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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Scientists in Amsterdam Just Destroyed Breast Cancer Tumors in 11 Days Without Chemo

Research presented by Professor Nigel Bundred at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam revealed that they had tested the effectiveness of a pair of drugs known as Herceptin (a.k.a trastuzumab) and Lapatinib.
bcancer-ogThe two drugs are commonly used in breast cancer treatment already, but this is the first time they had been combined together and used before surgery and chemotherapy. What they found was they were able to eliminate some types of breast cancer in just 11 days.
Funded by Cancer Research UK, they aimed to use these drugs to combat a protein called HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) which affects the growth and division of cancer cells. It’s also more likely to return than other cancer types.
What also makes this treatment so appealing is the fact that it eliminates the need for chemotherapy and surgery. The temporary side effects like hair loss, vomiting and fatigue are also avoided, making treatment less impactful on the body. Chemo is not entirely effective, nor is it the right choice for a lot of patients, so any alternatives are welcomed.

STUDY RESULTS

257 women with HER2 positive breast cancer were selected for the study, with half being put on the drug combo and the other half were the control group. What they found was that of those on the drug, 11% had no cancer cells remaining within two weeks and 17% of cases featured dramatically shrunken tumors.
Compared to the control group who were only given Herceptin, they were found to have 0% with no trace of cancer cells and only 3% showed a drop in tumor size. Clearly, the two drugs combined have a major effect on breast cancer cells as opposed to being used on their own.
The problem currently, however, is that Herceptin’s licensing makes it only available for use alongside chemotherapy and not alone. The results of this study may help to change that though.
Although there’s still a lot of work to be done, hopefully, this is a major step in the fight against one of the world’s deadliest diseases. With medical advancements improving every year, it’s entirely possible this could happen sooner than we think!

SOURCES:

http://www.iflscience.com/…
http://www.breastcancer.org/…
https://www.sciencedaily.com/…
http://www.macmillan.org.uk/…

Musical training creates new brain connections in children

Taking music lessons increases brain fiber connections in children and may be useful in treating autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to a study being presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
IMAGE"It's been known that musical instruction benefits children with these disorders," said Pilar Dies-Suarez, M.D., chief radiologist at the Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez in Mexico City, "but this study has given us a better understanding of exactly how the brain changes and where these new fiber connections are occurring."
The researchers studied 23 healthy children between the ages of five and six years old. All of the children were right handed and had no history of sensory, perception or neurological disorders. None of the children had been trained in any artistic discipline in the past.
The study participants underwent pre- and post-musical-training evaluation with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the brain. DTI is an advanced MRI technique, which identifies microstructural changes in the brain's white matter.
"Experiencing music at an early age can contribute to better brain development, optimizing the creation and establishment of neural networks, and stimulating the existing brain tracts," Dr. Dies-Suarez said.
The brain's white matter is composed of millions of nerve fibers called axons that act like communication cables connecting various regions of the brain. Diffusion tensor imaging produces a measurement, called fractional anisotropy (FA), of the movement of extracellular water molecules along axons. In healthy white matter, the direction of extracellular water molecules is fairly uniform and measures high in fractional anisotropy. When water movement is more random, FA values decrease, suggesting abnormalities.
Over the course of life, the maturation of brain tracts and connections between motor, auditory and other areas allow the development of numerous cognitive abilities, including musical skills. Previous studies have linked autism spectrum and ADHD with decreases in volume, fiber connections and FA in the minor and lower forceps, tracts located in the frontal cortex of the brain. This suggests that low connectivity in the frontal cortex, an area of the brain involved in complex cognitive processes, is a biomarker of these disorders.
After the children in the study completed nine months of musical instruction using Boomwhackers--percussion tubes cut to the exact length to create pitches in a diatonic scale, DTI results showed an increase in FA and axon fiber length in different areas of the brain, most notably in the minor forceps.
"When a child receives musical instruction, their brains are asked to complete certain tasks," Dr. Dies-Suarez said. "These tasks involve hearing, motor, cognition, emotion and social skills, which seem to activate these different brain areas. These results may have occurred because of the need to create more connections between the two hemispheres of the brain."
The researchers believe that the results of this study could aid in creating targeted strategies for intervention in treating disorders like autism and ADHD.
Source:RADIOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA

Yogic breathing helps fight major depression, Penn study shows

A breathing-based meditation practice known as Sudarshan Kriya yoga helped alleviate severe depression in people who did not fully respond to antidepressant treatments, reports a new study published today in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry from researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study bolsters the science behind the use of controlled yogic breathing to help battle depression.
In a randomized, controlled pilot study, led by Anup Sharma, MD, PhD, a Neuropsychiatry research fellow in the department of Psychiatry at Penn, researchers found significant improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety in medicated patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who participated in the breathing technique compared to medicated patients who did not partake. After two months, the yoga group cut its mean Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) score by several points, while the control group showed no improvements. HDRS is the most widely used clinician-administered depression assessment that scores mood, interest in activities, energy, suicidal thoughts, and feelings of guilt, among other symptoms.
More than half of the 41 million Americans who take antidepressants do not fully respond. Add-on therapies are often prescribed to enhance the effects of the drugs in these patients, but they typically offer limited additional benefits and come with side effects that can curb use, prolonging the depressive episode. What's more, patients who don't fully respond to antidepressants are especially at risk of relapse.
"With such a large portion of patients who do not fully respond to antidepressants, it's important we find new avenues that work best for each person to beat their depression," Sharma said. "Here, we have a promising, lower-cost therapy that could potentially serve as an effective, non-drug approach for patients battling this disease."
The meditation technique, which is practiced in both a group setting and at home, includes a series of sequential, rhythm-specific breathing exercises that bring people into a deep, restful, and meditative state: slow and calm breaths alternated with fast and stimulating breaths.
"Sudarshan Kriya yoga gives people an active method to experience a deep meditative state that's easy to learn and incorporate in diverse settings," Sharma said.
In past studies, the practice has demonstrated a positive response in patients with milder forms of depression, depression due to alcohol dependence, and in patients with MDD; however, there are no clinical studies investigating its use for depression in an outpatient setting. Past studies suggest that yoga and other controlled breathing techniques can potentially adjust the nervous system to reduce stress hormones. Overall, the authors also note, well-designed studies that evaluate the benefits of yoga to treat depression are lacking, despite increased interest in the ancient Indian practice. Millions of Americans participate in some form of yoga every year.
In the study, researchers enrolled 25 patients suffering from MDD who were depressed, despite more than eight weeks of antidepressant medication treatment. The medicated patients were randomized to either the breathing intervention group or the "waitlist" control group for eight weeks. (The waitlist group was offered the yoga intervention after the study). During the first week, participants completed a six-session program, which featured Sudarshan Kriya yoga in addition to yoga postures, sitting meditation, and stress education. For weeks two through eight, participants attended weekly Sudarshan Kriya yoga follow-up sessions and completed a home practice version of the technique.
Patients in the Sudarshan Kriya yoga group showed a significantly greater improvement in HDRS scores compared to patients in the waitlist group. With a mean baseline HDRS score of 22.0 (indicating severe depression at the beginning of the study), the group that completed the breathing technique for the full two months improved scores by 10.27 points on average, compared to the waitlist group, which showed no improvements. Patients in the yoga group also showed significant mean reductions in total scores of the self-reported Beck Depression (15.48 point improvement) and Beck Anxiety Inventories (5.19 point improvement), versus the waitlist control group.
Results of the pilot study suggest the feasibility and promise of Sudarshan Kriya as an add-on intervention for MDD patients who have not responded to antidepressants, the authors wrote. "The next step in this research is to conduct a larger study evaluating how this intervention impacts brain structure and function in patients who have major depression," Sharma said.
Source:UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

A handful of nuts a day cuts the risk of a wide range of diseases

A large analysis of current research shows that people who eat at least 20g of nuts a day have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
The analysis of all current studies on nut consumption and disease risk has revealed that 20g a day - equivalent to a handful - can cut people's risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30 percent, their risk of cancer by 15 percent, and their risk of premature death by 22 percent.
Image resultAn average of at least 20g of nut consumption was also associated with a reduced risk of dying from respiratory disease by about a half, and diabetes by nearly 40 percent, although the researchers note that there is less data about these diseases in relation to nut consumption.
The study, led by researchers from Imperial College London and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, is published in the journal BMC Medicine.
The research team analysed 29 published studies from around the world that involved up to 819,000 participants, including more than 12,000 cases of coronary heart disease, 9,000 cases of stroke, 18,000 cases of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and more than 85,000 deaths.
While there was some variation between the populations that were studied, such as between men and women, people living in different regions, or people with different risk factors, the researchers found that nut consumption was associated with a reduction in disease risk across most of them.
Study co-author Dagfinn Aune from the School of Public Health at Imperial said: "In nutritional studies, so far much of the research has been on the big killers such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer, but now we're starting to see data for other diseases.
"We found a consistent reduction in risk across many different diseases, which is a strong indication that there is a real underlying relationship between nut consumption and different health outcomes. It's quite a substantial effect for such a small amount of food."
The study included all kinds of tree nuts, such as hazel nuts and walnuts, and also peanuts - which are actually legumes. The results were in general similar whether total nut intake, tree nuts or peanuts were analysed.
What makes nuts so potentially beneficial, said Aune, is their nutritional value: "Nuts and peanuts are high in fibre, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats - nutrients that are beneficial for cutting cardiovascular disease risk and which can reduce cholesterol levels.
"Some nuts, particularly walnuts and pecan nuts are also high in antioxidants, which can fight oxidative stress and possibly reduce cancer risk. Even though nuts are quite high in fat, they are also high in fibre and protein, and there is some evidence that suggests nuts might actually reduce your risk of obesity over time."
The study also found that if people consumed on average more than 20g of nuts per day, there was little evidence of further improvement in health outcomes.
The team are now analysing large published datasets for the effects of other recommended food groups, including fruits and vegetables, on a wider range of diseases.
Source:IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON

Monday, 14 November 2016

10 Reasons Why Marijuana Should Be Legalized In India

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the world with an estimated 125 million people consuming it in some form or the other every year. In India, marijuana use has been historically bound to faith and mysticism. It is said to be a drug that helps the user attain "ecstasy in the original sense of the word". India has consumed and celebrated charas (hash), bhang and weed for centuries.
However, implementation of stringent narcotic laws in 1986 made the sale, consumption, production and transportation of marijuana illegal in the country. 24 years on, here are 10 reasons why marijuana should now be legalized in India.

1. It will eliminate illegal trade and associate crimes

Marijuana legalization (or decriminalization) will replace the black market production and distribution with an 'overboard industry'. There will be rules and regulations but the trade will be 'populated by the government, farmers, merchants and retails clerks, not by criminals or drug dealers'.

2. Marijuana addiction is rare

An epidemiological study showed that only 9 percent of those who use marijuana end up being clinically dependent on it. The 'comparable rates' for tobacco, alcohol and cocaine stood at 32 percent, 15 percent and 16 percent respectively.


3. Taxing marijuana will increase government's revenue

By legalizing and taxing marijuana, the government will stand to earn huge amounts of revenue that will otherwise go to the Italian and Israeli drug cartels. In an open letter to US President George Bush, around 500 economists, led by Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman, called for marijuana to be "legal but taxed and regulated like other goods".


4. It will create job opportunities

Legalization of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes in Colorado has created 10,000 new jobs in the area. There are a plethora of jobs that can be created by the marijuana industry and help reduce India's unemployment rate.


5. Marijuana use has medical benefits

Studies have shown that marijuana use has dozens of medical benefits. It treats glaucoma, prevents cancer from spreading to other parts of the body, reduces anxiety, slows the progress of Alzheimer's disease, improves metabolism and is even said to spur creativity in our brain.



6. It will help the locals

In states like Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where cannabis plants grow, marijuana is the only source of income for many locals. However, being a banned substance, the farmers are forced to sell it at a very cheap price to the drug dealers and they face additional pressure from the police as well, who are paid to destroy the cannabis plantations. Legalizing marijuana will end this 'war on drugs' targeting our own countrymen.



7. Legalization will ensure that good quality marijuana is sold to the consumers

In India, dealers often mix hash and weed with chemicals or other drugs likeafeem to improve the taste, color, texture or 'high' of the stuff. Legalization will improve the quality of marijuana sold to the users because government will regulate the production and sale of the drug.



8. Marijuana has limited withdrawal symptoms and its use can't be fatal

"I've heard you have to smoke something like 15,000 joints in 20 minutes to get a toxic amount of delta-9 tetrahydrocannibinol," says Dr. Paul Hornby, a biochemist and human pathologist. "I challenge anybody to do that." Not only is it virtually impossible to overdose on marijuana, the users face nominal withdrawal symptoms after consuming it.



9. Prohibition has failed to control the use and domestic production of marijuana

It is said that 60,000 kgs of hash and 40,000 kgs of opium is produced in Himachal Pradesh. Out of that, only 500 kgs is seized annually. As per reports, "more than 1,600 hectares of cultivable farmland and an additional 500 hectares of illicitly felled public forests are currently under cannabis cultivation". The rate is only increasing. Moreover, these days, it is pretty easy to buy marijuana in India and its consumption is widespread among the youth. So it is fair to say that prohibition has failed to curb the 'problem'.



10. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol

Marijuana consumption was never regarded as a socially deviant behavior any more than drinking alcohol was. In fact, keeping it legal was considered as an 'enlightened view'. It is now medically proven that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Unlike alcoholics, stoners don't indulge in rash driving or violent fights. They tend to be clam and pleasant under the influence of marijuana.



In conclusion, marijuana laws are outdated and more harmful than the drug itself.

After withstanding the United States' pressure for 25 years, India finally gave into the demands of its Western counterpart in 1986 by clubbing marijuana with other hard drugs and criminalizing it.
However, by making it illegal, more problems have come up. True, marijuana should be kept away from the adolescents, but its moderate use will not pose any risk to adults.
Instead of spending money on arresting drug offenders and cutting down marijuana plantations, why can't our government save itself from all this trouble and legalize a culturally accepted substance that can help in socio-economic development of the country?

Proposal legalising hemp cultivation sent to U’khand govt is still pending

Uttarakhand authorities have come up with a draft policy proposal to legalise cultivation of hemp plants (cannabis) for industrial, medicinal and scientific purposes.
The proposal was prepared by Uttarakhand Excise Management System after chief minister Harish Rawat last year announced legalising cultivation of hemp plants.
“We have prepared the proposal and submitted to the government,” additional commissioner excise, DV Singh told HT.
A policy would be formulated and presented before the cabinet soon.
Legalising cultivation of hemp plants would also help keep a check on its illegal use as Section 8 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, prohibits cultivation of cannabis for recreation. Section 14 of the Act allows state government to grow it for generating fibre and seeds.
“Derived fibre and seeds from hemp plants could boost the industrial sector in the state. That is what the government is eyeing,” joint commissioner excise, D S Chauhan said.
The proposal moots developing seeds with 0.3% tetra hydro cannabinol (THC) to be used for research and other business purposes rather than for recreation. Cannabis sativa plants generally contain 3-20% THC.
Officials admitted that developing seeds with low THC would be a challenge and research institutions would be roped in for the purpose.
“If we are able to manufacture seeds with 0.3% THC, only then can this industry boom. Scientific institutions like Indian Council for Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) and Forest Research Institute (FRI) could be considered for this task,” COO of Uttarakhand Bamboo and Fibre Development Board, Sashi Kumar Dutt said.
Low-THC seeds are also likely to be imported from countries like Australia, the US and China for research, officials said.
Currently, only one company in Haridwar is authorised to collect locally grown cannabis for markets in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and it is charged excise duty by the state.
The stalk of its plants are used to prepare shoes, car interiors, geo-textiles, apparel, ropes and also in packaging industry. Its seed is used in manufacturing of oil, flour and even animal feed. In hill states, the seeds are also used in pickles and chutneys. The specie is found extensively in hill state.
Source:HT Media

India needs improved diabetes therapies that are affordable and accessible to all: ISCR

Recognizing the crucial need for early screening to detect type 2 diabetes and manage the risk of its serious complications, 'Eyes on Diabetes' is this year’s theme for World Diabetes Day which falls on November 14, 2016. While globally there are new and improved therapies to better manage diabetes, these therapies are either expensive or not accessible to the population at large in India, says the Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR). 

Therefore, we need to scale-up clinical research, specifically in type 2 diabetes, to provide treatment options that are effective, affordable and improve the quality of a diabetic’s life.

“Currently available treatment for diabetes has its limitations in terms of safety and efficacy in achieving glycemic control on long term basis and there is a need for exploring better treatment options, which is only possible through clinical research. Indians differ from other populations in terms of body build, genetic origin, and disease presentation. Hence, India needs more clinical trials in diabetes to develop more suitable and effective treatment options for the Indian population,” said Dr. Vyankatesh Shivane, consultant diabetologist & metabolic physician.

It is estimated that by 2030, there will be more than 100 million patients living with diabetes in India. With the growing burden of diabetes in India, there will be a corresponding increase in diabetes related complications, many of which can be managed if the condition is detected on time. According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, amputation and kidney failure. Data from the International Diabetes Federation indicates that one in two adults with diabetes is undiagnosed and up to 70 per cent of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles.

“The prevalence of diabetes in India is on the rise with approximately 70 million diabetes patients in the country. There are an equal number of patients with pre-diabetes, which is the first stage of the onset of diabetes. The prevalence of complications of diabetes is high in patients with both diabetes and pre-diabetes. In India, type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes remains undiagnosed for a longer period of time for a number of reasons, hence patients are more prone to complications. In keeping with this year's theme of World Diabetes Day 'Eyes on Diabetes, we must have large-scale screening programmes for early diagnosis of diabetes and pre-diabetes and early intervention. Effective glycemic control will definitely help reduce the complications associated with diabetes and reduce morbidity and mortality,” noted Dr. Shivane.

“Given the increasing prevalence of diabetes in India, our focus through clinical research should be to meet the unmet medical needs of diabetics and develop improved therapies that cut across all economic strata,” said Suneela Thatte, president of ISCR.
Source:Pharmabiz

India needs improved diabetes therapies that are affordable and accessible to all: ISCR

Recognizing the crucial need for early screening to detect type 2 diabetes and manage the risk of its serious complications, 'Eyes on Diabetes' is this year’s theme for World Diabetes Day which falls on November 14, 2016. While globally there are new and improved therapies to better manage diabetes, these therapies are either expensive or not accessible to the population at large in India, says the Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR). 

Therefore, we need to scale-up clinical research, specifically in type 2 diabetes, to provide treatment options that are effective, affordable and improve the quality of a diabetic’s life.

“Currently available treatment for diabetes has its limitations in terms of safety and efficacy in achieving glycemic control on long term basis and there is a need for exploring better treatment options, which is only possible through clinical research. Indians differ from other populations in terms of body build, genetic origin, and disease presentation. Hence, India needs more clinical trials in diabetes to develop more suitable and effective treatment options for the Indian population,” said Dr. Vyankatesh Shivane, consultant diabetologist & metabolic physician.

It is estimated that by 2030, there will be more than 100 million patients living with diabetes in India. With the growing burden of diabetes in India, there will be a corresponding increase in diabetes related complications, many of which can be managed if the condition is detected on time. According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, amputation and kidney failure. Data from the International Diabetes Federation indicates that one in two adults with diabetes is undiagnosed and up to 70 per cent of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles.

“The prevalence of diabetes in India is on the rise with approximately 70 million diabetes patients in the country. There are an equal number of patients with pre-diabetes, which is the first stage of the onset of diabetes. The prevalence of complications of diabetes is high in patients with both diabetes and pre-diabetes. In India, type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes remains undiagnosed for a longer period of time for a number of reasons, hence patients are more prone to complications. In keeping with this year's theme of World Diabetes Day 'Eyes on Diabetes, we must have large-scale screening programmes for early diagnosis of diabetes and pre-diabetes and early intervention. Effective glycemic control will definitely help reduce the complications associated with diabetes and reduce morbidity and mortality,” noted Dr. Shivane.

“Given the increasing prevalence of diabetes in India, our focus through clinical research should be to meet the unmet medical needs of diabetics and develop improved therapies that cut across all economic strata,” said Suneela Thatte, president of ISCR.
Source:Pharmabiz

Diabetes can Affect Your Skin Too

Diabetes a very common problem in these days can play havoc on your skin,  
  diabetes can affect our skin and how we can combat this problem.

Diabetes a very common problem in these days can play havoc on your skin, says skin specialist Fungal Infection: 'Candida albicans' is a painful fungal infection commonly found in diabetic people. The infection causes red rashes on the skin and leads to itching and pain. Jock itch is another fungal infection amongst the diabetic patients. Treatment- The right treatment of the infection is to stop ignoring the problem. Do not ignore the infection right from the beginning and immediately contact the doctor at the first sign of it. 

Itching: Itching seems to be a common problem; however, it can be severe and problematic. Itching in the lower part of the legs and feet is common among diabetic patients. Treatment- Applying a good moisturizer is the best way to control itching. Slather a good amount of moisturizer on the affected area and avoid scratching to get relief from itching. 

Vitiligo: Experts suggest that vitiligo is also caused due to Type 1 Diabetes. The cells responsible for the brown pigment on the skin get damaged in Vitiligo which leads to white patches on the chest, face, and hands etc. Treatment- Light therapy is used to treat Vitiligo. Always make sure to use a sunscreen with an SPF 30 while stepping out in the sun. Blisters: Blisters are common among diabetic people and appear on the hands, legs and the backside of the fingers. The good thing is that they are painless. Treatment- Blisters heal on their own within one to two weeks. However, if you feel any problem, contact your doctor immediately. 

Digital Sclerosis: Almost one third people with Type 1 diabetes struggle with the issue of digital sclerosis. The main symptom of this condition is thickened area in the skin which gradually becomes very tight. Due to this, it becomes very difficult to move joints especially knees, fingers and elbow. Treatment- The only solution is to control the blood sugar level. 

Foot Ulcer: In the extreme stages of diabetes, a special nerve gets damaged due to which the person doesn't feel any sensation in the foot. Even a little scratch on the foot takes the form of a sore and may take weeks to heal. Treatment- As soon as you notice this condition, start taking extra care and save yourself from any kind of injury. Do not indulge in self-medication and consult a doctor. (ANI)

Source: ANI

A SOLUTION FOR BLINDNESS: WORLD’S FIRST BIONIC EYE IMPLANT HELPS BLIND WOMAN SEE SHAPES & COLOURS

maxresdefault (1)Can you imagine living in a world of darkness, a world you weren’t visually connected to? For many, this is the only reality they’ve ever known; for some, a new and terrifying experience. Fortunately, scientists are on the brink of discovering how to use technology to restore sight to the blind. In fact, a group of surgeons from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) recently implanted the world’s first visual stimulator chip into the brain of a 30-year-old blind woman. The patient, who wishes to remain anonymous, started losing her eyesight in 2008 as a result of a rare disease called Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome, which attacks the pigment in the eyes. After only a year, the disease took her eyesight from her; however, it did not take her hope. Eight years later, she can now see colours and shapes again thanks to a tiny stimulator laid on the back of her brain.

