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Profile: genome
User Name: genome
Forum Rank: Member
Gender: Male
Joined: Saturday, March 21, 2009
Last Visit: Thursday, September 12, 2013 12:41:11 AM
Number of Posts: 23
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  Last 10 Posts
Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2013 5:45:34 AM
I see the audio icons but they don't seem to work.
Topic: two or three great books for English grammer?
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013 1:29:27 AM
Here is a site that provides tips for writing good, idiomatic (American) English: Daily Writing Tips
Topic: i need a set of words to name each rung of a ranking ladder
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013 1:23:04 AM
Please expand BBS.
Topic: Lalitha was parking her charms with a Jairam
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2012 3:15:04 AM
It appears to be a silly, contrived expression and does not really convey any sense. The passage is an example of very badly written prose.
Topic: Bayer and Nexavar
Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2012 8:54:02 AM
There are three issues in dingdong's query.

Firstly is there a cure for cancer? As our knowledge of the disease and its treatment stands today there is no definitive cure for cancer. The objective of cancer treatment is to obtain a remission, meaning the tumour subsides but only as long as the drug acts. By carefully applying various regimens such as chemotherapy (drugs), radiation and surgery the physician can prolong the life of a patient for a long time.

The same is the case with HIV-AIDS. There are some other chronic diseases like hypertension (BP), diabetes and ulcers in the stomach which also need life-long medication. Untreated hypertension and diabetes can kill a person as much as cancer or AIDS.

Secondly, is the high cost justified? Pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of money on research of new drugs. It is estimated that a new drug costs about US$ 100 million and may take up to 10 years to develop through various stages, by the time it can be marketed. There is another point to this. Even after all the time and money spent on it, by the time a drug reaches the market, another equivalent or better drug might overtake it. So there is an element of risk involved for the developers.

Thirdly the cost: some years ago an Indian pharmaceutical company offered AIDS medications in South Africa (which used to have the largest concentration of AIDS patients) @ US$ 350 for a year's course whereas the original patent holders were selling it @ US$ 10,000. It is feasible to produce drugs at low costs because of low manufacturing costs in India. As AIDS is considered a humanitarian disaster, perhaps the patent holders should be satisfied with some royalty on sales as remuneration for their efforts.

The same holds true in the latest Bayer vs. Natco cancer medication case. Bayer's cost is approximately Rs 2.80 L as against Natcos Rs 8,800/- The Telegraph's headline "India uses arm-twist rule for cancer drug" is insensitive (to cancer patients) because there is a clause in the IPR Law and the Indian authorities are only trying to put it into practice. The specific clause under 'Compulsory Licencing' gives the Indian government the right to fix the price if it feels the original patent holder's price is exorbitant. At Rs 8,800/- per month the price of Nexavar (one medication alone) comes to about Rs 1.06 L. Besides, there may be other medicines and other costs like the physician's consultation fees, charges for radiation therapy etc. How many patients can afford this? The corresponding price of Bayer product is Rs 33.6 L, which is beyond the reach a majority of Indian patients. Therefore Bayer should be happy to gracefully accept royalty on sales rather than fighting a legal battle which it is not likely to win. In the South African case mentioned above, the multinational companies which initiated the legal proceedings did that.
Topic: A few geography facts
Posted: Monday, April 19, 2010 10:48:38 AM
Thanks for the info oxymoron. It was a good compilation of facts. Applause
Topic: Can anyone, please give me the guidelines of how to write a proper resume?
Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010 11:59:58 PM

Curriculum Vitae or ‘CV’ is a marketing tool, just like a TV commercial. Just as you watch innumerable number of commercials on the telly, employers receive thousands of CVs everyday. You do not remember all the commercials. If you were asked to name the most you remember, you would come up with hardly a handful. This is because your subconscious mind screens and rejects many of them.

The principle behind commercial advertising is known as AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. The objective of writing your CV is more or less the same. Your CV should arrest the employer’s attention; arouse his/her interest in you; make him/her desire to employ you and - most importantly - induce action: employ you, or at least short-list you for an interview. How then should you go about writing a CV?

Research the employer/job: You will have most information about the job in the advertisement but it would do no harm to find out more about the job and the company through the internet, networking etc.

Individualise: The first principle one should learn is that one CV does not suit all jobs. Your CV is a vital document that summarises your qualifications, skills, and experience and matches them with the requirements of specific jobs. Therefore take time to re-write it every time you apply for a job - it is your career and deserves the extra effort. Even if there are no changes to be made, a review is worth the effort.

Employers do not have time to ‘read’ CVs - they ‘scan’ them. Therefore make it brief and to the point.

• Your CV should not normally exceed two A4 size pages.

• Please ensure that your CV is neatly ‘word-processed’ with proper margins.

• Please spell-check your CV to avoid grammatical/typographical errors.

