Category: Science

An analysis of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Taiwan!

The spread of an HIV epidemic has been recorded since the last 10 years in Taiwan.  Especially amongst those people who inject drugs in their veins. There was a hefty increase in patients suffering from HIV/AIDS since the past 3 years.

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The exact number of HIV patients had yet to be reported, hence, a research team conducted a survey using a compartmental mathematical model for disease transmission and HIV/AIDS surveillance data during 2001-2011 in which it was observed that the estimated under reporting ratio in 2011 is 0.45:1 decreased from 1:1 ratio in 2000. Based on the assumption that model parameters remain unaltered, a future prognosis was presented of both the reported and the unreported persons living with HIV/AIDS.

An observed data set from 2012-2014 showed lower than the expected number of persons living with HIV/AIDS and new deaths maybe because of increased treatment. On the other hand, the percentage of newly reported HIV/AIDS patients has increased which further warrants investigation.

For more detail read article: http://benthamscience.com/journals/current-hiv-research/volume/14/issue/2/page/138/

Celebrating the birthday of Igor Sikorsky!

Igor Sikorsky, an American Russian aviation engineer, was born on the 5th of May 1889. His many accomplishments include being; the first to design and fly a viable helicopter, flew and designed the world’s first multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft.

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Can Mangoes Make Me Healthy?

King of fruits has begun to ripe and we are all feeling water in our mouths. Summer marks the arrival of mangoes which we all are dearly awaiting. Mangoes are outrageously popular for their taste but few realize that they are actually capable of giving us vital nutrition.

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Oozing with love for mangoes, I fancy giving you some essential benefits the king of fruits offers. Have a read.

  1. Cancer deterrent – A number of antioxidant compounds abundant in mangoes help keep cancer threat far away. Quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid, methylgallat and several enzymes, present in mangoes, do the magic and keep us fit.
  2. Keeper of fresh skin – Contradictory to popular belief, the fruit keeps the skin fresh and glowing. It cleans pores and fights off pimples.
  3. Good for eyes – Mangoes have a good amount of Vitamin A which is the best feed for the eyes. It prevents eye diseases, especially night-blindness.
  4. Destroys cholesterol – Mango has high fibre, pectin and Vitamin C which deals well against the bad cholesterol.
  5. Increases alkalis in body – Mangoes also make us alkaline which is very helpful to maintain healthy nature of the body.

There is a lot more that the king of fruits does for us. But if you still want to enjoy it for taste, go on… the mangoes are all yours!!!

Upcoming eBook!

Bentham Science Publishers is proud to announce its upcoming eBook!

frontiers

Frontiers in Anti-infective Drug Discovery, Volume (2)

Editors: 
Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman, 

Prof. M. Iqbal Choudhary 

 

For details, please visit: http://benthamscience.com/ebooks/9781608058600/index.htm

Cancer ‘tidal wave’ on horizon, warns WHO

The globe is facing a “tidal wave” of cancer, and restrictions on alcohol and sugar need to be considered, say World Health Organization scientists.

It predicts the number of cancer cases will reach 24 million a year by 2035, but half could be prevented.

The WHO said there was now a “real need” to focus on cancer prevention by tackling smoking, obesity and drinking.

The World Cancer Research Fund said there was an “alarming” level of naivety about diet’s role in cancer.

Fourteen million people a year are diagnosed with cancer, but that is predicted to increase to 19 million by 2025, 22 million by 2030 and 24 million by 2035.

The developing world will bear the brunt of the extra cases.

Predicted global cancer cases to 2035

Chris Wild, the director of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, told the BBC: “The global cancer burden is increasing and quite markedly, due predominately to the ageing of the populations and population growth.

“If we look at the cost of treatment of cancers, it is spiralling out of control, even for the high-income countries. Prevention is absolutely critical and it’s been somewhat neglected.”

The WHO’s World Cancer Report 2014 said the major sources of preventable cancer included:

  • Smoking
  • Infections
  • Alcohol
  • Obesity and inactivity
  • Radiation, both from the sun and medical scans
  • Air pollution and other environmental factors
  • Delayed parenthood, having fewer children and not breastfeeding

For most countries, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. However, cervical cancer dominates in large parts of Africa.

