Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
World set to lose benefits of antibiotics: Study
Antibiotic consumption in livestock worldwide could rise by 67 percent between 2010 and 2030, and possibly endanger their effectiveness in humans, say Princeton University researchers, including one who is of Indian-origin.
 
India, along with its four other BRICS partners -- Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa -- will experience a growth of 99 percent in antibiotic consumption in livestock over the same period, the researchers noted in the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
 
"The discovery and development of antibiotics was a major public health revolution of the 20th century," said author Ramanan Laxminarayan, senior research scholar in the Princeton Environmental Institute.
 
"Their effectiveness -- and the lives of millions of people around the world -- are now in danger due to the increasing global problem of antibiotic resistance, which is being driven by antibiotic consumption," Laxminarayan, an alumnus of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, pointed out.
 
Numerous studies have suggested links between the use of antimicrobials and antibiotic-resistant bacteria originating from livestock as well as their potential consequences for human health.
 
In the study, the researchers noted that two thirds, or 66 percent, of the projected global increase in antimicrobial consumption is due to the growing number of animals raised for food production.
 
The remaining third is attributable to a shift in farming practices, with a larger proportion of animals projected to be raised in "intensive farming systems", or factory farms.
 
Global demand for animal protein is rising dramatically, and antimicrobials are used routinely in modern animal production for disease prevention and as growth promoters.
 
The study focused on cattle, chickens and pigs, and identified the latter two as the main contributors to antibiotic consumption.
 
The study is based on a limited data set of veterinary-antimicrobials sales from 32 countries.

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New therapy speeds up wound healing
People can soon cut down the time taken to heal their everyday cuts and burns by half with the help of a new therapy developed by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University here.
 
Details of the therapy, which was successfully tested in mice, were published online in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
 
"We envision that our nanoparticle therapy could be used to speed the healing of all sorts of wounds, including everyday cuts and burns, surgical incisions, and chronic skin ulcers, which are a particular problem in the elderly and people with diabetes," said study co-leader David Sharp, professor of physiology & biophysics at Einstein.
 
The researchers discovered that an enzyme called fidgetin-like 2 (FL2) puts the brakes on skin cells as they migrate towards wounds to heal them.
 
They reasoned that the healing cells could reach their destination faster if their levels of FL2 could be reduced.
 
So they developed a drug that inactivates the gene that makes FL2 and then put the drug in tiny gel capsules called nanoparticles and applied the nanoparticles to wounds on mice.
 
The treated wounds healed much faster than untreated wounds.
 
FL2 belongs to the fidgetin family of enzymes, which play varying roles in cellular development and function.
 
To learn more about FL2's role in humans, Sharp suppressed FL2's activity in human cells in tissue culture. When those cells were placed on a standard wound assay (for measuring properties like cell migration and proliferation), they moved unusually fast.
 
"This suggested that if we could find a way to target FL2 in humans, we might have a new way to promote wound healing," Sharp said.

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Possibility of truce with Yadav, Bhushan remote: Ashutosh
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashutosh on Friday said the possibility of a truce with dissident leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan was "remote".
 
"To be honest and frank, the possibility of truce or peace is remote because they (Bhushan and Yadav) are insisting on removal of Kejriwal (as national convener) which is not possible," Ashutosh told a news channel.
 
"If you are part of a party, you have to accept its leader," he added.
 
Less than two months after it stormed to power in Delhi, the AAP on Thursday that Bhushan and Yadav had quit as its national executive. The duo fervently denied it.
 
AAP spokesman Ashish Khetan said the two leaders were dead set against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the party's best known face, who assumed office on February 14.

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