Turmeric, the yellow-coloured spice, is native to India and has been used since time immemorial to cure many health ailments. It is considered to be a ‘superfood’ and is a staple in all Indian kitchens. Additionally, its usage has been long embedded in Ayurveda, and it has been cited to promote the holistic health of the body. Modern medicine, perhaps influenced by ancient practices, has been working on the curative properties of the compound ‘curcumin’ found in turmeric. However, low solubility, half-life, and the poor bioavailability of curcumin, in a drug form, are some of the obstacles. Now, thanks to a team of researchers from the University of Hyderabad, the humble spice might just be at the center of a significant new medical breakthrough. Dr Ashwin Nangia of the University of Hyderabad, is leading a team of researchers who claim that a new co-amorphous solid, Curcumin Artemisinin (CUR-ART) has been found to solve the problems mentioned above. Artemisinin is incidentally a plant-derived compound. To combat ailments, any drug needs to be effective in two ways—it needs to be easily soluble in blood, and stay in the system long enough to be potent. Pure Curcumin, isn’t soluble, nor does it remain in the body for long. The researchers in Hyderabad found that when CUR-ART co-amorphous in solid form, was administered orally to mice at a dose of 200 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of body weight, solubility levels of 0.90 – 1.23 microgram per milliliter of blood was recorded in 30 minutes. This is considerably better than pure curcumin, which has a very low solubility.Furthermore, it was observed that CUR-ART stayed in their system for a longer time (6-7 hours) as compared to pure curcumin (less than an hour). Finally, when CUR-ART was tested in Simulated Gastric Fluid and Simulated Intestinal Fluid, it was observed that CUR was present for a long time in both mediums to release a high concentration of CUR over an extended time period which is required for any drug to be effective against diseases. The researchers also tested the effectiveness of CUR-ART on a pancreatic tumour. A dosage of 100mg/kg, given to mice for five weeks, showed that the tumour had an inhibition percentage of 61.87 %, close to that of the drug, Doxorubicin, which had a 69.97% inhibition percentage. Most importantly, if plant-based cures are used, side effects are not a threat. The Hyderabad team carried out toxicology tests and got positive results—no adverse effects even after a substantial increase in dosage. Dr Nangia, sounding optimistic about the future of CUR-ART, says that animal trials should pave the way for human trials, once drug companies show interest.
In a move to ensure ‘quality health for all,’ Delhi Lieutenant governor Anil Baijal gave his approval to a government scheme helping Delhi residents get high-end diagnostic (radiological) tests and surgeries completely free of cost in private hospitals – if the patient’s treatment gets delayed in government medical institutions. Under this scheme, the Delhi government is allowing 52 specified surgeries, free of cost, at private hospitals in Delhi/NCR. These include heart bypass, cataract surgery and 17 types of kidney surgeries. “There is no income limit for residents of Delhi, who are allotted a date of surgery after 30 days of diagnosis at one of the 24 specified government hospitals to avail the scheme,” the statement by the Delhi Government reads. To avail of the scheme, the patients have to show their Aadhaar cards, voter ID or driving license as residential proof in Delhi. The scheme was first passed by the AAP cabinet on December 12 and then sent to Lt Governor Mr. Anil Baijal for approval. While the Lt Governor on December 29, initially advised the ruling government to maintain an ‘income ceiling’ to make sure the most underprivileged section of society in need of medical aid don’t get left behind as compared to the ‘better-off’ sections, CM Arvind Kejriwal disagreed saying the income criteria would kill the very purpose of the scheme. Also, Health minister Satyendar Jain said patients in dire need of medical aid could fall above the ceiling limit too. And since these patients were taxpayers, they shouldn’t be deprived of availing the services. The argument, in favour of all needy patients in Delhi no matter what strata of society they came from, seems to have worked. After the Lt Governor gave his nod to the scheme without the income criteria, CM Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to announce the development and thank him. “Hon’ble @LtGovDelhi approves ‘Quality Health for all’ scheme without income criteria. Thank u so much sir,” he tweeted. “It is important to provide all facilities in government hospitals, but until such time, patients with acute medical ailments cannot be left at the mercy of private hospitals. Therefore, the Delhi government came up with the scheme of getting these tests and surgeries done without any waiting list. The government is bearing the cost of these tests/surgeries,” an official said.
