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  • Snow in Himachal snaps road links

    26.01.2017 | Trump's Florida club doubles new member fee (10:26) Washington, Jan 26 () Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort owned by the Trump Organisation, doubled its initiation fee to $200,000 following the election of Donald Trump as the US President, a media report said.Effective January 1, the opulent resort located in Palm Beach county doubled its membership fee, CNBC said.In addition, members of the private club, valued at some $100 million, must pay an annual membership fee of $14,000 to be able to take advantage of the assorted services offered by Mar-a-Lago.A membership at the resort now includes a chance to mingle with the 45th President. Trump plans to use the resort as his occasional "Winter White House", the report said.He has visited it twice since his election - first for Thanksgiving and then over the Christmas and New Year holidays.The 20-acre resort that Trump acquired in 1985 for $10 million has a main mansion with more 100 rooms, along with private quarters for Trump and his family. It also has a beach club, pools, restaurant, tennis courts and a 20,000-sq feet ballroom that Trump built for events.Trump has resigned his position as the CEO of the Trump Organization and put his assets into a trust. It will now be run by his two sons: Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump. 

  • Stephen Strange arrogant but also humorous: Cumberbatch

    29.08.2016 | Benedict Cumberbatch is bringing the character 'Sorcerer Supreme' Stephen Strange to life on the silver screen via "Doctor Strange", a take on the comic book. The British actor says his role will be arrogant, but funny.Cumberbatch shared what drew him to the project in an interview to Empire magazine, reports hollywoodreporter.com. "The lure as an actor is the script, the director, Kevin (Feige), and talking about how to make a character written in the 1960s and 1970s relevant now," said Cumberbatch.He said the idea is to make the character "slightly less arrogant"."Arrogant, but also humorous," he added.Cumberbatch also revealed his favourite moment in the trailer -- it is when Strange whips his signature red cape around his shoulders in a stylishly flamboyant fashion. The "Sherlock" actor said: "It was wonderful to see that moment get a cheer. He's really earned it by then.""Doctor Strange" also stars Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, and Benedict Wong. The film releases in India on November 4. 

  • Spurs goalkeeper Lloris sidelined by hamstring injury

    17.08.2016 | Tottenham Hotspur's star goalkeeper Hugo Lloris could miss the team's Champions League opener due to a hamstring injury that might keep him out for up to a month, the English club has confirmed."Following further assessment and scans of the left hamstring injury sustained by Hugo Lloris in the 1-1 draw at Everton on Saturday, we can confirm he is expected to be out of action for around four weeks," read a statement from the club on Tuesday,  news agency reported.Spurs will open their Champions League campaign on either September 13th or 14th. Besides the Champions League group match, Lloris will probably miss the league games against Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Stoke.

  • Offspring with longer-living parents likely live longer

    17.08.2016 | People who have got longer-living parents are likely to have much better heart condition, less chances of cancer and more likely to live longer, said a study by researchers including from Indian Institute of Public Health.The team found that those with longer lived parents had lower incidence of multiple circulatory conditions including heart disease, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and atrial fibrillation.The researchers used data on the health of 186,000 middle-aged offspring, aged 55 to 73 years, and followed over a period of eight years and found that chances of survival of an individual increased by 17 per cent for each decade whose one parent lived beyond the age of 70.Although factors such as smoking, high alcohol consumption, low physical activity and obesity were important, the lifespan of parents was still predictive of disease onset after accounting for these risks."Asking about parents' longevity could help us predict our likelihood of ageing well and developing conditions such as heart disease, in order to identify patients at higher or lower risk in time to treat them appropriately," Janice Atkins, researcher at the University of Exeter Medical School, said.The current study is built on previous findings which established a genetic link between parents' longevity and heart disease risk."This work helps us identify genetic variations explaining the better health of people with longer-lived parents. We prominently found genetic factors linked to blood pressure, cholesterol levels and smoking, which underlines how important these avoidable and treatable risks are," said Luke Pilling, researcher at the University of Exeter Medical School.The study stated that while avoiding the well-known risk factors such as smoking is very important, there are also other factors inherited from parents and understanding those parental factors better can help people to age well.The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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  • Snow in Himachal snaps road links
    Snow in Himachal snaps road links

