|Animated NewsWeek (34)|
|News Week (34) Post|
Science News This Week:
1) 3-D Printer, 'Bio-Ink' to Create Human Organs:
|3-D Printer, 'Bio-Ink' to Create Human Organs|
When it does, a new interdisciplinary manufacturing venture called the Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMTecH) group at the University of Iowa College of Engineering's Center for Computer Aided Design (CCAD) may well help lead the charge.AMTecH was formed to design, create, and test -- both virtually and physically -- a wide variety of electromechanical and biomedical components, systems and processes. Currently, the group is working on projects ranging from printed circuit boards for automobiles and aircraft to replacement parts for damaged and failing human organs and tissue, says Tim Marler, AMTecH co-director.
"Electromechanical systems are one of two current branches of the AMTecHgroup," he says. "We want to simulate, analyze and test printed circuit boards and assemblies, because they are used in a wide range of products from missiles to power plants to cell phones. "The second branch of the group involves biomanufacturing and is led by my colleague and AMTecH co-director Ibrahim Ozbolat, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering," says Marler. "The long-term goal of this branch is to create functioning human organs some five or 10 years from now. This is not far-fetched."
Using its facilities for engineering living tissue systems, the Biomanufacturing Laboratory at CCAD is working to develop and refine various 3D printing processes required for organ and tissue fabrication, Ozbolat says."One of the most promising research activities is bioprinting a glucose-sensitive pancreatic organ that can be grown in a lab and transplanted anywhere inside the body to regulate the glucose level of blood," says Ozbolat. He adds that the 3D printing, as well as virtual electronic manufacturing, being conducted at AMTecH are done nowhere else in Iowa.
In fact, the multi-arm bio printer being used in the lab is unique. Ozbolat and Howard Chen, a UI doctoral student in industrial engineering, designed it and Chen built it. It turns out that managing multiple arms without having them collide with one another is difficult enough that other printers used in other parts of the world avoid the problem by using simpler designs calling for single-arm printing. As Chen continues to refine his and Ozbolat's design, the UI printer currently gives the UI researchers a distinct advantage.
While bioprinters at other institutions use one arm with multiple heads to print multiple materials one after the other, the UI device with multiple arms can print several materials concurrently. This capability offers a time-saving advantage when attempting to print a human organ because one arm can be used to create blood vessels while the other arm is creating tissue-specific cells in between the blood vessels.
The biomanufacturing group, which consists of researchers from various disciplines including industrial, mechanical, electrical, polymer and biomedical engineers as well as medical researchers, is working on this and other projects, and collaborates with Dr. Nicholas Zavazava, professor of internal medicine, in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. The group also works with researchers from the college's Ignacio V. Ponsetti Biochemistry and Cell Biology Laboratory.
In addition to receiving support from the National Institutes of Health for the artificial pancreas research, AMTecH is looking forward to continued support from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) as well as seed funding from the UI for fostering commercialization of a new software product.
"When you look at the U.S. manufacturing environment and relevant technology, this is a perfect time to launch AMTecH," says Marler, who also serves as associate research scientist at CCAD and senior research scientist at CCAD's Virtual Soldier Research program.AMTecH co-directors Marler and Ozbolat are advised by Herm Reininga, interim director of the National Advanced Driving Simulator and member of the leadership council of the national Next Generation Manufacturing Technology Initiative. The AMTecH group also includes one research staff member, one postdoctoral student, seven graduate students, and four undergraduate students.
2) Nanoparticles Loaded With Bee Venom Kill HIV:
|Nanoparticles Loaded With Bee Venom Kill HIV|
Nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while leaving surrounding cells unharmed, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown. The finding is an important step toward developing a vaginal gel that may prevent the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
"Our hope is that in places where HIV is running rampant, people could use this gel as a preventive measure to stop the initial infection," says Joshua L. Hood, MD, PhD, a research instructor in medicine.The study appears in the current issue of Antiviral Therapy.Bee venom contains a potent toxin called melittin that can poke holes in the protective envelope that surrounds HIV, and other viruses. Large amounts of free melittin can cause a lot of damage. Indeed, in addition to anti-viral therapy, the paper's senior author, Samuel A. Wickline, MD, the J. Russell Hornsby Professor of Biomedical Sciences, has shown melittin-loaded nanoparticles to be effective in killing tumor cells.
