US scientists genetically engineering tulsi

 Led by an Indian-American, a team of scientists at a US university aregenetically engineering tulsi or basil to enhance its pharmaceutical value, the institute said.

In his lab at the Owensboro facility, Chandrakanth Emani, Assistant Professor of Plant Molecular Biology at the Western Kentucky University and his students are genetically engineering the basil to produce more eugenol, a compound in basil that “has a very great pharmaceutical value because it’s shown to control breast cancer,” the University said in a statement.

“When you grind these basil leaves there is a compound called eugenol that comes out…Eugenol, when they put it on a plate where there are tumor cells, it stopped growth of the tumour cells. That was a proof of concept experiment which was done a long time back,” Emani claimed.

“If I make it make higher and higher amounts of eugenol, that plant, basil plant, will be a storehouse of that anti-cancerous compound,” he said.

The next phase in the research project would be to test the compound as an effective cancer treatment.

Basil, he said, is a medicinal plant which has a lot of compounds called metabolites, meaning the leaves of a basic basil plant, like any other plant, make a lot of stuff.

“If you look at the east, they’ve been using the plant not exactly as a medication but a supplement for a lot of treatments, he said.

Inmate’s family sues Ohio after ‘agonizing’ execution with untested drug protocol — RT USA


Reuters / HandoutConvicted killer Dennis McGuire struggled noticeably for his life during a lengthy lethal injection procedure in Ohio on Thursday, and now his family plans to sue the state for violating his Constitutional rights.

A press conference is scheduled for Friday, where the executed man’s children, Amber and Dennis McGuire, and their attorneys will argue the state violated their father’s right to be free of “cruel and unusual punishment.”

In what amounted to an unusually long time for a lethal injection, it took McGuire about 25 minutes to die after being injected with an untested combination of drugs that had never been used before in an execution in the United States.

For about 10 minutes, the controversial cocktail of midazolam and hydromorphone resulted in McGuire “struggling and gasping loudly for air, making snorting and choking sounds that lasted for at least 10 minutes, with his chest heaving and his fist clenched. Deep, rattling sounds emanated from his mouth,” as reported by the Columbus Dispatch.

Soon after McGuire’s death, his attorney Allen Bohnert called the execution “a failed, agonizing experiment by the state of Ohio.”

“The court’s concerns expressed earlier this week have been confirmed,” Bohnert added, according to the Associated Press. “And more importantly, the people of the state of Ohio should be appalled at what was done here today in their names.”

Last week, Bohnert tried to argue that McGuire was at risk of “agony and terror” since the new drug combination could cut off his air supply as he died, but the plea ultimately failed as judges ruled in favor of the state.

The use of midazolam, in particular, has been called into question in the past, as critics believe it leaves inmates aware of their surroundings and in extreme pain as they die.

Dennis McGuire.(AFP Photo / Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction)Dennis McGuire.(AFP Photo / Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction)

“I watched his stomach heave,” said Amber McGuire in a statement, according to the Dispatch. “I watched him try to sit up against the straps on the gurney. I watched him repeatedly clench his fist. It appeared to me he was fighting for his life but suffocating.”

McGuire was originally convicted of raping and killing a pregnant Joy Stewart back in 1994. His pleas for clemency had been denied, and Stewart’s family issued the following statement on the situation surrounding McGuire’s death.

“There has been a lot of controversy regarding the drugs that are to be used in his execution, concern that he might feel terror, that he might suffer. As I recall the events preceding her death, forcing her from the car, attempting to rape her vaginally, sodomizing her, choking her, stabbing her, I know she suffered terror and pain. He is being treated far more humanely than he treated her.”

The behavior of Ohio and other states that condone the death penalty have come under fire since most of the companies that traditionally manufacture the drugs used in lethal injections – generally based in Europe and which are against capital punishment – have halted sales to state correctional departments.

In an effort to replace diminishing supplies of sedatives and paralytics, many states have begun experimenting with alternative drug mixtures, including products typically used to euthanize animals.

As the AP noted, Bohnert has urged Ohio Governor John Kasich to place a moratorium on executions following McGuire’s death. According to the Dispatch, at least one judge, Gregory L. Frost of the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, cast suspicion on the state’s behavior concerning executions in 2013.

“Ohio has been in a dubious cycle of defending often indefensible conduct, subsequently reforming its protocol when called on that conduct, and then failing to follow through on its own reforms,” he wrote in an unrelated case last year.


Newly-discovered ‘3D graphene’ may lead to electronics revolution.

Berkeley Lab researchers have found a 3D analogue of the cutting-edge 2D material graphene. It could revolutionize the high tech industry, bringing things like much faster, far more compact hard drives, and paving way for new electronic technologies.

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have announcedthe discovery of a compound that can exist as a form of quantum matter known as the three-dimensional topological Dirac semi-metal (3DTDS).

The research team supported by the DOE Office of Science and the National Science Foundation of China used sodium bismuthate to produce this novel state, the very existence of which had been proposed by theorists fairly recently. The discovery comes less than a decade after graphene, the thinnest and the strongest known stable material with amazing conductivity of electricity and heat was isolated by UK-based, Russian-born scientists, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov.

Although dubbed a “wonder material,” graphene has not yet seen an applicable use on an industrial scale. The reason for that lies in its ground-breaking properties and structure, being a two-dimensional, one-atom thick layer of graphite.

“Ever since graphene was isolated in 2004, researchers around the world have looked for ways to take full advantage of its many desirable properties. But the very thing that makes graphene special – the fact that it consists of a single layer of atoms – sometimes makes it difficult to work with, and a challenge to manufacture,” explains Yulin Chen, a physicist with Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS).

Image from sciencemag.orgImage from

However, the potential of the new material has fascinated scientists and governments alike, with thousands of research papers on graphene written since 2005 and numerous research groups created in the UK, the US, Europe, Japan, China, Russia. The EU promised to support the research of graphene with 1 billion euro ($1.3bn) if it can yield practical results in the fields of electronics, energy, health and construction.

While some developed a way to produce semi-transparent, ultra-thin and ultra-light graphene tape, others, including the Berkeley Lab group, focused on looking for means of enclosing graphene’s properties into a three-dimensional material.

Chen, who initiated the discovery, now states that “a 3DTDS is a natural three-dimensional counterpart to graphene with similar or even better electron mobility and velocity.”

The material’s properties feature magnetoresistance “orders of magnitude higher than the materials now used in hard drives” – a potential breakthrough for computer technologies. It also “opens the door to more efficient optical sensors,” Chen adds.

Unfortunately, sodium bismuthate, whose electronic structure was tested at the lab’s ASL facility, is too unstable to be used in devices without proper packaging. But having proved that a 3D structure can actually have comparable or even better features of graphene, the scientists are now extremely keen to explore and develop sturdier 3DTDS materials.

If developed, they will provide “a significant improvement in efficiency in many applications,” while being “easier to fabricate,” Chen stresses, hinting that future electronic technologies are close to reality.


Understanding of Epigenetics Deepens.

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Colon cancer, diabetes linked to smoking.

Why War: Einstein and Freud’s Little-Known Correspondence on Violence, Peace, and Human Nature.

Photoshop Now Supports 3-D Printing.

Modifying DNA May Wipe Away Old Memories .

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