A ‘chaadar’ was on Saturday offered at the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti here on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said the service of the Sufi saint to humanity will continue to inspire generations.Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi offered the ‘chaadar’ (shawl) on behalf of the PM and read out his message in which Modi greeted the followers of the saint in India and abroad on the occasion of the 805th annual Urs.“Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is a symbol of India’s great spiritual tradition,” the Prime Minister said in his message.He said the service of Garib Nawaz to humanity will continue to inspire generations. Chishti, a great 6th century Sufi saint, is also known as Gharib Nawaz (patron of the poor).Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Naqvi said that the country is an example of social and communal harmony for the entire world and the life of ‘Garib Nawaz’ inspires all to strengthen it.“This unity can defeat the forces which are engaged in a conspiracy to create divide and conflict in the society,” he said.The Minister said that development of the country and living up to the trust of the people is the only commitment of the NDA Government under the leadership of Mr. Modi.He said Chishti’s message of world peace is a strong weapon to protect human values and defeat the nefarious designs of terror forces.
Haryana’s main Opposition INLD on Wednesday held a demonstration to highlight the State of farmers in the country and condemned the killing of peasants at Mandsaur in M.P..The party also resolved not to meet Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar at his residence in the future to protest the alleged bad treatment of its leaders by security and other officials at the entrance of the premises on Wednesday.March to CM’s homeLed by Abhay Singh Chautala, all INLD MLAs and two party MPs — Charanjit Singh Rori and Ram Kumar Kashyap, besides its State unit chief Ashok Arora and youth leader Digvijay Chautala took part in the protest. After the party’s executive meeting, INLD members, including senior leaders Ramphal Majra and Jaswinder Sandhu started to march towards the CM’s residence, but they were stopped by the police who had set up barricades about 500 metre away.“We had prepared two memoranda on various issues. One was to be forwarded to the Prime Minister and another one had to be submitted to the CM. “However, we were stopped by the police and the Chief Minister’s principal secretary R.K. Khullar, who was present there, told us to come with a small team to meet the CM,” Mr. Arora said.
A joint team of the Army and Jammu and Kashmir police has seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition, including two AK assault rifles and explosives during an operation in Rajouri.During the ‘Operation Clean-up’, the security personnel searched the hills and natural caves in the Rajouri-Reasi belt with the help of sniffer dogs. The team of the Rashriya Rifles and police has seized a cache of arms, including one AK-47 rifle, one AK-56 rifle, a Chinese pistol, two RPG rounds, five hand grenades, two magazines and 639 rounds of ammunition in the Kalakote area of the district on Saturday, an officer said.
With 36 people killed in the violence triggered by supporters of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda sect, authorities are now establishing the identity of the dead and conducting post-mortems.“We have 17 bodies here; post-mortem examination is being carried out … We will inform the police once it is over. They will inform the families after identification is completed,” V.K. Bansal, chief medical officer at the civil hospital in Panchkula, told The Hindu.The Haryana government on Saturday said that no resident of Panchkula, the epicentre of the violence, had been reported missing, injured or killed.Also Read Take judge by air to Rohtak jail to pronounce jail term for Dera chief, orders HC High security in PunjabPunjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh said the State had beefed up security at vital installations and was ready to enforce curfew in sensitive areas again, if needed. “It has also been decided to extend the ban on mobile data services in the State till Tuesday (August 29),” he said, adding that 19 potential trouble-makers had been taken into preventive custody and the crackdown would continue ahead of the sentencing. The main leaders of Dera Sacha Sauda, who are likely to instigate followers, are either being taken into confidence or arrested.Capt. Singh said the curfew had been lifted in three districts and relaxed in the other areas.He said that police officers had visited all the 98 ‘Naam Sacha Ghars’ of the Dera in the State and recovered lathis, pipes, rods, axes and petrol bombs. Director-General of Police, Haryana, B.S. Sandhu said that while 30 people were killed in Panchkula, six causalities were reported from Sirsa. “As many as 34 cases have been registered till now by the police in the entire episode, and 552 people have been arrested. Investigations are under way,” he said. “The process of identification [of the bodies] has started and so far, we have identified 13 bodies and their families are being informed.”Sedition casesHaryana Chief Secretary D.S. Dhesi told presspersons that two cases of sedition had been registered against Dera followers and investigation was under way. “During the operation, the police recovered one AK 47 rifle and one Mauser rifle from the vehicle of a Dera follower, and two rifles and five pistols were recovered from another vehicle,” he said.He said peace was prevailing throughout the State and all security arrangements had been made for Monday, when the quantum of sentence would be decided.Also Read Dera head treated like any other convict: Rohtak Deputy Commissioner As many as 101 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the State, while the Army has been deployed in Panchkula and Sirsa. Curfew has been relaxed in Panchkula and Sirsa, he said. Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas said that the efficient action taken by the security forces to disperse the violent mob in about three-and-a-half hours had prevented the situation from worsening.Haryana Deputy Advocate-General Gurdass Singh Salwara was sacked as he was seen carrying the luggage of the Dera chief while the latter was taken to Rohtak.
