Friday December 15, 2017

You May Soon Be Able to Prevent Chikungunya With Vaccines! IIT-Roorkee Researchers Discover Drug to Fight the Disease

At present, there are no immunizations or anti-viral medications available to cure Chikungunya, and the treatment is focused on mitigating the side effects related with the disease

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cases of dengue
Dengue and Chikungunya are viral diseases transmitted to humans via infected mosquitoes. Pixabay

Roorkee, October 9, 2017 : Dengue and Chikungunya are known to strike fear in the country every year, so much so that the health graph of the city registers a steep rise in these cases. Both of the water-borne diseases, characterized by high fever and pain in the joints, take a toll on our lives. So far, there is no vaccine to immunize people against the spread of the Dengue and Chikungunya virus. However, researchers at IIT-Roorkee have now discovered that a commonly-utilized de-worming drug can be efficiently used for treatments against Chikungunya.

According to a report by PTI, Shailly Tomar, lead researcher and a professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee in Uttarakhand was quoted as saying, “Our research has shown that piperazine, a drug existing in the market, is successful in curbing the spread and replication of the Chikungunya virus in a lab setting.”

The drug, Piperazine, is usually used in de-worming treatments against round-words and pinworms. Using their expertise in virology and structure biology, experts have now discovered the anti-viral capabilities of the drug that can potentially prompt new therapies against the fatal, mosquito borne disease.

The researchers are currently testing the molecule on animals, and will consequently take it to clinical trials.

ALSO READ What preventive steps have the city Government taken to control Dengue and Chikungunya, asks the Delhi High Court

The molecular details uncovered in the study, which has been published in the journal Antiviral Research, will be additionally used to plan piperazine-derivative medications that are more compelling to fight against the Chikungunya virus.

Using X-ray crystallographic technique, in combination with computational science and fluorescence strategies, the researchers discovered that piperazine binds itself with the hydrophobic (water-hating) pocket of capsid protein present in the Chikungunya virus, which can reduce the spread of the virus.

“This pocket is key to the replication of the virus and its spread inside a host. Inhibiting the pocket prevents budding and spread of the virus and can help in treating the virus effectively using existing drugs,” Tomar said.

Chikungunya has become a major public health concern, with an increasing number of people being plagued by the disease every year.

 At present, there are no immunizations or anti-viral medications available to cure Chikungunya, and the treatment is focused on mitigating the side effects related with the disease. 

Developing a new anti-viral drug molecule can take up to 10 years. To tend to the disease on an immediate basis, Professor Tomar added, “We are looking at repositioning existing, approved drugs and testing these to see if they might inhibit or kill pathogenic viruses.”

 

 

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Delhi records 3,829 cases of dengue, 502 of chikungunya till date

The year 2015 had reported the highest number of cases of dengue in the city, with the figure standing at 15,867 with 60 deaths.

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Dengue and Chikungunya are viral diseases transmitted to humans via infected mosquitoes. Pixabay

New Delhi, November 7, 2017 :  Delhi has so far recorded 3,829 cases of dengue and 502 cases of chikungunya, according to civic agencies on Monday.

While the national capital has witnessed a total of four dengue-related deaths till now, no deaths have been reported due to chikungunya.

ALSO READ You May Soon Be Able to Prevent Chikungunya With Vaccines! IIT-Roorkee Researchers Discover Drug to Fight the Disease

The year 2015 reported the highest number of cases of dengue in the city, with the figure standing at 15,867 with 60 deaths.

As for chikungunya, 2016 saw 7,117 cases — the highest in the last five years.

Civic agencies said that areas under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation reported the maximum cases of chikungunya and dengue this year.

ALSO READ What preventive steps have the city Government taken to control Dengue and Chikungunya, asks the Delhi High Court

Delhi has also reported a total of 552 malaria cases with no deaths so far. The figure is the second-highest after 2012 when the cases had soared to 822. (IANS)

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An international research team shows that carbohydrates may play a vital role in improving malaria vaccine

Malaria infects over 200 million people worldwide each year and kills around 650,000 people

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Carbohydrates may improve malaria vaccine. Pixabay
  • Carbohydrates on the surface of malaria parasites play an important role in their ability to infect mosquito Andy human hosts
  • The new research is aimed at improving malaria vaccine design
  • It’s hoped that a version of RTS, S with added carbohydrates will perform better than the current vaccine

New Delhi, September 18, 2017: Offering vital clues to improving malaria vaccine, an international research team has shown that carbohydrates on the surface of malaria parasites play a critical role in their ability to infect mosquito and human hosts.

The discovery, published in the journal Nature Communications, also suggests steps that may improve the only malaria vaccine approved to protect people against Plasmodium falciparum malaria — the most deadly form of the disease.

The team had shown that the malaria parasite “tags” its proteins with carbohydrates in order to stabilise and transport them and that this process was crucial to completing the parasite’s life cycle.

