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Friday, 8 August 2014

Union govt issues advisories to State Disease Surveillance Units to ensure protection from Ebola virus

Union government has issued advisories to State Disease Surveillance Units to ensure protection from Ebola virus. The move is part of the threat perception for India, make certain that precautions and preventive measures are taken. State Disease Surveillance Units are alert for early detection and management of travel related cases reported from the community. The laboratory capacity is also strengthened at National Institute of Virology, Pune and National Centre for Disease Control, Delhi, in addition to neuro-virology lab at the NIMHANS, to diagnose this viral disease.

Karnataka health and family welfare department is on a preparedness mode. It has already identified the Nodal Officers and designate hospitals like the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases with isolation wards to respond to any possible cases.  The state’s neuro-virology lab at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences(NIMHANS) is fully equipped for diagnostic tests and disburse reports on a timely basis.

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union minister for health and family welfare said that the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa has now led India to keep an eye on the deadly disease through the Director General of Health Services, which is reviewing the situation.

Karnataka too is on a preparedness mode though not a single case is suspected so far. The Bangalore International Airport Authority has commenced the screening of passengers coming in from the West Africa region.

The Ministry of External Affairs has indicated that that there are about 4,700 Indians in Republic of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from where maximum cases are reported. Liberia has 300 personnel from the Indian Central Reserve Police Force, comprising largely women, as a part of the UN Peace keeping operations. Nigeria has a much larger presence of around 40,000 Indians.

The Ministry of Defence reports about 7,000 Indian troops deployed in the African continent, but not in the affected countries.

“While the risk of Ebola virus cases in India is low, preparedness measures are in place to deal with any untoward incident. If the situation worsens in the affected countries, there could be possibility of Indians returning,” said Dr Vardhan.

According to Dr V Ravi, registrar, NIMHANS and in charge of the National Influenza Surveillance Centre the state is vigilant about the Ebola virus.

Dr. Shashidhar Buggi, director, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, said that the facility which was the hub for treatment for the H1N1 virus in 2008 has already set aside 15 beds to accommodate patients if suspected of Ebola.

On August 4, 2014, the World Health Organization has reported 1603 cases including 887 deaths in West Africa from four countries: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. While the number of cases is 485, 468, 646 and 4 from these countries, the fatality is 358, 255, 273 and 1 respectively.

Ebola virus is a Filovirus with 5 distinct species and is not an airborne disease. Much of the current outbreak, has spread through human-to-human transmission. The incubation period of Ebola virus disease is 2-21 days, during which the affected persons are not infective.


UK Study Shows Promise for New Nerve Repair Technique

A multicenter study including University of Kentucky researchers found that a new nerve repair technique yields better results and fewer side effects than other existing techniques.

Traumatic nerve injuries are common, and when nerves are severed, they do not heal on their own and must be repaired surgically. Injuries that are not clean-cut – such as saw injuries, farm equipment injuries, and gunshot wounds – may result in a gap in the nerve.

To fill these gaps, surgeons have traditionally used two methods: a nerve autograft (bridging the gap with a patient's own nerve taken from elsewhere in the body), which leads to a nerve deficit at the donor site; or nerve conduits (synthetic tubes), which can cause foreign body reactions or infections.

The prospective, randomized study, conducted by UK Medical Director of Hand Surgery Service Dr. Brian Rinker and others, compared the nerve conduit to a newer technique called a nerve allograft. The nerve allograft uses human nerves harvested from cadavers. The nerves are processed to remove all cellular material, preserving their architecture while preventing disease transmission or allergic reactions.

Participants with nerve injuries were randomized into either conduit or allograft repair groups. Following the surgeries, independent blind observers performed standardized assessments at set time points to determine the degree of sensory or motor recovery.

The results of the study suggested that nerve allografts had more consistent results and produced better outcomes than nerve conduits, while avoiding the donor site morbidity of a nerve autograft.

Rinker, a principal investigator of the study, describes it as a "game-changer."

"Nerve grafting has remained relatively unchanged for nearly 100 years, and both of the existing nerve repair options had serious drawbacks," Rinker said. "Our study showed that the new technique processed nerve allograft ­– provides a better, more predictable and safer nerve gap repair compared to the previous techniques."

Rinker also noted that work is underway to engineer nerve allografts with growth factors which would guide and promote nerve regeneration, theoretically leading to even faster recoveries and better results.

Other medical centers participating in the trial included the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center in Indianapolis, Georgia Hand, Shoulder and Elbow in Atlanta, and the Curtis National Hand Center in Baltimore.

The study was funded by Axogen, Inc. Results were presented at the Annual Combined Meeting of the American Association for Hand Surgery, American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery, and the American Society of the Peripheral Nerve. Rinker's paper was voted Outstanding Paper of the Joint Session. 
Source:University of Kentucky

Eating Pistachio Nuts may Lower Body's Response to Stress of Everyday Life in Type 2 Diabetes

Among people with type 2 diabetes, eating pistachio nuts may reduce the body's response to the stresses of everyday life, reveals an investigation by Penn State researchers.
Just 150 of the nuts or three ounces a day resulted in people with Type 2 diabetes having more 'relaxed' and less narrower blood vessels
"In adults with diabetes, two servings of pistachios per day lowered vascular constriction during stress and improved neural control of the heart," said Sheila G. West, professor of biobehavioral health and nutritional sciences. "Although nuts are high in fat, they contain good fats, fiber, potassium and antioxidants. Given the high risk of heart disease in people with diabetes, nuts are an important component of a heart healthy diet in this population."