Pune: Hundreds of activists, intellectuals, leaders of left parties and common citizens came together in Pune on Wednesday to condemn the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead outside her Bengaluru home on Tuesday night.Carrying handmade posters bearing the legend ‘I am Gauri Lankesh’, the demonstrators gathered near S.P. College on Tilak Road. They blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for fostering a climate of “cultural terrorism”.The protesters also included activists from the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) founded by the late Narendra Dabholkar.During the two-hour protest, members of socialist parties and left-leaning outfits like Lokayat and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) accused the Modi government of deliberately stifling dissent and failing to prosecute agents of intolerance.“The BJP has come to power with the objective of subverting the Indian Constitution … anybody seen opposing the RSS thought and ideology is promptly hounded,” said eminent writer-editor and septuagenarian activist Vidya Bal, remarking that under the present government, women in the country were not safe, and women journalists even less so.Lankesh’s killing is not the murder of an individual, but a violent attack on democracy, said Sambhaji Brigade leader Santosh Shinde.The protesters said the murder echoed the killings of Dr. Dabholkar, veteran Communist leader Govind Pansare and scholar M.M. Kalburgi.“Radical right-wing elements and Hindutva fundamentalists are able to unleash a reign of terror under the Modi government,” alleged CPI (M) leader Ajit Abhyankar. He also accused the BJP government of deliberately dragging their feet in the investigations into the Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi murders.
The Satna district police have arrested a local member of the right-wing Bajrang Dal on charge of setting fire to a vehicle used by a priest and seminarians. The priest and seminarians were detained when they were on carol singing for the Christmas season on a complaint by Dharmendra Dohar, 21, a resident of Bhumkahar village, who alleged that some people were asking him to convert to Christianity.“We have produced a person before the magistrate in connection with the incident in which a car was set on fire in the Civil Lines police station area,” Kamlesh P., head constable, said over telephone.The police have lodged a case under Section 435 against unidentified persons who set a vehicle (MP 19 CB 6701), parked very close to the Civil Lines police station, on fire.According to the police, the arrested person, Vikas Shukla, is a resident of Khamu Khuja locality, who reportedly set the vehicle afire. Mr. Shukla was later released on bail. On Thursday, on the basis of a complaint lodged by Mr. Dohar, Father M. George and a group of 30 seminarians were detained during the routine carol singing. In his complaint, Mr. Dohar alleged that some people were appealing him to convert. The police have registered a case against Father George and five others under Sections 153 (B), 295 (A). Eight priests who went to inquire about the detained priest and seminarians were also taken into custody. Later, a vehicle parked outside the police station was torched by unidentified people. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has strongly condemned the violent attack on priests and seminarians.On Friday, the Satna police produced Father George and the priests from St. Ephrem’s Theological College before the magistrate. Father George was released on bail the same day.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said there was an urgent need to focus on skill development to generate jobs.He said skill development centres should be set up across Maharashtra in colleges and universities. Mr. Fadnavis was speaking while inaugurating Symbiosis Skill Centre of Excellence at Kiwale on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Mr. Fadnavis said, “Youth constitute 60% of the country’s population today. The need of the hour is to equip our human resources with the right sort of skills.” He said skill development would pave the path to social and economic progress. Mr. Fadnavis said, “There are myriad ways in which the youth can contribute to the country’s progress. The State and the country are in dire need of more thinkers, innovators and doers who can put ideas into practice.” He said, “We need a speedy convergence of industry and the academic world to equip young people with necessary skills and hands-on experience.” Dr. S.B. Majumdar, founder, Symbiosis group of institutions, said, “Skill development can help redress large-scale unemployment.”
