Month: August 2019

How Useful Are Adult Stem Cells Really

first_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Gene silencing may be responsible for induced pluripotent stem cells’ limitations © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — With the debate (especially in the U.S.) raging over ethics of using embryonic stem cells in research to cure diseases like ALS, Parkinsons, Type 1 diabetes and even spinal cord injuries, the breakthrough discovery that adult stem cells could be used instead made news. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are thought to be able to grow a number of different organs and tissues in an effort to provide therapy. The idea is that these induced stem cells, many of which could be generated from a patient’s own cells, could be used to grow different types of tissue needed. Citation: How Useful Are Adult Stem Cells, Really? (2010, April 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-04-adult-stem-cells.html Research and Markets reports that these cells could be quite useful indeed, advancing medical science without the issue that surrounding using embryonic stem cells:iPS cell technology although still in its infancy offers a clear path around many of the ethical issues associated with embryonic stem cells and introduces the potential for substantial strides in this area of research.While this seems promising on the surface, there are other concerns about adult stem cells, and how useful they are. A group of scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Regenerative Medicine believes that gene silencing might be one reason that there are limitations attached to iPS cells. One India reports on the issue:”We found that a segment of chromosome 12 containing genes important for fetal development was abnormally shut off in most iPSCs. These findings indicate we need to keep improving the way we produce iPSCs and suggest the need for new reprogramming strategies,” Nature quoted Dr. Konrad Hochedlinger, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine (MGH-CRM) and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), who led the study.It appears, then, that adult stem cells, while useful, may still not be able to compete with the full range of versatility offered by embryonic stem cells — at least not yet. The ability to produce live animals, while possible with some types of iPS cells, is much less effective in the induced adult stem cells than it is with embryonic stem cells. However, if the goal is more aimed at reproducing tissue, rather than creating entire live animals, that limitation may lose some of its potency. After all, the Massachusetts study (which used mouse tissue) still showed that many different types of tissue could be developed, even with the gene silencing limitation.It will be interesting to see where this leads, and whether scientists truly can use adult stem cells to replace embryonic stem cells as they work to cure diseases. More information: Decision Resources, Inc., “Stem Cell Technology Update: The Rise of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells” (April 26, 2010). Available online: www.researchandmarkets.com/res … 7/stem_cell_technolo.One India, “Gene silencing could be behind induced pluripotent stem cells’ limitations” (April 26, 2010). Available online: news.oneindia.in/2010/04/26/ge … ripotent-stemce.html. Mouse embryonic stem cells. Image via Wikipedialast_img read more

