Monday, 1 April 2013

whether vaccine for common cold is possible?

At the moment, influenza, or “flu” is a disease which kills many thousands of people despite the availability of a different vaccine every year. A new flu vaccine has to be manufactured each year to accommodate the changes that are seen in the flu virus. The virus mutates, which means different antibodies are needed to recognise it.

The parts of the flu virus which mutate are surface proteins called haemagglutinins.  These haemagglutinin proteins are composed of a “head” and a “stem” region. The head region is the part of the protein which changes slightly – a process which can be known as “drift”.

A flu vaccine usually contains dead or weakened versions of the flu virus, so that the body produces antibodies which are complementary to the viral haemagglutinins. These antibodies can then fight the flu virus if the vaccinated person becomes infected, inducing the immune system to get rid of the virus in order to avoid illness.

However, a flu vaccine will only work for the specific virus the person is vaccinated against. If the viral proteins drift (mutate) then the antibodies the body has made will not work, because they are no longer complementary to the proteins. This is why a new flu vaccine is manufactured every year. But new scientific advances hope to change this one day.

Scientists are working towards creating a vaccine which will induce antibodies which attack the stem of the haemagglutinin viral surface protein. Unlike the head region, the stem of the haemagglutinin molecule does not mutate, so antibodies which attack the stem will work against any strain of the flu virus. Because the immune system “remembers” molecular regions it has encountered before, these antibodies will be produced each time a person is infected with a flu virus – which all have the same haemagglutinin stem. It is hoped for this reason that the immunity to the flu virus will be long lasting, and stop the need for different flu vaccines each year.

This technology is still in its early stages, and we are unlikely to be seeing a universal flu vaccine being produced very soon. But scientists hope that it will progress well in the next few years, and could be within our reach in a decade’s time.

What attracts us in violent movies

A recent study from researchers at the University of Augsburg, Germany and the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that people are more likely to watch movies with gory scenes of violence if they felt there was meaning in confronting violent aspects of real life.
Anne Bartsch, University of Augsburg, Germany and Louise Mares, University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present their findings at the 63rd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association. Their study examined whether these serious, contemplative, and truth-seeking motivations for exposure to violent portrayals are more than just an intellectual pleasure. They invited a large binational sample from Germany and the US (total of 482 participants), ranging in age from 18-82, and with varying levels of education. Participants viewed film trailers featuring different levels of gore and meaningfulness, and rated their likelihood of watching the full movie. They also indicated their perceptions of the film (how gory, meaningful, thought-provoking, suspenseful, etc.).
Earlier studies have suggested that audiences are not necessarily attracted to violence per se, but seem to be drawn to violent content because they anticipate other benefits, such as thrill and suspense.
What attracts people to violent movies?These findings suggest that such hedonistic pleasures are only part of the story about why we willingly expose ourselves to scenes of bloodshed and aggression. Some types of violent portrayals seem to attract audiences because they promise to satisfy truth-seeking motivations by offering meaningful insights into some aspect of the human condition.
“Perhaps depictions of violence that are perceived as meaningful, moving and thought-provoking can foster empathy with victims, admiration for acts of courage and moral beauty in the face of violence, or self-reflection with regard to violent impulses,” said Bartsch. “Examining the prevalence of such prosocial responses and the conditions under which they occur offers a theoretically intriguing and socially valuable direction for further work.”
“The Role of Perceived Meaningfulness in Audience Attraction to Violent Media Content: Experimental Results From Germany and the US.” To be presented at the 63rd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, June 17-21, 2013, London, England.

Swarm Robots - the future Servents of our home

Researchers in the Sheffield Centre for Robotics, jointly established by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, have been working to program a group of 40 robots, and say the ability to control robot swarms could prove hugely beneficial in a range of contexts, from military to medical.
The researchers have demonstrated that the swarm can carry out simple fetching and carrying tasks, by grouping around an object and working together to push it across a surface.
The robots can also group themselves together into a single cluster after being scattered across a room, and organize themselves by order of priority.
Dr Roderich Gross, head of the Natural Robotics Lab, in the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at the University of Sheffield, says swarming robots could have important roles to play in the future of micromedicine, as ‘nanobots’ are developed for non-invasive treatment of humans. On a larger scale, they could play a part in military, or search and rescue operations, acting together in areas where it would be too dangerous or impractical for humans to go. In industry too, robot swarms could be put to use, improving manufacturing processes and workplace safety.
Swarming robots could be the servants of the futureThe programming that the University of Sheffield team has developed to control the robots is deceptively simple. For example, if the robots are being asked to group together, each robot only needs to be able to work out if there is another robot in front of it. If there is, it turns on the spot; if there isn’t, it moves in a wider circle until it finds one.
Dr Gross said: “We are developing Artificial Intelligence to control robots in a variety of ways. The key is to work out what is the minimum amount of information needed by the robot to accomplish its task. That’s important because it means the robot may not need any memory, and possibly not even a processing unit, so this technology could work for nanoscale robots, for example in medical applications.”
This research is funded by a Marie Curie European Reintegration Grant within the 7th European Community Framework Programme. Additional support has been provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Hot weather causes sprouting in lettuce

