Drone with a heart: Graduate student’s project is a life-saver .


A student in the Netherlands has developed an ‘ambulance drone’ fitted with defibrillator that can reach heart attack victims within minutes, and potentially help save thousands of lives.

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An ambulance drone with a built-in defibrillator developed by graduate student Alec Momont. (AFP
Photo)

The 4kg drone, created by graduate student Alec Momont, can fly at an estimated speed as high as 100 kilometres per hour.

A network of such drones could significantly increase the chance of survival following a cardiac arrest: from 8% to 80%, researchers said.

Momont from Delft University of Technology’s Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering designed his prototype for an ambulance drone together as part of his graduation programme.

When the emergency services receive a cardiac arrest call, this unmanned, autonomously navigating aeroplane can quickly deliver a defibrillator to the emergency scene.

Through a live-stream video and audio connection, the drone can also provide direct feedback to the emergency services and the persons on site can be instructed how to treat the patient.

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A woman gives a demonstration of an ambulance drone with a built-in defibrillator. (AFP Photo)

The drone finds the patient’s location via the caller’s mobile phone signal and makes its way there using Global Positioning System (GPS).

“It is essential that the right medical care is provided within the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest,” said Momont.

“If we can get to an emergency scene faster we can save many lives and facilitate the recovery of many patients. This especially applies to emergencies such as heart failure, drownings, traumas and respiratory problems, and it has become possible because life-saving technologies, such as a defibrillator, can now be designed small enough to be transported by a drone,” Momont said.

Momont set to work and designed a new type of drone: a compact flying ‘medical toolbox’, which carries essential medical equipment that anybody can use. This first prototype has been designed to transport a defibrillator.

“Some 800,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in the EU every year, and only 8% survive,” Momont said.

“The main reason for this is the relatively long response time of the emergency services (approx 10 minutes), while brain death and fatalities occur within 4 to 6 minutes,” said Momont.

The ambulance drone can get a defibrillator to a patient inside a 12 square kilometre zone within one minute.

“The costs should not be an issue; I have calculated these at approximately 15,000 euros per drone, which is clearly a reasonable amount if you consider the number of lives that could be saved,” said Momont.

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The ambulance drone weighs some four kgs and can fly at the speed of 100kms. (AFP Photo)

– See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/drone-with-a-heart-grad-student-s-project-is-a-life-saver/article1-1280237.aspx#sthash.YxPK3Ibf.dpuf

FDA Approves Trumenba – First Vaccine to Prevent Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today the approval of Trumenba (meningococcal group B vaccine), the first vaccine licensed in the United States to prevent invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B in individuals 10 through 25 years of age. Meningococcal disease is a life-threatening illness caused by bacteria that infect the bloodstream (sepsis) and the lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). N. meningitidis is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis. The bacteria are transmitted from person to person through respiratory or throat secretions (e.g., by coughing, kissing, or sharing eating utensils). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 500 total cases of meningococcal disease were reported in the United States in 2012; of those cases, 160 were caused by serogroup B.

Meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics to reduce the risk of death or serious long-term problems, but immediate medical attention is extremely important. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent meningococcal disease. Until today, meningococcal vaccines approved for use in the United States have only covered four of the five main serogroups of N. meningitidisbacteria that cause meningococcal disease: A, C, Y, and W.

Three randomized studies were conducted in the United States and Europe in approximately 2,800 adolescents. Among study participants who received three doses of Trumenba, after vaccination, 82 percent had antibodies in their blood that killed four different N. meningitidisserogroup B strains compared with less than 1 percent before vaccination. These four strains are representative of strains that cause serogroup B meningococcal disease in the United States.

The safety of Trumenba was assessed in approximately 4,500 individuals who received the vaccine in studies conducted in the United States, Europe and Australia. The most commonly reported side effects by those who received Trumenba were pain and swelling at the injection site, headache, diarrhea, muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue and chills.

The FDA used the accelerated approval regulatory pathway to approve Trumenba. Accelerated approval allows the agency to approve products for serious or life-threatening diseases based on evidence of a product’s effectiveness that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit, reducing the time it takes for needed medical products to become available to the public. In the FDA’s evaluation for accelerated approval, evidence of effectiveness was demonstrated by the ability of Trumenba recipients’ antibodies to kill the four representative N. meningitidis serogroup B test strains. As part of the accelerated approval process, the manufacturer will conduct further studies to verify Trumenba’s effectiveness against additional strains of N. meningitidis serogroup B.

