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By Meghna Nair
While sailing through the impressionable stages of life, we come across many ideas which become symbolic to our identity. We try to shape this thought through many channels. Some breathe life into such ideas through ink, and one such form is BODY ART.
These days, it is increasingly becoming a fad. An increasing number of people are now getting inked and every tattoo has a story behind it. For some, it is reinforcing their own identity, like wearing your true self on your body, whereas for others the reason could be as simple and superficial as fashion because tattoos any day paint a pretty picture.
Irrespective of the reason, the process of getting inked is not pleasant. Despite this, the number of people getting inked is constantly rising.
“Needles are painful and some people prefer pain. It is a sadomasochistic rush. The same reason why people like bondage, sadism and masochism- it is a release,” says Akash Shukla, a PRINT journalist from Lucknow.
Bracing pain and overcoming your fears can, at times, make you feel invincible. Some people are afraid of needles and the pain associated with it. Getting a tattoo can have a cathartic effect on some. Some people have an affinity for symbols. They hold certain symbols close to their hearts and these symbols have a profound meaning for them. For some, it could be a five-point star, for others it could be a gun, and for some others it could be a dove. Whatever it may be, there would be some strong leanings behind it.
“I lived all my life in Kolkata and have never moved out even once. So when I left home for Delhi, owning up to all my responsibilities also gave me a sense of freedom. All our lives we aim to be free. This was my first step to freedom and that is why I chose to get inked,” says Roshni Chakrabarty, who has got ‘freedom’ inked on her wrist.
People also get inked to make a statement; to stand apart from the rest of the society. Sometimes, it is because they don’t feel they fit in and neither do they feel any necessity for it. The society sees it as a sign of rebellion, whereas the person sees it as a sign of liberation-being in harmony with one’s true self. The best example of this can be bikers and wrestlers.
On the other hand, tattoos have a rich cultural significance in India. An essay titled “A Tale of Tattoos” by Mark Hawthorne on Hinduism Today says tattoos are seen as “another step towards spiritual development.” In the essay, he states “Anthropologists believe tattoos are a part of the evolution of a tradition that views the voluntary endurance of pain as a way to tap into a primal urge for meaning and belonging. And sacred symbols, from cave paintings to mandalas, are as old as the struggle to understand our world.”
In Northern India, one can see many people who have tattooed names on their forearms. Generally people have their own names tattooed on their forearms. Written in Devnagari script, the names inked on their skins would provide reinstatement of the identity to that person. Sometimes people also choose to get the names of their beloved inked on their skins.
Getting a name inked on the forearm is not restricted to the ancient times alone. David Beckham who has a big tattoo of his wife Victoria’s name inked on his forearm has inspired many others to make a beeline for the same trend. Saif Ali Khan caused quite a buzz in the media for branding a forearm name tattoo of his lady love Kareena Kapoor Khan.
Deepika Padukone, also known for the RK tattoo on the nape of her neck, is one of the celebrities who have followed the trend of getting the initials/name of their beloved ones inked on their skin.
Getting inked is no longer a mere fashion statement. For some people, it could be superficial or a fetish which one can get over with, but for others, it carries a profound meaning which echoes in their personality or what they want to achieve in life. Like art, it can transcend boundaries of reason and cross over to spiritual realm; relevance and meaning to the significance of body art is open-ended and subjective, waiting to be deciphered.
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
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This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.
Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.
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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)