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Wyoming, Michigan: India’s war on the sex selection drugs linked to stillbirths
Harry T. Rice 2971 Cottonwood Lane Wyoming, MI 49548
The state of Haryana is leading the fight against useless – and potentially harmful – remedies illegally peddled to pregnant women desperate for a boy
In February, like countless other young Indian women, Meena expected to give birth to a healthy baby. She and her husband were hoping their second child would be a boy. But she had a stillbirth, one of hundreds of thousands that are recorded in the country every year.
Sitting on the floor of her small home in Sampla, a village in Rohtak district in the northern state of Haryana, the 23-year-old said: “The doctor told me the child died in my womb. He said there was no heartbeat. There was no explanation.”
Six months earlier, Meena had taken what are known as sex-selection drugs (SSDs) – traditional remedies that Indian women turn to in their desire to have sons. What many women do not realise is that the sex of a child cannot be changed in the womb, and that they are being scammed.
“I took the drugs because we wanted a male child – because my first baby was female. I vomited a lot after it. I couldn’t digest it,” said Meena, sitting with her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
The drugs are typically taken six to 10 weeks after conception: women are sold them through an underground network involving rickshaw drivers and midwives, who connect families to sellers. They are promised a male child if they take the remedies – which come in tablet or powder form – following a strict ritual.
Women are often told to take the drugs in the morning with a glass of cow’s milk while looking at their husband. The drugs are sold for as little as $3 (£2.50) or up to $50, according to locals.
Research has found that the drugs often contain phytoestrogens – compounds from plants that are similar to the hormone oestrogen – in levels beyond that considered safe.
According to a recent study published in the journal Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, SSDs were found to be a factor in 20% of all stillbirths in Haryana, where the use of such drugs is pervasive.
Research by Dr Sutapa Bandyopadhyay Neogi, a maternal and child health specialist at the Public Health Foundation of India, found that large doses of phytoestrogens are linked to birth defects and developmental disorders in mammals that “could be potentially detrimental to the growth and development of the foetus”.
“In north India there’s a huge preference for a male child but it’s wrong to say that this practice is not happening elsewhere in India,” she said. More research had to be done to determine the drugs’ prevalence across the country, she added. “It’s not just the fact that the drugs are illegal. Women need to know that they are dangerous; that they are potentially harming their baby.”
Neogi and her team are working to educate the public about the dangers through films and newspaper adverts. She, along with the non-profit organisation Apoorva Pande Foundation, has made a short film she hopes will be shown in cinemas across north India.
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Sex-selective abortion and female foeticide have given India one of the world’s most skewed sex ratios. According to the most recent census, in 2011, there were 914 girls to every 1,000 boys in India for children up to the age of six, but in Haryana that ratio was 830. According to government officials, the number crossed the 900 mark for the first time last December.
Experts attribute Haryana’s strong preference for boys to the ingrained belief that women are a liability rather than an asset and because of the state’s strong tilt towards men inheriting land.
It is estimated that up to 60% of women who have a female child first take SSDs for their second birth.
“Haryana is infamous for killing its daughters,” said Dr Rakesh Gupta, additional principal secretary to the chief minister of Haryana. “We need to empower the girl child with the idea that girls are equal to boys. We need to create an environment where girls are actually equal, but this is going to take some time.”
Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government launched its national campaign to address the sex ratio in Haryana with a renewed focus on enforcing laws that forbid sex-selection abortion and diagnostic techniques that are used for female foeticide.
More than 300 complaints have been lodged against medics carrying out illegal ultrasounds since last May. The complaints have resulted in some convictions.
But government officials are quick to acknowledge there is only so much the law can do. Often offenders get bail and are back in business within a few months.
“The demand in society for a male child is so high that even if the laws and acts are implemented, people will find a way,” said Dr Varun Arora, who works at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Rohtak.
