Watch Online the Live Sessions of ISWWTA 2015 Rishikesh on Youtube.Visit:
Previous issues of AYUSH DARPAN in Hindi is now available online visit:

Search Engine

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Look Young With Citrus

You always wanted a glowing and radiant skin but did not know what to do? Well, here is a simple solution. Eat citrus fruits and add beauty to your skin. According to scientists, oranges and other citrus fruits can help you get the skin of your dreams. Topically apply citrus juices and get the sparkling skin, naturally!
 Citrus fruits have amazing antioxidant properties that protect the skin from daily damage and also long term wear and tear. Orange belongs to the family of citrus fruits and is filled with loads of nutritional compounds and healthy vitamins. Experts recommend people to consume lemons and oranges to get the natural supply of vitamin C. Vitamin C prevents bleeding from weak structures, infections, dyspepsia and also, helps to decrease your appetite. Vitamin C also helps in manufacturing collagen which helps in keeping the skin smooth, supple and youthful. These days; beauty is not a concern confined to women, men too are becoming more and more concerned about enhancing their looks. 

Follow some juicy lemony tips to have a radiant and glowing skin. 
 Take a glass of lukewarm water and squeeze few drops of lemon in it. Add a spoon of honey and have it early in the morning. This concoction helps in eliminating the toxins from your body and maintains the hydration level. 

 Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and one tablespoon of honey and apply as a cure for dry skin. Lemon juice is a good bleaching agent and honey gives nourishment to your skin. So the combination is effective in making your skin soft and supple. Apply the mixture on your skin for 10-12 minutes and then wash off with clean water. Follow the routine for a week and you will be delighted to see your skin radiant and glowing. 

Sour Lime: 
According to the experts, brightly colored citrus fruits can make you shimmer. Lemon, lime and oranges are capable of imparting lasting glow and radiance to your skin. Lemons are known to have bleaching properties and can lighten the complexion. Simply rub a peeled lemon on your skin for 2-3 minutes. Be gentle in your strokes and do not be harsh. Wash the face with water. 

Tangy Oranges: 
Rub either the peel of an orange or the juice on your skin. It extracts the excess oil from your face and is extremely beneficial for oily skin. Make a powder of the dried orange peel and add some yogurt to it. Apply this coarse paste on your face and leave it for 5-6 minutes and then lightly scrub. Later wash off it with lukewarm water. Your skin will looker brighter. 
Try to reap the benefits of citrus fruits to the maximum and shun the harmful chemicals in cosmetics. Remember natural products promise you results that last and also, they are safe. 


Friday, 19 July 2013

Watch Documentary:The Truth About Vitamins

Every year we spend £300 million on vitamin supplements, but do they actually do us any good? Some believe they offer the promise of preventing or even curing some of the world's biggest killers, such as heart disease and cancer. Others claim that taking large doses of some vitamins may in certain cases be harmful. So what are the facts?
Nearly 40 years ago, one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century and double Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling, revolutionised the way people thought about vitamins. He claimed that by taking huge doses of vitamin C you could prevent or even cure the common cold.
He predicted that if everybody followed his advice, the common cold could even be eradicated. Many scientists dismissed his theory as quackery, but the public loved it and it helped launch a huge industry. But the latest evidence shows the great man was mistaken. Vitamin C can help you once have got a cold, but for most people it does nothing to prevent you from catching one in the first place.
Even if large doses of vitamin C do not prevent the common cold, some claim that it can still offer a more profound benefit. It is one of a group of vitamins called anti-oxidants that some believe can prevent illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer's and heart disease.
In 2004, scientists in the United States claimed that people could be missing any of the potential benefits of taking one of the world's most popular anti-oxidant vitamin supplements, vitamin E, because their bodies might not be absorbing it. But our own investigation suggested that the American scientists' conclusion could be mistaken.
While most safety experts believe that vitamins C and E can be taken safely even in quite large doses, there is worrying evidence that one form of another common vitamin, vitamin A, could be linked to osteoporosis, a debilitating bone disease.
If the theory is right it means that a person's diet, or some supplements that they take every day to improve their health, could actually be slowly and silently weakening their bones.