Do You want to Speed up Your Weight loss then try this Recipe try adding a raw egg to your morning coffee, as according to new findings a team of researchers found that many people use caffeine for a pre-workout boost, but adding a raw egg to that cup of tea or coffee can helps you to boost up and helpful for weight loss. Marc Bubbs, director of nutrition for the Canadian Men’s National Basketball Team, said, ‘The combination of Egg + Coffee started to gain popularity as a pre-workout drink.’ ‘I’ve used egg coffee a few times before, doing some fasted cardio in the morning,’ Marc added. Direct consuming of raw eggs can be harmful to the health because of the bacteria inside egg. If you do not know then let me tell you that some of the raw eggs can be infected with bacteria salmonella; which can lead to painful urination, joint pain, and eye irritation. But raw eggs are safe with coffee because the heating temperature of the coffee increases the warmth of the egg to kill the bacteria. So it makes the egg safer to consume along with coffee. Meantime, eggs require 160 degrees temperature to get cooked and for the water for the coffee requires around 200 degrees. It was a nice energy drink for pre-workout, similar to Bulletproof Coffee, but with the nutrient-dense bonus of the yolk, compared to simply fatty acids,’ Marc added. Many of the fitness freaks have egg coffee and some will eat their eggs and enjoy their coffee as part of their training and recovery meals. Heather Mangieri, a Pittsburgh-Based nutritionist, and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said: “I can’t image why someone would want to mix eggs and coffee together. “One egg has varying amounts of 13 different essential vitamins and minerals, plus 6g of high-quality protea, but there is no added benefit to putting it in your coffee.”
Those sudden cravings of indulging into a massive ice cream sundae or gorging on an entire bar of melted chocolate are quite common. Almost all of us have fallen prey to these cravings. However, there's no denying the fact that consumption of sugar in such heavy amounts is one of the most unhealthy things you are feeding your body with. Indulging into sweets can have a drastic impact on your body. It can make you feel tired and drowsy and can eventually lead to weight gain in the long run. A sugar rush is usually caused by a sudden high consumption of sugar. It must be consumed in moderation as it can lead to a sugar rush. Here are some possible symptoms of sugar rush. Sugar cravings: Consumption of a lot of sugar can evoke a craving for more sugar. Processed and baked food items like cookies, cakes, brownies, soda, juice and candies can also cause a sugar rush. Various pre-packaged foods have hidden sugar in the form of ingredients such as glucose, maltose, sucrose and lactose. Increase Energy: People often reach out for sweet foods for an instant source of energy. Consumption of sugary foods may give you those sudden bouts of energy, however, they will last for around 30-40 minutes only. Symptoms like dizziness, alertness and high energy are said to be associate with the increase of sugar rush. Hunger: After the consumption of sugary foods, our body tends to produce high doses of insulin to combat the sugar high. Once the sugar rush comes to an end, it eventually causes low blood sugar levels in the body which tends to make you feel hungry even after eating.Eating those processed foods that are loaded with sugar can do your body more harm than good. So it's time to tweak your sweet-eating habits a bit for the betterment of your overall health.
Fatigue: The body requires more energy while digesting sugary foods which eventually leaves you with less energy. Food products like candies, pre-packed items and cakes provide no nutritional benefit and ultimately ends up making you feel lethargic and fatigued.
It's not an easy task for most people struggling to lose weight to just let go of their beloved carbs. And while most diets won't strictly recommend going absolutely off carbs, certain ones do. For everybody having a hard time sticking to such diets, TV doctor Dr Michael Mosley has a solution. He recently revealed the best time of day to consume carbohydrates — the category of food we seem to have a love-hate relationship with — and as it turns out, eating pasta and bread at dinner is actually better for one's waistline than having any amount of toast in the morning. Earlier, experts had found that it was better to eat carbohydrates mainly at the start of the day, considering the body gets a longer time to burn the glucose these items release. And if the body doesn't burn it off, excess sugar is stored from the carbs in the form of fat, leading to weight gain. However, the new study, which was broadcast on BBC's show "Trust Me I'm a Doctor", revealed that eating carbs in the evening leads to less dramatic blood sugar spikes than loading up on carbs in the morning. This is provided that the rest of the day's food intake isn't too heavy on starch. According to Mosley, people should be consistent with their carb-eating habit and avoid consuming high quantities in every meal. Mosley and researchers from the University of Surrey conducted the study, where they asked healthy volunteers to eat the majority of their carb-loaded food items either in the morning, or the evening. Every participant ate the same amount of carb every day, which included bread, pasta and vegetables. The participants' blood sugar levels were also analysed by researchers throughout the course of the study. The results revealed that a low-carb breakfast and a high-carb dinner came up with the best effects on the participants by raising their glucose response by an average of 10.4 units, as was reported by BBC. On the other hand, eating lots of carbs in the morning and few in the evening increased their glucose response by 15.9 units. While the scientists from the University of Surrey have stated their plan to repeat the experiment in a larger study, Mosely revealed stress is one of the major factors that lead to weight gain. He believes there is now "compelling scientific evidence" that stress wreaks absolute havoc on our system and predisposes our bodies into gaining weight. Speaking in The Mail on Sunday's new "Life" section, he suggested that dieters relax and not constantly worry and fret about gaining weight. Mosley explained: "Research has shown that chronic stress leads to increased hunger, comfort eating, self-loathing and disrupted sleep. To lose weight and keep it off, it is important to reduce stress – and all the comfort eating that goes with it." This is one of the leading suggestions that the 5:2 diet plan advises when it comes to losing weight.
