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Indian-Origin Scientist Part of Team that found out Rising Rates of Opioid Overdose Among Cancer Survivors

The finding was true even among survivors who were 10 or more years past their cancer diagnosis

Rising Rates of Opioid Overdose Use Among Cancer Survivors, Pixabay

Toronto, Aug 7, 2017: At a time of rising rates of opioid overdose and addiction, new research by an Indian-origin scientist reveals that its use is more common among cancer survivors than in individuals without a history of cancer.

“Our research findings raise concerns about the diagnosis and management of chronic pain problems among survivors stemming from cancer diagnosis or treatment,” said Rinku Sutradhar, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in Canada.

The finding was true even among survivors who were 10 or more years past their cancer diagnosis, according to the study published online in the journal CANCER.


Sutradhar and her colleagues analyzed information dating back to 2010 on 8,601 adults at least five years past a cancer diagnosis who were matched with an equal number of individuals without a prior cancer diagnosis.

Follow-up was stopped at any indication of cancer recurrence, second malignancy, or new cancer diagnosis.

The researchers looked for opioid prescriptions filled at a pharmacy during the observation period for each individual.

The rate of opioid prescribing was 1.22 times higher among survivors than corresponding matched controls.

Over a 36-month period, the average number of opioid prescriptions filled by survivors was 7.7, compared with 6.3 for controls.

This increased rate of opioid prescribing was also seen among survivors who were 10 or more years past their cancer diagnosis.

Individuals with lower income, and those who were younger, from rural neighborhoods, and with more comorbidities had significantly higher prescribing rates.

Sex was not associated with prescribing rates.

“Physicians providing primary care to cancer survivors should consider close examination of reasons for continued opioid use to differentiate chronic pain from dependency,” said Sutradhar, who is also a senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto. (IANS)

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Yoga and Cannabis: Is Getting High during Yoga an ancient Practice and Why Stoned Yoga is a rising Trend?

Cannabis is banned in most of the countries but has been recently legalised in USA

Cannabis Cultivation. Flickr

What comes to your mind when asked to imagine kumbh Mela sadhus? An image of a religious ascetic with long(many a times grey)beard? ! But I am sure one among the many thoughts which comes to one’s mind when asked this is a picture of an old guy with a bunch of rudraksh hanging around his neck smoking a hand rolled cigarette which is nothing but “cannabis”

Cannabis is a drug made from the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant which is used by many people for recreational purposes

  •  Consumption of cannabis had died out because of its prohibited use in USA and other countries. Some countries like California has restricted its use for medicinal purpose
  • Other than the pleasure giving factor it also has a potential for helping children with epilepsy, cure cancerous tumours and provides a relief from chronic pain (said to be much effective than opium)

So how can a drug like cannabis be useful in your yoga class?

Cannabis during Yoga classes. Flickr
Cannabis during Yoga classes. Flickr

A new term coming up these days is “Ganjasana” which is a combination of ganja(cannabis) and yoga.Though the ganja has been in use since time immemorial for spiritual purposes a label has been given to it recently.

When combining yoga with cannabis, things that should be kept in mind are:-

  • You should be confident that you can balance yourself well  after consuming it because you surely wouldn’t be wanting to fall on your fellow mate!
  • If you notice that you are experiencing shortage of breath after consuming think twice before using it because yoga involves systematic breathing exercises like Pranayam
  • Consuming it before your yoga classes can be a bliss since you get the best of both worlds!
  • If you are taking the flower route which involves smoking and vaping avoid it if you are doing intense breathing exercise on that day

Cannabis is banned in most of the countries but has been recently legalised in USA). So, even if one wants to try it and attain NIRVANA would have to cross mountains and lakes to reach their destination.So, good luck to the ones who wanna try it!


by Ashwati Menon of NewsGram. Twitter: @Ashu_phoebe

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Indian origin scientist develop hack-proof chip


New York: An Indian origin researcher has made a breakthrough in developing a new type of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip which is virtually impossible to hack. This chip would prove to be beneficial in preventing your credit card number or key card information from being stolen.

Chiraag Juvekar, the graduate student in electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said the chip is designed to prevent so called side-channel attacks.

Side-channel attacks analyze patterns of memory access or fluctuations in power usage when a device is performing a cryptographic operation, in order to extract its cryptographic key.

“The idea in a side-channel attack is that a given execution of the cryptographic algorithm only leaks a slight amount of information,” Juvekar said.

“So you need to execute the cryptographic algorithm with the same secret many, many times to get enough leakage to extract a complete secret,” he explained.

One way to thwart side-channel attacks is to regularly change secret keys.

In that case, the RFID chip would run a random-number generator that would spit out a new secret key after each transaction.

A central server would run the same generator, and every time an RFID scanner queried the tag, it would relay the results to the server, to see if the current key was valid.

Such a system would still, however, be vulnerable to a “power glitch” attack in which the RFID chip’s power would be repeatedly cut right before it changed its secret key.

An attacker could then run the same side-channel attack thousands of times, with the same key.

Two design innovations allow the MIT researchers’ chip to thwart power-glitch attacks.

One is an on-chip power supply whose connection to the chip circuitry would be virtually impossible to cut and the other is a set of “nonvolatile” memory cells that can store whatever data the chip is working on when it begins to lose power.

For both of these features, Juvekar and Anantha Chandrakasan, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and others used a special type of material known as ferroelectric crystals.

Texas Instruments and other chip manufacturers have been using ferroelectric materials to produce nonvolatile memory or computer memory that retains data when it’s powered off.

Along with Texas Instruments that has built several prototypes of the new chip, the researchers presented their research at the “International Solid-State Circuits Conference” in San Francisco recently. (IANS) (picture courtesy: