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49-day lockdown necessary to stop COVID-19 resurgence in India: Study

The country which went in to the 21-day lockdown from March 24 midnight had 909 active cases of coronavirus as of Saturday evening. Out of them, 862 are Indians and 47 foreign nationals.

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DELHI LOCKDOWN

New Delhi, March 29 : Two Indian-origin researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK have come up with a new mathematical model that predicts a flat 49-day nationwide lockdown — or sustained lockdown with periodic relaxation extending over two months — may be necessary to prevent COVID-19 resurgence in India.

The paper by Ronojoy Adhikari in collaboration with Rajesh Singh from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the university shows that the 21-day lockdown that the India government has imposed is unlikely to be effective and “there will be a resurgence of COVID-19 at the end of it”.

The model is possibly the first to include “age and social contact structure of the Indian population” when assessing the impact of social distancing on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The paper titled �Age-structured impact of social distancing on the COVID-19 epidemic in India’ has been published on open-access preprint repository ArXiv and is yet to be peer-reviewed.

The impact of social distancing measures — workplace non-attendance, school closure, lockdown — and their efficacy with duration has been investigated in the study.

The researchers used an age-structured SIR model with social contact matrices obtained from surveys and Bayesian imputation to study the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

“The structures of social contact critically determine the spread of the infection and, in the absence of vaccines, the control of these structures through large-scale social distancing measures appears to be the most effective means of mitigation,” the authors wrote.

The country’s total corona-affected patient count, including those who have been cured, has crossed 900 in India. The country which went in to the 21-day lockdown from March 24 midnight had 909 active cases of coronavirus as of Saturday evening. Out of them, 862 are Indians and 47 foreign nationals.

The mathematical model contains both asymptomatic and symptomatic infectives.

“Due to the paucity of data on the number of asymptomatic cases we have chosen to set these to zero. This provides a lower bound on the number of morbidities and mortalities and the intensity and duration of the social distancing measures that are required for mitigation,’ the authors mentioned.

According to the authors, extensive testing of the population can provide data on the number of asymptomatic cases and this, when incorporated into the model, will provide more accurate estimates of the progress of the epidemic and the impact of mitigatory social distancing.

“More generally, there are uncertainties in all parameters of our model and these would translate into uncertainties in forecasts and estimates. These uncertainties can be reduced with better availability of case data and uncertainties can be quantified through Bayesian error propagation analysis,” explained the duo.

A three-week lockdown, however, is found insufficient to prevent a resurgence and, instead, protocols of sustained lockdown with periodic relaxation are suggested.

“Our principal conclusion is that the three-week lockdown will be insufficient. Our model suggests sustained periods of lockdown with periodic relaxation will reduce the num- ber of cases to levels where individualised social contact tracing and quarantine may become feasible,: the paper elaborated.

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Male sex hormones may help treat breast cancer: Study

While endocrine therapy is standard-of-care for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, resistance to these drugs is the major cause of breast cancer mortality.

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breast cancer

Sydney : Researchers have found new evidence about the positive role of androgens, commonly thought of as male sex hormones but also found at lower levels in women, in breast cancer treatment.

In normal breast development, estrogen stimulates and androgen inhibits growth at puberty and throughout adult life.

Abnormal estrogen activity is responsible for the majority of breast cancers, but the role of androgen activity in this disease has been controversial.

The new research published in the journal Nature Medicine showed that androgens have potential for treatment of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

A cancer is called estrogen receptor positive if it has receptors for estrogen, according to Breastcancer.org.

Using cell-line and patient-derived models, the global team, including researchers at the University of Adelaide and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia, demonstrated that androgen receptor activation by natural androgen or a new androgenic drug had potent anti-tumour activity in all estrogen receptor positive breast cancers, even those resistant to current standard-of-care treatments.

In contrast, androgen receptor inhibitors had no effect.

“This work has immediate implications for women with metastatic estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, including those resistant to current forms of endocrine therapy,” said lead researcher Theresa Hickey, Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide.

“We provide compelling new experimental evidence that androgen receptor stimulating drugs can be more effective than existing (e.g. Tamoxifen) or new (e.g. Palbociclib) standard-of-care treatments and, in the case of the latter, can be combined to enhance growth inhibition,” said Wayne Tilley, Director of the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide.

Androgens were historically used to treat breast cancer, but knowledge of hormone receptors in breast tissue was rudimentary at the time and the treatment’s efficacy misunderstood.

Androgen therapy was discontinued due to virilising side effects and the advent of anti-estrogenic endocrine therapies.

While endocrine therapy is standard-of-care for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, resistance to these drugs is the major cause of breast cancer mortality.

“The new insights from this study should clarify the widespread confusion over the role of the androgen receptor in estrogen receptor driven breast cancer,” said Elgene Lim, a breast oncologist and Head of the Connie Johnson Breast Cancer Research Lab at the Garvan Institute.

“Given the efficacy of this treatment strategy at multiple stages of disease in our study, we hope to translate these findings into clinical trials as a new class of endocrine therapy for breast cancer.”

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Azim Premji and Dr Devi Shetty chosen for PCB awards

Besides them 25 senior journalists have been selected for the ‘Press Club Annual Awards’, a release said.

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Azim Premji Wipro

Bengaluru, Jan 19: The chairman of Wipro Limited Azim Premji and the founder chairman of Narayana Health Dr Devi Prasad Shetty are among those who have been selected for the annual awards given by the Press Club of Bangalore.

Premji has been chosen for ‘Press Club Person of the Year’, while Dr Shetty and actor-Director Sudeep Sanjeev have been selected for the ‘Press Club Special Award.’

Besides them 25 senior journalists have been selected for the ‘Press Club Annual Awards’, a release said.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will facilitate the awardees at a function scheduled for the third week of February, it said.

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Elizabeth Olsen: Nepotism creates fear that you don’t deserve the work you get

The actress added that she “always had this need to prove myself to everyone around me that I work really hard”, adding: “I couldn’t walk in a room without everyone already having an opinion.”

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Elizabeth Olsen

Los Angeles, Jan 19 : Hollywood star Elizabeth Olsen says she once thought of changing her surname and distance herself from the success of her family because it was insanity growing up in the spotlight.

“It was insanity. There were times when my sisters would always be spotted and I would be in the car with them and it would really freak me out. It has helped me navigate how I want to approach my career,” said the actress, whose older sisters are Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen.

The actress added that she “always had this need to prove myself to everyone around me that I work really hard”, adding: “I couldn’t walk in a room without everyone already having an opinion.”

Elizabeth opened up om the fears of nepotism.

“The thing about nepotism is the fear that you don’t earn or deserve the work. There was even a part of me when I was a little girl that thought if I’m gonna be an actress I’m going to go by Elizabeth Chase, which is my middle name. And then, once I started working, I was like, ‘I love my family, I like my name, I love my sisters. Why would I be so ashamed of that?’ It’s fine now,” she said.

The actress said fame has made her more of a homebody.

“Fame has also made me someone who is more of a homebody than maybe I would like to be but I know where not to go. If I could do whatever I wanted for the day, I’d start with the gym, then I’d go to the grocery store, because it’s my favourite thing,” Elizabeth told The Sun.

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