Diabetic Mice Improve With Retrievable Millimetre-thick Cell-laden Hydro-gel Fiber

There has been a recent advancement in the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes as the researchers at the Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo) found out that the diameter of hydrogels carrying cells can establish its longevity after transplantation, making the cell therapy for Type 1Diabetes Mellitus efficient. In short, researchers have come up with a fiber shaped hydrogel transplant that can be successful at treating T1DM.

Type 1 Diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, is becoming an increasingly common disease among young and adults alike. A 2017 report revealed that about 425 million adults in the age group of 20-79 were living with diabetes around the world. The cause of Type 1Diabetes Mellitus is autoimmune destruction of -βcells that are responsible for producing insulin which is an important hormone that facilitates sugar flow in the cells to produce energy.

At the moment, the treatment for T1DM involves timed exogenous insulin administration and continuous blood glucose measurements. This creates an unnecessary burden not only on the patient but also on the health system. The aim of the new cell therapy is to eliminate the need for insulin replacement as it focuses on substituting lost pancreaticβ-cells. Although cell replacement therapy appears to be an interesting option, its clinical success is quite limited. It is often compared to an organ transplant that depends highly on the transplant -acceptance. Foreign body reactions are common factors behind transplant rejection. The idea behind cell therapy is to make use of hydrogels to provide long-term protection for transplanted cells.

This is not the only research that focuses on the replacement of damaged cells to cure this auto-immune disorder, the whole pancreas transplant has already been successful at many clinics. It was noted that even though blood sugar levels were immediately restored following the transplant, the survival rate of the transplanted pancreas was as low as six months. This improved over the years with the advancement of technology but even at present, the transplant doesn’t survive for more than three years.

Interestingly, the study conducted by the researchers at the University of Tokyo revealed that the diameter of these hydrogel fibers can be detrimental in anticipating foreign body reactions. The tests were conducted on diabetic mice. Barium alginate (Ba-Alg) hydrogels with different fiber diameters were implanted into normal mice. This was done to demonstrate that immune reactions seemed quite low at 1.0 mm. In order to further concretize the claim, researchers compared these findings with the foreign body reactions at 0.35 mm. The results revealed that covering hydrogel in 1.0mm-thick fibers resulted in long-term immune-protection for islets of Langerhans and also helped maintain glycemic control in diabetic mice. These fibers also facilitated the easy flow of small molecules of glucose, insulin, and oxygen to pass through the membrane, which is crucial for better functioning of the cells.

The findings definitely give hope, and more clinical trials could be helpful in repairing all possible loopholes.

Raw milk may do more harm than good

There is a popular belief that consuming raw milk or raw milk products is a healthier option, in contrast to consuming pasteurized milk or milk products. There exists a lot of misconceptions about pasteurization, with some suggesting it leads to loss of essential nutrients while others accuse pasteurization as an artificial or ‘unnatural’ processing of milk that risks spoiling the product.

However, scientific studies have found all such allegations to be unfounded. But what is more disconcerting is that scientific evidences suggest consuming raw milk or raw milk products poses definite health threats for us and that pasteurization of milk is critical before it is consumed.

Some critical scientific evidences from across the world suggest:

It is true that the heating process during pasteurization affects some nutrients in raw milk; viz thiamine, vitamin B6 and folic acid within the B-complex, and vitamin C. However, our present diet ensures these nutrients are received from other sources and hence missing them in milk products does not affect us much.

In contrast, raw milk or raw milk products have a higher content probability for harmful germs like Brucella, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. Between 1993 till 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA reported 127 outbreaks of diseases due to raw milk, which includes 1,909 illnesses and 144 hospitalizations.

Scientists at UC Davis have discovered that unrefrigerated milk, often done intentionally to allow it to ferment to produce clabber actually leads to these bacteria developing anti-microbial resistance genes which then makes them immune to antibiotic medicines.

The gastrointestinal tract in humans in modern times are often not able to digest certain components which we could earlier; or resist certain types of bacterial infections. A major factor in this development has been the advances made in medicines and how the human digestive system has evolved with these advances. Thus, the gastrointestinal tracts of infants and young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems such as people with cancer, an organ transplant, are unable to face the challenges of the different types of bacteria present in raw milk. While most healthy people can recover from an illness caused by harmful bacteria in raw milk products, there always exists the risk that some may develop symptoms that are chronic, severe, or even life-threatening.

