Smartphone radiation may adversely affect memory in adolescents: Study

Long-term exposure to radiation from mobile phones may adversely affect memory performance of certain brain regions in adolescents, a study has found.The study, appearing in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, involved nearly 700 adolescents in Switzerland.

Scientists at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) looked at the relationship between exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) from wireless communication devices and memory performance in adolescents.

The study found that cumulative RF-EMF brain exposure from mobile phone use over one year may have a negative effect on the development of figural memory performance in adolescents, confirming prior results published in 2015.Figural memory is mainly located in the right brain hemisphere and association with RF-EMF was more pronounced in adolescents using the mobile phone on the right side of the head.

“This may suggest that indeed RF-EMF absorbed by the brain is responsible for the observed associations,” said Martin Roosli, Head of Environmental Exposures and Health at Swiss TPH.The rapid evolution of information and communication technologies (ICT) goes along with an increase in exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) in our daily life.

The most relevant exposure source to the brain is the use READ MORE

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No-confidence motion LIVE: Rahul Gandhi hugs PM Modi after fiery speech

The Lok Sabha on Friday took up a no-confidence motion against the government for debate and voting, two days after the start of the monsoon session.

Top guns of the Opposition and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took part in the debate, which will conclude with a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Congress President Rahul Gandhi also gave a fiery speech during the debate.

Seven hours have been set aside for the debate, which began shortly after 11 am and will continue without any lunch break.

The Modi government is expected to have a smooth sailing. In the 545-member (including the Speaker) Lok Sabha, the BJP-led NDA can bank on around 311 members, including the 273 of the BJP, Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD’s) 4, Shiv Sena’s 18, Lok Janshakti Party’s (LJP’s) 6, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party’s (RLSP’s) 3, Janata Dal (United)’s (JD-U’s) 2, Apna Dal’s 2, All India N R Congress’ 1, Sikkim Democratic Front’s (SDF’s) 1, and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party’s (NDPP’s) 1 click here to read full content . .

India sees major reduction in HIV infections but challenges remain: UN

India saw a major reduction in the number of new HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths and people living with HIV from 2010 to 2017 on the back of sustained and focussed efforts, according to a UN report which warned that the epidemic was growing in Pakistan.

The Joint UN Agency on AIDS (UNAIDS) report titled ‘Miles to go closing gaps, breaking barriers, righting injustices’ said Asia and the Pacific regions have made strong inroads with its HIV response.

Sustained and focused efforts to reach key populations have led to major reductions in HIV infections in Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam between 2010 and 2017.

The report, however, warned that the global new HIV infections were not declining fast enough. It also noted that the epidemics were expanding in Pakistan and the Philippines.

In India, new HIV infections dropped from 120,000 in 2010 to 88,000 in 2017, AIDS-related deaths from 160,000 to 69,000 and people living with HIV from 2,300,000 to 2,100,000 in the same time period, the report said.

India has an approved social protection strategy, policy or framework that READ MORE

Panacea for drought: Yogi govt mulls China-type artificial rain technology

Even as the monsoons remain subdued this year with the prospects of deficient rainfall gaining currency, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is gearing up for experimenting with artificial rain technology developed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K).

The government plans to first test the technology in arid Bundelkhand and Vindhyachal regions after the project gets a go ahead by the chief minister, UP irrigation minister Dharampal Singh told Business Standard. Later, the technology would be utilised in other areas too depending upon its success, he added.

IIT-K has already given a presentation over cloud seeding or artificial rain before Singh. “Our scientists have developed an indigenous technology of artificial rainfall, which is ecological friendly and causes no harm to environment,” he added.

He underlined it was the first time an indigenously developed artificial rain technology would be READ MORE

Section 377: India’s battle with colonial-era law for same-sex love

Five judges on India’s Supreme Court are hearing a challenge to a law that criminalizes homosexual sex — Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, introduced by British colonial authorities in 1861 and kept on the books in independent India.

The Indian government told the court, which began hearings last Tuesday, that it would leave it to the wisdom of the judges to decide whether Section 377 violates fundamental rights to life, liberty and personal security as long as it does not get into broader issues like marriage, inheritance and adoption. But these are inevitable. Menaka Guruswamy, a lawyer for the plaintiffs against Section 377, argued that it was love that needed to be “constitutionally recognized” and not just sex.

Social media and newspapers are filled with conversations and reports about Section 377, but L.G.B.T. life in India has long bypassed the law. Last week I got a message about “Pink Coffee,” a gay get-together at a cafe in Kolkata. A few weeks earlier, Varta, a local nonprofit, introduced an online database of L.G.B.T.-friendly therapists, doctors and legal aid providers in India. Days later I went to the regular gay dance party at a luxury hotel in the city.

This is a very different India from the one I came out in. The first gay Indian I ever met was READ MORE

From today, Reliance Jio’s ‘Monsoon Hungama’ to offer Rs 501 JioPhone

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio has advanced by a day to July 20 the launch of its monsoon ‘hungama’ scheme that would offer its JioPhone to customers for Rs 501, a company source said.

Earlier, in the annual general meeting of Reliance Industries, Ambani had announced that the scheme will begin from July 21.

The offer will begin at 5.01 PM on Friday, the timing that reflects the Rs 501 price tag of the JioPhone. The registration for new JioPhone is already live on the official website of Relaince Jio.

“Jio will start monsoon hungama scheme from 5.01 pm on July 20. Even the timing has been kept to reflect effective price of the phone,” the source told PTI.

According to the source, Reliance Jio will announce the terms and condition of the scheme on Friday.

From August 15 onward, both existing and new, JioPhone users will also get to access Facebook, WhatsApp and Youtube. The phone, however, supports READ MORE

Check fake news or face legal action, govt warns WhatsApp in second notice

The government has issued a second notice to WhatsApp demanding more stringent solution to check fake news as the measures taken the instant messaging platform has not addressed the problem adequately.

The government has even warned WhatsApp to face legal action and liable to be treated as abettors if the platform did not take necessary actions.

The IT Ministry had issued a notice to Facebook-owned WhatsApp on July 3 but after that, another lynching took place in Bidar, where a 32 year old software engineer Mohammed Azam was killed after viral circulation of rumours on Whatsapp about child lifters.

The government had asked WhatsApp to take immediate steps to tackle the menace of misuse of their platform wherein inflammatory messages were circulated that led to unfortunate incidents. WhatsApp had responded with various initiatives to mark forwarded messages and to step up efforts to detect fake news. However, READ MORE