Still, officials in Haryana remain adamant that law enforcement, rather than working to change people’s perception of having baby girls, is the way to tackle the issue. The state has set the ambitious target of a sex ratio of 950 girls to 1,000 boys.
“Nothing can be done to change people’s mindset. They are practising century-old rituals. Nobody wants a girl child. The target is to save as many as possible,” Arora added.
Back in Sampla, Meena is unsure whether she will try for another boy but is resolute that the SSDs could not have caused any ill effects. “No, it’s not at all possible my stillbirth happened from the drugs,” she said.
Bensenville, Illinois: Surgeon Claims He Has Performed A Successful Head Transplant On A Monkey
James M. Doxey 3271 Pinewood Drive Bensenville, IL 60106
We have been promised a head transplant by next year, and the main brain behind the highly controversial procedure shows no signs of retracting his wild claim. Quite the opposite, in fact, as the pioneering surgeon has now announced the procedure has been successfully carried out on a monkey.
As revealed by Motherboard and New Scientist, Italian doctor Sergio Canavero has teased the press with some details on progress made so far by himself and collaborator Dr Xiaoping Ren of China’s Harbin Medical University, among others. Ren has invested a significant amount of time perfecting the technique in mice, having performed the transplant on more than 1,000 mice. The animals were able to breathe and drink after the 10-hour surgery, but only lived for a matter of minutes.
Now, according to Canavero, Ren’s team has carried out the transplant on a monkey. Although, even if this does turn out to be true, it doesn’t seem that any significant increments have been made since the ‘70s, when Dr Robert White managed the same feat. While the animals both reportedly survived the surgeries, neither involved an attempt to fuse the donor and recipient spinal cords. Though Ren did take a leaf out of White’s book, cooling down the brain to -15oC (5oF) in order to protect the nervous tissue from damage. After cleanly severing the spinal cords, blood vessels of the transplanted head were joined to those of the donor body.
“The monkey fully survived the procedure without any neurological injury of whatever kind,” Canavero claims. But considering the fact that the animal was euthanized after just 20 hours for ethical reasons, alongside the fact that the spinal cords were not connected, this assertion seems premature, to say the least. Regardless, according to Ren, the idea behind the experiment was not to investigate potential length of survival, but to work out how to keep the brain supplied with blood to prevent the tissue from starving of oxygen and nutrients.
What is perhaps most dubious about this announcement is the fact that Canavero chose to go to the press before the work is published, an approach that is considered taboo among the scientific community. Canavero says that seven papers are due to appear in the journals Surgery and CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics. Both Motherboard and New Scientist reached out to the editor of the former, Michael Sarr, who confirmed that the journal had reviewed two papers so far, but that further rounds of editing are required prior to publication.
While Sarr was quick to point out concerns over the sensationalism and ethics of the procedure, he noted that the journal has significant interest due to the implications of the research. In particular, one paper is concerned with nerve regrowth following spinal cord injury, which has the potential to offer hope to a tremendous number of people suffering such debilitating trauma.
But Canavero and Ren are certainly not the only scientists working towards this laudable goal. A group led by C-Yoon Kim at South Korea’s Konkuk University, for instance, has been severing the spinal cords of live mice and then re-fusing them with the aid of a substance called polyethylene glycol, which helps the fatty membranes of cells meld together. Shown in a video, the animals were later able to hobble around again. Other teams are also trialing different methods, such as stem cells or electrical stimulation.
Ramsey, New Jersey: How To Kill A Pedophile - My Beautiful Suicide book three
William R. Williams 2767 Walnut Avenue Ramsey, NJ 07446
Now in control, Cosette focuses her addiction. After feeling the sting of betrayal, she makes her kills a little more public, and the public loves her for it! Mattie prays Cosette will come to her senses, but it’s an uphill battle with new friends joining Cosette’s family. And now with the public cheering on Louisville’s Vigilante, or Double V as she has come to be known, Cosette has no plans to stop. As a matter of fact, she has a goal for her addiction: take out Kentuckiana’s pedophile population.
