IIT students device method to reduce polluting CO2 emissions .


Representational image.

New Delhi: When world leaders are hosting meetings and discussions to cope up with global warming, energy crisis and depleting resources, a group of students at Indian Institute of Technology here attempt to find a single solution to all the three environment issues.

The project, which in several interesting steps converts the casual agent of one of the problems into a key to solving the other two, will be displayed and demonstrated at the 11th IIT Open House on April 18 here at the institute.

The alarming concentration of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), one of the main contributors to global warming, has raised the need for minimising generation and sequestration of the gas.

The research group here at IIT Delhi, under the leadership of Anil Verma, has attempted to reduce quantity of pollutant in air but also convert it into several valuable products.

“We are involved in electrochemical conversion of CO2 and found that CO2 can be used to generate methane and other valuable products,” Verma, an Associate Professor, Department

of Chemical Engineering at the technology institute says.

The conversion of carbon dioxide into methane has been using renewable sources of energy like sun or wind.

Verma mentions, that conventionally the gas is dissolved into a solvent during conversion. His team, instead captures the gas directly in a reactor where it is converted into methane and other products like formic acid and hydrogen gas.

“We have developed such a reactor in the lab and converted CO2 to methane and some other value added products,” Verma, who has been working on this project with the team for nearly

seven years now, says.

This process, he adds, saves both time and money.

Scientists Are Trying to Figure Out If Humans Can Hibernate .


Studies of hibernators and experiments inducing short-term torpor in humans may answer whether human hibernation is possible

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Hibernating dormouse 

Dive into a science fiction story that sends humans exploring the reaches of space, and you’ll likely find the crew waking from some kind of suspended animation. But the idea is also bandied about in science fact: human hibernation would be a boon to astronauts traveling for months or years. So far, research in this area remains fairly speculative, though, in experiments, surgeons have cooled people down to extend surgeries.

 The problem is, hibernation isn’t just a deep, months-long sleep. And even if it was, humans aren’t built to survive such inactivity.
 What we do know about hibernation comes from studying bears, squirrels, lemurs and dormice. All hibernators wake up occasionally—to stretch and perhaps urinate or defecate. Some snack on stored food; others fast and live off of internal fat reserves. The information scientists are gleaning from these habits is now helping to inform study of potential human hibernation, reports Eric Niiler for the Washington Post.

“We see the science has advanced enough to put some of the science fiction into the realm of science reality,” Leopold Summerer, head of advanced concepts team of the European Space Agency, told Niiler. “It doesn’t mean we will have hibernating astronauts anytime soon, but we are learning from nature how to understand some of the things that happen to animals during hibernation, such as preventing bone loss or preventing muscle loss. This is already something that would be a great benefit for long-distance spaceflight.”

The ESA, NASA and other space agencies are interested not only because humans in space would skip months of boredom if they could hibernate, but because they would need less food, produce less waste and require less space. But they would need a hibernaculum, or suitable space in which to hibernate, reports Tariq Malik for Space.com. He writes:

As envisioned by ESA researchers, such a shelter would provide the proper environment for hibernation – such as the proper temperature – and also serve as a bed in the waking part of the mission. It would also have to protect crewmembers from solar flares, monitor life functions and serve the physiological needs of the hibernator, [Mark Ayre, with ESA] said.

Some clues as to what humans will need to survive long-term in space will likely come from astronaut Scott Kelly’s year in space. (However, privacy concerns may keep the data from that twin study from becoming public.) So for now, our best clues are coming from animals.

Kelly Drew, of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, is one researcher looking at hibernation in animals, Niiler reports.

Kelly and her colleagues at the university’s Institute of Arctic Biology are looking at how the Arctic ground squirrel can get so cold without dying. She believes she has found the molecule that does the job, the A1 adenosine receptor. While she has learned that stimulating this receptor makes the animal get cold, she hasn’t found what triggers it.

“We don’t know what the natural signal is for torpor,” she said. “We don’t know where the signal occurs in the brain — it could be in the brain stem or the hypothalamus.”

