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Friday, 9 January 2015


For years, pathogens resis­tance to antibi­otics has put them one step ahead of researchers, which is causing a public health crisis. But in new research, led by the researchers at the present study discloses that  a newly dis­cov­ered antibi­otic has been identified  that elim­i­nates pathogens without encoun­tering any detectable resistance -- a finding that chal­lenges long-​​held sci­en­tific beliefs and holds great promise for treating chronic infec­tions like tuber­cu­losis caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, diseseases caused by Streptococcus sp.
The work is mainly carried out by the North­eastern researchers led by Lewis along with the northeastern biology professor Slava Epstein and in association with NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge and Selcia ltd. UK. They played an important role in   developing a novel method for growing uncul­tured bac­teria led to the dis­covery of the antibi­otic, called teixobactin, and also ana­lyzing and testing the com­pound for resis­tance from pathogens. It is supposed to be the first discovery of an antibi­otic to which resis­tance by muta­tions of pathogens have not been identified.
The research team says teixobactin's dis­covery presents a promising new oppor­tu­nity to treat chronic infec­tions caused by staphy­lo­coccus aureus, that are highly resis­tant to antibi­otics, as well as tuber­cu­losis, which involves a com­bi­na­tion of ther­a­pies with neg­a­tive side effects.
The screening of soil microor­gan­isms has pro­duced most antibi­otics, but only 1% of them will grow in the lab, and this lim­ited resource was over­mined. The reserachers  spent years seeking to address this problem by tap­ping into a new source of antibi­otics beyond those cre­ated by syn­thetic means: uncul­tured bac­teria, which make up 99% of all species in external envi­ron­ments. The scientists have devel­oped a novel method for growing uncul­tured bac­teria in their nat­ural envi­ron­ment. The approach of developing the same  involves the iChip, a minia­ture device Epstein's team cre­ated that can iso­late and help grow single cells in their nat­ural envi­ron­ment and thereby pro­vides researchers with much improved access to uncul­tured bac­teria.
The antibi­otic was dis­cov­ered during a rou­tine screening for antimi­cro­bial mate­rial using the above method. Lewis then tested the com­pound for resis­tance devel­op­ment and did not find mutant       Mycobac­terium tuber­cu­losis resis­tant to teixobactin, which was found to block sev­eral dif­ferent tar­gets in the cell wall syn­thesis pathway.
In 2013, Lewis revealed ground­breaking research in a sep­a­rate paper pub­lished byNature that pre­sented a novel approach to treat and elim­i­nate tuberculosis and other non resistant disease.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Study show that reprogramming stem cells can prevent cancer following full body radiation

The body has evolved ways to get rid of faulty stem cells. A study conducted in the University of Colorado Cancer Center shows that one of these ways is a "program" that makes stem cells damaged by radiation differentiate into other cells that can no longer survive forever. Radiation makes a stem cell lose its "stemness."
The study also shows that this same safeguard of "programmed mediocrity" that weeds out stem cells damaged by radiation allows blood cancers to grow in cases when the full body is irradiated. And by reprogramming this safeguard, we may be able to prevent cancer in the aftermath of full body radiation.
Our body is not evolve to deal with leaking nuclear reactors and CT scans. It is evolved to deal with only a few cells at a time receiving dangerous doses of radiation or other insults to their DNA .
The team that carried out the research in the same explored the effects of full body radiation on the blood stem cells of mice. In this case, radiation increased the probability that cells in the hematopoietic stem cell system would differentiate. Only, while most followed this instruction, a few did not. Stem cells with a very specific mutation were able to disobey the instruction to differentiate and retain their "stemness". Genetic inhibition of the gene C/EBPA allowed a few stem cells to keep the ability to act as stem cells. With competition from other, healthy stem cells removed, the stem cells with reduced C/EBPA were able to dominate the blood cell production system. In this way, the blood system transitioned from C/EBPA+ cells to primarily C/EBPA- cells.
Mutations and other genetic alterations resulting in inhibition of the C/EBPA gene are associated with acute myeloid leukemia in humans. Thus, it's not mutations caused by radiation but a blood system reengineered by faulty stem cells that creates cancer risk in people who have experienced radiation.
Usually in the healthy blood system, healthy stem cells out-compete stem cells that happen to have the C/EBPA mutation. But when radiation reduces the heath and robustness  of the stem cell population, the mutated cells that have been there all along are suddenly given the opportunity to take over.
These studies not only tell us why radiation makes hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) differentiate but it also states that they also show activating a stem cell maintenance pathway. Even months after irradiation, artificially activating the NOTCH signaling pathway of irradiated HSCs lets them act "stemmy" again - restarting the blood cell assembly line in these HSCs that would have otherwise differentiated in response to radiation.
When researchers tried to activate NOTCH in previously irradiated HSCs, it kept the population of dangerous, C/EBPA cells at bay. Competition from non-C/EBPA-mutant stem cells, with their fitness restored by NOTCH activation, meant that there was no evolutionary space for C/EBPA-mutant stem cells.
The scientist who carried out the research said "If I were working in a situation in which I was likely to experience full-body radiation, I would freeze a bunch of my HSCs, explaining that an infusion of healthy HSCs after radiation exposure would likely allow the healthy blood system to out-compete the radiation-exposed HSC with their "programmed mediocrity" (increased differentiation) and even HSC with cancer-causing mutations.
But there's also hope that in the future, we could offer drugs that would restore the fitness of stem cells left over after radiation.

