Lifestyle News – Onam: Harvest Festival | Cancer Immune System | Global Cities | Google’s Healthcare | Indore Smart City
Check out below to read the Top 5 Interesting Lifestyle News this week in the NF World Latest News section. In this section, you can read the weekly summary of Health, Food, Travel, and Fashion-related Lifestyle News.
Onam: Harvest Festival Honouring King Mahabali
Onam, a vibrant annual harvest festival observed predominantly by Hindus in the Indian state of Kerala, pays homage to King Mahabali and Vamana. Rooted in Hindu mythology, the festival commemorates the sagacious leadership of the mythical demon king Mahabali. Legend has it that envious of his popularity and authority, the devas conspired to overthrow him. They dispatched Vamana, a diminutive Brahmin, to vanquish Mahabali and cast him into the netherworld. Vamana beseeched Mahabali for a mere three feet of land, which the king granted by offering his own head as a resting place for the third step. Overwhelmed by Mahabali’s generosity, Vamana granted his wish to witness his realm and subjects.
A 10-Day Extravaganza Culminating in Thiruvonam
Spanning 10 days and culminating in Thiruvonam, the festivities commemorate the Malayalam New Year. The sequence includes Atham, Chithira, Chodhi, Vishakam, Anizham, Thriketa, Moolam, Pooradam, Uthradam, and Thiruvonam. While the first and final days hold paramount significance, celebrations kick off at the Vamanamoorthy Thrikkakara temple in Kochi on Atham. With the hoisting of the festival flag, this Vishnu temple is deemed the epicentre of Onam and Mahabali’s abode.
Joyous Traditions and Colorful Revelry
Onam is characterized by vivid parades, featuring floats and tableaus that embody Kerala’s cultural facets. The festival brims with diverse activities: boat races, cultural showcases, sports events, dance competitions, rangoli artistry, pujas, shopping, charitable acts, and familial feasts. Traditional attire, the iconic cream and gold Kasavu sari, adorns men and women alike.
Feast of Culinary Delights: Onam Sadya
Central to Onam is the sumptuous Onam sadya (feast), an indulgence in seasonal vegetables. Served on banana leaves, the nine-course meal comprises 12 to 30 delectable items including banana chips, sharkaraveratti (jaggery-coated fried banana chunks), Pappadam, Avial, Sambhar, Dal, Rasam, Puliseri, and more. The sweet finale, Payasam, delights as an elixir-like dessert.
Traditional Rituals and Symbolic Gestures
In parallel to the installation of Ganesha idols during Ganesha Chaturthi or Devi Durga during Durga Puja, Keralite Hindus place an image of Thrikkakara Appan (Vishnu as Vamana) in their homes during Onam. Temples are illuminated with numerous lamps, and a Palmyra tree adorned with dried leaves is set ablaze to symbolize Mahabali’s journey to the underworld.
Swings and Joyous Songs: Rural Traditions
In rural areas, swings take centre stage, embodying a quintessential Onam tradition. Young men and women adorned in resplendent attire sing Onappaatt songs while swinging from tree-hung swings, fostering an atmosphere of merriment.
In essence, Onam is a grand tapestry interwoven with mythology, cultural vibrancy, feasts, and heartfelt celebrations, converging to honour King Mahabali and imparting a distinctive essence to the Indian state of Kerala.
New Insights into Cancer Immune System Interaction
In a groundbreaking collaborative effort, researchers at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and Weill Cornell Medicine have unveiled a novel connection between cancer cells and the immune system. This discovery highlights the insidious manner in which cancer can exploit the immune pathway, specifically the STING pathway, to its advantage. Employing an innovative tool called Contact Tracing, scientists have illuminated the profound implications of sustained STING pathway activation due to chromosomal instability (CIN) in driving alterations in cellular signalling.
STING Pathway: A Conduit for Cancer’s Covert Strategy
The research underscores how chronic activation of the STING pathway, spurred by chromosomal instability, initiates a cascade of downstream signalling modifications. Consequently, this restructuring of downstream signals thwarts the constructive, anti-tumor immune response. Instead, it fosters a pro-metastatic microenvironment within the tumour region. This microenvironment becomes a magnet for immune-suppressing cells, hampering the body’s natural defences and facilitating cancer metastasis. Notably, these findings explain the lack of success seen in clinical trials involving STING agonist drugs for advanced cancer, suggesting that a shift towards STING inhibitors might hold promise.
Unveiling Biomarker-guided Approaches
Notably, the study hints at a prospective biomarker-oriented approach. This approach could aid in the identification of patients who would derive benefits from either stimulating or inhibiting the STING pathway. Over the years, considerable resources have been channelled into developing drugs to activate the STING pathway against cancer. However, the outcomes have not been as anticipated in clinical trials, shedding light on the intricate interplay between immune responses and cancer progression.
