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Saturday, 30 March 2013

Monounsaturated fats reduce metabolic syndrome risk

Canola oil and high-oleic canola oils can lower abdominal fat when used in place of other selected oil blends, according to a team of American and Canadian researchers. The researchers also found that consuming certain vegetable oils may be a simple way of reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome, which affects about one in three U.S. adults and one in five Canadian adults.
"The monounsaturated fats in these vegetable oils appear to reduce abdominal fat, which in turn may decrease metabolic syndrome risk factors," said Penny Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, Penn State.
In the randomized, controlled trial, 121 participants at risk for metabolic syndrome received a daily smoothie containing 40 grams (1.42 ounces) of one of five oils as part of a weight maintenance, heart-healthy, 2000-calorie per day diet. Members of the group had five risk factors characterized by increased belly fat, low "good" hdl cholesterol and above average blood sugar, blood pressure and triglycerides that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. The researchers repeated this process for the remaining four oils.
The results were presented at the American Heart Association's EPI/NPAM 2013 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.
Results showed that those who consumed canola or high-oleic canola oils on a daily basis for four weeks lowered their belly fat by 1.6 percent compared to those who consumed a flax/safflower oil blend. Abdominal fat was unchanged by the other two oils, which included a corn/safflower oil blend and high-oleic canola oil enriched with an algal source of the omega-3 DHA. Both the flax/safflower and corn/safflower oil blends were low in monounsaturated fat.
According to the American Heart Association, many of the factors that contribute to metabolic syndrome can be addressed by a healthy diet, exercise and weight loss, which can significantly reduce health risks of this condition.
"It is evident that further studies are needed to determine the mechanisms that account for belly fat loss on a diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids," said Kris-Etherton. "Our study indicates that simple dietary changes, such as using vegetable oils high in monounsaturated fatty acids, may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and therefore heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes."
Source:Penn State 

New Anti-smoking Offensive Launched

 New Anti-smoking Offensive LaunchedA hard-hitting offensive aimed at reducing the number of smokers across the country has been launched by US health officials.The new campaign encourages smokers to kick the habit with a series of adverts spotlighting the wrenching personal stories of individuals battling smoking-related illnesses or diseases. 
"This campaign is saving lives and saving dollars by giving people the facts about smoking in an easy-to-understand way that encourages quitting," US Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Thursday. 
A campaign run on similar lines last year proved effective, with the number of calls to helplines dedicated to people trying to quit smoking soaring following the adverts. 
The number of calls to health services doubled to around 200,000 during the 2013 campaign, which cost $54 million and lasted 12 weeks. 
Page views of a quit smoking website tied into the campaign increased five-fold compared to the same period in 2011. 
Health officials say the campaign may have encouraged tens of thousands of people to quit smoking. 
Nearly 70 percent of smokers in the United States say they want to stop, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which is running the campaign. 
The adverts will blanket across television, radio, newspaper and other outlets, encouraging smokers to call a free hotline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) in order to access counseling services and information. 
"Smoking and secondhand smoke kill -- and they also harm smokers and non-smokers," CDC Director Tom Frieden said. 
"These are the kinds of ads that smokers tell us help motivate them to quit, saving lives and money." 
Despite the proven dangers of tobacco, nearly one in five adults in the US smoke. 
Approximately 90 percent of smokers take up the habit before they turn 18 and many suffer serious health problems while young. 
More than 440,000 Americans die each year from smoking-related diseases, while for each death, approximately 20 people live with one or more illness caused by the habit.


Educated Patients Provide Healthier Food Items to Children

Parents who are educated tend to provide healthy foods with fewer fats and lower sugar levels to their children, a new study reveals.An international group of experts from eight European countries have analysed the relation between parents' levels of education and the frequency with which their children eat food linked to overweight. 
The Identification and prevention of dietary- and lifestyle-induced health effects in children and infants (IDEFICS) study includes data from 14,426 children aged between two and nine from eight European countries: Italy, Estonia, Cyprus, Belgium, Sweden, Hungary, Germany and Spain. 
The results published in the journal Public Health Nutrition confirm that parents with a lower level of education feed their children food rich in sugars and fats more often than those parents with a higher level of education, who feed their children more products of a higher nutritional quality, including vegetables, fruit, pasta, rice and wholemeal bread. 
"The greatest differences among families with different levels of education are observed in the consumption of fruit, vegetables and sweet drinks", explains Juan Miguel Fernández Alvira, the author of the work and researcher from the University of Zaragoza to SINC. 
For the authors, this implies a greater risk of developing overweight and obesity in children from less advantaged socio-cultural groups. 
"The programmes for the prevention of childhood obesity through the promotion of healthy eating habits should specifically tackle less advantaged social and economic groups, in order to minimise inequalities in health", concludes Fernández Alvira. 

Childhood nutrition 
Childhood, from two to fourteen years old, is a growth period during which the requirements for energy and nutrients increase. Nevertheless, the World Health Organisation warns of the importance of monitoring the diet of the youngest members of society, as almost 40 million children under the age of five suffered from overweight in 2010. 
In fact, recommendations for children over two do not differ greatly from those for adults. Their diet should include cereals, fruit, vegetables, dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs and nuts. 
Dieticians and nutritionists recommend that parents offer children a wide variety of foods and avoid using food as a method to award or punish behaviour. Experts believe that this age group can decide how much to eat, provided the food is always healthy and nutritious.