The new study shows that melittin loaded onto these nanoparticles does not harm normal cells. That's because Hood added protective bumpers to the nanoparticle surface. When the nanoparticles come into contact with normal cells, which are much larger in size, the particles simply bounce off. HIV, on the other hand, is even smaller than the nanoparticle, so HIV fits between the bumpers and makes contact with the surface of the nanoparticle, where the bee toxin awaits.
"Melittin on the nanoparticles fuses with the viral envelope," Hood says. "The melittin forms little pore-like attack complexes and ruptures the envelope, stripping it off the virus."According to Hood, an advantage of this approach is that the nanoparticle attacks an essential part of the virus' structure. In contrast, most anti-HIV drugs inhibit the virus's ability to replicate. But this anti-replication strategy does nothing to stop initial infection, and some strains of the virus have found ways around these drugs and reproduce anyway.
"We are attacking an inherent physical property of HIV," Hood says. "Theoretically, there isn't any way for the virus to adapt to that. The virus has to have a protective coat, a double-layered membrane that covers the virus."Beyond prevention in the form of a vaginal gel, Hood also sees potential for using nanoparticles with melittin as therapy for existing HIV infections, especially those that are drug-resistant. The nanoparticles could be injected intravenously and, in theory, would be able to clear HIV from the blood stream."The basic particle that we are using in these experiments was developed many years ago as an artificial blood product," Hood says. "It didn't work very well for delivering oxygen, but it circulates safely in the body and gives us a nice platform that we can adapt to fight different kinds of infections."Since melittin attacks double-layered membranes indiscriminately, this concept is not limited to HIV. Many viruses, including hepatitis B and C, rely on the same kind of protective envelope and would be vulnerable to melittin-loaded nanoparticles.
While this particular paper does not address contraception, Hood says the gel easily could be adapted to target sperm as well as HIV. But in some cases people may only want the HIV protection."We also are looking at this for couples where only one of the partners has HIV, and they want to have a baby," Hood says. "These particles by themselves are actually very safe for sperm, for the same reason they are safe for vaginal cells."While this work was done in cells in a laboratory environment, Hood and his colleagues say the nanoparticles are easy to manufacture in large enough quantities to supply them for future clinical trials.
3) Virus and Genes Involved in Causation of Schizophrenia:
|Virus and Genes Involved in Causation of Schizophrenia|
Viruses and genes interact in a way that may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia significantly. This happens already in the developing fetus.
An international team of scientists led by Aarhus University, Denmark, has made this discovery. As the first in the world, they scanned the entire genome of hundreds of sick and healthy people to see if there is an interaction between genes and a very common virus -- cytomegalovirus -- and to see whether the interaction influences the risk of developing schizophreniaAnd it does.
Women that have been infected by the virus -- and around 70 % has -- will have a statistically significant increased risk of giving birth to a child who later develops schizophrenia if the child also has the aforementioned gene variant. This variant is found in 15 percent. The risk is five times higher than usual, the researchers report in Molecular Psychiatry. No cause for alarm People infected with cytomegalovirus most often do not know it, as the infection by the virus, which belongs to the herpes virus family, is usually very mild. But the researchers stress that there is no cause for alarm -- even if both risk factors are present in mother and child, there may be a variety of other factors that prevents disease development in the child.
But as schizophrenia affects 1 per cent of the global population, this new knowledge is very important."In the longer term, the development of an effective vaccine against cytomegalovirus may help to prevent many cases of schizophrenia," says Professor of Medical Genetics at Aarhus University, Anders Børglum."And our discovery emphasizes that mental disorders such as schizophrenia may arise in the context of an interaction between genes and biological environmental factors very early in life."
