Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ricky Ponting's Australia arrived in India on Monday for a four-Test tour, setting aside security worries following deadly bomb blasts in the country and in neighbouring Pakistan.

The 15-man squad will spend the next week training in Jaipur before flying to Hyderabad for a four-day match against the Indian board president's XI from October 2.

That will be Australia's only warm-up before the first Test starts in Bangalore on October 9. The remaining Tests will be played in Mohali, New Delhi and Nagpur.

The highly-anticipated tour had been placed in doubt after five co-ordinated bomb blasts ripped through crowded markets in New Delhi on September 13, killing more than 20 people.

A suicide attack on the Marriott Hotel in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Saturday that killed 53 people and wounded 266 forced Ponting to admit security concerns were on his mind before the team left Australia.

"I've done it all day today, I've had a lot of discussions with my wife about those exact issues," Ponting said in Sydney on Sunday.

"Our advice was not to go to Pakistan and the advice that we received the last few weeks to tour India has been positive."

Australia cancelled a Test tour of Pakistan in March and also raised security concerns about this month's Champions Trophy there, forcing the tournament to be put off by a year.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Nootropics, popularly referred to as "smart drugs", "smart nutrients", "cognitive enhancers" and "brain enhancers", are a class of drugs that improve impaired human cognitive abilities (the functions and capacities of the brain). The term covers a broad range of substances including drugs, nutrients and herbs that have purported cognitive enhancing effects.

The word nootropic was coined in 1964 by the Romanian Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, derived from the Greek words noos, or "mind," and tropein meaning "to bend/turn". Typically, nootropics are alleged to work by altering the availability of the brain's supply of neurochemicals (neurotransmitters, enzymes, and hormones), by improving the brain's oxygen supply, or by stimulating nerve growth. However the efficacy of alleged nootropic substances in most cases has not been conclusively determined. This is complicated by the difficulty of defining and quantifying cognition and intelligence.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Pharmacogenomics is the branch of pharmacology which deals with the influence of genetic variation on drug response in patients by correlating gene expression or single-nucleotide polymorphisms with a drug's efficacy or toxicity. By doing so, pharmacogenomics aims to develop rational means to optimise drug therapy, with respect to the patients' genotype, to ensure maximum efficacy with minimal adverse effects. Such approaches promise the advent of "personalized medicine", in which drugs and drug combinations are optimised for each individual's unique genetic makeup.

Pharmacogenomics is the whole genome application of pharmacogenetics, which examines the single gene interactions with drugs.