Source: University of Zaragoza  


Scientists: Combinations of Estrogen-mimicking Chemicals Found to Strongly Distort Hormone Action

 Scientists: Combinations of Estrogen-mimicking Chemicals Found to Strongly Distort Hormone ActionScientists have been concerned about chemicals in the environment that mimic the estrogens found in the body for many years. Researchers have found links between these "xenoestrogens" and such problems as decreased sperm viability, ovarian dysfunction, neurodevelopmental deficits and obesity in many different studies. But experimental limitations have prevented them from exploring one of the most serious questions posed by exposure to xenoestrogens: what happens when — as in the real world — an individual is exposed to multiple estrogen-mimicking chemicals at the same time?Now University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have used new techniques to study exposure to low doses of multiple xenoestrogens. And they've come to some disturbing conclusions. 
Using cell cultures to test mixtures of three compounds known to affect estrogen signaling, — bisphenol A (found in plastic bottles and the linings), bisphenol S (a supposedly safer replacement for bisphenol A recently found to have similar effects) and nonylphenol (a common component of industrial detergents and surfactants) — the scientists determined that combinations of endocrine disruptors could have a dramatically greater effect than any one of them alone. 
"We wanted to see how these persistent, ubiquitous contaminants affect estrogenic signaling when they're mixed together as they are in nature, so we set up a cell-culture system that allowed us to test their influence on signaling by estradiol, the estrogen found in adult, cycling women," said UTMB professor Cheryl Watson, senior author of a paper on the study now online in the journal Environmental Health . "What we found is that these things gang up on estradiol and thwart its response, which is not a good thing." 
Watson and her colleagues tested different mixtures of estrogen-disrupting compounds using rat pituitary cells, cells that are master regulators of the animals' endocrine systems. Their experiments measured the responses of key signaling pathways that lead to cell proliferation, the secretion of the pituitary hormone prolactin and the activation of proteins involved in apoptosis (programmed cell death), comparing the effects of estradiol alone with those of estradiol and mixtures of bisphenol A, bisphenol S and nonylphenol. 
"These compounds work at very low concentrations — at the parts per trillion or parts per quadrillion level — and when you mix them together they affect estrogenic signaling differently and more dramatically than they do individually," Watson said. "We need to pay attention to this, because estrogens influence so many things in both males and females — reproduction, the immune system, metabolism, bone growth, all sorts of important biological functions." 
Studies have detected measurable levels of bisphenol A and bisphenol S in the urine of more than 90 percent of Americans. According to Watson, modern humans are exposed to dozens of xenoestrogens more or less continually. 
"These things are all over the environment, and we need to know what they do so we can start figuring out what we need to change," Watson said. "They're probably disrupting and confusing hormones in people, and it's important to find a way to prevent that as soon as we can. We need to test these compounds for their hormone-disrupting activities before they are put into products, so we can redesign for safety very early in the process." 
 Source:journal Environmental Health


Scientists Explain How Cells and Cell Fragments Move in Electric Fields

 Scientists Explain How Cells and Cell Fragments Move in Electric FieldsScientists at the University of California, Davis, have found that like tiny crawling compass needles, whole living cells and cell fragments orient and move in response to electric fields — but in opposite directions. Their results, published April 8 in the journal Current Biology, could ultimately lead to new ways to heal wounds and deliver stem cell therapies.When cells crawl into wounded flesh to heal it, they follow an electric field. In healthy tissue there's a flux of charged particles between layers. Damage to tissue sets up a "short circuit," changing the flux direction and creating an electrical field that leads cells into the wound. But exactly how and why does this happen? That's unclear. 
"We know that cells can respond to a weak electrical field, but we don't know how they sense it," said Min Zhao, professor of dermatology and ophthalmology and a researcher at UC Davis's stem cell center, the Institute for Regenerative Cures. "If we can understand the process better, we can make wound healing and tissue regeneration more effective." 
The researchers worked with cells that form fish scales, called keratocytes. These fish cells are commonly used to study cell motion and they also readily shed cell fragments, wrapped in a cell membrane but lacking a nucleus, major organelles, DNA or much else in the way of other structures. 
In a surprise discovery, whole cells and cell fragments moved in opposite directions in the same electric field, said Alex Mogilner, professor of mathematics and of neurobiology, physiology and behavior at UC Davis and co-senior author on the paper. 
It's the first time that such basic cell fragments have been shown to orient and move in an electric field, Mogilner said. That allowed the researchers to discover that the cells and cell fragments are oriented by a "tug of war" between two competing processes. 
Think of a cell as a blob of fluid and protein gel wrapped in a membrane. Cells crawl along surfaces by sliding and ratcheting protein fibers inside the cell past each other, advancing the leading edge of the cell while withdrawing the trailing edge. 
Assistant project scientist Yaohui Sun found that when whole cells were exposed to an electric field, actin protein fibers collected and grew on the side of the cell facing the negative electrode (cathode) while a mix of contracting actin and myosin fibers formed toward the positive electrode (anode). Both actin alone, and actin with myosin, can create motors that drive the cell forward. 
The polarizing effect set up a tug-of-war between the two mechanisms. In whole cells, the actin mechanism won and the cell crawled toward the cathode. But in cell fragments, the actin/myosin motor came out on top, got the rear of the cell oriented toward cathode and the cell fragment crawled in the opposite direction. 
The results show that there are at least two distinct pathways through which cells respond to electric fields, Mogilner said. At least one of the pathways — leading to organized actin/myosin fibers — can work without a cell nucleus or any of the other organelles found in cells, beyond the cell membrane and proteins that make up the cytoskeleton. 
Upstream of those two pathways is some kind of sensor that detects the electric field. In a separate paper to be published in the same journal issue, Mogilner and Stanford University researchers Greg Allen and Julie Theriot narrow down the possible mechanisms. The most likely explanation, they conclude, is that the electric field causes certain electrically charged proteins in the cell membrane to concentrate at the membrane edge, triggering a response. 
Source: Univ. of California  


Friday, 29 March 2013

Fiber Rich Diet Cuts Stroke Risk

 Fiber Rich Diet Cuts Stroke RiskEating a diet rich in fiber content reduces the risk of first-time stroke, says study. 
Dietary fiber is the part of the plant that the body doesn't absorb during digestion. Fiber can be soluble, which means it dissolves in water, or insoluble.Previous research has shown that dietary fiber may help reduce risk factors for stroke, including high blood pressure and high blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) "bad" cholesterol. 
In the study, researchers found that each seven-gram increase in total daily fiber intake was associated with a 7 percent decrease in first-time stroke risk. 
One serving of whole wheat pasta, plus two servings of fruits or vegetables, provides about 7 grams of fiber, researchers said. 
"Greater intake of fiber-rich foods - such as whole-grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts - are important for everyone, and especially for those with stroke risk factors like being overweight, smoking and having high blood pressure," Diane Threapleton, M.Sc., and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Leeds' School of Food Science and Nutrition in Leeds, United Kingdom said. 
Researchers analyzed eight studies published between 1990-2012. Studies reported on all types of stroke with four specifically examining the risk of ischemic stroke, which occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel to the brain. 
Three assessed hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel bleeds into the brain or on its surface. 
Findings from the observational studies were combined and accounted for other stroke risk factors like age and smoking. 
The study is published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

