Monday, December 31, 2007


Professor stood before his Philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty
mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls .

He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into thejar.

He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas
between the golf balls .

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous " yes ."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and
poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty
space between the sand.

The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, " I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life.

"The golf balls are the important things - your family, your
children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions - things that if
everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

"The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your
house, and your car.

"The sand is everything else--the small stuff.

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no
room for the pebbles or the golf balls .

"The same goes for life.
"If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will
never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Play with your children.

"Take time to get medical checkups.

"Take your partner out to dinner.

"Play another 18.

"There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

"Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter.

"Set your priorities.

"The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked.

"It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there's always room for a cup of coffee with a friend."


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2007

The Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine for the year 2007
have been anounced to

Dr Mario R. Capecchi , USA
Dr Sir Martin J. Evans , UK
Dr Oliver Smithies , USA
"for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells"

They have made a series of ground-breaking discoveries concerning embryonic stem cells and DNA recombination in mammals. Their discoveries led to the creation of an immensely powerful technology referred to as gene targeting in mice. Gene targeting is often used to inactivate single genes. Such gene "knockout" experiments have elucidated the roles of numerous genes in embryonic development, adult physiology, aging and disease.

Capecchis research has uncovered the roles of genes involved in mammalian organ development and in the establishment of the body plan. His work has shed light on the causes of several human inborn malformations.

Evans applied gene targeting to develop mouse models for human diseases. He developed several models for the inherited human disease cystic fibrosis and has used these models to study disease mechanisms and to test the effects of gene therapy.

Smithies also used gene targeting to develop mouse models for inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis and the blood disease thalassemia. He has also developed numerous mouse models for common human diseases such as hypertension and atherosclerosis.

Almost every aspect of mammalian physiology can be studied by gene targeting. In summary, gene targeting in mice has pervaded all fields of biomedicine. Its impact on the understanding of gene function and its benefits to mankind will continue to increase over many years to come.

Read More at the Press Release by

Read a summary of their work : 'Speedread'

Monday, October 1, 2007


Blood cultures in paediatric patients: A study of clinical impact

Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology,

Year : 2007 Volume : 25 Issue : 3 Page : 220-224
Murty DS, Gyaneshwari M

Correspondence Address:
Murty D S
Department of Microbiology, SV Medical College, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh India

Purpose :
Blood cultures form a critical part of evaluation of patients with suspected sepsis. The present study was undertaken to study the risk factors, duration of incubation for obtaining positive cultures, and the clinical impact of the culture report. Methods : A total of 220 samples from 107 pediatric patients presenting with suspected bacteraemia were processed aerobically.
Results :
Cultures were positive in 18.7% of the samples. Most of the positive cultures were obtained after 24 hours of incubation of the broth and no isolates were obtained beyond day 4 of incubation. Therapy was modified in 54.23% of the patients after receipt of culture report.
Conclusions :
Incubation beyond four days (unless with specific indication like enteric fever) may be unnecessary for issuing a negative culture report. Repeated isolation of doubtful pathogens confirms true bacteraemia. Early culture report increases therapeutic compliance.

Read full article at Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology

Tuesday, September 4, 2007



Watch a flah file "New Millennium Krishna". To view the file, right clik on the link and select "save target as" and save it to your hard disk. (the photographs are of our son, Aditya).
(if you just click on the link, you may find only a blank page, hence viewing the file after saving to hard disk is recommended)

You need flash player to view the file.

if you do not have it installed on your system, you may download it by clicking here :

Get Adobe Flash Player

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Laugh for a while


1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is
that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if
anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have
the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic
and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your

11. You start tilting your head sidew ays to smile. : )

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on
this list.

AND NOW U R LAUGHING at yourself.

A Healthy Heart

This is the content of a mail forwarded to me by one of my friends. A very useful discussion to inspire us to keep ourself healthy and fit.
A chat with Dr.Devi Shetty , Narayana Hrudayalaya
( Heart Specialist) Bangalore was arranged by WIPRO for its employees .

Qn: What are the thumb rules for a layman to take care of his heart ?

1. Diet - Less of carbohydrate, more of protein, less oil
2. Exercise - Half an hour's walk, at least five days a week; avoid lifts and avoid sitting for a longtime
3. Quit smoking
4. Control weight
5. Control blood pressure and sugar

Is eating non-veg food (fish) good for the heart?


It's still a grave shock to hear that some apparently healthy person
gets a cardiac arrest. How do we understand it in perspective?

This is called silent attack; that is why we recommend everyone past the age of 30 to undergo routine health checkups.

Are heart diseases hereditary?


