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3671  Image Zone / Amazing, Breathtaking, Cute, etc. / Two-Headed Calf Born in Egypt Expected to Survive on: July 06, 2010, 11:53:05 AM
Two-Headed Calf Born in Egypt Expected to Survive

An Egyptian farmer this week said one of his cows gave birth to a two-headed calf, after two hours of strenuous labor.

 The farmer, Sobhy el-Ganzoury, called it a "divine miracle." The animal is expected to survive.

El-Ganzoury is feeding milk to the calf with a baby bottle, and he told the AP that the animal is a reminder that
 "God is able to do anything."

 A veterinarian told him that the calf is in stable condition, despite having weak
 legs from the difficult birth.

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3672  General Category / The Newsroom / Shopping makes men impotent on: July 05, 2010, 02:35:33 PM
Shopping makes men impotent

Shopping is really bad for men's health and fertility, scientists are now saying after new research.

Researchers have discovered that a chemical compound found on some cash receipts contains a hazardous substance, Bisphenol A (BPA), which suppresses male hormones in the body and can make men impotent.

The compound, used to make ink visible on thermally sensitive paper, is ingested when men handle the paper and then touch their mouths or handle food.

Frank Sommer, a Berlin-based urologist, said the substance could just affect sex hormones in men.

"A substance like that could shift the balance of sex hormones in men towards oestrogen," Sommer was quoted as saying by The Telegraph newspaper here.

"In the long term, this leads to less sexual drive, encourages the belly instead of the muscles to grow and has a bad effect on erection and potency," he said.

BPA has been linked to breast cancer, heart disease, obesity, hyperactivity and other disorders, and has been banned in Canada and a few US states.

It is widely used in tins of food and canned drinks to toughen the internal lining of the container. Most manufacturers of baby bottles have stopped putting it in their products but older stock containing the chemical is still on sale.

BPA is known as an endocrine disrupter and interferes with the release of hormones. It can affect disorders associated with metabolism, fertility and neural development
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3673  General Category / Health and Fitness / How honey kills bacteria on: July 05, 2010, 02:25:56 PM
How honey kills bacteria

Scientists have identified a secret ingredient in honey that kills bacteria.

They have found that bees make a protein that they add to the honey, called defensin-1, which could one day be used to treat burns and skin infections and to develop new drugs that could combat antibiotic-resistant infections.

"We have completely elucidated the molecular basis of the antibacterial activity of a single medical-grade honey, which contributes to the applicability of honey in medicine," said Sebastian A.J. Zaat, a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Medical Microbiology at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam.

"Honey or isolated honey-derived components might be of great value for prevention and treatment of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria," he added.

To make the discovery, Zaat and colleagues investigated the antibacterial activity of medical-grade honey in test tubes against a panel of antibiotic-resistant, disease-causing bacteria.

They developed a method to selectively neutralize the known antibacterial factors in honey and determine their individual antibacterial contributions. Ultimately, researchers isolated the defensin-1 protein, which is part of the honeybee immune system and is added by bees to honey.

After analysis, the scientists concluded that the vast majority of honey's antibacterial properties come from that protein.

This information also sheds light on the inner workings of honey bee immune systems, which may one day help breeders create healthier and heartier honey bees.

The study has been published in the July 2010 print edition of the FASEB Journal .

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3674  General Category / Health and Fitness / Soon, a simple blood test for developing foetus on: July 05, 2010, 01:55:03 PM
Soon, a simple blood test for developing foetus

Researchers in The Netherlands are on the verge of developing a simple, prenatal blood test that would be able to detect accurately chromosomal abnormalities in the developing foetus.

Dr Suzanna Frints, a clinical geneticist at Maastricht University Medical Centre (Maastricht, The Netherlands), will tell the 26th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Rome, that she and her colleagues have been able to use molecular genetic probes to detect DNA belonging to the foetus in blood samples taken from pregnant women.

So far, they have been successful in identifying DNA from the Y chromosome, indicating that the foetus is a boy and therefore could be at risk of inheriting an X-linked disorder such as Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and haemophilia.

The researchers believe the same method can be used to detect trisomy 21 (where an extra chromosome 21 causes Down’s syndrome) and they are investigating this next, followed by trisomy 13 and 18 (responsible for causing Patau and Edward’s syndromes respectively).

Frints and her colleagues are using the "Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification" (MLPA), technique to detect foetal DNA that is present in the blood of women who have been pregnant for at least six to eight weeks.

"It is inexpensive compared to the costs of invasive prenatal diagnosis, and could easily be implemented at low cost, between 30-150 Euros per kit per person, with a small apparatus in every hospital in the world. Blood samples can be taken during routine antenatal visits," said Frints.

The study started in 2009 and is expected to continue to 2012 or longer.

The researchers are recruiting women who are at high risk of an abnormal pregnancy and undergoing prenatal screening and invasive diagnostic procedures.

To obtain MLPA proof of principle, they have recruited 14 women who had a pregnancy termination between 14-22 weeks gestation because of trisomy 13, 18 or 21 detected by invasive prenatal diagnosis (group A), four women who had non-invasive prenatal screening at 12-14 weeks gestation (group B), three women who had invasive prenatal diagnosis because of being at least 36 years old (group C), and nine non-pregnant control women who had had up to three children (group D).

A total of 20, 715, 40 and 30 women are needed in each group respectively to complete the clinical trial to test the reliability of the MLPA technique.

