More potent, safer Zika vaccine developed

Scientists have developed the world’s first plant-based Zika vaccine that may be more effective, safer and cheaper than other vaccines against the mosquito-borne virus. Currently, there are no licensed vaccines or therapeutics available to combat Zika, researchers said. The vaccine developed by researchers from Arizona State University (ASU) in the US works against a part of a Zika viral protein, called DIII, that plays a key role for the virus to infect people.

“All flaviviruses have the envelope protein on the outside part of the virus. It has three domains,” said Qiang Chen, a scientist at ASU.

“The domain III has a unique stretch of DNA for the Zika virus, and we exploited this to generate a robust and protective immune response that is unique for Zika,” said Chen, who led the research published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The researchers first grew the envelope protein in bacteria, then prepared the DIII protein domain in tobacco plants.

Zika Virus, Zika Vaccine, Zike cure, ZikaThe team then performed immunisation experiments in mice, which induced antibody and cellular immune responses that have been shown to confer 100 per cent protection against multiple Zika virus strains in mice. The team’s protein-based vaccine uses the smallest and most unique part of the Zika virus that can still elicit a potent and robust immune response.

“In our approach, we make what we call a pseudovirus. It is a fake virus. The pseudovirus displays only the DIII part of the envelope protein on the surface,” said Chen.

“We did a test to make sure that the vaccine produces a potent protective immune response, but also, that it does not produce antibodies that may be cross reactive for dengue, West Nile, yellow fever or others,” he said.

The worldwide Zika threat first emerged in 2015, infecting millions as it swept across the Americas. It struck great fear in pregnant women, as babies born with severe brain birth defects quickly overburdened hospitals and public health care systems.

Poor kidney function may up irregular heartbeat risk

People with severe kidney disease may be at a two-fold higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation — an irregular heartbeat condition, researchers, led by one of Indian-origin, have suggested. Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia in the general population, and it is especially high in patients with kidney failure.

In patients with the lowest kidney function or the greatest amount of proteinuria — the presence of excess proteins in the urine as well as a sign of kidney damage — the risk for developing atrial fibrillation was approximately two-fold higher compared with those without kidney disease.

“This study found that even modest abnormalities in kidney function were linked with a higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation later in life,” said Nisha Bansal, assistant professor at the University of Washington.

Poor kidney function, Kidney Function, Kidney, Heart, Heartbeat Risk, Heartbeat, Lifestyle News, Latest Lifestyle News, Indian Express, Indian Express News“Atrial fibrillation may affect the selection of cardiovascular therapies and is associated with poor clinical outcomes. Thus, an understanding of the risk of atrial fibrillation across a broad range of kidney function is important,” she added.

For the study, the team analysed 16,769 community-dwelling individuals without atrial fibrillation. There was a step-wise increase in the risk of incident atrial fibrillation with decreasing kidney function.

The findings, which appear in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), suggest that individuals with poor kidney function may benefit from preventive interventions to maintain a normal heart rhythm.

Men in manufacturing, women nurses at arthritis risk: Study

Men in the manufacturing sector and women who work as nurses are more at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis than people in other professions, a research has showed.

The findings showed that within the manufacturing sector, male electrical and electronics workers and material handling operators had a two-fold increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis than men in professional, administrative and technical sectors.

Bricklayers and concrete workers had a three-fold increased risk.

On the other hand, for women working in the manufacturing sector, no increase in the risk of arthritis was observed, which might be explained by the relatively small number of women who work in this sector compared to men, the researchers said.

“Our findings indicate that work-related factors, such as airborne harmful exposures, may contribute to disease development,” said Anna Ilar, of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

health News, Men in manufacturing, women nurses, risk of arthritis, Meidcal research news, world news, international medical research newsPotential suspects include silica, asbestos, organic solvents, and motor exhaust, the research showed.

“It is important that findings on preventable risk factors are spread to employees, employers, and decision-makers in order to prevent disease by reducing or eliminating known risk factors,” she added, in the paper appearing in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

For the study, the team analysed information from 3,522 individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and 5,580 controls.

The study gathered information on environmental, genetic, and immunological factors collected from blood samples and questionnaires between 1996 and 2014.

