Stemcell patent battle continues

first_img Citation: Stem-cell patent battle continues (2011, April 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Scientists say ‘No’ to a ban on stem cell patents recommended by the European Court of Justice ( — A group of 13 of the top stem-cell research scientists submitted a letter to the journal Nature this week in response to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) case that could ban all patents involving stem-cell based therapies in Europe. © 2010 U.S. rejects three stem cell patents More information: ‘No’ to ban on stem-cell patents, Nature 472, 418 (28 April 2011) doi:10.1038/472418aAbstractThe advocate-general of the European Court of Justice has recommended the prohibition on ethical grounds of patents involving human embryonic stem cells (Nature 471, 280; 2011). We write to express profound concern over this recommendation, as coordinators of multinational European stem-cell projects, working with both adult and embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are cell lines, not embryos. They are derived using surplus in vitro fertilized eggs donated after fertility treatment and can be maintained indefinitely. As more than 100 established lines are now supplied through national and international cell banks, concern about commercialization of the human embryo is misplaced.The letter plus comments from ethicists and scientists is available on, along with the opportunity to comment or add a signature at Explore further This battle has been ongoing since 1999 when the international organization Greenpeace put forth a challenge on a patent by Oliver Brustle of the University of Bonn. They argued that his patent for neural precursor cells that were derived from available human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) violated the 1973 European Patent Convention by being immoral. The ECJ is required to reach a decision in the upcoming weeks.What currently has scientists on edge is a statement made on March 10 by the courts advocate general Yves Bot where he essentially backed the Greenpeace challenge. The courts have a history of backing some 80 percent of the cases in which he has put forth a recommendation.Bot argues that while hESCs are able to be purified and can be multiplied for researchers indefinitely, they were originally taken from human embryos that were destroyed. Because all patent applications of hESCs are a result of embryo destruction, they violate the European patent directive of 1998 that prohibits the use of embryos for commercial and industrial purposes.Should the courts decide to block patents involving hESCs it would stop all current research of stem cell treatments in Europe. Scientists like professor Pete Coffey of the London Project to Cure Blindness who is currently working on stem cell research to restore sight argues that there is an ethical need to treat disease and that is what this research is providing. The 13 scientists also are upset with the implication that the research they are conducting is immoral, as the research they are performing has the potential to relieve suffering and treat or cure many conditions and diseases.Without these patents, the scientists would lose research funding by the pharmaceutical companies who will not be willing to risk their investment without the protection of a patent. If this ban is passed, scientists may have to move their research to another country such as China, Japan, or U.S. where patents are allowed. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Violation of the exponential decay law discovered in open quantum systems

first_imgDeviation from the exponential law of the decay of quantum Brownian motion. Credit: M. Beau et al. ©2017 American Physical Society © 2017 In the years since then, however, physicists have found that deviations from the exponential law can occur in unstable quantum systems, but only in those that are isolated from the external environment. This is because isolated systems are free from environmental decoherence, which makes it possible for the quantum decay products to reconstruct themselves back into their initial, pre-decayed states. Consequently, the decay is initially slower than that predicted by the exponential law, and in the later stages, the decay often exhibits a power-law behavior. Researchers have previously shown that this nonexponential decay can be harnessed for quantum control.Now in a new study, physicists have theoretically shown that quantum decay processes can deviate from the exponential decay law not only when the system is isolated, but even when it is in contact with the external environment. The results suggest that an unstable quantum system can decay and subsequently return to its original state, even in the presence of environmental decoherence.The physicists, led by Adolfo del Campo at the University of Massachusetts, and including colleagues at the University of Basque Country and Aberystwyth University, have published a paper on the existence of nonexponential quantum decay in open systems in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters. “Previous studies have argued that deviations from the exponential law were absent in realistic ‘open’ quantum systems, due to their contact with the environment (anything in the surroundings),” del Campo told “Our work establishes the existence of nonexponential decay in open quantum systems, and we have demonstrated it in a paradigmatic setting, that of quantum Brownian motion.”As the scientists showed, the quantum decay of a system characterized by quantum Brownian motion results from the contact of the system with thermal baths. They found that this decay is completely governed by deviations from the exponential law, and that it may be possible to observe this decay in the laboratory. The new findings also agree with experimental results from 2006, in which physicists observed that decaying luminescence in an open system violates the exponential decay law. In general, the new study shows that deviations from exponential decay in open quantum systems are present in many common instances of quantum decay. Overall, the results have potential implications for a wide range of areas. For instance, they are expected to lead to a better understanding of quantum decoherence and to help test theories that invoke the collapse of the quantum wave function. They also have applications for the “scrambling” of quantum information, as well as for quantum cosmology.”The dynamics of open quantum systems—which is any quantum system embedded in an environment—is of interest to a wide variety of fields ranging from quantum chemical dynamics to thermodynamics,” del Campo said. “Our results apply to virtually any area dealing with open system dynamics. In foundations of physics, they govern the dynamical emergence of the classical behavior, the one that we perceive, from the underlying microscopic quantum world.”The findings also suggest further research directions. “In as much as we take quantum theory as the fundamental description of Nature, the existence of return events to regenerate an initial state of a system is actually quite amusing and shocking,” del Campo said. “And it is all the more so when such events happen with forgetful environments, with no memory. It does mean that it is possible for a system to return to its state in the far past during the course of its evolution.”In the spirit of sci-fi, if the same assumptions and mathematical description would hold in the macroscopic world, that system could be as complex as you and me. Yet, I do not think we should rely on that one. The exponential law already provides a wonderful approximation to describe the decay of systems as small as a radioactive atom. It is fair to say that the role of the complexity of the system remains to be clarified, making the study of quantum decay in many-particle systems an exciting area for further research.” Explore further (—Ever since the early days of quantum mechanics, the decay dynamics of unstable quantum systems has been thought to follow an exponential decay law, just like the one used to describe radioactive decay and many other natural processes. The exponential law in the quantum domain was originally proposed by George Gamow and later developed by Eugene Wigner and Victor Weisskopf. According to this law, when given a sample of unstable atoms, the number of those that are likely to decay during a brief period of time is proportional to the number of atoms present. More information: M. Beau, J. Kiukas, I. L. Egusquiza, and A. del Campo. “Nonexponential Quantum Decay under Environmental Decoherence.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.130401 Also at arXiv:1706.06943 [quant-ph] Citation: Violation of the exponential decay law discovered in open quantum systems (2017, October 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Superconducting qubits can function as quantum engines Journal information: Physical Review Letterslast_img read more