Objective: Mentioning a career objective is optional. Quite often people seek career changes for better remuneration, better job status or for any of a variety of other reasons. It may not be always possible to justifiably align these reasons with a career objective. Therefore use this option only if you have a specific objective and without vague generalisations. For example,

• “To lead as marketing head a Rs 5000 million company by 2010” is more specific than “To utilise my skills and experience to achieve top positions in the pharma marketing arena. ”

Summary: A brief summary of your career may be given at the beginning of your CV. In summarising your career, please avoid generalisations: For example,

• If you are aiming for a high position in sales and marketing, “As GM-Marketing, achieved Rs 100 million in the first year of launching ………(product/company)” or “the company’s market share improved from 0.7% to 2% in three years” is more specific than “Excellent track record in launching new products/companies. ”

• If you are aiming for a high position in sales, “As National Sales Manager, achieved a quantum leap in sales to Rs 150 million from Rs 100 million in three years ” is more specific than “achieved exponential growth in sales.”

• If you are aiming for a top position in marketing, “ As Marketing Manager, launched (1), (2) and (3) block-buster brands which achieved ‘x’, ‘y’ and ‘z’ market shares respectively in their categories” is more specific than “expert in launching block-buster brands.”

• If you are aiming for a sales management/training and development management position, “Developed (2/3/4…) of my team members to become top performers and get promoted as frontline/second line/third line managers; one of them became National Sales Manager” is more specific than “adept at developing people to assume higher responsibilities.”

Key functional areas (KFA): You don’t have to give a detailed description of all your responsibilities. Just give a brief description of your job to enable the prospective employer to understand your current job level.

This is because the same designation connotes different job functions and levels in different organisations. For example ‘Regional Manager’ is a frontline function in some companies but a second line function in others. Similarly, ‘Area Manager’ is a frontline function in the pharmaceutical industry but a higher (second line/third line) function in the FMCG industry.

The following example illustrates a typical description of KFA in sales management:

• Achieving sales and collection targets and budgets for the state/zone with a team of six frontline managers and forty medical representatives. (Sales management function)

• Training and development for better performance, overseeing strategy implementation and identifying leadership potential for future. (Human resource development function)

• Identifying new markets and new business avenues for possible future expansion. (Business development function)

• For those at fairly senior level, meeting key (trend setter) customers would be one of the objectives of fieldwork in addition to gathering marketing intelligence and overseeing implementation of strategies. (Marketing management function - senior sales managers have a role in marketing management)

The following example illustrates a typical description of KFA in product/marketing management:

• Achieving targeted market share, unit and volume sales for the allotted portfolio of products.

• Budgeting promotional strategies, designing promotional strategies and ‘selling’ product targets and strategies to field personnel.

• Training and development of field personnel on the technical and promotional aspects of products and strategies.

• Identifying new products/segments and tracking market trends in technological and other developments to maintain the company’s ‘lead’ in the industry in specific product markets/segments.

• Working in the field with the specific objectives of gathering information about implementation of strategies and gathering firsthand market intelligence.

• For those at fairly senior level, meeting key (trend setter) customers would be one of the objectives of fieldwork in addition to gathering marketing intelligence and overseeing implementation of strategies.

Achievements: Make a bulleted/numbered list of the major achievements of your career with those pertaining to the last assignment first and listing them chronologically backwards. Again, mention only specific, quantifiable achievements, not vague generalisations.

You may use examples mentioned in the explanation for career summary above, but you can be more exhaustive. This does not mean that you may mention the detailing prizes you won as a medical representative when applying for the position of a National Sales Manger. Use discretion and list achievements apt for the position you are applying for.

Remember you have to sell yourself within the two-page limit just as you were used to three-minute detailing in the doctor’s chamber early in your career.

Listing skills: This is a tricky area. Every one in the marketing/sales function has good communication skills! But good verbal communication skills are an advantage as one moves up the ladder; good written communication skills are an added advantage.

Man management/HR skills are desirable. The ability to train and develop people to grow in their careers is a plus.

At times it may be necessary to get rid of people who are incapable of being developed but this should not be assumed to be a positive skill. This is an admission of failure to develop people.

However, there is always a gap between the theory and practice of HR. So if you have such achievements, instead of writing ‘expert in getting rid of dead-wood’ in your CV, save it for a mention at an appropriate time in the personal interview.

On the other hand you may mention, ‘rigorous discipline and team work in faithful implementation of strategies, paid rich dividends in my career.’

Career at a glance: Use a table for the employer to have a glimpse of your career beginning with your current job chronologically backwards till entry level.

Gaps in career: If there are any gaps in your career (right from your last educational qualification), be sure to have a reasonable explanation for them - you are sure to be quizzed about the gaps at the time of your personal interview.

At the same time do not try to fuzz them in your CV. Your interviewer is sure to spot any such attempt.

Personal details: In this section just list your name, educational and professional qualifications, any training programmes attended, only if they pertain to your career, address and telephone numbers where you can be reached.

You may list your language proficiency and IT literacy, which is increasingly becoming essential both in sales and especially in marketing functions.

Do not list all your achievements in college, debating societies et al. A black belt in Karate may not be an essential qualification for a sales manager unless the company decides to physically discipline errant customers!

