Archive for November, 2009

‘Paa’ to release in 20 countries with 700 prints

November 30, 2009 Comments off

Amitabh Bachchan’s much-awaited “Paa”, in which Big B plays a 13-year-old boy suffering from progeria that accelerates the ageing process, will release Friday in 20 countries with 700 prints, including digital.

“Paa” is an AB Corp Ltd. presentation in association with Reliance BIG Pictures, which will release it simultaneously in India as well as other countries like Britain, Canada, US, UAE, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

Directed by R. Balakrishnan, the film will see Abhishek and Vidya Balan as Amitabh’s parents. Ahead of its release, it is having extensive marketing and promotion campaigns.

Idea Cellular had tied up with “Paa” for “Talk to Auro” activity – it will allow callers to leave messages for Auro and in return receive calls from Auro on a pre-determined date. Apart from this, ring back tones in Auro’s voice and other value added services too will be available on Idea network.

Also, Bajaj Allianz has tied up for an integrated TV ad on Child Plans that has been interspersed with the film’s promos and is currently on air.

BIG FM is on board as the film’s radio partner.

Categories: Bollywood News

Sensex ends 1.58 percent up

November 30, 2009 Comments off

A key index of Indian equities markets closed 1.58 percent in the green Monday.

The sensitive index (Sensex) of the 30-scrip Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 16,655.75 points against Friday’s close at 16,632.01 points, closed at 16,895.16 points (provisional), up 263.15 points or 1.58 percent.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty closed at 5,026.1 points against the previous close at 4,941.75 points, reflecting a gain of 1.71 percent.

Broader market indices also closed in the positive, with the BSE midcap index ending 1.53 percent higher and the BSE small cap index 2.04 percent up.

Categories: Business

Parasitic disease targets HIV-infected gay males

November 30, 2009 Comments off

A rare parasitic disease, normally transmitted by contaminated water, has been shown to be transmitted by sex between HIV-positive men.

Taiwanese researcher Chieng-Ching Hung, who led the study, had received a doctorate from the University of Antwerp and the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (ITMA).

Amoebiasis, an infection with the single-celled amoeba Entamoebia histolytica, normally is very rare.

You only catch it in a few developing countries where the amoeba is endemic, and where hygiene is somewhat substandard, leading to contact with contaminated water

It only becomes dangerous when the amoeba invades your intestinal lining and causes a bloody diarrhoea, or when it enters the bloodstream, where it, among other things, causes liver abscesses. All in all, amoebiasis takes some 70,000 lives a year worldwide.

For some time now, physicians suspected the disease to be a bit overrepresented among HIV-positive male homosexuals.

But it was difficult to come to conclusions from small numbers, and in addition the classical diagnostic test (putting the stool under the microscope) was not really dependable.

Hung used modern molecular techniques, pinpointing the amoeba more precisely and, what’s more, showing which amoebas were closely related. In other words: who had got the infection from whom.

In Taiwan, seropositive (hiv-infected) gay men were shown to be infected much more often with the amoeba than the healthy population, and also than seropositive heterosexuals, said an ITMA release.

Also, Hung found men from different regions nevertheless to be infected by closely related amoebas. The most reasonable explanation is that the infection happened through homosexual (oral-anal) contact.

Categories: Health

Now, mobile phones can diagnose acute appendicitis

November 30, 2009 Comments off

Radiologists can diagnose acute appendicitis from a remote location with the use of a mobile phone equipped with special software.

“The goal is to improve the speed and accuracy of medical diagnoses, as well as to improve communications among different consulting physicians,” said Asim F. Choudhri, physician in Neuroradiology at Johns Hopkins University, who led the study.

“When we can make these determinations earlier, the appropriate surgical teams and equipment can be assembled before the surgeon even has the chance to examine the patient,” he added.

Appendicitis, or inflammation and infection of the appendix, is a medical emergency requiring surgical removal of the organ.

Undiagnosed or left untreated, the inflamed appendix will rupture, causing toxins to spill into the abdominal cavity and potentially causing a life-threatening infection.

Appendicitis can occur at any age but is most common in people between the ages of 10 and 30, according to the National Institute of Health.

Typically, a patient arriving at the emergency room with suspected appendicitis will undergo computed tomography (CT) and a physical examination. If a radiologist is not immediately available to interpret the CT images or if consultation with a specialist is needed, diagnosis is delayed, increasing the risk of rupture.

Transmitting the images over a mobile device allows for instant consultation and diagnosis from a remote location. It can also aid in surgical planning.

“This new technology can expedite diagnosis and, therefore, treatment,” Choudhri said.

“The scans can be read in full resolution with very little panning, and the software allows the reader to zoom and adjust the contrast and brightness of the image,” Choudhri said.

“The radiologist is evaluating actual raw image data, not snapshot,” he said, according to a Hopkins’ release.

