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3671  General Category / The Newsroom / AIDS breakthrough: Vaginal gel helps prevent infection on: July 20, 2010, 11:35:30 AM
AIDS breakthrough: Vaginal gel helps prevent infection

MILWAUKEE: For the first time, a vaginal gel has proved capable of blocking the AIDS virus: It cut in half a woman's chances of getting HIV from an infected partner in a study in South Africa. Scientists called it a breakthrough in the long quest for a tool to help women whose partners won't use condoms.

The results need to be confirmed in another study, and that level of protection is probably not enough to win approval of the microbicide gel in countries like the United States, researchers say. But they are optimistic it can be improved.

"We are giving hope to women," who account for most new HIV infections, said Michel Sidibe in a statement. He is executive director of the World Health Organization's UNAIDS program. A gel could "help us break the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic," he said.

And Dr. Anthony Fauci of the US National Institutes of Health said, "It's the first time we've ever seen any microbicide give a positive result" that scientists agree is true evidence of protection.

The gel, spiked with the AIDS drug tenofovir, cut the risk of HIV infection by 50 percent after one year of use and 39 percent after 2 1/2 years, compared to a gel that contained no medicine.

To be licensed in the US, a gel or cream to prevent HIV infection may need to be at least 80 percent effective, Fauci said. That might be achieved by adding more tenofovir or getting women to use it more consistently. In the study, women used the gel only 60 percent of the time; those who used it more often had higher rates of protection.

The gel also cut in half the chances of getting HSV-2, the herpes virus that causes genital warts. That's important because other sexually spread diseases raise the risk of catching HIV.

Even partial protection is a huge victory that could be a boon not just in poor countries but for couples anywhere when one partner has HIV and the other does not, said Dr. Salim Abdool Karim, the South African researcher who led the study. In the US, nearly a third of new infections each year are among heterosexuals, he noted.

Countries may come to different decisions about whether a gel that offers this amount of protection should be licensed. In South Africa, where one in three girls is infected with HIV by age 20, this gel could prevent 1.3 million infections and 826,000 deaths over the next two decades, he calculated.

He will present results of the study Tuesday at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna. The research was published online Monday by the journal Science.

"We now have a product that potentially can alter the epidemic trends ... and save millions of lives," said Dr. Quarraisha Abdool Karim, the lead researcher's wife and associate director of the South African program that led the testing.

It's the second big advance in less than a year on the prevention front. Last fall, scientists reported that an experimental vaccine cut the risk of HIV infection by about 30 percent. Research is under way to try to improve it.

If further study shows the gel to be safe and effective, WHO will work to speed access to it, said its director-general, Dr. Margaret Chan.

The gel is in limited supply; it's not a commercial product, and was made for this and another ongoing study from drug donated by California-based Gilead Sciences Inc., which sells tenofovir in pill form as Viread. If further study proves the gel effective, a full-scale production system would need to be geared up to make it.

The study tested the gel in 889 heterosexual women in and near Durban, South Africa. Researchers had no information on the women's partners, but the women were heterosexual and, in general, not in a high-risk group, such as prostitutes.

Half of the women were given the microbicide and the others, a dummy gel. Women were told to use it 12 hours before sex and as soon as possible within 12 hours afterward.

At the study's end, there were 38 HIV infections among the microbicide group versus 60 in the others.

The gel seemed safe -- only mild diarrhea was slightly more common among those using it. Surveys showed that the vast majority of women found it easy to use and said their partners didn't mind it. And 99 percent of the women said they would use the gel if they knew for sure that it prevented HIV.

This shows that new studies testing the gel's effectiveness without a placebo group should immediately be launched, said Salim Abdool Karim. The only other study testing the gel now compares it to placebo and will take a couple more years to complete.

The study was sponsored by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa, or CAPRISA; Family Health International; CONRAD, an AIDS research effort based at Eastern Virginia Medical School; and the US Agency for International Development, or USAID.