The researchers’ analyses took into account participants’ smoking habits, alcohol use, educational level, and body mass index, all of which are factors associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Marijuana ups risk of death from hypertension

Marijuana use is associated with a three-fold risk of death from hypertension, warns new research. “We found that marijuana users had a greater than three-fold risk of death from hypertension and the risk increased with each additional year of use,” said lead study author Barbara Yankey, a PhD student in the School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, US.

The researchers designed a retrospective follow-up study of the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey participants aged 20 years and above. In 2005-2006, participants were asked if they had ever used marijuana. Those who answered “yes” were considered marijuana users.

Participants reported the age when they first tried marijuana and this was subtracted from their current age to calculate the duration of use. Information on marijuana use was merged with mortality data in 2011 from the National Centre for Health Statistics.

Among a total of 1,213 participants, marijuana users had a higher risk of dying from hypertension, according to the findings published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Marijuana, Marijuana health risks, risk to health from Marijuana, Marijuana news, latest news, India news, National news, latest news Compared to non-users, marijuana users had a 3.42 times higher risk of death from hypertension. “Our results suggest a possible risk of hypertension mortality from marijuana use. This is not surprising since marijuana is known to have a number of effects on the cardiovascular system,” Yankey said.

Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen demand. Emergency rooms have reported cases of angina and heart attacks after marijuana use,” Yankey pointed out.

The cardiovascular risk associated with marijuana use may be greater than the cardiovascular risk already established for cigarette smoking, the researchers said.

“We found higher estimated cardiovascular risks associated with marijuana use than cigarette smoking,” Yankey added.

Diet tips: The right food habits during monsoon

Rainy Season is when chances of stomach infection can increase due to faulty eating habits. One can reduce the chances of such health complications easily by making a few alterations to their daily diet, says experts.

Mehar Rajput, Nutritionist and Dietitian at FITPASS, and Aditi Sharma, Chief Dietitian at Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad, dole out tips on how one can take care of infection:

* Include garlic, pepper, ginger, asafoetida, jeera powder, turmeric and coriander in food as it help enhance digestion and improve immunity.

Food habits news, health and food habits, food habits of healthy people, India news, national news, latest news, India news, latest news* Should prefer boiled water during rainy season because germs are present in water. Have medium to low salt food and avoid heavy salty food as they are responsible for high blood pressure, promoting bloating and water retention.

* Non-vegetarians should go in for lighter meat preparations like stew and soups. But be careful about the fish and prawns. Avoid too much of fish and meat this season with heavy curries.

* Include warm dal or soup in your diet. Add spices like turmeric, clove, black pepper and sauf in it.

* Consuming hot soups during monsoon can reduce inflammation and help fight infection.

* Avoid taking food and vegetables in raw form. Like raw sprouts, they can cause indigestion and lead to gastric problems.

* Turmeric is not only a great antibiotic but is also known to have anti-inflammatory and healing properties which can really help in reducing inflammation in the digestive system.

* Sauf water can be consumed after every meal in order to help you digest food and reduce the chances of gastric problems.

Avoid processed food, ditch hot beverages for healthy teeth

Sensitivity and trouble in jaw/teeth is a common thing during monsoon season. Avoid having steaming hot food or beverages and floss regularly, say experts.

Romsha Vashishth, Consultant, Oro-Dental Surgeon and Implantologist at Columbia Asia Hospital and Aarti Bhasin, Consultant Dentist at Prive Skin & Wellness Clinic have listed few tips:

* Follow a oral hygiene routine: Brush your teeth twice a day and use desensitize toothpaste to avoid sensitive teeth which is a common problem in the monsoon season.

Reduce intake of added sugars, preservatives and processed foods: Since every sip or bite is an acid attack it has too many micro-organisms.

Replace old or worn toothbrushes: If your toothbrush is older than 2 months, it’s about time to get a new one. Other signs of replacement are worn or frayed bristles as these won’t clean every nook and corner of your teeth leaving them unclean and unhealthy.

Nutritionally positive and season rich Diet: One should eat all the fresh fruits and fruits which are available during the monsoon season. Drink soups, eat almonds, corns and strawberries.

Use of antioxidants and vitamin c rich foods / supplements: To avoid bleeding of gums, eat as many fruits like pineapple and cucumber to keep your gums healthy.

teeth, tips for healthy teeth, oral hygiene, dentist, healthUse of Mouth guard: To avoid Oral Injury, kids should use this when going out in the playing areas.
Care for Kids- Every sugary sports drink add to acid attacks in every sip of it. Substitute it with coconut water, fresh juice and drink water.