4) New Fish Species Described from the Streams of Manyas Lake Basin, Turkey:
|New Fish Species Described from the Streams of Manyas Lake Basin, Turkey|
The newly described species Alburnoides manyasensis, belongs the large carp family Cyprinidae that includes freshwater fishes such as he carps, the minnows, and their relatives. This is the largest fish family, and more notably the largest family of vertebrate animals, with the remarkable numbers of over 2,400 species. Cyprinids are highly important food fish because they make the largest part of biomass in most water types except for fast-flowing rivers.
The genus Alburnoides is widely distributed in Turkey in rivers and streams of basins of the Marmara, Black and Aegean seas, being absent only from the Mediterranean Sea basin. It is distinguished by small black spots located on each side of the fish, especially prominent on the anterior of the body. The description was published in the open access journal Zookeys.Alburnoides manyasensisis is described from the Koca Stream drainage of Lake Manyas, Marmara Sea basin in Anatolia and is currently only associated with this specific locality. The name of the species is an adjective that is derived from the name of Lake Manyas to which the new species is possibly endemic.
The new species inhabits clear fast running water with cobble and pebble substrates. It is a comparatively small representative of the family with maximum known body length of only 92 cm while the largest representative of the family, the giant barb (Catlocarpio siamensis) can reach up to the astonishing 3 m in length.
5) Chewing Gum Helps You Concentrate for Longer, Study Suggests:
|Chewing Gum Helps You Concentrate for Longer, Study Suggests|
Chewing gum can help you stay focused for longer on tasks that require continuous monitoring. This is the finding of new research by Kate Morgan and colleagues from Cardiff University due to be published in the British Journal of Psychology today, 8 March.Previous research has shown that chewing gum can improve concentration in visual memory tasks. This study focussed on the potential benefits of chewing gum during an audio memory task.
Kate Morgan, author of the study explained: "It's been well established by previous research that chewing gum can benefit some areas of cognition. In our study we focussed on an audio task that involved short-term memory recall to see if chewing gum would improve concentration; especially in the latter stages of the task."
The study involved 38 participants being split in to two groups. Both groups completed a 30 minute audio task that involved listening to a list of numbers from 1-9 being read out in a random manner. Participants were scored on how accurately and quickly they were able to detect a sequence of odd-even-odd numbers, such as 7-2-1. Participants also completed questionnaires on their mood both before and after the task.
The results showed that participants who chewed gum had quicker reaction times and more accurate results than the participants who didn't chew gum. This was especially the case towards the end of the task. Kate explained: "Interestingly participants who didn't chew gum performed slightly better at the beginning of the task but were overtaken by the end. This suggests that chewing gum helps us focus on tasks that require continuous monitoring over a longer amount of time."
Movie Release of This Week:
|Movie Release News|
1) Oz: The Great and Powerful:
|Oz: The Great and Powerful|
When small-time magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) pulls one flimflam too many, he finds himself hurled into the fantastical Land of Oz where he must somehow transform himself into the great and powerful Wizard—and just maybe into a better man as well.
A gripping tale of love and honor forged between fierce enemies of war, EMPEROR tells the story, inspired by true events, of the bold and secret moves that won the peace in the shadows of post-war Japan. Starring Academy Award-winner Tommy Lee Jones, Matthew Fox, and newcomer Eriko Hatsune, EMPEROR brings to life the American occupation of Japan in the perilous and unpredictable days just after Emperor Hirohito's World War II surrender. As General Douglas MacArthur (Jones) suddenly finds himself the de facto ruler of a foreign nation, he assigns an expert in Japanese culture - General Bonner Fellers (Fox), to covertly investigate the looming question hanging over the country: should the Japanese Emperor, worshiped by his people but accused of war crimes, be punished or saved?