Gilead has licensed the rights to produce the gel, royalty-free, to CONRAD and the International Partnership on Microbicides for the 95 poorest countries in the world, said Dr. Howard Jaffe, president of the Gilead Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm.

The biggest cost of the gel is the plastic applicator -- about 32 cents, which hopefully would be lower when mass-produced, researchers said.

Mitchell Warren, head of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, a nonprofit group that works on HIV prevention tools, said the study shows a preventive gel is possible.

"We can now say with great certainty that the concept has been proved. And that in itself is a day for celebration," he said.

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3672  Fun Zone / The Video Zone / Parota on: July 19, 2010, 07:56:57 PM


A must to watch how daba workers in Tamil Nadu South India prepare,thro,and catch  Parota with out dropping even a single parota.

Our cricket players shld watch this and learn.
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3673  General Category / The Newsroom / Most popular Asian tourist destinations on: July 19, 2010, 05:32:58 PM
Most popular Asian tourist destinations

Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj Mahal - India's most fascinating and beautiful masterpiece and one of the seven wonders of the world - has emerged the winner of a poll for the most popular Asian destination. Built by the fifth Mughul emperor Shahjahan, this monument has immortalized the name of Mumtaz Mahal, the beloved wife of Shahjahan, in whose memory he built this marvelous tomb. The Taj is characterized by highly stylized calligraphy, intricate carvings in marble, delicate arrangement of precious stones, and the famous pietra dura inlay work.

Toyko Disney Land (Japan)

Tokyo Disney was the first Disney theme park ever built outside of the US. The theme park consists of both Tokyo Disney Land and Tokyo Disney Sea. The theme park recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and it is estimated that approximately 25 million people visit it each year. The park was constructed by Walt Disney Imagineering in the same style as Disneyland in California and Magic Kingdom in Florida. In 2009, Tokyo Disneyland hosted approximately 13.65 million guests, ranking it as the third-most visited theme park in the world.

Great Wall of China (Bandaling)

The Great Wall of China spans over 4,000 miles. Originally built to protect China against invaders, the wall is now a hot destination for tourists visiting from all over the world. The most popular section can be found at Bandaling, where a 10km section is open to the public for exploration. The actual number of visitors to the wall annually varies depending on the source, but rumour has it that the local municipality caps visitation at 16 million people per year.

Victoria Peak (Hong Kong)

During the late 19th century the highest mountain at Hong Kong Island was developed into a resort for the rich and famous. The resort can be accessed by tram car and those who visit have a wide variety of dining and entertainment options. The real treat here, however, is the view. Each year over 9.4 million people visit Victoria Peak. The mountain is located in the western half of Hong Kong Island. With an altitude of 552 m it offers views over central Hong Kong, Victoria Harbour, and the surrounding islands.

Everland (Kyonggi-Do, South Korea)

Everland is the largest theme park in all of South Korea and drawing close to 7.2 million visitors per year, it is believed this park draws more traffic than Universal Studios in Florida. Similar to Disney theme parks, Everland is split into different themed sections – giving visitors plenty to explore. Everland is often compared to Disneyland by those who have visited both parks, as some consider the architecture, scale, themes and general atmosphere to be very similar.

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3674  General Category / Health and Fitness / Your guide to beautiful eyes on: July 19, 2010, 01:26:19 PM
Your guide to beautiful eyes

Have you lost the sparkle in your eyes? Or worse still are they looking puffy and red lately? May be it's time to take a little more care of your eyes. After all, your eyesight is precious and your eyes are one of the most sensitive organs of your body.

We got Ophthalmologist Dr Pavitra Bhatt, a consultant with LH Hiranandani Hospital to give you tips on how to take care of your eyes and get back the twinkle in them.

1. Sleep sound.

Sleeping right is the first step to healthy eyes. The eyes need lots of rest especially because we expose them to the rays emitted by computer and television often. A good night’s rest helps beat puffiness and redness and leaves you with bright eyes.
2. Make a splash.

