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Indian origin couple charged with slavery offenses

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LONDON: A 28 year old woman was found to be kept as a slave in a domestic environment by an Indian origin couple in the East Midlands region of the UK. The couple was accused of slavery offenses.

They are blamed of keeping a person in domination and knowingly possessing a person in slavery between 1 January 2011 and 31 July 2015.

Minu Chopra, 47 and Sanjay Chopra, also 47, were arrested by Greater Manchester police on February 11 charged under the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 on suspicion of slavery and forced labor offences.

The apparent victim is supposed to be of Indian origin too.

“Minu Chopra has been charged with holding a person in slavery or servitude between 31/07/2015 and 11/02/2016, intentionally arranging/facilitating entry into the UK of a person with a view to their exploitation and knowingly holding another person in slavery/servitude between 01/01/2011 and 30/07/2015,” a GMP statement said.

“Sanjeev Chopra has been charged with holding a person in slavery or servitude between 31/07/2015 and 11/02/2016, intentionally arranging/facilitating entry into the UK of a person with a view to their exploitation and knowingly holding another person in slavery/servitude between 01/01/2011 and 30/07/2015, following his arrest on Saturday 13 February 2016,” the statement added. (pic courtesy: independent.co.uk)

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Researchers Have Successfully Created Artificial Placenta

Initial tests have already shown that the artificial placenta on the chip does in fact behave in a similar way to a natural placenta: small molecules are allowed to pass through, while large ones are held back, the researchers noted.

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Artificial placenta created in lab using 3D printing. Flickr

Using a high-resolution 3D printing process, Austrian researchers have succeeded in creating an artificial placenta barrier on a chip, a development that can be used to investigate important aspects of nutrient transport from the mother to the foetus.

The placenta ensures the exchange of important substances between the mother and her unborn child, whilst simultaneously blocking other substances from passing through.

“The transport of substances through biological membranes plays an important role in various areas of medicine,” said Aleksandr Ovsianikov, professor at the TU Wien university in Vienna.

“These include the blood-brain barrier, ingestion of food in the stomach and intestine, and also the placenta.”

This can help provide clarity on how the exchange of glucose between mother and child takes place. Wikimedia Commons
This can help provide clarity on how the exchange of glucose between mother and child takes place. Wikimedia Commons

Studies have shown that diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure in the mother can affect the transport of substances to the foetus. Until now however, it has been almost impossible to investigate the way in which the many parameters involved interact in such cases.

Using the 3D printing made it possible to produce customised hydrogel membranes directly within microfluidic chips, which are then populated with placenta cells.

This can help provide clarity on how the exchange of glucose between mother and child takes place, the researchers said.

The novel chip consists of two areas — one represents the foetus, the other the mother. Using a specially developed femtosecond laser-based 3D printing process helped produce a partition between them — the artificial placenta membrane.

The high-resolution 3D printing involved a hydrogel with good biocompatibility.

Also Read: Obesity During Pregnancy May up Kid’s Risk of Epilepsy

“Based on the model of the natural placenta, we produce a surface with small, curved villi. The placenta cells can then colonise it, creating a barrier very similar to the natural placenta,” Ovsianikov explained.

Initial tests have already shown that the artificial placenta on the chip does in fact behave in a similar way to a natural placenta: small molecules are allowed to pass through, while large ones are held back, the researchers noted. (IANS)