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Scientists develop 3D lungs in lab using stem cells

A team of researchers from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) created a three-dimensional lung, called as organoids, to study diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
•    The organoids resemble sections of human lungs instead of just cells.
•    The study was published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.
•    The researchers used stem cells taken from actual adult human lungs to coat tiny sticky hydrogel beads.
•    The beads eventually grew and self-assembled to envelope the hydrogel beads, which were all placed inside linked wells.
•    The resulting structure produced evenly distributed three-dimensional patterns consistent with actual air sacs like those in human lungs.
•    Inside each well, the lung cells grew around the beads, which linked them and formed an evenly distributed three-dimensional pattern.
•    To show that these tiny organoids mimicked the structure of actual lungs, the researchers compared the lab-grown tissues with real sections of human lung.

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Superbugs kill Babies, Antibiotic Resistance Rises

Infected with ‘superbugs’ in birth facilities within 72 hours of being born, thousands of Indian babies are dying due to an ‘alarming degree’ of drug resistance, a major study has found. 
•    The researchers found that nearly 26 per cent of babies with sepsis died, as multi drug resistance made the ailment untreatable.
•    The lead author of the study, Dr. Vinod Paul, chief of pediatrics at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said this was a manifestation of drug resistant bacteria in the Indian population.
•    Dr. Paul’s team is working on models to prevent hospital-acquired infections soon after birth, and rapid diagnostics.
•    Out of over 88,000 children, 13,530 were ‘enrolled’ in the study – that is, admitted to the ICU.
•    Multi drug resistance was the highest with Acinetobacter in 181 cases, a staggering 82 per cent. 
•    Resistance to Klebsiella was found in 54 per cent and E. coli in 38 per cent.

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First Phase of ESICS Pilot Project of Telemedicine Services inaugurated

Shri Bandaru Dattatreya , the Minister of State for Labour and Employment inaugurated the first phase of Tele-medicine services of ESIC here today for providing specialist medical services at a distance to insured workers. 
•    With this Employees State Insurance Corporation’s(ESIC) Model Hospital Basaidarapur has been connected with three ESIS dispensaries at Katihar (Bihar), Unnao (UP) and Rudarpur (Uttrachal). 
•    As the three dispansaries came live on line , the Minister interacted with staff and patients at these centres. 
•    In all, three specialized ESIC Hospitals will be connected with eight ESI Dispensaries at remote locations of the country where there are no specialized ESI healthcare services available. 
•    These include hospital at Rajaji Nagar in Bengaluru to be connected to dispensaries at Korba and Khursipar Bhilai,in Chhattisgarh. 
•    The other hospital Joka in Kolkatta to be connected to dispensaries at Shillong, Agartala and Andaman & Nicobar. 
•    Secretary Labour, OSD Labour, Members, ESI Corporation, Director General, ESIC and other dignitaries’ also graced the occasion.


 

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World's first leprosy vaccine developed in India

GP Talwar, the first Director of the National Institute of Immunology, has developed the world’s first leprosy vaccine. 
•    A pilot run of the indigenous vaccine will be conducted in Bihar and Gujarat in a few weeks, and the government has already started screening people for the disease in high-prevalence districts. 
•    According to research data, leprosy affected 1.27 lakh Indians in 2013-14.
•    Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Union Health Minister, added that a vaccination programm will be implemented in high-prevalence districts across the country if the pilot phase is successful. 
•    The government had begun screening in 50 high prevalence districts and the next phase will cover 165 endemic districts including Erode. 
•    About 7.5 crore people have been screened, out of which 5,000 were diagnosed with leprosy.
•    According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, leprosy affected 1.27 lakh Indians from 2013-14. Let’s hope that this novel invention creates awareness about this disease across India.
 

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Union Government caps prices of 24 essential drugs

The Union Government has capped the prices of 24 essential drugs used for treatment of cancer, HIV, bacterial infections, anxiety and cardiac conditions. In this regard, the Drug pricing regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has issued an order. 
•    It also monitors the maximum retail prices of all the drugs and companies are allowed to hike prices of non-scheduled drugs by up to 10% in a year. 
•    Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is nodal government regulatory agency that controls the prices of pharmaceutical drugs in India. 
•    Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the country’s population. 
•    They are listed with reference to the levels of healthcare namely primary, secondary and tertiary. 
•    They are generally based on the country’s disease burden, priority health concerns, affordability concerns etc. 
•    In India National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) formed in 2011 decides the essential medicines. 
 