West and her colleagues investigated the effects of pistachios on responses to standardized stress tasks in patients with well-controlled Type 2 diabetes who were otherwise healthy. They used a randomized, crossover study design in which all meals were provided. 

Each of the diets contained the same number of calories. After two weeks on the typical American diet -- containing 36 percent fat and 12 percent saturated fats -- participants were randomized to one of two test diets. During the four-week test diets, participants ate only food supplied by the study. The researchers reported the results of this study in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association

Test diets included a standard heart-healthy diet -- 27 percent fat and 7 percent saturated fat -- and a diet containing two servings per day of pistachios -- about 3 ounces or 20 percent of calories from pistachio nuts. The typical research participant consumed about 150 pistachio nuts per day. 

The pistachio diet contained 33 percent fat and 7 percent saturated fat. Half of the nuts consumed each day were salted and half were unsalted. 

At the end of each four-week diet period, the researchers measured blood pressure and total peripheral vascular resistance at rest and during two stress tests -- a cold water challenge and a confusing mental arithmetic test. 

"After the pistachio diet, blood vessels remained more relaxed and open during the stress tests," West said. Although laboratory measurements of blood pressure were not affected by pistachios, real-world measures of blood pressure (measured by an automated monitor) were significantly lower after the pistachio diet. 

Katherine A. Sauder, former graduate student in biobehavioral health, conducted these measurements. "We found that systolic blood pressure during sleep was particularly affected by pistachios," she said. "Average sleep blood pressure was reduced by about 4 points and this would be expected to lower workload on the heart." 

The researchers found that the pistachio diet lowered vascular constriction during stress. When arteries are dilated, the load on the heart is reduced. The physical challenge involved immersing one hand into icy water for two minutes. 

"This cold stressor produces a large vascular constriction response in most people," said West. "In comparison with a low fat diet, the pistachio diet blunted that vascular response to stress." 

"The same pattern was seen when participants engaged in a challenging and confusing mental arithmetic task." Our participants still felt frustrated and angry during the math test," West noted. "The pistachio diet reduced their bodies' responses to stress, but nuts are not a cure for the emotional distress that we feel in our daily lives." Sauder added: "As in our last study of pistachios, we did not see lower blood pressure in the laboratory setting with this dose of nuts. However, we were surprised and pleased to see that 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure was lower after the pistachio diet." 

The researchers also recorded improvements in heart rate variability, a measure of how well the nervous system controls heart function. These data indicate that pistachios increased the activity of the vagus nerve, an important part of the parasympathetic nervous system that can be damaged with diabetes. 

"If sustained with longer term treatment, these improvements in sleep blood pressure, vascular response to stress and vagal control of the heart could reduce risk of heart disease in this high risk group," West said.
Source:Journal of the American Heart Association.


High Acidity Drinks can Cause Lifelong Damage

Parents are being warned of the dangers of soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks and other drinks high in acidity, which form part of a "triple-threat" of permanent damage to young people's teeth, by dental researchers at the University of Adelaide.


For the first time, researchers have been able to demonstrate that lifelong damage is caused by acidity to the teeth within the first 30 seconds of acid attack. 

The researchers say drinks high in acidity combined with night-time tooth grinding and reflux can cause major, irreversible damage to young people's teeth. 

"Dental erosion is an issue of growing concern in developed countries, and it is often only detected clinically after extensive tooth wear has occurred," says Dr Sarbin Ranjitkar, corresponding author of a paper on tooth enamel erosion published in the Journal of Dentistry

Dr Ranjitkar is a member of the University's Craniofacial Biology Research Group, which is part of the Centre for Orofacial Research and Learning. The research was conducted by School of Dentistry Honors student Chelsea Mann. 

"Such erosion can lead to a lifetime of compromised dental health that may require complex and extensive rehabilitation - but it is also preventable with minimal intervention," Dr Ranjitkar says. 

Dr Ranjitkar says the number of cases of tooth erosion from the consumption of acidic beverages is on the rise in children and young adults. 

"Often, children and adolescents grind their teeth at night, and they can have undiagnosed regurgitation or reflux, which brings with it acidity from the stomach. Combined with drinks high in acidity, this creates a triple threat to young people's teeth which can cause long-term damage," he says. 

Dr Ranjitkar says parents should minimize consumption of any kind of soft drinks, sports drink, fruit juice or acidic foods to their children. 

"Our research has shown that permanent damage to the tooth enamel will occur within the first 30 seconds of high acidity coming into contact with the teeth. This is an important finding and it suggests that such drinks are best avoided."
Source: University's Craniofacial Biology Research Group 

"If high acidity drinks are consumed, it is not simply a matter of having a child clean their teeth an hour or 30 minutes later and hoping they'll be okay - the damage is already done," he says. 