A big form of risk stems from raw milk products like cheese, with a new-found customer preference for hand-made cheese or what is known as artisan cheese. Often these are part of ‘back to nature’ products, where the milk and cheese are produced in ‘organic farms’ with pasteurization. While handmade cheese from pasteurized milk is not a concern, such products from unpasteurized milk risk contamination (animal feces, dirt), cow diseases (mastitis, bovine tuberculosis), cross-contamination from dairy workers, etc that raises the risk of harmful elements in the raw milk thus produced.

It is therefore always advisable to consume only pasteurized milk and milk products.

AI making its way to improve results and efficiency in Cardiovascular Imaging

Artificial intelligence is showing reassuring results in cardiology, especially in the area of cardiovascular imaging. Ever wondered how it works? 

Machine learning algorithms (a subdivision of AI) are making it possible for cardiologists to find out new opportunities and delve into new discoveries difficult to be noticed using conventional techniques. This offers newer gateways helpful in medical decision-making.

Key features of AI in Cardiovascular Imaging:

  • AI can help improve performance at low cost thereby facilitating decision making, interpretation, and precise image acquisition of anatomical structures as well as diagnosis.
  • The big data obtained using imaging will be helpful in personalizing medical treatments and keeping an electronic record of patient data, health records, and outcome data.
  • It is believed that this will help physicians work more efficiently on core issues while computers will handle the technical part.


Different kinds of imagining possibilities using AI

Echocardiography – This is the most commonly used imaging technique in cardiology, but it is highly user-dependent. It is also important to undergo serious training in order to interpret the results accurately. AI can be a low-cost alternative to provide a standardized analysis of echocardiographic images. It has already shown great success in this area.

Computed Tomography – AI has been greatly appreciated in the field of cardiac CT as it has helped in noise reduction, and image optimization thereby preventing invasive coronary angiography (ICA) in the identification of severe stenosis.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging – This includes anatomical images of various aspects of the heart including flow imaging, contractile function, perfusion imaging, and myocardial characterization. As is the case with Echocardiography, MRI is also highly user-dependent. Reports have shown that implementing computer-aided detection in the clinical setup can increase accuracy and simplify the analysis.

Nuclear Imaging of the heart – This is performed to assess any perfusion defects within the myocardial lining. AI-based models can improve the clinical value of the results obtained. AI-based models have been highly successful at detecting abnormal myocardium in CAD, and their efficiency is at par with manual analysis images received.


Technology is not new to humans. We’re getting more and more comfortable with the idea of relying on machines for safer and more accurate conduct of our day to day lives. In the case of cardiovascular imaging, AI has proved itself promising in various ways. Here are the reasons why the medical industry is ready to adopt computer-aided detection and diagnosis in Cardiology:

  • Detection and diagnosis of disease
  • Interpretation of data
  • Collection and comparison of data for future studies
  • Clinical decision making
  • Accurate image acquisition of images
  • Reducing health care expenditure
  • Reducing the workload for physicians


AI seems to have a lot of pros for the medical industry, but it needs to be made perfect with more testing and re-testing. It will definitely be a great tool for cardiologists as it is capable of recognizing patterns that are otherwise difficult to assess for the human brain.

What are clinical trials?

Scientists follow different methods to test their findings. While it involves observing the subjects in a normal setting, sometimes these can be achieved through questionnaires, medical exams, tests, etc. When scientists come up with a new drug, medication, or therapy, and it is required that a study is performed directly on people who are targeted for the product – it is known as a clinical trial. It is performed to evaluate the efficacy of the treatment at an early stage, and also helps find out if there are any possible dangers or side-effects.

Sometimes, clinical trials are also performed to detect early symptoms of a disease. Every medication approved by the FDA (United States Food and Drug Association) must have performed clinical trials before it can be marketed.

Importance of clinical trials

 Clinal trials help find the best-suited medical procedure or drug to cure a disease. The results of these trials help with feedbacks on the research front in order to improve the intervention.

For any new therapies to be suggested to the patients, it’s important to conduct clinical trials. They form an integral part of medical research because it not only helps find newer ways to cure but also provides ways to reduce the chances of developing the disease.

How are these trials performed?

Clinical trials are well planned and conducted by a group of scientists or researchers. The person-in-charge of these trials is called a principal investigator, and he/she is the one who manages the team of researchers.

The trials are conducted using a protocol that includes details about the objective of the research, a number of subjects required, eligibility criteria, age (if applicable), information required (blood, stool, urine, etc.), and the treatment plan. It might involve a single test or a set of tests at different intervals or all at once. These steps are taken by the medical practitioners in order to avoid any kind of bias that is irrelevant to the protocol.

Here is what happens in a trial:

  • Details about the subjects are gathered by one of the study staff, and information about the trial is given.
  • The subjects can ask questions related to the study.
  • A consent form is then signed by the subjects giving permission to proceed.
  • Screening is done to find out the eligibility, and a first visit, also known as the baseline visit) is scheduled.
  • The subjects are assigned to a treatment, a therapy, or a control group and the family members can followup to report any concerns or issues.
  • More visits are scheduled to evaluate the impact of the intervention.
  • The subjects can visit their physician for usual health concerns regarding ongoing therapies or drug intake even during the period of the study.


How to find a clinical trial?

 Those who wish to participate in a clinical trial can find out more information online by simply running a keyword search. You can also consult your general physician to help you connect to an association or support group in your area.

Can L-Serine supplements restore memories?

The brain is the major energy consumer of our body; for proper functioning of the brain, neurons, and the surrounding cells mostly the astrocytes must cooperate. Insufficient supply of energy due to whichever reason leads to drop in memory.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease or AD is a neurological disorder marked by progressive memory decline and cognitive impairment. Basically, in AD the brain cells are caused to degenerate and die and mostly due to lesser nerve cell connections.

Amino acids essential for brain function

Amino acids such as D-Serine are vital to activate a type of neurotransmitter receptor in the brain called as N-methylate-D-aspartate receptor or NMDA receptor. L-Serine is a precursor for D-Serine; therefore a synthesis of L-Serine is pre-requirement for the making of D-Serine.

Enough glucose is essential for the biosynthesis of L-Serine

Synthesis of L-Serine is further dependent on glycolytic intermediates; therefore availability of glucose is a requirement for the proper functioning of the brain. Shortage in the concentration of glucose in the body may directly hamper the availability of ATP required to produce a proper amount of D and L-Serine.

Job of L-Serine in the brain

L-serine is a vital knot for the biosynthesis of molecules such phospholipids and sphingolipids. It provides carbon to the one-carbon pool that is concerned in folate (vitamin B9) metabolism, contributing to the synthesis of purine. This metabolic pathway is mainly necessary for the nervous system. In the brain, L-serine is the compulsory precursor of D-serine, a physiological ligand of the co-agonist spot of synaptic NMDARs present in the hippocampus, which is needed to maintain synaptic transmission. Therefore, failure in producing enough amount of L-serine would lead to disruption of these pathways.

L-Serine provided as a nutritional supplement can probably restore memories

Nutritional supplementation of L-serine may set off medical treatment, to fight early symptoms of disease metabolic discrepancy such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, or Alzheimer’s disease. As L-serine is obtainable as a nutritional supplement, this amino acid should be thoroughly tested in humans, from end to end restricted clinical trials.

CT Scans Offers the Best Diagnosis for COVID-19 Disease

COVID-19 is a contagious infection caused by the coronavirus family, the most recently revealed disease. This newly discovered virus has been provisionally termed “2019 novel Coronavirus” (2019-nCoV), which is a novel infection outbreak with possibly extensive public health complications, therefore on the edge of spreading throughout the world.

Signs associated with novel Coronavirus:

The indications associated with thisCOVID-19, include high temperature, drowsiness, and dry cough. A number of sufferers might possess pains and aches, sore throat, nasal jamming, runny nose or diarrhea. All of these mentioned symptoms are generally minor and initiate progressively.

For the above-mentioned reasons, vaccines for this virus cannot be rapidly prepared for at least a year to the public. Therefore, the best thing is to check symptomatic patients to avoid or slow the virus spread.

Screening methods:

Presently, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a molecular technique necessitating distinct laboratory machines, is used to diagnose maximum pandemic-prone diseases, including coronavirus. The diagnosis of Coronavirus is taking a new turn as the current nucleic acid testing protocols are turning up a high amount of false negative. For better disease treatment and control, early identification of the virus COVID-19 is crucial.

Computed tomography:

Computed tomography(CT), a routine imaging tool, is fast and comparatively stress-free to perform. CT usage distinct x-ray equipment to inspect irregularities found in other imaging tests and to aid diagnoses the reason of unexplained cough, breathing shortness, chest pain, and fever. The advantages of CT scanning are accuracy; speed, simple, as well as noninvasive.

Compared to RT-PCR, chest CT imaging is considered for better stable, applied, and fast method to diagnose and assess COVID-19, especially in the epidemic area. In numerous studies, the sensitivity of chest CT was found to be greater (98 percent) than that of RT-PCR.