Thursday, 18 September 2014


Arthritis is the common disease of old age people whose age is above 40. Arthritis is more common in women than in men. Basically, arthritis is a common group of disease that involves the damaged body joints. There are many types and form of arthritis, of which the most common form of is the Osteoarthritis which is affecting millions of people around the globe. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of the bones degenerates over time. Obesity may also lead to the major cause of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis may be also referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis.
Signs and Symptoms
Osteoarthritis often affect slowly but it gets worsen over time. The main symptoms observed in the osteoarthritis include pain in various body joints, the joints become tender or very sensitive, or stiffness of the joints which can be easily observed when the patient wake up in the morning.
Various medications and drugs are available for the treatment of osteoarthritis, of which one of the best and proven natural remedy is the use of ginger for the treatment of the same.
Zingiber officinale which is commonly known as ginger by the common people have great medicinal values and is used for treatment therapy for curing wide range of diseases. Through various research it has been proved that ginger contains various anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols that plays the major role in treating osteoarthritis to a great extent.
The scientific studies that were generally conducted used powdered ginger roots, fresh ginger roots at an equivalent dosage which proved to have given better results against osteoarthritis. These ginger extracts reduces the production of various chemical substances (for e.g. Leukotrienes) that are the main substances that promote joint pain and inflammation.
An example of chemical trial that was conducted from Australia’s Edith Cowan University to confirm the use of ginger for the treatment of osteoarthritis is mentioned below.
In this research 20 patients were recruited who were suffering from osteoarthritis. Each patients were under the observation period for 24 weeks where they were given ginger patch for treatment. Improvements started showing within 2 weeks of the treatments where the patients experienced reduced joint pain and increased mobility of the joint.
Most of the studies utilizes 1 gm of powdered ginger root or fresh ginger roots or an equivalent dosage of both have also been proven effective.

Ginger tea have also proved to be effective against osteoarthritis.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that causes systematic inflammation of the joints. Autoimmune disorder is the disorder that occur when the body’s tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own immune system.
    A joint is where two bones meet to allow movement of body parts. Arthritis means joint inflammation. The joint inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling, pain, stiffness, and redness in the joints. The inflammation of rheumatoid disease can also occur in tissues around the joints, such as the tendons, ligaments, and muscles.(1)
Although Rheumatoid Arthritis can occur at any age, but it usually occurs after the age of 40. According to the recent studies it has been seen that the disorder is more common in women than in men.
Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:
Ø  Tender, warm, swollen joints
Ø  Morning stiffness that may last for hours
Ø  Firm bumps of tissue under the skin of the arms
Ø  Fatigue, fever and weight loss.
Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can cause joints to deform and shift out of place.(2)
Doctors still have no clue what exactly causes Rheumatoid Arthritis, although genetic components are most likely to be involved. Smoking is the most significant non-genetic risk.(3)
There is no proper cure for rheumatoid arthritis. Medications can reduce the inflammation in the joints in order to get relief from pain and prevent or slow down the joint damage. The drugs mainly given as a medication for rheumatoid arthritis have several side effects.
However, a 2012 systematic review concluded that the omega-3 fatty acid found in seafood and fish oil may be modestly helpful in relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. In the studies included many participants reported that taking fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acid had less joint swelling and pain, and less need for anti-inflammatory drugs to control the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.(4)
Omega-3 fatty acids exist in two forms namely;
Ø  Long-chain forms (DHA) which is found in higher levels in oily fish
Ø  Short chain forms mainly found in rapeseed oil, walnuts etc.
Amongst the classic inflammatory conditions, fish oil have been extensively used as a topic of research for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Animal models have been demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids can delay the onset of arthritis, reduce its severity and improve joint pathology.
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. They are very much essential for the human health, but the body can’t make them and hence it is given as the supplement with the food an individual take. Omega-3fatty acid have turned out to be best supplement that can be used as the supplement to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, other sea food including algae and krill, some plants and nut oils. Also termed as Polyunsaturated Fatty acids (PUFAs). Omega-e fatty acids play an important role in proper functioning of the brain, as well as the normal growth and development. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week. The most widely studied omega-3 fatty acids namely eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosaxaenoic acid (DHA) have various effects in the body. In the immune systems, EPA is a precursor for eicosanoids, which are messenger molecules that are less inflammatory. EPA and DHA also produces inflammatory molecules called resolvins ( Norling and Peretti), and reduce the expression of gene that produces inflammatory components (Calder). As rheumatoid arthritis is caused by inflammatory molecules attacking healthy cells, reducing inflammation can treat the cause of the disease.(5)
Laboratory studies of University of Maryland suggests that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids (and low in the inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids) may help people with osteoarthritis, although more study is needed for the same. New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus), another source of omega-fatty acids, has been reported to reduce joint stiffness and pain, increase grip strength, and improve walking pace in a small group of people with rheumatoid arthritis. Exceptionally, in some cases the symptoms got worse before they are improved.
An analysis of 17 randomized, controlled clinical trials looked at the pain relieving effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplements in people with rheumatoid arthritis or joint pain caused by inflammatory bowel disease and painful menstruation. The results suggests that omega-3 fatty acids, along with conventional therapies such as Non-Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may help relieve joint pain associated with these condition.(6)
The influence of omega-3 fatty acids on the functional responses of various cell types involved in inflammation and on the production of the rage of chemical mediators produced has been a favorite topic for research of many. Various reports have been found over the year which states the effects of omega-3 fatty acids acts in anti-inflammatory manner, with more recent studies suggesting that they may be involved in the resolution of inflammation. The anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3fatty acids are widely reviewed round the globe. The ability of omega-3 fatty acid to down-regulate several aspects of inflammation suggests that these fatty acids might be important in determining the development and severity of inflammatory diseases and further they may be used as a useful component of therapy.
The main mechanism underlying the anti-inflammatory actions of omega-3 fatty acid include altered cell membrane phospholipid fatty acid composition, disruption of lipid rafts, inhibition of activation of the pro-inflammatory transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B so reducing expression of inflammatory genes, activation of the anti-inflammatory transcription factor NR1C3 (i.e. peroxisome proliferator activated receptor ˠ) and binding to the G-protein.
For e.g., Cleland et al. found that patients with RA who use fish oil supplements were more likely to reduce the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with respect to those patients that did not use fish oil as the supplement. The dose of omega-3 fatty acids used in these trials has typically been high, between about 1 and 7g/day and averaging about 3.5g/day. This dose would equate to 50mg per kg body wt. per day which is quite difficult to get it achieved through supplement diet or liquid oil.(7)
However, in the current studies that are been conducted recently used a low dose of 0.4 gms per day, which is able to be obtained from diet and a high dose of 5.5 gms per day. Patients who had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis over many years were asked for the participation in the clinical trials that were conducted. The progression of rheumatoid arthritis, including joint deformities can be delayed if the treatment is started early to reduce the excessive amounts of inflammatory molecules in the body. The fish oil treatment was additional to the use of a single first-line disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARDs). The patients were guided by the physicians during the one-year study. After one year of supplementation, the researchers found that the patients in the high dose had a lower failure rate of first-line treatment. In the high-dose group, only 10% reported failure of DMARDs, while in a low-dose group, 32% reported DMARD failure. This meant that for around one quarter patients, fish oil supplementation and the first-line treatment were enough to stabilize rheumatoid arthritis, and for a further two-thirds, the first-line treatment was likely sufficient.
Various other meta-analyses results are also conducted for eg., Lee, Bae and Song analyzed ten clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis patients and found that omega-3 supplements significantly reduced the use of common pain killers. Trials also found a non-significantly reduction in the number of tender and swollen joints, improvements in physical function, and less joint stiffness in the morning. The dose should be at least 2.7 gms per day, and the supplements should be taken for longer than 3 months.(8)
However, omega-3 fatty acid intake do have some side effects in the human body. While conducting various research studies it has been found that the patients who were undertaking the omega-3 fatty acid as the supplement had mild stomach upsets and diarrhea. Recently, there have been concerns about the possible link between high levels of omega-3 fatty acid and prostate cancer.  It is also often dangerous to take fish liver oil in large doses because of the risk of overdosing with vitamin A. this is particularly important for the pregnant women, or women who are likely to get pregnant, because vitamin A can harm the newborn baby. Hence, it is always recommended to consult the dose of omega-3 fatty acids before intake.
 Unlike prescription medications, fish oil does not appear to slow progression of rheumatoid arthritis, only to treat the symptoms. Joint damage still occurs.

Researchers suggest that one need at least 2.7 gm per day of the long chain omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil act quite slowly so it is recommended that one must have at least 3 months supplements of fish oil for having effective results. It is always recommended to have omega-3 fatty acid along with the diet that a person is having to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

4.      Omega-3 fatty acids- university of Maryland medical Centre
5.      Marine omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory process: effects, mechanisms and clinical relevance: Calder PC
6.      Omega-3 fatty acids, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammation: Julia Bird
7.      The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids: Linda Richards
9.      Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: nutrition or pharmacology? : Philip C Calder

10.  Rheumatoid arthritis: William C Shiel Jr. MD, FACP, FACR

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Apple boosts sexual pleasure in women

A new study reportedly has linked daily apple use with an enhanced sexual function in healthy women. Apples contain polyphenols and antioxidants that can stimulate blood flow to the genitals leading to better arousal. Researchers have performed the experiments on various women. They found that women who had one-two apples had beter lubricaton and sexual function.  The study says, apple contain phloridzin, that is structurally similar to estradiol, a female sex hormones linked with arousing sexuality

Source- hyderabad times.