Thursday, November 26, 2020

Keeping a dog could lower your life expectancy by approximately aquater!!!!

 Image result for dog kept staring at owner

Unless need arises, you may not have to keep a dog as a pet.

"Our analysis found having a dog is actually protective against dying of any cause," said Mount Sinai endocrinologist Dr. Caroline Kramer, lead author of a new systematic review of nearly 70 years of global research published Tuesday in "Circulation," a journal of the American Heart Association. The review of the health benefits of man's best friend analyzed research involving nearly 4 million people in the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. 

"Dog ownership was associated with a 24% reduction in all cause mortality," said Kramer, an assistant professor in the division of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Toronto. The meta-analysis found an even bigger benefit for people who had already had a heart attack or stroke. "For those people, having a dog was even more beneficial. They had a 31% reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease," Kramer said.

Despite that, owning a dog could improve your chances or recovery from a very seroius illness. 


A separate study of more than 336,000 Swedish men and women, also published Tuesday in "Circulation," likewise found people who owned dogs had better health outcomes after suffering a major cardiovascular event such as heart attack or stroke. Heart attacks and stroke are the leading causes of death globally, according to the World Health Organization.
The benefit was highest for dog owners who lived alone. "The most interesting part of this study was that people who lived alone actually seem to get the greatest benefit in both the heart attack group and the stroke group," said dog owner Dr. Martha Gulati, who is the editor-in-chief of CardioSmart.org, the American College of Cardiology's patient education platform.
"People who lived with a dog actually had less mortality than people living alone who didn't have a dog," said Gulati, who was not involved in either study. Heart attack survivors living alone who owned dogs had a 33% lower risk of death compared to people who did not own a dog. Stroke survivors living alone had a 27% reduced risk of death. "We know that loneliness and social isolation are strong risk factors for premature death and our hypothesis was that the company of a pet can alleviate that," said study author Tove Fall, an associate professor of epidemiology at Uppsala University in Sweden. "Single owners have to do all the dog walks and we know that physical activity is important in rehabilitation after a myocardial infarction or stroke," Fall added.
The American Heart Association points to studies that found pet owners who walk their dogs got up to 30 minutes more exercise a day than non-walkers. "There are studies suggesting that individuals who have dogs have a better cholesterol profile and lower blood pressure," said Kramer, who is a dog owner. "One study, my favorite, found just the effect of petting a dog can reduce your blood pressure as much as a medication," Kramer said.
Other studies suggest dogs provide companionship and affection that can reduce anxiety and depression. That's especially important after a major illness, such as a heart attack or stroke.
"We know that if you have depression after a heart attack, you're more likely to have a poor outcome," Gulati said, which is one reason so many hospitals have begun using therapy dogs for cardiac patients. In fact, a number of cardiologists believe in the benefits of dog ownership so much they will actually prescribe a dog for their patients, if they believe the person can appropriately care for a pet. "I know a lot of my patients often say to me after they have a heart attack or stroke, can I even take care of a dog? They worry because they don't want to leave the dog alone if something happens to them," Gulati said. "But if possible, I always encourage them to get a dog," she said, "perhaps an older dog who needs to be rescued and not a puppy that will be harder to manage."

Final verdict. 

"While these non-randomized studies cannot 'prove' that adopting or owning a dog directly leads to reduced mortality, these robust findings are certainly at least suggestive of this," said Dr. Glenn Levine, chair of the writing group of the American Heart Association's scientific statement on pet ownership. However, the AHA also says that pet ownership is a caring commitment that comes with certain financial costs and responsibilities, so "the primary purpose of adopting, rescuing, or purchasing a pet" should not be to reduce cardiovascular risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, studies show dogs decrease stress and promote relaxation and impact nearly all stages of our lives.
"They influence social, emotional and cognitive development in children, promote an active lifestyle, and have even been able to detect oncoming epileptic seizures or the presence of certain cancers," the CDC said. Does that mean that even younger people benefit from having a dog? "The overall understanding of cardiovascular health is that the earlier that we implement healthier behaviors, the better," Kramer said. "So like walking, not smoking. And I think that maybe dog ownership is part of that."
  
credit CNN.

 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Organogenesis in detail

 

The process of organogenesis is the formation of organs during embryonic development. This is a coordinated event involving the migration and differentiation of cells to form the “primordium”, which further develops and also undergoes histogenesis until the organ is fully formed.

How does the endoderm develop into organs?

The endoderm is the germ layer that developed into the gastrointestinal tract and glands, as well as other organs that branch off from the gastrointestinal tract.

Formation of the “gut tube”

In both the endoderm and the mesoderm, a tube is formed from a flat sheet of cells. To form the gut tube, the endoderm cells form an anterior intestinal portal (AIP), a crescent-shaped fold arising from the anterior section of the developing embryo. This them moves posteriorly, and another crescent-shaped fold (caudal intestinal portal (CIP)) then forms and moves anteriorly.