What are the ways in which the heart is stressed? What practices do you suggest to de-stress?

Change your attitude towards life. Do not look for perfection in everything in life.

Is walking better than jogging or is more intensive exercise required to keep a healthy heart?

Walking is better than jogging since jogging leads to early fatigue and injury to joints .

You have done so much for the poor and needy. What has inspired you to do so?

Mother Theresa , who was my patient.

Can people with low blood pressure suffer heart diseases?

Extremely rare

Does cholesterol accumulates right from an early age
(I'm currently only 22) or do you have to worry about it only after you are above 30 years of age?

Cholesterol accumulates from childhood.

How do irregular eating habits affect the heart ?

You tend to eat junk food when the habits are irregular and your body's enzyme release for digestion gets confused.

How can I control cholesterol content without using medicines?

Control diet, walk and eat walnut.

Can yoga prevent heart ailments?

Yoga helps.

Which is the best and worst food for the heart?

Fruits and vegetables are the best and the worst is oil.

Which oil is better - groundnut, sunflower, olive?

All oils are bad .

What is the routine checkup one should go through? Is there any specific test?

Routine blood test to ensure sugar, cholesterol is ok. Check BP, Treadmill test after an echo.

What are the first aid steps to be taken on a heart attack?

Help the person into a sleeping position , place an aspirin tablet under the tongue with a sorbitrate tablet if available, and rush him to a coronary care unit since the maximum casualty takes place within the first hour.

How do you differentiate between pain caused by a heart attack and that caused due to gastric trouble?

Extremely difficult without ECG.

What is the main cause of a steep increase in heart problems amongst youngsters? I see people of about 30-40 yrs of age having heart attacks and serious heart problems.

Increased awareness has increased incidents. Also, edentary lifestyles, smoking, junk food, lack of exercise in a country where people are genetically three times more vulnerable for heart attacks than Europeans and Americans.

Is it possible for a person to have BP outside the normal range of 120/80 and yet be perfectly healthy?


Marriages within close relatives can lead to heart problems for the child. Is it true?

Yes, co-sanguinity leads to congenital abnormalities and you may not have a software engineer as a child

Many of us have an irregular daily routine and many a times we have to stay late nights in office. Does this affect our heart ? What precautions would you recommend?

When you are young, nature protects you against all these irregularities. However, as you grow older, respect the biological clock.

Will taking anti-hypertensive drugs cause some other complications (short / long term)?

Yes, most drugs have some side effects. However, modern anti-hypertensive drugs are extremely safe.

Will consuming more coffee/tea lead to heart attacks?


Are asthma patients more prone to heart disease?


How would you define junk food?

Fried food like Kentucky , McDonalds , samosas, and even masala dosas.

You mentioned that Indians are three times more vulnerable. What is the reason for this, as Europeans and Americans also eat a lot of junk food?

Every race is vulnerable to some disease and unfortunately, Indians are vulnerable for the most expensive disease.

Does consuming bananas help reduce hypertension?


Can a person help himself during a heart attack (Because we see a lot of forwarded emails on this)?

Yes. Lie down comfortably and put an aspirin tablet of any description under the tongue and ask someone to take you to the nearest coronary care unit without any delay and do not wait for the ambulance since most of the time, the ambulance does not turn up.

Do, in any way, low white blood cells and low hemoglobin count lead to heart problems?

No. But it is ideal to have normal hemoglobin level to increase your exercise capacity.

Sometimes, due to the hectic schedule we are not able to exercise. So, does walking while doing daily chores at home or climbing the stairs in the house, work as a substitute for exercise?

Certainly. Avoid sitting continuously for more than half an hour and even the act of getting out of the chair and going to another chair and sitting helps a lot.

Is there a relation between heart problems and blood sugar?

Yes. A strong relationship since diabetics are more vulnerable to heart attacks than non-diabetics.

What are the things one needs to take care of after a heart operation?

Diet, exercise, drugs on time , Control cholesterol, BP, weight.

Are people working on night shifts more vulnerable to heart disease when compared to day shift workers?


What are the modern anti-hypertensive drugs?

There are hundreds of drugs and your doctor will chose the right combination for your problem, but my suggestion is to avoid the drugs and go for natural ways of controlling blood pressure by walk, diet to
reduce weight and changing attitudes towards lifestyles.

Does dispirin or similar headache pills increase the risk of heart attacks?


Why is the rate of heart attacks more in men than in women?

Nature protects women till the age of 45.

How can one keep the heart in a good condition?

Eat a healthy diet, avoid junk food, exercise everyday, do not smoke and, go for health checkup s if you are past the age of 30 ( once in six months recommended) ...