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Nitish Kumar to launch signature drive over PM’s DNA remark

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Patna: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi failed to comply with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s request to take back his “DNA” remark, the Janata Dal-United leader on Monday announced he would launch a ‘Shabdwapsi’ drive to protest the remark.  Nitish_Kumar_(cropped)

The drive, meant to protest the prime minister’s July 25 remark about Nitish Kumar’s DNA, is scheduled to commence on Tuesday (August 11) with sit-ins across Bihar. It will collect signatures of 50 lakh people and send their blood samples to Modi for a DNA test.

Janata Dal-United (JD-U) spokesperson Ajay Alok said the party would stage sit-ins across the state on the issue on Tuesday and hold a ‘Swabhiman’ rally on Aug 29 here.

Nitish Kumar recently tweeted: “In this shabdwapsi (take back your words) campaign, at least 50 lakh people of Bihar will join a signature campaign and send their samples to Modiji for a DNA test”.

The participants will offer samples of their DNA and sign a petition saying that the prime minister’s comments crossed the line.

“PM Modi hasn’t retracted his derogatory remarks on our DNA, we’ll take the battle to people now,” Nitish Kumar said.

Alok said the rally would be jointly addressed by Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad.

“It will kickstart the joint rally campaign by the grand alliance of JD-U, RJD, Congress and National Congress Party to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance ahead of next assembly polls,” he said.

Modi, who addressed a rally in Gaya on Sunday, did not respond to Nitish Kumar’s request to consider taking back comments on his DNA. “Neither had he mentioned it nor did he counter it. He simply ignored it,” a senior BJP leader said.

Last week, in a letter released on Twitter, Nitish Kumar said: “Most of us feel that these statements, beyond questioning my own descent, have disrespected the lineage of our people and have denigrated the great legacy of the state.”

Addressing a public meeting in Muzaffarpur district on July 25, Modi said: “There seems to be some problem in his (Nitish Kumar) DNA because the DNA of democracy is not like that. In democracy, you give respect even to your political rivals.”

(IANS)

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Males Have Higher Risk of Suffering from Cancer: Study

Researchers explain why cancer risk is higher in males

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DNA differences between men and women may explain why cancer risk is higher in males. Pixabay

DNA differences between men and women may explain why cancer risk is higher in males, according to a new study.

In findings published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers have reported that loss of function in certain genes of the sex-determining Y chromosome, which is present only in men, may cause them to have an elevated risk for cancer.

Using data from 9,000 individuals, the researchers studied Y-chromosome gene function in patients with various types of cancer. The findings showed that cancer risk increases with loss of function of six key Y-chromosome genes in various types of cells.

“Recent studies have shown that complete loss of the Y chromosome, which is essential to foetal sex differentiation, occurs, with aging, in the cells of some men,” said study author Juan Ramon Gonzalez from Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain.

Cancer DNA
Suppression of the Y chromosome can occur as a result of loss of function in the chromosome. Pixabay

“Although the loss of the Y chromosome has previously been associated with higher incidence of cancer, the causes of this association are poorly understood,” Gonzalez added.

These six Y-chromosome genes are involved in cell-cycle regulation, the failure of which can lead to tumour development.

According to the study, understanding the biological differences between men and women in cancer is crucial for the development of personalised lines of treatment and prevention.

“Men are not only at higher risk of cancer than women, they also face a worse prognosis. In fact, these differences partially account for the lower life expectancy of men,” Gonzalez added.

According to the researchers, although men may be more exposed to carcinogens due to the type of work they do and at higher risk because they are less likely to consult a doctor, the study has shown that there are also biological factors that increase cancer risk among men.

“In fact, it seems that one of these factors can be found in the Y chromosome, the very essence of maleness,” said study lead author Alejandro Caceres.

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Suppression of the Y chromosome can occur as a result of loss of function in the chromosome, which would explain previous findings, or as a result of other mechanisms mediated by the chemical (epigenetic) inactivation of the same regions, the research said.

“Certain environmental exposures, for example to tobacco or other harmful substances, could affect chromosome function and lead to epigenetic modifications,” Gonzalez said. (IANS)