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Since 1st March, 1999
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Third Law

Sex difference

Human beings are not homogeneous. There are plenty of genetic variations among human groups based on race, habitat, food habits etc. So variation based on gender is not unexpected (Unequal medicine, March 21). All these variables have impacts on the results of any drug treatment. For instance, a treatment plan for a beef-eating gigantic Westerner may not be suitable for a frail vegan in the Indian subcontinent even though both of them suffer from the same illness. Similarly, a woman who has anatomical differences with a man should not be prescribed the same medicine in a similar dose. But, surprisingly, big pharmaceutical companies conceal these facts while selling their drugs. It's time drug-makers focus on personalised medicine.

Arun Kumar Laha

Basic truth

Unequal medicine (March 21) clearly explains that there is a lot of difference in the physiology of men and women. I think this goes to substantiate the recent controversial remark by Harvard chief Lawrence Summers, in which he surmised that the difference of brain structures of men and women decides why the latter avoid science. Considering the basic biological disparity among the sexes, it seems the controversy was totally unnecessary.

C.V.K. Moorthy

Wrong syllabus

Icompletely agree with the opinion expressed in Brainstorming (March 14) that this year's maths paper in the Madhyamik examination lacked the basic beauty and elegance of the subject. It was meant to judge what a student doesn't know rather than what he or she knows. It reflects a syllabus which scares off students from classrooms and nips talents at the stage of buds. It was much better when students had to solve problems from old textbooks authored by Jadav Chakrabarty (arithmetic) or K.P. Basu (algebra).

Abhishek Anand
Indian Statistical Institute

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