Featured News on Health & Science

Of Hedgehogs and Cancer

[amazon_link asins=’B01HOYD69Q,B01BV19U7K,B078SWHCH5,B0719TJ97J,B00GVTE48S,B0112701EY,B078B8PB9P,B07B48LQ38,B00W8HPY86′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’12b8c88f-1d57-11e8-8a65-fd79fb4f0016′]

Indian scientists have discovered that a protein essential for growth turns hostile and causes cancer.


Indian researchers in Bangalore have solved a puzzle that has been haunting scientists for a long time: how does a set of proteins that are crucial for the well-rounded development of organisms trigger cancers?

The work, spearheaded by scientists at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), provides a significant insight into the erratic behaviour of Hedgehog proteins, named so because their absence gives embryos a prickly appearance.

The Hedgehog protein is aptly described as the construction supervisor of life, as it plays a critical role in directing an organism’s growth from a single fertilised egg to a collection of millions of structured, specialised cells. They ensure, among other things, that the hands and feet develop the right shape and number of digits, the heart is located on the left and not the right side of the body, and that we have two eyes and ears instead of one each.

For more than a decade, scientists have been trying to understand the protein’s role in deciding which group of cells should constitute a particular tissue or organ (such as nerves, muscles and liver). In the process they found that when the Hedgehog genes of lab animals were knocked off or mutated, the progenies were born without wings or limbs or eyes, clearly indicating their pivotal role in the overall growth of organisms.

But once an organism, including humans, grows into an able-bodied creature, the Hedgehog proteins are left with a minimal role to play, quite like a supervisor’s role that comes to an end once the building is up and occupied. Except that both need to be available for occasional repair jobs.

Earlier in the decade, a team of researchers led by Philip Beachy of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine discovered that the protein is not entirely harmless: it causes medulloblastoma, one of the most common brain cancers in children. Since then researchers elsewhere have found the Hedgehog’s involvement in cancers of several other organs — small cell lung cancer, pancreatic and prostrate cancers and so on.

Over the years, it has become clear to scientists that in order to be “mischievous,” the Hedgehog proteins need to be hyperactive so that they are able to work on cells that are far away from their location. “How the Hedgehog proteins are able to ‘jump’ to cells far away from their parent cells remained a mystery for long,” says Neha Vyas, the first author of the paper that appeared in the prestigious journal Cell in the last week of June.

Vyas, a post doctoral student at Satyajit Mayor’s lab at NCBS, says they got interested in Hedgehog proteins for an entirely different reason. It is one of the few proteins in the body that requires cholesterol — a fatty substance often vilified for clogging arteries — for efficient functioning. Studies have shown that inadequate cholesterol levels in an expectant mother can mar the development of the baby in many ways. “Hence we were interested in the protein’s cholesterol link,” she says.

“It became clear to us that for the Hedgehog molecules to be able to act over a distance, two kinds of interactions are needed. The molecules need to come together and also collaborate with a group of special carriers which are required to ferry them across a long distance,”NCBS director K. VijayRaghavan, a co-author of the study, told KnowHow.

Clustering is a normal activity of the Hedgehog protein. But it leads to cancer when the Hedgehog is made when it should not be or cells act as if they are constantly “seeing” these proteins even when they are not, observes VijayRaghavan.

The scientists — including those from the University of Mysore and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad — found that Hedgehog proteins exploit the electrostatic interactions of amino acids on their surface for clustering, the first step in the long journey away from the parent cell. The scientists understood the mechanism by which Hedgehog proteins “move around” and also that deactivating a single amino acid on the protein’s surface puts an end to the formation of clusters and hence its unattended long haul.

“Identifying this initial step is of great help as it could be used to design an anti-cancer drug that could stall a mutant Hedgehog pathway,” says Vyas. “Drug designers could target it at the very source itself.”

However, developing a drug that can safely defuse the hyper Hedgehogs that cause the biological mayhem called cancer is not all that easy. Blocking the Hedgehog protein has to be very selective as it plays a role in the regeneration of organs and tissues.

“It is not clear how much regeneration in adults is dependent on Hedgehog proteins, but recent stem cell studies have shown that they are important,” says Mayor, the lead author. A cancer cell-targeted inhibitor should be the way to go, he sums up.

Sources: The Telegraph (kolkata, India)

Zemanta Pixie
Ailmemts & Remedies


[amazon_link asins=’1279736429,B01MAZNL2R,B00APXD45K,1118759214,B06VTZ1B5L’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f271749d-f596-11e6-8ef2-593dd7976d54′]

Hemoptysis (US English) or haemoptysis (International English) is the expectoration (coughing up) of blood or of blood-stained sputum from the bronchi, larynx, trachea, or lungs (e.g. in tuberculosis or other respiratory infections).
It is not the same as hematemesis, which refers to vomiting up blood.