Splash your eyes with water twice a day. Do this once in the morning after you wake up and once in the night before sleeping to help keep your eyes clean and free from harmful germs.

3. Eat right.

What you eat affects your eyes and your eyesight. Eat proper meals during the day. Do not skip breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. Eat food rich in Vitamins A, C and E, folic acid, selenium and zinc for perfect vision. Supplement your diet with sprouts, apples, broccoli and other fruits and vegetables. Carrots, loaded with beta carotene are especially helpful in maintaining healthy eyes.

4. Stay hydrated.

Keep your eyes hydrated at all times. Drink fluids at regular intervals. If you have the problem of dry eyes it's a good idea to visit an eye specialist. You may need moisturising eye drops.

5. Follow the 20-20-20 rule.

If you are using the computer or watching television for a long time follow the 20-20-20 rule. It's very simple. Sit 20 inches away from the computer screen, take a break every 20 minutes and blink/exercise your eyes 20 times.
6. Shield your eyes.

If you have a job which requires more than eight hours of computer work, wear a good pair of reflective glasses to protect your eyes and reduce the strain of constant computer viewing.

7. Wear sunglasses.

UV rays from the sun harm your eyes too. If your job involves a lot of outdoor work, remember to buy a good pair of UV protection glasses. Sunglasses with UV protection are a good idea for those afternoon shopping sprees too.

8. Cool your eyes.

One of the most popular and effective ways to take care of your eyes is to keep freshly cut cucumber slices over your eyes for at least 10 minutes before going to sleep every night. It's an effective way to prevent puffiness and inflammation.

9. Care for your contacts.

If you use contact lenses regularly, you must take proper care. Change the lens case every two to three months and the lens solution every one to one and a half month. And don't forget to clean your lenses properly before wearing them.

10. Visit the doc.

Visit your eye specialist twice every year. It helps fix any eye problems with glasses, contacts or surgery. You will also be able to detect issues like dry eyes, problems with your retina and even conditions of the whole body like diabetes and high blood pressure.
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3675  General Category / Technical & Science & Mysteries / Cement that cuts CO2 on: July 19, 2010, 12:24:41 PM
Cement that cuts CO2

New ecological cement

The Tecnalia Construction Unit has unveiled a new generation of environmentally-friendly cements that enable cutting direct carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere by up to 100 per cent. The development of the new ecological cement, as well as the techniques for enhancing its mechanical properties using nanotechnology, has led to the obtention of two patents, whose ownership is shared between Tecnalia and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas.

A major breakthrough

In drawing up these products, the Nanomaterials in Construction Team (NANOC) at Tecnalia substituted limestone as the raw material by solid waste from thermal power stations. Thanks to this new production technique, a threefold objective has been achieved: carrying out efficient management of waste through recycling, thus contributing to the preservation of the natural resources of the planet and avoiding the direct emission to the atmosphere of greenhouse effect gases through eliminating the limestone burning process.

A CO2 free process

Likewise, the technology developed by Tecnalia-Construction enables reducing the energy demand of the cement synthesis process by approximately 50 per cent. The traditional process of manufacturing cements involves the calcination of limestone, resulting in the over-exploitation of a non- renewable natural resource and the emission of huge amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere

Will cut down carbon emission

Moreover, the current cement synthesis process involves high consumption of energy which, depending on the source used, leads to an additional increase in the contaminant emissions. As a consequence, it is calculated that 5 per cent of the total emissions of CO2 worldwide comes from the cement industry

Green in practice

The new generation of ecological cements developed by Tecnalia-Construcción is a revolution in the current model of production which will significantly contribute to ameliorate the harmful effects on the environment of the activity of the cement industry.
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3676  General Category / Health and Fitness / Get glowing skin, thick hair! on: July 19, 2010, 12:18:07 PM

Get glowing skin, thick hair!

You don’t have to starve yourself to look good. All you need is to eat the right foods. Here’s a beauty diet plan carefully put together by our expert to help you look fabulous all thorough 2010!


