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, 21 December 2013

Purple Potatoes Pack Mega Antioxidants Compared to White-Fleshed Potatoes

purple_potatoesMost of us are used to seeing and eating the typical white or yellow fleshed potatoes. You may even eat sweet potatoes on a regular basis and so you might be accustomed to orange as well. But purple potatoes are certainly not as popular, although given the deep rich color of these potatoes, more of us should be familiar with these potatoes for the powerful nutrients they pack.
Native to South America, purple potatoes got their name due to their deep purple skin and flesh. There are several types of the purple potato including the Purple Majesty, Purple Viking and Purple Peruvian varieties. Purple potatoes are rich in antioxidant phytochemicals and studies show that purple potatoes can aid in lowering blood pressure.
As with any fruit or vegetable, the deep rich colors they offer tell us how nutrient dense they are. When choosing which vegetables to add to our diet, a mix of colors is always a good rule of thumb to be sure we are getting a variety of nutrients to meet our bodies needs. Purple potatoes follow right along with this concept as the purple characteristic tell us that they are rich in a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin. Coming from the flavonoid family of antioxidants, anthocyanin is best known for boosting the immune system and fighting cancer. You can also find this antioxidant in blueberries and pomegranates.
Another great benefit to anthocyanin is its ability to protect the integrity and structure of DNA and encourage the production of cytokines which are key in promoting proper immune response. If that isn’t enough, this powerful antioxidant also has anti-inflammatory properties, helps to protect the health and integrity of the capillaries and strengthens membranes. It may also play a role in regulating estrogenic activity which helps to lower the risk of hormone-related disease.

Lowering Blood Pressure

A study presented at the 2012 American Chemical Society National Meeting in Denver, Colorado showed that consuming purple potatoes lowered the blood pressure of the subjects who were eating them compared to subjects that were not. The effects on blood pressure are likely associated with the potatoes therapeutic effect on the capillaries and blood vessels as previously mentioned. It is also likely that purple potato’s feature a high concentration of another phytochemical called chlorogenic acid which has been linked to lowering blood pressure in mice.

Flavour & Cooking

Many of us love white potatoes and are accustomed to the texture and flavor they offer. Does the purple potato trade off any flavor or texture for the nutrient density? Not at all! The purple potato tastes very much like the standard white-fleshed potatoes and is said to be slightly creamier in texture.
When cooking purple potatoes, as with any other potatoes, try to keep the skin on and remember to cook them in the healthiest ways possible. keeping the skin on helps to keep moisture in the potato and is packed full of nutrients. The skin of the purple potato is rich in vitamin C and contains a lot of the polyphenols and potassium that makes it so beneficial. Baking and steaming are often the best methods of preparation and good clean oils like coconut oil are recommended if you are frying. Then again, you can always just take a bite straight out of one of these much like you would if you were eating an apple!

The Sour Facts About Milk: What Every Parent Needs To Know

milkDid you know that we are the only animal that consumes the milk of another? Doesn’t seem so natural, does it? A large majority of Earth’s population is lactose intolerant for a reason. Milk has been making its way through the stages of truth for a number of years now. What’s worse is that the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) in partnership with the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is currently requesting a modification of the standards for milk and other dairy products. They are petitioning to allow the use of non nutritive sweeteners like aspartame to be added to dairy products.
I recently came across this article that was posted on, it was written by John Pierre, a fitness and nutrition expert. We don’t usually re-post articles from another website, but I thought this was a well informed, well written and important article that people might be interested in because it is so ever present in many peoples lives . Not to mention Collective Evolution has written multiple articles about this topic ourselves. Hopefully it inspires you to look into it a little more and further your research about milk and dairy products.
Over the past 40 years, the dairy industry has poured billions of dollars into advertising campaigns designed to lure individuals into consuming their products. Their frosted fingers have steadily tightened their steely grip of influence over educational institutions, retirement homes, hospitals, and doctor’s offices permeating magazines, books, journals, and commercials with biased information that promotes their agenda. After years of mind-numbing “mustaches” of manipulation, the public has been led to believe that dairy products are a natural and essential part of the human diet. However, this is far from the truth.
Like all female mammals (including humans) who produce milk for their young, a female cow secretes milk that is intended to nurse her baby calf for about one year. This fatty hormonal secretion (containing over 60 hormones and growth factors) is designed to take her 65 pound newborn calf and turn him into a 700-pound cow in less than one year — quite a feat!
During pregnancy, a cow’s estrogen level skyrockets over 30 times higher than when she’s not carrying a calf. Since today’s factory dairies pump milk from female cows continually to increase profits, higher hormone levels (both naturally occurring and those created by agribusiness) are found in dairy milk, which also happens to be disastrously high in fat; a critical factor further exacerbating increased estrogen levels in humans.
When children are handed this hormonal cocktail masquerading as a magical health elixir, their undeveloped bodies are flooded with milk’s massive amount of estrogen, leading to an epidemic of precocious puberty. Additionally, children end up consuming sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics in every glass of milk.A cow’s udders can become unnaturally distended from being forced to produce thousands of extra gallons of milk per year, making them drag on the ground. Most concrete dairy lots are paved with piles of bacteria-laden manure. The fecal matter contaminates her udders, causing infections (mastitis), and is one of the reasons antibiotics are routinely administered to dairy cows.Another dangerous constituent in cow milk is insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). When humans consume this hormone, their IGF-1 levels also increase, accounting for the “growth” effects of cow’s milk. Unfortunately, if breast cancer cells or prostate cancer cells are exposed to IGF-1, they proliferate like weeds, leading to disease at an alarming rate. Curiously, this critical information is never included in dairy promotional literature.Since the beginning of time, countless cultures have thrived without a drop of “ivory syrup.” How did the native populations of Hawaii survive without cow milk before the introduction of cattle in 1793? The same way that native people of Mexico did before cattle was introduced in 1521. Many people around the world have never seen a cow, let alone drank her hormonal secretions. Large populations worldwide have been flourishing without bovine milk for eons. Consuming cow milk is highly unnatural; there is no animal in nature (other than humans) that drinks the milk of another species naturally. Giraffes don’t hound lactating goats for a sip of milk, and horses don’t run to nurse on pigs’ teats; the mere thought seems ludicrous.Leading pediatricians such as Dr. Benjamin Spock (also an influential and best-selling author of parenting books) and Dr. Jay Gordon have been strong proponents of a dairy-free diet for children. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a non-profit organization whose members include 150,000 health professionals, has always been adamantly opposed to cow milk consumption.When the Journal of Clinical Nutrition surveyed all accredited medical schools in the US in 2006 about their nutritional curriculum, they found that of the responding 106 schools, on average, medical students received close to 24 hours of nutrition education. Some received none. Their conclusion was that the amount of nutrition education in medical schools was “inadequate.” That’s quite an understatement. A hair dresser receives more training before cutting clients’ hair professionally, yet parents are taking advice from individuals with hardly any unbiased nutritional education?Medical schools are highly influenced by the agribusiness industry. Agribusiness continues to target pediatricians offices with marketing campaigns designed to push their highly manipulative ideology, so it’s hardly surprising that many well-meaning pediatricians are ill informed about the dangers of dairy products. Expecting to receive meaningful, objective, and impartial nutritional advice in an environment influenced by dairy and agribusiness interests leads to predictable recommendations to consume dairy at all health costs.Thankfully, many parents are waking up to the truth about dairy products and seeking healthier alternatives. Rice, almond, hemp, and coconut milks are great alternatives. These can be easily enjoyed with whole grain cereals, oatmeal, and creamy soups. One of my favorite methods of boosting kids’ (and adults’) nutrient consumption is to use nut or rice milks in smoothies; adding sweet, fresh, juicy whole fruits and greens such as kale, spinach, or leafy lettuce, and blending them for a tasty drink. Leafy greens are better sources of minerals than dairy products. The dietary fiber found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans also assists with escorting estrogen out of the body. Many greens contain not just generous amounts of calcium, but additional nutrients critical for building bone health, such as magnesium, boron and vitamin C. Being physically active is also important for building bones, and is one more reason to get the kids off the couch and on the playground.Just as no loving parent would allow her small child to play on busy highways, dairy products should be approached with extreme caution given the amount of information readily available about their dangers. As parents, we have the responsibility to research and educate ourselves about the food choices we offer our children. They count on us wholeheartedly for looking out for their best interests. Helping children avoid dairy products is one of the most loving, caring, and responsible actions a parent can take for their child, themselves, and for building a healthier world.
- See more at:

Why Chestnuts Should Be A Part Of Your Regular Diet

It happens every year, November rolls around and we immediately get bombarded with the Christmas season. For some, the lights, decorations and extended store hours marks the beginning of their happiest time of the year, while for others it can be found as dreaded and/ or annoying. Why am I talking about Christmas in an article about how chestnuts should become a part of your regular diet? Because for many -due in large part to the infamous ‘The Christmas Song’ -chestnuts and Christmas go hand in hand 
Whether or not this common correlation applies in your life, here is why chestnuts should get some serious consideration to become a part of your diet all year round:
GREAT SOURCE OF DIETARY FIBREAt 8.1 grams per 100 gram serving chestnuts are an excellent source of healthy dietary fiber. Insoluble dietary fiber helps to prevent constipation and reduces the risk of other intestinal deficiencies by creating bulk within your stool -which urges the body to pass it quicker. Most nuts are a great source of insoluble dietary fiber and chestnuts are no exception to that. Chestnuts however outperform many of their fellow nuts in fiber content per 100 grams, including walnuts, pecans and pistachios -making them an optimal choice.
SURPRISING SOURCE OF VITAMIN CWhen we think of sources of Vitamin C traditionally many of us have citrus fruits such as orange and grapefruit as well as certain vegetables such as brussels sprouts come to mind,  however chestnuts are also a powerful source of the vitamin used to prevent and fight disease. Chestnuts offer approximately 43 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams, a pretty respectable figure given that a medium size orange is packed with a comparable 70 mg.
PACKED WITH MINERALSChestnuts also happen to be packed with a number of minerals, including but not limited to: calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. Many of these minerals, such as iron, are best absorbed by a body that has sufficient Vitamin C levels making chestnuts in many ways self-sufficient since they manage to provide both.
GLUTEN FREEWith gluten free choices becoming both more apparent and necessary in the world today, chestnuts serve as a great option to add that nutty flavor to a gluten free dish without needing to strip away that classification. Other gluten free nuts include almonds and hazelnuts.
Chestnuts also serve as a great source of several of the b-complex vitamins including B6, folate, thiamine and riboflavin. A simple 3-ounce serving of chestnuts stands to provide 21% of the recommended daily value of B6, a vitamin traditionally received through bran, raw garlic, and particular dried herbs.
Whether chestnuts are made available to you throughout the holiday season or not, be sure to give them some serious consideration the next time you are at the supermarket. Personally I have found them for sale in both the bulk item section (raw) and also de-shelled and packaged in the snack isle -with particular brands carrying an organic option.

Cancer Therapy: Breakthrough of the Year

 Cancer Therapy: Breakthrough of the YearA new technique that fights cancer by programming the body's immune cells to fight cancer tumors is now named breakthrough of the year by the US journal Science.Immunotherapy has only worked for a small number of patients, and only in certain cancers, including melanoma and leukemia, but experts believe its promise is huge. 

"Oncologists, a grounded-in-reality bunch, say a corner has been turned and we won't be going back," said the journal Science. 
Research began in the late 1980s when French scientists discovered a receptor on T-cells, called CTLA-4, a molecule that turned out to play an important role in regulating the immune system. 

A decade later, a Texas researcher showed that blocking CTLA-4 in mice "could unleash T-cells against tumor cells in the animals, shrinking them dramatically," the journal said. 
More advances have followed. In the 1990s, a biologist in Japan discovered a molecule expressed in dying T-cells, called PD-1, which has also shown promise in the fight against cancer. 
As many as five big pharmaceutical companies are now on board with immunotherapy. A new drug made by Bristol Myers-Squibb was approved in 2011. Called ipilimumab, it costs $120,000 per treatment course. 
It's costly, and by no means a sure bet. Research in 2012 on a group of 300 people showed the drug shrunk tumors by half or more in 31 percent of patients with melanoma, 29 percent with kidney cancer and 17 percent with lung cancer. 
Research out this year on 1,800 people with melanoma who received ipilimumab, 22 percent were alive three years later. 
A related treatment called chimeric antigen receptor therapy, which involves modifying a patient's own T-cells to make them attack tumors, has succeeded in putting 45 of 75 people with leukemia in total remission, researchers said this year. 
One of those success stories is Emily Whitehead, now age eight. Last year she became the first pediatric patient to receive the experimental therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). 
"She is doing great. She is almost 20 months cancer free now. Her health has just been wonderful. She is completely back to normal, back to school full time," her mother, Kari, told AFP. 
Emily was at the brink of death, and after two relapses doctors admitted they had no options. Their hope was suddenly revived when her family learned about the experimental T-cell therapy and agreed to try it. 
"There just wasn't anything left for her," her mother said. "This treatment has just been amazing for Emily and for all the other families who were told the same thing." 
The journal Science and its publisher, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, pointed to other key achievements in its annual top 10 breakthroughs issue. 
They included: 

- A new generation of cheaper solar cells called Perovskite cells, which are gaining efficiency and are cheaper than traditional silicon cells. 

- Progress in growing lab versions of miniature human organs such as brains, kidneys and liver buds to better understand human disease. 

- Stem cells derived from cloned human embryos. 

- A better understanding of how sleep allows the brain to clean itself by expanding channels between neurons and allowing more cerebrospinal fluid to flow through. 

- The importance of microbes in the understanding of the body's overall health. 

- A new way of designing a vaccine using the structure of an antibody, cheered for its potential against a common childhood illness, respiratory syncytial virus. 

- The origin of cosmic rays was figured out after 100 years. It turns out they come from debris clouds left by supernovae, or exploding stars. 

The journal Nature also released its list of the top scientists of 2013. 

They included Russian meteorite hunter Viktor Grokhovsky, whose 30 years of expertise helped advance the study of a massive Chelyabinsk meteor that took astronomers by surprise when it crashed to Earth in February. 

Another was Chinese virologist Hualan Chen, who helped quell an outbreak of H7N9 bird flu in humans by rushing to collect samples, leading to the closure of risky poultry markets. She also published controversial research on engineered H1N1 and H5N1 flu hybrids that could pass between mammals.

Meditation Helps Overcome Addictions

 Meditation Helps Overcome AddictionsRehabilitation therapies coupling meditation-like practices have a higher success rate when it comes to helping people overcome addiction.This is the conclusion of a new survey of animal and human studies by a computer scientist who used a computational model of addiction, a literature review and an in silico experiment. 
The findings of the survey -- by computer scientist Yariv Levyof the University of Massachusetts Amherst, neuroscience researcher Jerrold Meyer, and computer scientist Andrew Barto -- has been published in the latest issue of the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry. 
"Our higher-level conclusion is that a treatment based on meditation-like techniques can be helpful as a supplement to help someone get out of addiction. We give scientific and mathematical arguments for this," said Levy, who was a doctoral student when he undertook the survey. 
According to Levy, the survey aimed to use learnings from existing animal and human studies to better understand addiction and seek new approaches to treatment. 
The researchers explored the allostatic theory, which describes changes in the brain's reward and anti-reward systems and reward set points as substance misuse progresses. They used two existing computational models, one pharmacological and a more behavioural-cognitive model for the study. 
The allostatic theory says that when someone takes a drug he or she stresses the reward system and it loses its equilibrium state. 
"We smoke one cigarette and go out, come back in again, and out with another cigarette, always trying to return to equilibrium," Levy says. 
"The reward system tries to change its structure with neural adaptations to get back to equilibrium. But if I continue to smoke, even with such adaptations, I can't make it back. Equilibrium is broken as long as I continue to smoke." 
As the reward system is stressed, the anti-reward system steps in and says, "I'll try to help," and the person enters what is known as an allostatic state. Other brain structures are affected by the addictive substance, impairing the addict's evaluation of drug use compared to other reinforcers, Levy said. 
To bind the two theories and test how they could work together in silico, the authors follow three virtual case studies, each representing a different trajectory of allostatic state during escalation of cigarette smoking. 
"This investigation provides formal arguments encouraging current rehabilitation therapies to include meditation-like practices along with pharmaceutical drugs and behavioural counseling," the authors wrote.

Source:journal Frontiers in Psychiatry. 


Friday, 20 December 2013

Wayne State cholesterol study shows algal extracts may counter effects of high fat diets

Health Enhancement Products, Inc. (OTC.BB:HEPI.OB – News), in conjunction with Wayne State University's Department of Nutrition and Food Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, announces the publication of a scientific article in the Journal of Nutrition & Metabolism, "ProAlgaZyme sub-fraction improves the lipoprotein profile of hypercholesterolemic hamsters, while inhibiting production of betaine, carnitine, and choline metabolites."
The paper describes the beneficial effects of the Company's proprietary algal culture in supporting healthy cholesterol balance. The fractions and isolates derived from the Company's proprietary algae culture "PAZ" (formerly referred to as "ProAlgaZyme") were shown to be a viable candidate for supporting healthy cholesterol balance, in sharp contrast to the control group. The project, led by Smiti Gupta, Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition and food science at Wayne State University, involved monitoring lipid metabolism in a widely accepted animal model for investigating human lipid metabolism. The scientific paper describes a follow-up study to the original research conducted by Gupta. In the previous study, published in 2012, the test group consumed algal-infused water while simultaneously consuming a high fat diet. The algal fractions and isolates were shown to have a preventative beneficial effect against the negative effects of the high-fat diet on the animal's plasma cholesterol levels. Specifically, the extracts significantly increased high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, aka "good" cholesterol), and reduced non-HDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) and the ratio of total cholesterol/HDL-C, despite the ongoing consumption of high fat food.
The test subjects in the recent study consumed a high fat diet for four weeks, at which point they became hypercholesterolemic (i.e. they had high plasma cholesterol levels.). Subsequently, the animals were given the extracts for 0 (untreated), 3, 7, 10, 14, and 21 days while still on the high fat diet. The results indicated that the PAZ extracts may be a useful option for improving the plasma cholesterol profile despite the hypercholesterolemic state induced by a high fat diet.
Specifically, "bad" cholesterol concentrations significantly decreased in all subjects consuming the PAZ extracts, compared to those who were not treated. Furthermore, increased levels of "good" cholesterol could be seen as early as Day Three for that same group. By Day 21, "good" cholesterol levels increased by 28% and "bad" cholesterol levels decreased by 30%.
Additionally, metabolomics analysis was conducted to analyze the concentration of certain metabolites (small molecules which are byproducts of normal metabolic functions) in the blood. Administering the PAZ extract correlated with significantly decreased levels of several metabolites that are independent predictors of increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
Gene expression analysis was also conducted, to get a deeper insight into the increase in plasma HDL-c levels. Thus the expression levels (mRNA) of proteins involved in HDL-c metabolism were evaluated. By Day Ten, subjects showed a threefold increase in the gene expression of APO A1, a major protein associated with the production of HDL particles, the "good" cholesterol which increased sixfold by Day 21.
"To put this in perspective, the benefit of raising HDL can be explained by examining how these "good" cholesterol particles function: They play a key role in removing excess cholesterol from cell storage and transporting that cholesterol to the liver for excretion from the body," said Amy Steffek, Ph.D., HEPI Director of Research & Development. "They also have other properties that promote and protect cardiovascular health, and serve as an independent predictor of cardiovascular risk. To simplify, one can lower risk of cardiovascular disease by increasing levels of HDL cholesterol. Given that cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the US and other industrialized nations, the effects of our algal extracts in improving "good" cholesterol, and therefore cardiovascular health, are significant and potentially wide-reaching. Whether the relationship between our bioactive extracts and increased HDL cholesterol is causal or correlative, the studies conducted show an improved metabolic state, despite the continuation of a high fat diet."
Source:Journal of Nutrition & Metabolism,

Adult stem cells found to suppress cancer while dormant

Researchers at UCLA's Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research have discovered a mechanism by which certain adult stem cells suppress their ability to initiate skin cancer during their dormant phase — an understanding that could be exploited for better cancer-prevention strategies.
The study, which was led by UCLA postdoctoral fellow Andrew White and William Lowry, an associate professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology who holds the Maria Rowena Ross Term Chair in Cell Biology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science, was published online Dec. 15 in the journal Nature Cell Biology.
Hair follicle stem cells, the tissue-specific adult stem cells that generate the hair follicles, are also the cells of origin for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, a common skin cancer. These stem cells cycle between periods of activation (during which they can grow) and quiescence (when they remain dormant).
Using mouse models, White and Lowry applied known cancer-causing genes to hair follicle stem cells and found that during their dormant phase, the cells could not be made to initiate skin cancer. Once they were in their active period, however, they began growing cancer.
"We found that this tumor suppression via adult stem cell quiescence was mediated by PTEN, a gene important in regulating the cell's response to signaling pathways," White said. "Therefore, stem cell quiescence is a novel form of tumor suppression in hair follicle stem cells, and PTEN must be present for the suppression to work."
Understanding cancer suppression through quiescence could better inform preventative strategies for certain patients, such as organ transplant recipients, who are particularly susceptible to squamous cell carcinoma, and for those taking the drug vemurafenib for melanoma, another type of skin cancer. The study also may reveal parallels between squamous cell carcinoma and other cancers in which stem cells have a quiescent phase.
Source: journal Nature Cell Biology.

Oushadi plans to raise production capacity of Aasavarishtam plant to 30 lakh litres from next year

Considering the huge demand for its products, Oushadhi, the government of Kerala owned company producing about 450 ayurvedic formulations, is planning to increase the production capacity of its Aasavarishtam plant to 30 lakh litres from the existing 10 lakh in next year.
To achieve the target, the production of Aasavarishtam (37 varieties of Arishtams)  will be shifted to a new facility which is under construction now. The total project cost including the new plant construction and technology upgradation is Rs.20 crore. The plant is scheduled to begin operation in February, 2014, said R R Shukhla, managing director of Oushadhi.
“The production increase is to meet the requirements of the government hospitals and dispensaries in Kerala and also the continually growing demand for Oushadhi products all over India. Oushadhi is the only supplier of medicines to the government health institutions in the state. Production capacity of Arishtams at the new plant is estimated to increase by approximately 30 lakh liters on commissioning the unit. The total investment in the plant will be Rs.20 crore, out of which Rs.5 crore were given by central ayush department and Rs.4 crore were funded by government of Kerala. Remaining Rs.11 crore is taken from company account,” Shukhla said in an interview with Pharmabiz in Thrissur.
For capacity increase, the company is upgrading the production technology with most modern machinery which is being set up. The new capacity upgradation project including the plant is called ‘Centre of Excellence for Ayurveda Pharmaceuticals’. According to Shukhla, thirty percent increase in the production of Arishtams is expected with the introduction of the new technology. Another advantage is that manual labour can be reduced with the opening of the new plant whose work was started 18 months ago and is expected to complete in another two months.
K Sasidharan, the general manager of Oushadhi, while interacting with Pharmabiz said one of the advantages of the introduction of new technology is that it will help to analyze and test the quality of the product stage wise. There are four stages of quality testing which can be carried out periodically. The aging process of the products can also be reduced. He said Kottakkal Arya Vaidyasala is using the same technology for production of more quantity.
Ayurvedic formulations including Arishtam, Thailam, Liquid Kashaayam, Lehyam and Ghrutham are manufactured at Oushadhi at present. According to Shukhla, the company is planning to use the modern technology to upgrade the production capacity of all varieties of drugs manufacturing at present at the unit. Now, an additional product, Bhasma, will be launched for commercial production along with Arishtams.
Regarding increase in the turnover, Shukhla said a 20 per cent increase in the turnover is expected next year after introduction of the modern plant. Last fiscal, the company’s turnover was Rs.70 crore. He said the only capacity shortage the company faces now is on tablet production which will be addressed within one year.


Ayurpark in Karnataka set to commence operations in January 2014

The much-delayed Ayurpark Healthcare Ltd, the Ayush cluster of Karnataka state funded by government of India, has missed several deadlines and is now likely to be commissioned by January next year.
The trial run of the Cluster will begin in January and the commercial operation will take another one month after the commissioning, said JSD Pani while speaking to Pharmabiz at the Oushadhakeralam seminar in Thrissur.
“The delay happened due to several technical reasons, but now we are seeking the advice of Sam Pitroda, the chairman of the National Innovation Council for the continuation of the work. We have sought an appointment with him for his technical advice to develop the cluster project. At any rate, we want to start our project without delaying further and expect that it can be done in January,” said Pani, who is also the president of Karnataka Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association.
Pani said Sam Pitroda’s advice would be a big support to the thriving ayurveda industry in Karnataka. “Keeping him in front we will continue our project and his advice would be useful for our second initiative of a Confederation for all Ayush clusters in the country. I have conveyed this idea to the Ayush department in New Delhi and got unreserved support  to proceed with the project. Formation of Confederation of clusters is meant for the overall development of Ayurveda and other Indian systems of medicine in India,” he said.
According to him the Confederation of clusters will work to create and sustain an environment conducive to the growth of ayurveda and other traditional medicines in India by mutually cooperating with one another for assistance and advice. For example, he said Ayurpark has no toxicology lab, but they will do the testing in Care Keralam, the Cluster unit in Kerala. Similarly, each unit can lend its services to other units in a mutually cooperative manner. All the clusters in the country constitute facilities worth Rs. 150 crore.
Pani said government of India has sanctioned ten Ayush clusters for the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, two in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punchab, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and finally in Guwahati in Assam. But only two units, those in Kerala and Punchab, have started functioning.
Karnataka’s Ayurpark, a project of Rs. 20 crore, located at Malur Industrial area near Bangalore, has a membership strength of 56 manufacturing units out of the 198 companies in the state. It has all the modern technological facilities for tableting, encapsulation and making ointments and oral liquids. Once the operation of the cluster started, the ayurveda medicines will get a modern industry status through its presentation and for that the manufacturing process is to be modernized. Shortly, each drug in the traditional systems will have a data of clinical validation and it will come out through good manufacturing process and good packing.
He further said the cluster initiative will also attract new entrepreneurs to invest in Ayush industry. A new strategy will be presented to sensitize the inv
estors to stick on in the business, Pani explained.

‘Pregnancy Symptoms’ is the Top Searched Symptom Keyword of 2013 on Google

 ‘Pregnancy Symptoms’ is the Top Searched Symptom Keyword of 2013 on GoogleGoogle has come out with a new list of top-searched symptoms of 2013 which reveals that 'pregnancy symptoms' was searched the most by its users. 
The list indicated some of the most common illnesses as people continued to rely on the web information in lieu of human doctors.According to, pregnancy symptoms topped the list for the second year in a row followed by influenza and diabetes, while HIV symptoms featured on the sixth position. 

