‘Child-friendly paediatric TB drugs will be a game changer’

Treating young children afflicted with drug-sensitive TB disease will no longer be the same. After years of neglect, the availability of flavoured, easily dissolvable first-line TB drugs in correct doses marks a watershed moment as the special needs of these children will be met. The tablets, which are a combination of two and more medicines … Continue reading ‘Child-friendly paediatric TB drugs will be a game changer’

Alas, topical steroids sold as over-the-counter drugs

Corticosteroids can be sold in India only on production of a registered medical practitioner’s prescription as they are included in schedule H of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945. However, a footnote in the Rules exempts eye ointments and topical preparations like skin ointments, creams and lotions from the list. Thus, topical preparations containing steroids, … Continue reading Alas, topical steroids sold as over-the-counter drugs

Western Sahara once had a large river network

If in August 2011 the discovery of an underground ‘river’ in Brazil at a depth of 4 km and stretching for about 6,000 km made news (The Hindu , August 31, 2011), scientists have now discovered evidence of a large river system that once existed in Western Sahara. Based on remote sensing data, the existence … Continue reading Western Sahara once had a large river network

Show cause notices sent to 10 Indian doctors for receiving payment from drug companies

The Punjab Medical Council has sent show cause notices to 10 doctors for receiving funds from pharmaceutical and allied healthcare companies. By accepting funds directly from these sources, the doctors have allegedly violated the Medical Council of India’s code of ethics, notes an October 27 news item in journal The BMJ. The Punjab Medical Council’s … Continue reading Show cause notices sent to 10 Indian doctors for receiving payment from drug companies

ASTROSAT spots Crab Nebula, the brightest X-ray source

On October 9, ASTROSAT, the first Indian space observatory, spotted the Crab Nebula using the Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI) instrument. The Crab Nebula is the brightest hard X-ray (highest energy X-ray) source in the sky; researchers often use it as a reference to calibrate hard X-ray detectors. The sighting of the Crab is significant … Continue reading ASTROSAT spots Crab Nebula, the brightest X-ray source

Less risk of skin cancer if exposed to UV radiation in the morning: Nobel Laureate Aziz Sancar

“If you really must go to a tanning booth, do it in the morning,” Aziz Sancar, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, U.S., who shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with two others — Tomas Lindahl of Francis Crick Institute and Clare Hall Laboratory, Hertfordshire, U.K. and Paul Modrich of Howard Hughes Medical … Continue reading Less risk of skin cancer if exposed to UV radiation in the morning: Nobel Laureate Aziz Sancar

Two objects fused to form Rosetta’s 67P comet

The rubber-duck shaped comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P) made up of a larger lobe and a smaller lobe separated by a thin ‘neck’ region were once two fully formed, distinct objects that merged together, notes a study published recently in the journal Nature . The origin of the comet’s double-lobed form has been a key question since … Continue reading Two objects fused to form Rosetta’s 67P comet

Editorial: Space observatory takes wing

With the successful launch of the space observatory, Astrosat, the Indian Space Research Organisation has put India in a select group of countries that have a space telescope to study celestial objects and processes. The ability to simultaneously study a wide variety of wavelengths — visible light, ultraviolet and X-ray (both low- and high-energy) bands … Continue reading Editorial: Space observatory takes wing

ASTROSAT, India’s unique space observatory

The launch of Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) ASTROSAT telescope today (September 28) will be a shot in the arm for astronomers, particularly those in India. This is the first time India is launching a space observatory. But that is not the only reason why the ASTROSAT telescope is so special. Unlike most other telescopes, … Continue reading ASTROSAT, India’s unique space observatory

Outdoor air pollution killed 0.65 million Indians in 2010: study

Of the 3.3 million premature mortality worldwide in 2010 caused by outdoor air pollution, about 0.65 million deaths took place in India. These deaths were in adults older than 30 years and in children younger than five years. India has the second highest premature deaths caused by outdoor air pollution. With 1.35 million deaths annually, … Continue reading Outdoor air pollution killed 0.65 million Indians in 2010: study