Maxims magic retold

first_imgNational School of Drama are ready with their next offering titled The Lower Depths, directed by Aniruddha Khutwad. The Lower Depths is perhaps one of Maxim Gorky’s finest creations. It was written between the winter of 1901 and the spring of 1902. Subtitled Scenes from Russian Life, it depicts a group of impoverished Russians living in a shelter near the Volga. Produced by the Moscow Arts Theatre on December 18, 1902, Konstantin Stanislavski directed and starred. It became his first major success, and a hallmark of Russian social realism. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The characters in The Lower Depths are said to have been inspired by the denizens of the so-called Bugrov Homeless Shelter in Nizhny Novgorod, which had been built in 1880–83 by the Old Believer grain merchant and philanthropist Nikolai Alexandrovich Bugrov in memory of his father, A P Bugrov. When the actors of the Moscow Arts Theatre were preparing the play for its first run in 1902, Maxim Gorky supplied them with photographs of the Nizhny Novgorod underclass taken by the famous local photographer, Maxim Dmitriev, to help with the realism of the acting and costumes. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhen it first appeared, The Lower Depths was criticised for its pessimism and ambiguous ethical message. The presentation of the lower classes was viewed as overly dark and unredemptive, and Gorky was clearly more interested in creating memorable characters than in advancing a formal plot. However, in this respect, the play is generally regarded as a masterwork.The theme of harsh truth versus the comforting lie pervades the play from start to finish, as most of the characters choose to deceive themselves from the bleak reality of their condition.last_img read more

Myanmar flood toll tops 100 1 mn affected

first_imgThe death toll from severe flooding across Myanmar has topped 100, state media reported today, with nearly one million people affected as fears intensify for the country’s crucial rice bowl region.Floods from a heavy monsoon season have cut through swathes of South and Southeast Asia in recent weeks, claiming hundreds of lives and displacing millions.Myanmar, one of Asia’s most impoverished countries, has been hit particularly hard by weeks of torrential rain with 12 out of 14 states and regions suffering flooding. International aid has been stepped up in recent days following an official government request for help. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortThe Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper Monday gave updated government figures, of “more than 100” dead and “nearly one million” people affected nationwide by the inundations.More than 1.2 million acres (486,000 hectares) of rice fields are currently under water, with more than 430,000 acres destroyed by the floods, the paper added. Four regions have been designated disaster zones, with the cyclone-battered western state of Rakhine particularly hard hit. Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanIn recent days fears have grown for rising waters in the the more downstream areas of the Irrawaddy basin and its delta, two key agricultural areas close to the commercial hub Yangon.Citing the weather bureau, the Global New Light of Myanmar said river levels had dropped slightly on Sunday but “still remained above their designated danger levels”. Myanmar’s previous junta government was accused of indifference in its sluggish response to Cyclone Nargis in May 2008, a crisis which at least 138,000 people dead or missing.The country is set for a general election in November and the floods have taken on a political dimension, with both the quasi-civilian government and opposition –led by Aung San Suu Kyi – at pains to show they are reacting speedily to the floods.last_img read more

