Friday, 23 September 2011
Hobby-store owner in Cincinnati sliced off his fingertip in 2005 while showing a customer why the motor on his model plane was dangerous, he went to the emergency room without the missing tip.The doctor bandaged the wound and recommended a skin graft to cover the top of his right-middle stub for cosmetic purposes, since nothing could be done to rebuild the finger. Months later, he had regrown it, tissue, nerves, skin, fingernail and all. Extracellular matrix is a component of body tissue that functions outside of the body's cells (thus the "extracellular" designation). It's made up mostly of collagen, a type of protein. So extracellular matrix extracted from the bladder of a pig does not actually have any of the pig's cells in it. In human fetuses, the substance works in concert with stem cells to grow and regrow everything from heart aortas to toes. Fetuses can regrow almost anything that gets damaged while in the womb. Scientists have long believed that when a fetus reaches full development, this extracellular matrix stops functioning. But with evidence that applying extracellular matrix from a pig can initiate certain types of regeneration in humans, they're wondering if they can trigger human extracellular matrix to start working again. After all, according to regeneration researcher Dr. Stephen Badylak of the University of Pittsburgh, children up to the age of two have been known to regrow fingertips with no outside help. Pig-extracted extracellular matrix is already used by veterinarians to help horses repair torn ligaments. In people, it's used to treat ulcers, closing a hole in the tissue that lines the stomach. It employs an entirely different process than the typical mammalian healing mechanism. Let's take the case of a person who loses the tip of a finger. When the finger is severed, the cells die, and their contents seep into the surrounding tissue. This alerts the immune system to a problem. The immune system's response to cell death is inflammation and scar tissue. The formation of scar tissue prevents any future cellular development in the area. That's why scars last -- cells are prevented from doing a repair job on that skin. But when extracellular matrix is applied to a wound, it doesn't trigger an immune response. Instead, when it begins to break down into surrounding tissue, it causes the cells in that tissue to start repairing the damage the way they would in a developing fetus (or a salamander that loses a limb) -- they divide and rebuild, creating new, normal tissue, not scar tissue. Combined with developments in stem-cell research, this extracellular matrix may work miracles in the area of regeneration science. As of early 2007, testing of the effects of extracellular matrix is being carried out on a military base in Texas. Scientists are using the powdered pig extract on Iraq War veterans whose hands were damaged in the war. They're opening the wounds and applying the component to finger stubs in an attempt to regrow them. The researchers conducting the study say they don't expect to regrow the entire finger, but are hoping to regrow enough of a finger to allow for some utility. They don't believe it will regenerate bone, but nothing is for sure right now. That man in Cincinnati had only lost his finger tip, at the lower part of the nail; he hadn't lost the entire finger. Help from pigs aside, many wonder if the extracellular matrix in humans is unable to function or is simply in a latent state, awaiting some sort of trigger. Do humans in fact have the same regenerative capacity as salamanders, which can regrow an entire limb, and researchers just haven't found a way to activate the mechanism? It's not just amphibians that can regrow body parts: Deer regularly regrow lost antlers, composed of bone, tissue, cartilage and skin -- the same things that make up human limbs. Could there possibly be an internal switch that would reactivate the regeneration capacity that humans possess in the womb? Regenerative medicine is actively pursuing answers to these questions. And in the meantime, if applying powdered pig extract to a snipped finger can in fact facilitate regrowth, the possibilities for medicine are startling. Spinal injuries, amputated limbs and damaged organs could all be coaxed back into a complete, healthy state if science finds the right combination of treatments.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder that makes it difficult to: Tell the difference between real and unreal experiences Think logically Have normal emotional responses, Behave normally in social situation Causes, incidence, and risk factors Schizophrenia is a complex illness. Mental health experts are not sure what causes it. However, genetic factors appear to play a role. Certain environmental events may trigger schizophrenia in people who are genetically at risk for it. You are more likely to develop schizophrenia if you have a family member with the disease. Schizophrenia affects both men and women equally. In children begins in age 5. Symptoms Initially, Irritable or tense feeling Difficulty sleeping Difficulty concentrating problems with thinking, emotions and behavior develop Lack of emotion (flat affect) Strongly held beliefs that are not based in reality (delusions) Hearing or seeing things that are not there (hallucinations) Problems paying attention Thoughts "jump" between unrelated topics ( “loose associations”) Bizarre behaviors Social isolation Tests How long the symptoms have lasted How the person's ability to function has changed Developmental background Genetic and family history How well medications have worked Treatment Antipsychotic medications are the most effective treatment for schizophrenia. They change the balance of chemicals in the brain and can help control symptoms. Sleepiness (sedation) Dizziness Weight gain Increased chance of diabetes and high cholesterol Feelings of restlessness or "jitters" Slowed movements Tremor References Leucht S, Corves C, Arbter D, Engel RR, Li C, Davis JM. Second-generation versus first-generation antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia: a meta-analysis. Lancet. 2009;373:31-41. Epub 2008 Dec 6. [PubMed] Freudenreich O, Weiss AP, Goff DC. Psychosis and schizophrenia. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2008:chap 28.
Thursday, 22 September 2011
Chinese hotel manager Hong Chun had trouble using chopsticks after a minor stroke and sought treatment at a large Shanghai hospital where doctors injected what they said were donor stem cells into his spinal cord and buttocks, according to his father and cousin. Stem cells Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell. Stem cells are distinguished from other cell types by two important characteristics. First, they are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division, sometimes after long periods of inactivity. Second, under certain physiologic or experimental conditions, they can be induced to become tissue- or organ-specific cells with special functions.
Leptospirosis is a rare and severe bacterial infection that occurs when people are exposed to certain environments. Causes, incidence, and risk factors Leptospirosis is caused by exposure to several types of the Leptospira bacteria, which can be found in fresh water that has been contaminated by animal urine. It occurs in warmer climates. It is not spread from person to person, except in vary rare cases when it is transmitted through breast milk or from a mother to her unborn child. Risk factors include: Occupational exposure -- farmers, ranchers, slaughterhouse workers, trappers, veterinarians, loggers, sewer workers, rice field workers, and military personnel Recreational activities -- fresh water swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and trail biking in warm areas Household exposure -- pet dogs, domesticated livestock, rainwater catchment systems, and infected rodents Leptospirosis is rare in the continental United States. Hawaii has the highest number of cases in the United States. Symptoms Symptoms can take 2 - 26 days (average 10 days) to develop, and may include: Dry cough Fever Headache Muscle pain Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea Shaking chills Less common symptoms include: Abdominal pain Abnormal lung sounds Bone pain Conjunctivitis Enlarged lymph glands Enlarged spleen or liver Joint aches Muscle rigidity Muscle tenderness Skin rash Sore throat Signs and tests The blood is tested for antibodies to the bacteria. Other tests that may be done: Complete blood count (CBC) Creatine kinase Liver enzymes Urinalysis Treatment Medications to treat leptospirosis include: Ampicillin Ceftriaxone Doxycycline Penicillin Complicated or serious cases may need supportive care or treatment in a hospital intensive care unit (ICU). Expectations (prognosis) The outlook is generally good. However, a complicated case can be life-threatening if it is not treated promptly. Complications Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction when penicillin is given Meningitis Severe bleeding Calling your health care provider Contact your health care provider if you have any symptoms of, or risk factors for, leptospirosis. Prevention Avoid areas of stagnant water, especially in tropical climates. If you are exposed to a high risk area, taking doxycycline or amoxicillin may decrease your risk of developing this disease. References Ko AI. Leptospirosis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 344.
Friday, 16 September 2011
Asthma Asthma is a disorder that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Causes, incidence, and risk factors Animals (pet hair or dander) Dust Changes in weather (most often cold weather) Chemicals in the air or in food Exercise Mold Pollen Respiratory infections, such as the common cold Strong emotions (stress) Tobacco smoke Asthma can develop in children of any age, but symptoms typically begin by age 5, the Cleveland Clinic says. The clinic says parents should watch for: Frequent coughing spells that occur during playtime, laughing or at night. Lack of energy during playtime. Breathing rapidly, shortness of breath or wheezing. Discomfort or pain in the chest. A perceived tightness of the neck or chest muscles. Feeling tired often.