How the “Technology to Beat Blindness” Works

The device implanted into the patient’s brain was developed as part of the Orion I program by Second Sight. It was inspired by a similar device called the Argus II, which was released at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital in 2015 and involves a similar camera that sends images to an implant behind the eye. However, in order for the Argus II to be successful, it requires the patient to have at least some working retinal cells. The technology behind Orion I was specifically designed for those who cannot benefit from the Argus II, as it takes this concept even further by making it compatible with those who have complete blindness as well. Since the system sends signals directly to the brain, it could theoretically work to restore sight to anyone, including those who lost an eye or were blinded by cancer  In August 2016, Dr. Nader Pouratian implanted the stimulator, an array of tiny electrodes, behind this woman’s brain. The surgery took only four hours to complete and involved opening a small hole in the back of her skull and inserting the stimulator onto the surface of her brain. He then placed a tiny antenna receiver, which receives signals from a computer, into this hole. Following her procedure, the patient was tested for six weeks to determine the results of her new “bionic eye.” The results have been extremely positive so far, as the patient has seen the precise signals researchers sent to her visual cortex, the area of the brain that receives images from the optic nerve.
Dr. Pouratian explained, “The moment she saw colour for the first time was a very emotional experience. It touched us all very deeply as human beings. Based on these results, this system has the potential to restore sight to the blind.”
Check out this UCLA video that explains how the technology works:

Next Steps Toward Restoring the Patient’s Eyesight 

The UCLA doctors are now awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, anticipated to be granted in early 2017, to continue their experiments using the entire Orion I program. The tests would involve the patient wearing a pair of high-tech glasses with a camera on the bridge. Using the images captured from the glasses’ camera, Orion I would send those video signals to the brain, allowing the patient to see what’s directly in front of them  
Here’s a diagram that illustrates how the program works:
39E4F4E600000578-0-image-a-1_1477866572764

Dr Robert Greenberg, chairman of Second Sight, hopes this technology will improve all manner of eye injuries: “It is rare that technological development offers such stirring possibilities. By bypassing the optic nerve and directly stimulating the visual cortex, the Orion I has the potential to restore vision to patients blinded due to virtually any reason, including glaucoma, cancer, diabetic retinopathy, or trauma.”

Final Thoughts

In a world where being able to see is sometimes crucial for survival, Orion I could help transform the lives of many people suffering from blindness. This technology could provide a glimmer of hope to millions of people all over the world who never thought they’d see again. This patient’s story serves as a beautiful reminder that you can always find hope in the darkest of times and that literally anything is possible.
“I find hope in the darkest of days and focus in the brightest.” – Dalai Lama

B17: THE BIGGEST COVER UP IN THE HISTORY OF CANCER?

b12It has been becoming increasingly apparent in recent years that there are a number of alternative cancer treatment methods which have proven to either eradicate cancer cells on their own, or even assist with the more traditional methods of chemotherapy and radiation. Many of these alternative treatments do not get the recognition that they deserve from either mainstream media or mainstream medicine. In fact, in many states alternative cancer treatments have been banned or made illegal and, according to the law, one can even be forced to undergo chemotherapy against one’s will. It is important to note, however, that choosing one of these natural, alternative cancer treatments does require you to do a lot of research, because there is very little funding, or merit, allotted to their study. The cancer industry does not want to look at these alternative methods and spends very little of their funds informing people about preventative medicine. In fact, one particular vitamin that is believed to be extremely beneficial in fighting cancer cells has actually been banned by the FDA and is illegal for treatment in the United States, and that is Laetrile.
Laetrile contains one of the greatest concentrations of vitamin B-17 on the planet, and it can be found in the often-overlooked seed of a popular fruit: the apricot. Apricot seeds can be found beneath the hard pit inside the apricot, and many people are unaware that they are both edible and delicious, and that they contain a cancer-fighting agent called amygdalin within.
Amygdalin contains glucose, benzaldehyde, and cyanide, and it is the latter which is believed to be the active cancer-fighting ingredient of Laetrile. It is important to note, however, that cyanide is actually toxic to all cells, which makes the overall toxicity of Laetrile a concern. Yet studies suggest that Laetrile is more toxic to cancer cells than to normal cells. After all, your chances of getting cyanide poisoning from apple seeds or almonds are extremely slim, and we mustn’t forget that cancer is toxic to begin with. (And the last time I checked, so are chemotherapy and radiation.)

You May Be Asking The Following Question

Question: “If B17 is so powerful and helpful towards cancer elimination, then why is it not prescribed by modern physicians as a treatment?”
 Simple Answer: “A control for cancer is known, and it comes from nature, but it is not widely available to the public because it cannot be patented, and therefore is not commercially attractive to the pharmaceutical industry.”
 — G. Edward Griffin.

Dr. Sugiura’s Research

Dr. Kanematsu Suigura spent the majority of his career at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and has authored more than 250 papers; he has also received numerous awards, one of which included the highest honors from the Japan Medical Association for outstanding contributions in cancer research. He specifically studied Laetrile and discovered that it showed very positive results with preventing malignant lung tumors in laboratory mice. In control groups which received only plain saline, the lung tumors spread to between 80 and 90 percent of the mice, but in those given Laetrile, the tumors only spread to between 10 and 20 percent.

And Now For The Cover-Up

By 1974 findings for Laetrile’s cancer fighting properties were so positive that the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center had signed off on clinical trials — but then everything changed. The center started to get other scientists to perform the experiments involving Laetrile and whenever an experiment showed the possibility of a positive outcome, the research was completely scrapped and disregarded. Other scientists working at Sloan Kettering who had previously been on board with the cancer-fighting properties of Laetrile started to characterize these studies, and Sugiura himself, as fraudulent, even though nothing scientifically had changed to negate Sugiura’s findings.
Ralph Moss was a friend and colleague of Dr. Sugiura’s and was well informed about his findings in regards to Laetrile. When things started to go downhill, Moss found himself stuck in a moral dilemma: he could lie to support his employer, Sloan Kettering, or tell the truth about Laetrile and sacrifice his job. In the end, Moss chose to tell the truth and came clean at a press conference that was held in July of 1977. This ended up being his final day as an employee of the Sloan Kettering foundation.
According to Ralph Moss, the Laetrile cover-up really only makes sense when viewed through the lens of “the politics of cancer.” According to Moss: “The people on Sloan Kettering’s Board of Directors were a ‘Who’s Who’ of investors in petrochemical and other polluting industries. In other words, the hospital was being run by people who made their wealth by investing in the worst cancer-causing things on the planet.”
This is only part of the story.  .

More Information About Laetrile’s Cancer Fighting Properties

Even though Laetrile is not an FDA-approved cancer treatment, there are doctors who are choosing to use it ‘illegally,’ like John A. Richardson. He has been treating cancer patients at his clinic in San Francisco, California and it has been working a whole lot better than the traditional methods of treatment. His numerous success stories are documented in his book, Laetrile Case Histories: The Richardson Cancer Clinic Experience.
The FDA considers Laetrile an unapproved form of cancer treatment and it is illegal for a practitioner to administer. As a result of these regulations, you cannot buy Laetrile in the United States, although you can buy Vitamin B17/amygdalin in supplement form. Apricots themselves are not illegal, of course, so you can always gather their seeds on your own, though this is immensely time consuming. If you do choose this course of action, be aware that you are doing it at your own discretion. Because I am not a doctor and cannot give out medical advice, I highly suggest that you find a doctor who practices alternative medicine and who can best direct you on how to properly use this treatment.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Scientists decode the genome of Chinese licorice

Glycyrrhiza uralensis साठी प्रतिमा परिणामIn research published in The Plant Journal, a group of scientists led by researchers from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan have decoded the genome of Glycyrrhiza uralensis, or Chinese licorice, a plant that is important for its use in Chinese medicine and as a natural sweetener.
Chinese licorice, which is closely related to the plant--Glycyrrhiza glabra--used for licorice candy, is an important component of Chinese traditional medicine. According to Kazuki Saito of CSRS, who led the team, "It is incorporated in approximately 70 percent of the 200 major formulations used in traditional Kampo medicine in Japan. Considering that 90 percent of Japanese physicians prescribe Kampo medicine in their practices, it is easy to see the importance of this plant."
The team chose to examine the genome of Chinese licorice rather than other related species partly because it is known to contain the highest concentration of glycyrrhizin, a compound that is associated with the medical properties of the plant, which include anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-allergic, and anti-viral activities.
To conduct the screening, they chose a strain of G. uralensis kept at the Takeda Garden for Medicinal Plant Conservation in Kyoto. Using a combination of long read and short read sequencing, and by comparing the genome to published sequences of other legume species, they predicted that the plant's genome coded just over 34,000 proteins, a number somewhat higher than the 20,000 in the human genome. They focused in particular on two genetic regions--one coding saponins, which are important plant compounds including glycyrrhizin, and the other producing isoflavonoids, which are also known as medicinal components.
Through the research, the group demonstrated that there is a close conservation of genes between licorice and other related plants such as barrelclover (s species close to alfalfa) and chickpea, showing that legumes use a small number of genes to create "scaffolds" that allow for the production of an enormous diversity of compounds.
Keiichi Mochida, the first author of the paper, says, "Chinese licorice is an important and heavily consumed medicinal plant, and we hope that our work will make it possible to carry out molecular breeding to create strains that will grow sustainably in Japan, and which produce large concentrations of useful compounds such as glycyrrhizin."
According to Saito, "We very much hope that our draft genome sequence will facilitate the identification, isolation, and editing of useful genes to improve the agronomic and medicinal traits of licorice through molecular breeding. There remains much to learn about the immense diversity of plant metabolism, and this research will contribute to further progress in that direction."
The group plans to do further work to examines differences between the genome of G. uralensis and other licorice species, to further deepen their understanding of the production of useful compounds. The work was carried out by RIKEN CSRS in collaboration with a group including Chiba University, Kochi University, and Osaka University.
Source:The Plant Journal

