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Special Report: India's food chain in deep change

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India's Great Middle-Class Moment - Nitin Pai - International After decades on the sidelines, the growing ranks of Middle India are starting to find their voice. But can the political system respond? Supporters of Anna Hazare celebrate the end of his fast / Reuters NEW DELHI, India -- What should the world make of the remarkable political churning in India this year? Parallels with an "Arab Spring" in India don't fit, not least because we last did that kind of anti-regime business in August 1942, when Indian nationalists mobilized non-violent protests to get the British to quit India. India's political churning this year probably heralds a new phase in Indian politics, with the urban middle-class joining the political process. The mainstream political parties missed the plot entirely. For the Middle Indian, stalled reform, cynical manipulation of constitutional institutions by the UPA government, and the entrenchment of an entitlement economy all meant inflation, corruption, and insecurity. Where does India go from here?

Mendel-GPU: haplotyping and genotype imputation on graphics processing units + Author Affiliations ↵*To whom correspondence should be addressed Received June 2, 2012. Revision received August 6, 2012. Accepted August 24, 2012. Motivation: In modern sequencing studies, one can improve the confidence of genotype calls by phasing haplotypes using information from an external reference panel of fully typed unrelated individuals. However, the computational demands are so high that they prohibit researchers with limited computational resources from haplotyping large-scale sequence data. Results: Our graphics processing unit based software delivers haplotyping and imputation accuracies comparable to competing programs at a fraction of the computational cost and peak memory demand. Availability: Mendel-GPU, our OpenCL software, runs on Linux platforms and is portable across AMD and nVidia GPUs. Contact: Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

A Pyrrhic victory at the Supreme Court as Obamacare becomes Obamatax By Toby Harnden PUBLISHED: 07:51 GMT, 29 June 2012 | UPDATED: 07:55 GMT, 29 June 2012 Barack Obama was the clear winner in the Supreme Court’s dramatic five to four decision over the Orwellian-named Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare on both Right and Left. The bottom line is that Obama looked like he was about to have the signature legislative achievement of his term struck down as unconstitutional. But Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion contains a sting in the tail that could well spell real danger for Obama in his November re-election bid. Victory: The U.S. As he rammed his bill through Congress without a single Republican vote, Obama argued strenuously that fines levied for not taking out health insurance were not a tax. In September 2009, Obama told ABC News: ‘For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. Well, the Supreme Court does. Nearly two-thirds of Americans do not like Obamacare.

What will India look like in 2025? What will India, and the other South Asian countries, look like in 2025? There are two contrasting views on this, the optimistic and the pessimistic. The optimistic outlook is that India will achieve double-digit growth rates (Buiter and Rahbari 2011). South Asia too will experience strong growth, primarily due to India. The pessimistic outlook is that growth will be derailed by many transformational challenges the region faces. The optimistic outlook is based on the favourable structural trends including improved governance, the demographic dividend, the rise of the middle class, and the new faces of globalisation. All countries in the region have an elected government for the first time since independence. While China’s spectacular growth has already benefitted from demographic dividend, India is yet to do so (Figure 1). A massive shift towards a middle class society is already in the making. Figure 1. Source: World Development Indicators, 2010. Table 1. Source: Kharas (2011) Figure 2.

Rare Mutation Triples Risk of Alzheimer's A mutation found in about one in 200 Icelanders older than 85 raised the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease threefold, researchers said. The mutation, in an immunoregulatory gene known as TREM2, was more common in Alzheimer's disease patients than in the general 85-and-older population in Iceland with an odds ratio of 2.91 (95% CI 2.09 to 4.09, P=3.42×10-10), reported Kari Stefansson, MD, PhD, of deCode Genetics in Reykjavik, Iceland, and colleagues. Because of the gene's function within the central nervous system, the mutation "may lead to an increased predisposition to Alzheimer's disease through impaired containment of inflammatory processes," the researchers wrote online in the New England Journal of Medicine. Such processes have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease previously, they noted. They then compared frequencies of such variants in 3,550 individuals with Alzheimer's disease versus 110,050 individuals from the general Icelandic population. false

‘The Queen of Versailles’ almost makes you feel sorry for the 1%. Almost. Jackie Siegel in front of her family’s 26,000-square-foot home. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Greenfield/Magnolia Pictures.) In 2007, Jackie and David Siegel were “bursting out of the seams” of their old house. At 26,000 square feet, it felt too cozy for their eight-kid family and their extravagant lifestyle. They were ready to upgrade. So they started building their dream home: a 90,000-square-foot behemoth, inspired by the palace of Versailles, that would include 30 bathrooms, 10 kitchens, two tennis courts, a bowling alley, a skating rink, a sushi bar, and $5 million worth of marble — you know, the essentials. Around the same time, photographer Lauren Greenfield met Jackie Siegel at a party for Donatella Versace while Greenfield was working on a project about wealth and consumerism. The Siegels’ story represented this phenomenon at its most extreme, a supersized version of the same vision chased by Americans of all income levels. David and Jackie. You disagree?

