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Neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Schizophrenia have a deep social-economic impact on the person suffering as well as to the family and friends. With an advanced understanding of neuroscience, neurodegenerative disorders are better understood now. However, social support still plays a vital role in helping people with diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Schizophrenia. People suffering from these diseases need assistance for doing even routine daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, eating and using the bathroom.
Dementia or memory loss is highly prevalent among elderly people mostly above the age of 60 years. According to the Global Voice on Dementia, 50 million people suffered from the disease in 2017 which is expected to increase up to 75 million in 2030 and 131.5 million by 2050. People with dementia usually have difficulty remembering the order in which to do things (e.g. what to wear first; the pant or the underwear); forgetting to do something (e.g. locking the door); forgetting how to do things (e.g. how to use a coffee machine); doing things again and again forgetting what has already been done (e.g. checking the mailbox several times); difficulty in recognizing objects for what they are used for (e.g. that a toothbrush is for brushing teeth); not making connections (e.g. hearing the phone but not answering the call). In such circumstances, carers are required to take care of the patient almost all the time.
Parkinson’s disease is a type of movement disorder and is characterized by shaking, or tremor of the hands, face, and limbs; the vast majority of people with the disorder will suffer from tremors to some degree. People with severe cases of Parkinsonism find it difficult to with everyday activities like dialing a phone number, lifting a spoon to mouth, or button a shirt when hands and arms are shaking uncontrollably. Apart from this many people with the disease also develops psychiatric symptoms such as depression and emotional disturbances. Chewing, swallowing, and speaking may also become difficult for people with Parkinson’s because of the loss of control over the voluntary muscles of mouth and throat decline. This can be extremely dangerous, as it can result in choking.
Schizophrenia is a very serious psychological disorder which influences a person’s feelings thinking ability, actions, and reactions. They man also face issues in recognizing what is real and what is virtual; they might be lethargic or unresponsive in nature and may experience issues in communicating ordinary feelings under different social situations. People may complain of hallucination of seeing, hearing or smelling something which does not even exists. They may also have a complete absence of feelings as well as its expression. People with such disorders usually cut off from society, so the warmness of love, affection, and care from family and friends become very important for their survival.
Social awareness is very important to make society accept and understand that people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsonism, Schizophrenia need to be treated similarly like others. It is very important to promote the social interaction center for the patients to help them understand how they can help themselves. This will also take off some social pressure off the families and friends of sufferers. The dilemma of the disease is that there is no permanent cure and love and support to the patients are the only ways to lessen up their day to day hardships.
Author: Dr. MA Jahangir (Ph.D.) is a freelance science blogger. He has co-authored in more than thirty scientific articles and three chapters in renowned international journals and books.
Checkpoint Inhibitors and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018
Proteins are the building blocks of almost all organic components. Varying combinations of nitrogen-containing amino acids make up the complex structure of the protein. The bones, muscles, arteries, veins, skin, hair, nails and even the heart, brain, liver, kidneys, lungs are made up of tissues built by proteins. Proteins are also found in the form of hemoglobin, enzymes and hormones in the body. Thus, by this fact it is clear that proteins are one of the most important organic matter of our body.
Are the proteins always that good to us?
Many researchers around the globe have reported that there are certain types of proteins that directly or indirectly triggers the cancer phenomenon. Researchers from the University of Geneva have reported in their study that APOBEC proteins which usually protects the body from viral infections may take advantage of a weakness in DNA replication to induce mutation in our genome. In a similar kind of research mutation in the Ras gene leads to tumor development and is prominent in more than 30% of human cancers. Receptor-tyrosine-kinase-like Orphan Receptor 1 or ROR1 which assists in embryogenesis and organ development may trigger relapse and metastasis in patients with breast adenocarcinoma. So, proteins are not always that good!!
What is a Checkpoint protein and how it won the Noble Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018?
Since our high schooling, we knew that the immune system is the defense system that kills foreign cells and protects us from diseases. The immune system has a unique ability to differentiate between normal cells of the body and foreign components. To do this in an effective manner, the immune system uses “checkpoints”. These checkpoints or barriers are proteins that need to be activated or deactivated to trigger an immune response. They act like a brake. Thus, it helps in keeping the immune response in check. These brakes are present in our normal cells and thus protects it from getting attacked by our own immune response. Unfortunately, many cancerous cells do also have these checkpoint proteins which helps them evade an immune attack. Totally bluffed!!
