IIT Bombay blacklisted mess contractor

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About 500 students residing in hostel no. 12, 13 and 14 of Indian Institute of Technology fall sick after eating food in mess on 25th September. Students were rushed to the Institute’s hospital. About 13 students were hospitalized. Other students well responded to antibiotic medicines. In the test by FDA (Food and Drug Administration, Maharashtra), Klebsiella bacteria was found in the food served that day. However the positive result for this bacteria has to be confirmed further by culturing it. Finally IIT-Bombay has blacklisted the contractor – M/s Aditya Caterers. Now this contractor cannot get any contract in the institute. This decision is taken after meeting between students councils and wardens of hostels 12, 13 and 14 and the request was sent to dean (infrastructure planning and support) for approval. An independent committee was made by the director of the institute to look into the matter. New tender has been floated for a new caterer. The hostel 14 general secretary has reigned after the incident of food poisoning. The exact reason for his resignation in not clear but according to a source it may be due to late response of IIT Bombay authorities to change the caterer or for separate mess facility for hostel 14.

IIT Bombay is a fully residential campus. Almost everybody ranging from faculty to staffs to students reside in the campus. There are total of 14 students hostels in the campus. Two among them are girls hostel. Beside these there are one hostel exclusive for the project staffs and quarters for married students. Except married quarters all hostels has its own messing facilities. Hostel 12, 13 and 14 share the common mess while all other hostels have mess facilities exclusively for their own residents. These three hostels has about 2000 students. Hostel 14 is the newest (one year old) among all hostels which has about 800 students. It is also very difficult to maintain messing for 2000 students at one place by a single contractor. The M/s Aditya Caterers is associated with same mess for four years. The same caterer was not given the contract last year after three years of its service. But the new assigned contractor from Madras was not able to handle such big mess so they quit. The  contract was again given to M/s Aditya Caterers last year.  IIT Bombay authorities are planning for separate mess facility for Hostel 14.

Science Paper retracted after viral cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome disapproved

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Researchers at “Blood XMRV Scientific Research Working Group” had given the link between virus and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in a article published in Science journal in 2009. The same group has again published a paper in same journal to retract that paper after failing to prove the link pf Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with a mouse retrovirus called XMRV. The 2009 paper has 13 authors led by Judy A. Mikovits of the Whittemore Peterson Institute. All have signed for the partial retraction of the published paper.

This time researches had analyzed the 15 people tested positive for SMRV or a similar mouse leukemia virus previously; 14 of these people had chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and one person had contact with a patient with the disease. Along with these blood samples from 15 healthy individuals without Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or XMRV were also analyzed. All samples were randomly sent to nine different laboratories lab to test presence of XMRV. Seven labs were unable to find presence of XMRV or any related viruses in the blood samples. The two of the laboratories Whittemore Peterson Institute lab and a National Cancer Institite which was given the positive test for retroviruses were also unable to find it in same people this time. None of the labs was able to replicate its own findings.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a serious disease and there is no known cure for this disease. Soon after the hope given by research article published in 2009, scientists around the world started working on this problem to find treatment for the disease. About 17 papers have been published since the 2009 paper. In all of these studies scientists were unable to find any link between XMRV and chronic fatigue. In one of these studies scientist has shown that the retrovirus presence was detected because of laboratory contamination.

First embryonic stem cell trial in Europe

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Scientist all over the world are very positive about the usefulness of the “Human embryonic stem cell therapy” but at the same time its clinical trails are problem because of the Governments restrictions all over the world.

First time in Europe the permission for clinical trial using human embryonic stem cells has been given to doctors at Moorfields Eye hospital in London. A total of 12 patients with Stargardt’s macular dystrophy disease will be treated with embryonic stem cells by injecting retinal cells into their eyes. This disease generally develops in childhood and causes progressive sight loss. Loss of central vision is more potent compared to peripheral. This trial has been arranged in collaboration with an American bio-tech company Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) which has already begun treating patients in California.

Follow the link to know more about Embryonic and adult stem cells.

In my view any development in the field of science and technology should be allowed to get implemented into life of human. However as this technology has many ethical issues, it is a topic of debate around the world. Many believe that we should not play with the system made by God. Artificially injecting something into our body is against law of God and its unethical. However I feel that if we are getting benefited, we should consider encouraging scientist’s efforts to discover more on this topic. Our encouragement will boost to morals of such scientist and they will come up with many cure for almost all diseases spread around the world in human or any other animal. My best wishes are with all such scientists.

Ex-PM of Libya al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi jailed in Tunisia

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Al Baghdadi Al Mahmoudi

The former Prime Minister of Libya al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi has been arrested in Tunisia because of illegal entry into Tunisia on Wednesday in Tamaghza, in southern Tunisia, close to the border with Algeria. He was prime minister of Libya until Col Muammar Gaddafi was ousted last month. A sentence of six months in prison has been given to him.

This arrest followed by quick sentence is the perfect example of Tunisia Government’s commitment to maintain law and order in the country. Nobody is above law and if found creating problems in the country should be punished. It also shows how an responsible people can also indulge themselves into such irresponsible activities. Response and action of the Tunisia Government was quick. I personally appreciate the step taken to control illegal immigration. People don’t realize that utilizing the resources of other countries without their consent is not right.

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