    26.01.2017 |Trump's Florida club doubles new member fee (10:26) Washington, Jan 26 () Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort owned by the Trump Organisation, doubled its initiation fee to $200,000 following the election of Donald Trump as the US President, a media report said.Effective January 1, the opulent resort located in Palm Beach county doubled its membership fee, CNBC said.In addition, members of the private club, valued at some $100 million, must pay an annual membership fee of $14,000 to be able to take advantage of the assorted services offered by Mar-a-Lago.A membership at the resort now includes a chance to mingle with the 45th President. Trump plans to use the resort as his occasional "Winter White House", the report said.He has visited it twice since his election - first for Thanksgiving and then over the Christmas and New Year holidays.The 20-acre resort that Trump acquired in 1985 for $10 million has a main mansion with more 100 rooms, along with private quarters for Trump and his family. It also has a beach club, pools, restaurant, tennis courts and a 20,000-sq feet ballroom that Trump built for events.Trump has resigned his position as the CEO of the Trump Organization and put his assets into a trust. It will now be run by his two sons: Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump. 

  • Stephen Strange arrogant but also humorous: Cumberbatch
    Stephen Strange arrogant but also humorous: Cumberbatch

    29.08.2016 |Benedict Cumberbatch is bringing the character 'Sorcerer Supreme' Stephen Strange to life on the silver screen via "Doctor Strange", a take on the comic book. The British actor says his role will be arrogant, but funny.Cumberbatch shared what drew him to the project in an interview to Empire magazine, reports hollywoodreporter.com. "The lure as an actor is the script, the director, Kevin (Feige), and talking about how to make a character written in the 1960s and 1970s relevant now," said Cumberbatch.He said the idea is to make the character "slightly less arrogant"."Arrogant, but also humorous," he added.Cumberbatch also revealed his favourite moment in the trailer -- it is when Strange whips his signature red cape around his shoulders in a stylishly flamboyant fashion. The "Sherlock" actor said: "It was wonderful to see that moment get a cheer. He's really earned it by then.""Doctor Strange" also stars Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, and Benedict Wong. The film releases in India on November 4. 

  • Spurs goalkeeper Lloris sidelined by hamstring injury
    Spurs goalkeeper Lloris sidelined by hamstring injury

    17.08.2016 |Tottenham Hotspur's star goalkeeper Hugo Lloris could miss the team's Champions League opener due to a hamstring injury that might keep him out for up to a month, the English club has confirmed."Following further assessment and scans of the left hamstring injury sustained by Hugo Lloris in the 1-1 draw at Everton on Saturday, we can confirm he is expected to be out of action for around four weeks," read a statement from the club on Tuesday,  news agency reported.Spurs will open their Champions League campaign on either September 13th or 14th. Besides the Champions League group match, Lloris will probably miss the league games against Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Stoke.

  • Offspring with longer-living parents likely live longer
    Offspring with longer-living parents likely live longer

    17.08.2016 |People who have got longer-living parents are likely to have much better heart condition, less chances of cancer and more likely to live longer, said a study by researchers including from Indian Institute of Public Health.The team found that those with longer lived parents had lower incidence of multiple circulatory conditions including heart disease, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and atrial fibrillation.The researchers used data on the health of 186,000 middle-aged offspring, aged 55 to 73 years, and followed over a period of eight years and found that chances of survival of an individual increased by 17 per cent for each decade whose one parent lived beyond the age of 70.Although factors such as smoking, high alcohol consumption, low physical activity and obesity were important, the lifespan of parents was still predictive of disease onset after accounting for these risks."Asking about parents' longevity could help us predict our likelihood of ageing well and developing conditions such as heart disease, in order to identify patients at higher or lower risk in time to treat them appropriately," Janice Atkins, researcher at the University of Exeter Medical School, said.The current study is built on previous findings which established a genetic link between parents' longevity and heart disease risk."This work helps us identify genetic variations explaining the better health of people with longer-lived parents. We prominently found genetic factors linked to blood pressure, cholesterol levels and smoking, which underlines how important these avoidable and treatable risks are," said Luke Pilling, researcher at the University of Exeter Medical School.The study stated that while avoiding the well-known risk factors such as smoking is very important, there are also other factors inherited from parents and understanding those parental factors better can help people to age well.The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

  • Much more to come from Chelsea, says coach Conte
    Much more to come from Chelsea, says coach Conte