Chromosomal instability, a hallmark of cancer, particularly in its advanced stages, disrupts the ordinary course of cell division. This instability fuels the metastatic potential of cancer cells. Crucially, the research illustrates the centrality of the immune system’s involvement in this phenomenon. The synergistic partnership between immune cells and cancer cells with chromosomal instability is orchestrated by the STING pathway.
Contact Tracing and Single-cell Sequencing
The researchers harnessed the power of Contact Tracing, a tool designed to predict cell-to-cell interactions and gauge cellular responses within growing tumours using single-cell transcriptomic data. This tool transcends the mere identification of cell interactions; it probes the impact of these interactions on the recipient cells. Moreover, employing single-cell sequencing, the scientists dissected the intricate composition of cellular players in the tumour microenvironment.
Promising Prospects for Advanced Cancer Treatment
A pivotal revelation emerged: manipulating either the degree of chromosomal instability or STING activation elicits profound shifts in the tumour microenvironment. These findings illuminate an avenue for refining therapies for patients grappling with advanced, chromosomal instability-driven cancer. Paradoxically, the inefficacy of STING activation in these cases might stem from cells being desensitized due to the persistent STING pathway activation resulting from chromosomal instability. Therefore, countering intuition, patients in this category might stand to gain from STING inhibition.
In summation, the collaborative research by MSK and Weill Cornell Medicine has unfurled an intricate dance between cancer cells, immune responses, and the STING pathway. This unveils opportunities for tailoring treatments to suit individual patients, thereby inching closer to more effective interventions against advanced cancer driven by chromosomal instability.
Global Cities for High Earnings and Low Living Costs
The experts at Workyard undertook a comprehensive analysis, delving into data from 20 diverse global cities worldwide. Their goal was to uncover locales where individuals can earn substantial incomes while maintaining reasonable living expenses encompassing rent, sustenance, and utilities. The study leveraged information sourced from government labour databases, juxtaposing the average monthly income of each city with its corresponding average monthly living expenditures for the year 2023. The resultant compilation illuminates cities that provide an appealing proposition for those seeking a lifestyle marked by substantial earnings and economical living.
Kuwait: The Pinnacle of Affordability
According to the latest figures from July 2023, Kuwait emerges as the global leader in affordability. With an average monthly income of approximately $6,199 and remarkably low living costs amounting to around $752.70, individuals in Kuwait retain a substantial portion of their earnings after catering to basic necessities. This exceptional balance between income and expenses positions Kuwait as an unmatched contender for the most affordable city.
Abu Dhabi and Riyadh: Following Suit
Securing the second spot on this list, Abu Dhabi boasts a monthly average income of $7,154, while living costs hover around $873.10. Similarly, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia ranks third, offering an average monthly income of $6,245, counterbalanced by living costs amounting to $814.90.
Dubai, Sharjah, and Beyond: Global Perspectives
Dubai and Sharjah clinch the fourth and fifth positions, with residents pocketing $7,118 and $5,229 monthly, respectively. Living expenses in these cities amount to $1,007 and $741.30 each month. Venturing beyond the Middle East, Melbourne in Australia emerges as an attractive option, with an average monthly income of $7,312 and living costs approximating $1,079.20. Oslo, Norway, echoes this sentiment, presenting a Nordic haven with residents earning around $7,543 a month while spending about $1,121.50 on living expenses.
Metropolitan Centers: A Balancing Act
Urban hubs like London and San Francisco secure the eighth and ninth spots. Their residents enjoy monthly earnings of $8,411 and $9,249, respectively. Nonetheless, these cities exhibit slightly higher living costs, standing at $1,260.80 and $1,440.10 per month. Switzerland’s Zurich rounds out the top ten, where residents accumulate an average monthly income of $9,222 and allocate approximately $1,815.20 towards living costs.
New York’s Quandary
In an intriguing twist, New York grapples with the most delicate equilibrium between income and living expenses. Despite an average monthly income of roughly $4,205, New Yorkers grapple with elevated living costs that amount to a considerable $1,448. This juxtaposition underscores the notable disparities in the interplay between earnings and living costs across global cities.
In essence, this analysis underscores the profound variations in the nexus between income and living costs across different cities worldwide. While some locales offer the allure of handsome incomes coupled with modest living expenditures, others present a more intricate equation. Whether contemplating a relocation or indulging in daydreams of a new abode, these cities merit consideration as potential havens for a balanced lifestyle.
