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How Obsolete Virus Therapy Is Breaking Into Modern Medicine

Western medicine had abandoned the use of viruses with the advent of antibiotics. But now promising, non-chemical options are emerging in the fight against bacterial infections and some types of cancer.

Bacteriophages, the viruses getting viral
Bacteriophages, the viruses getting viral
Paul Molga

PARIS — After 39 operations to rid his body of a staphylococcus aureus, or golden staph infection, that began when he was 17, Serge Fortuna finally decided he should just have his sick leg amputated.

But then he heard about an effective non-prescription treatment available in Georgia for such infections. The treatment consists of ingesting viruses that eat bacteria, otherwise known as bacteriophages. Fortuna was there within days, with 30 euros in cash, to buy the "magic pills." Within two weeks, his body was finally and definitively cleansed of the infecting bacteria.

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Society

Taking A Position: A Call To Regulate Yoga In India

Trained practitioners warn that unregulated yoga can be detrimental to people's health. The government in India, where the ancient practice was invented, knows this very well — yet continues to postpone regulation.

Prime Minister Modi at a mass yoga demonstration in Lucknow, India

Banjot Kaur

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the observance of the eighth International Yoga Day from Mysuru, in southwestern India, early on the morning of June 21. Together with his colleagues from the Bharatiya Janata Party, he set out to mark the occasion in various parts of the country — reviving an annual ritual that had to take a break for the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoga is one of the five kinds of alternative Indian medicine listed under India’s AYUSH efforts — standing for "Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and naturopathy, and Homeopathy." Among them, only yoga is yet to be regulated under any Act of Parliament: All other practices are governed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), Act 2020.

Yoga and naturopathy are taught at the undergraduate level in 70 medical colleges across 14 Indian states. The Mangalore University in Karnataka first launched this course in 1989; today, these subjects are also taught at the postgraduate level.

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