    16.08.2016 |Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte insisted that there is much more to come from star Eden Hazard and his side after they defeated West Ham United to kick off their English Premier League (EPL) football season in style.Man-of-the-match Hazard put Chelsea ahead from the penalty spot and, following James Collins' equaliser, Diego Costa struck a last-gasp winner to seal a 2-1 victory on Monday.Conte celebrated wildly with the Chelsea supporters on the touchline and was full of praise for his players' performance in his first game at the helm."The team played a good game with great intensity and good spirit. There was great intensity and positioning. It was also very physical. I am delighted with the performance,” Conte said."It's important to find the right spirit and intensity, we know that we can improve and we must improve a lot, but I am pleased for the team. Eden played a good game. He has great ability and is very important in this team,” he added."I am very pleased with his performance but I know, and he knows, that he can improve a lot. The victory was deserved for me. Now we have to prepare for the next game."The former Italy head coach revealed he had thoroughly enjoyed his first experience of football in England, despite being forced to wait until the 89th minute to seal victory."I only knew the league through television and having played against English teams in the Champions League and Europa League, but it is very difficult. The atmosphere was fantastic and I want to say thank you to the fans because they followed the players at the end,” he said."It was fantastic and emotional for me to see the Italian flag in the crowd,” Conte signed off.

  • Chronic kidney disease may lead to diabetes
    Chronic kidney disease may lead to diabetes

    16.08.2016 |Establishing a novel link between chronic kidney disease and diabetes, a team of researchers have identified molecular mechanisms that may be responsible for the increased blood glucose levels in such patients, a study has revealed.Previous studies have found that type 2 diabetes is one of the causes of chronic kidney disease - that is characterised by the progressive and irreversible loss of kidney function in filtering and eliminating toxins from the blood. "However, our observations in mice and in human samples show that chronic kidney disease can cause secondary diabetes," said lead researcher Vincent Poitout, Professor at University of Montreal, in Canada.The results indicated that when kidneys fail, urea -- a nitrogenous waste product normally filtered by the kidneys and excreted in urine -- gets build up in the blood and thus can cause diabetes. "In patients with chronic renal failure, the kidneys are no longer able to eliminate toxins. Urea is part of this cocktail of waste that accumulates in the blood," added Laetitia Koppe, Nephrologist and postdoctoral fellow at University of Montreal. Eventually, those affected must undergo dialysis or kidney transplantation to eliminate toxins from their bloodstream.Further, about half of those affected by chronic kidney disease have abnormal blood sugar levels, Koppe said, adding that experiments in mice showed impaired insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells, as observed in diabetes.The same abnormalities were also found in samples of pancreatic cells from patients with chronic kidney disease."The study demonstrates that urea is directly responsible for impaired insulin secretion in chronic kidney disease," Koppe said.In addition, the team also identified phosphofruktokinase 1 - a protein at the heart of the pancreatic beta cells. The function of this protein is altered by an increase in blood urea, which occurs in chronic kidney disease. Thus, the increased urea causes impaired insulin secretion from the pancreatic beta cells, the researchers said. "This creates oxidative stress and excessive glycosylation of phosphofructokinase 1, which causes an imbalance of blood glucose and may progress to diabetes," Poitout explained."Further studies are required to validate these findings in humans. But if the observations are confirmed, it will mean that patients with non-diabetic chronic kidney disease are at risk of developing diabetes," Poitout noted in the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

  • Gaming camera could better monitor MS treatment
    Gaming camera could better monitor MS treatment