3) Dead Man Down:
|Dead Man Down|
An action thriller that stars Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace as two strangers whose mutual desire for revenge draws them together and triggers an escalating trail of mayhem. The film, which also stars Academy Award Nominee® Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper, marks the American theatrical debut of director Niels Arden Oplev (the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).
4) The Monk:
Abandoned at birth at the gates of a Capuchin monastery in Madrid, Brother Ambrosio (Vincent Cassel), raised by the friars, grows up into a preacher admired far and wide for his fervor. Ambrosio is feared for his righteousness and believes he is immune from temptation - until the arrival of a mysterious apprentice undermines his convictions and leads him down a dangerous path of sin, corruption and murder.
5) Electrick Children:
In the debut feature from director Rebecca Thomas, Electrick Children, Julia Garner (plays Rachel, a rambunctious teenager from a fundamentalist Morman family in Utah. On Rachel's 15th birthday, she discovers a forbidden cassette tape with rock music on it. Having never heard anything like it, Rachel has a miraculous experience. Three months later, Rachel turns up pregnant and claims to have had an immaculate conception from listening to the music. Rachel's parents, (Cynthia Watros) arrange a marriage for her, but she runs off with her brother "Mr. Will," (Liam Aiken) to Las Vegas, to search for the man who sings on the tape, thinking he has something to do with her mysterious pregnancy. There they meet Clyde, (Rory Culkin), a young rocker who challenges everything they've been taught and changes the way they see the world.
Political News This Week:
1) Man held for misleading Hyderabad police on another terror attack:
|Man held for misleading Hyderabad police on another terror attack|
Hyderabad police have arrested a man, who fabricated certain documents to make them believe that there is likelihood of another terrorist attack in the city.
Police have arrested P. Vivek for misleading the police. A case under IT Act was booked against him at the cyber crime police station.According to a statement from Hyderabad police commissioner's office, Vivek approached police March 2, claiming that he has developed a programme which can trace e-mail chats.
Three days later, he showed a paper with e-mail IDs of seven sources and extracts of some e-mail messages. He also showed to a police inspector some print outs, e-mail drafts, photographs and IP addresses."The communication hinted of likelihood of another terrorist attack in Hyderabad in near future. As the matter was of grave nature, the inspector of police, task force, informed about the inputs to his superior officers. The said information was cross-checked and verified by other agencies and found to be concocted and false," said the statement.
Twin bomb blasts in Dilsukhanagar on Feb 21 claimed 17 lives and injured over 100 others. Police are yet to achieve a breakthrough in the case. The terrorists, who were reportedly in touch with their handlers through e-mail, have not left behind any trace, making the police task more difficult.The city is already on high alert with police and commandos of anti-terrorist agency Octopus conducting checks in view of Shivratri Sunday.
2) Mamata smells polls and role in Delhi:
|Mamata smells polls and role in Delhi|
Mamata Banerjee today repeated her prediction of early Lok Sabha polls and hinted at Trinamul being a part of the next government at the Centre, without specifying on which side her party would be.
Addressing members of Trinamul Mahila Congress at a programme to commemorate Women's Day, the chief minister said the railway ministry could be back with Trinamul "if necessary"."If some people think they can block the projects that I brought to Bengal as railway minister, they cannot do so. I have done everything. The Lok Sabha elections are a matter of two-three months. Darkar holey rail daftar abaar Trinamuler kaachhei aashbe (if necessary, the railway ministry will come back to Trinamul)," Mamata said at the Netaji Indoor Stadium programme. She, however, did not mention the Centre.
Trinamul insiders said Mamata was "weighing her options" at a time the results of the February 23 bypolls had shown the "need" for a Congress-Trinamul alliance. "The bypoll results have shown that the Congress and Trinamul need to be together to keep the Left out of power. Mamatadi will take the final call and is keeping her options open," a Trinamul vice-president said.In Nalhati, one of the three constituencies where the bypolls were held, the Forward Bloc won the seat but had the Congress and Trinamul fought together, they would have got 20,000 votes more than the Left party.