The breakthrough research: James P. Allison, from the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Tasuku Honjo, from Kyoto University in Japan, discovered a new approach to kill cancer cells. They discovered that instead of targeting cancerous cells directly, releasing the checkpoint protein brakes will allow the immune cells to attack cancerous cells. Checkpoint inhibitors are those drugs which work on the mechanism of releasing the brakes on the immune system. This is a novel approach in treating cancer where our own immune system is triggered to target the cancer cells by lifting up the protein checkpoint barriers rather than providing any antibody to kill them. With this approach, a new era of “Immunotherapy” has arisen.
Checkpoint inhibitors have its own limitations and is approved for the treatment of some specific type of cancers only. Checkpoint inhibitors are available in the market for the cancers of lung, kidney, bladder, head and neck, Hodgkin lymphoma, skin cancer melanoma, and others. This treatment is very expensive and has its own list of side effects.
Clinical pharmacy is a branch of pharmacy in which pharmacists provide patient care that optimizes medication therapy and promotes health, and disease prevention.
The role of clinical pharmacist’s importance started from 1960s as their participation in direct patient care increased during the years.
Why Clinical pharmacist are important to improve patient quality of life:
clinical pharmacist can give you better advice on your medicines.
Better Posology knowledge.
Working with patients to solve problems with their medications and improve adherence.
Can play a crucial role in medication-related issues.
Evaluating any medication adverse drug reaction.
Can play a more role in finding drug-drug interaction and food-drug interaction by shear knowledge.
Can help to minimize poly pharmacy (more than one drug prescription).
Can give good patient counselling on patient discharge prescription
Clinical pharmacist having crucial role in phase four trials in finding drugs side effects on taking for longer period of time.
Clinical pharmacist can help you to find suitable medication which give maximum efficiency
Clinical pharmacists can work together with pharmacists with all health care professionals to better patient care.
R T Calvert from Pharmacy Department, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3EX has published an article in Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1999 Mar; 47(3): 231–238. Were he mention in his study that the key research areas were clinical pharmacist are needed for better patient care.
“Clinical pharmacy is concerned with improving the use of medicines, however there is little evidence that it has improved the safe use of medicines, decreased iatrogenic disease or reduced adverse effects associated with medicines despite over 20 years of clinical pharmacy in the UK and USA. It is known that adverse drug events are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality.
A clinical pharmacy service would be expected to reduce the incidence of such events but no one has, as yet, evaluated this hypothesis in detail. Drug induced problem are the major cause of hospital admissions. Participation of clinical pharmacists in discharge planning and advice to patients about their medicines could reduce the incidence of re-admission.
Using a pharmacist to give advice to individual patients would require an increase in the numbers of ward-based pharmacists. It might be more appropriate, recognizing the present difficulties of recruitment, to explore the alternative ways of reaching the desired outcome. Research programs could test such options as involving pharmacists in the training of pharmacy technicians or nurses to advise patients about their medicines and to develop criteria which could identify those patients that would be benefitted from discussing their medication with a pharmacist.
Good communication skills by clinical pharmacists with clinical colleagues is an essential part of their practice. Unfortunately, we do not know which aspects of communication are most effective in influencing the practice of doctors and nurses in secondary care. Practice differs between hospitals. Some hospitals use newsletters extensively others rarely, some police formularies rigorously others use a light touch. Evaluation of the different approaches in order to identify the most appropriate medications would enable hospitals to use the resources of clinical pharmacy more efficiently.”
In approximately of 37 million Americans experience the ill effects of hearing misfortune. One’s listening ability can be impeded because of various variables including maturing, introduction to boisterous noises, or certain therapeutic conditions. The Bose gadget is expected to enable the individuals who to experience the ill affects from gentle to direct hearing disability. It is manufacture by Bose Corporation.
FDA approved the sale of the first hearing aid that users can buy, fit, and use themselves, without any help from experts. It can be used by anyone available over the counter for patient above 18 years. It is world first self fit hearing approved by FDA and will be available soon.
Boss hearing aid device is a self fitted wireless air condition instrument. It captures sound vibration from one or more microphones. The signal is processed, amplified and played in the ear canal through an ear phone. It can control by mobile application for any adjustments.
It is one of the first hearing aid device cleared de nova pathway. A novel device without any prior marketed device in market. Bose Corporation filed the device with FDA on May 2018 and received the approval on 5th October, 2018.
A listening device is a gadget intended to enhance hearing by making sound perceptible to a man with hearing disorder. It could be regulated with the utilization of listening devices or hearing implants. A hearing aid device is an instrument regularly fitted in or behind a wearer’s ear, intended to intensify and regulate sound. A normal listening device gadget incorporates a mouthpiece, an enhancer, a collector/speaker, and is fueled by battery. Portable hearing assistants can be described as monaural and binaural.