Dr Chris Wild, WHO: “We’re not going to be able to address this problem by simply improving treatment”

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major cause. It is thought wider use of the HPV and other vaccines could prevent hundreds of thousands of cancers.

One of the report’s editors, Dr Bernard Stewart from the University of New South Wales in Australia, said prevention had a “crucial role in combating the tidal wave of cancer which we see coming across the world”.

Dr Stewart said human behaviour was behind many cancers such as the sunbathe “until you’re cooked evenly on both sides” approach in his native Australia.

He said it was not the role of the International Agency for Research on Cancer to dictate what should be done.

But he added: “In relation to alcohol, for example, we’re all aware of the acute effects, whether it’s car accidents or assaults, but there’s a burden of disease that’s not talked about because it’s simply not recognised, specifically involving cancer.

“The extent to which we modify the availability of alcohol, the labelling of alcohol, the promotion of alcohol and the price of alcohol – those things should be on the agenda.”

He said there was a similar argument to be had with sugar fuelling obesity, which in turn affected cancer risk.

Continue reading the main story

Meanwhile, a survey of 2,046 people in the UK by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) suggested 49% do not know that diet increases the risk of developing cancer.

A third of people said cancer was mainly due to family history, but the charity said no more than 10% of cancers were down to inherited genes.

Amanda McLean, general manager for the WCRF, said: “It’s very alarming to see that such a large number of people don’t know that there’s a lot they can do to significantly reduce their risk of getting cancer.

For most countries, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women

“In the UK, about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented through being a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and being regularly physically active.

“These results show that many people still seem to mistakenly accept their chances of getting cancer as a throw of the dice, but by making lifestyle changes today, we can help prevent cancer tomorrow.”

It advises a diet packed with vegetables, fruit, and wholegrains; cutting down on alcohol and red meat; and junking processed meat completely.

Dr Jean King, Cancer Research UK’s director of tobacco control, said: “The most shocking thing about this report’s prediction that 14 million cancer cases a year will rise to 22 million globally in the next 20 years is that up to half of all cases could be prevented.

“People can cut their risk of cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices, but it’s important to remember that the government and society are also responsible for creating an environment that supports healthy lifestyles.

“It’s clear that if we don’t act now to curb the number of people getting cancer, we will be at the heart of a global crisis in cancer care within the next two decades.”

Editor’s Pick

ISSN: 1874-7647 (Online)
ISSN: 2211-3320 (Print)
Volume 7, 2 Issues, 2014

Innovations to Control the Environment for Persons with Movement Disorders: Support in Home Care

Author(s): Maria Linden and Anna Akerberg 
Pages 109-126 (18)

Abstract:

 This review focuses on recent innovations and patents with the aim to allow people with movement disorders to control their environment. This particularly includes different technologies for input devices to control computers and other electronic equipment used by persons with movement disorders, enabling the empowerment of this user group. The control of such devices can be the key to social inclusion and mean improved social contact with others, access of information or possibility to work. In this paper, several patents and innovations are described that enable such control, divided into the groups; Input devices in form of switches and touchscreens, Inertia and inclinometer sensors, Voice control and Gesture control. Also methods allowing monitoring and classification of physical activity, i.e. assisting to alarm in case of a fall and systems assisting in rehabilitation at home, are included, as are video games aimed to promote physical activity.

For details, please click on: http://benthamscience.com/journal/index.php?journalID=rpbiomeng#topImage

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) indexes Current Green Chemistry

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) indexes Current Green Chemistry

Chemical Abstracts Service, a division of the American Chemical Society accepts to index in CAS a new journal Current Green Chemistry published by Bentham Science Publishers.

Current Green Chemistry is an international peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research, expert reviews and thematic issues in all major areas of green chemistry. For further details and FREE first issue viewing visit the journal’s website at Current Green Chemistry

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) aims to deliver comprehensive and useful digital information environment for scientific research and discovery.

Upcoming Podcast by Dr. David Leung

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Anatomically Correct Version of Skeleton!

Anatomically Correct Version of Skeleton!

The artist Aaron Keuhn has identified all the bones of the human body and arranged them in an anatomically correct skeleton.

Gene therapy partially restores vision in rare blindness disorder

Two men with progressive blindness have regained some of their vision after taking part in the first clinical trial of a gene therapy for the condition.

