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How binge drinking affects male, female brains?

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New York, Sep 11: While binge drinking affects the health of both males and females, the effect of gene expression in an area of the brain linked to addiction was found to be different, finds a new study.

Repeated binge drinking was found to significantly alter molecular pathways in the nucleus accumbens — a region of the brain linked to addiction.

But, in females the genes linked to hormone signalling and immune function are altered, whereas in males genes related to nerve signalling are affected.

The study has significant implications for the treatment of alcohol use disorder as they emphasise the importance of tailoring effective therapies towards male and female patients, said researchers led by Deborah Finn, Professor at Oregon Health and Science University.

Repeated binge drinking can be a risk factor for the development of alcohol dependence.

For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Genetics, the team analysed gene expression in nucleus accumbens.

“We examined the effect of repeated binge drinking on the expression of 384 genes previously identified as important in addiction and mood disorders,” Finn said.

Of a total of 106 genes regulated by binge drinking, only 14 were regulated in both males and females, representing common targets to binge drinking. Interestingly, only 4 of these 14 genes were regulated in the same direction and the top 30 genes regulated by binge drinking in each sex differed markedly.

“We have shown that pharmacologically manipulating a pathway in both sexes that only was affected by binge drinking in males did not decrease binge drinking in females; binge drinking was only decreased in males,” Finn explained.

She noted that a consideration of sex is critical in the development of potential pharmacological therapies for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.

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US President says coronavirus problem to be over soon

Asserting that the situation in the US is under control, Trump said the US also does business with other nations and wants other countries to be “happy healthy and well”.

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New Delhi, Feb 25 : US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the coronavirus epidemic will soon be brought under control as China has been working very hard.

Addressing Indian CEOs here, Trump said the US plans to spend about USD 2.5 billion in fighting the deadly coronavirus.

“China is working very very hard, I have spoken to President Xi they are working very hard. They had a rough patch and right now it seems they are getting it under control, they are getting it more and more under control so I think it is a problem that is going to go away,” Trump said.

Asserting that the situation in the US is under control, Trump said the US also does business with other nations and wants other countries to be “happy healthy and well”.

“Let us see how it works out but I think it is going to work out fine. I hope so. We are working very hard, we are spending a tremendous amount of money also …about USD 2.5 billion on getting everything ready just in case something should happen and also helping other nations who are unequipped to do it,” Trump added.

The high profile CEO roundtable with Trump included captains of the Indian industry such as Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran and Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla.

China reported the outbreak of novel coronavirus on December 31, 2019. On Monday, Chinese officials said the death toll has climbed to 2,592, while the total number of confirmed cases increased to over 77,000.

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Travel abroad? Make your will, be ready for 14-day quarantine

The doctor advised not to travel to countries with Level 4 warnings like Wuhan, China.

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New Delhi, Feb 25 : In view of deaths caused by novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which has taken over 2,600 lives in China, the Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) issued an updated advisory for travelling.

The coronavirus death toll in mainland China has increased to 2,663 with 77,658 confirmed cases, health authorities said on Tuesday.

According to K.K. Aggarwal, President CMAAO, “if you are travelling abroad, keep the possibility of being quarantined for 14 days in any country.”

Travel advisory is divided into four levels: Level 1 on all countries — Exercise normal standard hygiene precautions, Level 2 in all affected countries — Exercise a high degree of caution, Level 3 all countries with secondary cases — Reconsider your need to travel and Level 4 in affected parts of China and Korea — Do not travel.

“Carry at least 20 days of extra essential medicines stock. Always keep the passport, kept in a plastic pouch, in a safe front pocket, with you in case if you want to leave the country,” Aggarwal said.

Aggarwal added that always carry authentic medical prescription with you with generic names of the drugs, and carry dry fruits as well.

He also suggested that always book a refundable air ticket even if they are 10 per cent costlier.

“Get travel insurance and make sure that you have an up-to-date will, an enduring power of attorney,” CMAAO President said.

The doctor advised not to travel to countries with Level 4 warnings like Wuhan, China.

“For Level 3 warnings — like India and Singapore — travel only if it is a must and minimise time spent in airports or leave the area if you feel uneasy,” Aggarwal said.

The deaths outside China were recorded in Iran (12), South Korea (eight), Italy (seven), Japan (five), Hong Kong (two), France (one), Taiwan (one) and the Philippines (one).

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Researchers develop coronavirus vaccine candidate

The next stage is to produce this on a larger scale needed for additional testing, to determine its effectiveness against the virus.

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Sydney, Feb 22 : A team of researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia has created their first vaccine candidate in the laboratory for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

The team will move immediately into further development before formal pre-clinical testing, the university said on Friday.

The proof-of-concept milestone comes in less than a month after the project’s announcement on January 24 as part of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) rapid response programme.

“There is still extensive testing to ensure that the vaccine candidate is safe and creates an effective immune response, but the technology and the dedication of these researchers means the first hurdle has been passed,” said University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor and President Peter Hoj AC.

The work in the lab shows the feasibility of using the university’s “molecular clamp” technology to engineer a vaccine candidate that could be more readily recognised by the immune system, triggering a protective immune response.

The next stage is to produce this on a larger scale needed for additional testing, to determine its effectiveness against the virus.

Researchers said the early research had gone “as expected” and the material created had the properties which allowed the team to proceed with vaccine development.

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