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Muhammad Ali: The Boxing Legend and Fighter who transcended sports world, dies at 74

Ali spoke out against racism, war and religious intolerance, while projecting an unshakeable confidence that became a model for African-Americans at the height of the civil rights era and beyond

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Muhammad Ali. Image source: Collider.com
  • Along with a fearsome reputation as a fighter, Ali spoke out against racism, war and religious intolerance
  • Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome which impaired his speech
  • Ali was stripped of his world boxing crown for refusing to join the U.S. Army and fight in Vietnam

The death of Muhammad Ali, the former heavyweight champion known as much for his political activism as his boxing brilliance, triggered a worldwide outpouring of affection and admiration for one of the best-known figures of the 20th century.

Ali, who had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome which impaired his speech and made the once-graceful athlete almost a prisoner in his own body, died on Friday, June 3 at age 74.

The cause of death was septic shock due to unspecified natural causes, a family spokesman said on Saturday, June 4. Ali was admitted to a Phoenix-area hospital, HonorHealth, with a respiratory ailment on Monday, May 30.

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“He’ll be remembered as a man of the world who spoke his mind and wasn’t afraid to take a chance and went out of his way to be a kind, benevolent individual that really changed the world,” the family spokesman, Bob Gunnell, said at a news conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Despite Ali’s failing health, his youthful proclamation that he was “the greatest” rang true until the end for millions of people around the world who respected him for his courage both inside and outside the ring.

President Jimmy Carter greets Muhammad Ali at a White House dinner, 1977. Image source: Wikipedia
President Jimmy Carter greets Muhammad Ali at a White House dinner, 1977. Image source: Wikipedia

Along with a fearsome reputation as a fighter, Ali spoke out against racism, war and religious intolerance, while projecting an unshakeable confidence that became a model for African-Americans at the height of the civil rights era and beyond.

Stripped of his world boxing crown for refusing to join the U.S. Army and fight in Vietnam,Ali returned in triumph by recapturing the title and starring in some of the sport’s most unforgettable bouts.

“I think when you talk about Muhammad Ali, as great an athlete, as great a boxer as he was, he was the greatest boxer of all time, he means so much more to the United Statesand the world,” said Ali’s long-time friend, boxing promoter Bob Arum.

"I'll leave you with one that I have hanging on my office wall, compliments of Nike: Impossible is nothing," Muhammad Ali. In photo- Michael Jordan vs Muhammad Ali (Image source: likesuccess.com)
“I’ll leave you with one that I have hanging on my office wall, compliments of Nike: Impossible is nothing,” Muhammad Ali. In photo- Michael Jordan vs Muhammad Ali (Image source: likesuccess.com)

“He was a transformative figure in our society.”

Bursting onto the boxing scene in the 1960s with a brashness that threatened many whites, Ali would come to be embraced by Americans of all races for his grace, integrity and disarming sense of humor.

“In the end, he went from being reviled to being revered,” civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson told CNN on Saturday.

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Pam Dorrough, a tourist in New York’s Times Square, admired Ali’s refusal to apologize for what he believed.

“The confidence – and I know everybody thought it was an arrogance about him – he always projected a confidence,” she said. “And he stood by that.”

President Barack Obama, the first African-American to reach the White House, said Ali was “a man who fought for us” and placed him in the pantheon of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela. (Reuters)

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Simple Blood Test May Help Improve Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer: Study

Know about this blood test developed by researchers that may improve ovarian cancer diagnosis

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Cancer blood test
Researchers have developed a simple blood test that measures the body's own immune response to improve diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Pixabay

Health researchers have developed a simple blood test that measures the body’s own immune response to improve diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that testing for a specific immune biomarker allows clinicians to identify whether growths on the ovaries are cancerous or not, without the need for tests like the MRI scans or ultrasounds.

Ovarian cancer is one of the most common gynaecologic cancers, with the highest mortality rate. About 300,000 new cases are diagnosed globally each year, with an estimated 60 per cent of women dying within five years after diagnosis.

“Our new test is as accurate as the combined results of a standard blood test and ultrasound. This is especially important for women in remote or disadvantaged communities, where under-resourced hospitals may not have access to complex and expensive equipment like ultrasound machines or MRI scanners,” said study senior author
Magdalena Plebanski from the RMIT University in Australia.

Cancer blood test
Ovarian cancer is one of the most common gynaecologic cancers. Pixabay

“It also means patients with benign cysts identified through imaging could potentially be spared unnecessary surgeries,” Plebanski added. According to the researchers, the test could be an important diagnostic tool for assessing suspicious ovarian growths before operations.

“This study looked at women with advanced ovarian cancer, but we hope further research could explore the potential for adding this biomarker to routine diagnostic tests at earlier stages of the disease,” Plebanski said.

The study used an immune marker for inflammation (IL-6) together with cancer markers to detect epithelial ovarian cancer in blood. According to the researchers, results were validated across two separate human trial cohorts.

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“Every day in Australia, four women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and three will die from the disease,” Plebanski said.

“Developing tests that are simpler and more practical may help get more women to hospital for treatment more effectively, with the hope that survival rates will improve,” Plebanski concluded. (IANS)