Google's most-searched symptoms in 2013 include: 

1. Pregnancy Symptoms 

2. Influenza Symptoms 

3. Diabetes Symptoms 

4. Anxiety Symptoms 

5. Thyroid Symptoms 

6. HIV Symptoms 

7. Mononucleosis Symptoms 

8. Lupus Symptoms 

9. Herpes Symptoms 

10. Pneumonia Symptoms 



Ancestor of Snakes, Lizards Switched Reproductive Modes Over the Time

 Ancestor of Snakes, Lizards Switched Reproductive Modes Over the TimeA new research revealed how the ancestors of snakes and lizards switched their reproductive mode back and forth over the time, and gave birth to the young rather than laying eggs."This is a very unusual and controversial finding, and a major overturn of an accepted school of thought," said Alex Pyron, Robert F. Griggs Assistant Professor of Biology in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at the George Washington University. "Before, researchers long assumed that the ancestor of snakes and lizards laid eggs, and that if a species switched to live birth, it never reverted back. We found this wasn't the case." 
The findings push researchers' understanding of the evolution of live birth a lot further back in time to 175 million years ago, showing that live birth has a much more ancient past as a strategy than previously believed. The findings are backed by several recent plesiosaur and mosasaur fossil discoveries and the fossil record of a few lizards from the Cretaceous Period, which had embryos in the mother and had live birth. 
Dr. Pyron analyzed an evolutionary tree containing all groups of squamates—the group that comprises lizards and snakes—which he and a team of researchers published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology earlier this year. The tree, which uses DNA sequencing technology to group thousands of lizards and snakes, includes all families and subfamilies and most genus and species groups. 
In total, about 115 groups of lizards and snakes, or about 2,000 species, have live birth. The other 8,000 species lay eggs—at least right now. 
Dr. Pyron is working next to analyze all tetrapods—a group comprised of animals with four legs, such as amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and turtles— to see if there are any new surprises about the evolution of their reproductive modes. He also wants to test the genetics at work behind the evolutionary switching of reproductive mode.
Source:BMC Evolutionary 


Plants Won't Be Able To Soak Up CO2 If Temperature Rises By 4 Degrees

The latest climate modelling suggests that the length of time carbon remains in vegetation during the global carbon cycle is the key "uncertainty" to predict how Earth's terrestrial plant life - and consequently almost all life - will respond to higher CO2 levels and global warming, suggest researchers.
Researchers say that extensive modelling shows a four degree temperature rise will be the threshold beyond which CO2 will start to increase more rapidly, as natural carbon 'sinks' of global vegetation become "saturated" and unable to sequester any more CO2 from the Earth's atmosphere. 
Carbon sinks are natural systems that drain and store CO2 from the atmosphere, with vegetation providing many of the key sinks that help chemically balance the world - such as the Amazon rainforest and the vast, circumpolar Boreal forest. 
Initially, higher atmospheric CO2 will encourage plant growth as more CO2 stimulates photosynthesis, say researchers. But the impact of a warmer world through drought will start to negate this natural balance until it reaches a saturation point. 
The modelling shows that global warming of four degrees will result in Earth's vegetation becoming "dominated" by negative impacts - such as 'moisture stress', when plant cells have too little water - on a global scale. 
Carbon-filled vegetation 'sinks' will likely become saturated at this point, they say, flat-lining further absorption of atmospheric CO2. Without such major natural CO2 drains, atmospheric carbon will start to increase more rapidly - driving further climate change. 
The ISI-MIP team used seven global vegetation models, including Hybrid - the model that Friend has been honing for fifteen years - and the latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) modelling. 
Source:The study has been published in a special issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Facebook Badge