Flipkart launches Flyte eBooks for Android…………

Flipkart.com’s digital store Flyte has forayed into the eBooks category. To read these eBooks one needs to download the Flyte eBooks app. At present, this app is available only on the Android platform but will be making its way soon to Windows 8. It is not clear by when can one expect this app to be rolled out on other platforms such as iOS and BlackBerry.
The Flyte eBooks store currently has 100,000 books starting from Rs. 30. There are also about 4,000 free titles available.

Sameer Nigam, VP, Digital at Flipkart.com said, “This is the perfect time to launch eBooks in India. We have a growing, tech-savvy reader base that is constantly on the go – and they are looking for options to buy and read their favourite books on their mobile devices instantly. In the US and European markets, which have been early adopters of eBooks, the market share for digital trade books is currently at 50%. In US, the eBooks market recently crossed $1 billion in annual sales.”

“eBooks is a logical progression in our plan to be India’s online megastore. With music, we started with something that Indians are familiar with, from a digital goods perspective. With eBooks we’re upping the ante by entering into a new space”, said Ravi Vora, Sr. VP – Marketing, Flipkart.com

Commenting in the launch, Indian author Chetan Bhagat, said “Flipkart is at the cutting edge of innovation and it has been as much a reason for the growth in Indian publishing as the publishers and the authors. It changed how books were sold in India with an amazing online platform, and now its new eBooks initiative with Flyte will take book distribution to a new level. I am very excited about my books being accessible in new modern formats and hoping this makes India read even more.”

While British author Jeffrey Archer said, “It’s exciting to see a whole new generation of readers being created in India with the Flyte eBooks store! It’s a natural step in the right direction for Flipkart which is already known for its extensive collection of books – ranging from the bestsellers to the rarest of titles.”

Flyte eBooks will offer Indian readers

An Android app that allows readers to instantly purchase, download and read their eBooks on a mobile device
A free sample of each book on the website /mobile app
The ability to read each eBook on up to six devices
Sync your reading location – which means you can exit your book on a particular device and start reading from the same point in another device
Take notes, highlight text, search, add multiple bookmarks


Strangers’ stem cells could help repair hearts

Stem cells from the bone marrow of healthy donors are as safe and effective or even better as cells harvested from patients’ own cells for treating damaged hearts, researchers have reported.

The 13-month trial by researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, funded by the National Institutes of Health, involved 30 patients and was the first to compare the safety and effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow of patients themselves as against those provided by donors.

The study suggests that stem cells could be banked for off-the-shelf use after heart attacks, just as blood is kept on hand now.

The study used a specific type of stem cells from bone marrow that researchers believed would not be rejected by recipients.

Unlike other cells, these lack a key feature on their surface that makes the immune system see them as foreign tissue and attacks them, said the study’s leader, Dr Joshua Hare, of the University of Miami.

The patients in the study had suffered heart attacks years earlier, some as long as 30 years ago.

Researchers advertised for people to supply marrow. The cells were removed from the marrow using a needle into the hip and then amplified for about a month in a lab at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, then returned to Miami to be used for treatment, which did not involve surgery, the Daily Express reported.

The cells were delivered through a tube pushed through a groin artery into the heart near the scarred area. Fifteen patients were given cells from their own marrow and 15 others, cells from strangers.

About a year later, scar tissue had been reduced by about a third. Both groups had improvements in how far they could walk and in quality of life.

The big attraction was the benefit of using cells supplied by others, with no blood or tissue matching needed.

Top 7 myths about drinking water – busted!

Myth 1: Drinking water between meals is bad for digestion – This is one line that has been passed down from generation to generation. However, there is no scientific evidence to indicate that it will affect the digestive process. At the most, it will probably fill you up and reduce your appetite for dinner. But besides that, go ahead and enjoy a glass of water with every meal.

Myth 2: Drink 8 glasses a day for good health – Drinking 8 glasses of water a day is one of the most popular myths in circulation today, despite scientists saying that there is no clear correlation between good health and sipping on water all day. Doctors recommend drinking water only when you are thirsty!