Scientists Explore Link Between Pathogen Exposure and Type 1 Diabetes

Lack of exposure to pathogens has been linked to increased rates of Type 1 diabetes, reveals study.Countries with lower mortality from infectious disease exhibit higher rates of Type 1 diabetes, according to a new study by Dr. A. Abela and Professor S. Fava of the University of Malta. 
The study collated data from three major international studies and presented it at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Harrogate, Britain. 
It suggests that the unexplained global rise in Type 1 diabetes may be linked to reduced exposure to pathogens in early life. 
Type 1 diabetes is caused when the immune system destroys the cells of the pancreas that release insulin, leaving the patient unable to control his blood sugar. It is estimated to affect around half a million children worldwide, increasing in incidence by an estimated 3 per cent every year, reports Science Daily.


Researchers Find Link Between Risk of Age-Related Diseases and Faster Biological Aging

 Researchers Find Link Between Risk of Age-Related Diseases and Faster Biological AgingThe risk of developing age-related diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, heart disease and cancer, has been linked with faster 'biological' aging in an international study led by researchers at the University of Leicester.The study involved scientists in 14 centres across 8 countries, working as part of the ENGAGE Consortium (list of research teams is give below). The research is published online today (27th March) in the journal Nature Genetics
The project studied a feature of chromosomes called telomeres. Telomeres sit on the end of our chromosomes - the strands of DNA stored in the nucleus of cells. The telomeres shorten each time a cell divides to make new cells, until they reach a critical short length and the cells enter an inactive state and then die. Therefore telomeres shorten as an individual gets older. But, individuals are born with different telomere lengths and the rate at which they subsequently shorten can also vary. The speed with which telomeres wear down is a measure of 'biological ageing'. 
Professor Nilesh Samani, British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiology at the University of Leicester and Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, who led the project said: "Although heart disease and cancers are more common as one gets older, not everyone gets them - and some people get them at an earlier age. It has been suspected that the occurrence of these diseases may in part be related to some people "biologically" ageing more quickly than others." 
The research team measured telomere lengths in over 48,000 individuals and looked at their DNA and identified seven genetic variants that were associated with telomere length. They then asked the question whether these genetic variants also affected risk of various diseases. As DNA cannot be changed by lifestyle or environmental factors, an association of these genetic variants which affect telomere length with a disease also would suggest a causal link between telomere length and that disease. 
The scientists found that the variants were indeed linked to risk of several types of cancers including colorectal cancer as well as diseases like multiple sclerosis and celiac disease. Most interestingly, the authors found that in aggregate the seven variants also associated with risk of coronary artery disease which can lead to heart attacks. 
Professor Samani added: "These are really exciting findings. We had previous evidence that shorter telomere lengths are associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease but were not sure whether this association was causal or not. This research strongly suggests that biological ageing plays an important role in causing coronary artery disease, the commonest cause of death in the world. This provides a novel way of looking at the disease and at least partly explains why some patients develop it early and others don't develop it at all even if they carry other risk factors." 
Professor Tim Spector from King's College London, who co-led the project added: "Our research over the last five years suggests that some people are genetically programmed to age at a faster rate. When exposed to 'detrimental ' environments for telomeres - like smoking, obesity, or lack of exercise - they are likely to become even biologically older and consequently be more at risk of age-related diseases like heart disease and cancer." Dr Mangino Massimo who was the lead analyst for King's College London, said: "This study included many UK twin volunteers and has been made possible by a great collaboration of scientists from across Europe. Our research is key to understanding the complex genetic jigsaw of a whole variety of human age-related diseases."Dr Veryan Codd, Senior Research Associate at the University of Leicester who co-ordinated the study and carried out the majority of the telomere length measurements said: "The findings open of the possibility that manipulating telomere length could have health benefits. While there is a long way to go before any clinical application, there are data in experimental models where lengthening telomere length has been shown to retard and in some situations reverse age-related changes in several organs.
Source: journal Nature Genetics.

Deficiency of Magnesium

Lack of magnesium in the human body affects the central nervous system, more so when it is combined with a lack of calcium as both the minerals work together.Drs. DH and DE Liebscher - in a paper published in American College of Nutrition suggest some simple investigations to be conducted to check magnesium levels and to increase the threshold of problems related to low blood magnesium. 
As a start - magnesium supplements and magnesium therapy are applied at the earliest, for a minimum period of a month. By implementing these methods - long standing chronic low magnesium can be addressed. 

Conditions Related to Low Magnesium: 
1. Depression 
2. Insomnia 
3. Migraines 
4. Premenstrual syndrome 
5. Hypertension 
6. Chronic Fatigue Symptoms 
7. Muscle Spasms and Twitches 
8. Anxiety, Restlessness and Hyperactivity 
9. Constipation 
10.  Heart palpitations 
11.  Tightness in the chest 
12.  Osteoporosis 

There are a few questions you can ask yourself as a self assessment: 
 Do you drink too many colas or carbonated drinks on a regular basis? Dark sodas have phosphates and these bind with magnesium in the digestive tract - they are flushed out. Avoid having cola with meals as this will flush out all the magnesium you are eating. 

 Have a sweet tooth? Do you eat a lot of candies, cakes and pastries? Refined sugar and refined flour have no magnesium. Nutritionists believe sugar is an anti nutrient. 

 Is your stress level very high - or have you undergone a surgery? Severe stress depletes magnesium and deficit magnesium in turn causes stress. 

 How much caffeine do you imbibe - in coffee, tea etc? Caffeine causes kidneys to excrete magnesium and other minerals. 

 How much of alcohol do you have - more than 7 drinks a week? Alcohol decreases the efficiency of the digestive system and absorption of vitamin D - which are responsible for magnesium deficiency. 

 Are you having too much of calcium - in milk or supplements? Excessive calcium with low magnesium is harmful for cells and muscles. 

 Do you take medication like - birth control pills, diuretics, heart medication or estrogen replacement? Some drugs lower magnesium levels in the system as magnesium is flushed out. 