Major Factors for hearing loss are:
People working in high-decibel environments such as airports or factories
growing global aging population is leading to a rise in hearing impairment incidences
Maternal infections during pregnancy or delivery
Physical problems of the head, face, ears, or neck
The real drivers of the hearing aid device advertise incorporate expanding of hearing misfortune patients, particularly in the developing economies. In addition, most recent headways in 3D printing has empowered the technique of developing 3D pictures of faulty ear waterways to give the ideal portable amplifier gadget or treatment to the patients. This progression is relied upon to drive the market in the created nations amid the conjecture time frame. The sellers are right now concentrating on the innovative progressions, new item dispatches, and mergers and acquisitions lead the market position.
FDA reviewed data reports that clinical study of 125 patients outcomes are demonstrated with self fitting device are comparable on average to those with professional fitting of the same device.
“Approval of the Bose device should make it easier for patients with mild to moderate hearing issues to obtain the help they need” says Malvina Eydelman, Director of the Division of Ophthalmic, and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
Patients who need an organ transplant are many times more than the people who are willing to donate organs all around the globe. In most of the cases organs for transplant can be bequeathed for patient only after the person had died. In view of this there were several studies working on stem cells to grow artificial organs in the lab and implant in the body.
This field mainly embraces the ability of engineering damaged tissues and organs by stimulating the body’s own repair mechanisms to functionally heal formerly irreparable tissues or organs. From past few decades regenerative medicine or bioartificial organs is a science fiction fantasy. Unlike other new healthcare treatments regenerative medicine requires proficiency from a variety of professionals like chemistry, medicine, computer science and engineering. In reality it would change the fate of the future generation in medicinal approach.
What are Bioartificial organs?
Bioartificial organs are the organs developed by maintaining stem cells or living tissues embedded in natural or synthetic scaffolds in vitro. They are enabled to perform complex biochemical functions, including adaptive control and the replacement of normal living tissues. In most of the cases stem cells come from the transplant recipient, thus the body’s immune system cannot reject the bioartificial organ. The bioartificial organ implanted can be treated as regular living tissue by the body when the blood supply was naturally rerouted.
Is the future of Bioartificial Organs – 3D Printing?
Charles W. Hull invented the solid imaging process known as stereolithography or 3D Printing. Three-dimensional 3D printing involves the procedures in which materials are joined with additives under computer control to create a three-dimensional body. 3D bioprinting utilizes 3D printing to combine cells, growth factors and biomaterials to develop organs that are similar to natural tissue in all characteristics.
Bioprinters use human cells as ink, generally patient’s own cells are used to avoid the immune system rejection. The 3D bio printer lays down a flexible, permeable scaffold made of hydrogel. The scaffold is then covered with skin cells and cartilage cells. These cells grow and fill in the organ shape. The hydrogel in due course biodegrades. The major difficulties aroused for scientists in making 3D-printed organ was to create blood vessels due to its long and thin structures they are hard to be print. Blood vessels contain arteries, veins and capillaries which are needed to pump blood and supply the nutrients to make the developed organ to be natural.
Organovo was one of the first bio-printing companies founded in 2007. Drug testing and research has been carrying out on the first developed liver tissue samples by them. They were hoping to develop a functional liver in the near future. Anthony Atala, the director and their team from Wake Forest University’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine developed an artificial ear by 3D bioprinting in about six months.
So far, an 83-year-old woman in 2012 was implanted with 3D-printed titanium jaw and a person in US was implanted with 3D-printed plastic skull in 2013.Scientists are now working on budding more complex organs using 3D bioprinting. Forthcoming innovations in this area may reduce the number of patients who are waiting for transplantation of organs.
World first real time portable DNA Sequencing, MiniIT launched by Oxford Nanopore Technologies. It is a rapid analysis device compatible with MinION DNA/RNA sequencer.
It was at first presented in 2014 and business propelled occurred in 2015. It is enabled with ‘Rev-D’ chip where the DNA sequencing has been increased 100 fold. It is 7x faster than any other typical CPU based laptop and can generate 30 GB of data which is equivalent to 10X human genome.
Main feature of the device is that it can be used more than one user in any location around the world. For sequencing in this device, there is no influence of outside environmental factors like temperature, light, air, humidity, radiation, etc. Sequencing offers research scope in various fields of microbiology, plant research, population genomics, infectious disease and microbiology, outbreak disease surveillance, forensics, environmental monitoring, food safety & efficiency and many more. It provides a greater insight to for a particular sample disclosing the answers of future.