Trumenba was granted breakthrough therapy status, which is intended to expedite the development and review of medical products that address a serious or life-threatening condition. Working closely with the company, the FDA was able to evaluate Trumenba’s safety and effectiveness and approve it in well under six months, the usual timeframe for a priority review.

Scientists generate first human stomach tissue in lab with stem cells


Scientists used pluripotent stem cells to generate functional, three-dimensional human stomach tissue in a laboratory – creating an unprecedented tool for researching the development and diseases of an organ central to several public health crises, ranging from cancer to diabetes.

Scientists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center report Oct. 29 in Nature they used human – which can become any cell type in the body – to grow a miniature version of the stomach. In collaboration with researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, they used laboratory generated mini-stomachs (called gastric organoids) to study infection by H. pylori bacteria, a major cause of peptic ulcer disease and .

This first-time molecular generation of 3D human gastric organoids (hGOs) presents new opportunities for drug discovery, modeling early stages of stomach cancer and studying some of the underpinnings of obesity related diabetes, according to Jim Wells, PhD, principal investigator and a scientist in the divisions of Developmental Biology and Endocrinology at Cincinnati Children’s.

It also is the first time researchers have produced 3D human embryonic foregut – a promising starting point for generating other foregut organ tissues like the lungs and pancreas, he said.

“Until this study, no one had generated gastric cells from human pluripotent (hPSCs),” Wells said. “In addition, we discovered how to promote formation of three-dimensional gastric tissue with complex architecture and cellular composition.”

This is important because differences between species in the embryonic development and architecture of the adult stomach make mouse models less than optimal for studying human stomach development and disease, Wells added.

Researchers can use human gastric organoids as a new discovery tool to help unlock other secrets of the stomach, such as identifying biochemical processes in the gut that allow gastric-bypass patients to become diabetes-free soon after surgery before losing significant weight. Obesity fueled diabetes and metabolic syndrome are an exploding public health epidemic. Until now, a major challenge to addressing these and other medical conditions involving the stomach has been a relative lack of reliable laboratory modeling systems to accurately simulate human biology, Wells explained.

The key to growing human gastric organoids was to identify the steps involved in normal stomach formation during embryonic development. By manipulating these normal processes in a petri dish, the scientists were able to coax pluripotent stem cells toward becoming stomach. Over the course of a month, these steps resulted in the formation of 3D human gastric organoids that were about 3mm (1/10th of an inch) in diameter. Wells and his colleagues also used this approach to identify what drives normal stomach formation in humans with the goal of understanding what goes wrong when the stomach does not form correctly.

Immunofluorecent image of human gastric organoid derived stained with Pdx1(green), H. pylori (red) and E-cadherin (blue). Credit: Kyle McCracken

Along with study first author Kyle McCracken, an MD/PhD graduate student working in Wells’ laboratory, and Yana Zavros, PhD, a researcher at UC’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, the authors report they were impressed by how rapidly H. pylori bacteria infected stomach epithelial tissues.

Within 24 hours, the bacteria had triggered biochemical changes to the organ, according to McCracken. The human gastric organoids faithfully mimicked the early stages of gastric disease caused by the bacteria, including the activation of a cancer gene called c-Met and the rapid spread of infection in epithelial tissues.

Immunofluorecent image of human gastric organoid derived stained with E-cadherin (green), MUC5AC (red) and DAPI (blue). Credit: Kyle McCracken

Another significant part of the team’s challenge has been the relative lack of previous research literature on how the human stomach develops, the authors said. Wells said the scientists had to use a combination of published work, as well as studies from his own lab, to answer a number of basic developmental questions about how the stomach forms. Over the course of two years, this approach of experimenting with different factors to drive the formation of the stomach eventually resulted in the formation of 3D human gastric tissues in the petri dish.

Wells emphasized importance of basic research for the eventual success of this project, adding, “This milestone would not have been possible if it hadn’t been for previous studies from many other basic researchers on understanding embryonic organ development.”

Ketogenic diet stops seizures when epilepsy drugs fail .


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A special diet helped Jackson Small eliminate his epileptic seizures.
SMALL FAMILY

 

When Jackson Small began having seizures at 7, his parents hoped and assumed at least one of the many epilepsy drugs on the market would be enough to get things under control. But one seizure quickly spiraled to as many as 30 a day.

“He would stop in his tracks and not be aware of what was going on for 20 or 30 seconds or so,” his mother Shana Small told CBS News. Jackson was eventually diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, a type of epilepsy characterized by brief but often frequent muscle jerking or twitching.