Pune: Eminent scientist and educationist Arvind Gupta and renowned physician-activist Dr. Anil Awachat, founder of the de-addiction Muktangan Centre, are among those to be honoured with the prestigious Maharashtra Foundation (America) award.The awards will be given at an event on January 13 at the city’s Annabhau Sathe Hall.The award, now in its 24th year, is instituted by members of the Maharashtrian community residing in the U.S. and is given to prominent individuals who have brought significant change in the fields of social service and literature through their work.This year, a total of nine awards — four each in the Social Service and Literature categories and one in memory of slain rationalist and thinker Dr. Narendra Dabholkar — are to be given to notable public personalities. Mr. Gupta is to be awarded the Narendra Dabholkar memorial award for his seminal contribution to popularising science and permeating scientific temper among the young by developing strikingly innovative, low-cost science-based teaching aids. The award carries a cash prize of ₹1 lakh along with a citation. “I am honoured to be receiving this award especially as it is in the memory of rationalist Dr. Dabholkar, a thinker who remained true to his principles till the very end. Pune has been a hub of social and educational reform exemplified through such stalwarts as Mahatma Phule, Tarabai Shinde and Hamid DalwaiDr. Dabholkar firmly belongs to this great liberal tradition,” said Mr. Gupta, speaking to The Hindu.Mr. Gupta is famous as a ‘toy inventor’ and for his many books helping to popularise science like the landmark Matchstick Models and other Science Experiments (1987), which has been translated into 13 Indian languages and has sold nearly a million copies till date. He has also translated more than 50 books into English and Hindi.The multi-faceted Dr. Awachat, who has been doing yeoman service to help addicts across India through his Muktangan de-addiction centre, is to be awarded the ‘Sahitya Jeevangaurav’ award which carries a cash prize of ₹2 lakh and a citation.Dr. Awachat is also noted for his incisive writings and contribution to literary journalism. In the early 1970s, he edited a popular Marathi journal Sadhana which featured his trenchant writings on social issues, notably in his reportage of the 1972 drought that ravaged Maharashtra. His many books include ‘Kondmara’ (1985), on Dalit atrocities, and ‘Dharmik’ (1989), a penetrating expose on the cult of false godmen in Maharashtra.Nonagenarian freedom fighter from Marathwada, Gangaprasad Agrawal will also be awarded the ‘Sahitya Jeevangaurav’ prize. Other recipients of the Maharashtra Foundation awards include social activist Rubina Patel, noted filmmaker Sai Paranjpe (for her autobiographical writings), playwright Ajit Dalvi, author Kalpana Dudhal, and activists Chetana Gala-Sinha and Arun Jadhav.
Implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, free education for girls up to the graduation level, supply of purified drinking water to every household, free health insurance, one job for each family, free smartphones to students, regularisation of contractual staff and higher wages are the highlights of the BJP’s Vision Document for Tripura.Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday released the 30-page Vision Document as party manifesto for the February 18 Assembly elections.Mr. Jaitley said the NDA government at the Centre would support the implementation of the promises if the alliance of the BJP and the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura was voted to power. He said the Left Front government, during its long rule, had failed to implement any welfare programmes despite huge support from the Centre.“This is why we see a huge anti-incumbency feeling prevailing in the State. It’s like a revolt situation against the CPI(M),” he said.He said the CPI(M) would be left to fight for the third or fourth place in the elections. “The BJP has occupied the non-Left political space of the State to fulfil the wishes of the people,” he said.
The bypolls for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Nagaland and an Assembly seat in Meghalaya saw a high turnout of voters on Monday. At least 75% of 11,97,436 voters in Nagaland and 90.42% of 24,181 voters in Meghalaya’s Ampati seat cast their votes.Voting in Nagaland was peaceful barring a mob attack on the 13-Kubza polling station in Mokokchung district. “Seven persons were arrested after a large mob overpowered the polling personnel and vandalised the polling booth. Re-polling will be needed there,” the State’s chief electoral officer Abhijit Sinha said.“The final polling figure will be known tomorrow [Tuesday] morning after reports from remote areas come in. As of now, we recorded 75% polling,” he added.The Nagaland LS seat fell vacant in February after Neiphiu Rio resigned to contest the Assembly election as a candidate of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), which formed an alliance with the BJP. He is now the Chief Minister. The contest for the Nagaland LS seat is between NDPP candidate Tokheho Yepthomi and C. Apok Jamir of the Naga People’s Front, a former BJP ally now backed by long-time rival Congress.The bypoll for Ampati was necessitated by former Chief Minister Mukul M Sangma, who had won from two seats, vacating it and retaining the Songsak seat. His daughter Miani D Shira hopes to retain the seat for the Congress.