“Interfering with the parasite’s ability to attach these carbohydrates to its proteins hinders liver infection and transmission to the mosquito and weakens the parasite to the point that it cannot survive in the host,” said Justin Boddey from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Malaria infects over 200 million people worldwide each year and kills around 650,000 people, predominantly pregnant women and children. Efforts to eradicate malaria require the development of new therapeutics, particularly an effective malaria vaccine.

Also readNearly 900,000 Nigerian Children Receive Anti-Malaria Vaccination: WHO Report

The first malaria vaccine approved for human use — RTS,S/AS01 — got the nod of the European regulators in July 2015 but has not been as successful as hoped with marginal efficacy that wanes over time.

The new research is aimed at improving malaria vaccine design.

“The protein used in the RTS, S vaccine mimics one of the proteins we’ve been studying on the surface of the malaria parasite that is readily recognised by the immune system,” Ethan Goddard-Borger from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute said.

“With this study, we’ve shown that the parasite protein is tagged with carbohydrates, making it slightly different to the vaccine, so the antibodies produced may not be optimal for recognising target parasites.”

“It may be that a version of RTS, S with added carbohydrates will perform better than the current vaccine,” he said, adding that there were many documented cases where attaching carbohydrates to a protein improved its efficacy as a vaccine. (IANS)

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6 Lettuce Advantages Which are Important for Your Health

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Lettuce. Pixabay.
  • “Lettuce” is also called Lactuca Savita & a perfect food for weight loss.
  • Some of the health benefits of Lettuce are: It improves metabolism & provide supply of antioxidants.
  • Lettuce reduces the risk of diabetes, lowers cholesterol levels, controls cancer & anxiety.
  • Benefits of lettuce also includes weigh loss, it keeps your heart healthy & provide protein.

In this article “Benefits of Lettuce” , we will talk about it’s health benefits, Nutritional Facts & Types of Lettuce.

Lettuce, widely regarded as the “ideal food” to lose weight, is a large green leaved plant, often eaten in uncooked salads. It is a highly recommended healthy option in the searches provided by our search engine. And in today’s world, where everyone is health conscious, we are left with no choice but to consume healthy food. But, Lettuce is one healthy snack, which has way more benefits than just keeping you healthy. We will talk about some important health benefits of lettuce.

For many years, Lettuce was considered more than a vegetable, as it was thought to possess some medicinal properties. Some of the medicinal properties have also been proven true.

Below are some health benefits of lettuce that should be looked upon:

Lettuce
Salad containing lettuce. Pixabay.

 

1. Anti-Inflammatory properties:

Lettuce possesses anti-inflammatory properties which help to control inflammation. Scientific experiments have proven that Lettuce extracts have significant power to control the pain and redness.

(Health benefits of lettuce)

2. Lower Cholesterol Levels:

Once we reach our 40s, we look up to healthy food options- consulting dietitians, counting calories, overtly depending on allopathic pills. But over dependence on synthetic ways to improve our health is dangerous too. Scientific tests have proven that eating lettuce prevents cardiovascular diseases. Also, it has zero fat which keeps your heart healthy.

(Health benefits of lettuce)

3. Lettuce leaves/juice can treat your Insomnia

The extract of the lettuce or its leaves when eaten induces sleep and does not even have side-effects. The extract produces a sedative effect.

Also Read: Five Benefits of Honey and Lemon Drink that Can’t be Ignored.

4. Control Anxiety 

Unani has widely accepted lettuce as a solution to Neuro-related problems. It possesses anxiolytic properties, drugs which reduce anxiety. Lettuce was popularly exploited during the ancient times.

(Health benefits of lettuce)

5. Fights Cancer

The extract of this plant tends to control a certain kind of cancer. Research experiment on human cancer cells, especially, the leukemia cells proved that the disease’s effect was controlled to a major extent, after being treated with the plant’s extracts.

(Health benefits of lettuce)

6. Weight LOSS!

Lettuce has only 12 calories for one cup. Putting it in your salad with some salt and pepper seasonings added can be the perfect diet chart for your weight loss.

Types Of Lettuce:

  • Romaine Lettuce – This is your classic Greek salad. Sweet and crunchy.                          romaine lettuce is a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese, potassium, biotin, vitamin B1, copper, iron and vitamin C. It is also a good source of vitamin B2, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, phosphorus, chromium, magnesium, calcium and pantothenic acid.
  • Iceberg lettuce:  Until the 1930’s was known as Crisphead lettuce.                      White on the inside. Crisp texture and mild taste. It contains curved, overlapping leaves which form crispy, firm round heads. Inside, creamy white leaves are tightly packed.
  • Butterhead Lettuce : Boston and Bibb. Large green leaves that are soft and sweet.Butterhead is a slightly smaller version of the variety and is the first of this cultivar to be grown in the U.S
  • Red and Green Leaf: Delicate taste and leaves.

Nutritional Facts of Lettuce:

Lettuce contains many a thing like:

  • moisture
  • energy
  • protein
  • fat
  • carbohydrates
  • dietary
  • fiber and sugars.

Lettuce has below Minerals & Vitamins:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc along with vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B-6, C, A, E, and vitamin K.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.


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