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Sprinting ahead, athlete Dutee Chand’s professional and personal achievements make any Indian proud. In 2019, she became the first woman Indian sprinter, clocking 11.32 seconds, to win gold in the 100m race at the Universiad. In the same year, she also became the first-ever Indian athlete to openly come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and of being in a same-sex relationship.
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The twenty-four-year-old has her share of ups and downs, depute being the first woman to represent India in the Olympics sprint event in 36 years. In an interview with IANSlife, the PUMA athlete and brand ambassador talks about her achievements and in celebration of Pride Month, discusses being India’s first openly gay athlete.
Sisters before misters, do you agree, and why?
Dutee Chand: I truly believe that ‘Empowered Women, Empower women.’ The support I received from them during my coming out journey gave me confidence. It gives me great happiness that PUMA is continuing to change the narrative in a progressive and positive way for women around the world. I broke many shackles to get to where I am. It helped me accept myself and urged me to come forward and make my own rules by being a ‘Propah Lady’.
How difficult is to be in a same-sex relationship, do you think times have changed, and India is more accepting?
Dutee Chand: Not anymore. I am sure my achievements have made things easier for me, but I also feel that people in our country have a greater acceptance level now and appreciate honesty. I am glad that brands like the one I represent have come out in the support of the community. My association with PUMA reinforces my belief that people do understand that there is more to me as an athlete.
You’ve been in the limelight whether it was your profession or your personal life. Do you think that this is a good thing and does it work in your favor or against you?
Dutee Chand: I’m glad to know that my story can be an inspiration for millions of women in the country. I have tried to live life on my own terms. I’m nobody to give advice to others. All I can say is that you have one life and live it the way it makes you happy.
What does ‘self-love’ mean you and what are its benefits?
Dutee Chand: For me, self-love is being strong, bold, and fearless. I believe in hard work and I will always keep giving it my all and driving myself to perform my best in all the competitions for my country.
Do you think people need to be more aware of the prejudice and the difficulties people of the LGBTQ+ community face?
Dutee Chand: I think we should not judge people and accept them as they are. We need to take pride in our diversity and that is what we should practice. Through my association with PUMA, I want to set an example for the younger generations that your personal choices don’t and shouldn’t exclude you from playing sports, being an athlete, or achieving your dreams.
Coronavirus has created an unprecedented crisis, how does an athlete like yourself deal with being in lockdown and have you had access to regular training?
Dutee Chand: Like all responsible citizens of this country, I too was observing the lockdown. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to help people in my village in whatever little way I could. It was so humbling and reassuring to receive blessings from the elderly in my village with so much love and affection. It was very satisfying that I could do something for the society and the village where I grew up. Where I stay, there is a track inside the campus, so I’m using that to train at the moment. (IANS)
Scientists have identified molecules in the blood that can detect dementia about two to five years before its onset, making the diagnosis of the condition -- via a simple blood test. The biomarker discovered by researchers at the DZNE and the University Medical Center Gottingen (UMG) is based on measuring levels of microRNAs -- which influence the production of proteins and thus a key process in the metabolism of every living organism.
As the technique is not yet suitable for practical use, the scientists aim to develop a simple, low-cost blood test, similar to the rapid test for SARS-CoV-2, and can be applied in routine medical care to assess dementia risk. According to the study data, presented in the scientific journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, microRNAs could potentially also be targets for dementia therapy. "When symptoms of dementia manifest, the brain has already been massively damaged. Presently, diagnosis happens far too late to even have a chance for effective treatment. If dementia is detected early, the odds of positively influencing the course of the disease increase," said Andre Fischer, Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at UMG.
They analysed data from both young, cognitively normal individuals and from elderly people with mild cognitive impairment. | Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash
"We need tests that ideally respond before the onset of dementia and reliably estimate the risk of later disease. In other words, tests that give an early warning. We are confident that our current study results pave the way for such tests," Fischer added. Through extensive studies in humans, mice and cell cultures, the researchers identified three microRNAs whose levels were associated with mental performance.
For this, they analysed data from both young, cognitively normal individuals and from elderly people with mild cognitive impairment. The findings showed that in healthy individuals, levels of microRNAs correlated with mental fitness. The lower the blood level, the better the subjects performed in cognition tests. In mice, in turn, this score increased even before the rodents started to show mental decline -- regardless of whether this was due to age or because they developed symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer's dementia. Of those in whom the blood marker was highly elevated, about 90 per cent developed Alzheimer's disease within two years. "We therefore see an increased blood level of these three microRNAs as a harbinger of dementia," Fischer said. "We estimate that in humans this biomarker indicates a development that is about two to five years in the future." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: researchers, scientists, alzheimer, humans, mental, fischer, micrornas, dementia
Facebook-owned WhatsApp has finally started rolling out end-to-end encrypted chat backups for iOS and Android users globally. With the new update, if a user chooses to back up his chat history with end-to-end encryption, it will be accessible only to him, and no one will be able to unlock the backup. Neither WhatsApp nor the backup service provider will be able to access their end-to-end encryption backup.