A number of researches trust the usage of chest CT for COVD-19 diagnosis for patients with medical and epidemiologic symptoms well-matched with COVID-19 contagion principally when RT-PCR test is negative. Hence, now the focus of the scientific world should be on testing the suspected patients at the initial stage and quarantine the infected as soon as possible. This action will not only help to reduce the current Covid-19 epidemic greatly but also will generate a system for emerging comparable tools to end upcoming pandemics.

Dopamine and disruption of biological clock system in Obesity

Naturally in humans, the body prepares itself to consume as much as possible and stores them as fat which gets utilized when one is fasting or hasn’t eaten properly. However, it has been found in previous studies that overeating alone can account for the obesity epidemics. Overeating leading to obesity has been found to be associated with an increase in the rate of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, cancers, and other diseases, such as hypertension.

Positive changes in lifestyle, like by reducing the intake of calories and involving in daily exercise, are considered as effective ways for combating obesity. However, still these steps are ineffective when considered for a long-term goal. Fast foods or easily available palatable foods contribute to maladaptive eating which further leads to obesity and other metabolic disorders. Palatable foods contain much more intense flavors than standard foods, which when consumed send signals to the accumbens nucleus, which triggers the release of dopamine.

Moreover, recently published updates have shown that the regulation of circadian activity of enzymes, hormones and the major metabolic transport systems are controlled by the energy homeostasis. Any disturbance in the circadian rhythms causes metabolic disorders resulting in obesity.

A recent study states that the brain’s two areas, one that produces dopamine and the one with the human biological clock system, influence each other. Also, the high-calorie palatable foods disrupt the normal feeding schedules and hence results in overconsumption.

The study shows that the dopamine signaling in the nervous system directs the circadian rhythms and influences eating of high-energy diets at irregular intervals and between meals. Previous researches also support the fact that mice fed with a high-fat diet at irregular timings stored excess calories as fat with a much more faster approach than the same number of calories when consumed only at regular eating intervals. This ultimately results in obesity and other metabolic disorders like diabetes.

This study was conducted by Ali D. Güler, Professor of Biology at the University of Virginia, with his team. They reported that when the mice were fed with a wild diet i.e., low calories, maintained normal eating behavior and proper weight. However, when the mice were fed with a high-calorie diet (fat-rich diet), they started “snacking” throughout the day and became obese.

Moreover, the “knockout” mice with disrupted dopamine signaling –rejected the rewarding pleasure of the calorie-rich fat diet when presented with high-fat diet throughout the day. They showed a normal eating schedule and thus, maintained their proper weight.

In conclusion, it can be said that, what we eat, when we eat and how much we eat are equally significant. Calories when consumed irregularly, i.e., between meals, become adipose tissue which ultimately becomes the reason for illness.

Application of DNA fingerprints to identify mutational signatures

Cancer and its causes

The major cause of cancer is found to be some unwanted changes in the structure of DNA that are otherwise called as mutations, inducing uncontrollable cell division. There are many reasons of cancer, such as lack of fidelity of the DNA replication machinery, disclosures to mutagen, enzymatic DNA alteration, and faulty repair of DNA that results a definite fingerprint on DNA damage. All the cells of human body possess somatic mutations throughout life.

What are mutational signatures?

There are certain mutational patterns within the cancerous gene that are now being revealed including the complication of somatic mutation. Several mutations create specific arrangements of mutation types, designated “Mutational Signatures”. Due to increase in the quantity of sequenced whole-genome and refined analytical methods, it is possible to extract more mutational signatures along with more exact definition of their structures.

These fingerprints help in understanding the development of cancer and their prevention. Extensive analyses have discovered numerous mutational signatures in human cancer kinds. However, previous researches were not sufficient to recognize all probable mutational signatures.

Identification of mutational signatures by DNA fingerprinting

Mutations are of various types, starting from single nucleotide mutations to deletion or insertion of a chain of nucleotides resulting in genetics changes. These changes can act as mutational signatures to be identified by DNA fingerprinting. The consequence is the prevalent database of reference mutational signatures ever. Half of all the mutational signatures have identified reasons, but this source could find more causes and understand cancer development in a better way. Certain mutational signatures, or DNA fingerprints, reveal the cancer response to drugs.

 Future prospective

The foundation of certain signatures is accepted, however, for several it remains hypothetical or indefinite. Explaining the mutational processes will be influenced by two key investigations. At first, mutational signatures accumulation from model systems, exposed to known mutagens or disturbances of the DNA maintenance machinery and assessment with those found in human cancers. Second, the association of the causes of mutational signatures with other biological characteristics of each cancer through varied methods extending from molecular profiling to epidemiology. Jointly, the researches will develop the cancer aetiology understanding with possible suggestions for prevention and management.

