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Oral capsule to deliver insulin that has to be injected

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Washington, Oct 9 (IANS) Scientists in the US have designed an oral drug capsule that can carry insulin and protect it from the harsh environment in the digestive tracts.

The study published in this week’s Nature Medicine has shown that the capsule containing proteins that cannot be taken orally reaches the small intestine before breaking down to release dissolvable tiny needles, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Those needles then attach to the intestinal wall and release drug for fast uptake into the bloodstream, according to the study.

In tests in pigs, researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) showed that this capsule could load a comparable amount of insulin to that of an injection.

Earlier this year, they developed a blueberry-sized capsule containing a small needle made of compressed insulin. Upon reaching the stomach, the needle injects the drug into the stomach lining. In the new study, the researchers developed a capsule that could inject its contents into the wall of the small intestine.

They coated the 30-millimeter-long capsule with a polymer that can survive the acidic environment of the stomach. The capsule breaks open in the small intestine as the pH is higher, and then springs three folded arms containing patches of one-millimeter-long needles that can carry insulin, according to the study.

When the arms unfold open, the force of their release allows the needles to just penetrate the topmost layer of the small intestine tissue. After insertion, the needles dissolve and release the drug.

Also, the arms would break apart after the needle patches are applied to reduce the risk of blockage in the intestine.

“We can deliver insulin, but we see applications for many other therapeutics and possibly vaccines,” said Giovanni Traverso at MIT.

Cities

Delhi govt approves 3 new hospitals

“The new hospitals will cater to over 40 lakh people, who had to travel around 5 km (or 30 minutes) to the closest government facility,” Jain said

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Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi, Nov 18 : The Delhi government’s Expenditure Finance Committee here on Monday approved the plan to build three hospitals, each having 650-bed capacity, to increase the access to secondary and tertiary healthcare. Construction is likely to start in two months.

“Each of the three hospitals is to have around 650 beds as per the initial plan, thereby, adding 1,950 beds in the Delhi hospitals,” Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.

The committee, headed by Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia, approved the projects.

The hospitals will be constructed in Madipur, Hastsal and Jwalapuri areas of Delhi. “These locations have been selected given their high population density and lack of government hospital facility in proximity,” he said.

Madipur is located in West Delhi and is an urban slum area. Hastsal (near Vikaspuri) and Jwalapuri (in Nagloi) are inhabited by urban, rural and semi-urban population.

“The new hospitals will cater to over 40 lakh people, who had to travel around 5 km (or 30 minutes) to the closest government facility,” Jain said

Apart from increasing access to tertiary healthcare and reducing the expenses, the new hospitals would also reduce the burden on the existing facilities, he added.

“Analysis of the five-year data of the Guru Gobind Singh Hospital (which is 5 km from Madipur, Hastsal and Jwalapuri) shows OPD attendance had increased from 5.5 lakh in 2011 to 6.82 lakh in 2016, and has continued to rise. The corresponding increase for indoor admissions is 5,360 patients from 3,490 patients. Construction of new hospitals will lower the burden and increase beds per patient,” the Minister said.

The aim, he said was to provide free and quality healthcare to all, regardless of their income status. To achieve it, increasing access to healthcare was of paramount importance, he said.

“We want to bring healthcare close to people’s home to help them save money on travelling or on private facilities. We want to increase the number of beds so that no patient is denied treatment because of unavailability of services. Strengthening public healthcare provisions is mandatory for any state, which wants to benefit residents,” Jain said.

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Keto diet may help you fight the flu

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Keto diet-

New York,  A ketogenic diet, which includes meat, fish, poultry and non-starchy vegetables, may help combat the flu virus, suggests new research.

This diet regimen activates a subset of T cells in the lungs not previously associated with the immune system’s response to influenza, enhancing mucus production from airway cells that can effectively trap the virus, said the study published in the journal Science Immunology.

“This was a totally unexpected finding,” said co-senior author Akiko Iwasaki, Professor at Yale University in the US.The researchers found that mice fed a ketogenic diet were better able to combat the flu virus than mice fed food high in carbohydrates.

Specifically, the researchers found that the ketogenic diet triggered the release of gamma delta T cells, immune system cells that produce mucus in the cell linings of the lung — while the high-carbohydrate diet did not.

When mice were bred without the gene that codes for gamma delta T cells, the ketogenic diet provided no protection against the influenza virus.

“This study shows that the way the body burns fat to produce ketone bodies from the food we eat can fuel the immune system to fight flu infection,” said co-senior author Visha Deep Dixit, Professor at Yale University.

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Hair care tips to prevent pollution damage

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hair scalp Dandruff

New Delhi, Nov 16 : Air pollution can be harmful to skin, but equally to one’s scalp and hair. Every minute bit of ash, dust, smoke and gaseous pollutants have the potential to damage the hair and scalp, causing irritation and damage. City-inhabitants who live in a highly air-polluted area are clearly at a higher risk of getting exposed to the pollutants.

Sameer Hamdare, Zonal Technical Manager at Streax Professional shares some tips to protect your hair from getting damaged from pollutants:

  1. Cover your hair: Always cover your hair with the help of a scarf or hat to protect your hair from direct contact with air-pollutants and dust. Keep your hair secured or tie it back with a hairband.
  2. Wash your hair daily: Understand that the pollutants sit on the outside of the hair (cuticle) and so can be easily washed off. Also, washing your hair every day can keep your scalp away from itchiness and dandruff. Wash off your hair with mild and sulphate free shampoos if you do need to wash your hair daily, focus shampoo on the scalp. Rinse and be sure to re-hydrate from mid-lengths to ends with conditioner.
  3. Stop using mechanical tools: Hair which is exposed to high pollution is prone to damage, brittleness and split ends. So, using mechanical tools such as straighter, curling tong or hairdryer can increase the damage to the hair. While your hair is already getting affected by environmental pollutants, the least you can contribute to preventing it from damage is to avoid

using mechanical tools.

  1. Deep Condition/regular spa: Deep conditioning or regular spa treatment once a week is advisable as it will help in repairing the damage and rehydrating the hair. Deep conditioning your hair brings back the hydration and moisture which got drenched due to pollution. Regular spa treatments help to maintain the lost moisture and natural scalp oil. It’s important to keep your locks nourished with high conditioning and spas during the time of pollution.
  2. Hair Serum: Start using a hair serum every day as it protects the surface and cuticle of the hair. It is ideal to apply hair serum on wet hair. Utilize 1-2 drops of serum on medium length hair. Rub the serum between your palms well, and afterwards equally apply onto the waist and parts of the bargains. Be careful so as not to apply an excessive amount of serum, it might make your hair oily and greasy.

A little extra effort and care will help you not only protect your hair from pollution but also keep them healthy and lustrous.

(N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe can be contacted at [email protected])

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