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Using marijuana for severe morning sickness may worsen health of mother & baby

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Using marijuana for severe morning sickness may worsen health of mother & baby

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Taking marijuana for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy may cause brain problems in newborns as well as worsen the mother’s health, according to a study on Monday.

About 70 per cent of pregnancies experience morning sickness in pregnancy, known medically as hyperemesis gravidarum, and characterised by nausea and vomiting. In severe cases, it can prevent pregnant women from eating and drinking properly, leading to weight loss and dehydration.

However, resorting to cannabis may be harmful to the health of both the mother and child, according to a review of studies published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

“Use of cannabis in pregnancy has been associated with adverse neurocognitive outcomes in offspring, as well as other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Therefore, we advise against the use of cannabis in pregnancy,” said Dr Larissa Jansen, Amsterdam Reproduction and Development Research Institute, Erasmus MC, Netherlands.

To date, the cause of morning sickness is not completely understood. Yet pregnancy at a young age, a female foetus, multiple or molar pregnancies, underlying medical conditions, and a history of the condition during previous pregnancies are some known risk factors.

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“Hyperemesis gravidarum can have detrimental effects on maternal quality of life and may lead to short and long-term adverse outcomes among offspring,” said Dr Larissa.

“Management of hyperemesis gravidarum requires considerable healthcare resources, as it is a common reason for hospital admission and emergency department visits in the first trimester,” she added.

Anti-nausea drugs and home remedies such as ginger products may help alleviate mild nausea and vomiting for some people, but the evidence of its effectiveness in people with hyperemesis gravidarum is uncertain, the team said, calling for more research.

–IANS

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Union Budget: Time to further modernise agri sector with corporate investments

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Union Budget: Time to further modernise agri sector with corporate investments

Union Budget: Time to further modernise agri sector with corporate investments

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) There is a further need to modernise agriculture and the private sector, especially in new research, post-harvest infrastructure and exports, industry experts said on Saturday.

NITI Aayog has called for a paradigm shift in India’s agriculture approach, emphasising the need for a facilitating regulatory environment to enable private and corporate investments in new technologies, infrastructure, and producer linkages.

“This is crucial as public sector R&D is constrained, leading to a widening gap with global innovations. Investments in post-harvest infrastructure and private sector participation in exports can boost farmer incomes and integrate them with global markets,” said Amit Vatsyayan, Leader GPS-Agriculture, Livelihood, Social and Skills, EY India.

The private sector can play a pivotal role in this, along with delivering knowledge, skills, and services to help farmers manage risks and increase productivity.

However, a balanced approach is needed, combining modern technology with targeted government schemes to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth, said Vatsyayan.

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Experts said that given the increasing threat to crops because of adverse weather conditions arising from climate change, one looks forward to a robust rise in the R&D outlays so that both private and government institutes are motivated to develop climate-resistant crop varieties.

“The crop rotation system should also be incentivised, whereby more farmers are encouraged to adopt this strategy,” said SK Chaudhary, Founder Director, Safex Chemicals Ltd.

The GST rate of 18 per cent on plant protection chemicals can also be lowered to 12 per cent at the least, although a minimal rate of 5 per cent would be more beneficial for the agri sector and consumers at large as it will reduce the cost of growing crops, he mentioned.

Overall, modernising India’s agriculture will require a multi-pronged strategy — one that harnesses the strengths of the private sector in areas like research, infrastructure, and exports, while also leveraging digital solutions and government support to drive inclusive and sustainable growth in the sector, said experts.

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–IANS

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Predicting space storms can now be possible: Study

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Predicting space storms can now be possible: Study

Predicting space storms can now be possible: Study

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Recent advancements in space weather forecasting may soon enable scientists to predict the speed and arrival time of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), commonly known as space storms, according to a study led by an Indian-origin researcher.

CMEs are bursts of gas and magnetic fields spewed into space from the solar atmosphere.

It typically takes several days to arrive at Earth and results in a shock wave causing a geomagnetic storm that may disrupt Earth’s magnetosphere, compressing it on the day side and extending the night-side magnetic tail.

The team of Aberystwyth University in the UK has discovered that by analysing specific solar regions called ‘Active Regions,’ they can forecast CMEs more precisely – even before it has fully erupted from the Sun.

These regions have strong magnetic fields where CMEs originate.

They will present these findings at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting in Hull, UK.

By monitoring changes before, during, and after eruptions, they identified the critical height at which the magnetic field becomes unstable, leading to a CME.

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“By measuring how the strength of the magnetic field decreases with height, we can determine this critical height,” said lead researcher, Harshita Gandhi, a solar physicist at Aberystwyth.

Using the data, they combined it with a geometric model to track CME speed in three dimensions, essential for precise predictions.

“Our findings reveal a strong relationship between the critical height at CME onset and the true CME speed. This insight allows us to predict the CME’s speed and, consequently, its arrival time on Earth, even before the CME has fully erupted,” Gandhi said.

CMEs can trigger geomagnetic storms, causing aurorae and potentially disrupting satellites, power grids, and communication networks.

Accurate CME speed predictions provide crucial advance warnings, aiding in better preparation and protection of vital systems.

