays a variety of music file formats: MP3, WMA and songs from subscription services like Rhapsody and Yahoo Music. The pretty 3-in. screen has touch controls for viewing photos and watching videos, which are displayed at a DVD-quality rate of 30 frames per second. The device also works with BlueTooth headsets and speakers, and soon you will be able to receive forwarded calls from a BlueTooth cell phone. (You'll have to download what's called a firmware upgrade from the Samsung website, but don't worry, it's not as difficult as it sounds.) Comes with 4 GB of memory for $200, or 8 GB for $250.

7.Toshiba Portégé R500-S5004

This ultra thin-and-light notebook is a dream machine for road warriors. It runs on an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and offers 2 GB of RAM, an integrated DVD burner and graphics card and built-in wireless capability (both wi-fi and Bluetooth). The 12.1-in. widescreen LED-backlit display is super slim and displays in high-definition (1280 x 820 pixels). With the S5004 model you get a solid-state hard drive, which means no fragile spinning parts, so the machine is less likely to suffer damage if dropped or bumped. Total weight: 2.4 lbs.

8.FlyTech Dragonfly

WowWee's flying insect soars, dive-bombs, hovers and glides using authentic flapping-wing action, which makes it the first commercially available toy ornithopter. It's lightweight (about 1 oz.) yet sturdy, and sports a 16-in. wingspan. The two-channel radio remote lets you control wing speed and tail rotor speed and doubles as a charging base (a 20-min. recharge gives you about 6 min. of flying time). The kids will love it — if you can bear to let them have it for a while.

9.Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive

Who knew file storage could be so chic? The 160 GB eGo has enough room to hold up to 640,000 digital photos, 2,900 hours of music or 240 hours of video (depending, of course, on the compression rate). A new dual-interface version works over USB or FireWire and comes with both types of cords. If you accidentally knock the eGo off your desk, the shock-absorbing case will protect the important documents and precious media stored inside.

10.Belkin N1 Vision Wi-Fi Router

Though the new "N" wi-fi standard, which carries data signals faster and farther than its predecessor "G," isn't expected to be officially ratified until next year, it's far enough along that you can buy certified N products with confidence that they will work with your computers and other hardware. Belkin's audaciously designed N1 Vision router stands vertical and reports on network activity in your house so you can see if your kid is downloading video games when he should be doing his homework. It is designed to configure itself the first time you connect it to your cable modem or DSL, and computers still using older "G" adapters will still be able to connect.

Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs !!

1. Circumcision Can Prevent HIV :

In December 2006, the National Institutes of Health halted two clinical trials of male circumcision after an early review of the data showed that the procedure dramatically reduced transmission of HIV. Early this year, the details of those studies were published in the Lancet: In the two randomized trials, which included 7,780 HIV-negative men in Rakai, Uganda, and Kisumu, Kenya, researchers found that medically circumcised men were at least 51% less likely than uncircumcised men to acquire HIV during sex with women. The editors of the Lancet called the discovery "a new era for HIV prevention." Scientists don't know yet whether male circumcision can also provide protection for female partners — a new study on the hypothesis is forthcoming next year.

2. Test for Metastatic Breast Cancer :

Surgeons now have a faster way to assess whether breast cancer has spread, thanks to the FDA's approval of the first molecular test to detect metastatic breast cancer. During the patient's lumpectomy or mastectomy, surgeons traditionally examine the lymph node closest to the breast — the sentinel node — for signs of metastases. If the tissue is examined immediately and tumor cells are discovered, additional lymph nodes are taken out — but, usually, further and more extensive microscopic testing is required to confirm that cancer has spread. Problem is the lab results take up to two days to come back, which leaves women in limbo before possibly facing a second surgery. But with the new test, called GeneSearch BLN Assay, doctors can accurately test the sentinel node for metastases during the initial surgery by measuring molecular markers of breast cancer that are abundant in cancerous breast tissue but normally scarce in lymph nodes. If the test shows the presence of cancer, the physician can remove affected lymph nodes immediately, sparing women the wait and possible follow-up surgery.

3. First Human Vaccine Against Bird Flu :

In 2007 the threat of a pandemic avian flu got a teensy bit less scary. The deadly disease has killed 207 people worldwide and infected 336 since 2003. While only a small number of those cases were traced to human-to-human transmission, public health officials fear it's only a matter of time before the virus mutates into a more easily transmitted form and sparks a global outbreak. Hoping to ward off that worst-case scenario, this year the FDA approved the first human vaccine against the bird flu. Created from a human strain of the virus, the vaccine is given in two intramuscular shots. But don't bug your doctor for it. The vaccine isn't sold commercially. Instead, the federal government is stockpiling the stuff in case of a national outbreak.

