Daily Archives: October 25, 2014

Queen Elizabeth II signs her first royal tweet

London: The social media buzz this time could not even stop Queen Elizabeth II from entering the Twitter world. The Royalty for the first time tweeted in front of around 600 guests at the museum.

Queen Elizabeth II sent her first royal tweet signed as Elizabeth R at the Science Museum during the opening of a telecommunications gallery.

The “R” stands for “regina,” the Latin for queen. “It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition today at the @ScienceMuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting. Elizabeth R,” the tweet read.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Science Museum Friday to open and tour the gallery dedicated to the history of information and communications technology, Guardian reported.

A series of tweets about the Queen’s use of novel communications technology during her reign has been realeased under the @BritishMonarchy Twitter account.


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Bonanza Budget

A bonanza budget, full of concessions to many sectors, including many perks for public sector employees, was presented in Parliament yesterday by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance.The President declared that the per capita income would be increased to US$ 4,000 by 2015, a year earlier than expected. Bonanza.

The projected revenue for 2015 is Rs 1,600 billion. Whilst export earnings are projected to be US$ 11.5 billion, US$ 7 billion is expected in foreign remittances. He said, the government is strengthening revenue efforts as concessions are given in terms of public services, welfare programmes and public investments.

Thus, the government has introduced a simplified taxation method to generate additional revenue of Rs 5,000 million. Presenting his 10th Budget to a chamber where the Opposition ranks were also present, President Rajapaksa stressed the need to protect the hard-earned safety and security of the nation, while pointing out the need to accelerate development in all spheres. While proposing a salary increase to the private sector, the President made it mandatory for private sector employers to increase their share in the EPF contribution from 12% to 14% and include a salary increase of Rs 500. The minimum wage of a government sector employee was raised to Rs 15,000 and with emoluments the total coming to Rs 25,000 per month. The changes are effective from 1 January 2015. The Budget 2015 looked much an election-oriented budget with a Presidential Election on the cards in early January. (Compiled by Zahrah Imtiaz, Gagani Weerakoon, Menaka Indrakumar, Skandha Gunasekera and Ruwan Laknath Jayakody)


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In a First, ‘Dead’ Hearts Transplanted Into Living Patients in Australia

SYDNEY: In a breakthrough, a team of doctors, including an Indian-origin surgeon, on Friday said they have successfully performed the world’s first heart transplant in Australia using a “dead heart”, a major development that could save many lives.

The procedure, using hearts that had stopped beating, has been described as a “paradigm shift” that will herald a major increase in the pool of hearts available for transplantation.

It is predicted the breakthrough will save the lives of 30 per cent more heart transplant patients.

Until now, transplant units have relied solely on still-beating donor hearts from brain-dead patients.

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But the team at the lung transplant unit of St Vincent’s Hospital here announced they had transplanted three heart failure patients using donor hearts that had stopped beating for 20 minutes.

The first patient who received a heart Michelle Gribilas said she felt a decade younger and was now a “different person”.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Kumud Dhital, who performed the transplants with hearts donated after circulatory death (DCD), said he “kicked the air” when the first surgery was successful.

It was possible thanks to new technology, he said. “The incredible development of the preservation solution with this technology of being able to preserve the heart, resuscitate it and to assess the function of the heart has made this possible, he said.

Hearts are the only organ that is not used after the heart has stopped beating -known as donation after circulatory death.

Beating hearts are normally taken from brain-dead people, kept on ice for around four hours and then transplanted to patients.

The novel technique used in Sydney involved taking a heart that had stopped beating and reviving it in a machine known as a “heart-in-a-box”.

The heart is kept warm, the heartbeat is restored and a nourishing fluid helps reduce damage to the heart muscle.

Gribilas, 57, who was suffering from congenital heart failure. She had the surgery more than two months ago.

“Now I’m a different person altogether,” she said. “I feel like I’m 40 years old – I’m very lucky.”

There have since been a further two successful operations.

Prof Peter MacDonald, head of St Vincent’s heart transplant unit, said: “This breakthrough represents a major inroad to reducing the shortage of donor organs.”

It is thought the heart-in-a-box, which is being tested at sites around the world, could save up to 30 per cent more lives by increasing the number of available organs.

The breakthrough has been welcomed around the world.

The British Heart Foundation described it as a “significant development”.


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