Still, humans will face challenges that hibernating animals don’t have. Hibernating bears are able to recycle the urea waste generated by metabolizing their fat reserves. Instead of excreting urea, they can actually break it down and use it to build up muscle and organ tissues while they sleep, reports Forrest Wickman for Slate. Humans can’t do that. This fact gives some researchers doubts that human hibernation will ever be a thing.

“I think it’s probably not doable,” H. Craig Heller, of Stanford University told Niiler. “The hibernator [animal] has evolved so that all the enzymes and biochemical systems are adapted to run at low temperature. That is not true of animals that don’t experience it. We can lower body temperature and survive that for a short period of time; it’s unlikely we can allow all of our systems to go to a much lower temperature and continue to function.”

More research will offer a definitive answer, either way. However, we don’t need studies to predict that no hibernating human will be as cute as this snoring dormouse

 

How Dogs Use Human Hormones to Win Affection .


A woman dressed in a kimono holds her pet dog before her coming-of-age-day ceremony in Chiba prefecture in January.

European Pressphoto Agency

The mutual gaze shared by a dog and its owner triggers the same hormones as loving looks between a mother and child, a Japanese study published Friday in Science magazine shows.

The research said oxytocin levels in both dogs and owners rise when they interact, suggesting they share a bond similar to that of a parent and child. Oxytocin is known to play a role in maternal bonding, and increases when a mother and a child gaze at each other.

A team led by Jichi Medical University’s Miho Nagasawa tested 30 dogs and their owners. The team found that urinary oxytocin concentration levels increased in the dogs and owners who shared mutual gazes and played with each other compared with those who didn’t. The hormone didn’t increase in the same test conducted with wolves and humans.

The team said a sense of bonding operates with a “neural feedback loop.” The level of the hormone increased in a dog when its owner gazed at it and, in turn, the gaze from the dog had the same effect on the owner.

“Nasally administered oxytocin increased gazing behavior in dogs, which in turn increased urinary oxytocin concentrations in owners,” the study also said.

When non-domesticated animals–wolves–were used in the same test, there was no similar rise in the hormone levels.

“This interaction effect is believed to have evolved in both humans and canines during the domestication of dogs,” Dr. Nagasawa told Japan Real Time on Friday.

Dr. Nagasawa said the bonding method is likely a unique feature of the relationship between canines and their owners and not seen in cats or other pets, though no other animals were tested in the experiment.

The new findings on the strong bond between dogs and humans could be applied to a variety of fields, including a better understanding of the role of therapy dogs, she added.

Meteorite Chemicals May Have Started Life on Earth.


The molecules that kick-started life on primordial Earth could have been made in space and delivered by meteorites, according to researchers in Italy. The group synthesised sugars, amino acids and nucleobases with nothing more than formamide, meteorite material and the power of a simulated solar wind, replicating a process they believe cooked up a prebiotic soup long before life existed on Earth.

Formamide is a simple organic compound first suggested as a starting material for the formation of prebiotic biomolecules back in 2001. The chemical has been detected in galactic centres and stellar nurseries, as well as comets and satellites. These latest experiments show that formamide, irradiated by the solar wind—simulated here by a proton beam—and in the presence of powdered meteorites, gave rise to amino acids, carboxylic acids, sugars and nucleosides—the building blocks of DNA and RNA.

‘Meteorites catalysed these transformations and the best catalyst was the chondrites, the oldest meteorites in space,’ says author Raffaele Saladino at the Tuscia University in Italy. ‘They would be very efficient catalysts during the flight in space and even as they fall down to the surface of the Earth or a similar planet.’

The authors suggest that bombardment of formamide with highly energetic protons could produce radical species that could react to yield complex and biologically relevant organic compounds. They give the example of the synthesis of purine nucleobases by multi-step addition of cyanide radicals to formamide, as previously predicted by another team. Saladino’s team has detected key intermediates in this purine nucleobase synthesis pathway in its samples.