Similarly, your prospective employer may not be interested in details of your family members unless you are the daughter or son-in-law of the minister for petroleum and chemicals. So save your CV of such details.

References: It is not necessary to provide references for all jobs. You may provide them if specifically asked for. In any case most employers nowadays check your antecedents with your present/former employers. (Please be prepared for this!)

Willingness to relocate/Expected Salary: You may mention these in the cover letter if the employer specifically calls for such information. Otherwise, best leave the ‘expected salary’ bit for an appropriate time in the personal interview.

Cover letter: Please always enclose your CV along with a brief, polite cover letter to the prospective employer. In this you will be able to briefly summarise your career, indicate ‘how keen you are to join the organisation’ and look forward for ‘a meeting for a personal discussion’ which ‘would benefit both the prospective employer and you’.

Do not be too clever by half: If you are employed, do not try to assess your ‘market value’, by applying blindly to box number advertisements. Your CV might land on your own employer’s desk.

*Accessed from
Topic: cough syrups
Posted: Monday, December 28, 2009 3:00:54 AM
An allergic reaction is the human immune-system's over-reaction to an environmental stimulus. In your case the stimulus is extreme cold. A cold due to allergy does not require a cough syrup. It is relieved by an antihistamine such as cetirizine (CETZINE / ZYRTEC).

On the other hand if your cold is accompanied by cough - as sometimes it is - then you require a cough syrup.

If the cough is dry (or unproductive cough in medical lingo) - meaning that you do not have to expectorate mucus when coughing, a cough syrup containing an antitussive is prescribed. Codeine is one such antitussive which acts on the cough centre in the brain to pacify it.

If your cough is accompanied by mucus production (hence the medical term 'productive') then a cough syrup containing an expectorant is prescribed. Ammonium chloride and sodium citrate are examples of expectorants. They cause local irritation which by reflex action helps expectoration i.e. expelling mucus from the lungs.

Firstly all cough syrups are palliative in nature. This means that they only treat the symptom/s and do not treat the underlying cause.

Secondly, cough syrups cotaining both an anti-tussive and an expectorant are unscientific because their actions are mutually antagonistic. Medical companies offer these combinations purely for commercial reasons - and doctors prescribe them for the same reasons.

If the underlying cause - in your case, allergy - is treated it stops both the cough and sneezing as well becuase sneezing and running nose (rhinorrhoea in medical lingo) are symptoms of allergy.

Finally, almost all antihistamines including the one suggested above are relatively safe even in long term use. The main side effects they cause are dyness of the mouth and sedation but they vary from individual to individual. Some antihistamines cause an increase in appetite and some of them are likely to potentiate and increase alcohol tolerance. It is for the last reason that alcohol consumption is prohibited while on antihistamines.

Sedation is welcome when someone is suffering from persistent cough especially at night, but in view of their susceptibility to cause sedation, people using antihistamines should exercise caution while driving or operating heavy machinery.

N.B.: This is purely an academic reply for your information. Self medication (or medication suggested by a friendly chemist / druggist) may be dangerous. A little saving on doctor's consultation fees may sometimes prove costly in the long run. Just in case you might think that this advice is because of a vested interest, Genome is not a doctor!
Topic: Tim Winton´s superb prose
Posted: Monday, November 9, 2009 11:45:51 PM
Here is an example of excellent prose. It describes the difficulties encountered in the construction of the Panama canal but is from an essay on the construction of the Suez canal.

“It was neither a hostile army nor political difficulties that obstructed the construction of the canal; neither mountain chain nor desert waste but an insect that raised a barrier of disease and death between endeavour and accomplishment.”
Topic: Improve English
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2009 2:00:48 PM
Dear Jaikumart,

In order to improve English:

1. Increase your recognition vocabulary: This is best done by continuous reading. Have a fixed time for reading everyday either early in the morning or late in the night after your day’s work/study is over. If you have a habit of reading you might begin with serious books; otherwise you might start with thrillers. E.g.: Frederick Forsyth's novels. He writes idiomatic English that is easy to follow. Have a dictionary by your side and keep referring to it whenever you find a word that you do not understand. Do this religiously. As time passes, your need to refer to the dictionary reduces.

2. Learn to speak with correct pronunciation: At this stage do not bother about accent – American, Australian or British. The important thing is to learn correct pronunciation. Regularly listen to good English language broadcasts / telecasts. As you are from India I would suggest you listen to channels like BBC, CNBC and National Geographic. You can learn correct pronunciation of individual words through 'The Free Dictionary' by clicking on the speaker icon.

3. Increase your functional vocabulary: This means putting your recognition vocabulary into practice. Use the words your have learnt in speech and writing. Let your teacher (or friends) correct you. Do not worry over sniggers. Over a period of time you will be able to speak well.

A final piece of advice: Remember there are no shortcuts to hard work. If some 'institute' promises you instant improvement or improvement within a month or two do not believe it and do not waste your money. You can learn yourself by religiously applying the methods suggested above.

Good Luck and God Speed!