Research carried out in part by an artificially-intelligent (AI)'robot scientist' has found that a common ingredient of toothpaste could be developed to fight drug-resistant strains of malaria. In a study in the journal Scientific Reports, scientists from Britain's Cambridge University who used the AI robot to conduct high-throughput screening said the ingredient, triclosan, showed the potential to interrupt malaria infections at two critical stages - in the liver and the blood. Malaria kills around half a million people every year, the vast majority of them children in the poorest parts of Africa. The disease can be treated with a number of drugs, but resistance to these medicines is increasing, raising the risk that some strains may become untreatable in the future. Because of this, the search for new medicines was becoming increasingly urgent, said Steve Oliver of Cambridge University's biochemistry department, who co-led the work with Elizabeth Bilsland. After being transferred into a new host via a mosquito bite, malaria parasites work their way into the liver, where they mature and reproduce. They then move into red blood cells, multiply and spread around the body, causing fever and potentially life-threatening complications. Scientists have known for some time that triclosan can halt malaria parasites' growth at the blood stage of the infection by inhibiting the action of an enzyme known as enoyl reductase (ENR), which is involved in production of fatty acids. In toothpaste, this helps prevent a build-up of plaque bacteria. In this latest work, however, Bilsland's team found that triclosan also inhibits an entirely different enzyme of the malaria parasite, called DHFR. DHFR is the target of the antimalarial pyrimethamine - a drug to which malaria parasites are increasingly developing resistance, particularly in Africa. The Cambridge team's work showed that triclosan was able to target and act on this enzyme even in pyrimethamine-resistant parasites. "The discovery by our robot colleague that triclosan is effective against malaria targets offers hope that we may be able to use it to develop a new drug," said Elizabeth Bilsland, who co-led the work. "We know it is a safe compound, and its ability to target two points in the malaria parasite's lifecycle means the parasite will find it difficult to evolve resistance." The AI robot scientist used in the study - nicknamed Eve - was designed to automate and speed up the drug discovery process. COMMENTSIt does this by automatically developing and testing hypotheses to explain observations, running experiments using laboratory robotics, interpreting the results, altering the hypotheses, and then repeating the cycle.
Scientists are busy working on a "pet translator" that could finally let owners communicate with their dogs and cats. Using artificial intelligence to analyse vocalisations and facial expressions, the researchers from Northern Arizona University believe they'll have the tech ready in under a decade.Led by Dr. Con Slobodchikoff, a professor emeritus of biology at the university, the team have been working with prairie dogs (which are not technically dogs) for the last 30 years. They found that the high-pitched calls they make to warn each other of predators vary depending on which type of predator it is. With help from a computer scientist, Dr Slobodchikoff was able to turn these vocalisations into English. “I thought, if we can do this with prairie dogs, we can certainly do it with dogs and cats,” Slobodchikoff said. His team is now busy assembling thousands of hours of video of dogs barking so the computer can analyse their different sounds as well as the facial expressions they make. Eventually, the algorithm will be able to interpret what these noises mean and when they're uttered and translate them for humans. The ultimate goal is to create a gadget that can translate what your dog wants - so "woof woof" becomes "I want to go for a walk". It could also be used, for example, to limit animal violence by decoding when a dog is angry or if it's simply afraid. “You could use that information and instead of backing the dog into a corner, give the dog more space,” Slobodchikoff said. Although it's unlikely that humans will ever be able to communicate on complex topics with man's best friend, separate research has indicated they have a much greater emotional intelligence than we give them credit for. The findings have come from the University College London and will form part of the upcoming Royal Institute Christmas Lectures being given by Sophie Scott, a professor of neuroscience at University College London. According to Professor Scott, our tendency to view dogs and other pets like we would a child means we also underestimate them. Meanwhile, dogs will view their owner in the same way as a wolf pack would view the alpha male. "There was a study this year that showed that dogs don't like being hugged," Professor Scott said. "The dogs really like being with their owners, they want to be with their owners, but they don't want to be held. It provokes anxiety in them: as an animal, they want to be able to move freely. "And pretty much everyone's reaction to this was: well, I don't think that's my dog. It was a very good example of this asymmetry. "Dogs are great at reading us but we are pretty shocking at reading them."