"The MLPA test results obtained in 2009 were compared with the results of amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling and pregnancy outcome. All but one with sample correlated the non-invasive MLPA test results, detecting foetal Y-chromosome sequences," said Frints.

"At the moment, the reliability of the test is about 80% due to false negative results, but we are working to improve the accuracy of the MLPA probe," she added.

"Although we need to test and refine this MLPA technique further, our results so far are promising. This is innovative translational research and when we succeed in developing the MLPA procedure for use in maternal blood, we will be able to offer a safe, cheap, fast, reliable and accurate non-invasive test, which will be of immediate benefit to pregnant women, young and old, all over the world," said Frints.

The researchers hope the test may be available in the clinic in two to five years’ time.

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3675  General Category / Health and Fitness / Carry bags contain deadly germs on: July 05, 2010, 01:51:43 PM
Carry bags contain deadly germs

Shopping bags could be a threat to shoppers' health as they harbour deadly food poisoning micro-organisms, researchers have said.

Tests conducted on shopping bags of a total of 84 shoppers have revealed that almost half of them contained traces of E.coli, a lethal micro-organism that killed 26 people in Scotland in 1996 in one of the world's worst food poisoning outbreaks.

Scientists from the University of Arizona in the US also found many bags were contaminated with salmonella, The Telegraph reported.

Many of the shopping bags were made from jute or woven polypropylene. While they helped to reduce the amount of plastic used in carrier bags by 40 per cent in just the last three years, the research says they could be harmful if not cleaned regularly.

The study revealed 97 per cent of shoppers who used eco-friendly bags never washed or bleached them.

There are hundreds of people who use "permanent" shopping bags, and a vast majority do not wash their bags after each shopping trip, according to Wrap, the British government's anti-waste watchdog.

The researchers warned the levels of bacteria they found were high enough to cause a wide range of serious health problems and even death. Children may be in the greatest danger, they said.

"Our findings suggest a serious threat to public health, especially from bacteria such as E.coli, which were detected in half of the bags sampled. Consumers are alarmingly unaware of these risks and the need to sanitise their bags on a weekly basis," Charles Gerba, who led the study, said.

E. coli is a species of bacterium found in the intestines of animals and humans. It is passed on through faeces and can survive in the environment. It is usually transferred to humans by ingesting contaminated water, or contaminated food, such as meat, which has not been cooked properly.

A particular strain, known as E. coli 0157, can be lethal for children and older people.

E. coli cases in Britain are on the increase, the Health Protection Agency said, adding that there were 25,532 reported cases in 2009, a seven percent increase compared to 2008.

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3676  Fun Zone / Clean Jokes / Sadhu and the TT on: July 05, 2010, 01:32:14 PM

Sadhu and the TT

Train mein TT Sadhu se bola: Kahan jana hai?

Sadhu: Jahan Ram ka janam hua tha.

TT: Ticket hai?

Sadhu: Nahin

TT: Chalo

Sadhu: Kahan?

TT: Jahan Krishan ka janam hua tha.. yani Jail mein   
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3677  Fun Zone / Clean Jokes / Portable hard hats on: July 04, 2010, 01:07:48 PM

Portable hard hats  
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3678  Image Zone / Funny Pictures / Career graph on: July 04, 2010, 01:05:25 PM
Career graph   
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3679  The Lounge / Automobiles / Stuck in traffic? Turn your car into a plane on: July 04, 2010, 12:34:14 PM
Stuck in traffic? Turn your car into a plane
Times Of India 02 Jul 2010

Your dream of a car that runs on road but can fly you out of a traffic jam could soon come true as the US aviation authority has given the green signal for the commercial production of such a vehicle.

The "Terrafugia Transition" is a two-seater car that can convert from road to air in just 30 seconds, without the driver leaving the vehicle.

Developed by former Nasa engineers and built by a small American company from Massachusetts, Terrafugia Inc, the vehicle can travel at speeds of up to 145kmph in car mode with its wings folded.

The wings then unfold for flight mode in which it can cruise at the speed of 185kmph for up to 805km on a tank of unleaded gasoline, the Telegraph reported. With its wings folded, it can be parked in an ordinary car garage.

The company says tests have shown that the vehicle can drive, fly and switch from being a plane to a car in just 30 seconds. The company claims the flying car has been successfully test-flown many times. It will have front-wheel drive on the road and a propeller for flight.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted the Transition an exemption-- allowing it to be classified as a "light sport aircraft" despite being 54k over the limit.

The "roadable aircraft", which is powered by the same 100-bhp engine whether it is on the ground or in the air, will require a "Sport Pilot license" or higher to fly.

It can take off or land at any public use general aviation airport with at least 2,500 feet of runway. According to its manufacturer, one of the major advantages of the Transition over ordinary light aircraft is safety, as in the event of inclement weather, it can simply drive home instead of either being grounded or flying in unsafe conditions.

With a deposit money of $10,000, nearly 70 people have already booked the car which is expected to cost $194,000, the company said. "Our schedule calls for the first delivery to be made prior to the end of 2011. We currently have in excess of 70 orders, which is about a two-year backlog," Richard Gersh, vice-president for Terrafugia, said. agencies
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3680  Image Zone / Funny Pictures / INDIA nowadays.... on: July 04, 2010, 12:09:15 PM

INDIA nowadays....
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