यरूशलम - इजरायल और अमेरिका के शोधार्थिओं के एक दल ने क्षतिग्रस्त तंत्रिका तंत्र (नर्वस सिस्टम) की मरम्मत के लिए कृत्रिम कनेक्शन विकसित किया है।
यरूशलम की हिब्रू यूनिवर्सिटी ने यह घोषणा की है। चीन की संवाद समिति शिन्हुआ के मुताबिक दुर्घटना, मस्तिष्काघात या बीमारी के कारण क्षतिग्रस्त हुये तंत्रिका तंत्र से आंखों की रोशनी, चलने फिरने की शक्ति, आवाज, याददाश्त आदि पर प्रभाव पड़ता है।
जर्नल सेल सिस्टम में प्रकाशित शोध अध्ययन के मुताबिक हिब्रू यूनिवर्सिटी और अमेरिका के सिएटल स्थित फ्रेड हचिंसन कैंसर रिसर्च सेंटर के शोधार्थियों ने यह साबित किया है कि क्षतिग्रस्त कोशिकाओं को जेनेटिक तरीके (बायोलॉजिकल इम्प्लांटेशन ऑफ आर्टिफिशियल कनेक्शंस यानी सिनैप्स) से दोबारा ठीक किया जा सकता है।
शोधकर्ताओं ने सफलतापूर्वक उन कीड़ों पर यह प्रक्रिया अपनायी ,जिनका नर्वस सिस्टम क्षतिग्रस्त था। उन्होंने कृत्रिम सिनैप्स डालकर यह काम किया। ये सिनैप्स जिनेटिक रूप से न्यूरॉन में मौजूद सिनैप्टिक प्रोटीन पर आधारित थे।
इस प्रकार शोधकर्ताओं ने एक ऐसा सिनैप्टिकि बाईपास बनाया, जो कीड़ों के न्यूरल नेटवर्क में सूचनाओं के अदान-प्रदान को बहाल करता है।
शोधकर्ताओं ने यह भी देखा कि जिन कीड़ों के नर्वस सिस्टम की मरम्मत की गयी, उनकी कार्यक्षमता सामान्य स्वस्थ कीड़ों से अधिक थी। यह कृत्रिम सिनैप्स से प्राप्त कमजोर सिग्नल को बढ़ाये जाने के कारण संभव हुआ।
शोधकर्ताओं के मुताबिक इस नवोन्मेषी तरीके से किसी इलेक्ट्रॉनिक उपकरण के बगैर इंसानों का भी उपचार किया जा सकता है।
यह भी पढ़े► नया एचआईवी वेरिएंट अधिक संक्रामक
The Omicron variant of coronavirus is not a common cold and should not be underestimated, NITI Aayog's Member, Health, Dr V.K. Paul said on Wednesday, noting it is the reseaon behind the collapse of health infrastructure in several countries.
"Omicron is not a common cold, it is society's responsibility to slow it down with vaccination and masks," he said. If we are seeing less hospitalisation, it is because of mass vaccination, he added.
"Vaccination is a critical pillar of India's Covid-19 response. Let's Mask Up and get vaccinated, whoever is due. It's fact that the vaccines are helpful to an extent," he said.
Dr Paul also said that the government is concerned about 'overuse and misuse' of drugs in home isolation. "There should be a rational approach for medicine use. We are concerned about the overuse & misuse of drugs. Don't overuse, it will have aftermath. Have warm water, do gargles in home care," he underlined.
About the new ICMR guidelines on Covid testing, Indian Council of Medical Research Director General, Dr Balram Bhargava, said that all symptomatic individuals need to be tested including all high-risk case contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases. Asymptomatic cases are not required to get tested unless they are at high risk.
Meanwhile, Joint Secretary, Health, Lav Agarwal, said that a sharp rise in Covid infections has been noted with the case positivity climbing to 11.05 per cent on Wednesday from 1.1 per cent on December 30.
Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Gujarat have emerged as states of concern, he said.