But a number of medications typically prescribed to patients with this type of epilepsy were not effective. And so the quest to help Jackson gain control over his seizures led the family from their home in Orlando, Florida, to the office of a registered dietician at the NYU Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center in New York City.

They were there to discuss the medical benefits of heavy cream, mayonnaise, eggs, sausage, bacon and butter.

A lot of butter.

The plan was to treat Jackson with a diet that is heavy in fat, low in protein and includes almost no carbohydrates. It’s known as the ketogenic diet and has long been in the arsenal of last-resort options for patients with epilepsy who are unresponsive to medication. Doctors may recommend a patient go on this special diet after unsuccessfully trying two or three prescriptions.

The diet works by putting the body in a “fasting” state, known as ketosis. “When we’re fasting the body needs to find fuel so our body will break down fat storage and break down their own fat and enter a state of ketosis,” Courtney Glick, the registered dietician who coordinated and fine-tuned Jackson’s diet plan, told CBS News. “But with this diet, instead of breaking down the body’s fat, the body breaks down dietary fat.”

The ketogenic diet consists of as much as 90 percent fat. Some patients who feel they can’t make such an extreme change adopt a modified Atkins diet, which is between 65 and 70 percent fat. It can be nearly as effective for controlling seizures, though every patient is different.

New research published Wednesday in the journalNeurology reviewed nearly a dozen studies that examined the benefits of ketogenic and modified Atkins diets. The researchers found that overall, 32 percent of people treated with the ketogenic diet and 29 percent of those on the modified Atkins diet experienced improved seizure control by as much as 50 percent. In some patients, the results were even more dramatic: Nine percent in the ketogenic treatment group and five percent in the modified Atkins group saw a 90 percent or greater reduction in seizures.

Though experts don’t know everything about why this diet is effective for seizure control, they do know that eating mostly fat causes the body to fuel on ketones rather than glucose, which ultimately lowers insulin levels. This can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and may prevent seizures by calming the brain, said Glick.

One study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School found that a child’s ability to stave off seizures is tied to a protein that affects metabolism in the brain. The protein, called BCL-2-associated Agonist of Cell Death, or BAD, also regulates metabolism of glucose. The researchers discovered that by modifying this, they switched metabolism in brain cells from glucose to ketone bodies, which are fat byproducts.

Glick said the diet plan didn’t work for Jackson until he tried the most strict version, which was a 4 to 1 ratio of fat to protein and carbohydrates. Each day, he ate approximately 160 grams of fat, 8 to 10 grams of carbohydrates and 30 grams of protein, all of which amounted to about 1,700 calories a day.

Four months into the program, Jackson was seizure-free. He remained on the strict diet for two years with no return of seizures. His mother prepared foods from special recipes such as “keto” pizza made with a macadamia nut crust or chicken nuggets with coconut flour.

Over the summer — after receiving a green light from his doctors — Jackson, now 10 years old, began to wean himself off the diet, and his mother has slowly introduced foods such as breads and ice cream. He has maintained seizure-free and takes very little anti-seizure medication.

Research has found that for pediatric patients the anti-seizure effects of the diet often continue long after the child stops following the food plan, though the reason why remains unclear. This is typically not the case for adults, who may need to stay on the diet for life in order to control seizures.

“We’ve probably seen more kids go on the diets than adults, and adults are really set on their eating patterns,” said Glick, adding that social obligations can make the diet difficult to fit into a grown person’s lifestyle.

Jackson’s mother said his doctors are hopeful that in the near future he may no longer need medication — or a keto diet — to stay seizure-free. “I think it’s taught him a very important lesson about how food is as important as medicine, and how food affects the chemistry of your body,” she said.

Pope Francis says Big Bang theory does not contradict role of god


Pope Francis says Big Bang theory does not contradict role of god: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pope-francis-says-big-bang-theory-does-not-contradict-role-of-god/article6545153.ece

From the desk of Zedie.

New Clinical Trial Data: Scripps Research Institute MS Drug Candidate Also Shows Promise for Ulcerative Colitis


Positive new clinical data were released today on a drug candidate for ulcerative colitis that was first discovered and synthesized at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).

According to results released today from a Phase 2 study of 199 patients with active, moderate to severe disease, the drug candidate RPC1063 has potential to significantly improve the treatment paradigm for ulcerative colitis patients. The latest results show that, after eight weeks of treatment with a 1 mg dose of RPC1063, 16.4 percent of patents were in clinical remission, as compared to 6.2 percent of patients on placebo.