Breaking language barriers

first_imgAs the world remains embroiled in various conflicts over boundaries, identities and ideas, events like IFLC, hope to paint a better picture for the future. Bringing young change makers from all over the country, the 14th International Festival of Language and Culture, marked a successful debut in India on Saturday at the national Capital’s Talkatora stadium where, school students from 17 countries came together to celebrate the linguistic, ethnic and cultural diversity of the world. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Inaugurated by Dr Najma Heptullah, Minister of Minority affairs, this event saw Acharya Balkrishna, Swami Agnivesh among other dignitaries. Foreign delegations from 17 countries arrived, reflecting the theme- “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam- The world is one family to ascertain global peace and cultural harmony.” The eclectic evening, witnessed 43 international and 350 city students from Springdale’s School, The Frank Antony Public School, Ahlcon International School, Mata Gujri School, Tagore International School and Bluebells International School participate.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe most memorable performance was by the choir ‘Colors of the world’ by students of India, Georgia and Kyrgystan.Sukul Khanna, a student of class 11th Springdales School, Pusa road, said, “I am really thankful to my school for giving me this opportunity, they have been really supportive. I will be leaving for Norway on Monday to represent India at an international level.”  Another student from the same school, Aditi who is also a part of the delegation representing India, said, “Being an army kid and with constant transfers, it was really difficult for me to settle long enough and get involved with any extracurricular activities. It was my school that made IFLC possible for me. IFLC has been a wonderful experience.” Of the many international students coming to India for the first time, Kiarah, a 17 year-old girl from USA, expressed her excitement, “I am in love with India, the culture, the diversity and the variety of food here. Tomorrow I’ll visit the Taj Mahal which is a dream come true for me.  The experience with IFLC has been beautiful as I have travelled 14 countries so far.” The mission statement of IFLC, a joint collaboration between Educational Endowment Trust, Ministry of Culture, Government of India and UN Information Centre for India and Bhutan, says, “It is our mission to rise on the wings of art and music and promote peace, love, and cultural encounters throughout the world’. IFLC aims to celebrate linguistic diversity and promote universal peace and is a global effort to facilitate a cordial engagement between the young change makers from different parts of the world.last_img read more

Six hair myths people grew up believing in

first_imgPluck one grey hair, expect two more to grow back in its place. Pregnant women should not colour their hair. These are some of the common myths people believe in, says an expert.If you pluck one grey hair, two will grow back in its place: One grey strand usually means more grey hair. This myth probably started because people plucked one grey hair, then noticed more afterwards. You can’t blame the plucking itself. Instead, it’s time to enjoy the natural colour on your head. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfYou can’t dye your hair when you are pregnant: The main concern with dyeing your hair during pregnancy is the risk associated with inhaling ammonia. You can do some research for ammonia-free products and go for it. There are homemade solutions too. Henna has no added chemicals, and is safe to use.Using the right and luxury products will make your hair thicker: Most people think healthy looking hair is all about specific weather, costly products and styling. Your body needs a lot of energy, healthy diet, nutrients, carbohydrates and protein to grow hair. Products are required to do good cleansing and provide external moisture. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWashing your hair with beer will make it softer: People believe that the malt and yeast in the beer are supposed to react well with the hair proteins, keeping it strong, shiny and bouncy. Unfortunately, the cons outweigh the pros. Alcohol dries out your hair more than the proteins repairing it. Your regular shampoo can work better and safer.Shampoo first, conditioner second: Conditioning before you shampoo your hair is great for adding nourishment to fine hair without weighing it down. Also in this reverse process, conditioner acts like a shield between your hair and shampoo and it helps so that your hair gets clean without being stripped off of all of its natural oils.Cutting your hair frequently makes it grow faster: A healthy scalp is all what you need for growing your hair well. Trimming in every eight to nine weeks can help to get rid of split ends.last_img read more

Factionalism looming large on Bengal BJP ranks

first_imgKolkata: With less than a month left for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections, factionalism seems to have taken a toll on BJP’s prospects in Bengal. Discontent seems to be brewing in the party due to a growing level of dissatisfaction over selection of candidates in various parts.After Cooch Behar, Burdwan East and Mathurapur in South 24-Parganas, resentment in the BJP camp once again came to the fore after a senior BJP leader from Hooghly expressed her dissatisfaction over the selection of Locket Chatterjee as a candidate. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseRajkumari Keshri, a senior leader of BJP in Hooghly, reacted sharply to state BJP president Dilip Ghosh’s statement where he said whoever will raise a protest against the candidature will be shown the door. Retorting to Ghosh’s comment, Keshri said that she had joined BJP after being inspired by stalwarts like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani. She also stated that she would not take any lesson from Ghosh. “I did not come to politics after seeing Dilip Ghosh or Locket Chatterjee. Ghosh can leave the party if he wishes to do so,” she said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIt may be mentioned here that Bengal BJP vice-president Raj Kamal Pathak has already resigned from the post after his party did not field him as a candidate. It was learnt that Pathak wanted to contest either from Sreerampur or Hooghly. A section of BJP supporters and activists on Saturday conducted protest rallies at Mandirbazar under the Mathurapur Parliamentary Constituency, vehemently opposing the candidature of Shyamaprasad Halder, who has been fielded as a candidate. Some of the local leaders also threatened to field an independent candidate if the candidature is not changed. They have also threatened to organise another rally soon, with more than 1,000 activists.last_img read more