 Do you face any of the neurological signs like anxiety, insomnia, or hyperactivity? Magnesium maintains electrolyte balance and deficiency can cause depression. 

 Do you have spasms, cramps, tics and fibromyalgia? When magnesium in the body is not adequate, muscles contract all the while. 

 Are you above 55years? After this age and as you grow older a person is vulnerable to loss of magnesium. The metabolic rates slow down as does the absorption of minerals - supplements are very important. 

There are also a few random symptoms to indicate magnesium deficiency, such as when a normally relaxed and easy going person becomes short tempered and pessimistic. Some people develop a craving for salt or chocolate

Magnesium is a key to good health; it should not be under estimated. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be confused with symptoms of other conditions. It would be wise to see a physician and undergo some tests before increasing magnesium levels. Vitamin B complex taken along with magnesium supplements controls the amount of mineral absorbed into cells. 

Source:American College of Nutrition 

New Model Has Been Designed to Predict Final Menstrual Period

Researchers from University of California Los Angeles, have proposed a new method to determine the final menstrual period in women.As women approach their menopause, they are at an increased risk of bone loss and other health conditions. Previous researches have suggested that starting prevention treatment at least a year prior to the final menses could remarkably reduce the risk of bone fracture. 
Lead author, Dr. Gail Greendale and team gathered information about menstrual bleeding patterns and measurements of hormone levels every year for around eleven years from 554 women aged between 42 and 53 years old and belonging to different ethnic groups. 
The researchers took into consideration the levels of two hormones namely, estradiol (E2), a hormone produced by the ovaries, and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to design the model. Increased FSH level along with decreased E2 levels were used to predict the landmark of two years prior to the final menstrual period with 77% specificity. 
The authors suggest that once further studies are conducted to validate this model, it could be used to develop user-friendly web applications to predict the final menstrual period and this in turn would help women take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of health complications related to menopause. 
The study is published online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 

Source: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Complementary and alternative medicine studies take center stage at EuroHeart Care

Yoga and acupressure could both play an important role in helping patients with atrial fibrillation
Yoga and acupressure could both play an important role in helping patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Two abstracts presented at the at the European Society of Cardiology's EuroHeart Care Congress, which takes place in Glasgow, 22 to 23 March, 2013, show the potential for medical yoga¹ and acupressure², in addition to pharmacological therapies, to reduce blood pressure and heart rates in patients with AF. In a third abstract³, a survey found that complementary and alternative therapies (CATs), were widely used by patients attending cardiology clinics, raising concerns people may not be routinely informing health care staff about their use.
"One of the overall aims of treatment for AF is lowering heart rate because high and irregular heart rates can lead to emboli forming and result in stroke," said Professor Ozlem Ceyhan, a nurse trainer from Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey. "In these studies both acupressure and yoga are reducing heart rate, which should have a really beneficial effect. Furthermore, both approaches have the advantage of being easy to administer and cost effective, with no serious side effects."
The ESC guidelines have classified AF patients into five types based on duration: first detected (only one diagnosed episode); paroxysmal (recurrent episodes that self-terminate in less than seven days); persistent (recurrent episodes that last more than seven days); long standing (where it has lasted for longer than a year); and permanent (an ongoing long-term episode).
Medical Yoga shows beneficial effect in Paroxysmal AF
In the first abstract Maria Nilsson, a nurse from Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, who has practiced yoga for the last 10 years, set out to investigate whether yoga might help patients with paroxysmal AF (PAF) ¹.
"We chose to use medical yoga, which is a form of yoga involving deep breathing, light movements, meditation and relaxation. The advantage here is that the movements are easy to learn and can be performed while sitting in a chair," said Nilsson. PAF, she added, is thought to involve between 25% and 62% of all cases of AF.
In the prospective study, 80 patients with a diagnosis of PAF were randomized to the usual treatment and yoga (n=40) or just usual treatment (n=40). Patients in the yoga group attended hour long sessions of yoga once a week over the course of three months.
Results show that after three months patients in the yoga group, showed significant decreases in systolic blood pressure (p=0.03), diastolic blood pressure (p=0.007) and heart rate (p=0.02) compared to those in the control group.
Systolic blood pressure for patients in the yoga group dropped from 137 mmHg at the start of the study to 132mmHg after three months; whereas the systolic blood pressure of patients in the control group increased from 138 mmHg at the start of the study to 141 mmHg after three months.
Diastolic blood pressure for patients in the yoga group decreased from 83 mmHg at baseline to 77 mmHg after three months; whereas diastolic blood pressure for patients in the control group rose from 84mmHg at baseline to 87mmHg after three months.
Heart rate decreased in the yoga group from 64 beats/minute at the start of the study to 60 beats per minute after three months; whereas heart rate rose in the control group from 65 beats per minute at the start of the study to 69 beats per minute after three months.
According to the "self reported" health questionnaires, patients who received yoga showed improvements in physical quality of life (p=0.01) and mental quality of life (P=0.02) at three months, compared to those in the control group. "Our study suggests doctors could do worse than prescribing yoga for all patients with hypertension and fast heart rates," said Nilsson.
The team, she added, are now undertaking further research to see if reductions in blood pressure and heart rate result in a decreased frequency of PAF episodes.
Acupressure shows benefit in patients with persistent AF
In the second study ², Professor Ozlem Ceyhan, a nurse trainer from Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey, investigated the use of acupressure among patients hospitalized for persistent AF.
In the study 60 patients were randomized to an intervention group (n=30) or a placebo group (n=30). Patients in the intervention group had acupressure performed on acupressure points PC6, HT7 and CV17; while patients allocated to the placebo group underwent a "sham" procedure were the acupressure device was bound in place without applying pressure. Treatments were performed between two and four times a day, with pulse and blood pressure readings taken before, during and after the session, and information on fatigue collected via patient questionnaires.
Results showed that significant decreases in pulse rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure were found for patients allocated to the intervention group compared to those allocated to the placebo group (p<0 .05="" all="" b="" for="" three="">
Heart rhythm, however, did not turn into sinus rhythm and acupressure was not found to have a statistically significant beneficial effect on symptoms of fatigue.
"One thing that was really notable in our study was that we did not observe that any patients in the intervention group had further attacks of AF while in hospital, compared to 10% of patients in the placebo group suggesting acupressure may be preventing further attacks," says Ceyhan.
Acupressure, she said, was an easy to use technique that patients could administer on themselves at home to reduce the frequency of AF attacks. The team, she added, are now looking to explore other acupressure points to see if they might have an effect on sinus rhythm.
Health care professionals need to routinely ask all CVD patients about CATs and CAMs.
Professor Stephen Leslie, Dr Jenny Jones and colleagues, from the University of Stirling, Scotland, undertook a survey of 116 people attending a cardiology outpatient's clinic over an eight week period about use of complementary and alternative therapies (CATS) ³.
The results showed that 52% of respondents (60 people) reported use of at least one CAT; 66% (77 people) believed that CATs should be available within the NHS; and that 88% (102) believed that more research should be performed in these areas. Furthermore, the investigators found that the top five most popular CATs were reflexology, acupuncture, osteopathy, massage and chiropractic therapies.
"When we looked back at patient notes, we found that very few people had volunteered this clinically important information in consultations, suggesting that they don't often disclose CAT use to cardiology teams," said Leslie.
Information about CATs and complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) use is undoubtedly important. Popular herbal remedies, such as Ginger, Ginko biloba, Ginseng and St John's wort have been shown to affect platelet aggregation, prolong bleeding time, and increase or decrease INR in patients on warfarin. Additionally it is known that extracts of Hawthorne, which are recommended for patients with heart failure and arrhythmia, have digoxin like effects, with the potential to interact with digoxin.
"In light of the potential for adverse interactions we believe that clinicians should routinely ask all their patients whether they use any forms of CATs or CAMs," said Jones.
The survey, she added, highlighted the fact that cardiac patients would like to see further research carried out to assess the risks and benefits of CAM in relation to cardiovascular disease. "This would enable the balance between risks, benefits and efficacy of various CATs and CAMs to be honestly discussed with cardiac patients," said Jones.
Source:European Society of Cardiology 

