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Central Nervous System can be triggered by the lack of a specific fatty acid in tissues. Pixabay

The abnormal immune system response that causes multiple sclerosis (MS) by attacking and damaging the Central Nervous System can be triggered by the lack of a specific fatty acid in tissues, a new study suggests. The finding, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggests that dietary change might help treat some people suffering the autoimmune disease.

“We’ve known for a while that both genetics and environment play a role in the development of MS,” said senior author David Hafler, Professor at Yale University in the US. “This paper suggests that one of the environmental factors involved is diet,” Hafler added.


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Fat tissues in patients diagnosed with MS lack normal levels of ‘oleic acid’, a monounsaturated fatty acid found in high levels in cooking oils, meats (beef, chicken, and pork), cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, eggs, pasta, milk, olives, and avocados, according to the study.

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This lack of oleic acid leads to a loss of the metabolic sensors that activate T cells, that mediate the immune system’s response to infectious disease, the team found. Without the suppressing effects of these regulatory T cells, the immune system can attack healthy Central Nervous System cells and lead to vision loss, pain, lack of coordination, and other debilitating symptoms of MS.

When researchers introduced oleic acid into the fatty tissues of MS patients in laboratory experiments, levels of regulatory T cells increased, they found. The researcher had earlier noted that obesity triggers unhealthy levels of inflammation and is a known risk factor for MS, an observation that led him to study the role of diet in MS. He stressed, however, that more study is necessary to determine whether eating a diet high in oleic acid can help some MS patients. (IANS)


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Japan launched its new satellite, QZS-1R.

Japan has successfully launched a new navigation satellite into orbit that will replace its decade-old navigation satellite.

The satellite, QZS-1R, was launched onboard an H-2A rocket that lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 10.19 p.m. on Monday night, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said in a statement.

The company builds and operates H-2A rockets the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

QZS-1R is a replacement for Quasi-Zenith Satellite System 1 satellite first launched in 2010. “It was a really beautiful launch," the company said in a tweet after a successful lift-off.

"H-IIA F44 flight proceeded nominally. Approximately 28 minutes 6 seconds after launch, as planned, the payload separated from the launch vehicle," the statement said.

The official QZSS website lists four satellites in the constellation: QZS-1, QZS-2, QZS-3 and QZS-4, Space.com reported.

The QZSS constellation will eventually consist of a total of seven satellites that fly in an orbit passing through a near-zenith (or directly overhead) above Japan, and QZS-R1 is meant to share nearly the same transmission signals as recent GPS satellites, according to JAXA.

It is specially optimised for mountainous and urban regions in Japan, JAXA said.

Mitsubishi's H-2A 202 rocket launch system has been operational since 2003 and has sent satellites to locations such as Venus (Akatsuki) and Mars (Emirates Mars Mission).

The latest H2-A rocket launch is the first since November 29, 2020, when Japan launched an advanced relay satellite with laser communications tech into orbit, the report said. (IANS/JB)


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Photo by Mike Enerio on Unsplash

Fireworks light up the night sky

Everyone loves firecrackers, even the most environment-friendly advocates cannot hide their joy when they see these delightful lights colour the skies. India celebrates Diwali in the true spirit of her culture and heritage by spraying the navy-blue skies with sparkling hues of gold, silver, red, and green. Firecrackers are not just a tradition in this country, they are a legacy.

The original connotation one makes with fireworks in China. The elaborate Chinese celebrations with dragons and zapping firecrackers have left their mark in human memory, but the use of fireworks is not limited to heralding the Chinese New Year. All over the world, fireworks have come to symbolise the ultimate celebration. During Diwali in India, this spirit is re-ignited every year.

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A visitor looks at statues of the 'Royal treasures of Abomey kingdom' on display at the Musee du quai Branly in Paris on Sept. 10, 2021, part of 26 artworks set to be restituted to Benin later in the year.

PARIS — In a decision with potential ramifications across European museums, France is displaying 26 looted colonial-era artifacts for one last time before returning them home to Benin.

The wooden anthropomorphic statues, royal thrones and sacred altars were pilfered by the French army in the 19th century from Western Africa.

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