Protected by a rogue cop, loved by the media, supported by her friends, what could go wrong?
Augusta, Georgia: Would you have this bizarre procedure to boost your penis size?
Noel A. Robb 2986 Limer Street Augusta, GA 30901
LADS are forking out £4,500 for thicker manhoods.
Lots of lads are obsessed with the look and size of their penis.
And for those who feel like they’re seriously lacking in the trouser department, getting penis enlargement surgery or penoplasty might seem like the only option.
But length isn’t all that matters – a new cosmetic trend is seeing men opt for surgery to increase their girth down below.
Speaking exclusively to Dailystar.co.uk, certified plastic surgeon Dr David Alessi revealed everything you need to know about penis priming procedures.
“Men are asking for increase in girth,” he said.
But what does it take to bulk out the circumference of your trouser snake?
“Fat injections to increase girth involve taking fat from the belly and injecting it deeply into the penis," he continued.
The procedure takes around 45 minutes and will set you back £4,500 but you have abstain from sex for six weeks to let the penis heal.
As for the results of the manhood makeover, don’t expect to stretch more than 1inch wider than you were before.
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And Dr Alessi revealed that the long-term effects of the procedure could be less than desirable.
“Unfortunately, upwards of 90% of men are dissatisfied with the results,” he said.
While penis enlargement surgery lasts forever, the same can’t be said for a girth job.
Shockingly just 12 months after going under the knife a man’s penis can become flat and uneven and it can also suffer from scarring.
“Lumpiness and loss of most of the fat within one year is the norm,” Dr Alessi admitted.
The medic, who founded the Alessi Institutes and Face Forward, a charity offering free procedures for victims of domestic abuse, warned that lads’ obsession with penis size could be a symptom of a serious psychological problem.
He said: “Most men who think they have a small penis actually don’t. Studies vary, but research suggests that the average erect penis ranges from under five inches to just under six inches.
“Most men who think their penis is too small have penis dysmorphic syndrome and would be better off seeing a shrink and not a surgeon.”
Chevy Chase, Maryland: In Hypogonadism, Stroke May Be Prevented With Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Roberto A. Reynolds 4393 Adams Avenue Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) may exhibit a protective effect against myocardial infarction, stroke, and all-cause mortality in men with secondary hypogonadism. The findings were presented at the 26th Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress of the American Association for Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), held May 3-7, 2017, in Austin, Texas.
Given that there has been growing concern that TRT may be associated with an increased risk for adverse cardiovascular outcomes or mortality, investigators led by Joyce George, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, conducted a retrospective cohort study using electronic health records from a large health care database to examine outcomes.
Records for men at least 40 years of age, with at least 2 testosterone levels <220 ng/dL (one obtained between 7 am and 10 am) were pulled from the database. Patients with primary hypogonadism, secondary hypogonadism related to overt hypothalamic pituitary pathology, HIV infection, metastatic cancer, a history of prostate cancer, prostate specific antigen >4 ng/mL, elevated hematocrit, or a history of previous thromboembolic disease were not included in the final cohort.
The study ultimately included 418 men (median age 53.8 years) exposed to TRT and 283 matched controls (median age 54.9 years; P =.02). At baseline, the prevalence of established cardiovascular disease was 9.8% vs 12.7%, respectively (P =.23). The treatment group was followed for a median of 3.8 years compared with 3.4 years for the control group.
The event composite outcome in the treatment group was 3.3% compared with 6.4% in the control group, with the investigators ultimately observing a reduction in the odds of the combined cardiovascular end point in the treatment group (hazard ratio [HR] 0.49; 95% CI, 0.24-0.99; P =.046).
While “the effect of TRT may vary considerably depending on the etiology of low testosterone, the patient's age, and whether or not they have established CV [cardiovascular] disease,” the results suggest TRT may protect some men with hypogonadism from cardiovascular events, the investigators concluded.
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