Read More► Omicron can be more lethal for children than Delta: Experts
India's Ayush industry is expanding globally and its market size has grown significantly during the last two years of the Covid pandemic as the domestic trends re-established the traditional system of medicine, nearer mainstream medicines. But can it, and especially, its major constituent ayurveda, capture a bigger share in the global wellness market?
Ayush, which combines ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha - all indigenous to India and among the world's oldest healthcare systems - and homeopathy, touts a holistic approach to health,
Ayurveda, central to the Ayush, is among the world's oldest traditional medical practice, but is beyond it, stressing the requirement of healthy and natural lifestyle, and an organic interconnectedness among body, mind, and spirit.
The approach of Ayush systems which aims at immunity promoting interventions as an effective, safer, accessible, and affordable way is the reason for their increased use globally during the pandemic.
India's AYUSH has reported tremendous growth in the last few years because of growing global and domestic demand, enabled by research and development in the sector.
According to a report from Ayush Ministry, with a turnover of $18.1 billion, the market size of the Indian AYUSH industry, as a whole, has grown by 17 per cent during 2014-2020.
Among its different product segments, plant derivatives experienced 21 per cent growth in the same period, followed by nutraceuticals (20.5 per cent), pharmaceuticals (15.8 per cent), plant extracts 14.7 per cent and herbal plants (14.3 per cent) as per the report.
The Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) report titled 'AYUSH Sector in India: Prospects and Challenges', says that in terms of the global share, India has grown faster in the AYUSH market as compared to the world and accounts for about 2.8 per cent of the market, which is likely to hold even though disruptions in production are not ruled out.
"According to the RIS report, the market size of AYUSH in India has registered a growth of 17 per cent between 2014 and 2020. Despite the global slowdown in economic activity in 2020, the market for AYUSH is estimated to reach $23.3 billion in 2022.
Research and research in the Ayush sector is also being promoted with more comprehensive results to be revealed soon," said the ministry's media advisor, Sanjay Dev.
The Indian Medicines Pharmaceutical Corporation Ltd (IMPCL), the public sector manufacturing unit of the Ayush Ministry, has recorded a turnover of Rs 164.33 crore (tentative) for financial year 2020-21. This is the highest in the company's history and an all-time high profit of approximately Rs 12 crore is reported for the year.
In 2019-20, the company's revenue was Rs 97 crore, as per the ministry.
Ayurveda sector in India has registered 17 per cent growth which is consistent with the growth trajectory of the global ayurveda Industry. As estimated by the International Market Analysis Research and Consulting Group, the ayurveda market is expected to grow by around 15 per cent during 2020-2025.
The study has estimated the global market size of the herbal sector which was estimated at $657.5 billion in 2020 and is likely to touch $746.9 billion by 2022.
According to the Data Bridge Market Research study, the global herbal medicinal market is expected to reach $426.43 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 5.34 per cent during 2021-2028.
Available market research on herbal and ayurveda medicine sector says that ayurveda constitutes a small portion of the total herbal market, but its growth potential is much higher.
The global traditional and complementary medicine market has been valued at around $360 billion. However, only a minor share of that market gos to ayurveda, between $7.2 billion-$9.6 billion.
The rising interest in ayurveda showcases potential of Indian medicine systems to be a global leader with a proper strategic vision and operational efficiency in the sector. (By Avinash Prabhakar)
Read More► Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences Launches Office
India's pharma sector is expected to grow at 9-11 per cent in FY22, rating agency ICRA said on Tuesday.
It attributed the growth to the improving demand for non-Covid products in addition to new product introductions, rupee depreciation, and expanding market coverage.
"Going forward, sustenance of trend in doctor visits and elective surgeries given the news around the Omicron variant, and performance of new launches in addition to revenue growth momentum in the acute segment will remain key monitorables," ICRA said.
Further, pricing pressures and rising raw material costs are expected to contract margins for the sector to 22.5 per cent in FY22 and further to pre-Covid levels of 21-22 per cent in FY23, said Deepak Jotwani, Assistant Vice President and Sector Head, ICRA.