    16.08.2016 |Using a gaming camera that detects movement and computer algorithms that quantify people's walking patterns can help clinic objectively monitor the differences in gait of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients compared to healthy individuals, a study says.In current clinical practice, the walking movement of MS patients is usually assessed by their doctors, and subjective evaluations may distort results: two different clinic may give the same patient different evaluations. Using the new technique can reduce potential for human error, the findings showed."This tool may help the clinician provide a better diagnosis of gait pathology, and may be used to observe if a prescribed medication has been effective on the gait of the patient or not," said lead researcher Farnood Gholami from McGill University in Montreal, Canada."Our developed framework can likely be used for other diseases causing gait abnormalities as well, for instance Parkinson's disease," Gholami said.For the study, the researchers tested whether the Microsoft Kinect -- a 3D depth-sensing camera used in interactive video activities such as tennis and dancing -- could detect the differences in gait of MS patients compared to healthy individuals.Gholami captured the movement of 10 MS patients and 10 members of an age-and-sex-matched control group using the Kinect device. The MS patients had previously been assessed for gait abnormalities using the traditional clinician method.Using the data, the team then developed computer algorithms that quantified gait characteristics of MS patients and healthy people. The investigators found that gait characteristics measured with the Kinect camera and analysed with the developed algorithms were reproducible when assessed at one visit and were different between MS patients and the healthy individuals. Moreover, the gait characteristics of MS patients obtained by the algorithm were correlated with clinical measures of gait. In addition, the algorithms could mathematically define the characteristics of gait in MS patients at different severity levels, accurately determining his/her level of gait abnormality.The tool could be useful "to assess treatment effects of certain interventions such as rehabilitation or medication, and to document MS disease progression as reflected by gait deterioration. It may also be useful as a measure in clinical trials", Daria Trojan from Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital said.The findings were reported in the IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics.

  • Simple brain scan could help improve Parkinson's treatment
    Simple brain scan could help improve Parkinson's treatment

    16.08.2016 | Researchers have discovered that tracking changes in five brain areas linked to movement and balance with a simple non-invasive imaging technique could help evaluate experimental treatment to slow or stop the progress of Parkinson's.The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to reveal areas where Parkinson's disease and related conditions cause progressive decline in brain activity.While current treatments focus on controlling symptoms, biomarkers provide a quantifiable way to measure how medications address not just symptoms, but the neurological changes behind them.Previous studies have used imaging techniques that require the injection of a drug that crosses the blood-brain barrier."Our technique does not rely upon the injection of a drug. Not only is it non-invasive, it's much less expensive," said the study's senior author David Vaillancourt, Professor at University of Florida.The researchers used functional MRI to evaluate five areas of the brain that are key to movement and balance. A year after the baseline study, 46 Parkinson's patients in the study showed declining function in two areas -- the primary motor cortex and putamen. Some patients showed declines in all five areas. The brain activity of the 34 healthy control patients did not change.The finding, published in the journal Neurology, builds on a 2015 University of Florida study that was the first to document progressive deterioration from Parkinson's via MRI, showing an increase in unconstrained fluid in an area of the brain called the substania nigra.  

  • NASA's asteroid mission brings astronauts closer to Mars
    NASA's asteroid mission brings astronauts closer to Mars

    16.08.2016 | In its bid to send a manned flight to Mars, US space agency NASA has approved the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) to proceed to the next phase of design and development for the mission's robotic segment.ARM is a two-part mission that will integrate robotic and crewed spacecraft operations in the proving ground of deep space to demonstrate key capabilities needed for NASA's journey to Mars.For ARM, a robotic spacecraft will capture a boulder from the surface of a near-Earth asteroid and move it into a stable orbit around the moon for exploration by astronauts, all in support of advancing the nation's journey to Mars."There, astronauts will be able to select, extract, collect and return samples from the multi-ton asteroid mass, and conduct other human-robotic and spacecraft operations in the proving ground that will validate concepts for NASA's journey to Mars," NASA said in a statement.The option to retrieve a boulder from an asteroid will have a direct impact on planning for future human missions to deep space and begin a new era of spaceflight.The agency plans to announce the specific asteroid selected for the mission no earlier than 2019, approximately a year before launching the robotic spacecraft.NASA has identified three valid asteroids for the mission so far: Itokawa, Bennu and 2008 EV5.The milestone, known as Key Decision Point-B (KDP-B) was conducted in July and formally approved by the agency on August 15."This is an exciting milestone for the Asteroid Redirect Mission. Not only is ARM leveraging agency-wide capabilities, it will test a number of new technologies already in development," said NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot.The robotic ARM will demonstrate advanced, high-power, high-throughput solar electric propulsion and advanced autonomous high-speed proximity operations at a low-gravity planetary body.It will also showcase touchdown and liftoff with a multi-ton mass from a low-gravity planetary body and astronaut activities for sample selection, extraction, containment and return - all key components of future in-space operations for human missions to Mars.Before beginning its trip to lunar orbit, the ARM spacecraft will demonstrate a widely supported asteroid deflection technique called a gravity tractor.The spacecraft plus the mass of the captured boulder will create a small gravitational attraction to alter the orbit of the large asteroid.The robotic component of the ARM will demonstrate the world's most advanced and most efficient solar electric propulsion system as it travels to a near-Earth asteroid (NEA).NEAs are asteroids that are fewer than 121 million miles from the Sun at the closest point in their orbit. 

