Monday, January 31, 2011


A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that a face has to be quite similar to a human face in order to appear alive, and that the cues are mainly in the eyes.

The face of a doll is clearly not human; the face of a human clearly is. Telling the difference allows us to pay attention to faces that belong to living things, which are capable of interacting with us. But where is the line at which a face appears to be alive?

Several movies have tried and failed to generate lifelike animations of humans. For example, the lifeless faces in Polar Express made people uncomfortable because they tried to emulate life but didn't get it quite right.

“There's something fundamentally important about seeing a face and knowing that the lights are on and someone is home,” says Thalia Wheatley of Dartmouth College, who cowrote the study with graduate student Christine Looser. Humans can see faces in anything — the moon, a piece of toast, two dots and a line for a nose — but we are much more discriminating when it comes to deciding what is alive and what is not.

Wheatley and Looser set out to pin down the point at which a face starts to look alive. Looser drove around New Hampshire visiting toy stores and taking pictures of dolls' faces. Looser then paired each doll face with a similar-looking human face and used morphing software to blend the two. This made a whole continuum of intermediate pictures that were part human, part doll.

Volunteers looked at each picture and decided which were human and which were dolls. Looser and Wheatley found that the tipping point, where people determined the faces to be alive, was about two-thirds of the way along the continuum, closer to the human side than to the doll side. Another experiment found that the eyes were the most important feature for determining life, according to an Association for Psychological Science press release.

The results suggest that people scrutinize faces, particularly the eyes, for evidence that a face is alive

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The doctor's fees !!!

Working as a doctor in the community, u get used to recieving all sorts of  'fees' for ur services, be it a bunch of  fresh drumsticks or a big carton of  mangoes or the 4 members of the fowl family that run around in the backyard of my home, taunting my dog with their constant clucking and waking me up at 4am by being my live alarm. i soon learnt that it is a lot easier to accept these strange and unique gifts that are bestowed to you than to refuse and have to explain your reasons to all 100 villagers time and again, like why i refused to accept the cow that Mani so sweetly gave me in gratitude for having delivered his first baby boy after four girls, like it was the hands conducting the delivary  that determined the child's sex...

But of all the different 'fees' that iv been offered the one that struck the deepest cord in my heart was a couple of years ago...i was 24, for the first time i was in charge of the antenatal ward in my community hospital when a lady nearly at term walked into hospital.. barely 21 yrs old, this was her 3rd pregnancy and she seemed more anxious and worried than even a primi, she was constantly surrounded by relatives yaking nonstop while she barely muttered a word. Between my  patient load n her relatives,though i really wanted to speak to her and comfort her, i never managed to get beyond saying her baby was fine after a routinue  check up everyday at morning rounds.

It was december 20th.. a dark, cold friday morning, low lying fog surrounded us as she went into labour.. The mother had some bleeding and the baby's heart rate was dropping, we were all worried about the situation but after some struggle and an assisted delivary, a beautiful baby was born, loudly protesting at the uncermoniuos way that we had welcomed her into the world..

After ensuring that the mother n child were doing fine, I handed the baby over to the nurse instructing her to initiate feeding and left..

That evening when i met the new mother i was surprised to see her quite low..I asked her what they had named the little darling, for which one of the relatives rather disinterestedly informed me, that they hadn't decided yet  and asked if i could suggest one.. I named the little one 'lakshmi' explainig to the family that since she was born on a friday she would bring properity to the house..

The next day, i found the mother weeping her head off, my first instinct was to check to make sure the baby was ok and i was happy to find her peacefully asleep.. For the first time since her arrival, there was no relatives surrounding her and i slowly asked her what the problem was.. In response all i got was another fresh burst of tears.. Nothing i seemed to say or do seemed to help, finally after about an hour i left making a mental note to myself to call one of my psych friends and gather info on post partum depression and if it could present like this.

The situation din't improve over the next few days, till i finally told the nurse to inform me the minute any of her relatives turn up as i had to speak to them urgently..
Around noon i walked into the ward where the young lady sat with a women who from the family resemblance i infered to be her mother. I asked to have a word privately with the older women, and that is how i came to realize the issue.. it was a GIRL.."It's her third girl child" said the grandmother, "her in-laws are not happy about it, they are still deciding weather to take her home or not "..
"Doctor can you please take this child, vl just pretend it was never born, anyways if it grows up with u, it l have a good life.. let it be ur fees"

I had heard of people having such notions but had never really seen it, my idea of discrimination was at the level of how can you let him travel alone but not me simply cause im a girl, that in itself was way too much discrimination for me to accept.. I was shocked, dumbstuck.. 

I heard myself saying "Im a girl, im a doctor, i earn as much as any guy, i support my parents, wat makes you think its bad to be a girl" I knew they weren't saying anything against me, but instinctively i felt it sting like a personal insult.. So many years after independance, education, fight for equality... my glass house was shattered, i realized how much improvement  my country needed, how much the mindset of people had to change..

I did all i could for that little girl, i called in the husband and in-laws and spoke to them,counseled them for days.. I don't know what happened to that family after they left the hospital... I would like to believe that i changed the mindset of  atleast one of the million families, atleast for the sake of little Lakshmi...

Friday, January 28, 2011


Stevenson was born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson at 8 Howard Place, Edinburgh, Scotland, on 13 November 1850, to Thomas Stevenson,a leading lighthouse engineer, and his wife, the former Margaret Isabella Balfour. Both his grandpa and his mother had a "weak chest" and often needed to stay in warmer climates for their health. Stevenson inherited a tendency to coughs and fevers, exacerbated when the family moved to a damp and chilly house at 1 Inverleith Terrace in 1853. The family moved again to the sunnier 17 Heriot Row when Stevenson was six, but the tendency to extreme sickness in winter remained with him until he was eleven. Illness would be a recurrent feature of his adult life and left him extraordinarily thin.Contemporary views were that he had tuberculosis, but more recent views are that it was bronchiectasis or even sarcoidosis.
His nurse, Alison Cunningham cared for him tenderly in illness, reading to him from Bunyan and the Bible as he lay sick in bed and telling tales of the Covenanters. Stevenson recalled this time of sickness in the poem "The Land of Counterpane" in A Child's Garden of Verses (1885) and dedicated the book to his nurse.
An only child, strange-looking and eccentric, Stevenson found it hard to fit in when he was sent to a nearby school at age six, a problem repeated at age eleven when he went on to the Edinburgh Academy;
In any case, his frequent illnesses often kept him away from his first school, and he was taught for long stretches by private tutors. He was a late reader, first learning at age seven or eight, but even before this he dictated stories to his mother and nurse.Throughout his childhood, he was compulsively writing stories. His father was proud of this interest: He had himself written stories in his spare time until his own father found them and told him to "give up such nonsense and mind your business." He paid for the printing of Robert's first publication at sixteen, an account of the covenanters' rebellion published on its two hundredth anniversary, The Pentland Rising: a Page of History, 1666 (1866).In November 1867 he entered the University of Edinburgh to study engineering. He showed from the start no enthusiasm for his studies and devoted much energy to avoiding lectures.

Each year during vacations, Stevenson travelled to inspect the family's engineering works—to Anstruther and Wick in 1868, with his father on his official tour of Orkney and Shetland islands lighthouses in 1869, and for three weeks to the island of Erraid in 1870. He enjoyed the travels, but more for the material they gave for his writing than for any engineering interest. The voyage with his father pleased him because a similar journey of Walter Scott with Robert Stevenson had provided the inspiration for The Pirate. In April 1871, he announced to his father his decision to pursue a life of letters. Though the elder Stevenson was naturally disappointed, the surprise cannot have been great, and Stevenson's mother reported that he was "wonderfully resigned" to his son's choice. To provide some security, it was agreed that Stevenson should read law (again at Edinburgh University) and be called to the Scottish bar.
He died within a few hours, probably of a cerebral haemorrhage, at the age of 44.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

DENTURES / FALSE TEETH.. who inveted it ???

Since antiquity, the most common material for false teeth was animal bone or ivory, especially from elephants or hippopotami. Human teeth were also used, pulled from the dead or sold by poor people from their own mouths. These kinds of false teeth soon rotted, turning brown and rancid. Rich people preferred teeth of silver, gold, mother of pearl, or agate.
Etruscans (people from the ancient country of Etruria in western Italy) made skillfully designed false teeth out of ivory and bone. These false teeth were secured in the mouth by gold bridgework as early as 700 B.C. Unfortunately, the skills and artistry that went into these efforts were lost until the 1800s.

In medieval times, the practice of dentistry was largely confined to tooth extraction. Replacement and repair were seldom considered. Gaps between teeth were expected, even among the rich and powerful. Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603) filled the holes in her mouth with cloth to improve her appearance in public.

When hand-carved false teeth were installed, they were tied in place with silk threads. If not enough natural teeth remained to tie the dentures to, anchoring false ones was difficult.

In 1774 the French pharmacist Duchateau enlisted the help of the prominent dentist Dubois de Chemant to design hard-baked, rot-proof porcelain (a hard, white ceramic) dentures. De Chemant patented his improved version of these "Mineral Paste Teeth" in 1789 and took them with him when he emigrated to England shortly afterward. The single porcelain tooth held in place by an imbedded platinum pin was invented in 1808 by the Italian dentist Giuseppangelo Fonzi. Inspired by his dis-like of handling dead people's teeth, Claudius Ash of London, England, invented an improved porcelain tooth around 1837.

