Tuesday November 21, 2017

India Major Contributor for 16 Million Fatal Lung Infection in 2015: Indian Origin Researcher

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Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) i
Over 16 Million Fatal Lung Infection called Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in 2015. VOA
  • RSV is a common and highly contagious virus that infects the respiratory tract
  • The study, reported in the journal Lancet, noted that there are more than 33 million cases of RSV infection in children under five each year worldwide
  • The findings highlight the pressing need for affordable treatments and vaccines as a priority to combat the virus

London, July 8, 2017: India, along with China, Nigeria, Pakistan and Indonesia, accounted for over 16 million or half of the global estimated cases of a fatal lung infection called Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in 2015, research led by an Indian-origin person have revealed.

RSV is a common and highly contagious virus that infects the respiratory tract, causing breathing difficulties and wheezing in most children before their second birthday.

The study, reported in the journal Lancet, noted that there are more than 33 million cases of RSV infection in children under five each year worldwide.

“We are at an opportune time to step up efforts to prevent RSV infection in young children. With more than 60 candidate vaccines in clinical development, it is likely that an RSV vaccine will be available in the next 5-7 years,” said lead researcher Harish Nair, Professor at the University of Edinburgh.

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While around three million are admitted to hospital each year with the virus, more than 115,000 children under five are dying each year from complications associated with the infection.

Almost half of those who die in hospital are younger than six months old and more than 99 per cent of deaths occur in developing countries. Half of the RSV deaths in these countries occur outside the hospital, the study reported.

ALSO READ: “Dual-Disease Burden”? India’s Great Healthcare Challenge and Opportunity 

The findings highlight the pressing need for affordable treatments and vaccines as a priority to combat the virus.

For most babies and young children, RSV causes nothing more than symptoms of a cold but in some cases, however, it can lead to severe lung complications such as pneumonia or bronchiolitis.

“Our findings will provide better evidence to inform global funding priorities to accelerate vaccine development. It will assist policy makers and experts prepare for early introduction of this vaccine in developing countries,” Nair added.

For the study, the team analysed data from 329 studies of RSV infections worldwide. (IANS)

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Indian Origin Researcher Part of team that Developed New Device which Can Heal Any Organ with a Single Touch

A new device called Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT) has been developed by researchers that can non-invasively convert skin cells into elements of any organ with a single touch

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Any organ can be healed using a single touch by a new device
Any organ can be healed using a single touch by a new device. Pixabay
  • The device called Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT) does not require any laboratory-based procedures and may be implemented at the point of care
  •  It instantly delivers new DNA or RNA into living skin cells to change their function
  • The team conducted experiments on mice and pigs, where they reprogrammed skin cells to become vascular cells in badly injured legs that lacked blood flow

August 9, 2017: Researchers, led by one of the Indian-origin, have developed a new device that can non-invasively convert skin cells into elements of any organ with a single touch, a finding that may help repair injured tissues, blood vessels, and nerves.The device called Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT) does not require any laboratory-based procedures and may be implemented at the point of care.

 It instantly delivers new DNA or RNA into living skin cells to change their function, with a small electrical charge that’s barely felt by the patient, thus aiding the speedy repair of injured tissue as well as restoring the function of ageing tissue, including organs.

“With this nano chip technology, we can convert skin cells into elements of any organ with just one touch. This process only takes less than a second and is non-invasive, and then you’re off. The chip does not stay with you, and the reprogramming of the cell starts,” said Chandan Sen, Director at The Ohio State University in the US.

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For the study, published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the team conducted experiments on mice and pigs, where they reprogrammed skin cells to become vascular cells in badly injured legs that lacked blood flow. Within one week, active blood vessels appeared on the injured leg and by the second week, the leg was saved.

In lab tests, the technology was also shown to reprogram skin cells in the live body into nerve cells that were injected into brain-injured mice to help them recover from the stroke, the researchers said.

“This is difficult to imagine, but it is achievable, successfully working about 98 per cent of the time,” Sen said, adding the researchers plan to start clinical trials next year in humans. (IANS)

 

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Indian Origin Researcher part of the Team that Discovered New 3-D Chip, which Combines Computing and Data Storage

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  • Computers today comprise a chip for computing and another for data storage
  • The new prototype chip, detailed in the journal ‘Nature’, uses multiple nanotechnologies, together with a new 3-D computer architecture
  • By inserting ultra-dense wires between these layers, the 3-D architecture promises to address the communication “bottleneck”

New York, July 6, 2017: At a time when computer chips’ ability to process a glut of data is slowing, researchers, including one of the Indian-origin, have developed a three-dimensional (3-D) chip to tackle the situation.

Computers today comprise a chip for computing and another for data storage. As increased volumes of data are analyzed, the limited rate at which data can be moved between the chips is creating a communication “bottleneck”.

The new prototype chip, detailed in the journal ‘Nature’, uses multiple nanotechnologies, together with a new 3-D computer architecture, to reverse this trend.

“The new 3-D computer architecture provides dense and fine-grained integration of computing and data storage, drastically overcoming the bottleneck from moving data between chips,” said Subhasish Mitra, Professor at Stanford University.

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The researchers integrated over one million resistive random-access memory (RRAM) cells, a new type of memory storage, and two million carbon nanotube transistors for processing, making a dense 3-D computer architecture with interleaving layers of logic and memory.

By inserting ultra-dense wires between these layers, the 3-D architecture promises to address the communication “bottleneck”.

“Logic made from carbon nanotubes can be an order of magnitude more energy-efficient compared to today’s logic made from silicon and, similarly, RRAM can be denser, faster and more energy-efficient,” added Philip Wong from Stanford.

A big advantage to the find is that the new chip is compatible with today’s silicon infrastructure, both in terms of fabrication and design.

“The technology could not only improve traditional computing, but it also opens up a whole new range of applications that we can target,” said Max Shulaker, Assistant Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (IANS)

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Indian-origin Researcher part of Team that Discovered Mars-sized object Lurking at Edge of Solar System

Something unknown is warping the average orbital plane of the outer solar system

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Solar System
Mars-sized planetary mass object lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system. Pixabay

New York, June 26, 2017: Researchers, including one of the Indian-origin, have found evidence of an unknown, Mars-sized “planetary mass object” lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system. This object would be different from — and much closer than — the so-called Planet Nine, a planet whose existence yet awaits confirmation, according to the study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Astronomical Journal.

In the paper, Kat Volk and Renu Malhotra of the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) present compelling evidence of a yet-to-be-discovered planetary body with a mass somewhere between that of Mars and Earth. The mysterious mass, the authors showed, has given away its presence — for now — only by controlling the orbital planes of a population of space rocks known as Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO), in the icy outskirts of the solar system.

ALSO READ: KELT-9B : Scientists Discover Hottest Giant Planet of the Solar System

While most KBOs — debris left over from the formation of the solar system — orbit the Sun with orbital tilts (inclinations) that average out to what planetary scientists call the invariable plane of the solar system, the most distant of the Kuiper Belt’s objects do not. Their average plane, Volk and Malhotra discovered, is tilted away from the invariable plane by about eight degrees. In other words, something unknown is warping the average orbital plane of the outer solar system. “The most likely explanation for our results is that there is some unseen mass,” says Volk, a postdoctoral fellow at LPL and the lead author of the study.

“According to our calculations, something as massive as Mars would be needed to cause the warp that we measured,” Volk said. For the study, Volk and Malhotra analysed the tilt angles of the orbital planes of more than 600 objects in the Kuiper Belt in order to determine the common direction about which these orbital planes all precess. Precession refers to the slow change or “wobble” in the orientation of a rotating object. (IANS)