Innate immune system can kill HIV when a viral gene is deactivated

Study published in PLoS Pathogens suggests new target for treatment and the eventual cure of HIV/AIDS

Human cells have an intrinsic capacity to destroy HIV. However, the virus has evolved to contain a gene that blocks this ability. When this gene is removed from the virus, the innate human immune system destroys HIV by mutating it to the point where it can no longer survive.
This phenomenon has been shown in test tube laboratory experiments, but now researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have demonstrated that the same phenomenon occurs in a humanized mouse model, suggesting a promising new target for tackling the virus, which has killed nearly 30 million people worldwide since it first appeared three decades ago.
A family of human proteins called APOBEC3 effectively restrict the growth of HIV and other viruses, but this action is fully counteracted by the viral infectivity factor gene (vif) in HIV. In the study, researchers intravenously infected humanized mice with HIV. They found that the most commonly transmitted strains of HIV are completely neutralized by APOBEC3 proteins when vif is removed from the virus.
"Without the vif gene, HIV can be completely destroyed by the body's own immune system," said J. Victor Garcia, PhD, professor of medicine at the UNC School of Medicine and senior author on the study. "These results suggest a new target for developing drugs fully capable of killing the virus."
Garcia and his colleagues pioneered the humanized mouse model used for these studies. The aptly named "BLT" mouse is created by introducing human bone marrow, liver and thymus tissues into animals without an immune system of their own. The mice have a fully functioning human immune system and can be infected with HIV in the same manner as humans. In previous research, Garcia and his team have effectively prevented intravenous, rectal, vaginal and oral transmission of HIV in the mice with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
For the current study, Garcia and his colleagues also infected BLT mice with another, highly harmful strain of the virus. The results show that this strain of HIV does continue to replicate, even without vif, but at a much slower rate and without harming the human immune system. Further, the researchers found that virus replication in this case was limited to one tissue—the thymus—in the entire body.
"These findings demonstrate a fundamental weakness in HIV," said John F. Krisko, PhD, lead author on the study. "If this weakness can be exploited, it might eventually lead to a cure for HIV/AIDS," Krisko said.
Source:University of North Carolina Health Care 