  • Cancer kills more Europeans than heart disease does: Study
    Cancer kills more Europeans than heart disease does: Study

    15.08.2016 |With 17.3 million deaths globally, cancer has now overtaken heart diseases as the main cause of death in 12 European countries, revealed a study.The findings showed that in France, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Britain more men die of cancer than of diseases of heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular or CVD). This was also the case in Norway and Israel (which are not members of the EU).In Denmark and Israel more women die from cancer than heart diseases.France was the first country where cancer overtook heart diseases as the main cause of death in men. According to figures from 2011, 92,375 men died from cancer and 64,659 died from heart diseases. The next country where cancer overtook heart diseases as the main killer was Spain. Figures from 2013 suggest that 67,711 men died from cancer and 53,487 died from heart diseases. In Britain, 87,511 men died from cancer and 79,935 from CVD in 2013."These figures highlight the wide inequalities between European countries in deaths from heart diseases. The 12 countries in which cancer has overtaken heart diseases as the main cause of death are all found in Western Europe. The highest numbers of deaths from heart diseases tend to be seen in Eastern European countries," said lead author Nick Townsend at the University of Oxford. The new data on the burden of heart diseases in Europe for 2016 showed that in the European region (defined as the 53 member states of the World Health Organization) heart diseases caused more than four million deaths each year or 45 per cent of all deaths. "With higher mortality from heart diseases still found in Eastern Europe and non-EU countries, it is clear that the progress has been made in Western Europe and most EU countries is yet to be achieved equally throughout the region," Townsend added.The study calls for monitoring and surveillance of CVD in order to help countries in Europe work towards reducing the inequalities seen across the continent."Improved data need to be collected in all countries in order to make comparisons on deaths and suffering from heart diseases between countries so that health professionals and national governments can target interventions more effectively to reduce inequalities," Townsend noted in the paper published in the European Heart Journal.

  • UK's first maternity clinic for rape victims opens
    UK's first maternity clinic for rape victims opens

    29.07.2016 |The UK's first maternity clinic for women who have been victims of rape and sexual assault opened its doors in London, a media report said on Friday.According to authorities, the clinic will provide extra antenatal support with specially-trained midwives, psychologists and paediatric, BBC reported.Co-run by Barts Health NHS Trust in London, the scheme could be introduced in other UK hospitals if successful, the authorities said.Pavan Amara, founder of the 'My Body Back' project which jointly established the clinic with the Barts Health NHS Trust, has met a number of women who told her of traumatic experiences during their pregnancies."One woman was told by her rapist: 'If you relax it'll be over with quicker.' When the woman was told the same thing in a healthcare setting, the health professional was completely unwittingly and unknowingly echoing the words of the rapist," Amara was quoted by the BBC as saying."It had a huge impact on the woman mentally. It's things like this... very small, but very big for a woman who is vulnerable."According to latest official figures, one in five women between the ages of 16-59 in England and Wales has experienced some form of sexual violence, BBC added.

  • Protein that can predict ovarian cancer early identified
    Protein that can predict ovarian cancer early identified

    29.07.2016 | Researchers have identified a protein that can help detect the earliest signs of ovarian cancer which begins in the female organs that produce eggs (ovaries) and is usually difficult to diagnose because it grows virtually unseen into the abdominal cavity.If detected early enough, the deadly cancer in the ovaries responds well to chemotherapy. However, once it spreads, it becomes resistant to chemotherapy and is far more likely to kill, the researchers said.“Ovarian cancer can be undetectable for up to four years and only a third of people with the cancer get an early diagnosis,” said Ahmed Ahmed, Professor at the Oxford University.The findings showed that levels of a protein called SOX2 are much higher in the fallopian tubes of people with ovarian cancer.“A test for SOX2 could not only help detect cancers early but in some cases would enable us to detect a tumour before it becomes cancerous,” Ahmed added.Further, SOX2 levels is also higher in some people who are at high risk of developing ovarian cancer such as those with inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.Early treatment hugely improves the odds for patients, so early detection is essential. However, there is still a lot of work to be done because detecting SOX2 in the fallopian tubes is not an easy task, said the paper published in the online journal EbioMedicine.