Admitting that its online connect with the people has not been “up to the mark”, the Bengal leadership of the Communist Party of India-Marxist has decided to ramp up the party’s presence on social media. The social media presence of the CPI(M) is so low that even expelled party MP Ritabrata Banerjee has more followers (34,007) than the party State secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra (28,002) on microblogging site Twitter. The party is trying to correct it but not by spending a huge sum, party sources said.CPI(M) sources said that the State leadership is planning to set up social media teams at the area committee level and wants to reach out to at least 80% of the people in the State before the Lok Sabha elections using social media. Area committees have replaced the erstwhile local committees.“CPI(M)’s social media presence in Bengal has not been up to the mark. We have lagged far behind the Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party in this regard,” a CPI(M) State committee member told The Hindu.He added that so far CPI(M)’s effort to set up social media teams at the area committee level has been limited to mainly district towns and Kolkata. “For instance in Kolkata out of the 53 area committees, social media teams have been set up only in about 13 area committees,” he said.Unlike the TMC and BJP, the CPI(M) has not been able to rope in information technology professionals to revamp its social media activity due to paucity of funds and is instead relying on tech-savvy young party members and sympathisers, the State committee member said.‘Can’t copy others’CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP Md. Salim, who oversees the party’s social media operations in Bengal, said that the State leadership recently held detailed discussions over the issue.“We are aiming at enrolling more volunteers and providing them with proper training so that they can reach out to more people. However, we are facing some problems due to lack of funds,” said Mr. Salim. He also said that the party has been unable to provide any equipment such as computers and smartphones to its social media volunteers who have to depend on their own resources.Mr. Salim admitted that so far the party has been unable to conduct social media operations in a centralised manner and doesn’t even have a record of the number of social media volunteers for the CPI(M) in Bengal.Asked why several senior CPI(M) leaders such as Polit Bureau member Biman Basu are not on social media, Mr. Salim said “we work as a party and not as an individual”.“Why should Biman Basu copy Narendra Modi or Mamata Banerjee who only want publicity?” he saidParty sources said that the State leadership wants to counter the “false propaganda” of TMC and BJP on social media as well as highlight the party’s views on significant political developments in the State.
Former Goa tourism minister Dilip Parulekar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday appeared before the Mapusa Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) Shantashri Kudchadkar in the Serula Comunidade cheating and land grab case. Mr. Parulekar and the two other accused — Peter Martins, the then attorney of Comunidade of Serula, and Irene Sequeira, then administrator of Comunidade of Bardez were released on a surety and bond of ₹10000, with the case adjourned to September 4.Comunidade is a village land commune inherited by Goa, an erstwhile Portuguese colony.Justice C.V. Bhadang of the Bombay High Court on June 22 had directed the trio to face trial for offences under Sections 119, 120, 420 read with 120-B of the Indian Penal Code.On a petition filed by Advocate Aires Rodrigues, the Mapusa JMFC on January 16, 2014 had directed the Porvorim Police in north Goa to register an FIR against Mr. Parulekar, Mr. Martins and Ms. Sequeira for the same.Mr. Rodrigues in his complaint had said that a prime land at Porvorim near here was given away to Mr. Parulekar without any auction and without following the procedure under the Code of Comunidade and that the whole intention was to fraudulently facilitate the doling out of prime Comunidade land to the then Minister.