This can be due to bronchitis or pneumonia most commonly, but also to lung neoplasm (in smokers, when hemoptysis is persistent), aspergilloma, tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, coccidioidomycosis, pulmonary embolism, or pneumonic plague.

Rarer causes include hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT or Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome), or Goodpasture’s syndrome and Wegener’s granulomatosis.

In children it is commonly due to a foreign body in the respiratory tract.

It can result from over-anticoagulation from treatment by drugs such as warfarin.

The origin of blood can be known by observing its colour. Bright red, foamy blood comes from the respiratory tract while dark red, coffee-colored blood comes from the gastrointestinal tract.

The primarily caus by such diseases may be as tuberculosis and cancer of the lungs. In Ayurveda it is included in the group of urdhvanga rakta pitta. The patient spits blood while coughing. Sometimes blood is accompanied with mucus..

Diagnostic workup.Diagnostic approach.
Modern Medical Treatment:

Treatment for hemoptysis depends on the cause and the quantity of blood. Infrequent, mild hemoptysis usually does not require specific, immediate treatment, but it should always be thoroughly investigated in case the underlying disorder is life threatening. There is no way to predict whether a patient with mild hemoptysis will experience massive, life-threatening hemoptysis, so it is very important that the underlying cause be determined and treated.

click to see the pictures….>..…(01)....(1).…(2)……...(3)...………………………..

Massive, or major, hemoptysis is a medical emergency. Death can result, usually from asphyxiation (impaired gas exchange in the lungs, leading to a lack of oxygen and excess of carbon dioxide in the body). In massive hemoptysis, steps are usually taken to localize the source of the bleeding, control the bleeding, and assure that the patient is able to breathe.

For mild or moderate hemoptysis in patients who have chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, or tuberculosis, treatment usually involves antibiotics. For bronchogenic carcinoma, treatment depends on the stage of the cancer.

In the 20% to 30% of cases that do not have an indentifiable underlying cause, treatment should be fairly conservative and the hemoptysis carefully monitored for at least 2 or 3 years after the initial diagnosis. In 90% of patients who have a normal chest x-ray and bronchoscopy, the hemoptysis usually disappears within 6 months.

For chronic hemoptysis, the treatment is dependent on the symptoms and causes. Sometimes all that is necessary is switching antibiotics. In other instances, more aggressive treatment may be necessary.

Treatment in Ayurveda:

Vasaka is the drug of choice for the treatment of this condition. It is given to the patient in the form of juice in a dose of two teaspoonfuls four times a day. It is bitter in taste and is therefore, given to the patient mixed with honey.

Prawal Pishti, a preparation of coral, is the drug of choice for the treatment of this condition. It is given is a dose of one gm four time a day mixed with honey.

Healing Options in Ayurveda:
Ayurvedic Suppliments:1. Basant Malti Ras, 2. Prawal Pishti,3. Kasamrit Herbal

Diet: Hot and spicy things should be avoided and the patient should be given pomegranate, amlaki, cow’s milk and water. Old rice, soup of patola, moong, masur and meat can be given to the patient.

Lifestyle: The patient should not do any exercise, and take complete rest. He should avoid the sun.

Yoga :
1.The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) 2.Basic Breathing (Pranayama)

Homeopathic Treatment for Haemoptysis

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies., and

Enhanced by Zemanta
Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

The apple is one of nature’s perfect packages. As food to help shed those pounds gained over the recent holiday indulgence, apples provide plenty of fibre, primarily pectin and cellulose. Pectin gives dieters a sense of fullness to make them feel they’ve eaten heartily. It helps reduce blood cholesterol and aids in digestion of fat. Apples also provide plenty of potassium which helps regulate body fluids and neuromuscular activity. The vitamins A, B1, B2 and C as well as phosphorus and calcium are contained in an apple. They regulate blood sugar and give a hefty dose of the mineral boron which is crucial to maintaining strong bones and preventing osteoporosis. Apples are the only locally grown fruit available in Canadian markets during the winter months.

Nutrition information:

Per 139 g serving (one medium)

Energy——82 Cal —–341 Kj

Protein——0.26 g

Fat——0 g

Carbohydrate——21.1 g

Dietary Fibre——5.2 g

Sodium——0 mg

Potassium——159 mg

There are many benefits from eating apples. “A apple a day keeps the doctor away” has an increasing number of supportive scientific evidences for its claim. It has been found that eating apples helps to reduce blood cholesterol, improve bowel function, reduce risk of stroke, prostate cancer, Type II diabetes and asthma. This is due to the fibre and phytonutrients present in the apples.