Thursday, 15 September 2011
Project of the week: E-rickshaws in the Netherlands Project type: Electric transport Speed: 80 kilometers per battery charge, maximum 50 kilometers per hour Carbon reduction: around 9 tons each year and with each vehicle Project start: in use since March 2010 in the public transport system in the Netherlands Three wheels, an axle and a two-stroke engine – that's the classic rickshaw or tuk-tuk that crams the streets of Thailand, India and other Asian countries. The model dates back to the 1950s. Now, electric versions of the tuk-tuks are making an appearance on European roads. In Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, the three-wheelers are already being used in local public transport. The vehicles, which are smaller than most cars, are able to easily nip in and out of traffic. A Dutch innovator first came up with the idea of importing the rickshaw to Europe. But he tweaked the concept with the aim of creating a cleaner and more silent version of the usually noisy and polluting rickshaw and to make it compliant with European roads. A research group was set up towards that purpose. The version they came up with is a truly global creature – its bodywork comes from Thailand, the engine from the US and the battery from Germany. The green three-wheeler is ideal for short rides in European cities. It's already being tested in a pilot project in Holland. The makers of the green three-wheeler have three models on offer – the "Classico" for up to three passengers, "Cargo" for delivery and the "Limo" that has room for up to six passengers with comforts not normally found on Asian equivalents. Prototypes of the green tuk-tuk are already plying the roads in some places in Belgium, Spain and Germany. Switzerland too is poised to unveil them. In Berlin, a few electric rickshaws are already out on the roads but they can only be hired so far. They aren't legally allowed as taxis because taxis usually need to have four wheels, four doors and two axles. But the makers of the electric rickshaw are hoping the authorities will make an exception.
Cholesterol is a waxy steroid of fat that is produced in the liver or intestines. It is used to produce hormones and cell membranes and is transported in the blood plasma of all mammals.It is an essential structural component of mammalian cell membranes and is required to establish proper membrane permeability and fluidity. In addition, cholesterol is an important component for the manufacture of bile acids, steroid hormones, and vitamin D. Cholesterol is the principal sterol synthesized by animals; however, small quantities can be synthesized in other eukaryotes such as plants and fungi. It is almost completely absent among prokaryotes including bacteria.Although cholesterol is important and necessary for mammals, high levels of cholesterol in the blood can damage arteries and are potentially linked to diseases such as those associated with the cardiovascular system (heart disease). A treatment currently being studied may prevent progression of atherosclerosis, a condition caused by the build-up of plaque in artery walls that can lead to heart attack, according to new research. In conducting the study, published in the Sept. 12 issue of The Lancet, researchers followed 130 patients with atherosclerosis who were randomly assigned to be treated with either the experimental heart drug dalcetrapib, or an inactive placebo over the course of two years. In the double-blind study, neither the researchers nor the patients knew who was taking the heart drug and who was taking the placebo. While statin drugs are commonly used to lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, dalcetrapib raises HDL or "good" cholesterol in order to reduce the risk, the researchers explained. To determine the efficacy of dalcetrapib, the researchers used non-invasive imaging technology. Through MRI, the researchers found the patients on dalcetrapib had a 31 percent increase in "good" HDL cholesterol levels. Additional PET/CT scans showed that inflammation levels in the carotid artery of patients were significantly reduced only among those taking dalcetrapib. The carotid arteries are responsible for supplying oxygenated blood to the head and neck. "We are excited about the results obtained in this trial, which could have a great impact on the treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease," said Fayad, who disclosed receiving financial compensation as a scientific advisory board member from the study's sponsor, Hoffmann-La Roche, whose holding company makes dalcetrapib. Fayad noted imaging technology could be a vital tool for evaluating other treatments for heart disease. SOURCE: Mount Sinai Hospital, news release, Sept. 12, 2011
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
