Tuesday January 21, 2020
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SC issues notice to central government on blocking websites selling prohibited drugs

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the central government on a plea by NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan seeking a clamp down on websites selling and delivering prohibited drugs which were being used by children on a large scale.

Photo Credit: http://www.bba.org.in
Photo Credit: http://www.bba.org.in

The social justice bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit issued notice after senior counsel H. S. Phoolka appearing for the NGO told the court that a survey has revealed that about two crore children are using these drugs, tobacco, and other narcotic products.

Describing the situation as “alarming”, Phoolka said that these drugs were being “openly used in the schools.”

As he handed over a paper to the bench carrying the names of the drugs sold on websites, the court said that these are old ones and now many new drugs have come and are circulating in the market.

Meanwhile, in the missing children matter, the social justice bench on Friday warned that it would take a stern view and initiate contempt proceedings against the officials if it was provided with “misleading” information.

The court said this as it let-off Navin Yadav, an under secretary in the women and child development ministry, summoned to the court for allegedly giving figures in an affidavit that were at variance with what the minister had told parliament in response to an question.

The court forgave the official after being satisfied that the error in furnishing figures to the court was “bonafide” and also waived the Rs. 25,000 fine that it had imposed on the ministry in the last hearing of the matter on July 31.

The court on July 31 had taken a strong exception to huge discrepancy in the figures of the number of missing children as told to it and those placed before the parliament and had said that such a situation would not be “tolerated”.

“Ideas can change but numbers can’t change,” the court had said observing that somebody was misleading it.

The court had directed the personal presence of Navin Yadav in the last hearing after Bachpan Bachao Andolan had told the court that the minister had told the Rajya Sabha that 79,721 children had gone missing during 2013-2015 whereas the ministry’s affidavit before the court was putting the figures at 25,834.

(IANS)

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Cancer Drugs Can Be Used To Treat Pulmonary Diseases: Study

Studies have been investigating the effect of drugs used to treat a variety of cancers on this inflammatory response

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Cancer
The research discovered that specific cancer drugs inhibit a cell signalling process controlling the death-rate of the harmful neutrophils. Pixabay

Certain class of cancer drugs could be used in the future to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), say researchers, adding that the drugs could be developed to stop the progression of the disease and promote healing within the lungs.

COPD makes breathing progressively more difficult for millions of people around the world, and the study, published in the journal eLIFE has shown the potential for clinically available cancer treatments to treat it.

“COPD is usually treated with steroids and airway muscle relaxants which ease symptoms, but there is currently no effective treatment clinically available to counteract the damage it does to the lungs,” said study researcher Lynne Prince from the University of Sheffield in UK.

“Our research now shows that inhibitors of these cell signalling processes, or ErbB kinases, could have therapeutic potential in neutrophilic inflammatory disease,” Prince added. According to the researchers, the hope of these drugs is that they can clear the damaging cells from the lungs of people living with COPD, preventing any further damage and therefore the progression of the disease for the first time.

They have been investigating the effect of drugs used to treat a variety of cancers on this inflammatory response; the main driver of lung damage in people living with COPD.

People living with COPD experience a wide range of symptoms that have an increasing impact on their quality of life, including breathlessness, coughing and frequent chest infections. The damage to the lungs is driven by inflammation caused by immune cells called neutrophils.

For the results, the research team screened a library of cancer drugs and identified a number of compounds which accelerate the death of the neutrophil cells and promote healing in the lungs.

The research discovered that specific cancer drugs inhibit a cell signalling process controlling the death-rate of the harmful neutrophils. The team also discovered that editing the genes that encode the cell signalling in the first place, further decreased inflammation.

Cancer
Certain class of cancer drugs could be used in the future to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), say researchers, adding that the drugs could be developed to stop the progression of the disease and promote healing within the lungs. Pixabay

“As neutrophilic inflammation is also central to the progression of other chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, the research has the potential to impact not only people living with COPD,” said study researcher Stephen Renshaw from the University of Sheffield in UK.

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“Our next step is to find a way to test these drugs in people with COPD to understand how the ErbB kinase signalling process has an effect on lung inflammation and to address any potential side effects,” Renshaw added. (IANS)