“We are delighted that RPC1063 is showing promise for ulcerative colitis patients in addition to its already significant efficacy and safety data in multiple sclerosis,” said TSRI Professor Hugh Rosen, who together with Professor Ed Roberts led the team that discovered RPC-1063. “Research carried out at TSRI since 2002 has led to the discovery of fundamental mechanisms that can be modulated for potential treatments of a variety of autoimmune diseases including ulcerative colitis and multiple sclerosis, and the unique multidisciplinary environment in chemistry and biology at TSRI allowed this progression to clinical trials.”

The clinical trial, sponsored by Receptos, Inc., the San Diego biotechnology company now developing the drug, also showed that RPC1063 was generally well tolerated.

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition that involves inflammation and sores in the inner lining of the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease, which, along with Crohn’s disease, affects more than one million people nationwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some people have mild disease, while others are affected with life-threatening complications.

While existing medications for ulcerative colitis do help some patients, 23 to 45 percent of ulcerative colitis sufferers progress and eventually require surgical removal of all or part of the colon, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

The drug candidate RPC1063 was derived from a screening “hit” from the National Institutes of Health molecular library at Scripps Florida’s Molecular Screening Center, using assay technology from the Rosen lab in La Jolla. The Roberts and Rosen labs then developed significant medicinal chemistry to turn that hit into a validated lead, and then ultimately a drug candidate.

TSRI then licensed the compound to Receptos, which is developing RPC1063 for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The latest results come from Receptos’s multi-national, multi-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study investigating the effect of two active doses of RPC1063 versus placebo for the treatment of moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. For more information on the results, see the press release from Receptos athttp://ir.receptos.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=878411

In light of the current positive results, Receptos plans to initiate a Phase 3 trial of RPC1063 for ulcerative colitis, as well as a Phase 2 study of the drug candidate for Crohn’s disease.

The mechanism of RPC1063 (Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Receptor modulation) may also be significant in the treatment of other autoimmune diseases. Receptos is also currently evaluating the drug candidate in a Phase 3 study for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

 

Chemists Find A New Chemical Bond


TOP-SECRET SPACE PLANE LANDS AFTER TWO YEARS IN ORBIT


 
Recovery crew members process the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle at Vandenberg Air Force Base after completing 674 days in space. A total of three X-37B missions have been completed, totaling 1,367 days on orbit. Photo: Boeing

The US Air Force’s unmanned, X-37B military space plane made an autonomous runway landing on Friday, Oct. 17, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., concluding an orbital test flight nearly two years in duration on a record breaking mission whose goals are shrouded in secrecy.

The Boeing-built X-37B, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), successfully fired its baking thrusters, plunged through the atmosphere, endured scorching re-entry heating and safely rolled to touch down on Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:24 a.m. PDT Friday, concluding a clandestine 674-day experimental test mission for the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.

This was the third flight of an X-37B OTV vehicle on a mission known as OTV-3.

“I’m extremely proud of our team for coming together to execute this third safe and successful landing,” said Col Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, in a statement.

“Everyone from our on console space operators to our airfield managers and civil engineers take pride in this unique mission and exemplify excellence during its execution.”

Nothing is known about the flights objectives or accomplishments beyond testing the vehicle itself.

The OTV is somewhat like a miniature version of NASA’s space shuttles. Boeing has built two OTV vehicles.

The reusable space plane is designed to be launched like a satellite and land on a runway like an airplane and a NASA space shuttle. The X-37B is one of the newest and most advanced reentry spacecraft.

A third mission of the Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle was completed on Oct. 17, 2014, when it landed and was recovered at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif, following a successful 674-day space mission. Photo: Boeing

OTV-3 also marked the first reflight of an OTV vehicle, to test its re-usability.

The OTV-3 mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on Dec. 11, 2012, encapsulated inside the payload fairing atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41.

Among the primary mission goals of the first two flights were check outs of the vehicles capabilities and reentry systems and testing the ability to send experiments to space and return them safely.

It is not known if the X-37B conducted reconnaissance activities during the test flights. It does have the capability to deploy satellites in space.

All three OTV missions have launched from Cape Canaveral and landed at Vandenberg.

The first OTV mission launched on April 22, 2010, and concluded on Dec. 3, 2010, after 224 days in orbit. The second OTV mission began March 5, 2011, and concluded on June 16, 2012, after 468 days on orbit.

 

“The 30th Space Wing and our mission partners, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Boeing, and our base support contractors, have put countless hours of hard work into preparing for this landing and today we were able to see the culmination of that dedication,” said Balts.

The 11,000 pound state-of -the art reusable OTV space plane was built by Boeing and is about a quarter the size of a NASA space shuttle. It was originally developed by NASA but was transferred to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 2004.

