Thursday May 23, 2019
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A person can choose his gender now: heights of quirkiness?

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By Nury Vittachi

New Delhi: Never has it ever been like this, but it’s true when one says to be prepared for any advancement- a person can choose his/her own gender now.

This columnist has a deeply personal announcement to make. After much consideration, I have decided to remain as a male.

I know modern society pressures us to declare ourselves transgender, transitioning, transsexual, trans-curious, trans-fat and the like, but I have decided to forgo all that trendy stuff and I hope you will support my decision, as my family comes to terms with the hard truth that dad is a man trapped in a man’s body.

Have you read the news lately?

A father just gave birth to a baby. This was after a man born a woman married a woman born a man. In each case, they changed sex but kept a selection of their original parts. You can do this now: doctors have a menu. “I’ll take two of those and one of those.”

This switch-over couple’s offspring is going to have a tough time explaining this, said reader Aalia Shan, who sent me an AP report about a mixed-up family in Ecuador. “That’s my Dad. He’s my Mom. This is my Mom. She’s my Dad.”

“Who wears the trousers in that family,” I asked. “This is 2016,” Aalia replied. “Everyone wears trousers except the Pope.”

I threw this odd-but-true news report into the lunch discussion at the local noodle shop. An unmarried young man was intrigued by the concept of partial sex changes. “I have a very strong aesthetic appreciation of the female bust but have no access to such. Should I get my own?” The general consensus was that he should consider doing so for experimentation’s sake but should be prepared to get no work done for weeks afterward.

A colleague said there was a recent case in the US of a woman who gave birth to her own grandchild with help from a doctor. Again the child ends up with the tough job of explaining it: “This is Grandma, she’s my Mom. And this is Mommy, she’s my sister.”

A UK reporter said that there had been a huge controversy in his country recently when a woman/man was crowned Miss Transgender UK but was then disqualified because organizers said he/she was “not transgender enough”. Reporters were left with a massive pronoun problem. “If we referred to him/her as either him or her we would be making a judgment, so had to call him/her him/her the whole time,” the journalist said. “On the plus side, I get paid by the word.”

It reminded me of author Sarah Caudwell’s books featuring a unisex main character called Hilary.

WARNING: If you are on the Internet and want to flirt with a Westerner named Kelly or Ashley or Meredith or Shirley or Vivian or Lynn or Kim or Jocelyn, proceed VERY CAREFULLY until you find out where they are from. “In the US, these names signify young women – in the UK, they signify ancient men,” he said.

Asia can be tricky too. I know a Sri Lankan man named Sally, a Bangladeshi man named Joy and a Hong Kong girl with possibly the most masculine-sounding name possible in English: He-man.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go set up a support group for people who are only one gender. Slogan: “Are you male or female? You are not alone.” ( IANS)

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American Scientists Design Adhesive Gel to Repair Eye Injury Without Surgery

The researchers expected to start clinical trials to test the technology in human patients in approximately one year

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migraine, dry eyes
The study showed that people with migraine had a 20 per cent higher risk of having dry eye disease, the HealthDay reported. Pixabay

American scientists have designed an adhesive gel that can seal wound or ulcers on the surface of the eye, thus sparing the need for eye surgery.

The study published on Wednesday in the journal “Science Advances” showed that the gel packed with light-activated chemicals can not only close the defect but also regenerate it, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We wanted this material to allow the cells of the cornea to mesh with the adhesive and to regenerate over time to mimic something as close to the native cornea as possible,” said the paper’s co-corresponding author Reza Dana, a professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School.

The gel is clear and viscous in a dropper or syringe, but when exposed to blue light in a short time, it hardens to take on features of a native cornea, and the the cornea cells gradually grow into and become one with the gel, according to the study.

The gel is the first to use visible blue light as opposed to ultraviolet light, which carries a level of toxicity.

Cataracts
Representational image. Pixabay

In a preclinical study, the researchers administered the gel at 20 per cent concentration to corneal defects of 3 mm, and applied visible light for four minutes, leading to a firm adhesion to the defect.

One day later, they observed a transparent, smooth eye surface without inflammation. Over time, the tissue regenerated and the new tissue showed few differences with the native one, according to the study.

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The researchers expected to start clinical trials to test the technology in human patients in approximately one year.

Corneal injuries are a common cause of visual impairment worldwide, with more than 1.5 million new cases of corneal blindness reported every year. Some of them require corneal transplants that carry risks of post-transplant complications like infection or rejection. (IANS)