It can be used as a standalone unit or with any laptop or smartphone in remote locations. It is equipped with Linux OS, MinKNOW, Guppy, EPI2ME software’s with Bluetooth and Wi-fi feature. It has an onboard storage of 512 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM and GPU accelerators. It provides real time information for data analysis due to NVIDIA AGX system. It is powered by main battery which is also available separately. It also consists of in-house proprietary nanopore sequencing technology.
It has been tried by researchers in the field like:
Battling infections that obliterate harvests: Researchers in East Africa have utilized the MinIT and MinION to portray pathogens influencing Cassava plants. Playing out their tests on a cover, under a tree on a smallholding ranch in Tanzania, the group described infections in charge of cassava malady, from test to reply in less than three hours. This gives researchers and agriculturist’s basic data when attempting to battle plant pathogens to enhance trim profitability.
Marine research: This week, an accomplice of 11 college students conveyed the MinIT and MinION on board an exploration vessel (Sikuliaq) in the Bering sea. They performed installed investigation of seawater, looking at networks of marine microorganisms. Getting ongoing information amid research campaigns that could a weeks ago or months will be valuable to ecological researchers looking to comprehend biodiversity in the sea, and how environmental change can influence microorganisms in the ocean.
So when two whitefly-borne infections assault the plant, the outcomes to farmers and purchasers can be pulverizing. Auspicious analysis of the cassava pathogen hadn’t been conceivable. Rather, farmer who speculated their plants were infected needed to devastate their plants. Nonetheless, DNA data can enable agriculturists to recognize which infection the plant has, so they can make the proper move.
It is also compatible with Flongle an adapter. MinIT additionally comes preconfigured with programming to run nanopore sequencing tests, expelling the requirement for arrangement of a PC. The instrument programming MinKNOW, and continuous investigation stage for nanopore information, EPI2ME, can both be kept running on MinIT.
It can easily identify infectious disease anywhere, genetic analysis of cancer and identify disease like Zika, Ebolla and others. It can a next generation sequencing instrument which helped Oxford Nanopore raised $140 million from an international syndicate of investors.
How do you look to the universe? Is it finite? Or it’s spread over an infinite space? If there are infinite universe how they are governed? Does any law of physics govern them? There are many such questions that bothers the mind of many theoretical physicists or even some time the minds of normal persons too. At least we do think of one thing. Are there Aliens!! Hawking’s last bang theory before resting to peace explained the reachability of the universe and its finite existence.
What actually Hawking and Hertog explained?
Let’s first understand the concept of inflation. Cosmic inflation or simply inflation means the exponential expansion of space at the time of big bang. As per this theory, the universe started from singularity. The One!! With the big bang and within 10-36 seconds the universe spread over an infinite space. There is another theory which explains this phenomenon further. It’s called the theory of eternal inflation. This theory hypothesizes that the universe is still expanding and thus produces hypothetically an infinite multi-universe.
Ahh! it means we are going far from the Aliens every second!!
Are you wondering about Multiuniverse!!
A multi-universe is a hypothetical group of multiple universes including the one in which we live. The different universes within the multi-universe are called parallel universes.
Hawking and Hertog explained that even if the humans do not know the exact size of the universe, the possibility of having infinite multiple universes is reduced to a finite set of possible universes with their mathematical explanations. Their explanation provides future scientist a more structured understanding of existing universes. Hawking’s last paper insist on the universe with a boundary and move apart from the no-boundary universe idea. The scientists concluded that some common law of physics must be applicable to all universes. They do not reject the idea of a multiverse, however, concluded that there may be multiple universes but their number is finite.
Many developing nations are still facing the social issues of caste, creed, and color; and so, is the scientific community. The scientific fraternity is also trapped in the caste system of authorship. Most of the time knowing what we are doing but justifying it within ourselves that it is no wrong. One can find many blogs and scientific content which raises concern over these flaky authorship practices which is gaining momentum these days.
The upper caste story or the honorary authorship
Guest, gift or honorary authorship is particularly very common. Under this, a senior colleague or supervisor or ahead are usually provided authorship without having any significant contribution in the study. There are two faces to this authorship fraud. In the first instance, the authorship is given to a senior out of fear, respect or pressure. In contrary to this, sometimes honorary authorship is given to add credibility to paper based on the scientific reputation of the senior in both the cases the actual contributor loose credit for their work.
The Lower cast story or the ghost authorship
It is entirely opposite to guest authorship. A person is not given credit or is omitted as an author for its contribution in a paper. In other scenario, researchers hire freelance writers or ghosts to write a book or to compile a review. In most cases they are not credited for their work and the actual authorship is given to the person who hires them. However, an agreement is their between the named author and the ghostwriter either in the form of money or co-authorship or acknowledgment.