Dr Ranjitkar suggests children consume fresh fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. "Although fresh fruit is naturally acidic, it is a healthier option to fruit juice, which can have additional food acids in it." 
"The important thing to appreciate is that there is a balance between acids and host protection in a healthy mouth. Once that balance is shifted in favor of the acids, regardless of the type of acid, teeth become damaged," he says. 

Link Between Leukemia and Down Syndrome

Children affected by trisomy 21 or Down syndrome are 50 to 500 times more likely to develop leukemia than other kids.
 Link Between Leukemia and Down Syndrome A group of geneticists working in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) focused for many years on the genetic characteristics of Down syndrome. They have sequenced the exome, a specific part of our genome, in a cohort of patients affected both by Down Syndrome and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (DS-ALL), a type of cancer relative to the cells of the immune system in the bone marrow. 

They were able to sketch an outline of the "genetic identity card" of this disease. They found that RAS, an important oncogene in many cancers, is involved in the tumorigenesis of one third of DS-ALL cases. This work is being published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Communications
 Source: journal Nature Communications.

Should Ayurveda be taken more seriously? Ayurveda Scholars must have to watch this News Video


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Friendship With Colleagues Makes People Happier at Work

Nearly half of all professionals believe that friendships with colleagues make them happier at work, reveals a new survey.
 Friendship With Colleagues Makes People Happier at Work
According to the survey released by LinkedIn covering more than 11,500 full-time professionals around the world, 46 percent of professionals said that having friends at workplace made them happy, Enterprise Innovation reported. 

Nicole Williams, LinkedIn career expert said that creating an office culture that resonates across generations, roles and personalities is a critical factor in building a successful working environment. 

The study also found a generational divide when it comes to the choices professionals are willing to make to get ahead in the workplace, while nearly one in five (18 percennt) professionals report that friendships with colleagues affect their work performance by making them more competitive in their careers. 

It was also revealed that among millennials, 68 percent professionals would sacrifice a friendship with a colleague for a promotion, compared to 62 percent of baby boomers who would never consider it, while 50 percent felt motivated because of friendships at office and 45 percent of workers aged 55-65 said that friendships with colleagues have no bearing on their work performance. 

51 percent of professionals in Indonesia feel their closest colleagues understand them better than their friends, compared to only 9 percent of professionals in the United Kingdom who feel this same level of colleague camaraderie, while in India, one-third of professionals would even go as far as to say that their closest colleagues understand them better than their partners.


Survey Says 75 Percent IT Professionals Bullied at Work

75 percent Information technology (IT) professionals have admitted to being bullied at work, finds survey. 

The survey results were based on the responses given by 650 IT professionals, reported Enterprise Innovation.
While 80 percent of the professionals said that they have seen others being bullied at workplace, only 8 percent admitted to bullying others. Forty-five percent of the professionals also chose not to answer the question. 

A large group of people comprising 94 percent of the total said that they had suffered psychological abuse as opposed to 57 percent who reported verbal abuse. About eight percent reported physical abuse. 

In a majority of cases (74 percent), the IT professionals were bullied by their seniors. 

Sixty-seven percent of the professionals were bullied by an individual as opposed to 33 percent who were bullied by groups.
Source: Enterprise Innovation.


Better community participation, targeted immunisation to tackle hepatitis on war footing: Experts

United Way of Mumbai and AmeriCares India with support from Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation organised a panel discussion on the prevalence of hepatitis and need for community based interventions for its prevention in Mumbai recently. During the discussion, experts emphasized that it is very important to sensitise the people in the right manner. 
The panel discussion bears relevance considering the fact that more than 100,000 people die in India due to hepatitis more so as the disease is silent in nature which implies that it can sustain in the body without exhibiting symptoms. Awareness about its prevention is therefore required on an urgent basis.  

The situation is alarming taking into account that only 50 per cent of Maharashtra is covered under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). It was deliberated that the challenge of addressing hepatitis B and C can be done through information, education and communication for better community participation and targeted immunisation. Speaking on the occassion Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, Public Health Department, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai said, “Together hepatitis B and C affect 500 million and kill approximately 1 million people every year. This is indicative of insufficient awareness among people about the disease. NGOs such as United Way of Mumbai and AmeriCares India are helping us spread awareness among the people.” 

Under the Yuvroshni project, United Way of Mumbai has been able to address the challenge of increasing prevalence of hepatitis through targeting the high risk communities as well as the general population. The strategy adopted was medical interventions through testing, medical referral, follow up and support for treatment compliance and patient support activities.   

