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First human kidney tissue capable of producing urine developed

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Kidney glomeruli
A stunning medical breakthrough has seen human kidney tissue capable of producing urine grown in the lab. This image shows a nephron, the microscopic structural and functional unit of the kidney. (PC- University of Manchester)

London, Feb 10: In a first for medical science, scientists have successfully produced human kidney tissue within a living organism that is able to produce urine, a significant milestone in the development of treatment for kidney disease.

Using stem cells, scientists from the University of Manchester, created mini-kidneys that were implanted into mice. Tests revealed they were able to filter and excrete waste.

In the study, published in the journal Stem Cell Reports, kidney glomeruli — a constituent microscopic parts of the organ — were generated from human embryonic stem cells grown in plastic laboratory culture dishes.

These were combined with a gel like substance, which acted as natural connective tissue — and then injected as a tiny clump under the skin of mice.

After three months, an examination of the tissue revealed that nephrons — the microscopic structural and functional units of the kidney — had formed.

The new structures contained most of the constituent parts present in human nephrons — including proximal tubules, distal tubules, Bowman’s capsule and Loop of Henle.

Tiny human blood vessels — known as capillaries — had developed inside the mice which nourished the new kidney structures.

“We have proved beyond any doubt these structures function as kidney cells by filtering blood and producing urine — though we can’t yet say what percentage of function exists,” said Sue Kimber, Professor at the varsity.

“What is particularly exciting is that the structures are made of human cells which developed an excellent capillary blood supply, becoming linked to the vasculature of the mouse,”

“Though this structure was formed from several hundred glomeruli, and humans have about a million in their kidneys — this is clearly a major advance,” Kimber said.

However, the mini-kidneys lack a large artery, and without that, the organ’s function will only be a fraction of normal.

Thus, researchers are working with surgeons to put in an artery that will bring more blood the new kidney.

The results may help create working human kidneys for transplant in people with kidney disease.

Annually, 2.6 million people worldwide receive dialysis or kidney transplantation for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), while around 2.2 million people with kidney disease die prematurely, unable to access treatment.

Kidney transplants are in short supply and an adult on long-term dialysis has an average life expectancy of barely a decade.

Therapies that prevent the progression of chronic kidney disease to end-stage kidney disease are therefore, urgently needed, the researchers said.

IANS

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Number of Zika virus cases reaches 100 in Jaipur

A total of 1,11,825 houses have been screened. Special precautions are being taken in the Zika-affected areas.

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Zika virus

Jaipur, Oct 18 : The number of people infected with the Zika virus has gone up to 100 in Jaipur, officials said on Thursday.

State Chief Secretary D.B. Gupta held a review meeting and directed the officials to carry out anti-larvae activities in educational institutions and administrative buildings in Jaipur.

Veenu Gupta, Chief Secretary (Medicine and Health) said, “Medical teams in Jaipur are carrying out screening and fogging activities. A total of 1,11,825 houses have been screened. Special precautions are being taken in the Zika-affected areas.”

She said that there was no shortage of medicines at health centres. She also directed district officials to monitor the regular availability of medicines and testing equipment in hospitals.

Gupta directed officials to take measures to prevent breeding of mosquitoes in the Rajasthan Police Academy, Police Line and the RAC Battalion.

She asked the Army officials to check the spread of mosquitoes and larvae in their area.

Gupta instructed officials to pay special attention to tourist places such as Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar and Albert Hall.

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Zika virus cases reach 72 in Jaipur

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Zika Virus

Jaipur, Oct 15 : The number of people infected with the Zika virus rose to 72 in Jaipur, officials from the health department said on Monday.

The number of people carrying the virus was put out after a review meeting chaired by Additional Chief secretary (Health) Veenu Gupta.

The officials informed that 280 teams were surveying the affected areas by visiting each and every house. Around 96,000 houses had been surveyed till date.

Since Sunday, the health department has started issuing challans against owners of houses where larvae of the mosquito that transmits the virus were found.

The virus is transmitted through the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito. It causes fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, and muscle and joint pain. It is particularly harmful to pregnant women, as it can lead to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby’s head is significantly smaller than expected upon birth.

Till Monday evening, 68 such challans were issued and penalties of Rs 44,000 were imposed.

Screening and anti-larvae measures are continuing in the capital city. The samples are also being collected from those suffering from fever, the officials said.

The people in the affected areas are being advised to temporarily suspend water storage, and the same is being supplied via tankers.

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Internet obsession among adolescents leading to mental disorder: Experts

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Spending excessive time over internet and social media is emerging as a leading cause for mental disorder among adolescents and youths, say medical experts.

“It is seen that youths and teenagers are getting obsessed with mobile phones and computers. They spend most of time either playing games and chatting over social media and get away from the real world,” RK Chadda, HOD Psychiatry and Chief National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC).

According to Dr Rachna Bhargava, Associate Professor, Psychiatry and NDDTC AIIMS, excessive time spent over virtual world is forces youths to remain secluded from reality.

“Individuals develop an imaginary world and tend to confine themselves within that. Youths, especially boys aged between 14-25, have been observed to be more prone to mental disorder,” Bhargava added.

Among early symptoms it is found that a child tends to stop interacting or mingling with other children and creates a distance from family members.

“If a device is being forcefully taken away from a child, it is seen that he or she tends to lose temper and even misbehaves,” Dr Anju Dhawan, NDDTC stated.

Dr Pratap Saran, Psychiatry, AIIMS pointed that the primary reason behind youths falling prey to mobile games or social media addiction is because of lack of parental supervision.

“It is often seen that the parents remain engulfed in their own daily routine work and ignores the child. At times even the parents also fails to understand or realise that a child is developing mental disorder and it further escalates the syndrome,” Dr Saran added.

However, most mental disorder cases remain unattended. Dr Bhargava said the reason behind is that neither the patients nor anyone from their families come up and talk about it to medical experts.

“Most people do not even realise that they are facing mental disorder. Many think it is a stigma to attend a psychiatrist and hesitate to report or talk about the issues. There is quite a gap between psychiatrists and mental disorder patients,” she said.

According to the experts, mental disorder owing to social media and mobile games can be avoided if parents start early supervision.

“The addiction cannot be measured in a particular time frame. It can develop after using even for 3-4 hours of more than 6 hours. It is very important that parents should take their child for outdoor activities, that will help them to keep in pace with the real world,” Dr Chadda mentioned.

The recently concluded National Mental Health Survey of India estimates current prevalence of mental disorders in the age group 18-29 at 7.39 per cent and lifetime prevalence at 9.54 per cent.

AIIMS also organised an event to promote awareness of mental health issues affecting the young people on the occasion of World Mental Health Day which is marked on October 10 every year.

(Somrita Ghosh can be contacted at [email protected])

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