Who said ghost doesn’t exist. They are working!
The unusual case of kids’ authorship
In a recent revelation by the South Korean education ministry, many South Korean professors have been listing their kids as co-authors in their research papers. More than 82 such cases from 29 different universities of South Korea are now under scrutiny. The Korean authorities are linking this to the enormous pressure among South Korean kids for getting into good academic schools. Considering it to be true, then this might have instigated professors to provide authorship to their children which in future will add credit to their academic calibre and thus, act as a natural bypass for university admission.
All the above controversial authorship types can be considered in a single term as “Fake Authorship.” There are always ethical issues associated with it, and the fraudulent should be charged under professional or academic misconduct and fraud.
The recent case of South Korean kids having authorships in scientific content confirms that all the measures to deal with fake authorship bestowed by publishers and other professional bodies have failed drastically. It is the need of the day to implement more strict and severe sanctions to curb fake authorship.
It’s essential for the scientific community to strictly abide by authorship criteria recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) especially when it comes to scientific writing in the medical field. For claiming Authorship, the author must fulfill one of the 4 criteria’s recommended by ICMJE (courtesy by ICMJE):
Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work
Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content
Final approval of the version for publication
Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
The publishers must take stern action against such authors and their practice. With every submission, the authors or the corresponding author on behalf of all the authors must declare the contribution of each one of them in the study. Abandoning the practice of ghost authorship, honorary authorship, and of course, kid’s authorship will only ensure the ethical integrity of scientific publishing fraternity.
Author: Dr. MA Jahangir (Ph.D.) is a freelance science Researcher. He has co-authored in more than thirty scientific articles and four chapters in renowned international journals and books.
13 common reasons for rejection of a research paper
No one likes rejection. It’s a dream of every scholar to get their research work published in the highest impact factor journals. At reputed Journals like Cell, Nature, and Science purely 3 make through the editor’s review and then to peer review out of every 100 submissions received. It can say like 97% is rejection rate. Picking the correct journal and going through the article processing of acceptance and rejection is not an easy task. In the world of publications, where it has chances of consuming months to get an initial decision, additional months for revise, and again re-submission of work, and chances it is very crucial to plan ahead. Rejections of a research paper are common and demotivating too. So, what are the reasons for rejections? This is the question that every scholar will have specially, those who don’t have much publishing experience.
Here, are a few crucial points that lead to research paper rejection. They can be at an editorial side or at the technical end. The editorial team reviews submissions before it is passed to the editor-in-chief of the journal. Rejection of a research paper at this point can be if-
The research paper doesn’t fall within the journal’s aim and scope-Generally, researchers overlook this part and submit their research paper without giving thought. It is advisable to learn about journal scope and start writing
Paper is under review at another journal-No journal entertains a submitted research paper is under consideration at another journal
Writing is incomprehensible-This is due to poor English, grammar, spelling issues, or/and some missing concept in the research paper. Most of the journals ask for simple way possible for writing
Doesn’t follow the writing style/format of the selected Journal-Every journal has its writing style guidelines in terms of formatting, font size, margin and all. While submitting the research paper it is to be followed and otherwise can be reasons for rejection.
Few more technical reasons are there for research article rejections. These are often linked with the way research been done. This is time taking phase and can ask an author to redo the entire research from the scratch
Presented research doesn’t add value to the journal-research findings may not be appealing. Or contributing to any advancement
A long literature review is not usually appreciated as readers skip reading it and create disinterest
A clear hypothesis is not formed-based on past research hypothesis statement is made proving its right or wrong. If the research paper fails to make the clear statement then there are rejections chances
Lack of supporting evidence- this occurs when the sample size is small or not well-defined control and proposed research doesn’t arrive at the results. Here, rejections are inevitable
Wrong research methodology/strategy-when newer methods are available using older techniques and drawing conclusions out of it makes results flawed
Poor Analysis/interpretation- wrong analysis and using an inappropriate technique leads to questionable outcomes
Inconclusive results- if the obtained results are not leading to a firm conclusion or do not answer to the presented hypothesis are likely to be rejected
A small extension of different paper from same author-with no advancement in the field and large research paper is chopped up making many articles leads to negative impressions
Violating research ethics –work declaration on research carried out solely or by a group of authors, taking written consent of them, plagiarized or self-plagiarism all other similar ethics should be addressed. Failing in this will make a suitable ground for rejections
The goal of every journal is to publish useful and original information making it accurate and clear. At first, attempt getting the research paper accepted is rare and also difficult for the first-timers. However, knowledge of rejections reasons can save and improve the research paper quality.