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Mar 31
Never think about your past with anger
People remembering their past with negative memories are more likely to fall ill, suggests a study.

According to the University of Granada's study, people's attitude to the past, present and future influenced the perception they had of their health as well as their quality of life, the Daily Mail reported.

Those who looked back in anger found it harder to make an effort in their daily tasks and were also more likely to perceive pain.

Co-author Cristian Oyanadel, said: "We have observed that when people are negative about past events in their life, they also have a pessimist or fatalistic attitude towards current events."

"This generates greater problems in their relationships and these people present worse quality of life indicators."

The researchers assessed 50 people -- 25 women and 25 men aged between 20 and 70 from a randomised sample, using questionnaires and time orientation tests

Mar 31
Cancer: 'Book of knowledge' published
The first volume of a "book of cancer knowledge" has been published, which scientists say will speed up the search for new cancer drugs.

The "encyclopaedia" details how hundreds of different cancer cells respond to anti-cancer agents.

UK, US and European researchers say the data, published in Nature, is a step towards tailoring cancer medicine to a patient's genetic profile.

A cancer charity said the work would help in testing new cancer drugs.

Cancer cells grown in the laboratory are an essential tool in cancer research.

Hundreds of different cell lines exist, allowing scientists to study the effect of new cancer drugs on the human body.

Now, a team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge and various cancer institutes around the world have released two papers cataloguing data on hundreds of cancer cell lines.

The UK team, working with colleagues in the US, Paris and Switzerland, screened more than 600 cancer cell lines with 130 drugs, identifying genetic signatures linked with drug sensitivity.

Already clues are emerging that could be of benefit to patients, including the discovery that a rare bone cancer in children (Ewing's sarcoma) appears to be vulnerable to certain drugs.
Personalised medicine

Dr Mathew Garnett of the Sanger Institute is lead researcher on one of the two papers published in the journal Nature.

He told "It's bringing together two very large and very powerful data sets and asking which cell line is the most sensitive and what is behind that sensitivity.

"This is the largest study of its kind linking drug response with genetic markers. You need these very large studies to identify small subsets of cells that are sensitive to drugs."

Dr Levi Garraway of The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, US, is a senior member of the research team behind the second paper, which profiled 24 drugs across nearly 500 cell lines.

He told "Developing this large cell-line resource with all the associated genetic details is another piece in the pie to get us to our goal of personalised cancer medicine.

"We're trying to get smarter about understanding what the right drug is using the genetic information in each tumour. This is a stepping stone along the way."

The next step is use the information to help decide on tailored treatments for cancer patients.

This would involve getting a genetic "fingerprint" of their tumour, which could be matched to information in the database.

Some cancer drugs are already available for individuals with a certain genetic makeup.

The best known is Herceptin, a breast cancer drug that works in patients with an overactive HER2 gene.

Professor Charles Swanton, based at Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute, said the papers were "an invaluable resource" that provided "extremely useful intelligence" for cancer researchers.

He added: "This new resource will help speed up cancer research and may well begin to guide further developments in personalised cancer medicine."

Mar 30
Head injuries need critical care
Head injury is the sixth most common cause of death in the country and about 5,00,ooo people across the world suffer a head injury in some form or the other.

The Global Health City on the occasion, World Head Injury Awareness Day, completed a week-long awareness campaign which included road safety awareness campaign, creating awareness among college and school students and educating cab drivers with tips on safe driving.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Uma Nambiar, CEO, Global Health City, said "India has the rather unenviable distinction of having the highest rate of head injuries in the world. In India, more than 1,00,000 lives are lost every year with over 1 million suffering from serious head injuries. I hope these awareness campaigns will help in reducing these numbers in a very significant way."

Two head injury cases that were saved in the recent past were presented. Reimund from Germany was admitted after an accident where there was an immediate loss of consciousness. The patient had multiple lacerations on the face with a severe crush injury on his forehead, causing deformity. He underwent 'Carpeting of the Anterior Cranial Fossa Base' and fixation of Facial bones fracture with elective tracheostomy. The patient was gradually taken off the ventilator and is on spontaneous breathing. He has been mobilised out of bed and is doing well. His facial structure has been reconstructed and is looking near normal.

Similarly, Samrat Bhandari was admitted after a road accident and was put on ventilator support. A chest CT scan showed a right side hemothorax with collapsed lung (blood collection in the chest). Cardiothoracic surgeon's opinion was obtained and the right side Chest tube was inserted. Fibro- optic bronchoscopy and suctioning were done to clear the secretions. The patient gradually improved and was taken off ventilator support and was given regular physiotherapy and rehabilitation and his condition improved well.

Speaking alongside the patient, Dr K Sridhar Director, Institute of Neuro Sciences & Spinal disorder Global Health City said, "Prevention is the best treatment in any case of a head injury. The golden hour after the major accident decides the fate of a patient. It is, therefore, imperative that these serious patients are shifted to a hospital with a capability of managing polytrauma and critical injuries."