Mindfulness from meditation associated with lower stress hormone

Woman in peaceful meditation pose crossing legs and with thumbs touching forefingerFocusing on the present rather than letting the mind drift may help to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, suggests new research from the Shamatha Project at the University of California, Davis.The ability to focus mental resources on immediate experience is an aspect of mindfulness, which can be improved by meditation training."This is the first study to show a direct relation between resting cortisol and scores on any type of mindfulness scale," said Tonya Jacobs, a postdoctoral researcher at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain and first author of a paper describing the work, published this week in the journal Health Psychology.High levels of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland, are associated with physical or emotional stress. Prolonged release of the hormone contributes to wide-ranging, adverse effects on a number of physiological systems.The new findings are the latest to come from the Shamatha Project, a comprehensive long-term, control-group study of the effects of meditation training on mind and body.Led by Clifford Saron, associate research scientist at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain, the Shamatha Project has drawn the attention of both scientists and Buddhist scholars including the Dalai Lama, who has endorsed the project.In the new study, Jacobs, Saron and their colleagues used a questionnaire to measure aspects of mindfulness among a group of volunteers before and after an intensive, three-month meditation retreat. They also measured cortisol levels in the volunteers’ saliva.During the retreat, Buddhist scholar and teacher B. Alan Wallace of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies trained participants in such attentional skills as mindfulness of breathing, observing mental events, and observing the nature of consciousness. Participants also practiced cultivating benevolent mental states, including loving kindness, compassion, empathic joy and equanimity.At an individual level, there was a correlation between a high score for mindfulness and a low score in cortisol both before and after the retreat. Individuals whose mindfulness score increased after the retreat showed a decrease in cortisol."The more a person reported directing their cognitive resources to immediate sensory experience and the task at hand, the lower their resting cortisol," Jacobs said.The research did not show a direct cause and effect, Jacobs emphasized. Indeed, she noted that the effect could run either way — reduced levels of cortisol could lead to improved mindfulness, rather than the other way around. Scores on the mindfulness questionnaire increased from pre- to post-retreat, while levels of cortisol did not change overall.According to Jacobs, training the mind to focus on immediate experience may reduce the propensity to ruminate about the past or worry about the future, thought processes that have been linked to cortisol release."The idea that we can train our minds in a way that fosters healthy mental habits and that these habits may be reflected in mind-body relations is not new; it's been around for thousands of years across various cultures and ideologies," Jacobs said. "However, this idea is just beginning to be integrated into Western medicine as objective evidence accumulates. Hopefully, studies like this one will contribute to that effort."Saron noted that in this study, the authors used the term "mindfulness" to refer to behaviors that are reflected in a particular mindfulness scale, which was the measure used in the study."The scale measured the participants’ propensity to let go of distressing thoughts and attend to different sensory domains, daily tasks, and the current contents of their minds. However, this scale may only reflect a subset of qualities that comprise the greater quality of mindfulness, as it is conceived across various contemplative traditions," he said.Previous studies from the Shamatha Project have shown that the meditation retreat had positive effects on visual perception, sustained attention, socio-emotional well-being, resting brain activity and on the activity of telomerase, an enzyme important for the long-term health of body cells.Co-authors on the paper, in addition to Jacobs, Saron and Wallace, are: UC Davis graduate students Stephen Aichele, Anthony Zanesco and Brandon King; Associate Professor Emilio Ferrer and Distinguished Professor Phillip Shaver from the UC Davis Department of Psychology; Baljinder Sahdra, lecturer in psychology at the University of Western Sydney; consulting scientist Erika Rosenberg from the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain; Katherine MacLean, instructor in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; David Bridwell, postdoctoral fellow at the Mind Research Network in Albuquerque, N.M.; and Associate Professor Elissa Epel and Professor Margaret Kemeny, from the UCSF Department of Psychiatry.Major support for the Shamatha Project has come from the Fetzer Institute and the Hershey Family Foundation. Additional support has come from numerous private foundations including the Baumann Foundation; the Tan Teo Charitable Foundation; the Yoga Research and Education Foundation; and individual donors. Individual researchers also received fellowship and other support from the National Science Foundation; the Social Sciences, Humanities Research Council of Canada; and the Barney and Barbro Fund. The project recently won support from the John Templeton Foundation to continue and extend the work.The Center for Mind and Brain is one of three overlapping research centers at UC Davis that bring together researchers from the School of Medicine, College of Biological Sciences, and College of Letters and Science to work on the function of the brain. Founded in 2002, the Center for Mind and Brain studies cognition, vision, language, meditation and music. The Center for Neuroscience, established in 1990, investigates brain structure, memory, and the genes and molecules involved in conditions such as schizophrenia and depression. The MIND Institute was founded in 1998 with the support of six local families, five of whom have children with autism. It works with autistic children and their families, and on fragile X syndrome, Tourette's syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders.Source:UC DAVIS

Want to Lose Weight? Eat Lunch at 3 Pm, Says Study

 Want to Lose Weight? Eat Lunch at 3 Pm, Says StudyIn a recent study it was found that people lost 25 percent less weight if they had lunch after 3 pm. 
The study followed 420 Spanish people in a weight-loss program, Fox News reported.However, the study doesn't mean that you should eat earlier-in fact, you might want to do the opposite. 
The Spanish are known for making a late lunch the biggest meal of the day, so the study's authors couldn't say that the findings would apply in the US. 
That said, other new research does show that when you eat-not what you eat-can turn on your body's fat-fighting genes. 
Until Mr. Thomas Edison lit our evenings, we rose with the sun, worked, ate, played, and slept. That's what your hormonal cycle is designed for. 
Now, our schedules are more like eat-work-eat-work-eat-sleep. 
The average American eats 3.5 times per day, according to research from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences-and that's only counting meals of at least 70 calories or more, not the handful of chips you grab between commercial breaks. 
In other words, our modern schedule has thrown our bodies' clocks completely out of whack-and along with it, our metabolism. 
The result - it's easy to get caught in a "fat cycle," a constant flow of hunger hormones that makes you prone to cravings. 
For some people, that's no biggie. They consume a moderate number of calories, exercise regularly, and are happy to soothe their hunger pains with fruit and other healthy snacks. 
But it's a major problem for others - those who've tried (and failed) to moderate calorie intake, those who have tried (and failed) to resist sugary treats and those who've tried (and failed to finish) other traditional diet plans. 
For this latter group, intermittent fasting may be the answer. 
New research from the Salk Institute and other experts suggests that by confining your eating period to 8 hours a day, you can stop the fat cycle and spark your body's natural flab-burning mechanisms. 
That could mean skipping breakfast, but eating what you want for lunch and dinner. Or skipping dinner, and having a grand slam breakfast and lunch. 
The findings are published in the International Journal of Obesity.

Scientists Develop Functional Ovaries in Lab

 Scientists Develop Functional Ovaries in LabFunctional ovaries that showed sustained release of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone have been developed by scientists.The proof-of-concept study suggests the possibility of engineering artificial ovaries in the lab to provide a more natural option for hormone replacement therapy for women. 
"A bioartificial ovary has the potential to secrete hormones in a natural way based on the body's needs, rather than the patient taking a specific dose of drugs each day," Emmanuel C. Opara, Ph.D., professor of regenerative medicine Wake Forest Baptist and senior researcher, said. 
Tamer Yalcinkaya, M.D., associate professor and section head of reproductive medicine at Wake Forest Baptist, said "This research project is interesting because it offers hope to replace natural ovarian hormones in women with premature ovarian failure or in women going through menopause. 
"The graft format would bring certain advantages: it would eliminate pharmacokinetic variations of hormones when administered as drugs and would also allow body's feedback mechanisms to control the release of ovarian hormones," he said. 
It involves encapsulating ovarian cells inside a thin membrane that allows oxygen and nutrients to enter the capsule, but prevents patients from rejecting the cells, with this scenario, functional ovarian tissue from donors can be used to engineer bioartificial ovaries with non-functioning ovaries. 
The team isolated the two types of endocrine cells found in ovaries (theca and granulosa) from 21-day-old rats and the cells were encapsulated inside materials compatible with body. 
The function of the capsules was then evaluated in the lab by exposing them to follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, two hormones that stimulate ovaries to produce sex hormones. 
The arrangement of cells that most closely mimicked the natural ovary (layers of cells in a 3-D shape) secreted levels of estrogen that were 10 times higher than other cell arrangements. 
The capsules also secreted progesterone as well as inhibin and activin, two hormones that interact with the pituitary and hypothalamus and are important to the body's natural system to regulate the production of female sex hormones. 
The research has been published in Biomaterials.



