HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Sanchita Sharma

‘No scientific basis for gay stereotypes’

Homosexuality is a sexual ‘orientation’ — not ‘behaviour’, which connotes choice — that describes people who have sexual or romantic attraction to people of their own sex.

Mental health gets precedence as India set to de-criminalise suicide

A bus that functions as a mobile tele-psychiatry unit is helping thousands get diagnosed and treated for mental health diseases in the Puddukottai  district of Tamil Nadu for as little as Rs. 700 per patient per month.

The skinny on the flip side of obesity

Sure, obesity is a disease that needs to be prevented, but so is obsessing about body image. 'Fat' is not a description, albeit unkind, like ‘tall' or 'short', anymore. Sanchita Sharma writes.

Sex and regret differs in men and women

Even the rare men who do not claim sexual assault was consensual or that the woman enjoyed it, almost never think of it as “wrong”. The only regret, even in their comparatively more virtuous minds, is being accused, caught or ridiculed.

Stopping misogyny, it starts in the womb

India has more laws that protect the rights of women than the shoes in Imelda Marco’s erstwhile closet. But much like Marco’s now termite- and moth-eaten shoes, these laws are more talked about than used.

Strange whims and odd makeovers

For a lot of people, plastic surgery is no longer about cocking-a-snook at their unsatisfactory genes to always look better than their best. It’s more about having a whim and being ready to pay megabucks to get what you want.

Teaching an old brain new tricks

This week, scientists got a monkey to use thoughts to control two virtual arms of its avatar using technology that will help people who are paralysed use a mind-controlled exoskeleton. For, apart from swinging from trees, humans can pretty much do everything that monkeys do, including surviving space rides and racist jokes.

Lessons from nepal on flushing away infection

One of the facts prime-ministerial aspirant Narendra Modi got right was India needing “toilets before temples”. What he didn’t mention was neighbouring Nepal is already doing it. Sanchita Sharma writes.

Water, the fuel for peak performance

Winter's when you worry about putting on weight and give little thought to how much water you drink, but the two are inextricably linked. Mild dehydration alters mood and lowers concentration and energy levels. Sanchita Sharma reports.

Tulsi, a herbal fix for almost everything

You can chew the herb for practically everything, from anxiety, cough, allergies, asthma, fever, diarrhoea, indigestion and vomiting to heart disease, arthritis and snakebites.

Cruel cut: Female circumcision in East Africa

Vivian Magero, 23, was nine when she narrowly escaped female genital mutilation (FGM), also referred to as female circumcision.

Boom Country

Along with India, Kenya is among 40 countries with the fastest-growing populations. Policy and social changes are making a difference, but not fast enough. Sanchita Sharma writes.

A world conspiring to make you fat

Adverts for fatty food trigger hunger by stimulating the brain’s appetite control centre, announced researchers at the 94th annual meeting of The Endocrine Society in the US this week. Sanchita Sharma reports.

The highs and lows of bariatric surgery

Dumping your excess weight and its associated insecurities in a bariatric clinic may sound like a fairytale fantasy, but it is anything but. Even if your surgery is a breeze and you lose all the weight you wanted to, life doesn't always get the Cinderella ending you had hoped for.

Keeping a step ahead of parasites

If infection-causing organisms were even half as dumb as the dodo, the world would have been free on infection several decades ago. It was not to be.
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