Myth 3: Drink water, you can never have too much of a good thing! – Recent studies reveal that drinking too much water can in fact, be potentially harmful. Excessive water consumption is dangerous in that it can lower salt concentration in the body. Water intoxication, a life-threatening condition, occurs when there is dilution of blood sodium because the kidneys are over-worked, and unable to excrete the excess water as urine.

Myth 4: Water cleans out the body’s toxins – The toxins in our body are filtered out by the kidneys. And common myth says that drinking more water means clearing out the toxins. Wrong! In truth, drinking large amounts of water will actually reduce the kidneys’ ability to function as a filter

Myth 5: Drink water for healthy skin – It is widely believed that since our body’s composition is 60% water, drinking a lot of water will give you glowing skin. However, there is little evidence to support this idea. Healthy skin is a result of many things, including diet, weather, pollution and genetics.

Myth 6: Drinking water can aid weight loss – Water has been touted as the secret drug for all dieters. “Drink water and you’ll shed those pounds like magic.” This is hardly true; as we discussed, water will, at the most, fill up your stomach and reduce your food intake at mealtimes. But water is far from a miracle drug to lose weight.

Myth 7: Drink as much water as you can during a workout – It is widely believed that a workout increases chances of dehydration, so common myth says you need to increase water intake during exercise. But dehydration sets in only when you lose 2 percent of body weight. Do the math, and it is unlikely a normal workout requires increased water intake. Instead, ensure you are well-hydrated throughout the day, without over-doing it.

Super-Earths’ magnetic FORCE FIELDS could harbour ALIEN LIFE

A geo-boffinry study has found that super-Earths could have oceans of liquid metal and magnetic shields that protect life on their surfaces.
The heat and pressure inside planets bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune alters the magnesium oxide in their rocky mantles, according to new scientific calculations, transforming it into liquid metal.

Magnesium oxide was blasted by investigating boffins with high-powered lasers to simulate the conditions on planets three to ten times as big as our own. In those conditions, with pressure three to 14 million times atmospheric pressure and temperatures of up to 90,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the mineral transformed into a solid with a new crystal structure and then into a liquid metal.

As it melts, the magnesium oxide changes from an electrically insulating material in which electrons don’t flow easily to a metal similar to iron that allows electrons to pass easily through the material.

“It is often thought that a planetary magnetic field protects life on a planet’s surface from harmful space radiation, like cosmic rays,” geophysicist Stewart McWilliams, with the Carnegie Institution and Howard University, told Discovery News.

“What we find is that magnetic fields may exist on more super-Earth planets than expected, resulting from the transformation of the planet’s rocks to metals in the deep interior. This could create new environments for life in the universe.”

Planetary scientist David Stevenson of Caltech said the field “certainly affects the way life evolves”.

“I think it is an open question as to whether its absence inhibits the development of life,” he added.

As well as raising possibilities of life-protecting magnetic shields, the study complicates existing models of how planets form and evolve.

“Melting in planets is very important. In planets like the Earth, melting leads to many features of the world around us – volcanoes, and the Earth’s magnetic field, for example.

“In the early history of planets like Earth, it is possible the entire planet was liquefied, forming a deep ocean of magma on the surface. Even today, some super-Earth planets may have these magma oceans,” McWilliams said.

On some of the planets however, the magma is replaced by liquid metal, made up of the magnesium oxide as well as magnesium silicate and quartz.

“To really understand a planet we need to model the whole thing,” McWilliams said. “This can be done with advanced computer codes, for example, that describe the formation of a planet’s magnetic field. I think the next step is to see if models can confirm our findings.”

Nano particles protect brain from nerve disease

MS affects any area of the brain, optic nerve, and spinal cord, damaging the myelin sheath, which protects the nerve cells, slowing down or halting exchange of nerve signals. The symptoms vary from mild limb numbness to paralysis and blindness.