Speaking on the work done by United Way of Mumbai and AmeriCares India, Kanchana TK, director, Corporate Affairs, Philanthropy, Bristol-Myers Squibb said, “Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation is looking at partners who have the capacity to build sustainable models." Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation has given 18 grants of approximately Rs. 20 crore in the past five years for community outreach programmes and awareness programmes on hepatitis. It partners with NGOs and health organizations in India on projects to improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by type 2 diabetes and hepatitis B and C.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Jayanti Shukla, executive director, United Way of Mumbai said, “We have taken the help of the youth of the city to help us in our endeavor. Extensive awareness generation campaigns on occasions such as the World Hepatitis Day were carried on in slums across Mumbai. Our aim through these programmes was to improve the understanding of hepatitis B and C infections as serious infectious diseases.”

It was deliberated that hepatitis B and C are infected through parenteral route like blood transfusions and hence can be avoided and prevented whereas hepatitis A and E find their way through gastrointestinal route and therefore proper hygiene and food habits can prevent it. Says Dr Akash Shukla, hepatologist and professor at KEM Hospital, Mumbai, "There is a need to improve testing and screening facilities for which government should take steps to make it accessible to the public."   

United Way of Mumbai is a premier non-profit organization that endeavors to leverage corporate, employee and leadership talent for community development. The AmeriCares India Foundation is a public charitable trust that provides medical aid in India and in neighboring countries.


Caffeine intake associated with lower incidence of tinnitus

Researchers observe that women with a higher intake of caffeine had a lower incidence of unexplained ear ringing

Boston, MA – New research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) finds that higher caffeine intake is associated with lower rates of tinnitus, often described as a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear when there is no outside source of the sounds, in younger and middle-aged women. This research is published in the August issue of the American Journal of Medicine.
In this prospective study, which followed more than 65,000 women in the Nurses' Health Study II, researchers tracked self-reported results regarding lifestyle and medical history from these women, aged 30 to 44 years and without tinnitus in 1991. Information on self-reported tinnitus and date of onset was obtained from questionnaires returned in 2009, with cases defined as women who reported symptoms "a few days/week" or "daily." After 18 years of follow up, researchers identified 5,289 cases of reported incident tinnitus.
"We observed a significant inverse association between caffeine intake and the incidence of tinnitus among these women," said Gary Curhan, MD, ScD, senior author of the paper and a physician-researcher in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Specifically, researchers report that when compared with women with caffeine intake less than 150 milligrams/day (approximately one and a half 8-ounce cups of coffee), the incidence of reported tinnitus was 15 percent lower among those women who consumed 450 to 599 mg/day of caffeine. The majority of caffeine consumed among the women was from coffee and the results did not vary by age.
"The reason behind this observed association is unclear," said Curhan. "We know that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and previous research has demonstrated that caffeine has a direct effect on the inner ear in both bench science and animal studies. Researchers note that further evidence is needed to make any recommendations about whether the addition of caffeine would improve tinnitus symptoms.
Source:American Journal of Medicine

Cell mechanics may hold key to how cancer spreads and recurs

Cancer cells that break away from tumors to go looking for a new home may prefer to settle into a soft bed, according to new findings from researchers at the University of Illinois.

Some particularly enterprising cancer cells can cause a cancer to spread to other organs, called metastasis, or evade treatment to resurface after a patient is thought to be in remission. The Illinois team, along with colleagues in China, found that these so-called tumor-repopulating cells may lurk quietly in stiffer cellular environments, but thrive in a softer space. The results appear in the journal Nature Communications.

“What causes relapse is not clear,” said study leader Ning Wang. Wang is the Leonard C. and Mary Lou Hoeft Professor in Engineering and professor of mechanical science and engineering of the U. of I. “Why are there a few cells left that can come back stronger? We thought cancer cells may have some properties in common with stem cells, which allows them to metastasize to different tissues. Normally, if you take a liver cell and put it in your lung, it will die. But an undifferentiated cell will live.”

Two years ago, Wang’s group published a method for selecting tumor-repopulating cells (TRCs) from a culture. Thanks to this selection method, the researchers isolated and studied TRCs from melanoma, an aggressive skin cancer notorious for spreading and recurring, to see how the mechanical environment around the cells affected their ability to multiply and cause new tumors. 
The researchers grew the cells on gels of different stiffnesses – some very soft and some more firm, to mimic different types of tissues in the body. What they found surprised them.
The TRCs placed in very soft gels grew and multiplied, as expected. The cells placed on stiffer gels did not proliferate; however, they did not die, either – they became dormant. When the researchers later transferred the dormant TRCs to a soft gel, the cells “woke up” and began to multiply and spread. 
Wang speculates that these properties of dormancy and reawakening when the mechanical environment is more inviting may explain why soft tissues, such as the brain or lungs, are most vulnerable to metastasis.
“We have many different types of organs where solid tumors originate, but if you look at the metastasized sites, the majority are in soft tissues,” said Wang. “Brain, lung, liver and bone marrow, all soft. So it may not be coincidence. We need to do more research.”
Next, Wang and colleagues hope to tackle the question of what makes TRCs so resistant to drugs, a trait that makes recurrent cancer much harder to treat. Unlocking this puzzle may help doctors fight recurrent cancer, although Wang hopes that understanding how TRCs work can lead to treatments that prevent metastasis in the first place.
“The key issue in this paper is outlining the mechanisms that control how TRCs proliferate,” Wang said. “The importance of knowing these mechanisms is that we now have targets that we didn’t have before, specific targets for new types of drugs that will interfere with this renewal pathway. It could give us a new avenue for treatment and preventing relapse.”