The ailing Goa Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, reached Goa on Sunday afternoon by an air ambulance after his discharge from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, where he had been under treatment for nearly a month.He was taken to his private residence near here in an ambulance from the Dabolim airport. An ambulance and a medical crew have been kept ready at his residence. He was admitted to the AIIMS on September 15. He has been in and out of hospitals for more than seven months.On Friday, Mr. Parrikar held a meeting of his Ministers and State BJP leaders at the AIIMS. Thereafter, his condition was said to have deteriorated.Also Read Parrikar to stay as Goa Chief Minister: Amit Shah Cong. seeks resignationThe Opposition Congress has been demanding his resignation because of his prolonged illness and absence from office.However, Union Minister Shripad Naik dismissed any possibility of dissolution of the Goa Assembly and expressed confidence that the government would complete its term.Mr. Naik said there was an improvement in Mr. Parrikar’s health but he needed to take rest.(With PTI inputs)
Amid confusion over seat-sharing among NDA alliance partners in Bihar, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party president Upendra Kushwaha on Friday said his party would contest on more than three seats, the number it had contested in 2014 Lok Sabha poll.“We will contest more than three seats, the number we had contested in last 2014 Lok Sabha polls,” RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha said while addressing journalists in Patna.“Lok Janshakti Party and RLSP too are in the NDA alliance in Bihar… you can well understand why until now final seat-sharing announcement has not been made even after they said that it would be announced in next 2-3 days.” BJP president Amit Shah and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar declared in Delhi recently that both parties would contest on “equal number” of seats out of total 40 Parliamentary seats in Bihar.“My party RLSP had made an alliance with the BJP at the time when even in the BJP there was confusion over Narendra Modi to be declared as PM candidate… we had then said in Bihar that Narendra Modi should be the PM candidate. My alliance is with the BJP, and not with the JD(U). Ever since JD(U) has come in the alliance confusion has increased,” he added.When asked who did he consider bigger leader between Lalu Prasad or Nitish Kumar, Mr. Kushwaha said: “Lalu Prasad Yadav is history as he is not into politics so there should not be any comparison between the two.” Regarding Tejaswi Yadav, Mr. Kushwaha said, Mr. Tejaswi Yadav is “under training”.Mr. Kushwaha said that he will be going to Delhi in next few days and would try to meet BJP chief Amit Shah and Mr. Modi over seat-sharing. Regarding his party wanting a ministerial position under NDA in Bihar, he said, “I do not wish to eat stale food.”He also reiterated that he was hurt over Mr. Kumar addressing him as neech (mean) person in a programme. “Nitish Kumar should withdraw his statement… it has hurt me much,” Mr. Kushwaha said.He announced that RLSP would launch a programme “Shiksha mein sudhar-Jan Jan ka Adhikar (reform in education-everyone’s right) from November 28 in every district headquarter of Bihar.
Former Bihar social welfare minister Manju Verma who was absconding in an Arms Act case linked with Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, for over a month surrendered in a local court in Begusarai on Tuesday.Ms. Manju Verma surrendered in Majhaul local court of Begusarai district. She came in a car to the local court on Tuesday morning and quietly surrendered in the court even when the Begusarai police had launched manhunt and conducting raid at several places to arrest her for long.Recently, following a stern observation by the Supreme Court which is monitoring the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, the Begusarai police had attached property of Ms Manju Verma recently. She was earlier suspended from the primary membership of the ruling party JD(U).While expressing “shock” over delay in arrest of Ms. Manju Verma, Supreme Court had summoned the Bihar chief secretary and Director General of Police to appear in court on November 27 in person.The former Bihar Minister had to step down in August after media reported that her husband Chandrashekhar Verma had made several phone calls to the main accused of Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, Brajesh Thakur. Mr. Thakur is currently lodged in Patiala court jail in Punjab.Mr. Chandrashekhar Verma too had surrendered in the same Majhaul court of Begusarai and was sent to jail recently.In a police raid in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home as many as 50 illegal live cartridges were recovered from the residence of the Vermas. Madhu Verma too surrendersMeanwhile, another absconding accused in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case, Madhu Verma too has surrendered in a local court in Muzaffarpur.She was said to be wearing burqa to cover her face while entering into the court to surrender. Ms. Madhu Verma was absconding since the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case was exposed in a social audit report prepared by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).The report had revealed that as many as 34 minor girls were sexually exploited at the State-run shelter home in Muzaffarpur managed by an NGO owned by Brajesh Thakur.Recently, the Muzaffarpur municipal corporation had taken steps to demolish the illegal parts of the shelter home.