The men were among six patients to have experimental treatment for a rare, inherited, disorder called choroideremia, which steadily destroys eyesight and leaves people blind in middle age.

After therapy to correct a faulty gene, the men could read two to four more lines on an optician’s sight chart, a dramatic improvement that has held since the doctors treated them. One man was treated more than two years ago.

The other four patients, who had less advanced disease and good eyesight before the trial, had better night vision after the therapy. Poor sight in dim light is one of the first signs of the condition.

Writing in The Lancet , doctors describe the progress of the patients six months after the therapy. If further trials are as effective, the team could apply for approval for the therapy in the next five years. Some other forms of blindness could be treated in a similar way.

Toby Stroh, 56, a solicitor from London, was in his early 20s when a consultant told him he would be blind by the age of 50. “I said ‘what do you mean?’ and he said, ‘you won’t be able to see me’. It was a long way away, but still a bit of a shock.”

Stroh was told later that his vision had deteriorated so much he would have to stop driving. Then, when he joined a solicitors’ firm he told a partner his eyesight was not expected to last. The response was: “We’ll be sorry to see you go.”

Stroh had gene therapy to his left eye, the worst eye, in February 2012, and has had some sight return to it.

“This result does not make me swing from the chandeliers. I refuse to say everything is going to be roses. But there is hope,” he said. “For the past 30 years I’ve been living under the awfulness, the insidious inevitability, of going blind, and now as a result of this work that’s been done there is a very real prospect that I will continue to be able to see, and that is just absolutely fantastic.”

Jonathan Wyatt, 65, a barrister from Bristol, was the first patient to have the therapy. He had hoped to spend his youth surfing around the world, but changed his mind at the age of 20 when a consultant told him he had no idea if his vision would last one, two or three more years.

Wyatt had gene therapy in October 2011 and soon after was able to read the numbers on a mobile phone for the first time in five years. “In my view my eyesight has improved enormously since the operation.”

Doctors said the improvements in the two patients went far beyond their expectations, but they cautioned that it was too soon to say whether the effects would last.

“It is still too early to know if the treatment we have initiated is a permanent cure, but so far the vision that we’ve seen improved has been maintained,” said Robert MacLaren, a consultant surgeon at the Oxford Eye Hospital, who led the trial.

Choroideremia is an X-linked disorder, meaning it is caused by a faulty gene, called CHM, on the X chromosome. The disease mostly affects men because they have only one copy of the X chromosome. Women have two copies of the X chromosome, so a healthy version of the gene on one chromosome can largely make up for any defects on the other.

The therapy uses a genetically modified virus to smuggle healthy copies of the CHM gene into light-sensitive cells in the retina and supporting tissue called retinal pigment epithelium.

Surgeons injected 10bn modified virus particles behind the retinas of the first six patients in an operation that could be completed in an hour under general anaesthetic.

The injected viruses infect the eye cells, which then use the new CHM gene to correct the choroideremia. The therapy only works on cells that have not been destroyed by the disease. It cannot replace cells that have died off.

MacLaren has given three more patients a higher dose of the gene therapy and hopes to start a larger trial with about 30 people next year.

Wayne Thompson, 43, an IT manager in Staffordshire, was treated in April 2013. His night vision began to fail in his 20s, and over time his peripheral vision got worse, until he began to use a white cane to get around.

“One night in the summer my wife called me outside as it was a particularly starry evening. As I looked up I was amazed that I was able to see a few stars. I hadn’t seen stars for a long, long, time,” Thompson said. “Even if the improvement lasts I will still be visually impaired. My life has not become easier because of the trial, but it may have stopped it getting much, much, harder.”

The work raises hopes for gene therapies for more common causes of blindness, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. Some forms of blindness cause rapid sight loss, and are caused by multiple genes, so therapy might need to be given in childhood and correct several genes at once.

“It’s pretty convincing that they see some functional improvement in the treated eyes,” said Hendrik Scholl, professor of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University. “I find this very exciting.”

But he added that measurements of supporting tissues, called retinal pigment epithelial cells, seemed to show that the therapy had not stopped the degeneration of the eye completely. “The data suggest that they were able to slow down the progression of the disease, but not stop it. But after only six months it is very difficult to draw any conclusions.”

[Source: theguardian.com]