‘You have done a brilliant work Rajesh. You have been given….rrrrhhhhh……Raaaajjjeeeessshhhh………… Raaaajjjeeeessshhhh .’- what!! I woke up from a sudden jerk. ‘Raaajeeessshhh… .’…I heard my wife yelling. What’s w/ her? Always yelling for something or the other. I can’t be in peace even in my dreams. Shucks!! Angrily, I kicked my blanket and got down. ‘Raaajesssh….’ ‘Coming Meera..what’s w/ you. Why are you shouting like this..’. I hurried down the stairs. I saw Meera, my sweet(??!!) wife, sitting in the couch giving breakfast to my 7yr old daughter Achala. Both looked happy, watching TV. I got confused at the whole scenario. I came running down, expecting some kind of earthquake, but instead here everything was in place. I looked at my wife & daughter. She smiled at me back. Now, I more got confused, what’s happening here? Am I in a dream? ‘Meera…’ ‘Yeah Rajesh…’ ‘You called me. In fact yelled.’ ‘Yes. You are right!’ ‘Everything is fine here right? Why you screamed like that then…’ ‘It’s ‘cos it’s going to be 8am now.’ I couldn’t understand what she was trying to say. Is she playing some kind of prank? Is this the time for all these? I have to be in office by 9am for a meeting. ‘Yes. It’s going to be 8am.Right! So…?’ ‘Rajesh, don’t tell me, you forgot…today is 27th ‘ ‘27th..What 27th? ‘Don’t tell me you don’t remember?’ Meera gave me an ‘I’ll kill you’ look. Is it her birthday? No it’s somewhere at the year end. Is it my daughter’s? No no , we celebrated last month only right. Got it. Should be our Anniversary. ‘Hey Meera, How will I forget our Anniversary…’ ‘Whaattttttt? ???….Anniversaryy yyy???…..’ Got it. It’s not our anniversary. Before I get killed…What’s w/ 27th. What ?? what?? Come on Rajesh!! Think. Nothing hit my mind. I looked at my daughter for a clue. She turned her face away. What’s with all women? Why can’t they be straight forward & say things. With so much work pressure, how on earth I am supposed to remember all the dates?. If I say something, then Meera will pick up a fight, and I will miss the meeting, my whole day will be gone. I made up my mind to surrender. ‘Meera, Sorry, I don’t remember. This medicine I am taking for cough, Something happened..my memory is deteriorating ..What’s today?’ Meera doesn’t seem like buying that excuse from me. ‘Meera, please tell me’ I asked in a pitiable tone.. ‘Rajesh..You don’t remember at all?’ I moved my head left & right meaning NO. I kept my face like I am a patient suffering from ‘amnesia'. 'Rajesh, As part of annual day celebrations, today is 'Daddy's Day' in Acchu's school. I have been telling you for the past 3 weeks. Now don’t tell me you forgot. You already promised that you will go with her to her school' I couldn’t believe that I accepted for something like that. 'Meeraa..did I??' 'Yes. You did' ‘at what time it starts..?' 'By 8:30am and ends at 1pm'. Gosh!! 9am!! I have such a critical meeting. How I will attend all these. “Meera, you could have reminded me yesterday right?’ ‘Oh I didn’t remind you? Great. I didn’t call to your office. Or remind you in the evening and before going to bed’ Might be I wouldn’t have heard it. Or slipped out of my memory. Whatever!! 'Meera! Can’t you attend all these. Why should I??' "Rajesh. It’s Daddy's Day!...DADDY'ss!!!!!' 'Oh yeah....but. ..' 'But what????...' 'errrh....might be some other day...' 'What? You want the school to postpone the function?' 'No..No…actually. .what..I am saying is..' 'What Rajesh??? What?? Tell me. You promised Acchu and are you going to disappoint her? ' I stood there totally helpless. I looked at my daughter. She was all dressed up and ready to go. She looked like, she will cry any time. I saw Meera. She gave me a murderous look. I thought for a moment and my mind raced with many calculations. Important meeting. I can’t miss for sure. Half a day is too much. So many deliverables will get affected. I can’t face Meera again if I don’t go. Might be I can postpone the meeting by an hour and for name sake visit that function and escape to office. 'Meera, I will go, but I can spend only 1 hour..' 'No...that’s not..' Before Meera finished the sentence, Acchu rushed to me 'Thanks daddy. 1hour. Mom, 1hour is enough mom. Please don’t fight mom. Daddy, get ready soon..' she nudged me. ‘Do you know her school name and the route for the school or you want me to tell???’ Asking that Meera threw me an angry look and left the living room. I rushed up, got ready. Called my manager & told that I got stuck in traffic jam and postponed the meeting to 10am. I took Achala to her school. I felt somehow entering the school, ‘cos it’s the 2nd time, I am entering her school. In fact 1st time. I once dropped her outside her school gate. The school had a big playground, Small Park with all kids playing equipments. Some stalls were put up. So many kids with their fathers moved around here & there. Suddenly I felt some one touching my hand ‘Are you achala’s daddy?’ – A small kid asked. She had curly hair and bubbly smile. ‘Yes,,,My Daddy..…’ – Achala responded in an excited tone. And some kids ran towards me and Achala started introducing everyone. ‘Daddy! this is Rohit, this is zakir, Anis, Sylvia, Divya..’ – I told hello to everyone. ‘Daddy, Daddy, Zakir is my best friend.’ – I smiled at that cute blue eyed boy. ‘Uncle, Acchu told that you have so much work and you won’t be able to come. She told she won’t come in today. You don’t have work Uncle?’ – Zakir asked me. I suddenly felt very bad on how my daughter has understood me. ‘No Zakir, I don’t have work’ ‘Daddy, they are calling for the games. ‘ . Zakir ran to his father and waved his hands at me & achala. I took achala by hand and walked towards the stage. They were announcing the 1st game. Fathers will be given a sheet containing questions about their kids. Fathers have to fill about their kids which will be verified with the kids response. Achala was all excited about the game and she was all set to go. But I felt shivers. I looked at my daughter. Suddenly, I felt very far from her, and the reality hit me, that I don’t know anything about my very own daughter. I blurted out ‘Acchu..we will attend the next game..This one ..’ She gave me a deep stare. I thought she is going to cry or shout or do something. But instead she pulled out a small paper from her jeans pocket and gave it to me. Completely baffled, I opened the sheet. My name is Achala. My birthday March 21st. I am 7yrs old. I like butterfly. Superman. Dairy milk. painting. dancing. I am in 1st standard A section. I like Dora. Mango. Apple. Fried rice. Jelly. I don’t like banana. I drink boost.. I like yellow color. My nick name is ‘Honey dew’ And the list went on with small, small spelling mistakes. I looked at Acchu. ‘Daddy, read it, I know they will keep this game. So I wrote it 2 days back itself, to give you if you come. If they ask anything about me, write there. Ok Now go & attend the game’. Most of the things, my daughter has written & gave me, I never knew anything about it. I suddenly felt a lump in my throat. I went to the stage waved my hand to Acchu and got the question sheet. Since Acchu gave the sheet, I came to know about her & I answered almost all the questions. Then they asked Acchu on stage and asked the questions to her. We got the 2nd highest mark in that game. Acchu came running towards me and hugged me. They gave a ‘toy guitar’. Everyone congratulated us. Thou’ I won that game, I felt like a loser. I know, I don’t deserve this. I don’t know anything about my daughter. She looked very happy showing that guitar to her best friend, zakir . What a kid she is. Understanding that her dad is totally hopeless and don’t want to let her dad down, before others she prepared that sheet and gave to me. The lump in my throat started getting bigger and my heart became heavy. I caressed her hair. What a beautiful smile she has and such big eyes. Does she miss a wing to get qualified as an angel? I have never admired my daughter or even watched her in all these years. She has that cute dimple of Meera’s as well as her eyes. Does that curling lip edges when she smiles, is mine? How I missed all this in my life. Achala pulled me to the stalls there and I got some eatables and ballons for her and zakir.. She kept talking about the next game and suddenly my mobile rang. Oops!! Is it already 10am. I looked at Acchu . Suddenly her face became dark. She looked totally upset and asked in an low voice ‘Daddy! You have to leave now?’ I looked at my mobile. My manager was calling. It’s already 10am. I looked at Acchu. I looked around. All those happy kids with their fathers. I thought about my school days, where my dad used to come for all sports day, annual day, sit with me, cheer me up. Every day morning, while dropping me to school, he will wait near the gate until my head disappear. Evening, he will come & pick me up in his cycle, and I will be telling him all the stories that happened that day in school. I saw Acchu. How many untold stories my daughter has kept in her heart to say me? I thought about all those days, where I yearned for a girl child and I wonder, how much of my time I gave her. I pulled her closer, gave a kiss on her fore head ‘No Honey! I am not going. I will be here only…we will attend all games and roam around whole day.ok?’ ‘Really?’ – She asked in an unbelievable tone. ‘Yes sweetz’ ‘Thank you Daddy!’ – Achala kissed my cheeks and ran to her friends. School teaches you something or the other always. This time, ‘back to school’ has taught me a wonderful life’s lesson. I called my manager & told that am running high fever and can’t come in today. I know, I can handle things tomorrow. Today my daughter needs me more than anyone can need me in this world. With a lighter heart, I got up; ran towards Acchu, lifted her and gave her a big swing. She erupted into an uncontrollable laughter. The lump in my throat started melting away. Moral of the story: Life is often misinterpreted.. We work to live and not live to work.. Search the real meaning of Life..
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
Kids Are Quick TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America .. MARIA: Here it is. TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ? CLASS: Maria. ____________ _________ _________ ______ TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor? JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables. ____________ _________ _________ _________ ___ TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?' GLENN: K-R-O-K-O-D- I-A-L' TEACHER: No, that's wrong GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it. ___________ _________ _________ _________ _____ TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water? DONALD: H I J K L M N O. TEACHER: What are you talking about? DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O. ____________ _________ _________ ____ TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago. WINNIE: Me! ____________ _________ _________ _________ ___ TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty? GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are. ____________ _________ _________ _________ TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with " I " MILLIE: I is.. TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.' MILLIE: All right ... "I am the ninth letter of the alphabet." ____________ _________ _________ __ TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him? LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.... ____________ _________ _________ ________ TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating? SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook. ____________ _________ _________ TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's ... Did you copy his? CLYDE : No, sir. It's the same dog. ____________ _________ _________ _____ TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested? HAROLD: A teacher