Simple hydrogen storage solution is powered by solar energy

first_img Muons help understand mechanism behind hydrogen storage (Phys.org)—By using solar energy to reversibly attach and detach hydrogen atoms on a 6-carbon ring called benzene, scientists have developed a simple and efficient method to store, transport, and release hydrogen potentially on a large scale. The hydrogen storage problem is currently one of the biggest challenges facing the development of hydrogen as a widespread energy carrier, and the researchers hope that the new strategy may lead to a safe and inexpensive solution to this problem. © 2015 Phys.org The scientists, led by Professor Chao-Jun Li and Associate Professor Zetian Mi at McGill University in Montreal, have published a paper on the new hydrogen storage system in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.As the researchers explain, hydrogen has a very high mass energy density but a very low volumetric energy density. The high mass energy density, which is at least three times higher than that of other chemical fuels, is what makes hydrogen such an attractive energy carrier. However, its low volumetric energy density under ambient conditions makes it difficult to store large amounts of hydrogen in small spaces. To overcome this problem, hydrogen is often stored at high pressures or low temperatures, but these storage methods present their own challenges.The hydrogen storage system demonstrated in the new paper works under ambient conditions and stores the hydrogen in abundant, lightweight, and inexpensive molecules called hydrocarbons. The researchers demonstrated that six hydrogen atoms can be added to benzene (C6H6) in a “hydrogenation” process that forms cyclohexane (C6H12), which serves as the hydrogen carrier. In the reverse process, cyclohexane is “dehydrogenated” as the six carbons are removed and available for use in energy storage devices and other applications.This method of storing hydrogen atoms in hydrocarbons is not new, but because the dehydrogenation process requires a large amount of energy to proceed, current versions always require high temperatures to release the hydrogen.Since performing the reaction at high temperatures is not suitable for practical applications, here the researchers demonstrated that solar energy can be used to drive the dehydrogenation reaction at ambient temperatures. This process involves using platinum-based nanoparticles as photocatalysts. After absorbing incoming photons, the platinum nanoparticles temporarily donate their photoexcited electrons to the cyclohexane molecules, breaking the carbon-hydrogen bonds and releasing the hydrogen atoms without the need for elevated temperatures.Tests showed that this photo-driven dehydrogenation process occurs rapidly (within a few seconds), converts 99% of the cyclohexane to benzene, and has a quantum efficiency (H2 produced per photon consumed) of 6.0%, which rivals the current top-performing solar water splitting devices without an external voltage. To start the hydrogenation process, the researchers simply removed the light source, causing the hydrogen atoms to reattach back onto the benzene. Using this method, 97% of the benzene could be converted back to cyclohexane, and the cycle could be repeated.The researchers expect that this strategy is more suitable for stationary applications—for instance, for storing and transporting energy produced by wind turbines or other alternative energy sources—rather than vehicles because of the fact that it requires sunlight to release the hydrogen. “The applications may include the storage and transport of hydrogen generated from other sources, such as water splitting and water electrolysis, using renewable energies (hydro, wind, nuclear, etc.),” Li told Phys.org.Taking the next steps forward, McGill University has filed a provisional patent on this technology. In the future, the scientists plan to improve the hydrogen storage system by reducing the amount of platinum required in the photocatalysts and developing other less expensive alternatives.”Our future research is focused on developing cheaper and more earth-abundant metal catalysts, such as iron, and to further increase the quantum efficiency,” Li said. Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society The new reversible hydrogen storage method stores hydrogen atoms in cyclohexane and uses solar energy to release the hydrogen atoms, turning the cyclohexane molecule into benzene. The use of solar energy avoids the need for high temperatures to release the hydrogen. Credit: Li, et al. ©2015 American Chemical Societycenter_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Simple hydrogen storage solution is powered by solar energy (2015, June 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-simple-hydrogen-storage-solution-powered.html More information: Lu Li, et al. “Simple and Efficient System for Combined Solar Energy Harvesting and Reversible Hydrogen Storage.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b03505last_img read more

Putting emotions on centrestage

first_imgDelhi is yet again gearing up to host and witness one of a grand theatre extravaganza. Called the Modern Theatre Festival, it will showcase interesting plays like Rangbhoomi, Jivito Mrito, Bol Ke Lab Azad Hain Tere, Math ke Raaste Mein Ek Din and Shayar Shutter Down. The five days theatre festival which is oganised under the aegis of Sahitya Kala Parishad, is an initiative of Delhi Government to promote theatre in the capital. From a struggling story of a common man, to a painful saga of a widow, to a biography of a legendary poet, the festival will bring together a variety of plays of different genres on the Capital stage. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ ‘There are many famous and distinguished directors who have come up to promote theatre in our country. We will present the different genres of plays and plays of different diversities in a compact, seamless format that will appeal to contemporary audiences, while maintaining the essence of the ancient tradition,’ commented J P Singh, Assistance Secretary, Sahitya Kala Parishad. Rangbhoomi, the play to be performed on the first day has been directed by Surendra Sharma and is based on a novel written by Munshi Premchand. It is life playing itself in its arena and in many shapes, forms and emotions. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix’My play speaks about the tricky ground of tensions between the rulers and the ruled. Capturing the travails and traumas of peasant  society, it celebrates the unassailable spirit of the common man,’ said Sharma. Jivito Mrito has been adapted from a story of Rabindranath Tagore and is directed by Anuradha Kapur. The play underlines the poignant moments in the life of a widow and her struggle for acceptance.Then, Math ke Raaste Mein Ek Din has been adapted by a story written by Satish Aalekar and has been translated by Seema Mittal. The stage show will be directed by Suresh Bharadwaj and will be presented by Aakar Kala Sangam. Bol Ke Lab Azad Hain Tere brings the story of author Faiz Ahmed Faiz, which features the biography and struggle of his journey. It is a musical drama of 90 minutes written by Parvez Ahmad and directed by Lokendra Trivedi. The fifth and the final day will showcase a play, Shayar…Shutter Down. Written and directed by Tripuarari Sharma.DETAILAt: Shriram Center, Mandi HouseWhen: 10 – 14 DecemberTiming: 6.30pm onwardslast_img read more

