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Total Solar Eclipse on 22nd July Surya Utsav

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Public Health

25th July 2010

Amit Sen Gupta

LAST month saw the release of the India Country report for 2010, regarding progress made till date towards achieving specific targets in eight different areas, set by the United Nations in 2001 – known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDG targets are supposed to be achieved by 2015. While official pronouncements were an occasion to indulge in self congratulatory claims, a closer look at the real progress made, paints an entirely ...


Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 July 2010 11:06
Creating Life from Four Bottles of Chemicals?

31st May, 2010

Amit Sen Gupta

THE publication of a claim that scientists have created “life” from “four bottles of chemicals” in the American journal, Science, has attracted considerable attention. Reactions have been varied, with one commentator even hailing it as “one of the most important scientific achievements in the history of mankind”. Others have been more muted and many researchers in the field of biotechnology have questioned whether it is appropriate to claim that “life” had actually been “created” in a laboratory. Many other reactions have come in from religious groups decrying “man’s attempt t ...


Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 June 2010 11:12
Hot Steel and a Cold Govt: Mayapuri Radioactive Exposure

May 02, 2010


Prabir Purkayastha

THE near fatal radiation exposure in the Mayapuri scrap has led to hospitalisation of 11 people. The cause has now been identified as radioactive cobalt 60 sources that were mixed up in the scrap. What neither the Atomic Energy Commission nor the government has disclosed is that it is not the first time that we have found radioactive cobalt 60 in metal scrap. Almost two years back, Germany reported finding radioactive steel coming from India. The French followed with reports of radioactive buttons in elevators origina ...


Last Updated on Saturday, 01 May 2010 07:13
No We Cannot! Obama Flounders Trying to Change Health Care in the US

April 11, 2010

Amit Sen Gupta

“Yes we can”. This was the slogan that galvanised millions of Americans and voted Barack Obama into the White House in 2008. A rainbow coalition of Americans, representing the working people, people of colour, hispanics and Asians – traditionally sections that have lost out while pursuing the great “American Dream” – thought they were voting for a different America. They believed they were voting to start a process that would dismantle an apparatus that thrived on exploitation and greed.

Perhaps nowhere is the evidence of crass greed taking precedence over peoples needs mo ...


Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 April 2010 07:31
PROMOTING MALPRACTICE : Industry-Doctor Nexus under the Scanner

March 28, 2010

Amit Sen Gupta

IN the early 1960s, across Europe, doctors were confronted with a strange and distressing phenomenon. Hundreds of reports started pouring in about babies being born without arms and legs. They had flippers or fingers emerging from their shoulders. Many were born with eye and ear deformities, and severe internal damage such as malformed kidneys and anal  atresia (a condition where there is no external opening to the bowel). Some were born with deformed genitals, or no genitals at all.

The deformed babies had one thing in common: their mothers had taken a drug called thalidomi ...



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