Cleaning your tongue: As this helps in removing the bad breath and the bacterial problems in the mouth one should clean the tongue daily.

Use of non-alcoholic mouthwash: For fresh breath and to maintain the pH of the saliva, mouthwash is the best.

Avoid hot sips: Rains increase the cravings for Tea, hot fried foods, hot soup. Tooth sensitivity is caused by the stimulation of cells within these tubes, causing a short, sharp pain when the area is exposed to hot or cold temperatures through food and beverages. Avoid having steaming hot food or beverages.

Avoid caffeine: Rain is a perfect excuse of another cup of hot coffee. Coffee helps the bacteria in your mouth to create acids that can lead to tooth and enamel erosion. This can cause your teeth to become thin and brittle. Coffee can also cause bad breath.

Visit a doctor: Make an immediate appointment visit a doctor if have any tooth ache.

Age-related frailty may be delayed with proper lifestyle

Frailty, often assumed to be an inevitable part of ageing, may be prevented or delayed by a proper lifestyle and adequate physical, mental and social activities, researchers say. “Societies are not aware of frailty as an avoidable health problem and most people usually resign themselves to this condition,” said Jerzy Sacha from University Hospital of the University of Opole in Poland.

According to a review, published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, age-related frailty may be a treatable and preventable health problem, just like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The researchers reviewed over one hundred publications on recognising, treating and preventing frailty with the aim of raising awareness of this growing health problem.

Frailty encompasses a range of symptoms that many people assume are just an inescapable part of ageing.

These include fatigue, muscle weakness, slower movements and unintentional weight loss. Frailty also manifests as psychological and cognitive symptoms such as isolation, depression and trouble thinking as quickly and clearly as patients could in their younger years.

These symptoms decrease patients’ self-sufficiency and frail patients are more likely to suffer falls, disability, infections and hospitalisation, all of which can contribute to an earlier death.

But, as Sacha’s review highlights, early detection and treatment of frailty, and pre-frailty, may help many of the elderly live healthier lives.

Sacha’s review shows ample evidence that the prevalence and impact of frailty can be reduced, at least in part, with a few straightforward measures.

old age, old age problems, Medical news, age related problems news, international medical research news, medical research news, world newsUnsurprisingly, age-appropriate exercise was shown to be one of the most effective interventions for helping the elderly stay fit.

Careful monitoring of body weight and diet are also key to ensuring that older patients are not suffering from malnutrition, which often contributes to frailty, according to the research.

Socialisation is another critical aspect of avoiding the cognitive and psychological symptoms of frailty.

Loneliness and loss of purpose can leave the elderly unmotivated and disengaged, and current social programmes could improve by more thoroughly addressing intellectual and social needs, as well as physical.

Improved recognition of frailty as a preventable condition by both physicians and patients could contribute significantly to avoiding or delaying frailty, the researchers said.

“Social campaigns should inform societies about age related frailty and suggest proper lifestyles to avoid or delay these conditions,” Sacha said.

“People should realise that they may change their unfavourable trajectories to senility and this change in mentality is critical to preparing communities for greater longevity,” Sacha added.

Slow down ageing, soothe upset stomach with chamomile

Chamomile, a common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae, has several benefits — be it in the form of skin care or tea. Besides slowing down the process of ageing, the ingredient when mixed in tea, is helpful in soothing an upset stomach too, say experts.

Shikhee Agrawal, Head Trainer at The Body Shop, has listed the benefits of chamomile as an ingredient in skin care products:

Slowing down ageing process: It is inevitable that one will age with time, but what is really in our control is to still have a youthful and radiant skin. Chamomile oil contains levomenol that has an anti-inflammatory and natural moisturising property, helping in improving skin texture and prolonged elasticity, hence making the skin look younger.

health tips, beauty tips, slow ageing down, AsteraceaeFights acne and blemishes fast: Chamomile oil calms the irritation caused by acne and lightens the black spots caused by acne. Adding a few drops of chamomile oil to your face wash can work wonders.

Anti-tanning agent: Chamomile is a natural skin lightener that heals tanned skin and helps regain natural skin tone. Adding a few drops of chamomile oil to a face mask can make your skin look beautiful.