Recent researches have shown that eating apples are linked to reducing cancer risk in several studies. Some examples are :

  • Quercetin, a flavonoid abundant in apples has been found to help prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells
  • Phytonutrients in the skin of apples inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells by 43%
  • Food containing flavonoids like those in apples may reduce risk of lung cancer as much as 50%
  • Dietary phenolics such as flavonoids (found in apples) have inhibitory effects on the developments of carcinogenic substances in the bladder, thereby reducing risk of bladder cancer, especially in smokers.

Moreover, eating apples could improve lung function and reduce the risk of respiratory disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) due to antioxidants present in apple that could counter the oxygen’s damaging effects on the body as well as the flavonoids such as catechins(present in apple and tea).

In addition,studies have shown that a diet rich in apples could help to lower the blood cholesterol level. Pectin, a soluble fibre found in the apples has been thought to play a significant role in this. In fact, apple juice has been found to inhibit the oxidation of a harm from cholestrol)LDL, or lower density lipoprotein).

Besides therapeutic benefits, apples are also found to play a role in inhibiting ageing -related problems,preventing wrinkles and promoting hair growth (due to compound named procyanidin B-2).

For the weight- watchers, this is good news as apples are delicious source of dietary fibre and helps to aid digestion and promote weight los.

An apple a day” now has new meaning for those who want to maintain mental dexterity as they age. New research from the University of Massachusetts Lowell suggests that consuming apple juice may protect against cell damage that contributes to age-related memory loss, even in test animals that were not prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Moreover, apples are rich sources of phytochemicals (compounds found in plants, fruits, and vegetables that can act as anti-oxidants). Apples and apple juices are the best source for mineral boron which helps to promote bone growth. In addition, the high fibre content helps in slow release of sugars into the body, thereby helps to maintain a steady blood sugar level.

Smokers Take Note: An Apple A Day May Reduce Risk of Lung Ailment .

Home Remedy to Reduce Dandruff from Apple


Apple compounds reduce risk of pancreatic cancer

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
News on Health & Science

Lung cancer runs in the family

[amazon_link asins=’B01IZWGP4O,B01IZCJ4RE,B01IZAHHYI’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’79cadf49-265a-11e7-b56a-cb0f57060154′]

LONDON: While smoking is far and away the biggest risk factor for lung cancer, having a close relative who has been diagnosed with the disease nearly doubles your risk of developing the deadly disease…..CLICK & SEE

A new study in Chest found that people with a first-degree relative   that means mother, father or sibling’s  ”who had lung cancer had a 95% higher risk of developing the disease.

“Our long-term follow-up of a largescale, population-based cohort identified a significant increase in the risk of lung cancer associated with a family history of lung cancer in a first-degree relative in a Japanese population,”the study authors wrote.

Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology and oncology at the Ochsner Clinic Health System said this study confirms what’s already known about family history and the risk of lung cancer, and that “it’s an important thing for physicians to realise”.

“As a clinician, when I have someone with lung cancer, I ask the family members, ‘Who smokes cigarettes?’ Then I explain that they have a two- to three-fold higher risk of lung cancer because of their family history, and this is just another reason to quit smoking because they have a genetic susceptibility to the carcinogens in tobacco,”explained Brooks.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 180,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States, and nearly 170,000 Americans die from the disease annually.

It’s the second leading cause of death for men and the third leading cause of death for women, according to the CDC. Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of the disease, according to the National Institutes of Health, though not everyone who gets lung cancer is a smoker or former smoker.

The study followed more than 102,000 middle-aged and older Japanese adults for as long as 13 years; there were more women (53,421) than men (48,834).

During the study period, 791 cases of lung cancer were diagnosed. The researchers found that having a first-degree relative with lung cancer nearly doubled the odds of developing lung cancer.

The association was even stronger for women. Women who had a first-degree relative with lung cancer almost had triple the risk of lung cancer, while men with a first-degree relative with lung cancer had about a 70% higher risk.

Additionally, people who had never smoked had a higher risk of developing lung cancer themselves if they had a first-degree relative with the disease than did smokers with close family members with lung cancer. Family history was also more strongly associated with a particular type of lung cancer — squamous cell carcinoma..

Brooks and Ann G. Schwartz, who wrote an accompanying editorial in the same issue of the journal, both said it wasn’t clear why family history would confer a greater risk for women than for men.

Schwartz said one possibility is that women are more familiar with their family histories and may just be reporting family history more accurately.

Brooks also pointed out that this finding might only apply to Japanese women and not other populations.

(As published in The Times Of India)