Brain cells give insight into Down's syndrome

Down's syndrome is the most frequent single cause of birth defects.

Brain cells have been grown from skin cells of adults with Down's syndrome in research that could shed new light on the condition.

US scientists found a reduction in connections among the brain cells and possible faults in genes that protect the body from ageing.

The research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences gives an insight into early brain development.

Down's syndrome results from an extra copy of one chromosome.

This generally causes some level of learning disability and a range of distinctive physical features.

A team led by Anita Bhattacharyya, a neuroscientist at the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, grew brain cells from skin cells of two individuals with Down's syndrome.

This involved reprogramming skin cells to transform them into a type of stem cell that could be turned into any cell in the body.

Brain cells were then grown in the lab, providing a way to look at early brain development in Down's syndrome.

One significant finding was a reduction in connections among the neurons, said Dr Bhattacharyya.

"They communicate less, are quieter. This is new, but it fits with what little we know about the Down syndrome brain."

 It seems to be another step forward, giving us insight into the effects of having three copies of chromosome 21”

Brain cells communicate through connections known as synapses. The brain cells in Down's syndrome individuals had only about 60% of the usual number of synapses and synaptic activity.

"This is enough to make a difference," added Dr Bhattacharyya. "Even if they recovered these synapses later on, you have missed this critical window of time during early development."

The researchers looked at genes that were affected in the stem cells and neurons from two individuals with Down's syndrome.


They found that genes on the extra chromosome, chromosome 21, were increased greatly, particularly genes that responded to damage from free radicals, which may play a role in ageing.

This could explain why people with Down's syndrome appear to age quickly, although this remains to be tested, said the University of Wisconsin-Madison team.

Commenting on the study, Carol Boys, chief executive of the UK Down's Syndrome Association, said it was interesting work from an established, well-known team.

"It seems to be another step forward, giving us insight into the effects of having three copies of chromosome 21," she said.

"We are learning more all the time about the mechanisms that cause certain aspects of the condition Down's syndrome and this may ultimately result in the development of therapies for treatment.


N.Haj Khidr

How Garlic Can Save Your Life?

Research on garlic indicates that it may provide an ideal low-cost and safe alternative to drugs and vaccines in reducing three most common causes of death in the world.

In a world mesmerized by the false promises of pharmaceutical industry marketing copy, as well as inundated with aggressively marketed dietary supplements, many of which are manufactured by the same companies making a killing off patented chemicals (Bayer owns One A Day, Pfizer owns Centrum), it is reassuring to know that the kitchen pantry will never fail us…

Inexpensive, time-tested, safe and delicious, many spices are attaining recognition for being, quite literally, ‘life saving,’ which is likely one reason why, in ancient times, many were worth their weight in gold.

This time around, the health benefits of ancient ‘folk remedies’ like garlic are being confirmed by straight-laced men and women in lab coats. Which, when it comes to the conventional medical establishment, blighted as it is by the epistemological disease known as myopia, is considered the only valid way to ascertain the truth. Never mind the countless millions of people who, since the beginning of time, have used a different standard of proof: if it works and it is safe, then it's true.

We all know that garlic is not shy to make its presence known. The smallest culinary dose is enough to suffuse the entire body with its aroma. Garlic also permeates the research literature: the biomedical database known as MEDLINE, provided by the National Library of Medicine, contains 4245 study abstracts on garlic, a number of which we have indexed and organized for your use on our site: Health Benefits of Garlic.

A cursory perusal of the literature there indicates that garlic has a significant role to play in treating well over 150 health conditions, ranging from cancer to diabetes, infection to plaque buildup in the arteries, DNA damage to mercury poisoning.

In fact, a strong argument can be made (pun intended) that expanding the availability of garlic around the world as both a food and a medicine could prevent millions of deaths annually. According to World Health Organization statistics, the populations of poorer countries die manly from causes directly connected to communicable infectious diseases, which incidentally are not caused by a lack of vaccines, rather, primarily through under-nutrition and malnourishment, lack of sanitation and hygiene, as well as the adverse physiological consequences of the depression and stress associated with poverty.  The greater use and availability of garlic might provide a perfect alternative to global vaccine initiatives, the use of which are driven less by compelling scientific research, and more by political and economic forces. Garlic is easier to acquire and distribute, and can often be grown by the affected persons or communities affected, making it essentially free.