"With end-to-end encrypted backups, no other messaging service at WhatsApp's scale will provide this level of security for people's messages -- from sending and transit, to receiving and storing in the cloud," the company said in a post. The feature will be rolling out "slowly" for people on the latest version of the app.
he feature will be rolling out "slowly" for people on the latest version of the app. | Photo by AARN GIRI on Unsplash
Once the feature rolls out, open WhatsApp, go to Settings > Chats > Chat Backups > End-to-End Encrypted Backup, and then follow the prompts. One can now secure their end-to-end encrypted backup with either a password of their choice or a 64-digit encryption key which means that no one else but only the user will be able to access the backup.
"This feature will provide people with more privacy and security for their digital conversations and that's a responsibility that we don't take lightly. Given this, we are rolling this out slowly to ensure a consistent and reliable user experience for people on iOS and Android around the world," the company added. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: encryption, encrypted, whatsapp, people, backup, End-to-end Encryption
A luxurious house makeover might seem to be an expensive and overwhelming task but it doesn't necessarily have to drill holes in your pocket. A few small changes and the right decor pieces can make a huge difference to the way your home looks. Keyur Zaveri, VP of Design at Furlenco shares some ideas that could give your home a rich look.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
While it may feel intuitive to keep adding expensive decor to your home to give it the luxurious touch, in today's ageless is really more. Simplifying your space can give your home a classy look. Invest in a few accent decor pieces - a lamp, wall art, decor for a centre table that are cohesive and work well together in the theme of your room as opposed to having numerous things that do not look like they belong together. Resist the temptation to buy over-the-top accessories and unnecessary furniture, which make your home look bulky.
Resist the temptation to buy over-the-top accessories and unnecessary furniture, which make your home look bulky. | Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash
The most important part of creating a luxurious house is to add furniture that is comfortable and elegant. Good furniture, paired with stylish soft furnishings is the first step to creating a beautiful house. Pillows & Cushions of various sizes and accent throws can instantly make a home feel more inviting. Play around with the colours and fabrics of the furniture and find soft furnishing that complements the centrepieces. Invest in good quality fabrics like velvet, linen or suede to upholster your furniture. You can even try textured fabrics like denim blue and faux leather.
Pillows & Cushions of various sizes and accent throws can instantly make a home feel more inviting. | Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Lighting can make all the difference to the vibe of your house and help you create a luxurious, beautiful looking space. Using multiple sources of light that draw attention to various corners in the house can make a space look very well put together. Invest in ceiling lamps, floor lamps, table lamps, and accent light fixtures to highlight your favourite areas in the house. While it is advisable to keep a single colour and tone of light, the intensity and direction can be played around to enhance the ambience of the space.
Lighting can make all the difference to the vibe of your house and help you create a luxurious, beautiful looking space. | Photo by Karan Nagpal on Unsplash
Layering works wonders everywhere- be it a chic coat or blazer over your outfit that adds extra charm, or adding decor pieces to your furniture for a luxe look. Carpets add splendour and exquisiteness, instantly changing the way a room looks. Area rugs under tables and sofas help in defining spaces and can blend together the whole look. Experiment with some elegant runners near your beds, on top of your dining tables, or even your bathrooms. You can also add wall coverings and window coverings for a more inclusive aesthetic.
Area rugs under tables and sofas help in defining spaces and can blend together the whole look. | Photo by Sina Saadatmand on Unsplash
You can add a small yet noticeable metallic touch to upgrade your interiors. However, you must be careful to not overdo it; the key to going bling is to keep the metallic accessories minimal. Consider golds, bronzes, copper or silver hues and incorporate them in cushions, lamps, accent walls, lighting fixtures, or centrepieces. You should ensure that each finish is a thoughtful addition to your space.
You can add a small yet noticeable metallic touch to upgrade your interiors. | Photo by Stephanie Harvey on Unsplash
Incorporating these tips can do wonders for your home decor. You can make your home luxurious, without costing an arm and a leg. More than anything it's about making the right choices that give your house look clean and classy.
(Article originally published on IANS Life) (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: metallic, lighting, fabrics, invest, luxurious, furniture