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  1. #2401
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    US scientists clone Zika virus for the first time!

    Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have cloned the Zika virus, a first in the world and a move that could fast track a vaccine against the deadly disease.

    "The new Zika clone, together with mosquito infection models and the UTMB-developed Zika mouse model, represent a major advance towards deciphering why the virus is tied to serious diseases," said lead author Pei-Yong Shi, UTMB endowed professor. "The new clone is also a critical step in developing a vaccine and antiviral drug against Zika."


    In the tests, scientists geentically engineered the infectious cDNA clone, allowing them to make Zika virus from test tube and cells on petri dishes.



    The researchers then used the UTMB-developed Zika mouse model to demonstrate that the cloned virus infected the mice and gave them neurological disease.


    Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes. Symptoms of Zika virus include mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache, normally last for 2-7 days.


    The human-made Zika virus is a replica of the strain that is spreading across the Americas and has been linked to microcephaly in newborn babies.


    The team fed Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with human blood infected with either the parental Zika virus or the "human-made" Zika virus and found that the number of infected mosquitoes was similar.


    Their findings confirm that the cloned virus is highly infectious for Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. In addition, the results demonstrated that Aedes aegypti might be a good mosquito vector for Zika virus transmission.
    Furthermore, the team engineered a luciferase reporter Zika virus.

    Luciferase is the chemical in fireflies that gives them their signature glow. The "glowing" reporter virus could be used for antiviral drug screening. In addition, the reporter signal could be used to track Zika virus infection in mosquitoes and small animal models.


    So far, there is no specific treatment or vaccine for Zika.
    Researchers hope their cloned virus will help achieve safe drugs and vaccines against the disease.


    Their findings have been published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.


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  2. #2402
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Life expectancy worldwide has increased by 5 years: WHO

    The global life expectancy has increased dramatically by five years in the last 15 years, the fastest gain since the 1960s, according to a new WHO report published today.

    Dramatic gains in life expectancy have been made globally since 2000, but major inequalities persist within and among countries, the World Health Organisation report said. Life expectancy increased by five years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s, it said. Those gains reverse declines during the 1990s, when life expectancy fell in Africa because of the AIDS epidemic and in
    Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    The increase was greatest in the African Region of WHO where life expectancy increased by 9.4 years to 60 years, driven mainly by improvements in child survival, progress in malaria control and expanded access to antiretrovirals for
    treatment of HIV. "The world has made great strides in reducing the needless suffering and premature deaths that arise from preventable and treatable diseases," said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO.

    "But the gains have been uneven. Supporting countries to move towards universal health coverage based on strong primary care is the best thing we can do to make sure no-one is left behind," said Chan. Global life expectancy for children born in 2015 was 71.4 years (73.8 years for females and 69.1 years for males), but an individual child's outlook depends on where they are born, the report said.

    The report shows that newborns in 29 countries - all of them high-income - have an average life expectancy of 80 years or more, while newborns in 22 others - all of them in sub-Saharan Africa - have life expectancy of less than 60
    years. With an average lifespan of 86.8 years, women in Japan can expect to live the longest. Switzerland enjoys the longest average survival for men, at 81.3 years. People in Sierra Leone have the world's lowest life-expectancy for both sexes: 50.8 years for women and 49.3 years for men.

    Healthy life expectancy, a measure of the number of years of good health that a newborn in 2015 can expect, stands at 63.1 years globally (64.6 years for females and 61.5 years for males


  3. #2403
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Aspirin after 'mini stroke' reduces further risk

    Taking aspirin immediately when patients experience stroke-like symptoms may considerably reduce the risk of a fatal stroke over the next few days and weeks, a new study has claimed.

    Aspirin is already given to people who have had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA), often called a 'mini-stroke', to prevent further strokes after they have been assessed in hospital and in the longer-term, reducing the subsequent stroke risk by about 15 per cent.

    However, based on a previous study, the team suspected that the benefits of more immediate treatment with aspirin could be much greater. "The risk of a major stroke is very high immediately after a TIA or a minor stroke (about 1,000 times higher than the background rate), but only for a few days," said lead researcher Peter Rothwell, a stroke expert from the University of Oxford in the UK.

    "We showed previously that urgent medical treatment with a 'cocktail' of different drugs could reduce the one-week risk of stroke from about 10 per cent to about 2 per cent, but we didn't know which component of the 'cocktail' was most important," said Rothwell. "We suspected that the early benefit might be much

    greater. If so, taking aspirin as soon as possible after 'warning symptoms' event could be very worthwhile," he said.