Previous research hypothesised such reactions occurring on Earth, powered by meteorite bombardment, but this work raises the prospect of reactions in space facilitating life on Earth or other planets. This scenario suggests that if life formed on other planets it might share similarities with that on Earth.

Lucy Ziurys, an astrochemist at the University of Arizona, US, previously estimated that in interstellar space 10–10 molecules of formamide exist for every hydrogen molecule, making it fairly abundant by astronomical standards. ‘We did some back-of-an-envelop calculations and millimolar quantities could be delivered to a planet surface on carbonaceous chondrites,’ she says. With greater frequency of bombardment, as hypothesised for Earth around 3.5 billion years ago, amounts would go up.

‘There is also thought amongst the astrobiology community that the Earth lost all its early carbon in the form of an atmosphere which escaped—a methane or carbon dioxide atmosphere—so that all the carbon we find on Earth today was brought back by bombardment, so exogenous delivery, and there is a hell of a lot of carbon on Earth,’ she adds. ‘We know from studies of carbonaceous chondrites that it came back in many different forms and why not formamide?’

Saladino says he now plans to investigate if small molecules of RNA can be created via the same route by adding a phosphate mineral to provide the material to form the nucleic acid’s backbone.

Rare side effect of chemotherapy erased woman’s fingerprints.


Doctors say a 65-year-old woman’s fingerprints virtually disappeared as a result of a rare side effect of chemotherapy.

A 65-year-old breast cancer patient ran into an unexpected problem with her bank: She was denied a transaction because her fingerprints had disappeared.

Reporting in the April 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors in Mexico said the woman’s unusual case was due to the effects of chemotherapy for an advanced breast cancer that had spread to the lungs.

A chemotherapy side effect called “hand-foot syndrome” appears to be tied to the fingerprint loss, wrote Drs. Yanin Chavarri-Guerra and Enrique Soto-Perez-de-Celis, of the Institute of Medical Science and Nutrition in Mexico City. They described the syndrome as “characterized by redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.”

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After chemo, the woman’s fingerprints were unrecognizable.

The patient in question experienced hand-foot syndrome that was so bad it interfered with everyday tasks, the two physicians said.

“Loss of fingerprints is a rare complication of chemotherapeutic agents that cause hand-foot syndrome,” added an expert in the United States, Dr. Stephanie Bernik.

“Skin sloughing and peeling with associated swelling is not so uncommon, but the occurrence to the extent that fingerprints may disappear is extremely unusual,” said Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

The good news for the patient was that the chemotherapy — a combination of capecitabine and bevacizumab — seemed to shrink the lung tumors, so the dosage was reduced. But while the hand-foot syndrome dissipated, the loss of fingerprints appears permanent, the doctors wrote.

“Usually the symptoms [of hand-foot syndrome, such as skin peeling] are reversible but apparently that was not the case with this patient,” Bernik said.

“Health care workers and patients need to be aware of this possible rare result of chemotherapy, especially in an age where use of fingerprints for identification is increasing,” she added.

The physicians noted that they provided the patient “with a letter explaining that the chemotherapy was responsible for her lack of fingerprints.”

WHO demands disclosure of all clinical trial results


The World Health Organization called on Tuesday for the release of clinical trial results for all drugs, vaccines and medical devices – whatever the result – in the latest salvo against the withholding of data.

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Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director general at the United Nations health agency, said failure to disclose trial results led to misinformation and could result in skewed priorities for research and public health interventions.

“It creates indirect costs for public and private entities, including patients themselves, who pay for sub-optimal or harmful treatments,” she said.

In recent years, the pharmaceuticals industry has gone a long way to commit to disclosing results for new clinical studies, but critics argue it is still not doing enough to ensure doctors have access to all drug data.

The WHO also wants disclosure of older unreported clinical trials, the results of which may still have an important bearing on medical practice and scientific research today.

Ben Goldacre, a British doctor and author who has led a campaign urging full disclosure, said the WHO statement was “powerful and welcome” but required practical implementation, for example through routine audits to identify completed but unreported trials.

Are You Mentally Strong or Just Acting Tough?


There’s a big difference between acting tough and being strong. A controlling mother-in-law, demanding partner, or aggressive boss may be masking their lack of mental strength with a feigned air of toughness. While acting tough may meet someone’s needs in the short-term, mental strength is necessary for true contentment in life.

Truly successful people don’t rise to the top by acting tough; they become better by growing stronger. Being a top performer—in business or on the athletic field—requires grit and tenacity, as well as the continuous desire to become better.

Here are the seven key differences between being mentally strong, and simply acting tough:

  1. Tough people believe failure is never an option. Striving for success is healthy–but believing you need to succeed the first time around may backfire. Mentally strong people believe failure is part of the process toward a long journey to success. By viewing failure as a temporary setback, they’re able to bounce back and move forward with ease.
  2. Self-portrayals of toughness mask insecurities. Acting tough is all about developing an attitude and a persona that says, “Look at how great I am.” But often, that tough exterior is meant to hide self-doubt. Mentally strong people invest more energy into working on their weaknesses, rather than trying to cover them up.
  3. Tough people say, “I can do anything.” While a healthy amount of self-confidence is helpful, overestimating your abilities can leave you ill-prepared for the realities of a challenge. Similarly, underestimating the time and energy it will take to reach yourgoals can lead to disappointment. Mental strength is about recognizing shortcomings and acknowledging the hard work needed to reach a goal.
  4. Acting tough involves pride. People who want to be perceived as tough have something to prove to others. Their self-worth often depends upon high achievement and how others see them. Conversely, developing mental strength is about humbly trying to grow stronger based on an internal desire to become better. Strong people are willing to ask others for help and they don’t need to be completely self-reliant. They aren’t worried about proving anything to anyone but themselves.
  5. Tough people suppress emotions. While the short-term concealment of emotions may be helpful in certain occupations—military personnel, police officers, and those in the medical field—ignoring emotions isn’t a healthy long-term strategy. Eventually, suppressed emotions work their way out and often rear their ugly head in the form ofanger. Being strong requires acute awareness of emotions and how those feelings can influence thoughts and behavior. Ongoing monitoring of one’s emotional state helps mentally strong people be in control of their emotions, so their emotions don’t control them.
  6. Tough people thrive on power. People who act tough want to be perceived as always being in control. As a result, they micromanage, boss others around, and make unreasonable demands. Mentally strong people focus their energy on being in control of their own thoughts, feelings, and behavior, rather than always trying to control external circumstances and people.
  7. Acting tough is about tolerating pain. Tough people often pride themselves on tolerating a great deal of pain and suffering. Mentally strong people don’t just tolerate pain—they learn from it. They focus on personal growth and meaningful development, rather than treating their bodies like a machine.

The good news: Anyone has the ability to turn a tough exterior into a strong mindset. Just like physical strength requires ongoing training, mental strength requires regular exercise that will help you improve and grow stronger.

13 things mentally strong people don’t do


1. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves Mentally strong people don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair. 2. They don’t give away their power They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give someone else power over them. They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond. 3. They don’t shy away from change Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt. 4. They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control You won’t hear a mentally strong person complaining over lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude. 5. They don’t worry about pleasing everyone Mentally strong people recognize that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy. 6. They don’t fear taking calculated risks They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action. 7. They don’t dwell on the past Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future. 8. They don’t make the same mistakes over and over Mentally strong people accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future. 9. They don’t resent other people’s success Mentally strong people can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognize that success comes with hard work, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success. 10. They don’t give up after the first failure Mentally strong people don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right. 11. They don’t fear alone time Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment all the time but instead can be happy alone. 12. They don’t feel the world owes them anything Mentally strong people don’t feel entitled to things in life. They weren’t born with a mentality that others would take care of them or that the world must give them something. Instead, they look for opportunities based on their own merits. 13. They don’t expect immediate results Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.