  • Djokovic enters Rogers Cup quarters
    Djokovic enters Rogers Cup quarters

    29.07.2016 |World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia headlined the top seeded players who advanced to the quarter-finals on the fourth day of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at the Aviva Centre here.Djokovic defeated 37-year-old Czech opponent Radek Stepanek in straight sets (6-2, 6-4) on Thursday to reach the last eight stage of the tournament in nine of the last 10 times since making his tournament debut in 2007, reports Xinhua.The only year when he did not advance to the round of the final eight was 2014 when he was knocked out by eventual winner, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round.The remaining top five seeds all advanced. Second seed Stan Wawrinka (7-6, 6-2), No. 3 Kei Nishikori (6-3, 6-4) and No. 4 Milos Raonic (6-2, 6-3) all won in straight sets while No. 5 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic needed three sets to get by Ryan Harrison, his opponent from America.The lone upset of the night occurred when South African Kevin Anderson ousted No. 12 seed Bernard Tomic of Australia in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.Of the eight remaining players in the tournament, six of them are the top-10 seeds, with No. 10 Gael Monfils of France being the only seeded player to not receive a first-round bye.Anderson and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov are the remaining unseeded players.Should the top seeds come out of the top in the quarters, the tournament will be set for interesting matchups on Saturday as Djokovic would face Raonic and Wawrinka would face Nishikori.Wawrinka, Nishikori and Raonic are looking to capture their first Rogers Cup title.Raonic, a native of nearby Thornhill, Ontario, finished runner-up in 2013 and is looking to become the first Canadian in the modern era to claim the title.

  • Hormone system that controls BP may also affect your weight
    Hormone system that controls BP may also affect your weight

    29.07.2016 |A hormone system that controls blood pressure and is often targeted to treat heart disease can also lower metabolism as well as promote obesity, says a study.Besides regulating BP, the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), also plays a role in controlling energy balance and metabolic rate and therefore may be important in obesity.But, depending on where in the body this hormone system is operating, it can have opposing effects on weight gain, the researchers said.When the RAS is elevated in the brain, it increases energy expenditure by increasing resting metabolism, resulting in weight loss. However, increased activity of the RAS circulating in the body (the peripheral RAS) -- which occurs during obesity in humans and experimental animals -- has the opposite effect, decreasing resting metabolism and increasing weight gain."At a very simplistic level, you can think of the brain RAS as the gas pedal on metabolism and the peripheral (circulating) RAS as the brake, with angiotensin as the driver," said Justin Grobe, Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa in the US.The study conducted on mice showed that the circulating angiotensin reduces resting metabolic rate by activating its less common receptor (angiotensin II type 2 receptor or AT2) specifically on subcutaneous fat cells."In multiple ways, activation of the AT2 receptor [by increasing the peripheral RAS] is interfering with the capacity of the cell to make heat," Grobe added. "It is very consistent with the clinical observation that peripheral angiotensin goes up during obesity. This is probably at least one of the mechanisms by which that excess angiotensin is perpetuating obesity. Because it is telling the body to slow down its metabolism as the body gets bigger," he noted in the work published in the journal Cell Reports.

  • Researchers find why anti-depressants take so long to work
    Researchers find why anti-depressants take so long to work