“Understanding and using the critical height in our forecasts improves our ability to warn about incoming CMEs, helping to protect the technology that our modern lives depend on,” Gandhi said.

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–IANS

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100 crore new jobs to be created globally in 20 years, India to have 25 pc share

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100 crore new jobs to be created globally in 20 years, India to have
 25 pc share

100 crore new jobs to be created globally in 20 years, India to have
 25 pc share

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The world is likely to see a huge addition of 100 crore new workers in the global economy in the next 20 years and India will have at least 25 per cent share of it, Ved Mani Tiwari, CEO of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), has said.

Delivering a keynote highlighting India’s opportunity to become a talent nation at a FICCI event in the national capital, he said the country is poised to be the talent capital of the world, with a burgeoning young population.

As many as 12.5 crore jobs were created during the fiscal years of 2014-24, marking a four-fold jump from the 2004-2014 period, which saw the creation of about 2.9 crore jobs.

Dr Buddha Chandrashekhar, Chief Coordinating Officer, AICTE, emphasised the role of academia in translating knowledge into practical applications, advocating for a comprehensive skill survey to identify skill gaps and align education accordingly.

Mayank Kumar, Chair, FICCI New Education Providers Sub-Committee and Co-Founder and MD of upGrad, outlined the government’s visionary initiatives, such as the SIDH (Skill India Digital Hub) platform and Skill Loan Scheme, designed to accelerate skilling and catapult India’s workforce onto the global stage.

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The event saw participation from over 200 leaders in the edtech space, including CEOs, CXOs, CTOs, vice-chancellors, deans and academicians.

The conclave deliberated on shaping the future of education in the digital age.

The Union Budget next week will focus on job creation, supporting consumption via higher allocation for the rural economy, welfare schemes and agriculture with higher allocations for schemes like PMAY and MNREGA.

–IANS

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Commercial vehicle sales surge amid rapid urbanisation, economic growth in India

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Amit Shah sounds poll bugle in Jharkhand, slams 'most corrupt' Soren govt

Amit Shah sounds poll bugle in Jharkhand, slams 'most corrupt' Soren govt

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Driven by friendly government policies, rapid urbanisation and economic growth, sales volumes of commercial vehicles (CV) have nearly recovered to the pre-Covid times, according to Girish Wagh, Executive Director of Tata Motors.

Wagh, Chairman of CII-ICVC (Indian Commercial Vehicle Conclave) emphasised the transformative juncture at which India’s CV industry stands.

At a recent event in the national capital, he highlighted that India’s urban population is expected to reach 600 million by 2031, driving increased demand for CVs in sectors such as construction, logistics and public transportation.

Projected GDP growth of 6-7 per cent and initiatives like ‘Make in India’ are further boosting demand for both heavy and light CVs.

Wagh hailed the National Logistics Policy and the PM Gati Shakti initiative, as these will lay down a framework for a significant reduction in logistics costs.

According to Nishant Arya, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, JBM Group, the global transportation sector accounts for approximately 24 per cent of direct CO2 emissions from fuel combustion and, therefore, “it becomes our shared responsibility to address this serious concern by use of technology, transition to alternate and green fuels.”

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According to the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), the retail sales of automobiles in the country registered a 9 per cent growth in the April-June quarter in FY25, compared to the same period last year.

Commercial vehicle retail sales witnessed a marginal increase at 2,46,513 units as against 2,44,834 units in the same period last year.

“Commercial vehicle segment experienced a slowdown due to the elections and a pause in infrastructure projects. In April, elections dampened sentiment, causing delays in expansion plans,” said FADA president Manish Raj Singhania.

–IANS

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Studies show climate change caused Earth's axis to meander 10 metres in last 120 years

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Studies show climate change caused Earth's axis to meander 10 metres in last 120 years

Studies show climate change caused Earth's axis to meander 10 metres in last 120 years

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Two NASA-funded studies have shown that melting ice, dwindling groundwater, and rising seas, a result of climate change, has also led to the Earth’s axis to meander 10 metres in the last 120 years.

In the first study, published in Nature Geoscience, researchers analysed polar motion across 12 decades.

The scientists from ETH Zurich in Switzerland attributed 90 per cent of recurring fluctuations in polar motions between 1900 and 2018 to changes in groundwater, ice sheets, glaciers, and sea levels.

The remainder mostly resulted from Earth’s interior dynamics, like the wobble from the tilt of the inner core concerning the bulk of the planet, they said.

Changes caused due to Earth’s rising temperatures “are strong drivers of the changes we’re seeing in the planet’s rotation,” said Surendra Adhikari, a co-author of both papers and a geophysicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

The second study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that since 2000, days have been lengthening by 1.33 milliseconds.

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This change is attributed to the accelerated melting of glaciers and ice sheets due to human-caused greenhouse emissions.

The lengthening of days could decelerate by 2100 if emissions are significantly reduced.

However, if emissions continue to rise, the effect could reach 2.62 milliseconds per century, surpassing the influence of the Moon’s tidal pull, which has been increasing Earth’s day length by 2.4 milliseconds per century, the scientists said.

–IANS

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