Poor sleep may make you more impulsive

first_imgSleep deprivation may put you at increased risk for succumbing to impulsive desires, inattentiveness and questionable decision-making, says a study. The researchers found that poor sleep habits can have a negative effect on self-control, which presents risks to individuals’ personal and professional lives.“Our study explored how sleep habits and self-control are interwoven and sleep habits and self-control may work together to affect a person’s daily functioning,” said one of the study authors June Pilcher, professor at Clemson University in the US.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Exercising self-control allows one to make better choices when presented with conflicting desires and opportunities. That has far-reaching implications to a person’s career and personal life. Poor sleep habits, which include inconsistent sleep times and not enough hours of sleep, can also lead to health problems, including weight gain, hypertension and illness. Studies have found that sleep deprivation decreases self-control but increases hostility in people, which can create problems in the workplace and at home,” Pilcher said.The study appeared in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.last_img read more

Ankiya Nat at its best

first_imgIn order to keep the rich traditions alive and to honour the religious beliefs of the Assamese, Sattriya Kendra, Guwahati-a part of Sangeet Natak Akademi will be organising ‘Ankiya Bhaona Samaroh’-a festival of ritual plays of Assam from March 21-24 at Rabindra Bhawan lawns in the national Capital. ‘Ankiya nat, which is a form of religious theatre which traces back its origin from the state of Assam, honours Vishnu’s manifestation as Krishna. ‘Ankiya Bhaona Samaroh’, which falls in its eighth year this year, is held in order to promote the rich culture and heritage of Assam, specifically the concept of ritual plays. The event will have various programmes being held on different days of the event. Theatre performances will start from March 21 whereas seminar cum lecture demonstrations will commence on March 22 and the sessions will be held at 11 am in the morning daily at Meghdoot Theatre- III. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The first day of the event will see Dulal Roy’s directorial venture ‘Shri Ram Bijay’ being staged at the venue. The play is a presentation of Sattriya Kendar from Guwahati. The second day will have Uttar Kamlabari Sattra from Majuli staging their presentation- ‘Keli Gopal’ directed by Bhaben Barbayan at Rabindra Bahawan; followed by a keynote address by Pradip Jyoti Mahanta and a lecture series titled ‘Ankiya Nat: Dimensions in performance’ at Meghdoot Theatre. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThere will be other plays staged on the last two days of the event namely ‘Parijat Haran’ directed by Pabitra Pran Bora and performed by Kola Krishti Bikash Kendra from Darrang; Rukmini Haran directed by Haricharan Bhuyan Barbayn and Pabitra Chetia and performed by Pathar from Duliajan. Apart from this, two seminar cum lecture demonstrations- ‘Ankiya Nat: Text and Structure’ by Pona Mahanta from Guwahati and ‘An Analytical Study of Ankiya Nat’s music’ by Babul Das from Barpeta will be held on March 23 whereas ‘Aharya of Ankiya Nat’ by Sanjib Barkakoty from Nagaon and ‘Bhakti Rasa as depicted in Ankiya Nataka’ by Malini Goswami from Guwahati will be held on the last day of the event.last_img read more

