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Researchers in Hyderabad claim to have developed a promising technology for creating in the lab “implantable bioengineered humanized” livers for the management of acute liver failure (ALF), one of the most devastating fatal conditions.
The technology, successfully demonstrated in animal experiments, “has enormous potential for clinical translation” in managing ALF patients desperately waiting for liver transplants, it is claimed.
The study by researchers at the Centre for Liver Research of the Deccan College of Medical Sciences (DCMS) has been reported in the Elsevier journal “Material Science & Engineering-C”.
Currently liver transplantation has been the only treatment option available for ALF. But its wider applicability has been limited by high cost, non-availability of quality donor organs and the need to use immunosuppressive drugs throughout life.
It is here that the animal study by researchers at DCMS’s Centre for Liver Research raises hopes of an alternative approach although clinical trials in humans are yet to validate this.
In their animal experiment, the DCMS researchers chemically-induced ALF in mice and then used their technology to make the affected livers functional again.
The experimental procedure involved harvesting the complete livers of the ALF mice with intact blood vessels (hepatic artery and portal vein) followed by decellularisation — a process that removes the intracellular components from the liver tissue while preserving only the liver “scaffold” and its native 3-dimensional architecture.
In the next step, the scaffold is “repopulated” with human hepatic progenitor cells that differentiate into “hepatocytes,” which constitute 80 per cent of the human liver. Finally, the laboratory-made, bioengineered humanised livers — in which mouse liver tissue has been replaced by human cells — are transplanted back into rats.
According to the DCMS researchers, the strategy for rapid and efficient decellularisation and repopulation adopted by them “is superior” to earlier approaches reported by other workers.
“Over the next years, we aim to optimise the technique in a larger scale to generate ready-to-use bioengineered humanised livers for supplying on demand and validate its safety and efficacy in human,” said report co-author Aleem Ahmed Khan. “Immediate human trials are desirable to benefit healthcare without further delay.”
Chaturvedula Tripura, a cell biologist at the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad said the DCMS study has demonstrated “an efficient and promising technology” for addressing ALF through bio-engineering and transplantation of humanised livers.
“The study is excellent scientific work,” added Sanjay Nagral, director of Surgical Gastroenterology at Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre in Mumbai.
“The promise that the bio-engineered liver tissue, especially from other species holds for future human use is indeed interesting,” he said.
However, further studies are warranted to explore the suitability of this strategy in larger animal models and future human trials, the researchers say. (IANS)
Among the Tamil epics written during the Sangam age, only a few survived to this day. Manimegalai is one such. It is written as a sequel to the Sillapadikaram, taking the story forward of Kovalan and Madhavi's daughter, Manimegalai. The Sillapadikaram is about the injustice of the Madurai kingdom in the execution of Kovalan, which turned Kannagi, his wife into a goddess seeking vengeance for her husband's death. Kovalan, before his death, has an affair with a court dancer, Madhavi, and his daughter, Manimegalai, is said to begin a different tradition among the Tamils.
The epic, written by Sattanar, introduces Buddhism to Dravidian culture, something that has been alien to them for years. Manimegalai is the protagonist, who flees constantly from the pursuit of Chola prince Udhayakumara, and tries to lead an ascetic life. Throughout the plot, Buddhist tenets are used to avoid the culmination of a love-story. Manimegalai is believed to be the anti-love story sequel to the Sillapadikaram.
A complete work of Tamil epic written by hand on leaves Image source: wikimedia commons
The Sillapadikaram was written by a Jain monk, Illango Adigal, and Sattanar, uses the sequel to question Jainism. It is almost a political battle between two new religions competing for a place in a predominantly Hindu society. Parts of Manimegalai even go to the extent of opening ridiculing Jain practices and beliefs.
Critics of Tamil literature have stated that while the Tamil epics have great poetic significance, they are inferior to other world epics when it comes to clearly portraying religious affiliations. In fact, they refer to the newer religions with an infant's perspective. Some scholars have found that Sillapadikaram has more ethical substance than its sequel, but in and of itself, despite being written by a Jain monk, reads like Hindu poetry (Subhramanya Aiyar, 1906).
Keywords: Manimegalai, Sillapadikaram, Tamil Epic, Sattanar, Ilango Adigal, Chola kingdom, Sangam Age, Buddhism
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. In its Ecoscope report, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said: "With Covid-19 hurting India's 'Household' (HH) and 'Government' sectors adversely, the continuity of strong consumption growth is in question."
"On the contrary, with listed companies' financial positions improving and an uptick in household investments in the Real Estate sector (called physical savings), the narrative of investment-led recovery is gaining momentum." The report prescribed that various economic participants - households, governments, listed companies, and unlisted corporates -- to increase their fixed asset investments in the immediate future based on their financial position.
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. | Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash
At present, the listed and unlisted corporate sector accounts for only about half of total investments in India. The 'HH' sector including unincorporated enterprises accounts for 35-40 per cent in India's investments, while the remaining 12-13 per cent is contributed by centre and states governments. Besides, the report cited that demand environment is expected to remain subdued due to weak financial position of 'HH' and government sector.
"Despite household investments picking up strongly in 2HFY21, given that Indian households bore the maximum brunt of Covid-led losses in CY20 (and CY21), we believe household spending would remain subdued over the next few years." It further pointed out that unless 'HH', 'Unlisted Corporate', and government sectors can improve their financial positions -- leading to a demand uptick -- a strong revival in investments seems challenging. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, covid, pandemic, growth, household, government, investment
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that next time the Dragon spacecraft will have food warmer and free WiFi. Taking to Twitter, the crew of Inspiration4 shared a checklist of things they have been enjoying while orbiting safely around the Earth.
"Can't believe we're eating cold pizza in space. It's extraordinary!" Inspiration4 tweeted. In response, Musk apologised for the cold food, saying: "Sorry, it was cold! Dragon will have food warmer and free WiFi next time."
Inspiration4 Crew | Wikimedia Commons
After lifting off for space, SpaceX's Inspiration4, the first all-civilian crew, is healthy, happy and doing well in the orbit, the company said recently. The mission lifted off at 8.02 p.m. (EDT) on Wednesday (5.30 am IST on Thursday) aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from the historic Launch Complex 39 in NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
It is commanded by tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman who has been joined by medical officer Haley Arceneaux, a pediatric cancer survivor; Mission Specialist Chris Sembroski, an Air Force veteran and aerospace data engineer; and Mission Pilot Sian Proctor, a geoscientist, entrepreneur and trained pilot. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Elon Musk, SpaceX, Inspiration4, Dragon, Wifi, food