    29.07.2016 |Researchers have discovered a reason why anti-depressants can take up to two months to work, and their finding could help scientists develop faster-acting drugs in the future.An episode of major depression can be crippling, impairing the ability to sleep, work, or eat. In severe cases, the mood disorder can lead to suicide. But the drugs available to treat depression can take weeks or even months to start working, the study pointed out.In a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the researchers described a previously unknown mechanism of action for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant. The brain chemical serotonin is thought to be in short supply in people with depression. "It's been a puzzle for quite a long time why SSRI antidepressants can take up to two months to start reducing symptoms, especially because we know that they bind to their targets within minutes," said one of the researchers Mark Rasenick, Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago.Rasenick long suspected that the delayed drug response involved certain signaling molecules in nerve-cell membranes called G proteins.Previous research by him and colleagues showed that in people with depression, G proteins tended to congregate in lipid rafts, areas of the membrane rich in cholesterol. Stranded on the rafts, the G proteins lacked access to a molecule called cyclic AMP, which they need in order to function. The dampened signaling could be why people with depression are "numb" to their environment, Rasenick reasoned.In the new experiment, Rasenick bathed rat glial cells, a type of brain cell, with different SSRIs and located the G proteins within the cell membrane. He found that they accumulated in the lipid rafts over time -- and as they did so, G proteins in the rafts decreased."The process showed a time-lag consistent with other cellular actions of antidepressants," Rasenick said. "It's likely that this effect on the movement of G proteins out of the lipid rafts towards regions of the cell membrane where they are better able to function is the reason these antidepressants take so long to work," Rasenick noted.The finding, he said, suggests how these drugs could be improved.

  • Drama, puppetry can unlock languages of autistic children
    Drama, puppetry can unlock languages of autistic children

    29.07.2016 |Creativity and intermedial languages such as drama, puppetry can aid families to better communicate with children suffering from autism, new research suggests. Autism is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. Families with autistic children can better engage with them by teaching new play skills using drama and puppetry, multi-sensory materials and even comedy to help with their challenging behaviour. Autism continues to be regarded as a community that is difficult to access due to perceived disruptions of interpersonal connectedness, said Melissa Trimingham, Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent in Britain. The findings showed that engaging the children with autism in an all-surrounding drama experience using lights, sound, puppets and masked characters, can help such children to feel free to play and respond, drawing out eye contact, speech as well as shared play.Through detailed observations of two children, the team demonstrated how "intermediality" unlocked some of the many and various languages autistic children use, facilitating their self-awareness. Wider use of creative "material" languages such as puppetry, costumes, projection, microphones, lights and sound in play can act as a bridge between the lived experience of autism and practices of education and care, the researchers said. The results appear in the journal Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance.

  • New rare form of hereditary colon cancer identified
    New rare form of hereditary colon cancer identified

    29.07.2016 |Researchers have discovered that mutation in a gene can led to a form of hereditary colon cancer which was not identified earlier. The researchers discovered genetic changes in the MSH3 gene in patients and identified a new form of colon cancer.  "The knowledge about molecular mechanisms which lead to cancer is also a precondition for the development of new targeted drugs," said Stefan Aretz from University of Bonn Hospital in Germany. The formation of large numbers of polyps in the colon has a high probability of developing into colon cancer, if left untreated.  Colon polyps form like mushroom-shaped growths from the mucosa and are several millimeters to several centimetres in size.  They are benign and generally do not cause any symptoms - however, they can turn into malignant tumours (colon cancer). Physic refer to the development of a large number of polyps in the colon as "polyposis." Scientists have already discovered several genes associated with a polyposis.  "However, about one-third of families affected by the disease do not have any abnormalities in these genes," Aretz said. Therefore, there would have to be even more genes involved in the formation of polyps in the colon.Together with pathologists from the University Hospital Bonn, scientists from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven (USA), and the Frankfurt University Hospital,  The team of US and German researchers working with Aretz investigated the genetic material (DNA) of more than 100 polyposis patients using blood samples. In each patient, all of the about 20,000 protein-coding genes known were simultaneously examined. In this process, the scientists filtered the rare, possibly relevant genetic changes out of the gigantic quantity of data, like the proverbial needle in a haystack.  In two patients, genetic changes (mutations) were discovered in the MSH3 gene on chromosome five, showed the findings published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.The researchers believe that by investigating the MSH3 gene, a clear diagnosis can be made prospectively in some other, previously unexplained polyposis cases. Afterwards, healthy persons at risk in the family can be tested for the mutations. 