    The team from Oxford, University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands, University Duisburg-Essen in Germany and Lund University in Sweden revisited the individual patient data from twelve trials (about 16,000 people) of aspirin for
    long-term secondary prevention - that is, to prevent a further stroke - and data on about 40,000 people from three trials of aspirin in treatment of acute stroke.

    They found that almost all of the benefit of aspirin in reducing the risk of another stroke was in the first few weeks, and that aspirin also reduced the severity of these early strokes. Rather than the 15 per cent overall reduction in longer-term risk reported previously in these trials, aspirin reduced the early risk of a fatal or disabling stroke by about 70-80 per cent over the first few days and weeks.

    "Our findings confirm the effectiveness of urgent treatment after TIA and minor stroke - and show that aspirin is the most important component," Rothwell said.

    "Immediate treatment with aspirin can substantially reduce the risk and severity of early recurrent stroke.

    This finding has implications for doctors, who should give aspirin immediately if a TIA or minor stroke is suspected, rather than waiting for specialist assessment and investigations," he added. The research was published in the journal Lancet.


  4. #2404
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Sex life gets better with age: study

    It seems like wine and a person’s sex life have one thing in common – both get better with age. A recent study has shown that people over the age of 40 not only have an active sex life but are much more open to experiments in the bedroom than when they were younger, reports Cosmo.

    The survey, which was conducted by sex researchers at the University of Guelph and the Sex Information and Educational Council of Canada (SIECCAN), involved 2,400 participants between the ages of 40 and 59. The study found that 75 per cent of respondents admitted to having a sexual encounter in the previous 12 months with 71 per cent saying that they had sex in the last six.

    Surprisingly, 63 per cent of those surveyed said that they were “more interested in trying out new things to enhance pleasure” than they were ten years ago.


  5. #2405
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    High blood pressure raises risk of developing vascular dementia

    High blood pressure can significantly raise the risk of developing vascular dementia, a disease which affects around 7 lakh people in India, a new
    study today said.

    Researchers in the new study have found that high blood pressure was associated with 62 per cent higher risk of vascular dementia between the ages of 30-50. The conclusion was arrived at after the medical records of more than four million people were analysed and studied. The new study conducted by The George Institute for Global Health (GIGH) which was published in the journal of the American Heart Association.

    A common form of dementia caused by an impaired supply of blood to the brain such as may be caused by a series of small strokes. "Vascular dementia rates are increasing all over the world and will pose a significant economic and social burden in both developed and developing countries. So these results are particularly important," said lead author of the study, Kazem Rahimi who is also the Deputy Director of GIGH.

    The GIGH statement said vascular dementia affects around 700,000 people in India and is caused by reduced blood supply to the brain due to diseased blood vessels. "We already know that high blood pressure can raise the risk of stroke and heart attack. What makes this study significant is that, for the first time it has shown that high blood pressure is also associated with a significantly higher
    risk of vascular dementia," said Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director GIGH.

    The team at GIGH analysed the medical records of 4.28 million people in the UK and found over a seven year period 11,114 people developed vascular dementia.

    The study found patients aged 30-50, who had high blood pressure, had a 62 per cent higher risk of vascular dementia, and a 26 per cent higher risk at age 51-70.

    The study also found that high blood pressure was still a risk factor even after adjusting for the presence of stroke, the leading cause of vascular dementia.

    "Our results suggest that lowering blood pressure, either by exercise, diet or blood pressure lowering drugs, could reduce the risk of vascular dementia," Rahimi said. GIGH in the statement said that high blood pressure causes problems by damaging and narrowing the blood vessels in the brain and over time raises the risk of a blood vessel becoming blocked or bursting.


  6. #2406
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Beware! Your bread may cause cancer - Chemicals found in pizzas, burgers of seven Delhi fast food outlets

    The findings of this CSE study are literally alarming as most of us consume bread almost daily.

    A latest study by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has found residues of potassium bromate and/or iodate in many types of bread.


    Noteworthy, the additives - Potassium bromate (KBrO3) and potassium iodate (KIO3) - considering that it can cause cancer, have been banned by many countries for their potentially adverse health effects.


    In the CSE study results, products of 7 popular fast food Delhi outlets selling pizzas and burgers tested positive for chemicals.





    The study shows that 84 per cent of bread and bakery samples collected from Delhi contain residues of potassium bromate, potassium iodate or both.


    Potassium bromate (KBrO3) and potassium iodate (KIO3) are chemical food additives which, according to Indian food regulations, can be used by bread makers and bakeries as flour treatment agents. Potassium bromate helps achieve high rising and a uniform finish.
    But the safety of these additives is under a cloud.


    Health impacts of these two chemicals



    In an evaluation in 1986, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), associated with the World Health Organization (WHO), stated that there was sufficient evidence to show the carcinogenicity of potassium bromate.


    In 1999, IARC acknowledged that exposure to potassium bromate could occur due to its use as a dough conditioner and classified it as Class 2B which means “possibly carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to humans”.


    What does CSE recommend now?
    The FSSAI should prohibit the use of potassium bromate in making bread and bakery products with immediate effect.


    The use of potassium iodate as a flour treatment agent in bread and other bakery products should not be allowed by the FSSAI.


  7. #2407
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    How mutant cells turn into aggressive cancers discovered

    Scientists have discovered how a gene mutation found in several human cancers — including leukaemia, gliomas and melanoma — promotes the growth of aggressive tumours, a finding that may help develop new treatment for the deadly diseases.

    "We've found the mechanism through which this mutation leads to a scrambling of the genome. That's when you get really massive tumours," said Eros Lazzerini Denchi , associate professor at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in US.

    The research also suggests a possible way to kill these kinds of tumours by targeting an important enzyme.

    The researchers studied mutations in a gene that codes for the protein POT1. This protein normally forms a protective cap around the ends of chromosomes (called telomeres), stopping cell machinery from mistakenly damaging the DNA there and causing harmful mutations.

    POT1 is so critical that cells without functional POT1 would rather die than pass on POT1 mutations. Stress in these cells leads to the activation of an enzyme, called ATR, that triggers programmed cell death.

    Knowing this, scientists in recent years were surprised to find recurrent mutations affecting POT1 in several human cancers, including leukaemia and melanoma.

    "Somehow those cells found a way to survive — and thrive. We thought that if we could understand how that happens, maybe we could find a way to kill those cells," said Lazzerini Denchi, who co-led the study with Agnel Sfeir of New York University (NYU) School of Medicine.

    Using a mouse model, the researchers found that mutations in POT1 lead to cancer when combined with a mutation in a gene called p53.

    "The cells no longer have the mechanism for dying, and mice develop really aggressive thymic lymphomas," said Lazzerini Denchi.

    P53, a well-known tumour suppressor gene, is a cunning accomplice. When mutated, it overrides the protective cell death response initiated by ATR.


    Then, without POT1 creating a protective cap, the chromosomes are fused together and the DNA is rearranged, driving the accumulation of even more mutations. These mutant cells go on to proliferate and become aggressive tumours.


    The findings led the team to consider a new strategy for killing these tumours.


    Scientists know that all cells — even cancer cells — will die if they have no ATR. Since tumours with mutant POT1 already have low ATR levels, the researchers think a medicine that knocks out the remaining ATR could kill tumours without affecting healthy cells.


  8. #2408
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    How mutant cells turn into aggressive cancers discovered

    Scientists have discovered how a gene mutation found in several human cancers including leukaemia, gliomas and melanoma promotes the growth of aggressive tumours, a finding that may help develop new treatment for the deadly diseases.

    "We've found the mechanism through which this mutation leads to a scrambling of the genome. That's when you get really massive tumours," said Eros Lazzerini Denchi , associate professor at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in US.

    The research also suggests a possible way to kill these kinds of tumours by targeting an important enzyme.

    The researchers studied mutations in a gene that codes for the protein POT1. This protein normally forms a protective cap around the ends of chromosomes (called telomeres), stopping cell machinery from mistakenly damaging the DNA there and causing harmful mutations.

    POT1 is so critical that cells without functional POT1 would rather die than pass on POT1 mutations. Stress in these cells leads to the activation of an enzyme, called ATR, that triggers programmed cell death.

    Knowing this, scientists in recent years were surprised to find recurrent mutations affecting POT1 in several human cancers, including leukaemia and melanoma.

    "Somehow those cells found a way to survive and thrive. We thought that if we could understand how that happens, maybe we could find a way to kill those cells," said Lazzerini Denchi, who co-led the study with Agnel Sfeir of New York University (NYU) School of Medicine.

    Using a mouse model, the researchers found that mutations in POT1 lead to cancer when combined with a mutation in a gene called p53.

