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Scientists find a way to create an HIV-resistant Cell Population which can quickly replace diseased cells

The researchers found a way to tether HIV-fighting antibodies to immune cells, thereby creating a cell population resistant to the virus

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HIV/AIDS, VOA

New York, April 11, 2017: Scientists have found a way to create an HIV-resistant cell population which can quickly replace diseased cells, thereby potentially curing the disease in an infected person.

“This protection would be long-term,” said Jia Xie, senior staff scientist at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in the US and first author of the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers found a way to tether HIV-fighting antibodies to immune cells, thereby creating a cell population resistant to the virus.

Their experiments under lab conditions showed that these resistant cells can replace diseased cells.

The new technique offers a significant advantage over therapies where antibodies float freely in the bloodstream at a relatively low concentration, the researchers said.

Instead, antibodies in the new study hang on to a cell’s surface, blocking HIV from accessing a crucial cell receptor and spreading infection.

The researchers said they plan to collaborate with investigators at City of Hope — an independent research and treatment centre for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases in the US — to evaluate this new therapy in efficacy and safety tests, as required by federal regulations, prior to testing in patients. (IANS)

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Treating insomnia in young people can ease mental health problems like Anxiety, Depression: Study

The study is published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal

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A study published Wednesday found that treating insomnia in young people could ease mental health problems such as anxiety and depression
A study published Wednesday found that treating insomnia in young people could ease mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. VOA

London, USA, September 7, 2017: Treating young people who suffer from insomnia by using online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could reduce debilitating mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, scientists said Wednesday.

In a large trial published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, researchers at Oxford University’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute also found that successfully treating sleep disruption eased psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and paranoia.

“Sleep problems are very common in people with mental health disorders, but for too long insomnia has been trivialized as merely a symptom, rather than a cause, of psychological difficulties,” said Daniel Freeman, a professor of clinical psychology who led the work.

“This study turns that old idea on its head, showing that insomnia may actually be a contributory cause of mental health problems.”

The research involved 3,755 university students from across Britain who were randomized into two groups. One group had six sessions of online CBT, each lasting about 20 minutes, and delivered via a digital program called Sleepio. The others had access to standard treatments but no CBT.

Freeman’s team monitored participants’ mental health with a series of online questionnaires at zero, three, 10 and 22 weeks from the start of treatment.

The researchers found that those who had the CBT sleep treatment reduced their insomnia significantly as well as showing small but sustained reductions in paranoia and hallucinatory experiences.

The CBT also led to improvements in depression, anxiety, nightmares, psychological well-being, and daytime work and home functioning.

Andrew Welchman, head of neuroscience and mental health at the Wellcome Trust health charity, which helped fund the research, said the results suggested improving sleep may provide a promising route into early treatment to improve mental health.

Freeman added: “A good night’s sleep really can make a difference to people’s psychological health. Helping people get better sleep could be an important first step in tackling many psychological problems and emotional problems.” (VOA)

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For the First Time in USA, 53-year-old convict Mark Asay was Executed using Etomidate in Lethal Injection

Etomidate is the drug which was used for Mark Asay's execution

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Mark Asay was executed using Etomidate
Mark Asay was executed using Etomidate. Pixabay
  • Etomidate was invented by scientists from Janssen Pharmaceuticals 
  • The reason behind conviction of Mark Asay last year was that in 1988 he racially motivated killing of 2 men in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Before he shot Booker, he called him a racial epithet

Florida (USA), August 25, 2017: A 53-year-old convict Mark Asay was executed using a new drug called Etomidate for lethal injection on 24 August 2017. This drug has not been used before in the US.

Mark Asay was executed reportedly and one of the three drugs used for lethal injection was etomidate. It’s the first time that in execution they used the drug etomidate.

Earlier midazolam was used for executions but now it is harder to get this drug as some drug manufacturers didn’t want it to be used for executions. Now, Etomidate is a substitution for midazolam.

According to CNN report, Greg Panico, spokesman for the company said, “Etomidate, an intravenous anesthetic, was invented by scientists from Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the 1960s

According to WJAX report, “This month, the Florida Supreme Court rejected arguments from Mark Asay’s attorneys that the new drug would cause too much pain.”  Florida’s highest court said that the inmate Mark Asay had not shown that it would result in more pain and dismissed a motion to block the execution.

The reason behind conviction of Mark Asay last year was that in 1988 he racially motivated killing of 2 men in Jacksonville, Florida.

Also Read: Women-Centric Drug Rehabilitation Centers in Hyderabad is Saving Young Girls from Recreational Drugs like LSD

The two men whom the jury found him guilty of murdering were Robert Lee Booker, who was black and Robert McDowell.  “Before he shot Booker, he called him a racial epithet. Prosecutors say he killed McDowell, who was dressed as a woman, after saying he would pay him for sex,” mentions WJAX report.

“The execution marks Florida’s first since The US Supreme Court ruling temporarily halted the practice in early 2016, saying the state’s sentencing process was unconstitutional because it gave judges, rather than juries, too much power in deciding whether to execute an inmate,” mentions CNN report.

On 24 August 2017, US Supreme Court denied a stay for execution request in Asay’s case and it was scheduled that he would die by injection after 6 p.m. EST. It was also revealed that Asay didn’t have any pending petitions along with the Florida Supreme Court.

In 1979, the death penalty was reinstituted by the state and since then, Mark James Asay is the first white man to be sentenced for the death penalty in Florida for killing a black man.


 

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‘Saraswati’ : Indian Scientists Discover huge supercluster of Galaxies

An Indian scientist has successfully discovered a new supercluster of galaxies that he has named 'Saraswati'

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Saraswati
Earth is part of the Milky way galaxy. Wikimedia
  • A team of Indian astronomers has detected a huge supercluster of galaxy that they have named ‘Saraswati’
  • This newly discovered galaxy is said to be as big as 20 million billion suns
  • 4,000 million light years away from Earth, the Saraswati is Earth’s largest neighborhood structure

July 14, 2017: A huge supercluster of galaxies was discovered by astronomers from India. The galaxy, named ‘Saraswati’, is as big as 20 million billion suns.

The newly discovered galaxy is the largest known structure in the neighborhood of the universe. It is approximately 4,000 million light-years away from the Earth. It is more than 10 billion years old. The mass of the galaxy extends over 600 million light years.

The team members include Pratik Dabhade, a research fellow at Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Shishir Sankhyayan, a student at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Joe Jacob, a student at Kerala’s Newman College and lastly Prakash Sarkar from National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur.

ALSO READAstronomers Spot Primitive ‘Little Cub’ Galaxy that may Shed Light on Early Universe

The team’s research has been published in the Astrophysical Journal which is a prestigious Journal of the American Astronomical Society.

The team analyzed the data from Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a large spectroscopic survey of different galaxies.

It is estimated that there are 10 million superclusters in the whole universe. The milky way galaxy, where our planet Earth lives, is the part Laniakea cluster.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393