The AIP and CIP meet at the yolk sac, where the cells from the anterior end of the embryo form the part of the gut tube rostral to the yolk sac and those that are from the posterior end form the part of the gut tube caudal to the yolk sac. These form the ventral part of the gut tube, and the ventral part of the gut tube is formed by cells in the midline endoderm. Studies in mice have shown that GATA4 is an important transcription factor in gut tube formation.

Formation of the organs

Once the gut tube is formed, cells begin to swell, bud and coil to form the glands and organs; this includes the thyroid and parathyroid, thymus, lungs, liver, and pancreas.

The first process is the thickening of the epithelial layer, which then can either bud off and migrate away from the gut tube to the mesenchymal cells (glands formed from the branchial arches, i.e. thyroid), or remain connected to the gut tube with a duct (liver, gallbladder, pancreas).

Once the position of these organs and glands are established by the changes in the epithelial layer mentioned above, processes such as cell proliferation/death, adhesion and mobility work to form the organs.

Formation of the heart

The heart arises from the mesoderm and is the first organ to be fully functional in the embryo. The process by which the heart forms is conserved across all vertebrates; heart tube formation, rightward looping, and elongation of the heart tube and the formation of cardiac chambers and valves.

Heart tube formation

As in the case of organs derived from the endoderm, the first process in the formation of the heart is the formation of the heart tube. Precursor cells migrate laterally, which creates the anterior lateral mesoderm.

Differentiation and specification of the heart takes place within this region, more specifically the anterior lateral splanchnic mesoderm. This is orchestrated through a range of signaling molecules, including the transcription factor GATA4, and results in the formation of the cardiac crescent.

As the foregut closes, changes occur so that the cardiac crescent changes shape into the heart tube formed of the inner endocardial layer and an outer myocardial layer.

Looping and extension of the heart tube

Once formed, the heart tube then loops to the right – this is the first instance when the right-left axis is established in the embryo. This is accompanied by an increase in heart tube length, driven by the addition of cardiac progenitor cells rather than cell proliferation.

Formation of the cardiac chambers

Controlled expression of a series of genes leads to the formation of the heart chambers; “ballooning morphogenesis” of the looped heart tube results in the growth of the outer curvature, which will eventually form the cardiac chambers. Part of this is through maintaining a lower growth rate in the inner loop.

Septation and formation of the heart valves

Alongside the heart chambers, a “cardiac cushion” is also developed, and this develops into the heart valves.

Another stage in heart development that is necessary for terrestrial life is the separation of the pulmonary and systemic circulation, and this is achieved by the formation of septa within the heart.

Briefly, this occurs by the merging of the ventricular septum, the outflow tract, the atrioventricular septum, and the atrial septum.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

is saliva good as blood in disease diagnosis (testing)? why people prefer to use blood sample over saliva sample?

 


Blood has long been considered the ‘go to’ medium for a range of diagnostic tests, with saliva testing downplayed because of issues with sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility. However, saliva testing has advanced significantly over the years, overcoming these problems to become an excellent choice for various analytes – particularly hormones.

A Measure of Bioavailability

Saliva is a wonderful choice for hormone analysis, where the issue is not necessarily how much is being produced – which can be established by blood testing – but how much is available for the body to use. Typically, hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol are bound to carrier proteins in the bloodstream, with just a small proportion unbound and available to exert its effect. In contrast, saliva contains only the free, bioactive hormones, which is the fraction that is of interest to clinicians and wellness practitioners. Measuring the bioavailability of a hormone is therefore critical for effective patient management in a number of conditions because it clearly shows any imbalance. As a result, saliva testing is increasingly being used for adrenal checks – cortisol and the testosterone precursor dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) – as well as for monitoring the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

More than a Question of Convenience

Blood and urine testing have their place for hormone analysis, but saliva testing has a number of advantages in terms of accuracy and convenience. For example, the traditional way of monitoring hormones is a 24-hour urine collection. While this is entirely valid, it is not very convenient for the patient, and will only determine the total amount of a hormone produced; it will not provide the hour by hour profile throughout the day. Similarly, when clinicians need to look at diurnal variations in cortisol, they ideally require morning, noon, afternoon and night-time samples. The invasive nature of blood sampling presents a major challenge for this type of testing, requiring a compliant patient and a trained individual to perform the sampling. This makes repeated sampling during the day unviable. On top of that, many people have a needle phobia, potentially causing a stress response that could skew cortisol results. Some will even actively avoid attending appointments for a blood test, however important it may be. This is where saliva testing comes into its own, as samples can be quickly, easily and conveniently taken as often as necessary in the patient’s own home, with no risk to the individual.

Simplified Sample Handling

Taking a sample is just the first step. It still has to be transported to the laboratory for analysis in a manner that prevents any deterioration of the matrix or analyte, which could compromise the end result. Blood collection tubes are often only designed and validated for short-term storage and transport – just a few hours, rather than days, depending on the analyte. This can present a major issue when samples are collected at locations a long distance from the laboratory, as transport by road, rail or air could take several days. There is a real risk of sample degradation over time, with the integrity of the result being called into question. Saliva, on the other hand, is easy to collect and transport, with a variety of sample collection tubes on the market for added flexibility.