Moisturise dry skin: Chamomile oil contains azulene, an ingredient which has anti-inflammatory properties that helps in providing moisture to skin, leaving the skin soothed and toned.

Rishav Kanoi, Founder at The Tea Trove, an online platform for all types of tea, has listed the benefits of the ingredient when consumed in tea:

* Promotes sleep: Drinking chamomile tea soothes the nervous system so that you can sleep better. It has been used as a solution for insomnia for centuries.

Soothes stomach ache: Further adding onto chamomile benefits, the herb is wonderful for soothing an upset stomach. Helping to soothe and relax the muscles and lining of the intestines, chamomile can help with poor digestion and even those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Treats cuts and wounds: Chamomile tea was used by the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians as a salve for wounds to expedite healing. Matricaria chamomilla has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant effects.

High Court seeks reply on plea of man who ‘got HIV while working at govt hospital’

The Delhi High Court has directed eight authorities to file replies within three weeks detailing how a government hospital employee contracted HIV virus while at work. The authorities that have been asked to do so include the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Social Welfare, National Aids Control Organisation, Delhi Aids Control Society, Government of NCT of Delhi, M/s B K Enterprises, and a government institute.

Ashok Agarwal, counsel for the petitioner, had earlier submitted a plea stating that the petitioner had been working as an assistant technician at a laboratory in a government hospital since April 2011, during which he suffered a few needle prick injuries. The authorities did not take it seriously, the counsel alleged, adding that the hospital did not even provide Post Exposure Prophylaxix (PEP) medication to its employees to prevent AIDS.
On January 6, 2016, he underwent a blood test and discovered that he was HIV-positive.

High Court, Delhi High Court, government hospitals, HIV patients, Indian Express, Health news, city newsA second opinion also confirmed the diagnosis. When he reported for the job after two days, the authorities terminated him from the job citing his condition, it is alleged. His subsequent representations to the authorities met with no result. He then underwent another test for HIV at AIIMS, which re-confirmed the status, the counsel said.  The man then filed a petition against the “illegal termination” in the Delhi High Court, which was dismissed by a single-judge bench in November 2016.

After that, he filed an appeal before a division bench saying that the court had failed to protect his fundamental right to life. While refusing to elaborate on the plea to revoke termination at the present stage,the court had then directed the Union government to ensure that he was provided proper medical facilities.

When the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, a bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli observed that the earlier single-judge order had dismissed his petition without seeking a reply from the authorities.
If the man had contracted HIV during his tenure at the hospital, the court could grant him compensation, the bench said. When it was pointed to the court that the man had asked for reinstatement, the bench said the court could modify its order.

Exercise mimicking protein may aid heart failure patients

Scientists have discovered a protein that mimics exercise and tricks the heart into growing in a healthy way and pumping more blood, a finding that can aid in developing treatments for heart failure patients. The study showed that a protein called cardiotrophin 1 (CT1) leads heart to pump more blood even if an individual is sitting still, making it beneficial, particularly for people with heart problems who find it hard to exercise.

CT1 was found to help repair damage as well as improve blood flow in heart failure patients. Heart failure, which occurs when the heart can’t pump enough blood through the body, is a leading cause of death and disability in high-income countries and a growing problem around the world. “When part of the heart dies, the remaining muscles try to adapt by getting bigger but this happens in a dysfunctional way and it doesn’t actually help the heart pump more blood,” said Lynn Megeney, Professor at the University of Ottawa in Canada.

heart failure, exercise“We found that CT1 causes heart muscles to grow in a more healthy way and it also stimulates blood vessel growth in the heart. This actually increases the heart’s ability to pump blood, just like what you would see with exercise and pregnancy,” Megeney added For the study, published in the journal Cell Research, the team conducted a variety of experiments in mice, rats and cells growing in the lab. Heart muscle cells treated with CT-1 were found to become longer and demonstrated healthier fibres.

Further, CT-1 also improved heart function in two animal models of heart failure one caused by a heart attack (affecting the left side of the heart) and one caused by high blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension, affecting the right side of the heart). “This experimental therapy is very exciting particularly because it shows promise in treating both left and right heart failure,” said Duncan Stewart, a cardiologist at the Ottawa Hospital.