4.Help for Dieters: Alli

Need help shedding those extra holiday pounds? Overweight adults now have an extra weapon against fat: Alli, the first FDA-approved weight-loss drug sold over the counter. Alli (a.k.a. orlistat) works by monkeying with lipase, an enzyme the body uses to break down and digest the fat in food. A dose of Alli (pronounced like ally) on the heels of a meal blocks the body's ability to absorb fat by 30%. But Alli's maker, GlaxoSmithKline, insists the drug isn't a magic bullet and recommends that it be used only in conjunction with a healthy low-fat diet and plenty of exercise. Another reason to practice a little restraint? Sticking to a low-fat diet helps reduce Alli's common and unpleasant side effects — cramps, gas, diarrhea and oily discharge.

5.New Diabetes Genes :

Having a parent with type 2 diabetes ups your odds of developing the disease, but why do some sibs get it and others don't? The answer lies somewhere in your genetic code, and this year brought scientific sleuths closer to cracking it. Research teams from the United States and Finland uncovered four new genetic variants linked to an increased risk of diabetes, which afflicts about 170 million people worldwide. Combined with the six variants scientists had discovered previously, it brings the total to 10. Eventually, these discoveries will aid experts in pinpointing those at greatest risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

6.No More Periods :

Women wanting to dodge the nuisance of their monthly menses can now turn to Lybrel, the first continuous use birth control drug approved by the FDA. Made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, the new contraceptive is similar to the conventional Pill — minus the placebos. Typically, a month's worth of birth control pills includes four to seven days of placebo pills, which trigger menstruation. With Lybrel, the dummy pills are replaced with daily doses of hormones, eliminating menstruation altogether. The downside? Most women will have some spotting and breakthrough bleeding, especially during the first year of use.

7.Relief from Fibromyalgia : Lyrica

People who suffer from the chronic fatigue, muscle pain, and stiffness of fibromyalgia finally have a drug to call their own. This year the FDA approved the antiseizure drug Lyrica (pregabalin), made by Pfizer, as a treatment for fibromyalgia. The news was a long time coming for the 3 to 6 million Americans, most of them women, who suffer from the frustratingly elusive and complex condition; the pain of fibromyalgia is unique and, therefore, unresponsive to conventional painkillers. In studies, Lyrica not only soothed the aches of fibromyalgia but also significantly improved patients' quality of life. Lyrica already had the FDA's okay as a treatment for epilepsy, discomfort from shingles, and neuropathy, or nerve pain, often caused by diabetes.

8.Early-Stage Test for Lung Cancer :

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in America and is responsible for more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast, and prostate). One reason lung cancer is so deadly is that by the time tumors are diagnosed, usually as a result of physical symptoms like coughing up blood, the cancer is often advanced and tough to treat. But a new blood test may improve the odds of catching the disease earlier, at a more curable stage. Called LC Detect, the test measures blood levels of a protein present in all stages of lung cancer, but rarely seen in healthy people. While the test alone can't confirm a diagnosis of lung cancer, it can be used in conjunction with chest X-rays, CT scans, and other imaging technology to hone in on early-stage tumors

9. New Source of Stem Cells :

This was a banner year for stem-cell research. But one advancement that may not have had its due was the discovery of stem cells in amniotic fluid. Researchers believe that amniotic fluid–derived stem cells, AFS for short, have the potential to give rise to many, but perhaps not all, of the 220 specialized cell types found in the human body — placing the potential usefulness of AFS cells somewhere between embryonic and adult stem cells. Best of all, AFS cells are easy to come by. They're bountiful in fluid specimens left over from amniocentesis, a common prenatal procedure that extracts amniotic fluid to test for genetic disorders; another ready source of AFS cells may be "afterbirth," the tissue new mothers lose after childbirth. Considering that four million babies are born in the United States each year, AFS cells are sure to draw much future research.

10.Benefits of Vitamin D :

Researchers have long known that the "sunshine vitamin" boosts bone strength by encouraging the body to absorb calcium. But a slew of new studies published in 2007 suggests that the vitamin has a lot of other benefits: Diets high in D may ward off diabetes, gum disease and multiple sclerosis — and maybe even cancer. Though some findings linking vitamin D and cancer showed questionable benefit, the news on colon cancer was promising. In one large trial, men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and women in the Nurses' Health Study with the highest blood levels of vitamin D were half as likely to develop colon cancer as their peers with less circulating vitamin D. To squeeze the most value out of vitamin D, aim for taking a supplement with 1,000 IU daily.

Sunday, December 23, 2007