  • Obesity, smoking may up poor life quality in lung disease patients
    Obesity, smoking may up poor life quality in lung disease patients

    29.07.2016 | Patients who survived the fatal lung disease find their subsequent quality of life has more to do with lifestyle factors than how sick they were in the hospital, a new study has found. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a progressive medical condition occurring in critically ill patients characterised by widespread inflammation in the lungs. The team studied 616 patients who were treated for ARDS to determine what factors played the most significant role in their quality of life six months following discharge from the hospital. The findings showed that patient's acuity or level of illness was not a significant marker in their subsequent quality of life but lifestyle factors, specifically obesity and smoking, were associated with a worse quality of life rating.The main complication in ARDS is that fluid leaks into the lungs making breathing difficult or impossible -- and making it difficult to get oxygen into the blood. Most people who get ARDS are already in the hospital for trauma or illness and are unable to breathe on their own without support from a ventilator.“With survival rates improving for ARDS patients, understanding and improving their quality of life outcomes is a clinical and research priority,” said Samuel M. Brown, Associate Professor at the University of Utah in the US."The ICU and the critical care environment are so focused on life-and-death issues, and we're so busy as clinic, that we often don't have time to think about lifestyle factors, such as obesity and smoking and the role they play in our patient's long-term quality of life. Our study emphasises the need for us to do more of that," Brown added in the study published in the journal Thorax. Smoking cessation education should be incorporated into the critical care setting, suggested the researchers.

  • Merkel refuses to change migrant policy despite attacks
    Merkel refuses to change migrant policy despite attacks

    28.07.2016 |German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday rejected calls to change Germany's refugee policy despite the recent attacks involving asylum-seekers.She said the asylum seekers responsible for deadly attacks in Ansbach and Reutlingen had "shamed the country that welcomed them" but that those fleeing persecution and war had a right to be protected, The Independent reported.The attackers "wanted to undermine our sense of community, our openness and our willingness to help people in need. We firmly reject this," quoted Merkel as saying.Merkel also proposed new counter-terrorism measures to improve security, which included information sharing, deciphering web chatter and tackling arms sales on the internet.Two recent attacks in Bavaria were both by asylum seekers. A suicide bomb attack in Ansbach on July 24 that injured 15 persons was carried out by a Syrian who had been denied asylum but given temporary leave to stay.On July 18, a teenaged Afghan asylum seeker attacked train passengers with an axe in Wurzburg after declaring allegiance to IS and was shot dead by police, The Independent reported.Both men had claimed allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group.The deadliest recent attack -- in Munich on July 22 which left nine persons dead -- was carried out by a German-Iranian teenager but was not associated with the IS terrorist group.Markel insisted that those fleeing persecution and war had a right to be protected, and Germany would "stick to our principles" in giving shelter to the deserving.Referring to the attacks that have taken place in France, Belgium, Turkey, the US and elsewhere, she said "taboos of civilisation" had been broken, and they were intended to "spread fear and hatred between cultures and between religions".But in reference to her famous phrase "Wir schaffen das!" --"We can do this" -- uttered in 2015 when she agreed to take in a million migrants, Merkel said: "I am still convinced today that we can do it.""It is our historic duty and this is a historic challenge in times of globalisation. We have already achieved very, very much in the last 11 months," she noted.Merkel also said that "besides organised terrorist attacks, there will be new threats from perpetrators not known to security personnel".To counter this, she said: "We need an early alert system so that authorities can see during the asylum request proceedings where there are problems."Merkel added: "We will take the necessary measures and ensure security for our citizens. We will take the challenge of integration very seriously."

  • ADHD medication reduces risky behaviour in children
    ADHD medication reduces risky behaviour in children

    28.07.2016 |Medications taken by children to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) offer long-term benefits, revealed a study.ADHD is a chronic condition characterised by attention difficulty or hyperactivity and impulsiveness where children can do risky activities like dangerous driving, drug use and risky sexual behaviour.According to the research, the treatment with ADHD medication made children less likely to suffer consequences of risky behaviour such as sexually transmitted diseases or substance abuse during their teen years and injuries."ADHD is such a major issue, but no one seemed to be able to give a very definite answer to the long-term effect of the medication. We were able to see everyone who had an ADHD diagnosis and track their health over time to identify any potential benefits of the medication or the lack of thereof," said Anna Chorniy, Researcher at Clemson University, in the study published in the journal Labour Economics.For the study, the researchers took nearly 1,50,000 children diagnosed with ADHD and compared them with children who did not receive medication.Those who took medication were (3.6 per cent) less likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease, than those who did not take medication (7.3 per cent).While previous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of medications in treating the core symptoms of ADHD, little has been known about the effects of treatment on health, behavioural and educational outcomes in the long run. 

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