• Green vegetables: Spinach, zucchini, broccoli and brussels sprouts contain a caroteinoid called lutein and a pigment called zeaxanthinan. Both defend your cells from free radicals and help keep your eyes lustrous. Avoid overcooking for best benefits. Steam or sauté, instead.
• Orange and other vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and fibre work against under-eye puffiness.


• Probiotic yoghurt: It contains good bacteria that help your skin look healthy. Eczema sufferers can benefit a great deal from a daily intake.
• Fish: Oily fish such as sardines and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids that reduce skin inflammation and keep it moisturised. They also promote elasticity, keeping wrinkles at bay.
• Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, etc., contain antioxidant phytonutrients that get rid of free radicals in the blood and guard your collagen, thereby boosting skin repair. Collagen makes your skin supple, smooth and plump.


• Have chicken, turkey, pork, milk, cheese, yeast, peanuts, beans, wholegrain cereals to avoid brittle nails. Pumpkin seeds are one of the most concentrated non-meat sources of zinc. But many vegetarian foods also contain phytic acid that binds with zinc, making it unavailable to the body. Hence, take a Vitamin C supplement. It will make zinc more available.


• Poultry: Lean meats like chicken and turkey provide high quality proteins, essential for growth, repair and maintenance. Low-fat milk products such as skimmed milk, yogurt and cottage cheese are great sources too. If you like eggsand don’t suffer from high cholesterol, have one yolk a day. It contains Vitamin B-12 which promotes hair growth and prevents hair loss.
• Salmon: It contains omega-3 fatty acids, B12 and iron.
• Flaxseeds: What salmon does for non-vegetarians, flax seed does for vegans.
• Oysters: Try oysters for faster hair growth. They contain zinc.
• Whole wheat and brown rice: Make sure you include whole wheat, brown rice and fortified cereals in your everyday diet.
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3677  General Category / Health and Fitness / Antioxidant effects of almonds on: July 19, 2010, 12:04:16 PM
Antioxidant effects of almonds

A daily intake of almonds could significantly decrease levels of two biomarkers for oxidative stress in people with high cholesterol, according to a study by scientists at Tufts University in Boston, Mass.

Coauthor Jeffrey Blumberg and colleagues found that almonds successfully lowered plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and urinary isoprostanes levels in a group of 27 male and female volunteers with elevated cholesterol.

Blumberg is the director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts

The researchers analysed blood and urine samples from the subjects who had consumed three different dietary treatments, consisting of the same amount of calories each, for one month.

The study was a crossover, randomised clinical trial, so each subject received each treatment in random order.

Treatments consisted of a "full dose" of almonds, defined as 73 grams daily (about 2.5 ounces), a "half-dose" of almonds plus a half-dose of muffins, and a full-dose of muffins as a control.

The subjects consumed a low-fat background diet and were counseled on strategies to maintain weight and to consistently follow their usual exercise routines throughout each test phase.

The researchers wanted to investigate possible antioxidant effects from eating almonds.

The team found that when the volunteers ate the full dose of almonds, their concentration of two biomarkers of oxidative stress--plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and urinary isoprostanes--were significantly lowered.
MDA decreased by nearly 19 percent compared to the start of the study in the full-dose almond group.

Isoprostane decreased by 27 percent in both the almond groups when compared to the control period, suggesting a possible threshold effect for that biomarker.

While the study helps to show the antioxidant benefit of eating almonds, further research is needed to shed light on the individual contributions of vitamin E and polyphenolic constituents, such as flavonoids, found in almonds and other tree nuts.

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3678  Fun Zone / The Video Zone / Italian Car sales man on: July 18, 2010, 07:40:52 PM
Italian Car sales man

See the attachment why Italians are not suitable for the job of salesman.
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3679  General Category / Technical & Science & Mysteries / Dutch Linear & other Clocks on: July 18, 2010, 01:39:21 PM

Dutch Linear  & other Clocks

Dutch Linear Clock.This is a different way to  display time on the time line.   Just read  the green line.