Source:Nature Communications

Part of the brain stays 'youthful' into older age

At least one part of the human brain may be able to process information the same way in older age as it does in the prime of life, according to new research conducted at the University of Adelaide.
A study compared the ability of 60 older and younger people to respond to visual and non-visual stimuli in order to measure their "spatial attention" skills.
Spatial attention is critical for many aspects of life, from driving, to walking, to picking up and using objects.
"Our studies have found that older and younger adults perform in a similar way on a range of visual and non-visual tasks that measure spatial attention," says Dr Joanna Brooks, who conducted the study as a Visiting Research Fellow with the University of Adelaide's School of Psychology and the School of Medicine.
"Both younger (aged 18-38 years) and older (55-95 years) adults had the same responses for spatial attention tasks involving touch, sight or sound.
"In one task, participants were asked to feel wooden objects whilst blindfolded and decide where the middle of the object was – participants' judgements were significantly biased towards the left-hand side of the true object centre. This bias is subtle but highly consistent," Dr Brooks says.
"When we think of ageing, we think not just of the physical aspects but also the cognitive side of it, especially when it comes to issues such as reaction time, which is typically slower among older adults. However, our research suggests that certain types of cognitive systems in the right cerebral hemisphere – like spatial attention – are 'encapsulated' and may be protected from ageing," she says.
Dr Brooks, who is now a Research Fellow in Healthy Ageing based at the Australian National University, recently presented her results at the 12th International Cognitive Neuroscience Conference in Brisbane. Her project is part of an international collaboration with scientists at the University of Edinburgh and Queen Margaret University in Scotland to better understand spatial attention in the human brain.
"Our results challenge current models of cognitive ageing because they show that the right side of the brain remains dominant for spatial processing throughout the entire adult lifespan," Dr Brooks says. "We now need to better understand how and why some areas of the brain seem to be more affected by ageing than others."

Dr Brooks' research could also be helpful in better understanding how diseases such as Alzheimer's affect the brain.
Source:12th International Cognitive Neuroscience Conference

Largest cancer genetic analysis reveals new way of classifying cancer

Researchers with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have completed the largest, most diverse tumor genetic analysis ever conducted, revealing a new approach to classifying cancers. The work, led by researchers at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other TCGA sites, not only revamps traditional ideas of how cancers are diagnosed and treated, but could also have a profound impact on the future landscape of drug development.
"We found that one in 10 cancers analyzed in this study would be classified differently using this new approach," said Chuck Perou, PhD, professor of genetics and pathology, UNC Lineberger member and senior author of the paper, which appears online Aug. 7 in Cell. "That means that 10 percent of the patients might be better off getting a different therapy – that's huge."
Since 2006, much of the research has identified cancer as not a single disease, but many types and subtypes and has defined these disease types based on the tissue – breast, lung, colon, etc. – in which it originated. In this scenario, treatments were tailored to which tissue was affected, but questions have always existed because some treatments work, and fail for others, even when a single tissue type is tested.
In their work, TCGA researchers analyzed more than 3,500 tumors across 12 different tissue types to see how they compared to one another -- the largest data set of tumor genomics ever assembled, explained Katherine Hoadley, PhD, research assistant professor in genetics and lead author. They found that cancers are more likely to be genetically similar based on the type of cell in which the cancer originated, compared to the type of tissue in which it originated.
"In some cases, the cells in the tissue from which the tumor originates are the same," said Hoadley. "But in other cases, the tissue in which the cancer originates is made up of multiple types of cells that can each give rise to tumors. Understanding the cell in which the cancer originates appears to be very important in determining the subtype of a tumor and, in turn, how that tumor behaves and how it should be treated."
Perou and Hoadley explain that the new approach may also shift how cancer drugs are developed, focusing more on the development of drugs targeting larger groups of cancers with genomic similarities, as opposed to a single tumor type as they are currently developed.
One striking example of the genetic differences within a single tissue type is breast cancer. The breast, a highly complex organ with multiple types of cells, gives rise to multiple types of breast cancer; luminal A, luminal B, HER2-enriched and basal-like, which was previously known. In this analysis, the basal-like breast cancers looked more like ovarian cancer and cancers of a squamous-cell type origin, a type of cell that composes the lower-layer of a tissue, rather than other cancers that arise in the breast.
"This latest research further solidifies that basal-like breast cancer is an entirely unique disease and is completely distinct from other types of breast cancer," said Perou. In addition, bladder cancers were also quite diverse and might represent at least three different disease types that also showed differences in patient survival.
As part of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, a national network of researchers conducting clinical trials, UNC researchers are already testing the effectiveness of carboplatin – a common treatment for ovarian cancer – on top of standard of care chemotherapy for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients, of which 80 percent are the basal-like subtype. The results of this study (called CALGB40603) were just published on Aug. 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and showed a benefit of carboplatin in TNBC patients. This new clinical trial result suggests that there may be great value in comparing clinical results across tumor types for which this study highlights as having common genomic similarities.
As participants in TCGA, UNC Lineberger scientists have been involved in multiple individual tissue type studies including most recently an analysis of a comprehensive genomic profile of lung adenocarcinoma. Perou's seminal work in 2000 led to the first discovery of breast cancer as not one, but in fact, four distinct subtypes of disease. These most recent findings should continue to lay the groundwork for what could be the next generation of cancer diagnostics.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Turmeric Smoothie Recipe Makes A Delicious & Powerful Antioxidant

How would you like to start your day with an awesome antioxidant packed smoothie that has a ton of medicinal properties as well? This turmeric smoothie recipe is perfect for that.