Rats get a bad rap for spreading the plague, or Black Death, that killed millions of people in medieval Europe. But it turns out that rats might not be to blame after all — instead, the disease may have spread from person to person through human-feeding parasites, including fleas and lice, a new study suggests. The findings challenge "the assumption that plague in Europe was predominantly spread by rats," the researchers wrote in their study, published online today (Jan. 16) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Plague is caused by bacteria called Yersinia pestis, which are carried by rodents and their fleas. The disease is perhaps best known for killing an estimated one-third of the population in Europe in the 1300s, during a pandemic called the Black Death. However, researchers are unsure about how exactly the disease was transmitted during this pandemic. In modern times, the disease is most commonly spread to humans when fleas that have fed on infected rats go on to bite humans. This could also have happened during the Black Death — for instance, when infected rats died, their flea parasites could "jump" from the recently dead rat hosts to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But some argue that this mode of transmission doesn't fit with the historical evidence. For instance, records from the time do not mention large numbers of rats dying off, as was seen in later outbreaks in Europe starting in the 19th century, according to the new study. And the Black Death spread much farther and faster, and killed many more people, than modern outbreaks do, the study authors said. This has led some researchers to speculate that human parasites played an important role in spreading the Black Death. For example, fleas and lice could have fed on infected humans, and then transmitted the disease to other humans. In the new study, the researchers used mathematical equations to create three different models of plague transmission during a series of outbreaks in Europe called the second pandemic, which includes the Black Death, and occurred during the 14th through 19th centuries. One model assumed the disease was spread from rats to fleas to people; a second model assumed the disease was spread from human fleas and body lice to other people; and a third model assumed the disease was spread from person to person through the air, which occurs only when people develop a form of plague known as pneumonic plague. Using publicly available data on plague deaths in nine regions during the second pandemic, the researchers found that the human parasite model best reflected death rates in seven out of the regions, compared with the other two models. "Overall, our results suggest that plague transmission in European epidemics occurred predominantly through human [parasites], rather than commensal rat or pneumonic transmission," the researchers wrote in their paper. The researchers note that their models could be improved with more data. For example, the models in the current study did not account for local conditions that could affect disease transmission, such as war, famine, immunity and public health interventions, they said. "Plague is undeniably a disease of significant scientific, historic and public interest, and is still present in many parts of the world today," the researchers said. "It is therefore crucial that we understand the full spectrum of capabilities that this versatile, pandemic disease has exhibited in the past," they concluded.
Beware! Teenagers and adults who consume energy drinks may suffer from rapid heartbeat, nausea and seizures, warns a recent study. According to the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, over half of youth and young adults who consume an energy drink, have reported experiencing an adverse health event, including rapid heartbeat, nausea, and in rare cases, seizures. Currently, Canadian legislation is meant to prohibit energy drinks from being marketed to children. Energy drinks are not recommended for use by people participating in sporting activities. "Most risk assessments to date have used coffee as a reference for estimating the health effects of energy drinks; however, it is clear these products pose a greater health risk," said study author David Hammond. "The health effects from energy could be due to the different ingredients than coffee, or the ways in which they consumed, including with alcohol or during physical activity; regardless, the findings suggest a need to increase surveillance of health effects from these products,” Hammond added. The team surveyed 2,055 young Canadians aged 12 to 24. Of those that had reported consuming energy drinks at some point in their lives, 55.4 percent reported experiencing an adverse health event. Of those reporting adverse health events, 24.7 percent reported experiencing a fast heartbeat, 24.1 percent reported difficulty sleeping and 18.3 percent reported experiencing headaches. A total of 5.1 per cent reported nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, five per cent sought medical attention, 3.6 percent reported experiencing chest pains and 0.2 percent reported having a seizure. "The number of health effects observed in our study suggests that more should be done to restrict consumption among children and youth," Hammond stated.
Scientists have found that many of the genes that aid in the natural repair of injured spinal cord in the lamprey fish are also active in the repair of the peripheral nervous system in mammals, a finding that may eventually be harnessed to reverse spinal cord damage, even paralysis in humans. Lampreys are jawless, eel-like fish that shared a common ancestor with humans about 550 million years ago. The fish species can fully recover from a severed spinal cord without medication or other treatment. They can go from paralysis to full swimming behaviours in 10 to 12 weeks. "We found a large overlap with the hub of transcription factors that are driving regeneration in the mammalian peripheral nervous system," said Jennifer Morgan, Director at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts. In the study, published in the journal ‘Scientific Reports’, the scientists followed the lampreys' healing process and took samples from the brains and spinal cords at multiple points in time, from the first hours after injury until three months later when they were healed. They analysed the material to determine which genes and signalling pathways were activated as compared to a non-injured lamprey. They found many genes in the spinal cord that change over time with recovery and also discovered a number of injury-induced gene expression changes in the brain. "This reinforces the idea that the brain changes a lot after a spinal cord injury. Most people are thinking, 'What can you do to treat the spinal cord itself?' but our data really support the idea that there's also a lot going on in the brain," Morgan said. Further, the scientists also found that many of the genes associated with spinal cord healing are part of the "Wnt signalling pathway", which plays a role in tissue development and regeneration in several other animals, like salamanders and zebra fish.