  Also U can see many more clocks of different types and  can use it as Desk top screen saver.

Just visit the following web site   

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3680  The Lounge / The Astro Section / Do mantras empower? on: July 18, 2010, 01:25:39 PM
Do mantras empower ?

The issue of sound affecting water and mantras doing the same vastly differ from each other. While the former issue comes within the scope of scientific experiments, the latter extends beyond its limits. In the case of the former, physical sound appears to be the main cause of change, while in the latter, it is the mantra; in the former, sound is loud and clear, while in the latter, it could also be silent. In the former, the one who or that which produces sound is of little consequence; a well orchestrated sound produced even by a mechanical device or an electronic gadget could serve the purpose, while in the latter, he is of utmost importance, like the main spring of a clock; in fact, it is he, who, with the recitation of the mantra, causes the change in the water or akshata. In simple terms, the issue of mantras influencing water or akshata extends beyond the limits of science, to metaphysics, the realm with its mysterious laws, beyond normal human comprehension.

Usually mantras are prayers invoking a particular deity for a specific purpose such as Narasimha Stuti for destruction of fear or Sri Lakshmi stotra for riches etc. They contain great power that does wonders, but they do not, by themselves, release it; they need human agency to release the dormant power. William James, the renowned thinker concurred with this; he said that prayer hides energy within it that is set free by prayer and the energy thus released operates at subjective and objective level on the material plane.  It implies that one is required to pray for long. In other words one should do japa of the mantra for a long time.

Japa is not just repeated recitation of mantra; it is much more than that. It is a process in itself and a complex one at that. It is not a solitary, independent act but an exercise interwoven with a golden chain of sacred duties, according to a thinker. It has prerequisites like full faith in the mantra, undisturbed mind and a clean and silent atmosphere. It also involves focusing on the proper recitation of the mantra and meditating upon its meaning.

A mantra thus recited becomes a siddha mantra and gives the results. The one, who wants the results in full measure, is advised to get mantropadesha from his guru, an authority on the subject. Blessed indeed is he, who is fortunate enough to get mantropadesha from highly evolved souls like the peethadhipatis for the mantra given by them becomes a siddha mantra in a short time.
Mantra-japa will, even without obtaining from a guru, be found to give results. A writer’s colleague and friend, an intelligent man but with a mercurial temperament started the japa of the mantra-Om namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya- on his own. In the course of time, he became calm and quiet and showed remarkable improvement in his writing skills. A pro-unionist as he was, he pleaded the case of a dismissed employee and got him reinstated in the organisation. The social organization that had tried for the reinstatement of the employee earlier admitted that they could not have pleaded the case the way the friend had done. Congratulating the friend on the achievement, another colleague who was into spirituality for long said that had the friend done the japa on getting the mantra from a guru, he would have acquired still greater skills. 

No doubt, doing mantra japa for a long time is not an easy task, but the results that the japa yields far outweigh the efforts.

A western thinker strongly pleads for the continuation of prayer (japa) in the following words:-

“If we are unhappy as now to find pleasure in this holy exercise that however is so far from being a reason for discontinuing it, that it affords the strongest argument for perseverance. That which was at first a form will become pleasure; that which was a burden will become a privilege; that which is now short and superficial will become copious and solid. The chariot wheel is warmed by its own motion. Use will make it easy, which was at first painful. That which once becomes easy will soon be rendered pleasant. Instead of repining at the performance we shall be unhappy at the omission”

Mantras do possess power that not only purifies the mind, if continued with its japa, but it will also fortify the mind that can withstand the strongest attack from within and without. As a thinker says, “---the heart of one truly devout is like the castle in which the Lord dwells, and which is garrisoned with the divine presence”.

The great souls, peethadhipatis, the sages of our times, are ever ready to oblige the aspirants with mantropadesha. There might be others also. Let us approach them and beseech them to bestow the mantropadesha and on being obliged, perform its japa religiously and achieve spiritual progress which is the real purpose we have been born for. 
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