The Benefits of Turmeric

turmericTurmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family. The average person may best recognize turmeric as a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine. The active compound curcumin is known to have a wide range of medicinal benefits including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumour, antibacterial, and antiviral activities. In India, turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for stomach and liver ailments. Turmeric can also be used topically to heal sores due to its antimicrobial properties.
Turmeric is also the liver’s favorite spice and helps boost liver detox. It does this by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens.Be sure to check how powerful turmeric can be in treating depression as well.

Turmeric Smoothie Recipe Ingredients:

For these ingredients, try and use organic as much as possible. Also try not to substitute actual milk for hemp or coconut milk. If you need, you can try almond milk as well.
  • 1 cup hemp or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple or mango chunks
  • 1 fresh banana
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (can be increased to 1 tsp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon maca (optional)
Add all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Try to drink this smoothie in the morning before you have anything to eat. It’s a solid way to start your day and pack your body full of antioxidants.
Source:Collective Evolution

10 Ways To Improve Your Digestion & The Importance Of Doing It

Your digestive system is so important for a number of reasons. Making sure you take care of it and are optimizing its health is something we should all be aware of.
digestionAs children many of us did not learn much more about digestion other than “chew before you swallow” and “don’t go swimming after you eat or you’ll get cramps and drown”. However digestion is much more complex than that and is a topic that often times gets overlooked in western medicine. Due to a lack of knowledge the vast majority of us have compromised digestive systems leading to the manifestation of many illnesses and symptoms.
Bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, stomach-aches, nausea, heartburn, and low energy are all signs and symptoms of problems in the digestive system. Most illness and disease actually begin from a dis-functioning digestive system. That is why we primarily focus on healing this system of the body. When your digestion begins working properly it will support the rest of the body to heal and restore itself.

3 Biggest Concerns

Three of the biggest concerns when it comes to a compromised digestive system are energy loss, the inability to properly absorb nutrients and a backed up lymphatic system.
If our colons are backed up then our digestive system is constantly using energy to try and work it through. Our lymphatic system then slows down because a large amount of the body’s waste leaves through the colon. This causes a back-up of toxins that are trying to leave the body and they begin to build throughout our cells (fat=backed up lymphatic system=stored toxins). When we are backed up and/or our intestinal flora isn’t balanced then we are not absorbing nutrients properly and all of our body parts, especially our organs, are not being adequately supported.
Do you see how it all ties together?

New Habits

In order to support the movement of waste exiting through the colon, rebuild our internal flora and thereby heal our digestive system, we must develop some new diet and lifestyle habits. Then the rest of our body has a chance to play catch up by healing and restoring itself back to a natural state of vibrancy.
By identifying your weaknesses in these upcoming aspects and focusing on improving them, your digestion will start to strengthen and your overall health will improve along with it.