Source:BBC Horizon

Microbes can influence evolution of their hosts

New evidence supporting the hologenome theory of evolution

  IMAGE: This is an illustration of the tree of life created in microbial culture.
You are not just yourself. You are also the thousands of microbes that you carry. In fact, they represent an invisible majority that may be more you than you realize.
These microscopic fellow travelers are collectively called the microbiome. Realization that every species of plant and animal is accompanied by a distinctive microbiome is old news. But evidence of the impact that these microbes have on their hosts continues to grow rapidly in areas ranging from brain development to digestion to defense against infection to producing bodily odors.
Now, contrary to current scientific understanding, it also appears that our microbial companions play an important role in evolution. A new study, published online on July 18 by the journal Science, has provided direct evidence that these microbes can contribute to the origin of new species by reducing the viability of hybrids produced between males and females of different species.
This study provides the strongest evidence to date for the controversial hologenomic theory of evolution, which proposes that the object of Darwin's natural selection is not just the individual organism as he proposed, but the organism plus its associated microbial community. (The hologenome encompasses the genome of the host and the genomes of its microscopic symbiotes.)
"It was a high-risk proposition. The expectation in the field was that the origin of species is principally driven by genetic changes in the nucleus. Our study demonstrates that both the nuclear genome and the microbiome must be considered in a unified framework of speciation," said Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Seth Bordenstein who performed the study with post-doctoral fellow Robert Brucker.
They conducted their research using three species of the jewel waspNasonia. These tiny, match-head sized wasps parasitize blowflies and other pest flies, which make them useful for biological control.
"The wasps have a microbiome of 96 different groups of microorganisms," said Brucker. Two of the species they used (N. giraulti and N. longicornis) only diverged about 400,000 years ago so they are closely related genetically. This closeness is also reflected in their microbiomes, which are quite similar. The third species (N. vitripennis), on the other hand, diverged about a million years ago so there are greater differences in both its genome and microbiome, he explained.
The mortality of hybrid offspring from the two closely related species was relatively low, about 8 percent, while the mortality rate of hybrid offspring between either of them and N. vitripennis was quite high, better than 90 percent, the researchers established.
"The microbiomes of viable hybrids looked extremely similar to those of their parents, but the microbiomes of those that did not survive looked chaotic and totally different," Brucker reported.
The researchers showed that the incompatibilities that were killing the hybrids had a microbial basis by raising the wasps in a microbe-free environment. They were surprised to find that the germ-free hybrids survived just as well as purebred larvae. But when they gave the germ-free hybrids gut microbes from regular hybrids, their survival rate plummeted.
"Our results move the controversy of hologenomic evolution from an idea to an observed phenomenon," said Bordenstein. "The question is no longer whether the hologenome exists, but how common it is?"
Source:Journal Science

If you're not looking for it, you probably won't see it

Brigham and Women's Hospital study examines sustained inattentional blindness in expert observers

Boston—If you were working on something at your computer and a gorilla floated across your computer screen, would you notice it? You would like to think yes, however, research shows that people often miss such events when engaged in a difficult task. This is a phenomenon known as inattentional blindness (IB). In a new study from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston, researchers have found that even expert searchers, operating in their domain of expertise, are vulnerable to inattentional blindness. This study published this week Psychological Science.
"When engaged in a demanding task, attention can act like a set of blinders, making it possible for stimuli to pass, undetected, right in front of our eyes," explained Trafton Drew, PhD, post-doctoral researcher at BWH and lead author on this study. "We found that even experts are vulnerable to this phenomenon."
The researchers asked 24 radiologists to perform a familiar lung nodule detection task. They examined five scans; each scan contained an average of 10 nodules. A gorilla, 48 times larger than the average nodule, was inserted in the last scan. The researchers found that 83 percent of radiologists did not report seeing the gorilla. With the help of Melissa Le-Hoa Vo, post-doctoral researcher at BWH, the researchers tracked the eye-movements of the radiologists and found that that the majority of those who missed the gorilla looked directly at it.
"The radiologists missed the gorillas not because they could not see them, but because the way their brains had framed what they were doing. They were looking for cancer nodules, not gorillas," explained Jeremy Wolfe, senior psychologist and director of the Visual Attention Laboratory at BWH. "This study helps illustrate that what we become focused on becomes the center of our world, and it shapes what we can and cannot see."
The researchers note that it would be a mistake to regard these results as an indictment of radiologists and stress that even this high level of expertise does not immunize against inherent attentional limitations of what we perceive. The results suggest that even expert searchers typically only see what they are looking for, and are often unaware of the unexpected. The researchers hope that the results will lead more expert searchers to recognize the important role of attention in determining what the searcher will find and what they may miss.
Source:Psychological Science.

Skipping Blood Pressure Medications Linked to Higher Risk of Stroke and Death

 Skipping Blood Pressure Medications Linked to Higher Risk of Stroke and DeathA new study published in the European Heart Journal warns that skipping blood pressure medication as directed by the physician significantly increases the risk of stroke and even death due to high blood pressure.The study was conducted by researchers at University of Helsinki in Finland who observed more than 73,000 adults over 30 years of age who had been diagnosed with hypertension between 1995 and 2007. The researchers recorded the number of prescriptions filled for the participants every year in order to keep track whether they were following their medication regimes. Around 2,100 people died due to stroke while more than 24,500 required hospitalization during the study period. The researchers found that people who did not follow their medication regimes were four times likely to die in their second year and had a three times greater risk of death in the tenth year compared to those who regularly took their medications. 
"Non-adherent patients have a greater risk even 10 years before they suffer a stroke. We have also found that there is a dose-response relationship, and the worse someone is at taking their antihypertensive therapy, the greater their risk. These results emphasize the importance of hypertensive [high blood pressure] patients taking their antihypertensive medications correctly in order to minimize their risk of serious complications such as fatal and non-fatal strokes", lead researcher Dr Kimmo Herttua said. 

Source:European Heart Journal


New Compound Outsmarts Cancer Tumors

 New Compound Outsmarts Cancer TumorsScientists have now discovered a way to fine-tune the activity of a cell's protein disposing machinery, which has amazing cancer-fighting effects.
This machinery, the proteasome, is deregulated in cancer. Agents called protease inhibitors are viewed as potential anti-cancer therapies, but they indiscriminately curb proteasome activity, which also includes protein recycling. Such strategy is effective to kill cells in aggressive blood cancers but leads to drug resistance and excessive toxicity in solid tumors. 


The new strategy may change that. By basically outsmarting the cell's machinery, compounds called allosteric regulators are able to fine-tune the proteasome actions instead of block them. "The result is that cell lines from solid tumors, which are resistant to existing therapy, are sensitive to these agents," said Pawel Osmulski, Ph.D., assistant professor of molecular medicine at the Health Science Center. He and Maria Gaczynska, Ph.D., associate professor of molecular medicine, co-authored a report in Molecular Pharmacology that provides a basis for this approach.
 'Highly beneficial' 
Deregulation of the proteasome's actions is noted in cancer or during aging and contributes to intracellular pathologies. "It is easy to envision that precise adjusting of the proteasome activities with therapeutic molecules would be highly beneficial in many human conditions," Dr. Osmulski said. 
Inhibition and activation 
"Allosteric regulators are better than proteasome-affecting agents used in clinics because they do not induce classical drug resistance," Dr. Gaczynska said. "They bind to sites on the proteasome molecule used by natural regulatory proteins. They are more specific and are not restricted to proteasome inhibition but can activate the proteasome under certain conditions." 
The new strategy was serendipitously found during experiments with rapamycin, a drug that in a highly publicized study by the UT Health Science Center's Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies was found to extend life span in mice. 
The Molecular Pharmacology report and follow-up studies describe the unexpected and highly desired effects that rapamycin and similar compounds elicit on the proteasome. Based on these studies, it would be possible to design a new line of proteasome regulators with anti-cancer properties, Drs. Osmulski and Gaczynska said. This work is in progress in their laboratory. Drs. Osmulski and Gaczynska are affiliated with the Barshop Institute and with the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. 
 Source: Molecular Pharmacology  

Expert Says Unusual Headaches may Indicate Rare Brain Disorder

An expert has suggested that headaches of abnormal nature should not be ignored as it may be an indication of a rare brain syndrome.With the highest number of incidences reported from Japan, Moya Moya syndrome narrows main arteries in the brain, thereby blocking the blood flow and causing severe blood clots. Headache is the primary and initial symptom of this rare disease. 
"Any headache of unusual manner should not be ignored and be taken into consideration as soon as possible," said R.P. Sengupta, chairman and managing director, Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata, that treated 25 cases of Moya Moya in the past three years. 
While the average count of people being affected by the disease in America is 0.08 per 100,000 people, Japan witnesses 0.35 per 100,000 people falling prey to Moya Moya on an average. 
Terming it "an enigma", Sengupta explained that the manner in which the disease develops is yet to be discovered. 
"The condition is believed to be hereditary, more common in women than in men," said Sengupta. 
The resulting blockage, if not treated, may lead to strokes, impairment and even death.


Female Mammals Capable of Determining the Sex of Their Offspring

In this age of technology, we tend to believe technology surpasses human capability. Research constantly disproves by brining to light certain biological processes and natural systems, which are way, better, accurate and also in many cases profitable. One such example being the ability of mammals to choose the sex of their offspring.A new breakthrough study conducted by a research team at Stanford University School of Medicine recently revealed how female mammals could manage to determine the sex of their offspring by controlling the sperm while it travels through her body. The study also claims that this mechanism could be responsible for mammals having an increased chance of having more grandchildren. 
The researchers took in breeding records of 40,000 mammals spread over a period of 90 years. Joseph Garner, Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine and senior author of the study explained, "This is one of the holy grails of modern evolutionary biology - finding the data which definitively show that when females choose the sex of their offspring, they are doing so strategically to produce more grandchildren." 
Careful analysis of three generations of more than 2,300 animals revealed a shocking discovery that the mammals were able to strategically choose to give birth to sons. Joseph Garner further added, "Amazingly, the female is somehow picking the sperm that will produce the sex that will serve her interests the most: The sperms are really just pawns in a game that plays out over generations." 
These findings seem to in some ways coincide with the theory proposed by scientists Dan Williard and Robert Trivers in 1973, who believed that mammals manipulated the sex of their offspring such as to maximize their reproductive success. 
Although the exact mechanism behind this manipulation is yet to be known correctly, it is speculated that the female mammals are able to control the 'male' and 'female' sperm within their bodies, which are differentiable owing to the difference in their shapes. The females are able to speed up or slow down the sperm they want to select. 
Source:The findings of this study are published in PLOS ONE. 

ICMR to set up advanced centre on zoonosis to review priorities & transmission of zoonotic diseases

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) will set up an advanced centre on zoonosis for reviewing constantly the priorities and transmission of zoonotic diseases.
ICMR and ICAR will set up the centre, as part of the joint programme already launched to strengthen the research programmes on zoonosis.  Various zoonotic diseases are important public health problems in India. Because of the proximity of the animals and humans, the country requires a well focused research programme to generate knowledge for public health interventions, according to the proposal.
The centre, planned to be set up during the current Five Year Plan period itself, will suggest implementation measures for control of zoonotic infections. Another centre being planned by the ICMR is a Centre for Advanced Research on Genetic Study of Lysosomal Storage Disorders.
“There are about 50 different types of storage disorders sharing common pathogenesis: a genetic defect in a specific lysosomal enzyme, receptor target, activator protein, membrane protein or transporter that causes accumulation of specific substrates. Though individually rare, the combined incidences are 1:5000 to 1:7000 and are likely to be higher for India due to high population rate and consanguineous marriages in many ethnic groups. Missed or delayed and erroneous diagnosis of storage disorders exert an enormous toll on affected patients, families and healthcare providers. Therefore, early and accurate diagnosis is essential to provide specific therapy before the development of irreversible injury,” according to the proposal.
“Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) once thought as incurable can now be treated with success like Gaucher, Pompe, Fabry and Niemann Pick B. However, it is very important to identify the disease at an early stage before it progresses to neurological impairment. It is thus proposed to set up an advanced centre which will cater to the needs of the patients from various parts of the country and carry out research, provide service including prenatal diagnosis and training opportunities to researchers interested in carrying out biochemical or molecular investigations in LSDs,” the proposal said.
A zoonosis is an infectious disease that is transmitted between species (sometimes by a vector) from animals other than humans to humans or from humans to other animals (the latter is sometimes called reverse zoonosis or anthroponosis).


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Polio Virus Shrinks Brain Tumor

Investigators of Duke University Medical Center Brain Tumor shrink modified virus. Doctors polio patient with hope is the terrifying polio virus as their ability - and kill cells to treat cancer. Duke University Medical Center has been experimenting with the virus especially 22 year old Stephanie list ------ diagnosed soft explosion - the most aggressive form of brain cancer that originally had surgery to remove a tumor in 2010. When he returned two years later doctors tried a different approach injected polio virus modified your brain and let the virus will work.
And then here. He was also treated as children. And how can barely see anything.
As consolation comes just reduced the tumor - which extends the size of the doctors of a modified virus is able to enter cancer cells and ---- but healthy brain tissue unharmed. And this worked for most people in the study of eight patients who received only two injection nonresponders. We have also shown promise in reducing prostate, pancreatic and melanoma - in the laboratory, but is not widely available in the short term.

For Details watch the News VIDEO

Failure to Diagnose Is No. 1 Reason for Suing Doctors

The most common reason patients give for suing their doctors is a delay or failure to diagnose a disease, such as cancer, a new study finds.The study — which reviewed information on medical malpractice claims against primary care doctors in the United States, Australia, France and Canada — found that between 26 and 63 percent of claims were related to missed diagnoses.The most frequently missed diseases, according to the claims, were cancer (particularly breast, colon, melanoma and lung cancers) and heart attacks in adults; and meningitis in children. The most common outcome for patients as a result of the alleged malpractice was death.The second most common reason for a lawsuit was medication errors, such as prescription-related errors or adverse drug reactions.The researchers emphasized that malpractice suits should not be conflated with actual medical errors — the majority of malpractice suits (about two-thirds in the United States) do not hold up in court.In addition, most patients who experience adverse events do not file medical malpractice claims, said study researcher Dr. Emma Wallace, of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, in Dublin.But understanding malpractice suits can help doctors identify situations that may result in adverse events for patients, as well as systems that can be put into place to help prevent errors from happening, said Dr. David Troxel, medical director at The Doctors Company, the largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer in the United States, located in Napa, Calif.Troxel cited heart attacks in women as an example of how suits regarding missed diagnoses led to greater awareness among doctors. Women are more likely to have "atypical" heart attack symptoms such as gastrointestinal problems, which differ from the classic signs of a heart attack of chest or arm pain, Troxel said."Part of that information came out of seeing that some claims in which [heart attacks] were being missed were in women," Troxel said. Doctors who reviewed these malpractice claims could then relay that information to other doctors through talks or in educational settings, he said."Ultimately [the process of analyzing malpractice claims] can contribute to improving the quality of medical practice," Troxel said.The new study may also help identify areas of medicine that may benefit from better risk management systems, such as computer systems that let doctors check what medications a patient is already taking before prescribing another drug, Wallace said.However, the threat of a lawsuit may cause doctors to overtreat patients — ordering tests that aren't really needed — which is often called "defensive medicine.""Physicians, once they become aware of the fact that they can be sued for not ordering a test, they may change their behavior," and order a test every time they see a patient with a particular symptom, Troxel said."There is a real cost to defensive medicine," Troxel said.
Source:The new study is published today (July 18) in the journal BMJ Open.

New surgical knife can instantly detect cancer

 Surgeons may have a new way to smoke out cancer.An experimental surgical knife can help surgeons make sure they've removed all the cancerous tissue, doctors reported Wednesday. Surgeons typically use knives that heat tissue as they cut, producing a sharp-smelling smoke. The new knife analyzes the smoke and can instantly signal whether the tissue is cancerous or healthy.Now surgeons have to send the tissue to a lab and wait for the results.Dr. Zoltan Takats of Imperial College London suspected the smoke produced during cancer surgery might contain some important cancer clues. So he designed a "smart" knife hooked up to a refrigerator-sized mass spectrometry device on wheels that analyzes the smoke from cauterizing tissue.The smoke picked up by the smart knife is compared to a library of smoke "signatures" from cancerous and non-cancerous tissues. Information appears on a monitor: green means the tissue is healthy, red means cancerous and yellow means unidentifiable.
To make sure they've removed the tumor, surgeons now send samples to a laboratory while the patient remains on the operating table. It can take about 30 minutes to get an answer in the best hospitals, but even then doctors cannot be entirely sure, so they often remove a bit more tissue than they think is strictly necessary.
If some cancerous cells remain, patients may need to have another surgery or undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
"(The new knife) looks fabulous," said Dr. Emma King, a head and neck cancer surgeon at Cancer Research U.K., who was not connected to the project. The smoke contains broken-up bits of tumor tissue and "it makes sense to look at it more carefully," she said.The new knife and its accompanying machines were made for about £250,000 ($380,000) but scientists said the price tag would likely drop if the technology is commercialized.The most common treatment for cancers involving solid tumors is removing them in surgery. In the U.K., one in five breast cancer patients who have surgery will need further operations to get rid of the tumor entirely.
Scientists tested the new knife at three hospitals between 2010 and 2012. Tissue samples were taken from 302 patients to create a database of which kinds of smoke contained cancers, including those of the brain, breast, colon, liver, lung and stomach.That was then used to analyze tumors from 91 patients; the smart knife correctly spotted cancer in every case. The study was published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The research was paid for by groups including Imperial College London and the Hungarian government.At a demonstration in London on Wednesday, doctors used the new knife — which resembles a fat white pen — to slice into slabs of pig's liver. Within minutes, the room was filled with an acrid-smelling smoke comparable to the fumes that would be produced during surgery on a human patient.
Takats said the knife would eventually be submitted for regulatory approval but that more studies were planned. He added the knife could also be used for other things like identifying tissues with bad blood supply and identifying the types of bacteria present.Some experts said the technology could help eliminate the guesswork for doctors operating on cancer patients. "Brain cancers are notorious for infiltrating into healthy brain tissue beyond what's visible to the surgeon," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. "If this can definitively tell doctors whether they've removed all the cancerous tissue, it would be very valuable," he said.
Still, Lichtenfeld said more trials were needed to prove the new knife would actually make a significant difference to patients. Early enthusiasm for new technologies hasn't always panned out, he said, citing the recent popularity of robotic surgery as an example.
"It expanded very rapidly but is now hitting some bumps along the road," he said.
Lichtenfeld said it's unclear whether more widespread use of the smart knife will actually help patients live longer and said studies should also look into whether the tool cuts down on patient's surgery times, their blood loss and rate of wound infections.
"This is a fascinating science and we need to adopt any technology that works to save patients," Lichtenfeld said. "But first we have to be sure that it works."

Obesity and asthma: Study finds a link in the genes

Genes linked to chronic inflammation in asthma may be more active in people who are obese, according to new research that uncovers several biological ties between obesity and asthma.“Our findings point the way to the management of asthma in the obese through simple weight reduction,” said first author Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Chief of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University at Buffalo.The research appeared online June 26 in the journal Obesity and involved two related studies: A comparative study between obese people and people of normal weights; and an experiment that looked at how various biological indicators — including the behavior of asthma-linked genes — changed when morbidly obese patients received gastric bypass surgery.In the comparative study, the scientists found that four genes associated with chronic inflammation in asthma were more active in obese and morbidly obese people, by more than 100 percent in some cases. The highest activity was found in the morbidly obese.This increased gene expression matters because it can cause white blood cells called mononuclear cells to produce far greater amounts of inflammatory factors like interleukin 4, LIGHT and lymphotoxinβ receptor which contribute to allergic inflammation and other abnormalities in the bronchial passages in asthma.The scientists also found higher concentrations of two asthma-related compounds in the plasma of obese and morbidly obese patients: MMP-9, which is associated with inflammation, and nitric oxide metabolites (NOM), which are an indicator of oxidative stress.Following gastric bypass surgery in morbidly obese diabetic patients, MMP-9 and NOM levels dropped, along with the expression of six asthma-related genes including the key factors, interleukin 4, LIGHT, lymphotoxinβ and interleukin 33 in parallel with weight loss and improvements in the status of their diabetes.“Ours is the first study to provide a mechanistic link between obesity and asthma through biological/immunological mechanisms,” Dandona said. “There has been, until now, no biological, mechanistic explanation other than the fact that obesity may raise the diaphragm and thus reduce lung volumes.”Importantly, the research established a connection between Type 2 diabetes, obesity and asthma based on biological mechanisms. This is important because obesity and Type 2 diabetes are associated with a more than 100 percent increase in the prevalence of asthma, Dandona said.
The comparative study included:
  • 22 patients of normal weights
  • 23 obese patients (11 with Type 2 diabetes, and the rest without)
  • and 15 morbidly obese patients with Type 2 diabetes.
The research team reported that obesity was associated with higher expression of asthma-linked genes and MMP-9 and NOM levels — whether or not patients had Type 2 diabetes.None of the research subjects had asthma, which is one of the strengths of the study, as it provides a level of assurance that the correlations the researchers saw were not a product of the disease itself.The next step, Dandona said, is to conduct clinical studies examining how weight loss affects asthma in patients who are obese.“We are embarking on this project now,” he said.Dandona is also the founder of the Diabetes and Endocrinology Center of Western New York, which is sponsored by the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Kaleida Health.Dandona’s partners on the study included colleagues from the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Kaleida Health; UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Sisters of Charity Hospital. His co-authors were: Husam Ghanim, PhD; Scott V. Monte, PharmD; Joseph A. Caruana, MD; Kelly Green; Sanaa Abuaysheh; Teekam Lohano, MD; Jerome Schentag, PharmD; Sandeep Dhindsa, MD; and Ajay Chaudhuri, MD.
Source:University at Buffalo

Good vibrations: Mediating mood through brain ultrasound

University of Arizona researchers have found in a recent study that ultrasound waves applied to specific areas of the brain appear able to alter patients' moods. The discovery has led the scientists to conduct further investigations with the hope that this technique could one day be used to treat conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Dr. Stuart Hameroff, professor emeritus of the UA's departments of anesthesiology and psychology and director of the UA's Center for Consciousness Studies, is lead author on the first clinical study of brain ultrasound, which was published in the journal Brain Stimulation.
Hameroff became interested in applying ultrasound to the human brain when he read about a study by colleague Jamie Tyler at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, who found physiological and behavioral effects in animals of ultrasound applied to the scalp, with the waves passing through the skull.
Hameroff knew that ultrasound vibrates in megahertz frequencies at about 10 million vibrations per second, and that microtubules, protein structures inside brain neurons linked to mood and consciousness, also resonate in megahertz frequencies. Hameroff proposed testing ultrasound treatment for mood on human brains.
"I said to my anesthesiology colleagues, 'we should try this on chronic pain patient volunteers.'" His colleagues respectfully suggested he try it on himself, first. Hameroff acquiesced.
After 15 seconds with an ultrasound transducer, a standard ultrasound imaging device, placed against his head, Hameroff felt no effect.
"I put it down and said, 'well, that's not going to work,'" he said. "And then about a minute later I started to feel like I'd had a martini."
His mood was elevated for the next hour or two, Hameroff said. Aware that his experience could be a placebo effect, an imagined effect derived from his expectation to feel a change, Hameroff set out to properly test the treatment with a clinical trial.
With research committee and hospital approval, and patient informed consent, Hameroff and his colleagues applied transcranial ultrasound to 31 chronic pain patients at The University of Arizona Medical Center-South Campus, in a double blind study in which neither doctor nor subject knew if the ultrasound machine had been switched on or off.
Patients reported improvements in mood for up to 40 minutes following treatment with brain ultrasound, compared with no difference in mood when the machine was switched off. The researchers confirmed the patients' subjective reports of increases in positive mood with a Visual Analog Mood Scale, or VAMS, a standardized objective mood scale often used in psychological studies."Encouraging!" Hameroff remarked. "We're referring to transcranial ultrasound as 'TUS,'" he added. "This was a pilot study that showed safety, and some efficacy, for clinical use of TUS," Hameroff said. "Because important structures called microtubules in all brain neurons vibrate in the ultrasound range, and help mediate mood and consciousness, TUS may benefit a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders."
The discovery may open the door to a possible range of new applications of ultrasound in medicine.
"We frequently use ultrasound in the operating room for imaging," said Hameroff. "It's safe as long as you avoid excessive exposure and heating."
The mechanical waves, harmless at low intensities, penetrate the body's tissues and bones, and an echo effect is used to generate images of anatomical structures such as fetuses in the womb, organs and blood vessels.
Additionally, the high-frequency vibrations of ultrasound, which far exceed the range of human hearing and are undetectable when passing through the body, may be more desirable than existing brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. Used to treat clinically depressed patients, TMS can have side effects including what some describe as an unpleasant sensation of magnetic waves moving through the head.
After finding promising preliminary results in chronic pain patients, Hameroff and his colleagues set out to discover whether transcranial ultrasound stimulation could improve mood in a larger group of healthy volunteer test subjects.
Jay Sanguinetti, a doctoral candidate in the department of psychology and his adviser John Allen, a UA distinguished professor of psychology, were intrigued by Hameroff's idea of testing ultrasound.
They conducted a followup study of ultrasound on UA psychology student volunteers, recording vital signs such as heart rate and breath rate, and narrowed down the optimum treatment to 2 megahertz for 30 seconds as the most likely to produce a positive mood change in patients.
"With 2 megahertz those who were stimulated with ultrasound reported feeling 'lighter,' or 'happier;' a little more attentive, a little more focused and a general increase in well-being," Sanguinetti said.
Allen and Sanguinetti then began a double blind clinical trial to verify the statistical significance of their findings and to rule out any possibility of a placebo effect in their patients. Results of the trials are being analyzed, Sanguinetti said.
"What we think is happening is that the ultrasound is making the neurons a little bit more likely to fire in the parts of the brain involved with mood," thus stimulating the brain's electrical activity and possibly leading to a change in how participants feel, Sanguinetti said.
The UA researchers are collaborating with the Silicon Valley-based company Neurotrek, which is developing a device that potentially could target specific regions of the brain with ultrasound bursts.
The UA researchers will work with a prototype of the Neurotrek device to test its efficacy and potential applications.
Said Sanguinetti: "The idea is that this device will be a wearable unit that noninvasively and safely interfaces with your brain using ultrasound to regulate neural activity."
Source:University of Arizona 

Chew Well to Get More Energy from Food You Eat, Says Study

 Chew Well to Get More Energy from Food You Eat, Says StudyA new study says that chew your food well to retain more energy from the food that we consume."Particle size has bioaccessibility of the energy of the food that is being consumed," Dr. Richard Mattes (CQ), professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, said. 
"The more you chew, the less is lost and more is retained in the body," he said. 
Each individual has their own chewing habits, he said, and although those are often difficult to change they should be considered when making energy food choices. 
The study found with fewer chews, the larger particles were eliminated by the body. 
With more chews, the smaller particles were more readily absorbed into the system.


Inst. of Wood Science confirms diabetes control with kokum on mice, plans trials on humans

Institute of Wood Science and Technology, Chemistry of Forest Produce Division, Bengaluru which comes under the umbrella of the Indian Council of Forest Research Education (ICFRE) has now proven data that Garcinia indica commonly  referred to as kokum is efficacious in controlling diabetes following its extensive animal study. The Institute is now in talks with the Union government funding agencies for its next round of research aid to take the study forward. In its next phase of research, the Institute is gearing up for the toxicity assessment and clinical trials on humans.
The research which was funded by its parent body ICFRE which is part of the Ministry of Environment & Forests had the Institute of Wood Science and Technology to rope in the Al Ameen Pharmacy College and the PES College of Pharmacy in Bengaluru to conduct the study at its laboratories.
Kokum or the Goa butter tree, also known as Mangosteen is used as an edible fat because it is nutritive and antiseptic.
In the animal study, kokum rind extract was used with different sequential extracts. The rind has antioxidant property.
For the initial study on mice, the researchers adopted the Alloxan model which is a diabetes inducing drug and then controlled with a another medication after which  Garcinia indica or kokum was administered. In an effort to validate further, the researchers also adopted the Streptozotocin model to verify and provide additional evidence on the reduction of sugar levels in mice with kokum fruit rind extract against the Alloxan model. Both the models demonstrated excellent results, Chandrashekar BS scientist, Chemistry of Forest Produce Division, Institute of Wood Science and Technology who led the study told Pharmabiz.
“We investigated whether Garcinia indica has anti-diabetic effect in type II diabetes mellitus. The type II diabetes was induced by STZ and Nicotinamide. Streptozotocin is well known to inducing high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. There were three stages of drug administration ranging from acute to chronic over a period of a week, 14 days and 21 days. The 21 day induced drug indicated a 50 percent in reduction of sugar levels which was a clear indication on the efficacy of kokum,” he added.
Now the Institute of Wood Science and Technology has completed the basic research and have the required data on the positive effect of Garcinia indica which is  used as antioxidant, anti-hyperlipidemic and anticancer. “But the anti diabetic activity of Garcinia indica had not been studied. Hence the present study was to evaluate anti diabetic activity of Garcinia indica. Now the government of India should allocate more funds for such research findings that would only benefit the scores of diabetes patients in the county who are on oral diabetic formulations and insulin. There is need to provide an economical and easily accessible source for diabetic control. Kokum is popular in the coastal areas especially the west coast where is used a coolant beverage and recommended as a digestive too,” said Chandrashekar.


Toll-like Receptor 4 Plays Vital Role in Neuroinflammation

New study suggests that Toll-like receptor 4 expressed in the central nervous system, especially in glial cells, plays a vital role in neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative conditions.Traditional theory suggests that neurons are injured by inflammatory factors released from glial cells and that neurons are the victims of neuroinflammation. However, it has recently been suggested that Toll-like receptor 4 is expressed by cerebral cortical neurons. Yae Hu and team from Medical School of Nantong University found that lipopolysaccharide participates in neuroinflammation by stimulating Toll-like receptor 4/nuclear factor-κB pathway in hippocampal neurons. 
Researchers believe that neurons may be both "passive victims" and "activators" of neuroinflammation. 

Source:These findings were published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 8, No. 16, 2013). 

Cherries Cure Muscle Pain, Reduce Skin Problems

Cherries contain high levels of anti-oxidants called anthocyanins. Cherry not only helps reduce blood uric-acid levels, it also cures muscle pain and slows down the process of ageing, say experts.On the National Cherry Day, Tuesday, shares health benefits of the fruit: 
Aid muscle recovery: According to a research, cherries contain anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce muscle pain, following rigorous exercise. A study by the Oregon Health and Science University in America also showed that athletes who drank cherry juice before a long-distance relay, experienced less muscle pain after the race than those who drank another fruit drink. 
Help you sleep: Cherries contain melatonin, a chemical our brain needs to regulate sleep, aid with jet lag, prevent memory loss and delay the ageing process. Scientists at the Northumbria University in Britain revealed that volunteers who drank cherry juice received a significant boost to their levels of melatonin. 
Reduce gout: Cherry juice helps reduce blood uric-acid levels and gout pain. The chemicals called anthocyanins in cherries reduce inflammation to ease joint pain as well as the effects of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Research by the Human Nutrition Research Center at the University of California showed that women who consumed 280 grams of tart cherries showed an overnight 15 percent reduction in uric acid levels. 
Good skin: Scientists from the Michigan State University in the US say that drinking just one glass of tart cherry juice every day slows down the ageing process. They have discovered that cherry has the highest antioxidant level of any fruit with 17 different antioxidant compounds present. 
Antioxidants help the body fight free radicals, which make us look old. Cherry juice is also recommended as an alternative treatment for other skin conditions including acne, rosacea and vulgaris. The juice is rich in vitamin A and its antibacterial properties remove toxins from the blood and fight bacteria trapped under the skin. 
A useful diuretic: Cherries are an extremely effective diuretic. Cherries have a reasonable potassium content and virtually no sodium. 

Sex booster: Cherry juice contains vitamins A and C, which boost libido in men and women. Vitamin A increases testosterone and oestrogen levels, while vitamin C boosts sexual appetite and increases men's semen volume. 

Lose Weight and Get Paid in Gold

 Lose Weight and Get Paid in GoldIn Dubai, people who shed pounds are being rewarded in gold under a new initiative aimed at fighting obesity, report newspapers."Your Weight in Gold" is the title of a campaign promising one gram of gold for every kilo shed, provided a minimum of two kilos (4.6 pounds) of weight are lost by August 16. 
The campaign coincides with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ends before mid-August. 
During Ramadan, the faithful refrain from eating, drinking and smoking between dawn and sunset. 
But many tend to tuck in heartily after dark, despite warnings that overindulgence can be bad for the health. 
The three campaign-winning losers will each receive a gold coin worth 20,000 dirhams ($5,449) through a lucky draw. Other weight losers will share gold coins worth 200,000 dirhams. 
Participants will be required to use scales installed in public parks, will receive guidance from dietitians and will have to pledge not to use unhealthy methods to lose the weight. 
Many Gulf countries are struggling to reduce the level of obesity among their populations.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Nano Drug Crosses Blood-Brain Tumor Barrier, Targets Brain Tumor Cells and Blood Vessels

  • The blood-brain barrier protects the brain from poisons but also prevents drugs from reaching brain tumors; innovative new treatments are needed.
  • This laboratory study shows that a nanotechnology drug called SapC-DOPS crosses that barrier and targets brain-tumor cells and retards growth of tumor blood vessels.
  • The findings also show how the agent targets tumor cells and recommend its further development as a novel treatment for glioblastoma.
<p>Balveen Kaur, PhD</p>
COLUMBUS, Ohio – An experimental drug in early development for aggressive brain tumors can cross the blood-brain tumor barrier, kill tumor cells and block the growth of tumor blood vessels, according to a study led by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).
The laboratory and animal study also shows how the agent, called SapC-DOPS, targets tumor cells and blood vessels. The findings support further development of the drug as a novel treatment for brain tumors.
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, with a median survival of about 15 months. A major obstacle to improving treatment for the 3,470 cases of the disease expected in the United States this year is the blood-brain barrier, the name given to the tight fit of cells that make up the blood vessels in the brain. That barrier protects the brain from toxins in the blood but also keeps drugs in the bloodstream from reaching brain tumors.
“Few drugs have the capacity to cross the tumor blood-brain barrier and specifically target tumor cells,” says principal investigator Balveen Kaur, PhD, associate professor of neurological surgery and chief of the Dardinger Laboratory of Neurosciences at the OSUCCC – James. “Our preclinical study indicates that SapC-DOPS does both and inhibits the growth of new tumor blood vessels, suggesting that this agent could one day be an important treatment for glioblastoma and other solid tumors.”
The findings were published in a recent issue of the journal Molecular Therapy.
SapC-DOPS (saposin-C dioleoylphosphatidylserine), is a nanovesicle drug that has shown activity in glioblastoma, pancreatic cancer and other solid tumors in preclinical studies. The nanovesicles fuse with tumor cells, causing them to self-destruct by apoptosis.
Key findings of the study, which used two brain-tumor models, include:
  • SapC-DOPS binds with exposed patches of the phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) on the surface of tumor cells;
  • Blocking PtdSer on cells inhibited tumor targeting;
  • SapC-DOPS strongly inhibited brain-tumor blood-vessel growth in cell and animal models, probably because these cells also have high levels of exposed PtdSer.
  • Hypoxic cells were sensitized to killing by SapC-DOPS.
“Based on our findings, we speculate that SapC-DOPS could have a synergistic effect when combined with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, both of which are known to increase the levels of exposed PtdSer on cancer cells,” Kaur says.
Funding from the NIH/National Cancer Institute (grants CA158372, CA136017, CA136017, F31CA171733) and a New Drug State Key Project grant (009ZX09102-205) helped support this research.
Other researchers involved in this study were Jeffrey Wojton, Haritha Mathsyaraja, Walter H. Meisen, Nicholas Denton, Chang-Hyuk Kwon and Michael C. Ostrowski of The Ohio State University; and Zhengtao Chu, Lionel M.L. Chow, Mary Palascak, Robert Franco, Tristan Bourdeau, Sherry Thornton and Xiaoyang Qi of the University of Cincinnati.
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only four centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials. The NCI recently rated Ohio State’s cancer program as “exceptional,” the highest rating given by NCI survey teams. As the cancer program’s 228-bed adult patient-care component, The James is a “Top Hospital” as named by the Leapfrog Group and one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S.News & World Report. 
Courtesy:Ohio State University 
Photo: Dr Balveen Kaur ,Ph.D. 

Facebook Badge