Now, a simple blood test can predict future risk of breast cancer


Good news for women! Scientists have come up with a simple bold test to predict future risk of breast cancer.

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women both in the developed and less developed world, and in the long term the scientists hope that the new method will lead to better prevention and early treatment of the disease.

Professor Rasmus Bro at University of Copenhagen said that the method was better than mammography, which could only be used when the disease had already occurred. It was amazing that it breast cancer could now be predicted years into the future. He stressed the method has been tested and validated only for a single population (cohort) and needs to be validated more widely before it can be used practically.

The method has been developed in cooperation with the Danish Cancer Society.

The researchers’ approach to developing the method was adopted from food science, where it is used for control of complex industrial processes. Basically, it involves handling and analyzing huge amounts of biological data in a holistic and explorative way. The researchers analyzed all compounds a blood sample contains instead of – as is often done in health and medical science – examining what a single biomarker means in relation to a specific disease.

Professor Rasmus Bro explained that when a huge amount of relevant measurements from many individuals was used to assess health risks, here breast cancer, it created very high quality information. The more measurements the analyses contained, the better the model handled complex problems.

The model does not reveal anything about the importance of the single biomarkers in relation to breast cancer, but it does reveal the importance of a set of biomarkers and their interactions.

While a mammography can detect newly developed breast cancer with a sensitivity of 75%, the new metabolic blood profile is able to predict the likelihood of a woman developing breast cancer within the next 2 to 5 years with a sensitivity of 80%.

Brain-Damaged Victims of Swine Flu Vaccine Win $63 Million Lawsuit Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!


Brain-Damaged Victims of Swine Flu Vaccine Win $63 Million Lawsuit.

Brain-Damaged Victims of Swine Flu Vaccine Win $63 Million Lawsuit

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is in the news again making headlines after having to settle another major lawsuit bringing the latest total to over $9.1 billion since 2003.

This time, it is due to GSK’s product Pandemrix, which was the swine flu vaccine forced upon the public during the pandemic of 2009 (which is argued by some to have been fake). As the victims are being compensated in the U.K., the same neurological mechanisms that damaged the children in the lawsuit are still potentially at work in the confirmed excitotoxicity that takes place after many vaccine injections.

According to the International Business Times U.K. Edition, each of the victims is “expected to receive £1 million each.” Peter Todd, a lawyer who represented many of the claimants, told the Sunday Times (U.K.):

“There has never been a case like this before. The victims of this vaccine have an incurable and lifelong condition and will require extensive medication.”
Unfortunately for Peter Todd and the countless other victims, there has been cases like this before. Neurological damage from vaccines is not a rare occurrence. In fact, the U.S. government has paid out $3 billion and counting to families of vaccine-injured children. Most of which were due to direct neurological damage or complications arising from such damage.

According to The Global Research Project, the GlaxoSmithKline rap sheet states:

“In recent years, GlaxoSmithKline has become known as the company that pays massive amounts to resolve wide-ranging charges brought by U.S. regulators and prosecutors.

These included a $750 million payment relating to the sale of adulterated products from a facility in Puerto Rico and a record $3 billion in connection with charges relating to illegal marketing, suppression of adverse safety research results and overcharging government customers. The company also set a record for the largest tax avoidance settlement with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.”
If GlaxoSmithKline wasn’t afforded legal and financial government protection status, they would have went under years ago. However, this corporate zombie still damages populations with little oversight and deep pockets to pay for any legal or ethical challenges that get in the way.

Currently, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and other pharmaceutical houses were influential in the passing of California Senate Bill 277 to remove the “parental opposition” that was slowing their product’s revenue stream. What wasn’t disclosed during the senate hearing, or vote following, was that the bill’s author Richard Pan had financial ties to GlaxoSmithKline and Merck. In a fair legal system, this should immediately disqualify the bill and bring serious moral and ethical challenges to Pan’s legitimacy.

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