Trinamul sources said early Lok Sabha polls, slated for 2014, would suit the party. "Given the situation the Congress is in, only bringing the elections forward could work in its favour. The same thing is true for us as well. There is no doubt that there is a growing disenchantment with our government among people in the urban areas. Early polls will help us counter that," a senior Trinamul leader said.
During today's programme, Mamata accused the Centre of trying to thwart the development programmes initiated by her government.
"There is a conspiracy against the state government. When it sees Bengal is making progress, the Centre deliberately slows down the process of disbursing money. They are behaving like crabs. It is a matter of two-three months and we will find out who will pull whom back," she said.
3) In a first, woman cop leads team to nab criminal:
|In a first, woman cop leads team to nab criminal|
Inspector Arti Sharma is not just another Delhi Police officer. Veteran of many an operation, on Wednesday, she becase the first woman to lead an all-male team to nab a criminal wanted for murder in the national capital.Arti Sharma, 47, not only led the eight policemen to trap Arvind Sharma, but also showed alertness and courage when he tried to evade arrest and opened fire.
In the process, one of her team-mates, head constable Shyam Lal, was injured.Senior police officers have praised Sharma for her daring act.
"She is the first woman inspector to lead a team. This is the first time in the history of Delhi Police that a team led by a woman police officer nabbed a wanted criminal who was involved in many serious crimes," Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch)Ravindra Yadav told IANS.Giving details of Wednesday night's incident, Yadav said Arti Sharma and eight policemen laid a trap at 9.30 pm. at Janakpuri in west Delhi waiting for Arvind Sharma.Yadav said they had information that Arvind Sharma was to collect money from someone.
"He came in a black Santro car. Arti Sharma and her team immediately surrounded his car. However, he opened fire twice to evade arrest. In the firing, head constable Shyam Lal got injured. He received a bullet injury on his hand," Yadav said.Lal is still in Deen Dayal Upadhaya Hospital in west Delhi.Arti Sharma said the team knew the criminal would be armed.
"We knew that he could open fire on us. So we went with full preparation. Two of our men were in bulletproof jackets with guns in their hands," Arti Sharma told IANS.She said the police operation went for a few minutes."Women are not weak. They can do everything if they have confidence in themselves," she said.
She has one piece of advice for women - don't be scared and face life with determination and courage.A 1988 batch officer, Arti Sharma has been posted at the Crime Branch since Sep 2010. She has participated in various operations of the Crime Branch, but got a chance to lead the team for the first time Wednesday.
From Arvind Sharma, who was involved in seven cases of murder, attempt to murder and extortion, police recovered a .32 bore pistol and five cartridges.The government will be erequested to give a gallantry award to Arti Sharma and her team, an officer said.
4) Ajmer shrine official to boycott Pakistan PM's visit:
|Ajmer shrine official to boycott Pakistan PM's visit|
Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf's visit to the world-famous shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer Saturday has run into a controversy with a prominent shrine official deciding to boycott it to protest the beheading of an Indian soldier."I have decided to boycott him when he comes here along with his family to perform prayers. I have not even asked for the pass to be in the dargah premises when the prime minister reaches here," Diwan Sayed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan said in a statement Friday.
The diwan is the first person to welcome the head of other nations on the main Nizam gate as they arrive at the shrine.The diwan said his boycott is in protest of the inhuman acts of beheading of Indian soldiers and also atrocities on minorities in Pakistan, which, he said, is against the teaching of Islam.
"It would have been better if Pakistan prime minister would have come here after bringing back the head of the soldiers and personally apologizing to the people of India and also seeking forgiveness from the family of these soldiers," he said.
"I cannot stop Pakistan prime minister from coming here but I hope he (the prime minister) understands the meaning and the reason of this boycott," he added.On the other hand, the shrine's Anjuman committee has decided to welcome Ashraf Saturday."Ashraf is coming to the shrine of great saint Khawaja Garib Nawaz and he is our guest. We and the administration are prepared to welcome him," said committee secretary Sayed Wajid Angara.