Choosing the Right Assay

Saliva-based diagnostic testing has historically been hindered by a lack of commercially available kits. As a result, laboratories wanting to test saliva had to develop and validate their own assays in house. Today, the situation has changed, with an increasing number of manufacturers recognizing the value of saliva testing, and launching a variety of assays for this matrix. With a choice of tests on the market, it is essential to look carefully at how each one has been validated, checking the specifications to ensure that it is fit for the intended purpose, and will deliver meaningful results for the requesting clinician. The cheapest solution is not always the best, as there may be a trade-off between cost and, for example, sensitivity. Choosing an assay with demonstrated sensitivity, accuracy, precision, reliability and reproducibility – such as those from Tecan – can help to ensure reliable diagnoses and increase demand for this type of testing, as well as benefitting patient management.

Looking Beyond the Assay Kit

The long-term performance of any diagnostic or screening test is dependent on ongoing quality control (QC) testing to safeguard the accuracy and reliability of analytical results. Using high-quality test kits and validated internal QC testing regimes is obviously essential for any lab, but it doesn’t stop there. Some diagnostic test manufacturers, including Tecan, go a step further by offering laboratories an independent proficiency testing program. Two or three times a year, samples are sent to participating laboratories for analysis with the specified assay, and the results are reported directly to the program coordinator. The results are collated and shared anonymously with all the participants. This allows each laboratory to see whether its results are comparable to those of other facilities, giving them confidence that the assay is being performed correctly.

Another key consideration is the availability of reference ranges; without reference ranges, there is no way of relating an analytical result to control samples and normal values, rendering it clinically valueless. Interpreting the result also depends on the availability of additional information about the patient, and an understanding of how these values may differ according to, for example, whether the patient is male or female, or when the sample was taken. In addition, the female sex hormones – estrogen and progesterone – will change depending on where the patient is in their monthly cycle, and differ between premenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal women. The availability of relevant reference ranges and technical support is therefore essential to help the laboratory provide clinicians with meaningful diagnostic information.

Saliva Testing in the Wellness Arena

Hormones are implicated in many aspects of an individual’s overall health and wellness, including stress, mood, memory, energy, menstrual cycles, weight loss or gain, sleep and libido. Any imbalance can have a negative effect on a person’s wellbeing, often leading the sufferer to consult healthcare professionals in the wellness space – wellness practitioners, naturopaths, nutritionists, chiropractors, physicians in functional or integrative medicine space – when conventional medicine has not been able to provide answers.

Saliva testing offers wellness practitioners a straightforward way to obtain baseline hormone levels, acting as a starting point for further investigations. Some of the most commonly requested tests are for the stress hormone cortisol, and the sex hormones – estradiol, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone. The diurnal cortisol test is a convenient means of monitoring the body’s stress level over the course of the day and, along with DHEA, helps to provide an indication of any imbalance in adrenal function. Similarly, determining the levels of sex hormones will help individuals seeking an optimal hormone balance. While the overall cause of a hormonal imbalance may be complex, such tests open the door to finding solutions.

Conclusion

Saliva testing is one of the best ways of looking at many analytes and has a wonderful future, offering a non-invasive method of measuring the bioactive levels of hormones and other compounds. Today, almost any of the proteins that can be tested for in blood – for example, enzymes, cytokines and antibodies – can also be screened in saliva, at sensitivities that could only be dreamt of just a few years ago. Saliva-based detection levels are now into the low picogram range, with new assays offering novel analytes and lower detection limits continually under development. Saliva testing has truly come of age

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Things you need to Know about International Student One Health Alliance (ISOHA )

The international Student One Health Alliance is the platform for students to collaborate and share One Health educational and professional development opportunities. The main goal is to connect students across the world interested in the connections between animal health, human health, and environmental health.

The importance of having one health approach

The areas of work in which a One Health approach is particularly relevant include food safety, the control of zoonoses (diseases that can spread between animals and humans, such as flu, rabies and Rift Valley Fever), and combatting antibiotic resistance (when bacteria change after being exposed to antibiotics and become more difficult to treat).


ISOHA activities

ISOHA has several programs well designed to provide enough information about one health approaches, they conduct webinars, mentorship programs, Educational journal among the few to mention.

Check out ISOHA’s programs and events, and more external opportunities here.

See the One Health Commission’s opportunities as they work to consolidate resources. Note their links for Grants/Funding opportunities & Travel Awards

ISOHA Network members may also be interested in opportunities offered by the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), or the Planetary Health Alliance (PHA)

ISOHA Student Resources

You Can Learn How to Implement One Health

Planning a One Health Event?

ISOHA can help you to plan for a one health event in your home country by providing necessary guidance.

Starting and Running a One Health Club

  • Club Start-Up Toolkit – Manual on starting and operating a OH club
  • Reach out to your continent representatives or any nearby clubs for help on starting and running your own.

One Health Advocacy

Join ISOHA in raising awareness for the One Health approach and encouraging interdisciplinary thinking in the next generation of scientists and health professionals!

Join  ISOHA webiner