Hunger-spiking Neurons Could Help Control Autoimmune Diseases: Study

 Hunger-spiking Neurons Could Help Control Autoimmune Diseases: StudyAccording to a study, neurons that control hunger in the central nervous system also regulate immune cell functions, implicating eating behavior as a defense against infections and autoimmune disease development. The researchers are from the Yale School of Medicine and the study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).Autoimmune diseases have been on a steady rise in the United States. These illnesses develop when the body's immune system turns on itself and begins attacking its own tissues. The interactions between different kinds of T cells are at the heart of fighting infections, but they have also been linked to autoimmune disorders. 
"We've found that if appetite-promoting AgRP neurons are chronically suppressed, leading to decreased appetite and a leaner body weight, T cells are more likely to promote inflammation-like processes enabling autoimmune responses that could lead to diseases like multiple sclerosis," said lead author Tamas Horvath, the Jane and David W. Wallace Professor of Biomedical Research and chair of comparative medicine at Yale School of Medicine. 
"If we can control this mechanism by adjusting eating behavior and the kinds of food consumed, it could lead to new avenues for treating autoimmune diseases," he added. 
Horvath and his research team conducted their study in two sets of transgenic mice. In one set, they knocked out Sirt1, a signaling molecule that controls the hunger-promoting neuron AgRP in the hypothalamus. These Sirt1-deficient mice had decreased regulatory T cell function and enhanced effector T cell activity, leading to their increased vulnerability in an animal model of multiple sclerosis. 
"This study highlights the important regulatory role of the neurons that control appetite in peripheral immune functions," said Horvath. "AgRP neurons represent an important site of action for the body's immune responses." 
The team's data support the idea that achieving weight loss through the use of drugs that promote a feeling of fullness "could have unwanted effects on the spread of autoimmune disorders," he notes. 



Sunday, 24 March 2013

Physical activity during youth may help reduce fracture risk in old age

Get out there and regularly kick that soccer ball around with your kids, you may be helping them prevent a broken hip when they are older, say researchers presenting their work at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day in Chicago, IL.
"According to our study, exercise interventions in childhood may be associated with lower fracture risks as people age, due to the increases in peak bone mass that occurs in growing children who perform regular physical activity," said lead author, Bjorn Rosengren, MD, PhD of Skane University Hospital, Malmo, Sweden.
Rosengren and his colleagues conducted a population-based controlled exercise intervention for six years in children age 7-9 years in Malmo, Sweden. In the intervention group 362 girls and 446 boys received 40 minutes of daily physical education at school. The control group of 780 girls and 807 boys received 60 minutes of physical education per week. Researchers registered incident fractures in all participants and followed skeletal development annually. During the time of the study there were 72 fractures in the intervention group and 143 in the control group resulting in similar fracture risks. The increase in spine bone mineral density was higher in both the boys and girls in the intervention group.
During this same time, researchers performed a retrospective cross-sectional study of 709 former male athletes with a mean age of 69 years and 1,368 matched controls with a mean age of 70 years to determine how many had suffered fractures and rates of bone density loss. Within the former athletes group, bone mass density dropped only minimally from +1.0 to +0.7 standard deviations compared to the control group.
"Increased activity in the younger ages helped induce higher bone mass and improve skeletal size in girls without increasing the fracture risk. Our study highlights yet another reason why kids need to get regular daily exercise to improve their health both now and in the future," said Rosengren.
Source:American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine 

Amniotic fluid stem cells repair gut damage

Stem cells taken from amniotic fluid were used to restore gut structure and function following intestinal damage in rodents, in new research published in the journal Gut. The findings pave the way for a new form of cell therapy to reverse serious damage from inflammation in the intestines of babies.
The study, funded by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, investigated a new way to treat necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), where severe inflammation destroys tissues in the gut. NEC is the most common gastrointestinal surgical emergency in newborn babies, with mortality rates of around 15 to 30 per cent in the UK.
While breast milk and probiotics can help to reduce the incidence of the disease, no medical treatments are currently available other than surgery once NEC sets in. Surgical removal of the dead tissue shortens the bowel and can lead to intestinal failure, with some babies eventually needing ongoing parenteral nutrition (feeding via an intravenous line) or an intestinal transplant.
In the study, led by the UCL Institute of Child Health, amniotic fluid stem (AFS) cells were harvested from rodent amniotic fluid and given to rats with NEC. Other rats with the same condition were given bone marrow stem cells taken from their femurs, or fed as normal with no treatment, to compare the clinical outcomes of different treatments.
NEC-affected rats injected with AFS cells showed significantly higher survival rates a week after being treated, compared to the other two groups. Inspection of their intestines, including with micro magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), showed the inflammation to be significantly reduced, with fewer dead cells, greater self-renewal of the gut tissue and better overall intestinal function.
While bone marrow stem cells have been known to help reverse colonic damage in irritable bowel disease by regenerating tissue, the beneficial effects from stem cell therapy in NEC appear to work via a different mechanism. Following their injection into the gut, the AFS cells moved into the intestinal villi - the small, finger-like projections that protrude from the lining of the intestinal wall and pass nutrients from the intestine into the blood. However, rather than directly repairing the damaged tissue, the AFS cells appear to have released specific growth factors that acted on progenitor cells in the gut which in turn, reduced the inflammation and triggered the formation of new villi and other tissues.
Dr Paolo De Coppi, UCL Institute of Child Health, who led the study, says: "Stem cells are well known to have anti-inflammatory effects, but this is the first time we have shown that amniotic fluid stem cells can repair damage in the intestines. In the future, we hope that stem cells found in amniotic fluid will be used more widely in therapies and in research, particularly for the treatment of congenital malformations. Although amniotic fluid stem cells have a more limited capacity to develop into different cell types than those from the embryo, they nevertheless show promise for many parts of the body including the liver, muscle and nervous system."
Dr Simon Eaton, UCL Institute of Child Health and co-author of the study, adds: "Once we have a better understanding of the mechanisms by which AFS cells trigger repair and restore function in the gut, we can start to explore new cellular or pharmacological therapies for infants with necrotizing enterocolitis."
Source:University College London 