    "The cells no longer have the mechanism for dying, and mice develop really aggressive thymic lymphomas," said Lazzerini Denchi.

    P53, a well-known tumour suppressor gene, is a cunning accomplice. When mutated, it overrides the protective cell death response initiated by ATR.


    Then, without POT1 creating a protective cap, the chromosomes are fused together and the DNA is rearranged, driving the accumulation of even more mutations. These mutant cells go on to proliferate and become aggressive tumours.


    The findings led the team to consider a new strategy for killing these tumours.


    Scientists know that all cells even cancer cells will die if they have no ATR. Since tumours with mutant POT1 already have low ATR levels, the researchers think a medicine that knocks out the remaining ATR could kill tumours without affecting healthy cells.


  9. #2409
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    மாதந்தோறும் 9ம் தேதி இலவச மருத்துவ முகாம்

    ''பிரதமர் மோடியின் விருப்பத்தை நிறைவேற்றும் வகையில், அப்பல்லோ மருத்துவமனைகள், மாதந்தோறும், 9ம் தேதி, இலவச சிறப்பு மருத்துவ முகாம்களை நடத்தும்,'' என, அப்பல்லோ மருத்துவ குழும தலைவர் பிரதாப் ரெட்டி தெரிவித்தார்.

    மத்தியில், பா.ஜ., ஆட்சிக்கு வந்து, இரு ஆண்டுகள் நிறைவடைந்து உள்ளது. இதையொட்டி, உ.பி.,யில் நடந்த சாதனை விளக்க பொதுக்கூட்டத்தில் பேசிய பிரதமர் மோடி, 'நாட்டில்
    டாக்டர்களின் தேவை அதிகரித்து வருவதால், அவர்களின் ஓய்வு பெறும் வயது, 65 ஆக உயர்த்தப்படும். டாக்டர்கள் மாதத்தில் ஒரு நாளாவது, இலவச சிகிச்சை அளிக்க வேண்டும்' என்றார்.
    இதையடுத்து, அப்பல்லோ குழும தலைவர் பிரதாப் ரெட்டி கூறியதாவது:

    இந்தியாவில், 64 அப்பல்லோ மருத்துவமனைகள் உள்ளன. பிரதமரின் விருப்பத்தை
    நிறைவேற்றும் வகையில், மாதந்தோறும், 9ம் தேதி, இலவச சிறப்பு மருத்துவ முகாம்கள் நடத்தப்படும். அந்தந்த மாநில அரசுகள் அறிவிக்கும் இடத்தில், இந்த மருத்துவ முகாம்கள் நடக்கும். இந்த பணியில் ஈடுபட, 9,000 டாக்டர்கள் ஆர்வமாக உள்ளனர்.இவ்வாறு அவர் கூறினார்.


  10. #2410
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    New drug to fight skin cancer developed

    Scientists have synthesised a new drug that they say can treat melanoma, a highly aggressive form of skin cancer. The drug, known as HA15, reduces the viability of melanoma cells without being toxic for normal cells.

    Melanoma affects melanocytes, the cells responsible for the synthesis of melanin, which gives skin its colour. The tumour progresses in three stages: radial growth, in which the cells proliferate in a disordered manner in the epidermis; the vertical growth phase, which involves invasion of the dermis, and finally the metastatic phase, corresponding to the dissemination of the cancer cells in the peripheral tissues.

    Although encouraging results have been obtained for treating the metastatic phase (using targeted therapies or immunotherapies), most patients will need additional treatments to prevent the tumour from coming back, and to prevent more metastases from developing. The identification of new drug candidates is therefore important for the establishment of effective biotherapies against this cancer, the incidence of which is doubling every ten years.

    Researchers led by Stephane Rocchi from University of Nice, Sophia Antipolis discovered a new family of drugs, the Thiazole Benzensulfonamides (TZB), which have useful anticancer properties.

    "Initially, this family of drugs was identified in type 2 diabetes, as it increased the sensitivity of cells to insulin," said Stephane Rocchi.


    "If we wanted to use it against cancer, we had to be able to eliminate this proinsulin activity. Thus we started to modify its structure," Rocchi said.

    Latest Comment

    My kudos to the research finders of cancer drug Humanity shall feel itself indebtedSubramani Pandranki

    After many attempts, the initial TZD structure was extensively modified to obtain a formulation in which the "lead compound" was called HA15.


    The study was published in the journal Cancer Cell.


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