Source: science daily


UN urges Australians to eat more bugs

A report today from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is urging more people in the West to consider insects as food.

The report says insects can help combat food shortages.

Skye Blackburn has been selling bugs for human consumption for five years and says insects are healthy, environmentally friendly and easy to grow.

"A lot of people are looking for alternative sources of protein because some people can't digest red meat properly, and bugs are definitely something that's easier to digest and you still get the protein," she said

For people trying bugs for the first time, Skye Blackburn recommends starting with a cricket.

"They're like tofu because they take on the flavor of their surroundings," said Ms Blackburn who described their flavor as "crunchy and nutty."

Source: science daily


Black Olives for Muscles and Skin

Black olives are a treat for not only the stomach but also the body as well. The best type of olive is indeed the black olive. This type of olive can be found in the following areas: California, Mediterranean area, Chile, and South Africa for starters. Why black olives for eating? They are loaded with many different healing components such as antifungal properties that can keep a fungal infection from spreading. This is a gift for the whole body and not just one part of it. Caution is required as eating too much of this can lead to digestive upset.

Two major properties of black whole olives are the antifungal and antibacterial effects that they have on the body. Polyphenols are both antifungal and antibacterial in nature. They give the best of both worlds when it comes to healing the human body.

Black olives not only smooth the skin but also reduce wrinkles and fine lines. So they are very beneficial to the skin. In the muscles, they create a ratio of protein to fat that is very beneficial. They also keep the acidity of the body to a lower level. It is understood why a diet containing these olives is so important.

Eating black olives also does wonders for the immune system. It stimulates the immune system so that it runs more efficiently and fights off disease. Black olives also stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach that is vital for digestion and breaking down food.

These types of olives have many different nutrients to them such as Vitamins E, C, and as well as amino acids and protein. Omega-3, 6 and 9 are also a part of this value packed olive. Magnesium, sodium and fats round out the nutrients of this very nutritious olive. It is also considered to be one of the best sources naturally for Vitamin E. So, this olive covers a lot of ground as a healthy diet.

Health Benefits  Source :


WHO says new coronavirus may be passed person to person

The World Health Organization says it appears likely that the novel coronavirus (NCoV) can be passed between people in close contact.

This comes after the French health ministry confirmed a second man had contracted the virus in a possible case of human-to-human transmission.

Two more people in Saudi Arabia are also reported to have died from the virus, according to health officials.

NCoV is known to cause pneumonia and sometimes kidney failure.

World Health Organization (WHO) officials have expressed concern over the clusters of cases of the new coronavirus strain and the potential for it to spread.

Since 2012, there have been 33 confirmed cases across Europe and the Middle East, with 18 deaths, according to a recent WHO update.

Cases have been detected in Saudi Arabia and Jordan and have spread to Germany, the UK and France.

"Of most concern... is the fact that the different clusters seen in multiple countries increasingly support the hypothesis that when there is close contact this novel coronavirus can transmit from person to person," the World Health Organization said on Sunday.

"This pattern of person-to-person transmission has remained limited to some small clusters and so far, there is no evidence to suggest the virus has the capacity to sustain generalised transmission in communities," the statement adds.

  France's second confirmed case was a 50-year-old man who had shared a hospital room in Valenciennes, northern France, with a 65-year-old who fell ill with the virus after returning from Dubai.

"Positive results [for the virus] have been confirmed for both patients," the French health ministry said, adding that both men were being treated in isolation wards.

Meanwhile, the Saudi deputy minister of health said on Sunday that two more people had died from the coronavirus, bringing the number of fatalities to nine in the most recent outbreak in al-Ahsa governorate in the east of Saudi Arabia, Reuters news agency reports.

The Saudi health ministry said that 15 people had died out of the 24 cases diagnosed since last summer.

WHO officials have not yet confirmed the latest deaths.


In February, a patient died in a hospital in Birmingham, England, after three members of the same family became infected.

It is thought a family member had picked up the virus while travelling to the Middle East and Pakistan.

Novel coronavirus is from the same family of viruses as the one that caused an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) that emerged in Asia in 2003.