eHealth Access launches ‘Healthy Pregnancy Plan’ for would be Mums in Hyderabad

eHealth Access Pvt. Ltd, a Hyderabad based healthcare company, has launched first of its kind ‘Healthy Pregnancy Plan’ to provide supplemental support to pregnant women. The plan is aimed at assisting expectant mothers with access to specialist doctors at any given point in time, during and post pregnancy.
Providing a holistic support from conception to post delivery, the plan is designed to offer unlimited online and telephonic consultations with gynaecologists, psychologists, dieticians, paediatricians and general physicians. To avail the specialist advises the company has also launched a free pregnancy helpline number 040-66588039. Anyone who wishes to get clarification about any pregnancy related queries can dial the number and can avail free initial consultation and early healthcare advices from a panel of qualified doctors.
For working women, with their busy schedule, it is easy to forget about appointments and what to expect during the day. The ‘Healthy Pregnancy Plan’ is apt for working women who want to be aware of everything they ought to know during pregnancy.
The new customized pregnancy plan basically addresses concerns of pregnant women like early pregnancy questions, mood swings, diet, pregnancy complications, labour and birth, questions after childbirth etc. “Pregnant women need expert advice from specialists along-with advice from their primary gynaecologists. With our initiative, now expectant mothers and their well wishers can reach all specialists required for a healthy pregnancy through our customized ‘Healthy Pregnancy Plan’ at their convenience,” said S Jayadeep Reddy, MD & CEO, eHealth Access.
With a 24*7 access and unlimited consultation by gynaecologists, dieticians, psychologists, general physicians and others, eHealth Access has designed its system to provide any time help through multiple channels like phone, chat, Q&A and share offline health content on nutrition, pregnancy care, yoga and relaxation techniques, balancing work pressure and pregnancy, diet, emotional health, etc. one can also opt for SMS feature for weekly and monthly doctor check-ups, tests and other reminders. Online health records are also maintained to manage the trends and reduce pregnancy issues and concerns.
eHealth Access’s main objective is to develop a new healthcare ecosystem through advanced telemedicine technology and provide easy, quickly accessible, cost effective and high quality healthcare support to the general public.


Adults Who Experience Stroke Before Age 50 Have Higher Risk of Death Over Long-Term: Study

According to a study, in an examination of long-term mortality after stroke, adults 50 years of age and younger who experienced a stroke had a significantly higher risk of death in the following 20 years compared with the general population. The study can be found in the March 20 issue of JAMA."Stroke is one of the leading causes of mortality, with an annual 6 million fatal events worldwide. Stroke mainly affects elderly people, yet approximately 10 percent of strokes occur in patients younger than 50 years. Despite this considerable proportion, only limited data exist on long-term prognosis after stroke in adults aged 18 through 50 years. It is exactly this long-term prognosis that is particularly important in adults in these ages, given that they have a long life expectancy during a demanding time of life in which they are beginning their families and building their careers," according to background information in the article. 
Loes C. A. Rutten-Jacobs, M.Sc., of Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a study to investigate long-term mortality and cause of death after first acute stroke among adults 18 through 50 years of age and to compare this with nationwide age- and sex-matched mortality rates. The study included adults with transient ischemic attack (TIA), ischemic stroke, or hemorrhagic stroke admitted to a medical center between January 1980 and November 2010. The survival status of 959 patients with a first-ever TIA (n=262), ischemic stroke (n =606), or intracerebral hemorrhage (n=91) was assessed as of November 1, 2012. Average follow-up duration was 11.1 years. Observed mortality was compared with the expected mortality, derived from mortality rates in the general population with similar age, sex, and calendar-year characteristics. 
During the follow-up period, 192 patients (20.0 percent) had died. The researchers found that the cumulative 20-year mortality risk was 24.9 percent for patients with TIA; 26.8 percent for patients with ischemic stroke; and 13.7 percent for patients with ICH. Analysis of the data indicated that after surviving the first 30 days after ischemic stroke, the cumulative mortality was increased compared with expected based on nationwide population mortality data. "This mortality remained at this higher level even in the second and third decade after young [18-50 years of age] stroke. In patients who survived the first 30 days after an ICH, mortality gradually coincided with that expected." 
The cumulative 20-year mortality for ischemic stroke among 30-day survivors was higher in men than in women (33.7 percent vs. 19.8 percent). 
The authors point out that their study showed an excess in mortality compared with the general population (in which half of deaths were attributable to a vascular cause), even decades after stroke. "This may suggest that the underlying (vascular) disease that caused the stroke at relatively young age continues to put these patients at an increased risk for vascular disease throughout their lives. It may also be noted that risk factors indicated in the study group, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, seem likely to confer risk as well." 
"Although data are currently lacking, the observation of long-term increased risk for vascular disease could have important implications for the implementation of secondary prevention (both medical and lifestyle) treatment strategies. Future studies should address the role of this stringent implementation in these patients with young stroke."



Genetic Engineering Technique Used to Disrupt Genetic Code in Mosquitoes

 Genetic Engineering Technique Used to Disrupt Genetic Code in MosquitoesResearcher at Virginia Tech had successfully changed the eye color in mosquitoes using a gene disruption technique. This technique could be used in future to control the transmission of diseases like dengue fever by disruption the specific genes of the mosquitoes.Scientists designed a pair protein of the type transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) to specifically target the DNA. Zach Adelman and his team had used the proteins to disrupt the expression of the specific gene responsible to eye color of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. 
Researchers had injected the designed proteins into the germ cells during the early stages of development of mosquitoes. The proteins had modified the genetic code for eye color expression and hence the next generation of mosquitoes was born with lighter eye color. 
The authors opine the once the genes responsible for virus transmission is identified, it can be genetically changed and wiped out from passing down to future generation of mosquitoes. This could help control transmission of diseases like dengue. 



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