Altogether, the OTV vehicles have spent 1,334 days in Earth orbit.

The OTV’s can stay on orbit far longer than NASA’s shuttles since their power is supplemented by solar panels deployed from the vehicles open cargo bay.

“The landing of OTV-3 marks a hallmark event for the program” said the X-37B program manager. “The mission is our longest to date and we’re pleased with the incremental progress we’ve seen in our testing of the reusable space plane. The dedication and hard work by the entire team has made us extremely proud.”

“With a program total of 1,367 days on orbit over three missions, these agile and powerful small space vehicles have completed more days on orbit than all 135 Space Shuttle missions combined, which total 1,334 days,” said Ken Torok, Boeing director of Experimental Systems, in a statement.

“The X-37B is the newest and most advanced re-entry spacecraft. Managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, the X-37B program performs risk reduction, experimentation and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies,” according to an Air Force statement.

Recovery crew members process the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle at Vandenberg Air Force Base after completing 674 days in space. A total of three X-37B missions have been completed, totaling 1,367 days on orbit. Photo: Boeing

The Air Force says that the next X-37B launch on the OTV-4 mission is due to liftoff from Cape Canaveral sometime in 2015.


 

HOW YOGA HEALS THE DISEASED HEART


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What if the simple act of doing yoga could heal your diseased heart? 

A new study titled, “Effects of Yoga in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure: A Meta-Analysis,” reveals that this ancient practice, ever-increasing in popularity in the West, has profound benefits to those who are suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Previous to this study, the idea that yoga could heal a diseased heart was considered strictly theoretical, which is what motivated a team of Portuguese researchers to put the concept to the test.

The team performed a meta-analysis of the published research on the topic of how yoga might improve exercise capacity and health-related quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure.

Their methodology was described as follows:

“We searched MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Excerpta Medica database, LILACS, Physiotherapy Evidence Database, The Scientific Electronic Library Online, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (from the earliest date available to December 2013) for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the effects of yoga versus exercise and/or of yoga versus control on exercise capacity (peakVO2) and quality-of-life (HRQOL) in Chronic Heart Failure.”

The analysis found two studies that met the selection criteria, which included 30 yoga and 29 control patients.

Their results were reported as follows:

“The results suggested that yoga compared with control had a positive impact on peak VO2 and HRQOL. Peak VO2, WMD (3.87 95% CI: 1.95 to 5.80), and global HRQOL standardized mean differences (-12.46 95% CI: -22.49 to -2.43) improved in the yoga group compared to the control group.”

Their conclusion indicated that Yoga does have significant benefits for cardiovascular patients:

“Yoga enhances peak VO2 and HRQOL in patients with CHF and could be considered for inclusion in cardiac rehabilitation programs.”

They found an impressive 22.0% improvement in VO2 peformance and a 24.1% increase in quality of life.

They advised that based on these prelimary results, “Larger randomized controlled trials are required to further investigate the effects of yoga in patients with CHF.”

Yoga Has Many Health Benefits That Science Now Confirms

In a previous article titled, “Modern Science Confirms Yoga’s Many Health Benefits,” we looked at the voluminous data that now exists demonstrating the wide range of health benefits yoga has been proven to produce. You can find the first-hand abstracts demonstrating this fact on our research page: Yoga Health Benefits, with over 70 indexed thus far!

Yoga is, of course, more than a physical exercise, but a method to integrate mind, body and soul. Yoga means, of course, to “unite” or “yoke” the disparate elements of the human experience. When you are engaged fully in yoga, the focus is on being present to one’s breath, which integrates mind and body naturally. Chronic heart failure patients can benefit from the way in which yoga enables the body to integrate into the mind in a way that requires the engagement of the physical and mental aspects of our incarnation, and results ultimately in the relaxation of both deeply.

Try This To Activate A Deep Yoga Practice Quickly

If you want a simple, quick way to enter into the realm of yogic healing try this practice:

“If I could teach only one yoga exercise—one that had to last you for the rest of your life—it would have to be Sat Kriya.* Why? Because this one exercise contains just about all the benefits of Kundalini Yoga within itself. Sat Kriya is designed to do the one thing from which all well-being springs: raise the kundalini energy.

Here is simple and effective Sat Kriya. It is by no means the last word on Sat Kriya; but beyond words, it works.”

HISTORY’S WORST EPIDEMICS


History’s worst Epidemics in a very simple infographic, as Ebola‘s death toll rises. In history of infectious diseases is the latest but very far from the largest. Find out what was the worst of all with 100 million deaths!

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