10 Aspects Of Improving Digestion

1)   Whole Foods
Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added ingredients, such as sugar, salt, or fat. Nature produced these foods perfect the way they are. We should not need to alter our food before we eat it. Eating a diverse amount of properly proportioned whole foods will give you what you need to heal and to thrive.
2)   Hydration
Our colon needs adequate hydration in order to move the feces out the back-end. If you are not drinking enough water consistently on a daily basis then we suggest going back and reading previous articles about this topic because we stress this issue all the time. It is so fundamental on all levels to be drinking 3-6 liters of water a day depending on your situation.
3)   Movement/Exercise
Activity creates movement in the bowels and promotes the excretion of waste. In addition, large compound muscular exercises such as weight lifting or calisthenics can boost your digestive capacity for up to 24 hours. Get that body moving every single day. Sweating is important.
4)   Enough Rest/Sleep
Try not to eat a minimum of 2 hours before bed and definitely not past 9pm. This will reduce the amount of energy your body has to spend on digestion through the night. That energy can then be used to heal and work elsewhere in the body. When we do not let our bodies rest enough then we do not have sufficient energy to do elsewhere in the body, often leaving digestion as an after thought.
5)   Water Containing Foods
Ultimately raw water-containing fruits and vegetables are the easiest foods for our digestive system to digest, the highest in nutritional content and the most hydrating for our body. Although, if your intestinal flora and digestive enzymes are out of whack then you may need to eat more cooked veggies because you don’t have enough fire-power to digest raw, fibrous foods. The cooked veggies aren’t as high in life force or nutrition but will have to do for now. This is a fine balance and you are going to have to feel it out depending on the current condition of your body. Your stools are a good indicator of what foods you can or can’t digest.
6)   Sequential Eating and Food Combining
Our digestive system uses different types of enzymes to digest different types of foods. Some enzymes create a more alkaline environment and some create a more acidic environment. When we mis-combine certain food groups it creates a neutral state in our digestive system and foods do not properly digest. Simplified food combining: Do not combine starches and proteins, eat fruits on an empty stomach and alone (except greens), greens can go with anything.
7)   Simple Meals (Low # of Ingredients)
The less complex we eat, the less work our digestive system has to do sorting everything out. Eat as simple as you can. Again this is a transition process. Do your best and slowly transition away from heavy, complex, cooked meals.
8)   Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes
These are two supplements that we recommend to pretty much every client that walks through our doors. Our digestive systems have been so beat up over the years it usually takes supplementation to support healing. Probiotics and digestive enzymes are a must if you have any sort of digestive issues.
9)   Emotional Aspects of Digestion (Mental State)
Stress is the silent digestion destroyer. Before sitting down or standing to eat your meal it is a great idea to let our mind settle and slow everything down. Meditate, deep breathing or whatever you do to get as present as possible with your food is key. If we are in fight or flight mode then we will not digest our food properly. If we allow our body to enter rest and digest mode then we are ready to chow down.
10) Enemas and Colon-Hydrotherapy
Enemas have got a bad rap in the conventional health industry. Many people say it is too un-natural and others say it is damaging to the body. We have to look at the big picture here. Was eating processed food and junk our whole lives natural? No. So, sometimes we have to use un-natural processes to regain balance in the body. Also, what is more damaging in the long-term, a backed up toxic body or a light flow of water up your colon to get the waste moving on out. In our experience enemas do have their time and place and be very beneficial for re-gaining balance in the body as long as we don’t become dependent on them and are doing the other necessary aspects to improve our digestion.
Implement these aspects one by one and listen to your body. As always, we recommend seeking out support/ resources as the most efficient and most sustainable way to get results.
In our opinion the digestive system is the most important system in the body and should be a primary focus until balance is re-gained. Without an optimally functioning digestive system, total body healing can’t take place.
Remember, if you are green on the inside then you are clean on the inside!
Source:Collective Evolution

Patent Controller to issue revised “draft guidelines for examination of patent applications in field of pharmaceuticals” soon

The Indian Patent Controller will soon release the revised “draft guidelines for examination of patent applications in the field of pharmaceuticals” which will help the examiners and the controllers of the patent office in achieving consistently uniform standards of patent examination and grant of patents. 

According to sources, this revised guidelines will not also be the final document as this revised guidelines would again be open for comments and suggestions by the stakeholders. After receiving the comments, the patent office once again will revise and publish the final document somewhere next month. 

Earlier, the Patent Controller had held a stakeholders' meet on July 31 in Delhi to discuss the 'draft guidelines for examination of patent applications in the field of pharmaceuticals' which was released by the patent office on February 28, 2014 and the stakeholders' comments were invited. The meet was chaired by India's Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) Chaitanya Prasad.

A presentation was made by the patent office highlighting the various important points to be discussed which were taken from the summarised comments received from the stakeholders. The meeting was attended by the patent agents, representatives of pharmaceutical companies from India as well as abroad. 

After long deliberations it was decided that the patent office would release the revised guidelines soon, after which the revised guidelines would again be open for comments. A meeting would again be convened by the patent office to finalise the guidelines somewhere next month.

These guidelines are supplemental to the practices and procedures followed by the Patent Office as published in the ‘Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure’, “Guidelines For Examination of Biotechnology Applications” and the “Guidelines For Processing of Patent Applications Relating to Traditional Knowledge and Biological Material”. 


The present guidelines are prepared with the objective that the Guidelines will help the Examiners and the Controllers of the Patent Office in achieving consistently uniform standards of patent examination and grant. In case of any conflict between these Guidelines and the Patents Act, 1970 and the Rules made there under, the provisions of the Act and Rules will prevail. 

Exposure to Inflammatory Bowel Disease Drugs Could Increase Leukemia Risk

 Immunosuppressive drugs called thiopurines have been found to increase the risk of myeloid disorders, such as acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare bone marrow disorder, seven-fold among inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients. These data were reported in a new study1 published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). Thiopurines are an established treatment for IBD patients, used to reduce inflammation and provide symptom relief.
“In order to make appropriate, informed decisions about thiopurines, patients and providers need to be well-educated about the risks and benefits of this treatment,” said study author Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet, MD, PhD, department of hepato-gastroenterology, University Hospital of Nancy-Brabois in France. “According to our research, the risk of myeloid disorders was not increased among the overall IBD population, compared with the general population, however it was increased amongst those taking thiopurines. We hope these findings encourage other researchers to investigate more about the drug and its potentially harmful effects.”
Researchers conducted a prospective observational study to determine the trends of IBD patients exposed to thiopurines. The researchers studied 19,486 patients enrolled in the Cancers Et Surrisque Associé aux Maladies inflammatoires intestinales En France study from May 2004 through June 2005. After three years of follow up, five patients were diagnosed with incident myeloid disorders. Four of these patients had been previously exposed to thiopurines. Patients who were not receiving thiopurines during the study and those who never received these drugs did not have an increased risk of myeloid disorders.
While these findings provide strong evidence of the connection between thiopurines and myeloid disorders in IBD patients, the absolute risk to an individual patient is only 1 in 10,000. The link between IBD patients receiving thiopurines and myeloid disorders remains complex. Physicians need to balance this risk against the known benefits of thiopurines in the management of IBD.
AGA has developed a guideline-based clinical decision support tool to help providers determine when to use thiopurines in the management of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
IBD can negatively impact an individual’s life and result in a significant amount of medical bills. Treatments for IBD vary and your doctor can discuss the following options with you: nutrition, emotional support, medical therapy and surgery. Learn more about IBD in AGA’s patient brochure.
Source:Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Helping women overcome the anguish of unwanted sexual advances

Some young women simply have more resilience and better coping skills and can shrug off the effect of unwanted cat calls, demeaning looks and sexual advances. Women with low resilience struggle and could develop psychological problems when they internalize such behavior, because they think they are to blame. So say Dawn Szymanski and Chandra Feltman of the University of Tennessee in the US, in Springer’s journal Sex Roles, after studying how female college students handle the sexually objectifying behavior of men.
According to the popular feminist Objectification Theory, women of most cultures are seen as sexual objects that are there for the pleasure of men’s sexual desires. Examples of such conduct include men’s visibly scrutinizing a woman’s figure or making comments about her body parts, giving whistles or cat calls, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual advances or sexual assault. The media also play a role in these practices when they depict women as mere sexual objects. These experiences contribute to some women’s developing mental health problems, such as eating disorders, depressive symptoms and substance abuse problems.
To study how women cope with such sexually oppressive experiences, Szymanski and Feltman studied the responses to an online questionnaire of 270 young adult heterosexual undergraduate women from a university in the Southeastern region of the US.
Their findings show that young women experience increased psychological distress when they are being sexually objectified. Women with low resilience are especially vulnerable, and tend to internalize such behavior. Some women feel confused and shameful, and reason that their own inferiority is the cause of such bad experiences. They therefore blame themselves, rather than the perpetrators, and this causes psychological distress.
Szymanski and Feltman surmise that resilient women are more successful at managing adverse experiences because they are able to cope and adapt. They can manage stress and rise above disadvantage. Resilience is both a style of personal functioning and a way in which people ably adapt to stressful situations.
“Resilient women may see gender-related oppressive experiences as challenges - rather than barriers – that can be overcome,” says Szymanski.
The University of Tennessee researchers stress that clinicians should explore how their female clients experience and cope with sexually oppressive behavior. Clients can be taught the value of supportive social networks, and how to assign meaning to adversity. Clients should be taught that being objectified is nothing personal, but rather a flawed cultural practice.
“Psychologists can help their female clients to identify and explore various ways by which they can better cope with sexually oppressive behavior. In addition, we need interventions aimed at decreasing individual and cultural practices of sexually objectifying women,” advises Feltman.
Reference: Szymanski, D. M. & Feltman, C.E. (2014). Experiencing and Coping with Sexually Objectifying Treatment: Internalization and Resilience. Sex Roles. DOI 10.1007/s11199-014-0392-6
Source:Sex Roles

Discovery about wound healing key to understanding cell movement

Research by a civil engineer from the University of Waterloo is helping shed light on the way wounds heal and may someday have implications for understanding how cancer spreads, as well as why certain birth defects occur.
Professor Wayne Brodland is developing computational models for studying the mechanical interactions between cells. In this project, he worked with a team of international researchers who found that the way wounds knit together is more complex than we thought. The results were published this week in the journal, Nature Physics.
"When people think of civil engineering, they probably think of bridges and roads, not the human body," said Professor Brodland. "Like a number of my colleagues, I study structures, but ones that happen to be very small, and under certain conditions they cause cells to move. The models we build allow us to replicate these movements and figure out how they are driven."
When you cut yourself, a scar remains, but not so in the cells the team studied. The researchers found that an injury closes by cells crawling to the site and by contraction of a drawstring-like structure that forms along the wound edge. They were surprised to find that the drawstring works fine even when it contains naturally occurring breaks.
This knowledge could be the first step on a long road towards making real progress in addressing some major health challenges.
"The work is important because it helps us to understand how cells move. We hope that someday this knowledge will help us to eliminate malformation birth defects, such as spina bifida, and stop cancer cells from spreading," said Professor Brodland.
The research team was composed of 10 researchers from Spain, France, Singapore and Canada. Professor Brodland is one of the paper's two Canadian co-authors. His contribution received support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Microscopic image of a wound in the process of healing
A wound in the process of healing.The drawstring fragments along the wound edge are shown in bright yellow, the cell extensions associated with crawling are red, and the cell nuclei are blue. 
Photo credit: Ester Anon

University of Waterloo

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