Mamata sets up committee to tackle environmental woes

first_imgKolkata: The state government has set up a six-member committee headed by Chief Secretary Malay De, to look into environmentissues.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while inaugurating a community Durga Puja in Behala, expressed her deep concern over the key issues related to the environment.Referring to the annual report on environment 2017, published by the United Nations, she said that awareness is required to preserve nature.The UN report mentions: “For the first time, scientists have found direct proof that the ozone layer is healing. And now we move to address bigger challenges with the Kigali Amendment coming into force, to phase out substances that have a serious impact on our climate.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBanerjee said it is a tragedy that people don’t keep the areas where they live clean. “We have installed compactors throughout the state but despite that people are throwing garbage into the waterbodies. This is wrong,” she said.Earlier, she had raised the slogan “Save Green, Stay Clean” while inaugurating a community Durga Puja at Sribhumi last week. She also urged the people’s representatives to keep the areas under their jurisdiction clean.”It is our responsibility to keep the areas clean. It is most unfortunate that after painting a wall in bright colours, some people have a tendency to spit on it,” she said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedShe said the state government has set up a six-member committee headed by the Chief Secretary to look after the environmental issues.Though the civic authorities often conduct drives against the use of plastic carry bags in the markets, the shopkeepers continue to use them. These bags pose a serious threat as they often choke the underground sewer lines, causing massive waterlogging in different areas.Meanwhile, the Chief Minister inaugurated Durga Puja at Behala Natun Dal, Barisha Club, Ekchollish Palli and Haridevpur Ajay Sanhati. While inaugurating the Puja at Behala Natun Dal, she said: “The Puja becomes meaningless if the children do not look after their parents when they become old and infirm. Parents should be treated as Gods because this is our tradition and culture.”Meanwhile, construction of the bailey bridge to smoothen traffic flow during the Pujas in vast areas of Behala and its neigbourhoods, is being carried out in full swing. The installation of one bridge has been completed while work on the other one is underway. The installation of the bridges became necessary, after a portion of Majerhat bridge collapsed on September 4.last_img read more

Antidepressants in pregnancy may up birth defects

first_imgWomen who take a type of antidepressant during their early pregnancy may significantly raise the risk of having babies with birth defects or stillbirths compared with those who did not take these pills, a study suggests.The findings revealed that the women who had been prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, known as SSRIs, in the first trimester of pregnancy or three months before pregnancy were at a small but significantly greater risk of having infants with congenital anomalies – particularly severe heart defects or stillbirths. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“We are not saying stop all medicines, but our message is that we want our health care professionals to be very mindful of this link and to take the appropriate action to ensure that women are given the right type of care before, during and after pregnancy to minimise the risks of congenital anomalies and stillbirths linked to SSRIs,” said Sue Jordan, Professor at Swansea University in Britain.Suggesting various measures for preventing SSRI-linked conditions, the researchers said that all women requesting SSRI prescriptions and not just those who are planning pregnancy should be reviewed. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWomen who misuse substances or alcohol should be considered as being at higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes when prescribed SSRIs.“Women should not stop taking SSRIs without discussing with their doctor the benefits and risks of SSRIs and alternative nonpharmacological therapies, since good mental health is important for both mother and child,” added Helen Dolk, Professor at Ulster University in Northern Ireland.For the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, the team analysed data from more than 500,000 infants in Wales, Norway and Denmark.last_img read more