These findings were presented Monday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Categories: Technology

Madhu Koda arrested in Jharkhand in assets case

November 30, 2009 Comments off

Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, who is at the centre of a Rs.2,500-crore money laundering scam, was Monday arrested by the state vigilance bureau for allegedly having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, a vigilance official said.

“Madhu Koda has been arrested in the assets case. He was arrested after we procured his arrest warrant from the concerned court,” M.V. Rao, inspector general of police of the vigilance bureau, told IANS.

Koda was arrested in Chaibasa around 11 a.m. by district Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Jha and is being brought to state capital Ranchi, he said.

“We had to arrest Koda at this stage to assist the investigation,” Rao said.

The vigilance department had asked Koda to appear before it for questioning Nov 27, but he failed to do so.

According to sources, Koda told the vigilance bureau he was busy in election campaigning and would appear before it after the five-phased Jharkhand assembly polls which end Dec 18.

The Jharkhand vigilance department had lodged a first information report (FIR) against Koda and his three former cabinet colleagues – Bandhu Tirkey, Bhanu Pratap Sahi and Kamlesh Singh.

According to the FIR, Koda and his colleagues are charged with amassing assets beyond their known incomes and misusing their positions to earn money.

Their houses were also raided by the vigilance department in September. In the raids, the department had seized documents relating to huge investments, cash and incriminating documents related to land purchase.

Koda is alleged to have laundered thousands of crores of rupees during his stint as the chief minister between 2006 and 2008.

Since Oct 31, the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have conducted raids at 69 places in eight Indian cities, including at Koda’s home. Koda, however, insists the raids were politically motivated.

Meanwhile, in New Delhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party alleged that the United Progressive Alliance government had delayed Koda’s arrest. The allegation was refuted by the government.

Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily said it is up to the investigating agency to decide on the time of arrest.

“The investigative agencies decide when and how is one to be arrested,” Moily said. “I don’t think anybody will interfere. Truth should come out,” he added.

BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Congress had supported the Koda government in 2006-2008 and demanded “proper follow up and honest investigation”.

Categories: India

Robust growth numbers push up Sensex

November 30, 2009 Comments off

Indian equities markets reacted positively to news of the economy expanding by 7.9 percent in the second quarter this fiscal, with a key index rising 2.37 percent during post-noon Monday.

Around 12.40 p.m., the sensitive index (Sensex) of the 30-scrip Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 16,655.75 points against Friday’s close at 16,632.01 points, was ruling at 17,026.91 points, up 394.9 points or 2.37 percent.

Around the same time, at the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty was ruling at 5,065.8 points against the previous close at 4,941.75 points, reflecting a gain of 2.51 percent.

Broader market indices were also in the green, with the BSE midcap index up 2.16 percent and the BSE small cap index ruling 2.42 percent higher.

The market breadth was positive, with 2,021 stocks advancing, 572 scrips declining and 61 remaining unchanged.

Signs of an upturn in the Indian economy were reinforced with the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) showing a 7.9 percent growth in the second quarter this fiscal, taking the markets and analysts by surprise.

Other major Asian markets seemed to shrug off last week’s fears over the Dubai World $59-billion debt debacle.

A key Japanese index, the Nikkei, closed 2.91 percent or 264.03 points up at 9,345.55 points.

The Hang Seng, a benchmark index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange was ruling at 21,916.63 points, 3.7 percent or 782.13 points lower.

The Kospi, the benchmark index of the Korean Stock Exchange, was ruling at 1,555.6 points, up 2.04 percent.

In China, the Shanghai composite index was ruling 3.2 percent in the green at 3,195.3 points.

Categories: Business

Online CAT finally has a smooth run on day three

November 30, 2009 Comments off

The competitive Common Admission Test (CAT), which went online for the first time this year, finally got off to a smooth start Monday after two days of technical glitches and poor management affected hundreds of B-school aspirants across the country.

“Until now we have not had any negative feedback on the test. So after two days of computers crashing and bad management, the online version of CAT finally seems to have taken off smoothly,” said Gautam Puri, vice chairman of Career Launcher, a coaching institute.

The CAT exam, which determines admission to the country’s prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) and other business schools, went online for the first time Saturday, but several students had a harrowing time as computers crashed in 11 centres across the country.

Similarly on day two of the exam, technical glitches and poor management led to the exam being rescheduled in 24 centres across the country, creating a lot of confusion among the aspirants. The exam’s staggered online formal has a 10-day schedule and will conclude Dec 7.

Ramesh Nava of Prometric, the US firm that developed the computer based CAT, said: “Exhaustive plans were developed and put in place well in advance of the start of the testing window.”

“Unfortunately viruses and malware that attacked the test delivery system were not detected by the anti-virus software at the testing centres,” he added.

“All affected candidates have been notified and are currently being rescheduled within this year’s testing period,” Nava assured.

Around 240,000 students have registered for the CAT this year, which is scheduled at 105 centres in 32 cities, all linked to a main server.

Categories: India