The body’s immune system is one of the robust defense mechanisms. Now, scientists are exploring to use our immune system to fight some of the deadliest diseases including cancer by understanding how immunotherapy works and how drugs that are based on immunotherapy help our body fight cancers. In a recent study, researchers are working on understanding how Yervoy, a common immunotherapy drug against cancer, works in fighting against the disease. They are also looking at manufacturing similar cost-effective drugs that promise to bring down the cost of cancer drugs.
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Foot and Mouth Disease is a highly infectious viral disease affecting hoofed animals like cattle, deer, sheep and goats. The disease is often fatal, mostly affecting domesticated animals and causing huge losses to their owners. The contagious nature of the virus quickly destroys entire herds. The culprit behind the disease, the Foot and Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) or picornavirus, tweaks the cells of the infected animals and forces it to make copies of the virus.
Cyanide is any chemical compound that contains a carbon atom triple bonded to a nitrogen atom, called a cyano group. Some of the cyanide compounds are known to be extremely toxic with the ability to cause death within minutes. In a recent study, scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, North Maharashtra University and SV National Institute of Technology have developed a novel sensor that can detect the tiniest amounts of cyanide.
Foodborne diseases, caused by Salmonella, are responsible for 1 in 10 illnesses globally. Treating Salmonella infections using traditional antibiotics is turning to be a challenge because of the development of drug resistant strains. Now, a new study at IISc has developed nanotechnology based nanocarries using silica that can deliver very small dosage of antibiotics to the affected cells, thus hitting the right target. Using laboratory experiments, the researchers found that these nanocarries performed much better than conventional antibiotics in all stages of the infection. The design of these nanocarries are generic, and can be used for delivering different antibiotics, they claim.
Malaria, a deadly mosquito borne disease, kills about half a million people around the world, every year. Developing countries face a challenge in accurately diagnosing malaria in early stages due to the need of sophisticated diagnostic devices and skill. A new study at IISc has developed a technique to test for malaria with very small quantities of blood samples using laser light. By holding a single RBC using a pair of 'optical tweezers', this technique can detect malarial parasites in the RBCs even at an early stage, say the researchers. The researchers claim this technique can help save many lives if commercialised on a larger scale.
Gelatin, commonly used in jellys and ice creams, is a flavorless food additive derived from collagen, a protein, obtained from various animal body parts. Now, scientists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, may have found another novel application of gelatin -- as nanoparticles that could help in drug release. Through a process called protein desolvation, they have generated homogeneous nanoparticles of gelatin whose surface could undergo ‘erosion’ in the body due to other enzymes, thus releasing an entrapped drug or gene in the process.
Here is some caution for those struggling to kick the butt and give up smoking. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2015, has found that the number of smokers all over the world has increased in the last decade (2005-2015) as compared to 1990-2005. The Republic of Congo and Azerbaijan topped the list with the most increase for men, and Kuwait and Timor-Leste for women. It also notes that in 2015 alone, 11·5% of global deaths (6·4 million) were attributable to smoking, of which 52·2% were in China, India, USA and Russia.
Yoga is considered to be India’s gift of goodness and health to the world. With millions of people around the world having benefitted by regular practice, yoga indeed has changed several lives for the good. On this International Day of Yoga, here is all you need to know about the history, the scientific basis for Yoga and some of the benefits realised by those who practice Yoga regularly.
Kala-azar or visceral leishmaniasis is the second most deadliest tropical diseases after malaria and is spread by the bite of infected sandflies. India is one of the few countries still affected by this disease and has launched many programmes to eliminate the spread of the disease. Now, a new study has proposed a mathematical model that can help control the disease by monitoring the numbers of infected individuals and sandfly population, and has suggested that a combination of the drug based treatment and the use of insecticides to control sandflies could be our best strategy to eliminate the disease from the country.
In you childhood days, you might have killed an ant by squeezing or poking it. Or may be smashed a pest like cockroach. But how about killing bacteria by poking them? What if that means a bacteria-free world? A new study by scientists has tried to exactly that using nanoscale surface undulations on titanium surface to kill bacteria by rupturing their cells. This innovation, the scientists say, serves as a great alternative to getting rid of bacteria instead of using antibacterial drugs.