Kolkata: A complete shutdown of Outpatient departments (OPDs) and various non-emergency wards at various state-run medical college hospitals in the state caused due to the prolonged ceasework by junior doctors prompted the state Health department to hold an emergency meeting at Swasthya Bhawan on Wednesday.Even the emergency departments at the various medical colleges in the city did not function properly, with the doctors threatening not to attend to a patient unless his/her condition is critical. Health services in the medical colleges in the districts has taken a major blow as various doctors’ organisations observed ceasework for 12 hours on Wednesday to protest against the attack on junior doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMinister of state for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya convened the meeting with senior officials of the department in presence of medical superintendents and principals of various medical colleges in the city, to review the security system in and around the hospitals. It has been a long-standing demand of the junior doctors to ensure adequate security arrangement inside the hospital campus, so that they are not assaulted by the family members of patients. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHealth Secretary Rajeeva Sinha, Director of Health Service (DHS) Dr Ajay Chakraborty, Director of Medical Education (DME) Dr Pradip Mitra and other departmental officials were present during the meeting. Discussion on how to tide over the crisis also took place in the meeting. The agitating doctors demanded the intervention of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and an assurance from her to check the assaults on doctors. Sympathy has poured in for the agitating junior doctors at NRS Medical College and Hospital from various doctors’ organisations, which have extended moral support to their ceasework. The Health department has urged the agitating junior doctors to stop the ceasework and join their duties. It has been learnt that Bhattacharya enquired in detail how many police and security personnel are deployed at each medical college in the city. The minister has asked the health officials to chalk out an elaborate plan on how to check the incidents of assault on doctors. The department is eyeing a complete overhaul of the security system in hospitals. Earlier, the NRS doctors had demanded the introduction of a panic button, with which the doctors will be able to draw the attention of security personnel in case of an emergency. Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee said during a press conference that he condemns the attack on doctors and is praying for their speedy recovery. However, in the same breath he said that the junior doctors must introspect if they are doing right by denying treatment at the hospitals. “Who will take the responsibility if someone dies after being denied treatment?” Banerjee asked.
November 23, 2015 3 min read Malaria continues to devastate: More than 40 percent of the global population lives in areas where there is the risk of contracting the disease, which killed an estimated half a million people in 2013.Spread via infected mosquito, the disease has proven impossible to eliminate with existing strategies.But researchers at the University of California — including Anthony James, a professor of molecular biology and biochemistry — have developed a possibly groundbreaking new tool in the fight to eradicate the disease. A paper published today in the scientific journal PNAS details their attempt at introducing malaria-blocking genes into the DNA of disease-transmitting mosquitoes.Related: New Product Makes You Invisible to Mosquitoes and May Save LivesWhile James has been working for nearly two decades on ways to alter mosquito populations, this latest attempt is different. Notably, it uses CRISPR (pronounced “crisper”), the recently discovered gene-editing technique that is cheaper, faster, more flexible and in many ways more precise than alternative methods. And crucially, it is able to alter both dominant and recessive marker genes — to huge results.In James’s previous work, which has focused on injecting mosquitoes with synthetic DNA to combat the spread of dengue fever, the modification was only passed down to its offspring 50 percent of the time because it was carried by only one of a pair of chromosomes. But in the PNAS study, when malaria-blocking genes were inserted into a population of Anapheles mosquitoes using CRISPR, the modification could be copied to the partner chromosome and thus passed down in every generation. As a result, inheritance rates rose to 99.5 percent.Related: This Mosquito-Repelling Wristband Might Just Save Your Summer”This opens up the real promise that this technique can be adapted for eliminating malaria,” James said in a statement. “This is a significant first step. We know the gene works. The mosquitoes we created are not the final brand, but we know this technology allows us to efficiently create large populations.”In a homogenous mosquito population, the gene mutation would spread throughout the entire population in 10 generations (or around three months), says Valentino Gantz, one of the study’s authors. If it sounds remarkably fast, it is. While methods for altering mosquito DNA in an attempt to control disease have been around for years, none have shown to be as efficient or effective, says Gantz.”CRISPR technology is just a different way to do the same thing other people have done before. But in this case, it appears to work much better.”Related: How the World’s First Bitcoin Charity Is Harnessing the Cryptocurrency to Change Lives (VIDEO) Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »