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Saturday, 30 August 2014

How People Influence Microbial Community in Their Homes Revealed

Image result for microbes
Researchers at U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago have conducted a detailed analysis of the millions of microbes that live in houses and apartments, a new study published in the journal Science reveals.The results shed light on the complicated interaction between humans and the microbes that live on and around us. Mounting evidence suggests that these microscopic, teeming communities play a role in human health and disease treatment and transmission. 

"We know that certain bacteria can make it easier for mice to put on weight, for example, and that others influence brain development in young mice," said Argonne microbiologist Jack Gilbert, who led the study. "We want to know where these bacteria come from, and as people spend more and more time indoors, we wanted to map out the microbes that live in our homes and the likelihood that they will settle on us. 

"They are essential for us to understand our health in the 21st century," he said. 

The Home Microbiome Project followed seven families, which included eighteen people, three dogs and one cat, over the course of six weeks. The participants in the study swabbed their hands, feet and noses daily to collect a sample of the microbial populations living in and on them. They also sampled surfaces in the house, including doorknobs, light switches, floors and countertops. 

Then the samples came to Argonne, where researchers performed DNA analysis to characterize the different species of microbes in each sample. 

"We wanted to know how much people affected the microbial community on a house's surfaces and on each other," Gilbert said. 

They found that people substantially affected the microbial communities in a house—when three of the families moved, it took less than a day for the new house to look just like the old one, microbially speaking. 

Regular physical contact between individuals also mattered—in one home where two of the three occupants were in a relationship with one another, the couple shared many more microbes. Married couples and their young children also shared most of their microbial community. 

Within a household, hands were the most likely to have similar microbes, while noses showed more individual variation. 

Adding pets changed the makeup as well, Gilbert said—they found more plant and soil bacteria in houses with indoor-outdoor dogs or cats. 

In at least one case, the researchers tracked a potentially pathogenic strain of bacteria called Enterobacter, which first appeared on one person's hands, then the kitchen counter, and then another person's hands. 

"This doesn't mean that the countertop was definitely the mode of transmission between the two humans, but it's certainly a smoking gun," Gilbert said. 

"It's also quite possible that we are routinely exposed to harmful bacteria—living on us and in our environment—but it only causes disease when our immune systems are otherwise disrupted." 

Home microbiome studies also could potentially serve as a forensic tool, Gilbert said. Given an unidentified sample from a floor in this study, he said, "we could easily predict which family it came from." 

The research also suggests that when a person (and their microbes) leaves a house, the microbial community shifts noticeably in a matter of days. 

"You could theoretically predict whether a person has lived in this location, and how recently, with very good accuracy," he said.

journal Science 

Trying to Get Pregnant? Fertility Yoga may be the Answer

Yoga is an ancient Indian science involving the physical, mental and spiritual disciplines to improve the mind, body and soul.Fertility yoga, a recent concept, is a holistic therapy that focuses specifically on your reproductive health and makes you better prepared for pregnancy both physically and emotionally. 

Although yoga poses as such won't make you pregnant, it is the benefits of yoga in terms of stress busting, anxiety relief and healthier body and mind that might help you get pregnant. 

Timothy McCall, medical editor of Yoga Journal, says, "When you're under chronic stress, your brain shifts into survival mode and ratchets up production of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine, while slowing production of sex hormones. The combination can upset your ovulation schedule, making it difficult to become pregnant. Of course, a little stress is normal, but if you constantly feel wired, it's time to tackle your stress head-on". 

'The gradual unraveling of the complexities of neuroendocrinology have permitted increased understanding of the role that stress might play in infertility. Catecholamines, prolactin, adrenal steroids, endorphins, and serotonin all affect ovulation and in turn are all affected by stress' - agrees a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility. And what better way to tackle stress and anxiety than yoga!

Yoga gurus recommend gentle yoga poses of Kripalu or basic Hatha yoga rather than vigorous yoga such as Ashtanga Vinyasa or Bikram yoga. They suggest avoiding any of the postures that cause compression on the abdominal wall, for example, ardha baddha padma pachimottanasana, janu sirsasana and Marichyasana postures in Ashtanga vinyasa yoga if you are trying to get pregnant. 

And now, Holistic fitness registered nurse and yoga instructor in Florida, Sherry Longbottom, claims to have developed her own style of fertility yoga which avoids poses that strain the body and favors simple poses to reduce anxiety and to get blood flow in the pelvic area. 

Although it may not be as beneficial as IVF treatments or hormone therapy, she says, "We live in fight or flight mode. That kind of life goes completely against what we're trying to look for in creating a fertile environment." 

And even if you are undergoing fertility treatments, yoga can be practiced as adjunct therapy. According to a study published in Fertility and Sterility - 'Yoga and meditation can help women experiencing the challenges of infertility. The practice of meditation and relaxation can help increase the clarity of the mind, maintain healthy body chemistry, and give patients the patience to undergo the rigors of infertility treatments'. 

Dr. James Goldfarb, the director of infertility and in-vitro fertilization at University Hospital Cleveland, approves of patients trying safe alternative therapies. 

"The bottom line I always tell patients is, it certainly can't hurt. We're very encouraging [that they] try whatever they find relief through. To say someone is going through IVF is going to be stressed is like saying someone is going to hit their thumb with their hammer and it's going to hurt. It's incredibly stressful," he comments. 

The ability of yoga to help with mental health as well as physical health was one reason Longbottom wanted to start the fertility yoga class. 

'Mind, body and spirit are all tied together; once you address those areas, you're taking care of your whole body', she says. 
Source:Yoga Journal

Bad Memories can be Overwritten, Claim Neuroscientists

Scientists from Japan and the United States have found that emotions connected to memories can be rewritten, thus making bad events in the past seem better and good things appear worse.
The discovery of the mechanism behind the process helps to explain the power of current psychotherapeutic treatments for mental illnesses such as depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they said, and could offer new avenues for psychiatric help. 

"These findings validate the success of current psychotherapy, by revealing its underlying mechanism," research leader Susumu Tonegawa told AFP in Tokyo. 

The team, formed from a collaboration between Japan's RIKEN institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, used optogenetics -- a new brain-control technology which utilises light -- to better understand what happens when we reminisce. 

They found that warm feelings or intense fear triggered by the interaction between the hippocampus -- the brain's diary room -- and the amygdala -- the place believed to encode positivity or negativity -- are more flexible than previously thought. 

"It depends on how strongly the (good or bad aspect) dominates... there is competition between the two circuits' connection strengths," Tonegawa said. 

The researchers injected two groups of male mice with light-sensitive algae protein. 

This allowed them to identify the formation of a new memory as it was happening and then use pulses of light to reactivate it when they wanted to. 

One group of rodents were allowed to play with female mice, creating a positive memory. The other group were given a small but unpleasant electric shock through the floor. 

- Painful memory - 

Researchers then artificially reactivated the memory using the light pulses -- effectively making the mice remember what had happened to them. 

While the mice were "remembering" their event, they were given the opposite experience -- the mice with the nice memory got a shock, while those with the painful memory were introduced to females. 

Tonegawa said his team had discovered that the emotion of the new experience overpowered the original emotion, rewriting how the mice felt about it. 

"We did a test in the original chamber and the original fear memory was gone," he said. 

However, the over-writing of a memory was only possible by manipulating the hippocampus, which is sensitive to context. The same result could not be achieved by manipulating the amygdala. 

Tonegawa said the connection between the contextual memory in the hippocampus and the "good" or "bad" emotions in the amygdala became stronger or weaker depending on what was experienced. 

The researchers hope their findings might open up new possibilities for treatment of mood-affecting disorders such as depression, or PTSD, a condition found in people such as soldiers who have undergone life-threatening or particularly horrific events. 

"In the future, I would like to think that with new technology we will be able to wirelessly control neurons in the brain, without intrusive tools like electrodes," said Tonegawa, who won the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1987. 

"We could possibly augment good memories over bad ones," he said. 

The research paper is published in Nature. 

In a commentary, also carried by Nature, cognitive researchers Tomonori Takeuchi and Richard Morris at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland said the study broke new ground in exploring the mechanisms of memory, although optogenetics had limitations as a tool for doing this. 

"Molecular engineering is nonetheless shedding light on our understanding of the underlying physiological networks of memory," they wrote.


Deadly remedy: warning issued about Chinese herbal medicine

A herbal preparation prescribed by a Chinese herbal medication practitioner in Melbourne for back pain resulted in life-threatening heart changes, prompting a team of intensive care and emergency physicians to call for appropriate patient education by practitioners who prescribe complementary medications.
Writing in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the journal of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, emergency medicine trainees Dr Angelly Martinez and Dr Nicky Dobos from the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and emergency medicine trainee Dr Joe-Anthony Rotella and emergency physician Dr Shaun Greene from Austin Health, described the case of a woman who began experiencing facial tingling and numbness within minutes of ingesting a preparation containing aconite.
These symptoms were followed by nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain 30 minutes later.
Aconite is a class of plant that is also known as wolfsbane or devil’s helmet.
The patient was given verbal instructions by the Chinese herbal medicine practitioner to boil the mixture of plant and animal material for 45 minutes prior to ingestion, although she boiled it for only 30 minutes.
By the time she was admitted to the emergency department, she had developed severe cardiovascular toxicity, which required admission to the intensive care unit.
“Aconite poisoning is not a toxicological condition that many Australian doctors would be aware of and has not been described in Australian peer reviewed medical literature for over 20 years,” said Dr Shaun Greene.
“The case serves as a reminder that clinicians can access expert poisoning advice from a clinical toxicologist via the Poisons Information Centre system accessible via telephone (13 11 26) throughout Australia.”
The Chinese herbal practitioner reported prescribing  “Chuan Wu”, “Cao Wu” and “Fu Zi” to improve general circulation and reduce musculoskeletal pain.
There is no commercially available biological assay for aconite in Australia.
“Chuan Wu”, “Fu Zi” (both derived from Aconitum carmichaeli) and “Cao Wu” (Aconitum kusnezoffii), are the most common forms of aconite used medicinally.
This case illustrates the potentially lethal nature of aconite poisoning.
Chinese herbal medicines are being used increasingly in Australia, as the Chinese immigrant population increases.
“Regulatory agencies should enact measures to ensure patients are provided with accurate advice regarding safe use of Chinese herbal medicines,” Dr Greene said.
Source:Emergency Medicine Australasia

Friday, 29 August 2014

Intravascular Device for Delivery of Engineered Cells Developed

 Intravascular Device for Delivery of Engineered Cells DevelopedA new intravascular stent developed by researchers at University College Cork in Ireland can deliver genetically engineered smooth muscle cells to vascular obstructions.


This will help in generation of high levels of a molecule called VEGF, which in turn promotes growth of new blood vessels. Medgadget reports that in an experiment on pigs that had complete blockages, this technique resulted in an increase of blood flow around the occlusions and resulted in the creation of a bypass, which was possible previously only by surgery. 

Researchers hope this technique could soon be available in humans and prove useful for patients needing coronary artery bypass grafting. 

University College Cork in Ireland

Hyderabad to emerge as new biotechnology capital of India: Experts

Hyderabad, the capital city of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh has the potential to become the biotechnology capital of India in the coming years, opined experts at broacher unveiling ceremony organised by OMICS group in the city. “Though many have projected Bengaluru as the biotech capital of India, in fact it is Hyderabad which has the potential. With numerous research institutes like CCMB, IICT along with private biotech players like GVK Bio, Bharat Biotech, Shanta Biotech, Dr Reddy’s, Mylan etc, the city of Hyderabad is a favourite destination for investments in the bio similar segment,” said Srinubabu, managing director of OMICS International Inc.

According to Dr Kaiser Jamil, Director of Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Studies (JNIAS), there are lots of areas that are left unexplored in the biotechnology segment, with hundreds of biotech drugs coming off patent regime, very soon a large number of national and international companies are expected to focus in this segment and particularly Hyderabad is a favourite destination for new investments in biosimilar, biologics and biowaivers.

“Similar to generic medicines, biosimilars are imitation of patented biotech products.  Use of biosimilar products has fewer side effects as they can target only the infected areas in the body. With numerous educational and research institutions, the city of Hyderabad is already well equipped with the required infrastructure along with availability of affordable skilled and qualified manpower. Already renowned research institutes and biotechnology companies are working in the biosimilar segment. Majority of the companies are ready with their ground work and waiting for the right time to grab the opportunities,” opined Dr Kaiser.

At present Europe, China, Vietnam, Korea, India and Brazil are leading takers of biosimilar products in the world, while USA, Europe and Japan are leading in biologics segment. According to experts, the global biosimilars market is expected to reach $20 billion by the end of year 2015 and is largely driven by patent expiries. The segment is growing at an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 89.1 per cent from 2009. By 2020, the global market for biosimilars will be reaching $55 billion. More than 80 biosimilars are in the process of development worldwide currently and this market could potentially become the fastest growing biologics sector by 2020.

Having learned this, the OMICS group is planning to organise an international conference on biowaivers, biologics and biosimilars from October 27 to 29 at Hyderabad international convention centre, where about 300 biotechnology companies are expected to participate to discuss on challenges and regulatory approaches for biosimilars in the emerging markets. Experts like Krishna Menon of Cellceutix Corporation from USA, Daniel Galbraith of Bio Outsource Ltd from United Kingdom, Rodeina Challand of PRA Health Sciences from UK and Kamali Chance of Quintiles from UK are expected to focus on areas of emerging biosimilars in therapeutics and clinical studies.

Study reveals how Ebola blocks immune system

New insight into how the Ebola virus evades the human immune system will aid the search for improved treatments for this deadly infection. The micrograph above shows individual Ebola viral particles. Click to enlarge. Image credit: CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine have identified one way the Ebola virus dodges the body's antiviral defenses, providing important insight that could lead to new therapies, in research results published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.
In work performed at Beamline 19ID at Argonne National Laboratory’sAdvanced Photon Source, the researchers developed a detailed map of how a non-pathogenic Ebola protein, VP24, binds to a host protein that takes signaling molecules in and out of the cell nucleus.
Their map revealed that the viral protein takes away the host protein’s ability to carry an important immune signal into the nucleus. This signal helps activate the immune system's antiviral defenses, and blocking it is believed to contribute significantly to the virus’s deadliness.
Source:journal Cell Host & Microbe.

The early cost of HIV

Inflammatory response breaks down intestinal lining, but help may come from friendly bacteria

Researchers at UC Davis have made some surprising discoveries about the body's initial responses to HIV infection. Studying simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), the team found that specialized cells in the intestine called Paneth cells are early responders to viral invasion and are the source of gut inflammation by producing a cytokine called interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β).
Though aimed at the presence of virus, IL-1β causes breakdown of the gut epithelium that provides a barrier to protect the body against pathogens. Importantly, this occurs prior to the wide spread viral infection and immune cell killing. But in an interesting twist, a beneficial bacterium, Lactobacillus plantarum, helps mitigate the virus-induced inflammatory response and protects gut epithelial barrier. The study was published in the journal PLoS Pathogens.
One of the biggest obstacles to complete viral eradication and immune recovery is the stable HIV reservoir in the gut. There is very little information about the early viral invasion and the establishment of the gut reservoir.
"We want to understand what enables the virus to invade the gut, cause inflammation and kill the immune cells," said Satya Dandekar, lead author of the study and chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at UC Davis.
"Our study has identified Paneth cells as initial virus sensors in the gut that may induce early gut inflammation, cause tissue damage and help spread the viral infection. Our findings provide potential targets and new biomarkers for intervening or blocking early spread of viral infection," she said.
In the study, the researchers detected a very small number of SIV infected cells in the gut within initial 2.5 days of viral infection; however, the inflammatory response to the virus was playing havoc with the gut lining. IL-1β was reducing the production of tight-junction proteins, which are crucial to making the intestinal barrier impermeable to pathogens. As a result, the normally cohesive barrier was breaking down.
Digging deeper, the researchers found the inflammatory response through IL-1β production was initiated in Paneth cells, which are known to protect the intestinal stem cells to replenish the epithelial lining. This is the first report of Paneth cell sensing of SIV infection and IL-1β production that links to gut epithelial damage during early viral invasion. In turn, the epithelial breakdown underscores that there's more to the immune response than immune cells.
"The epithelium is more than a physical barrier," said first author Lauren Hirao. "It's providing support to immune cells in their defense against viruses and bacteria."
The researchers found that addition of a specific probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum, to the gut reversed the damage by rapidly reducing IL-1β, resolving inflammation, and accelerating repair within hours. The study points to interesting possibilities of harnessing synergistic host-microbe interactions to intervene early viral spread and gut inflammation and to mitigate intestinal complications associated with HIV infection.

"Understanding the players in the immune response will be important to develop new therapies," said Hirao. "Seeing how these events play out can help us find the most opportune moments to intervene."
Source:PLOS Pathogens

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Why is Sanskrit so controversial?

India's new government focus on Sanskrit has sparked a fresh debate over the role language plays in the lives of the country's religious and linguistic minorities.
Hindi script on a blackboard in a classroom in IndiaInside a brightly lit classroom at Delhi's Laxman Public school, a group of students sing a Sanskrit hymn.
Across the corridor, in another classroom, a group of grade eight students are being taught Vedic Mathematics, which dates back to a time in ancient India when Sanskrit was the main language used by scholars.
It is all part of Sanskrit week - a celebration of the classical language across hundreds of schools mandated by India's new federal right-wing government.
"It's our mother language, the root of all our languages," says Usha Ram, the school principal.

Start Quote

Dr. Usha Ram, principal of Laxman Public School
All our classical literature, our epic texts like the Ramayana and Mahabharata were written in Sanskrit.”
Dr Usha RamPrincipal, Laxman Public School
"All over the world people try to preserve their traditions. Why not in India?"
Sanskrit is a language which belongs to the Indo-Aryan group and is the root of many, but not all Indian languages.
"If you know Sanskrit, you can easily understand many Indian languages such as Hindi, Bengali and Marathi," says Vaishnav, a grade 11 student at Laxman Public School.
But Sanskrit is now spoken by less than 1% of Indians and is mostly used by Hindu priests during religious ceremonies.
It's one of the official languages in only one Indian state, Uttarakhand in the north, which is dotted with historical Hindu temple towns.
According to the last census, 14,000 people described Sanskrit as their primary language, with almost no speakers in the country's north-east, Orissa, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and even Gujarat.tes
Courtesy:BBC News

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

.Did you know these foods could kill you?

These everyday foods could kill you. Yes! Potatoes, cherries, even rajma are potentially dangerous if not eaten the right way.
Watch the Video

Scientists plug into a learning brain

NIH-funded study provides a neural explanation for why some skills are easier to learn than others

Learning is easier when it only requires nerve cells to rearrange existing patterns of activity than when the nerve cells have to generate new patterns, a study of monkeys has found. The scientists explored the brain's capacity to learn through recordings of electrical activity of brain cell networks. The study was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health.
"We looked into the brain and may have seen why it's so hard to think outside the box," said Aaron Batista, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a senior author of the study published in Nature, with Byron Yu, Ph.D., assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.
The human brain contains nearly 86 billion neurons, which communicate through intricate networks of connections. Understanding how they work together during learning can be challenging. Dr. Batista and his colleagues combined two innovative technologies, brain-computer interfaces and machine learning, to study patterns of activity among neurons in monkey brains as the animals learned to use their thoughts to move a computer cursor.
"This is a fundamental advance in understanding the neurobiological patterns that underlie the learning process," said Theresa Cruz, Ph.D., a program official at the National Center for Medical Rehabilitations Research at NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). "The findings may eventually lead to new treatments for stroke as well as other neurological disorders."
Brain-computer interfaces seek to turn thoughts into action. With small surgically implanted electrodes, researchers can simultaneously monitor the electrical activity of hundreds of neurons. A computer converts the signals into commands to move an external device, such as a robotic arm or a computer cursor. Brain-computer interfaces are being developed to help paralyzed patients as well as to study the function of healthy brains.
"This evolving technology is a powerful tool for brain research," said Daofen Chen, Ph.D., a program director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of NIH. "It helps scientists study the dynamics of brain circuits that may explain the neural basis of learning."
In this study, the research team used brain-computer interfaces in two animals to examine learning in the motor cortex, a part of the brain that controls movement. The firing patterns of the neurons they recorded were used to control a computer cursor. As the animals learned to move the cursor to a designated spot on the monitor, the computer used machine learning to map brain cell activity to cursor movement. Machine learning is a method of programming a computer to learn and constantly adjust its commands based on previous data or experience. In this case, it created a feedback loop between the animal and the computer, which improved the animal's ability to use its thoughts to move the cursor.
"Just as Netflix uses machine learning to predict the movies we'd like to watch, we used it to characterize the activity patterns that the brain produced during learning," said Dr. Yu.
At first, the scientists noticed that the ensemble of neurons recorded in each animal had a small set of natural, or favored, firing patterns that were used to move the cursor, which they called the "intrinsic manifold." After determining the intrinsic manifold, the team reprogrammed the map between neural activity and cursor movement. For instance, if a firing pattern originally caused the cursor to move to the top of the screen, then the interface would move the cursor to the bottom. The team then observed whether the animals could learn to generate the appropriate neural activity patterns to compensate for the changes.
"It's as if we turned a computer mouse upside down in a person's hand and asked him to click on an icon, except the mouse is entirely within the subject's brain," said Patrick Sadtler, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, who is the lead author of the study.
The scientists discovered that the monkeys easily relearned how to move the cursor if they could use patterns within the intrinsic manifold in new ways. In contrast, learning was more difficult when the interface required patterns of neural activity that were outside of the intrinsic manifold.
"It appears that the brain sets constraints on the speed with which we learn new things. Characterizing those constraints might enable us to predict which skills will be quicker to learn, and which might take longer," said Dr. Batista. He and his colleagues speculated that, for humans, thinking outside the box requires more difficult changes in neural activity.

Apex committee on clinical trials gives clearance to only 9 new trial proposals

The apex committee on clinical trials, constituted by the Union health ministry on the directive of the Supreme Court to monitor the clinical trial sector in the country, has cleared only 9 new clinical trial proposals, 5 proposals of global clinical trials (GCTs) and 4 in other areas. These trials were earlier approved by new drug advisory committees (NDACs) and thereafter the technical committee, another high-level panel formed by the ministry on this purpose.

Senior officials in the health ministry said that the apex committee, in its 16th meeting held on August 8 under the chairmanship of health secretary  Lov Verma, deliberated in detail on the new proposals and ratified the recommendations made by the technical committee.  Earlier, the technical committee in its meeting had evaluated and recommended for 9 proposals of various categories of clinical trials.  Out of the total 9 cases, 5 cases were GCTs and the rest 4 cases were related to clinical trials for approval of new drugs including fixed dose combinations, subsequent new drugs and biologicals.

As per the direction of the Supreme Court made in its order April 21, 2014, the proposals of global clinical trials/clinical trials of NCEs are required to be evaluated with regard to three parameters like the assessment of risk versus benefit to the patients; innovation vis-à-vis existing therapeutic option; and unmet medical need in the country.

According to officials, the technical committee had deliberated upon  a total of 23 proposals relating to clinical trials which had already been recommended by the NDACs. Out of those 23 cases, 13 cases related to global clinical trials/clinical trials of NCEs and remaining 10 cases related to clinical trials for approval of the new drugs including fixed dose combination, subsequent new drugs and biologicals. 

The technical committee had noted that there were several clinical trial proposals concerning the field of oncology. Since Dr. Raju Titus Chacko who is an oncologist, and some other members were absent due to unavoidable circumstances, the committee deferred 12 proposals (7 from GCTs and 5 from others)  to next technical committee meeting.

The technical committee had evaluated the remaining cases one by one and made recommendations. It evaluated 6 out of the13 cases of GCTs, considering all aspects of safety and efficacy especially in terms of the three parameters viz. risk versus benefit to the patients, innovation vis-a-vis existing therapeutic option and unmet medical needs in the country. After detailed deliberations, out of 6 cases, the committee recommended 5 cases for approval. In the remaining one case, it sought certain additional data/ information.

The committee also evaluated the 5 out of 10 cases of other than GCTs. After detailed deliberations, out of these 5 cases, it recommended approval of 4 cases as per the recommendation of the NDAC. In the remaining one case, the committee sought certain additional data/information.

CMC Vellore (Coagulation Factor VIII Concentrate), Eli Lilly (LY2605541-Insulin Basal Analog), Novo Nordisk (Semaglutide), MSD (MK-3102), and Max Neeman Medical International Limited (Octafibrin)  are the companies who applied for global clinical trials and got the final approval from the apex committee.


Jasola gets country’s first All India Institute of Ayurveda

The world’s oldest medical system Ayurveda seems to have finally got its due in the country 3,000 years after it originated here.
Ayurveda which remains one of the country’s traditional health care systems is getting its first referral-cum-teaching facility at Jasola in Delhi. To be built on the lines of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the new institute – All India Institute of Ayurveda – has been constructed on 10 acres of land with a built area of 40,000 square feet.
“The final touches to the building are being given now,” noted Institute director Dr. Abhimanyu Kumar while speaking to The Hindu on Monday.
He added that 95 per cent of the equipment for the hospital and teaching block has already been procured.
All India Institute of Ayurveda at Jasola.“This will be the country’s first referral hospital which also offers post graduate and super speciality courses for students. We will begin the teaching facility with 84 post graduate students being enrolled for three years this next session. Super speciality courses are being offered for one year to one and a half years,’’ said Dr. Kumar.
The institute which has cost the Union Health Ministry Rs.157 crore and over three years to complete has a seven floor hospital with 200 beds.

“The Institute besides treating and teaching will also be a research centre which will work towards ensuring quality control/standards of ayurveda products. These days we find that the quality of drugs that are masquerading as ayurveda medicines are not up to the mark which in the long run will adversely affect the health of patients. Our aim is to provide standardised education and treatment to benefit the public,’’ noted Dr. Kumar.
Source:The Hindu

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Can Auriculotherapy Help Relieve Chronic Constipation?

New Rochelle, NY, August 25, 2014— Nearly 1 in 6 adults worldwide may suffer from chronic constipation and, over time, the disorder can cause serious complications. Auriculotherapy, a form of acupuncture that involves stimulating targeted points on the outer ear, may help in managing constipation. Evidence from numerous clinical studies published between 2007-2013 that evaluated the effectiveness of auriculotherapy in treating patients with constipation is presented and discussed in a Review article in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website until September 25, 2014.

Li-Hua Yang and coauthors from the Hospital of Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jiangsu Province Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Southeast University School of Public Health, Nanjing, China, analyzed the results of 17 published studies, comparing the effectiveness of auriculotherapy in managing and relieving constipation and in alleviating symptoms associated with constipation between affected patients and a control group. The authors present their data and conclusions in the article "Efficacy of Auriculotherapy for Constipation in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials."

Source: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

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