Mar 30
Sitting for long hours can kill you in 3 yrs
Sitting for 11 hours or more in everyday life increases our chances of dying within three years, irrespective of whether we are physically active or not, an Australian study has found.

According to the study by University of Sydney, the people who remained sedentary for half day had a 40 percent increased risk, even when physical activity and weight was taken into account, the Daily Mail reported.


"These results have important public health implications. That morning walk or trip to the gym is still necessary but it`s also important to avoid prolonged sitting," according to study leader Hidde van der Ploeg.

"Our results suggest the time people spend sitting at home, work and in traffic should be reduced by standing or walking more."

The results showed physical activity was still beneficial -- inactive people who sat the most had double the risk of dying within three years than the active people who sat least.

Among the physically inactive group, those who sat the most had nearly one-third higher chance of dying than those who sat least.

The research was commissioned by the Cardiovascular Research Network and supported by the National Heart Foundation Australia`s NSW Division.

Heart Foundation CEO Tony Thirlwell said being inactive was a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is responsible for over 17 million deaths a year worldwide.

"Watching TV, using computers and electronic games can involve sitting for long periods and have become a big part of leisure time," he said.

"But we know that people who spend less time on these things have better health than those who spend too much time on them."

Mar 29
Aurobindo Pharma Gets Final Approvals For Quetiapine Fumarate Tablets
Manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. announced that the company had obtained final approvals from the US Food & Drug Administration or US FDA to market Quetiapine Fumarate tablets 25mg, 50mg, 100mg, 150mg, 200mg, 300mg and 400mg.

Quetiapine Fumarate tablets 25mg, 50mg, 100mg, 150mg, 200mg, 300mg and 400mgare the generic equivalent of AstraZeneca LP's Seroquel tablets 25mg, 50mg, 100mg, 150mg, 200mg, 300mg and 400mg. These tablets are indicated for the treatment of serious psychotic disorders such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder and fall under the Neurological (CNS) therapeutic category.

The company said the product had been approved out of Unit III facility in Hyderabad, India.

Aurobindo now has a total of 147 ANDA approvals (118 final approvals and 29 tentative approvals)from US FDA.

AT the BSE, Aurobindo Pharma shares are currently trading at Rs.116.55, up 1.66 percent from the previous close.

Mar 29
Want a family doctor? Just pay Rs 8,000 a year
Hyderabad based Srikon Healthcare Services Limited, a home based medical service provider for family members, launched its healthcare service based on the concept of a family physician in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Srikon Healthcare has in house doctors, who will be individually assigned for specific patients. Families can avail the service with an annual subscription package of Rs 8,000 Rs 10,000.
"A family physician is the one who knows an individual's health history, and reduces confusion during acute medical emergencies. Healing is not just about treatment but also human attachments, which is why family doctors were preferred a few decades ago. Today, doctors do not have adequate time for each patient. So, the family physician concept is again gaining steam," Srikon's chairman Subrahmanyam Nanduri told mediapersons here.

According to a recent study done by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, around 50 per cent of the employees in India are under stress, 20 per cent suffer from depression and 30 per cent have problems such as addictions and marital discord. India is expected to have the largest cardiovascular disease burden in the world by 2020 between the age group of 30 and 69 years, reflecting its loss in terms of losing potentially productive years.

"Lifestyle diseases, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes and heart attacks, are growing and even affecting youngsters at an early age. In this case, a family doctor will play an important role," he said.

Mar 28
New microfluidic chip more effective in detecting flu outbreaks
The H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009 underscored weaknesses in methods widely used to diagnose the flu, from frequent false negatives to long wait times for results. Now Boston University researchers have developed a prototype of a rapid, low-cost, accurate, point-of-care device that promises to provide clinicians with an effective tool to quickly diagnose both seasonal and pandemic strains of influenza, and thus limit the spread of infection.

Boston University Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Catherine Klapperich led the team of engineering and medical researchers that developed the disposable microfluidic chip the size of a microscope slide that aims to take the place of expensive, time-consuming, laboratory-based diagnostic tests now in use. The chip essentially miniaturizes the RT-PCR test, now considered the gold standard in flu detection, producing faster, cheaper and accurate results.

The researchers collected clinical nasal specimens and placed them on the chip, which extracts RNA from the Influenza A virus, converts it into DNA and replicates the sample in sufficient quantities so it can be detected by a table-top external reader. The chip produced results that matched the accuracy of the lab-based tests.

"We wanted to show that our technique was feasible on real-world samples prepared on the chip," said Klapperich. "Making each chip single-use decreases the possibility of cross-contamination between specimens, and the chip's small size makes it a good candidate for true point-of-care testing."

Mar 28
Trying to shift a few pounds? Stick to a 'smelly food' diet
The smell of food can affect how much of it you eat, according to research carried out in the Netherlands.