"We do not know the reason of the statement released by the diwan but we are determined to do our job and accord warm welcome to the Pakistan prime minister on his visit here," he added.
5) Boxer Vijender not involved in drug racket: Police:
|Boxer Vijender not involved in drug racket: Police:|
Punjab Police Friday said boxer Vijender Singh was not involved in a drug smuggling racket.
However, police said that they found a car registered in Vijender's wife Archana's name near the alleged drug peddler's flat -- but no contraband was found in it.
Earlier late Thursday evening, Fatehgarh Sahib police had conducted raids at a flat in Zirakpur town in Mohali district and had recovered 26 kg heroin worth Rs.130 crore in the international market.The flat belongs to NRI Anoop Singh Kahlon and is in Swastik Vihar area in Zirakpur, 10 km from state capital Chandigarh.
During the interrogation, Kahlon said pugilists Vijender Singh and Ram Singh were his clients and they used to visit him. However, police have refuted these allegations against the boxers."We recovered Vijender's car from near the NRI's house but it does not indicate his involvement in the drugs racket. We will call Vijender for questioning, if required," said Hardyal Singh Mann, senior superintendent of Fathegarh Sahib police.
Asian Games gold medallist and Olympics bronze medallist Vijender has denied the allegations."It is rubbish. I do not know this drug peddler. I am in Mumbai for work. My friends had dropped me at the airport in my wife's car. I do not know how it reached the Zirakpur flat. Nothing has been recovered from the car," Vijender said.
Kahlon, a Canada-based NRI who works as a truck driver, and Kulwinder Singh alias Rocky, of Nawanshahar Badala village in Mohali district, were arrested from Zirakpur by Fatehgarh Sahib district police late Thursday. Both the accused were presented in a local court Friday and were sent to four days' police remand.
While Vijender is a deputy superintendent of police in Haryana, Ram Singh - a Punjab police officer - is training at NIS in Patiala, ahead of an international championship.Fatehgarh Sahib is 45 km from Chandigarh.
Sports News This Week:
1) All and sundry congratulate Team India for consecutive Test wins over Australia:
|All and sundry congratulate Team India for consecutive Test wins over Australia|
The Indian cricket team was today swamped with congratulatory messages after their crushing victory over Australia in the second cricket Test in Hyderabad on Tuesday with BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla terming it as an "unprecedented" win.From politicians to present-day cricketers, all hailed India's win by an innings and 135 runs over Australia in less than three and half days, which helped the hosts take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series.
"This is an unprecedented victory. The way India has won - with huge margins in Chennai and Hyderabad - will raise their morale. Beating Australia, who are a strong side, is a big achievement for India," Shukla, who is also the chairman of IPL, told reporters outside the Parliament here.Minister of state for human resource development, Shashi Tharoor congratulated the Indian team on Twitter and wrote, "Shabash to the Indian cricket team! Shouldn't BCCI offer Australia a 1st-class match for practice in the long interval before the third Test?"The match lasted just two hours into the fourth day and Australia's frailties against spin stood thoroughly exposed yet again after the eight-wicket loss in the opening Test in Chennai.
Team India's member Ajinkya Rahane also took to Twitter to express his happiness and said it was a great feeling to win by an innings margin."Great win, great feeling.. was part of the team in Australia too..now can say that life is a full circle..well bowled @ashwinravi99. Memorable partnership between (Chesteshwar) Pujara and (Murali) Vijay," he wrote.Former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar was all praise for India's young brigade.
"Pujara, Vijay, Bhuvaneshwar, Ashwin, Jadeja...the young brigade of Indian cricket winning that second Test match for India," he posted."Aus performance so far has shown that cricket skills a necessity too, along with aggression & fitness," he added.Indian team's one-day squad members, Manoj Tiwary and Suresh Raina, also lavished praise on their team-mates for putting up a good show against the Australians.