Relax your nerves mind with chamomile fennel tea

first_imgNegative emotions like sadness and nervousness can be soothed with a cup of herbal teas. Treat yourself to warm sips of tea made from ingredients like chamomile, fennel, peppermint and rose, suggest experts. Chamomile is a magical ingredient used in herbal teas. It has been used by mankind since ages. It is used as a remedy for sleep problems and relaxing the blood vessels and smoothen the muscle fibres. It also acts as an anti-bacterial and helps in controlling diabetes. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfPeppermint has proven to help in relaxing the muscles. To obtain best results, it should be consumed in the evening before bedtime. It helps people suffering from insomnia. It also contains high level of menthol which helps in relaxing muscles and activates a state of refreshment.People suffering from depression often face sleep deprivation, and that’s where peppermint comes to rescue. It is also helpful to aid digestion.Lemongrass, if consumed regularly in a prescribed quantity, prevents worry and stress from building up. It also contains energy-boosting properties that help in uplifting the mood. Boosting the metabolism is the way forward, this will ensure our blood circulation is normal leading to healthy mind. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIt is one of the key ingredients to ensure this longer term.Fennel is one of the most commonly used herb in India which is eaten post dinner or lunch as raw brewed fennel and drinking as an herb is like ingesting it directly. To cure colic problem a stress which leads to depression, fennel is the best option.Rose tea is also known for fighting depression. It has numerous benefits as it has vitamin C and antioxidants which give a boosting effect to your body.last_img read more

CSI to achieve new dimension in cardiology

first_imgOn account of World Heart Day, Cardiological Society of India (CSI) on September 30, at lTC Sonar, Kolkata announced that it will now enter in a new dimension and become more involved in heart-related health-issues, both in preventive and curative fronts in the national domain.Being an academic body, CSI has been organising top-level conferences and publishing a journal (Indian Heart Journal) in both print and electronic versions. And now it has decided to diversify in other directions in the best interest of the nation and its population. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSome of the new intiatives of the society are role of advocacy to the government in cardiac-health related issues as and when situation demands; trying to support creation of a nation-wide heart-attack management network in collaboration with other organizations and the government. Also, it will now be promoting ‘public awareness’ about cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention through preaching of simple yet catchy doctrines captioned ‘ten commandments’, which have been translated in ten Indian regional languages. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveCSI has done and published a study titled ‘CRRIS study’ amongst school children and their mothers to improve their perception of CVD and behaviour related to lifestyle and cardiovascular risk factors. Enthused by the positive results of the study, the project has been extended to nearly two lakh school children in West Bengal and through them to nearly eight lakh adults. The society desires to extend this to other parts of the country and has embarked on research in a big way and has started a registry on ‘acute coronary syndrome’ (heart attack) and ‘acute heart failure’. By collecting data through such registries, CSI wishes to indigenise the guidelines for management of CV diseases. And, it has already published its own textbook in recent times. The Cardiological Society of India – an internationally acclaimed body with protocolised interactions with other leading cardiac societies of the world was founded in 1949 by late Dr B C Roy along with other luminaries at Kolkata – where the society also has its headquarters. Today, it has 26 branches in various parts of India including one overseas branch in UAE.last_img read more

BJP leader Rakesh Singh in net

first_imgKolkata: BJP leader Rakesh Singh, who is an accused in various criminal cases, including an attack on the police officers, was arrested by the Kolkata police after he landed at the city airport from Delhi on Monday night.The BJP leader was one of the accused in the vandalism incident at Vidyasagar College. The statue of polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was allegedly destroyed by BJP workers after a roadshow of BJP President Amit Shah in the city. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe city police had been keeping a tab on him. The investigating officers had a specific information that Singh might come down to Kolkata. A team of city police reached the Calcutta airport before to his arrival. The accused had boarded a flight from Delhi in the night possibly to avoid arrest. A scuffle broke out at the airport when police officers tried to get him into the police jeep. The accused tried to escape but the police officers overpowered him and made him sit in the vehicle. The police suspect that Singh was involved in the attack and vandalism incident at the Vidyasagar College. It may also be mentioned Singh used to be a Congress leader of the port area who shifted his political allegiance to the BJP before the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. He has been accused of assaulting police officers and locking them up in a room.last_img read more