Google’s Transformational Impact in Healthcare
The healthcare sector stands as a labyrinthine realm, characterized by an array of intricate challenges, subtleties, and idiosyncrasies unique to its domain. Confronting these multifaceted hurdles demands nothing short of unwavering determination, particularly in the contemporary landscape defined by fluid regulatory requisites, technological advancements, and evolving patient and public health demands. Notably, industry behemoth Google, while originally not a healthcare entity, has channelled billions of dollars and substantial resources toward elevating the healthcare landscape.
Pioneering Change Amid Complexity
Google’s foray into healthcare is underscored by an assortment of endeavours, each meticulously designed to address specific challenges. Amidst this transformational journey, the company’s visionary leadership has empowered various teams and divisions within its ranks to actively participate in healthcare initiatives. This bold stance has fostered a disruptive approach to combatting some of healthcare’s most intricate quandaries spanning multiple domains.
Disruptive Innovations Reshaping Data Landscape
A shining example of this disruptive innovation is Google’s Care Studio, a groundbreaking platform that equips clinicians with the capability to seamlessly access and compile critical patient information from a centralized repository. This innovation has been widely lauded for optimizing healthcare data utilization. Additionally, Google Cloud’s Healthcare Data Engine stands as a testament to their strides in data management. By unifying disparate datasets, this technology enables enhanced interoperability and accessibility, unlocking new potential for data utilization. It also empowers insights into social determinants of health and patient throughput analytics, revolutionizing healthcare decision-making.
A Leader with Vision: Dr. Karen DeSalvo
Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google’s Chief Health Officer, brings an invaluable perspective as a seasoned physician and former Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Her insights underscore Google’s aspiration to bolster global health equity, aiming to elevate the well-being of billions across the globe. Dr. DeSalvo underscores a three-pronged strategy focusing on patients, providers, and enterprises, a holistic approach crucial for driving meaningful healthcare change.
The Interconnected Triad
For a transformation of genuine impact, Google emphasizes a triad of interconnected focus areas—patients, providers, and enterprises. This integrated approach acknowledges the intricate interplay between these components and underscores the necessity of holistic attention to reshaping healthcare’s landscape.
In essence, Google’s voyage into healthcare illuminates a path characterized by disruption, innovation, and holistic impact. As healthcare’s intricacies persist, the company’s concerted efforts are poised to yield transformational change that reverberates through patients’ lives, provider workflows, and the healthcare enterprise at large.
Indore Clinches Title National Smart City Award 2022
For an impressive sixth consecutive year, Indore, renowned for its cleanliness, has secured yet another accolade. The city’s exceptional accomplishments have led it to capture the prestigious “National Smart City Award” for 2022. This esteemed recognition lauds Indore’s exemplary performance among the 100 smart cities in India.
Surat and Agra: Honorable Runners-Up
The India Smart Cities Award Contest’s fourth edition has unveiled Surat and Agra as the second and third-prize winners, affirming their commendable strides in urban development and smart city initiatives.
New Town’s Dual Triumph
New Town has emerged triumphant with a dual victory, securing the second prize in mobility and the third prize in the built environment category, underscoring the town’s multifaceted growth and innovation.
State and Union Territory Excellence
In a display of state-level prowess, Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Tamil Nadu have clinched the top spots, securing the first and second ranks, respectively. Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (UP) share the third position in this impressive lineup. Among the Union Territories, Chandigarh has secured the highest score, substantiating its commitment to urban development.
Honoring Excellence: The Felicitation Ceremony
President Droupadi Murmu will bestow honours upon the deserving winners on September 27 in Indore, underscoring the significance of their contributions to smart city advancements.
Indore’s Triumphs: A Resounding Success
Notably, Indore’s accomplishments extend across various urban affairs ministry missions. This recognition resonates particularly as Madhya Pradesh approaches assembly polls, offering the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government an opportunity to showcase these achievements as a response to any prevailing anti-incumbency sentiment.
Untouched Areas and Future Prospects
Regrettably, the NDMC area in Delhi, a designated Smart City region under the central government’s purview, did not secure any awards across the twelve distinct categories. Sources suggest that NDMC opted out of the contest. In the previous 2020 edition, both Surat and Indore shared the title of best smart cities. The 2021 results were not disclosed.
Awards Galore: Recognizing Excellence
The awards have been evenly distributed among multiple cities. Indore leads the pack with six awards, followed by Agra with four, and Surat, Ahmedabad, and Chandigarh securing three each. Jabalpur, New Town Kolkata, and Raipur each bagged two awards.
The Path Ahead: Smart City Initiative Progress
Out of a proposed total of 7,938 projects under the Smart City scheme, an impressive 76% valued at Rs 1.11 lakh crore have been successfully completed. The remaining 1,894 projects are projected to achieve completion by the upcoming June, indicating a promising trajectory for smart city initiatives in India.