The study also included researchers from Arcadia Biosciences and Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, India.
The finding is particularly important to the nearly $2 billion lettuce industries of California and Arizona, which together produce more than 90 percent of the nation’s lettuce. The study results appear online in the journal The Plant Cell.
“Discovery of the genes will enable plant breeders to develop lettuce varieties that can better germinate and grow to maturity under high temperatures,” said the study’s lead author Kent Bradford, a professor of plant sciences and director of the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center.
“And because this mechanism that inhibits hot-weather germination in lettuce seeds appears to be quite common in many plant species, we suspect that other crops also could be modified to improve their germination,” he said. “This could be increasingly important as global temperatures are predicted to rise.”
Most lettuce varieties flower in spring or early summer and then drop their seeds — a trait that is likely linked to their origin in the Mediterranean region, which, like California, characteristically has dry summers. Scientists have observed for years that a built-in dormancy mechanism seems to prevent lettuce seeds from germinating under conditions that would be too hot and dry to sustain growth. While this naturally occurring inhibition works well in the wild, it is an obstacle to commercial lettuce production.
A head for all seasons: Lettuce that sprouts in hot weatherIn the California and Arizona lettuce industries, lettuce seeds are planted somewhere every day of the year — even in September in the Imperial Valley of California and near Yuma, Ariz., where fall temperatures frequently reach 110 degrees.
In order to jump-start seed germination for a winter crop in these hot climates, lettuce growers have turned to cooling the soil with sprinkler irrigation or priming the seeds to germinate by pre-soaking them at cool temperatures and re-drying them before planting — methods that are expensive and not always successful.
In the new study, researchers turned to lettuce genetics to better understand the temperature-related mechanisms governing seed germination. They identified a region of chromosome six in a wild ancestor of commercial lettuce varieties that enables seeds to germinate in warm temperatures. When that chromosome region was crossed into cultivated lettuce varieties, those varieties gained the ability to germinate in warm temperatures.
Further genetic mapping studies zeroed in on a specific gene that governs production of a plant hormone called abscisic acid — known to inhibit seed germination. The newly identified gene “turns on” in most lettuce seeds when the seed is exposed to moisture at warm temperatures, increasing production of abscisic acid. In the wild ancestor that the researchers were studying, however, this gene does not turn on at high temperatures. As a result, abscisic acid is not produced and the seeds can still germinate.
The researchers then demonstrated that they could either “silence” or mutate the germination-inhibiting gene in cultivated lettuce varieties, thus enabling those varieties to germinate and grow even in high temperatures.
Other researchers on the study were: Post-doctoral researcher Heqiang Huo and staff researcher Peetambar Dahal, both of the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences; Keshavulu Kunusoth of Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, India; and Claire McCallum of Arcadia Biosciences, which provided the lettuce lines with variants of the target gene to help confirm the study’s findings.

Vaccines are not the cause for autism

A primary concern is the number of vaccines administered, both on a single day and cumulatively over the first 2 years of life. In a new study scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers concluded that there is no association between receiving “too many vaccines too soon” and autism.
Dr. Frank DeStefano and colleagues from the CDC and Abt Associates, Inc. analyzed data from 256 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 752 children without ASD (born from 1994-1999) from 3 managed care organizations. They looked at each child’s cumulative exposure to antigens, the substances in vaccines that cause the body’s immune system to produce antibodies to fight disease, and the maximum number of antigens each child received in a single day of vaccination.
The researchers determined the total antigen numbers by adding the number of different antigens in all vaccines each child received in one day, as well as all vaccines each child received up to 2 years of age. The authors found that the total antigens from vaccines received by age 2 years, or the maximum number received on a single day, was the same between children with and without ASD. Furthermore, when comparing antigen numbers, no relationship was found when they evaluated the sub-categories of autistic disorder and ASD with regression.
Autism not increased by too many vaccines too soonAlthough the current routine childhood vaccine schedule contains more vaccines than the schedule in the late 1990s, the maximum number of antigens that a child could be exposed to by 2 years of age in 2013 is 315, compared with several thousand in the late 1990s. Because different types of vaccines contain varying amounts of antigens, this research acknowledged that merely counting the number of vaccines received does not adequately account for how different vaccines and vaccine combinations stimulate the immune system. For example, the older whole cell pertussis vaccine causes the production of about 3000 different antibodies, whereas the newer acellular pertussis vaccine causes the production of 6 or fewer different antibodies.
An infant’s immune system is capable of responding to a large amount of immunologic stimuli and, from time of birth, infants are exposed to hundreds of viruses and countless antigens outside of vaccination. According to the authors, “The possibility that immunological stimulation from vaccines during the first 1 or 2 years of life could be related to the development of ASD is not well-supported by what is known about the neurobiology of ASDs.” In 2004, a comprehensive review by the Institute of Medicine concluded that there is not a causal relationship between certain vaccine types and autism, and this study supports that conclusion.

TOP 20 “Most Competitive” Auto Parts Suppliers—Chassis Parts

We here list the top 20 engine & powertrain suppliers (Listed In alphabetical order)for your reference.

1. Bosch (China) investment Ltd.Suzhou Branch
2. ZF Shanghai Steering Co.,Ltd.
3. Shanghai GKN Drive Shaft Co., Ltd.
4. MICHELIN Group (China)
5. ThyssenKrupp Fawer liaoyang Spring Co. Ltd
6. Shandong Gold Phoenix Group Corporation
7. Ningbo Ruitai Auto Parts Manufacturing Ltd.
8. Shaanxi HanDe Axle Co., Ltd.
9. Dicastal Wheel Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
10. Nanjing Standard Fittings Factory
11. Hubei Tri-ring Clutches Co., Ltd.
12. Shanghai Tailifu Auto Parts Co., Ltd.
13. Shanghai Sachs Powertrain Components Systems Co., Ltd.
14. Shanghai Yunliang Steering Knuckle Co., Ltd.
15. Shanghai Baolong Automotive Corporation
16. Wuhu Bethel Automotive Safety Systems Co., Ltd.
17. XuChang YuanDong Drive Shaft Co.,Ltd.
18. Wafangdian-Hongda C.V. Joint Manufacture Co., Ltd.
19. Dongfeng Motor Suspension Spring Co., Ltd.
20. Zhejiang Changtai Machine Co., Ltd.


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