The real breakthrough in dentures came with the American inventor Charles Goodyear's (1800- 1860) discovery of vulcanized rubber in 1839. This cheap, easy-to-work material could be molded to fit the mouth and made a good base to hold false teeth.

Porcelain is no longer used because better materials have been developed. Today, dentures are made from either plastic or ceramic. These materials can be tinted to match existing teeth and look more like real teeth than ever before!!!!!


Diabetologist after M.B.B.S.., in INDIA ?

India is now the diabetic capital of the world, and a sound knowlegde about management of diabetes is a must for all doctors.. An essential field with bright future prospects..

We are putting up some information regarding colleges that provide courses after mbbs.. hope u find it useful..

kindly share any other information you may have regarding the same..


An influential article in the journal Progress in Neurobiology provided one of the first comprehensive reviews of how estrogen potentially can protect against Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders.

The article by senior author Lydia DonCarlos, PhD and colleagues detailed how estrogen "decreases the risk and delays the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, and may also enhance recovery from traumatic neurological injury such as stroke."
Estrogen can protect against dementia and other neurological disorders by decreasing inflammatory responses and by enhancing cells' ability to survive damage. "It's a natural way for the brain to protect itself, since the brain normally makes neuroprotective estrodial in response to injury," DonCarlos said.

But there also are risks. The Women's Health Initiative found that taking estrogen plus progestin increased women's risks of heart disease, blood clots, stroke and breast cancer.

Estrogen hormone therapy in some circumstances may help protect the brains of postmenopausal women from decline, although findings have been inconsistent and controversial. But further studies have suggested that the time in a woman’s life at which the therapy is applied may be critical. Based on the results of a number of studies, several researchers have postulated that hormone therapy during a critical midlife period or “window of opportunity” in a woman’s life could provide protection.

Most studies suggest that estrogen has beneficial effects on cognitive function, DonCarlos added. "But we still have a lot of research to do before recommending the use of estrogens in the clinic for this purpose."


On Dec. 10, a baby girl was born from the first-ever full ovary transplant.

The baby's mother had lost her fertility when she went into early menopause at age 15 because of another medical problem. Later in life her twin sister (the baby's aunt) donated a working ovary so that she may conceive. At age 38, she gave birth for the first time.

Dr. Sherman Silber of the Infertility Center of St. Louis and his colleagues reported the medical advance.

A handful of other children have been born from transplanted ovarian tissue, specifically the outer shell, but the technique is not always successful.

Since the baby's successful birth, doctors are anticipating using the technique to help women with fertility problems, or cancer patients who wish to protect their ovaries from chemotherapy.

Silber told Reuters that the technique of transplanting frozen ovaries may one day be used to lengthen a woman's fertility across her lifetime.

"If she's 40 or 45 when she has it transplanted back, it's still a 25- or 30-year-old ovary, so she's preserving her fertility," Silber told Reuters.


The aim of First Aid in a case of dog bite is:
- to prevent rabies
- to reduce the risk of infection
- to get medical aid as soon as possible.


-Wipe the saliva away from the wound using a clean cloth or handkerchief. Do not come into contact with the saliva that gets wiped away.

-Wash the wound thoroughly with plenty of soap and water.

- Do not put carbolic acid, nitric acid etc. on the wound.

-Get medical aid or send the patient to the hospital as soon as possible.

For informational purpose only, for further advice contact qualified physician


Have you ever stubbed your toe or bumped your head and immediately yelled out a swear word? Researchers now say that pain can be more tolerable if you simply utter a curse word of your choice.
While many of us swear while experiencing pain, there hasn’t been any research connecting cuss words and pain.
“Swearing has been around for centuries and is an almost universal human linguistic phenomenon,” said Richard Stephens of Keele University in England. “It taps into emotional brain centers and appears to arise in the right brain, whereas most language production occurs in the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain.”

Researchers set out to test whether swearing affected a person’s tolerance to pain. They figured that it would lessen an individual’s pain tolerance, but found that the opposite was true.
They took sixty four undergraduates and had them submerge their hand in ice cold water for as long as they could while repeating a swear word of their choosing. The researchers then repeated the experiment with a word used to describe a table.

They found that the individuals kept their hand under the ice cold water longer when repeating a swear word. Stephens and his colleagues say that swearing might raise aggression and that it could downplay weaknesses.

“Our research shows one potential reason why swearing developed and why it persists,” Stephens said.
This study was published in the August 5 issue of NeuroReport