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Union Ministry of AYUSH released Yog Geet for International Day of Yoga–2016

Union Ministry of AYUSH released a Yog Geet (Song) on 17 June 2016 in connection with the celebration of International Day of Yoga–2016.
•    The song is of 3 minutes and 15 seconds in Hindi language.
•    The song is written and produced by Deeraj Saraswat.
•    Gandhar TD Jadhav and Gatha Jadhav were given their voice.
•    The Music of the song is composed by Sumanto Ray.
•    As part of celebration of 2nd International Day of Yoga a National level competition for selection of a Yog Geet was organised by the Ministry of AYUSH.
•    About one thousand entries were received for Yog Geet out of which the Committee OF Yoga Experts constituted for the celebration of International Day of Yoga–2016 under the chairmanship of Dr HR Nagendra selected released one.

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WHO has announced that Thailand has become the first Asian country to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that Thailand has become the first Asian country to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission.
On 8 June 2016 World Health Organization (WHO) recognized Thailand, Armenia, Belarus and Moldova for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Syphilis.
•    The announcement was made in New York on the eve of the United Nations General-Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS. 
•    With this remarkable accomplishment, Thailand also became Asia and the Pacific region’s first country to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of both infections.
•    These countries have worked to ensure early access to prenatal care, HIV and syphilis testing for pregnant women and their partners.
•    They also   provided treatment to women who test positive, as well as their babies.
•    The provision of reproductive health information, the engagement of communities and outreach to marginalized populations, in a manner consistent with basic human rights and gender equality, has helped to facilitate such access.
•    In 2014, WHO and partners developed global processes and criteria to validate the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of both infections through a rigorous review of country progress.
•    As treatment for prevention of mother-to-child-transmission is not 100% effective, elimination of transmission is defined as a reduction of transmission to such a low level that it no longer constitutes a public health problem.
•    On 30 June 2015, Cuba became the first country to be validated for having successfully eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
•    In 2007, WHO launched the Global elimination of congenital syphilis: rationale and strategy for action. The strategy aims to increase global access to syphilis testing and treatment for pregnant women.

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Govt. Expands Ndradhanush: Four New Vaccines Added

The health ministry will soon revamp its flagship immunization programme 'Mission Indradhanush' to include four new vaccines. 
•    Under Mission Indradhanush, the ministry identified 201 high-focus districts which account for nearly 50% of all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children in the country. 
•    Of these, 82 districts are in just the four states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and account for nearly 25% of all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children of the country.
•    In one year's time, 1.62 crore children have been additionally brought under the ambit of immunization. 
•    The government is targeting to immunize 90% of infants by 2020 under its ambitious nationwide immunization drive. 
•    Though the government said that it is confident of meeting the target, health experts say it would also require increased public spending on health. 
•    The health ministry is also in talks with various international health agencies to attract funding to ramp up the programme.

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India lauded for Medicines with the Red Line campaign on antibiotics

The term Medicines with the Red campaign was appreciated by the Global Review on Antimicrobial Resistance.
•    The review was commissioned by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014 and chaired by economist Jim O’Neil.
•    As per the review, India led the way so far with its idea of a ‘Red Line Campaign’ for antibiotics packaging.
•    It has several key messages - learn how to identify prescription drugs; curb self medication; and become more aware of the dangers of misusing antibiotics.
•    The campaign was named so as it was mandated that all prescription only drugs should be marked with a vertical red line on the pack.
•    The packs with red lines should be consumed only on doctor’s advice and the patients need to complete full course as prescribed by the doctor.
•    The campaign was launched by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in February 2016.
•    The launch of the campaign became inevitable due to growing misuse of antibiotics across the country.

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Researchers create mirror image of DNA-copying protein

Scientists at Tsinghua University in Beijing have created a mirror-image version of a protein responsible for two life-critical functions:, copying DNA and transcribing it into RNA
•    Crucial step in someday making reverse-versions of molecules that could be more resistant to viral attacks.
•    Have to build their own reverse version of the DNA polymerase that coordinates copying, which drastically slowed down the process. 
•    Scientists have been making mirror images of DNA for years, so the Tsinghua researchers were able to order many parts of their experiment, but they did have to build their own reverse version of the DNA polymerase that coordinates copying, which drastically slowed down the process. 
•    That will need to speed up to make the process financially rewarding, but biochemical companies are already looking at the lucrative potential for mirror-image molecules, which could more efficiently operate inside the body without being degraded by enzymes that break down typically-oriented molecules.

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