Licorice compound interferes with sex hormones in mouse ovary, study finds

IMAGEA study of mouse reproductive tissues finds that exposure to isoliquiritigenin, a compound found in licorice, disrupts steroid sex hormone production in the ovary, researchers report. This is the first study to examine the effects of this chemical on the ovary.
100-Natural-Licorice-Roots-Sticks-Mulethi-Sticks-Yashtimadhu-250gExposure to high levels of the compound, which the researchers call "iso," lowered the expression of key genes involved in hormone production, the researchers found. In particular, expression of a gene for aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen, dropped by 50 percent or more.
The findings are reported in the journal Reproductive Toxicology.
Though preliminary - more research must be done to determine iso's effects in living animals - the discovery is concerning, said University of Illinois comparative biosciences professor Jodi Flaws, who led the study with researcher Sharada Mahalingam.
"In general, when you start to have lower hormone levels, you could start to have problems with reproduction," Flaws said. "And because estrogen is also important for healthy brains, healthy bones, a healthy cardiovascular system, if the levels are depleted for too long, you could have problems with those systems. We haven't shown that to be the case. That's just a possibility.
"I would say, though, that a 50-plus percent drop in aromatase in humans would be a serious problem for fertility and for other things," Flaws said.
Whole licorice root and purified forms of iso are used in herbal supplements, teas, candies and as flavoring agents in tobacco products. Iso is sometimes marketed to women for the relief of hot flashes or other symptoms of menopause, and studies have found that the root has anti-cancer properties for some types of breast, prostate and colon cancer, Mahalingam said.
The same properties that make iso effective against some cancers also might make it toxic to the normal growth and development of the ovary, Flaws said. Other aromatase inhibitors are already in use in oncology to stop the growth of tumors that respond to estrogen, but doctors warn of potential effects on fertility in women of child-bearing age. Use of iso to inhibit aromatase could have the same effects as other aromatase inhibitors, Flaws said.
"This could lead to a good outcome in certain tissues, depending on dose and timing of exposure," she said. "In the ovary, though, if you reduce aromatase, you're also reducing estrogen, so you could be interfering with fertility."
"Botanical estrogens are quite complex, and different tissues may have differential responses, depending on dosage," said food science and human nutrition professor William Helferich, the director of the Botanical Estrogen Research Center at the U. of I. and a co-author of the study.
The new findings are only the first step in understanding iso's role, if any, in influencing fertility, the researchers said.
Source:UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

Friday, 11 November 2016

Scientists develop tissue-engineered model of human lung and trachea

Scientists at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have developed a tissue-engineered model of lung and trachea which contains the diverse cell types present in the human respiratory tract. The study, led by principal investigator Tracy Grikscheit, MD, a pediatric surgeon and scientist at The Saban Research Institute of CHLA, was published this week in the online version of the journal Tissue Engineering.
Lung disease causes more than 200,000 deaths annually in the United States. Although the lung is generally considered slow to respond to disease and injury, it does undergo regenerative processes, most of which are not fully understood. Building an understanding of these processes might lead to harnessing these innate mechanisms to help damaged lungs repair. A first step is a proper three-dimensional model in which the disease process can be studied.
Previously, Grikscheit's lab developed tissue-engineered small intestine (TESI) and showed that this regenerated tissue was functional and contained all of the key components of the native tissue. The Grikscheit lab employed a similar strategy to recapitulate the human lung and trachea, transplanting stem and progenitor cells on biodegradable polymer scaffolds. The tissue that grows from this strategy is termed tissue-engineered lung or TELu.
Transplanting regionally specific lung tissue (proximal or distal) from mice and humans generates TELu with typical location-specific tissue markers such as particular alveolar or air sac cells in the distal TELu or tracheal epithelial cells organized with cartilage and ciliated appendages for proximal lung. TEtrach, or tissue-engineered trachea, grew from the most proximal cells.
"We think that understanding lung regeneration in this model will allow several steps forward," said Grikscheit, who is also a tenured associate professor of Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. "For example, advanced stages of disease can be studied with TELu that would be impossible to fully understand in our patients. Likewise,we can more quickly apply many more therapies in this model in order to - hopefully - deliver future human therapies."
Source:CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL LOS ANGELES

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