Advance bioinformatics tool tests approaches for identification of cancer genes

Being a complex genetic disease, cancer is resulted predominantly due to mutations in somatic cells of the genome. Mutations in the somatic cells may imbalance definite cell cycle process causing the attainment of cellular susceptibilities that convert a healthy cell to a cancerous cell. These changes drive cancer instigation and development. Additionally, they comprise of inactivating growth suppressors, counterattacking cell death, and further irregular phenotypes. As cancer is related with the genome disorder, hence it is practical that treatment approaches must be established on changes in genomic structure.

Numerous changes in somatic cells which are considered as mutation induce as well as promote tumor growth, and most of these genetic changes are being detected by the scientists of cancer genomics.

Traditional experimental approaches

Numeroussomatic mutations are being reported applying low‐throughput approaches, including systematic mutagenesis, cytogenetic techniques, genetic linkage analysis, and targeted gene sequencing. Conversely, all of the outdated methods are tiresome, cumbersome, and expensive.

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) in cancer genomics analysis

Next-generation sequencing detects the driver‐genes, with mutations leading the resistance to drugs. Furthermore, it can be applied to sense hypermutation that is likely to be important biomarker for immune checkpoint inhibitors. This also defines changes in double‐strand break repair pathway of DNA that is an evolving objective for novel treatments, and like wise-diligently linked to genetic genomic changes. Certain biological pathways along with a group of cancer‐associated genes (mutated genes) are being compared to pre-established biological pathways. Methods which are based on network search for cancer genes and biological pathways that characterize the interactions between cellular molecules. Methods learning pathways de novo do not utilize any previous information about the genes (interactions or pathways) and deduce cancer genes and pathways based on the forms of co‐occurrence or mutual individuality between the genetic abnormalities.

Methods for detecting novel cancer genes

Identification of unusual cancerous genes initiates with tumor samples sequenced. The major step is to distinguish genetic mutations using variant callers from sequencing data. The easiest methods to achieve this are by noticing recurring variations and by forecasting the practical influence of every mutation. The approaches can be classified mainly within 3kinds: (a) that utilize established paths, (b) those are founded on current biological system facts, and (c) envisaging cancer pathways de novo founded on the combinatorial forms of incidence in tumors group.


There are numerous issues to be addressed so as to perform efficiently in future cases.  High cost is the major issue of NGS. The NGS‐based gene panel experiments charge several thousand US dollars per sample, and the whole genome sequencing costs more than NGS.

After the analysis in NGS, the further task is to understand the data and choose the therapeutic agent which will mostly be appropriate by linking gene alteration information along with scientific data. Presently the work is in progress in Japan and other developed countries. There are huge, online accessible genomic databases; but, the quantity of the data associated with medical cure outcomes is as yet inadequate.

A novel approach of gene therapy

Exosomes to amend disease processes: Researchers have established a novel gene therapy method by converting human cells into bulk creators of mini-sized nano-particles poised of hereditary material that has the capability to alter disease progressions. The technique uses exosomes; that are bio-friendly transporters of beneficial ingredients that make a way for cells to connect with other cells. This technique depends on patented skill that stimulates contributed adult stem cells to produce millions of exosomes that work as nanocarriers comprising a drug. When these exosomes are inserted into the blood, they are well aware of where to target, even though it is the brain. These exosomes collected from adult human cells, functions as nano-carriers containing a drug.

Application of tissue Nano transfection : In 2017, James Lee, professor emeritus and colleagues at the Ohio State University made impressions with news broadcast of tissue nano transfection (TNT); a regenerative medicine discovery. This technique is based on a nanotechnology-based piece to transport biological load straight into the skin, and changes adult cells into the desired cells. This was also adapted by Zhaogang Yang, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, termed cellular nanoporation.

The reason exosomes are designated to avert diseases: In in-vitro conditions, the artificial DNA force-fed to giver cells is imitated into a different fragment containing messenger RNA that holds the commands required to yield a definite protein. Every exosome foam comprising messenger RNA is converted into a nanoparticle prepared for transference, with no blood-brain barrier to worry about. Lee said, “We don’t want the exosomes to go to the wrong place. They’re programmed not only to kill cancer cells but to know where to go to find the cancer cells. You don’t want to kill the good guys.”

Light of Hope in the therapy: The best part for this is that they exosomes do pass the blood-brain barrier; maximum drugs can’t. An additional benefit that it occurs is zero toxicity; they do not induce an immune response. This drug-delivery method has the potential for the imminent uses in neurological ailments such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Expectantly, someday this can probably be used to treat the deadly diseases.