The outlook for the pharma sector remains 'Stable' led by healthy revenue growth and is seen remaining comfortable despite higher capital expenditure and R&D expenses given the robust cash levels.
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Toronto- Even as the newly reported Omicron variant is poised to replace Delta as the dominant variant across the world, a study led by an Indian-origin researcher shows that many mutations in the variant allow it to bond with human cells far more efficiently than previous strains.
The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa in late November, and has since spread rapidly to 106 countries. The variant is now the dominant strain in many countries including the US, the UK, Denmark among others.
Of all the variants of coronaviruses so far, Omicron is the most heavily mutated with more than 30 mutations on its spike protein, which the virus uses to enter human cells. The variant also harbours a high number of mutations in regions of the spike protein that antibodies recognise, potentially dampening their potency.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia, Canada, studied Omicron using cryo-electron microscopy - a technique that provides images of the virus at incredibly high resolution.
The results, published pre-print and not peer-reviewed yet, showed that "Omicron has far greater binding affinity than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus" due to new bonds created between the virus and human cell receptors, Dr Sriram Subramaniam, lead scientist, was quoted as saying to the Daily Mail.
In addition, the researchers tested Omicron against human and monoclonal antibodies, finding that the variant is more resistant to these immune system particles than other variants.
"The Omicron variant is unprecedented for having 37 spike protein mutations - that's three to five times more mutations than any other variant," Subramaniam, a biochemistry professor at the University, was quoted as saying in a statement.
According to Subramaniam, the increased mutations on the spike protein are important for two reasons: "Firstly, because the spike protein is how the virus attaches to and infects human cells. Secondly, because antibodies attach to the spike protein in order to neutralise the virus."
The team probed Omicron's mutations through microscopic imaging, and found that some of the mutations create additional bonds between the virus and ACE2 receptors - a human cell receptor located throughout the body, the report said.
These new mutations appear to "increase binding affinity", Subramaniam said, indicating that Omicron can attach more strongly to human cells.
The researchers compared Omicron's binding affinity to that of the Delta variant and the original strain of the coronavirus.
"Overall, the findings show that Omicron has far greater binding affinity than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, with levels more comparable to what we see with the Delta variant," Subramaniam said.
Subramaniam's team also examined the Omicron spike protein's ability to evade both human antibodies and antibodies from monoclonal antibody treatments.
This analysis confirmed real-world data, showing that Omicron is more capable of evading antibodies than previous variants - meaning that treatments are less successful, the report said.
"Notably, Omicron was less evasive of the immunity created by vaccines, compared to immunity stemming from natural infection in unvaccinated Covid patients," Subramaniam said, adding "this suggests that vaccination remains our best defence against the Omicron variant."
Both the Omicron variant's increased binding affinity and its capacity to evade antibodies are "likely contributing factors to its increased transmissibility," Subramaniam said. (Agency)
Read More► Even Triple Vaccination Cannot Limit Omicron Spread: BioNTech CEO
Jerusalem- Israeli researchers have found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, harms the human immune system, Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in southern Israel said on Monday.
In a genetic study published in the journal iScience, BGU researchers tried to find out what causes the "stormy" nature of Covid-19, which is also manifested in an extreme reaction of the immune system, Xinhua news agency reported.
For this purpose, they analyzed for a year, using computational biology, gene expression in patients from around the world.
The team examined whether mitochondria, cell organs that produce energy, are damaged during Covid-19 illness, resulting in dysfunction of the body.
Surprisingly, the researchers identified damage to the mitochondria of immune system cells, rather than to lung cells' mitochondria.
The mitochondrial damage in immune cells explains the "cytokine storm" phenomenon, which is a reaction of the immune system, appearing with symptoms such as fever, swelling and extreme fatigue, the researchers said.
"Based on the results, it is possible to use existing treatments to target mitochondria and thus improve patients' condition," they concluded.
Read More► A Runny Nose and Itchy Throat? It May Be Omicron, Says Study
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