Published in BioMed Central's open access journal Flavour, launched today, the findings show that strong aromas lead to smaller bite sizes and suggests that aroma may be used as a means to control portion size.

Bite size depends on the familiarly and texture of food. Smaller bite sizes are taken for foods which need more chewing and smaller bite sizes are often linked to a sensation of feeling fuller sooner.

The aroma experience of food is linked to its constituents and texture, but also to bite size. Smaller bites sizes are linked towards a lower flavour release which may explain why we take smaller bites of unfamiliar or disliked foods.

In order to separate the effect of aroma on bite size from other food-related sensations researchers from the Netherlands developed a system where a custard-like dessert was eaten while different scents were simultaneously presented directly to the participants nose.

The results showed that the stronger the smell the smaller the bite. Dr Rene A de Wijk, who led the study, explained, 'Our human test subjects were able to control how much dessert was fed to them by pushing a button.
Bite size was associated with the aroma presented for that bite and also for subsequent bites (especially for the second to last bite).

'Perhaps, in keeping with the idea that smaller bites are associated with lower flavour sensations from the food and that, there is an unconscious feedback loop using bite size to regulate the amount of flavour experienced.'

This study suggests that manipulating the odour of food could result in a 5-10 per cent decrease in intake per bite.

Combining aroma control with portion control could fool the body into thinking it was full with a smaller amount of food and aid weight loss.

BioMed Central's open access journal Flavour, launched today is a peer-reviewed, open access, online journal that publishes interdisciplinary articles on flavour, its generation, perception, and influence on behaviour and nutrition.

Flavour aims to understand the psychophysical, psychological and chemical aspects of flavour, which include not only taste and aroma, but also chemesthesis, texture, and all the senses.

Mar 27
Prenatal exposure to pollutants causes behavioural problems in kids
Mothers' exposure to a class of air pollutants called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) during pregnancy can lead to behavioural problems in their children, a new study has found.

PAH are released to air during incomplete combustion of fossil fuel such as diesel, gasoline, coal, and other organic material.

This study is the first report of associations between child attentional and behavioural problems among school-age children and two complementary measures of prenatal PAH exposure, monitored air concentrations of PAH and a PAH-specific biomarker of exposure measured in maternal and umbilical cord blood.

The paper adds to rising concerns about the risks associated with exposures to air pollution during pregnancy.

The study followed the children of 253 non-smoking inner-city women who gave birth between 1999 and 2006.

Researchers led by Frederica Perera, DrPH, director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health, measured two complementary indicators of PAH exposure.

One indicator was the PAH concentration in air from personal air sampling which took place during the third trimester of pregnancy. The other was a specific biological marker of exposure -- PAH-DNA adducts measured in maternal blood and newborn umbilical cord blood.

When inhaled by the mother during pregnancy, PAH can be transferred across the placenta and bind to the DNA of the fetus, forming "adducts" in blood and other tissues and providing a biologic measure of pollutant exposure.

Mothers completed a detailed assessment of their child's behaviour, including whether the children experienced symptoms of anxiety, depression, or attention problems.

High prenatal PAH exposure, whether characterised by personal air monitoring or maternal and newborn cord adducts, was significantly associated with symptoms of Anxious or Depressed and Attention Problems.

In urban air, traffic emissions are a dominant source of the pollutants measured in the study.

Illustrating widespread exposure to these pollutants, 100 percent of the mothers in the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health NYC cohort had detectable levels of PAH in prenatal personal air samples, although levels varied widely.

The authors accounted for other sources of PAH such as environmental tobacco smoke and diet in their analyses. None of the mothers in the study were smokers.

"This study provides evidence that environmental levels of PAH encountered in NYC air can adversely affect child behaviour. The results are of concern because attention problems and anxiety and depression have been shown to affect peer relationships and academic performance," Perera, the study's lead author, said.

Mar 27
Exercise won't help you if you are sedentary
One way to achieve fitness is by exercising, but long sedentary periods can also be risky, healthwise, in spite of physical activity.

When the muscles are inactive for long periods, the fat metabolism, for example, can change into being disadvantageous to one's health, says a Finnish study.

Because of this, it is extremely important to pay attention to the amount of exercise and to reduce the amount of sitting, the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports reported.

Does, for example, going to the gym reduce the time spent on sedentary activities, or should one also find something else to reduce it?

TFinni, P Haakana, AJ Pesola and T. Pullinen from the University of Jyvaskyla's biology department, compared a group of Finnish men and women, adults and the aged, over two days, according to a statement of Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland) via AlphaGalileo.

On the first day, they performed some form of physical activity and on the second none at all. Although 30 to 150 minutes of exercise increased energy consumption, it did not decrease muscle inactivity that is, the time spent sitting down.

Results showed that the muscles are inactive about 70% of the day, irrespective of whether the day included any fitness training.