Get your home festive ready

first_imgWith Dussehra and Diwali round the corner, get your home festive ready with thorough cleaning, cushions in silk, chanderi or zari embroidered fabrics, fresh flowers and scented candles, suggest experts. Here are some of the ideas on how you can decorate your home tastefully: Use traditional hand-crafted fabrics and prints. Silks, chanderi, fabrics with batik or block prints and zari embroidery are all the rage. You can also add some traditional carpets.Use copper and brass crockery when guests come calling.Add mirrors with embellished or copper-toned frames to add a little bling to your interiors.Instead of painting the whole house, use one prominent wall and paint it with a pretty motif or adorn it with a decal or wall hanging to add to the festive spirit.Good lighting can easily set the right mood. Light up your home in layers with some ornate lighting fixtures and lamps. Highlight a wall by painting it in cheerful earthy warm hues like solar yellow, rustic red and emerald green.Fresh flowers and scented candles are ideal for those who want to keep the decor understated.Ensure your towels, napkins, table runner and door mats are in the same vibrant shade to keep symmetry going.last_img read more

Blame air pollution for irregular menstrual cycles

first_imgThe growing level of pollution in the air raises the chances of irregular menstrual cycles among teenage girls, a new study led by an Indian-origin researcher has warned. According to the researchers, teenage girls affected by the air pollution may have slightly increased chances of menstrual irregularity and longer time to achieve regularity in high school and early adulthood.The researchers also warned that exposure to air pollution can cause infertility, metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”While air pollution exposures have been linked to cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, this study suggests there may be other systems, such as the reproductive endocrine system, that are affected as well,” said Shruthi Mahalingaiah, Assistant Professor at Boston University.The menstrual cycle is responsive to hormonal regulation. Particulate matter in air pollution has demonstrated hormonal activity. However, according to the researchers, it was not known if air pollution was associated with menstrual cycle irregularity, until now. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFor the study, the researchers used health and location data gathered in the Nurses’ Health Study 2 plus air pollution exposure metrics from the EPA air quality monitoring system to understand a participants’ exposure during a particular time window.They found exposure to air pollution during high school was correlated with menstrual cycle irregularity. “Implications on human disease may come through reducing emissions on a global and individual level.”last_img read more

JapanIndia bilateral ties take a step forward

first_imgThe inauguration ceremony of the Japanese Language Teachers’ Training Centre was held at Jawaharlal Nehru University on July 23.The event was attended by Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador (Japan); Tomoyuki Sakurai, Executive Vice President of Japan Foundation(Japan) along with the Indian dignitaries like General V K Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs and Professor M Jagadesh Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of JNU among others.Looking back at the Japan-India summit meeting held in September 2017, Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Modi decided to train 1,000 teachers and launch Japanese language certificate courses at 100 higher educational institutions in India, in the next five years. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe establishment of the Japanese Language Teachers’ Training Centre is the first major outcome of our bilateral collaboration to achieve the target set by the two Prime Ministers.Activities at the Japanese Language Teachers’ Training Centre will be steered jointly by MEA and Embassy of Japan with the support of the Japan Foundation.The Centre started its first training course on the same day. The first batch of students also attended the inauguration. They will be taking a three- month course till October. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAt the ceremony, Ambassador Hiramatsu expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by all the authorities concerned, both in India and Japan and mentioned the importance of Japanese language promotion for Japan towards supporting India’s “Make in India” initiative.”This wonderful project is the first concrete result of the great collaboration between Japan and India, initiated by our two prime ministers to expand Japanese language education in India,” he said. He further added stating, “The number of Japanese companies is increasing every year, and is now about four times the number as 10 years ago. These companies require Indians who can speak Japanese, in order to act as bridges between their Indian subsidiaries and headquarters in Japan.””The number of Indians who are interested in Japan and want to learn the Japanese language is steadily increasing. But the number of Japanese language teachers is still too small vis-à-vis the number of potential learners. The centre will certainly contribute to addressing this reality.”Sakurai said, “I am expecting excellent Japanese language teachers are trained through this project, and many Japanese language courses will start at higher institutes in India.”V K Singh said, “Japan is an important partner of India. Development of Japanese in India enhances people to people contacts and helps many ventures that will come in India.”last_img read more