Reforms Needed For India to Reach Potential of Double Digit GDP Growth Baker Institute - Limits of the Jugaad Growth Model: No Workaround to Good Governance for India (12 pages) Indian industry has gained fame in management circles for jugaad, or persevering despite limited resources. This skill has proven particularly important in overcoming inadequate public services. However, the economy appears to have reached the limit of using jugaad in the place of good government, suggesting a lower growth trajectory in the absence of a major improvement in political dynamics. India’s economy performed exceedingly well in the past decade, averaging an impressive 7.8% growth across 10 years, even sustaining 5% growth during the peak of the financial crisis. A common refrain holds that growth occurred “despite the government,” requiring India’s celebrated expertise in jugaad, or creative workarounds to poor resources. India already faces peak power shortages of nearly 10%, despite an impressive amount of new generation capacity coming online this year and next.

My DNA Results Spur Alzheimer’s Anxiety at $12,000 Cost I sat clutching my wife’s hand, nodding, listening, and trying to breathe. “Your life expectancy hasn’t changed,” said my doctor, Harvard Medical School geneticist Joseph Thakuria, trying to reassure me. That, I thought, is the good news. I may get Alzheimer’s disease, I was told after getting my DNA analyzed. I could suffer the consequences of an abnormal blood clot in my heart or my brain. Or perhaps I’ll suffer from a disease called primary myelofibrosis that’s caused by an overactive bone marrow. And the price tag to find out more answers kept rising. “The sequencing of average, healthy adults is less informative than people had hoped it would be,” said Robert Handin, a Harvard Medical School doctor who does genetic testing. I wanted to know. More Revelations Most people who have these disorders get relatively mild disease. Related story: Oxford Nanopore to Unveil New DNA Sequencers at U.S. There were other revelations. Routine Tool My medical odyssey cost almost $12,000. Testing Costs

The Magnitude of the Mess We're In Capitalism: A Ghost Story | Arundhati Roy Is it a house or a home? A temple to the new India, or a warehouse for its ghosts? Ever since Antilla arrived on Altamont Road in Mumbai, exuding mystery and quiet menace, things have not been the same. “Here we are,” the friend who took me there said, “Pay your respects to our new Ruler.” Antilla belongs to India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. But Gush-Up certainly has. The word on the street (and in the New York Times) is, or at least was, that after all that effort and gardening, the Ambanis don’t live in Antilla. In India, the 300 million of us who belong to the new, post-IMF “reforms” middle class—the market—live side by side with spirits of the nether world, the poltergeists of dead rivers, dry wells, bald mountains and denuded forests; the ghosts of 2,50,000 debt-ridden farmers who have killed themselves, and of the 800 million who have been impoverished and dispossessed to make way for us. Mukesh Ambani is personally worth $20 billion. A whole spectrum of corruption A.

News/Phylotastic Hackathon Phylogenies! Hacking! Tucson in January! An implicit promise of the Tree of Life project is that, ultimately, expert knowledge of species phylogeny will be accessible and usable by everybody. In other words, we will all be able to get the species trees we need, in a useable form, when we need them. In June 2012, the HIP (Hackathons, Interoperability, Phylogenies) working group of NESCent staged a hackathon to prototype components of a Phylotastic system, and implement demos to show their potential. Now we are gearing up for a second hackathon, to take another step toward providing computable, convenient, credible access to the Tree of Life. Provide knowledge of workflows and downstream uses of trees Design user interfaces Test software Make screencasts, develop tutorials, and document user experiences Applications are now being accepted to Phylotastic 2, which will take place January 28th, 2013 to February 1st, 2013 at the BIO5 facility in warm and sunny Tucson, AZ. Sincerely,

American companies must shun China¿s top two technology firms as they are a security threat, warns House Intelligence Committee Republican candidate Mitt Romney among those wanting to get tough on Chinese businessesReport urges U.S. companies to avoid ZTE Corp and Huawei Technologies LtdPanel concerned after cyber-attacks traced to China By Associated Press Published: 11:58 GMT, 8 October 2012 | Updated: 06:50 GMT, 9 October 2012 American companies should avoid doing business with China's two leading technology firms because they pose a national security threat to the United States, the House Intelligence Committee is warning in a report to be published on Monday. The panel says U.S. regulators should block mergers and acquisitions in the country by Huawei Technologies Ltd and ZTE Corp, among the world's leading suppliers of telecommunications gear and mobile phones. Reflecting U.S. concern over cyber-attacks traced to China, the report also recommends that U.S. government computer systems not include any components from the two firms because that could pose an espionage risk.

Europe approves high-price gene therapy European officials have approved the Western world's first gene therapy drug from a small Dutch biotech company, in a milestone for the novel medical technology that fixes faulty genes. The formal clearance from the European Commission paves the way for a launch next summer of the treatment for an ultra rare genetic disease that will cost around 1.2 million euros ($1.6 million) per patient, a new record for pricey modern medicines. After more than 20 years of experiments and a series of disappointments, the EU approval of Glybera, which treats the genetic disorder lipoprotein lipase deficiency (LPLD), is a significant boost for the gene therapy field. Joern Aldag, chief executive of Amsterdam-based uniQure, said more such treatments would follow and argued a high price was justified because gene therapy restored natural body function and did not just offer a short-term fix. The approval follows a positive recommendation from the European Medicines Agency in July. Earlier setbacks