“This finding (based on mice models) could potentially be used to halt auto−immune diseases, such as Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and immune−mediated diseases, such as food allergy and asthma,” said Nicholas King, professor at the University of Sydney Medical School, the journal Nature Biotechnology reported.

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“We still have many experiments to do to confirm this but our research is a genuine coup which promises to make an impact on a range of illnesses,” said King, who co−authored the study with Stephen Miller, professor at Northwestern University, US, according to a Sydney statement.
Daniel Getts from Northwestern who led the study was formerly King’s doctoral student at the University of Sydney.

“Till date immuno−suppressant therapy to control MS has had varying success but has always been a double−edged sword,” said King.

“When you suppress the immune system you remove the ability of the body to fight off infectious organisms and destroy emerging cancers,” added King.

The researchers injected small myelin proteins attached to tiny particles, just 500 nanometres across, into the bloodstream of mice. The particles travel to the spleen where they are taken up by cells called macrophages.

Once taken up by the macrophages, the ultimate effect of these tiny particles is to suppress the immune response to the myelin proteins directly.

Facebook use may trigger psychotic symptoms

November 21 (ANI): A new study has found a connection between the gradual development and exacerbation of psychotic symptoms, including delusions, anxiety, confusion, and intensified use of computer communications such as Facebook.
In his study, Dr. Uri Nitzan of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Shalvata Mental Health Care Center presented three in-depth case studies linking psychotic episodes to Internet communications from his own practice.
According to Dr. Nitzan, patients shared some crucial characteristics, including loneliness or vulnerability due to the loss of or separation from a loved one, relative inexperience with technology, and no prior history of psychosis or substance abuse.
The good news is that all of the patients, who willingly sought out treatment on their own, were able to make a full recovery with proper treatment and care, Dr. Nitzan said.
The Internet is a free and liberal space that many individuals use on a daily basis and a growing part of a normal social life.
But while technologies such as Facebook have numerous advantages, some patients are harmed by these social networking sites, which can attract those who are lonely or vulnerable in their day-to-day lives or act as a platform for cyber-bullying and other predatory behavior.
All three of Dr. Nitzan’s patients sought refuge from a lonely situation and found solace in intense virtual relationships. Although these relationships were positive at first, they eventually led to feelings of hurt, betrayal, and invasion of privacy, reported Dr. Nitzan.
“All of the patients developed psychotic symptoms related to the situation, including delusions regarding the person behind the screen and their connection through the computer,” the researcher said.
Two patients began to feel vulnerable as a result of sharing private information, and one even experienced tactile hallucinations, believing that the person beyond the screen was physically touching her.
Dr. Nitzan and his colleagues plan to do more in-depth research on Facebook, studying the features and applications that have the potential to harm patients emotionally or permit patients to cause emotional harm to others.
The study was published in the Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences.

Dancing may boost your kids’ mental health

Regular dancing could help your kids, especially young girls, develop better mental health, as it suppresses stress, fatigue and headaches, a new study has found.

The study led by Anna Duberg, physical therapist at Orebro University Hospital found that regular dance training can be a good strategy for preventing and treating low spirits and depression.

Dance also brings enhanced self-esteem and a greater capacity to deal with everyday problems, according to Duberg.

The study involved 112 Swedish girls 13 to 19 years of age. On multiple occasions, these girls had gone to see the school nurse for symptoms such as anxiety and depression, fatigue, headaches, and back, neck, and shoulder pain.

In the study, 59 of the girls were randomised to a group that regularly danced together two days a week and 53 girls to a control group where the girls did not change their living habits.

The study results indicate that the girls in the dance group, despite all the challenges entailed by being a teenage girl, increased their self-esteem compared with the control group.

The positive effect persisted at follow-ups four and eight months after the dance training ended, researchers said.

Fully 91 per cent of the girls in the dance group felt that the dance study had been a positive experience. In the long run this may also lead to a more healthful lifestyle,

they said.

The study is published in the American journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (JAMA).