The new class of two dozen MacArthur Fellows announced yesterday includes 13 scientists whose interests span a range of disciplines.The 5-year $625,000 prize, up from $500,000, recognizes those “who are working to improve the human condition and to preserve and sustain our natural and cultural heritage,” said Cecilia Conrad, vice president of the program, which is run by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The 2013 class adds to the roster of 873 individuals recognized since 1981.This year’s list includes these researchers:Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Phil Baran, 36, an organic chemist at Scripps Research Institute;C. Kevin Boyce, 39, a paleobotanist at Stanford University;Colin Camerer, 53, a behavioral economist at the California Institute of Technology;Angela Duckworth, 43, a research psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania;Craig Fennie, 40, a materials scientist at Cornell University;Carl Haber, 54, an audio preservationist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory;Dina Katabi, 42, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology;Julie Livingston, 46, an anthropologist at Rutgers University;David Lobell, 34, an agricultural ecologist at Stanford University;Susan Murphy, 55, a statistician at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor;Sheila Nirenberg, a neuroscientist at the Weill Cornell Medical College;Ana Maria Rey, 36, an atomic physicist at the University of Colorado, Boulder;Sara Seager, 42, an astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Your body isn’t the only thing that grows quickly during the first years of life. Your microbiome, the population of bacteria that lives in your gut and elsewhere in your body, has a growth spurt, too—and disrupting it might lead to health problems down the line. A new study of mice shows that interrupting the development of gut microbial populations with low doses of antibiotics early in life disturbs their metabolism and boosts the risk of obesity later on.In recent years, researchers have realized that the microbes living in your gut are crucial for several functions, including building a strong immune system. Infancy is a particularly important time for developing a robust microbiome, a process that begins with the microbes a newborn picks up on its way through the birth canal. Children born by cesarean section, as well as those who receive antibiotics during their first year of life, have a higher risk of developing immune disorders such as asthma and type 1 diabetes. Epidemiological studies show an elevated risk for obesity among these children as well, although the effect seems to be very small.But Martin Blaser, a microbiologist at New York University in New York City, suspected that the microbiome’s development has a bigger impact on metabolism later in life. Studies with livestock such as pigs and chickens showed that low doses of antibiotics administered when animals are young caused them to grow faster and increased the amount of fat they gained. Blaser and colleagues wanted to determine if the metabolic changes are driven by how the antibiotics altered the animal’s microbiome, and they turned to mice to investigate the link.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Blaser and his team gave a low dose of penicillin to mice during the first 4 or 8 weeks after birth and analyzed their gut microbiota and several metabolic characteristics. As expected, penicillin changed the animals’ gut microbiota by reducing the numbers of lactobacilli and several other species that are believed to be beneficial. But this effect disappeared within a couple of weeks of the last antibiotic dose. Ten weeks later, however, treated mice that ate high-fat diets started gaining weight like mad, the team reports today in Cell. Females were particularly vulnerable: They added twice as much body fat as did their untreated female cousins that ate the same high-fat diet. Mice dosed with antibiotics that fed on normal diets did not gain weight, nor did older mice that received antibiotics.To find out whether the mice’s disturbed microbiomes or the antibiotic itself caused the metabolic changes, the team transplanted microbes from treated mice into mice previously kept completely germ-free. The recipients immediately began gaining weight when put on a high-fat diet, suggesting that the altered cast of microbiomes was responsible for the metabolic changes. Meanwhile, germ-free mice given the gut microbes of untreated mice did not gain weight.“This is a very good study because it moves beyond correlations and proves causality,” says microbiologist Willem de Vos of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, who was not involved in the study. Jeremy Nicholson, a biomolecular scientist at Imperial College London, adds that the study reveals that changes to the overall physiology of organisms may indeed result from relatively small disruptions of the gut microbiome, “which might have major long-term health outcomes.”De Vos cautions against jumping to conclusions about what the study means for humans, whose guts contain very different bacteria than do those of mice. Moreover, he adds, “you would never give a child a low dose of antibiotics for a long period. You want to know the impact of repetitive, short treatments with a high dosage.” Also, future studies will have to measure the impact of different antibiotics, rather than just penicillin, he says.Blaser agrees that more work needs to be done, but he is confident that a connection between early life antibiotic use and obesity will eventually be confirmed in humans. “A lot of work on obesity has been focused on diet and calories. That has not been sufficient to explain the obesity epidemic,” Blaser says. Antibiotics could be a missing piece of the puzzle.
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