Category Archives: Health

Mr. K. T. Rama Rao Lays Foundation for BE’s Vaccine SEZ Plant

Hyderabad, India – February 6, 2017: Mr. K. T. Rama Rao, Honourable Minister for Industries & Commerce, IT, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, unveiled the foundation for a new vaccines plant being constructed by Biological E. Limited (BE) in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Genome Valley in Kolthur Village, located on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The Minister was accompanied by Dr. Paul Stoffels, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Ms. Mahima Datla, Managing Director, BE, Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, IT Secretary, Soumya Swaminathan, Director-general, Indian Council of Medical Research, and Mr. M. Sudheer Reddy, Medchal MLA, at the inaugural event of laying the foundation.

Addressing the gathering on this occasion, the Minister appreciated the expansion efforts of Biological E. Limited in being aligned with the State Government’s vision of industrial expansion, creation of employment and the commitment to make Hyderabad an industrial hub in India and thus realise the dream of the honourable Chief Minister, K. Chandrashekar Rao – the creation of Bangaru (/Golden) Telangana. He fondly recalled that BE, as one of the foremost Pharmaceutical & Biologics Companies in India, being based out of the State of Telangana, in addition to substantial exports of vaccines, contributes significantly to the Universal Immunization Programme launched by the Government of India.

Welcoming the gathering, Ms. Mahima Datla, Managing Director, BE, thanked the Honourable Minister and Dr. Stoffels, for laying the foundation for the new vaccines plant at the recently approved SEZ. The MD also appreciated the efforts of the Government of Telangana in general and Mr. K T Rama Rao in particular for helping the investors and entrepreneurs in setting up new ventures and industries and creating a conducive environment for smooth execution of business operations.

Elaborating further about the plant, Ms. Mahima said that BE is planning an initial investment of up to Rs.300 crore in this new plant, which would help the existing vaccines plant augment the production and manufacture new products that are in the pipeline. This investment is in line with and part of the already earmarked overall outlay of Rs.1000 crore in the Genome Valley across BE’s Vaccines & Pharma businesses that are underway. The construction of this new SEZ vaccines plant on about 29 acres of land would be completed by April 2018 and commercial production is expected to begin by December 2019. Ms. Mahima also said that by the time BE’s expansion initiatives in the Genome Valley are completed, an additional employment opportunity for around 1000 people would be generated.

About Biological E. Limited

Biological E. Limited (BE), founded in 1953, the first private sector biological products company in India and the first pharmaceutical company in South India. Originally incorporated as Biological Products Private Limited, BE is a globally recognized vaccine manufacturer and has supplied over two billion doses of vaccines till date all over the world.

BE supplies several essential and lifesaving Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals to UN Agencies viz. UNICEF, PAHO and several global markets, and in India to the National Immunization Programme, various State Governments, PSUs, Indian Armed Forces and the domestic retail market. With a mission to improve health & survival of people, BE serves by providing equitable access to quality vaccines and therapeutics. BE has a long and richly textured history of supporting public health programmes in India for over five decades. BE’s portfolio of WHO pre-qualified vaccines include the 5-in-1 Pentavalent and a Japanese Encephalitis vaccine and its future offerings promise to be even more exciting.

New Stem Cells Derived, the Ones With the ‘Best Quality’

It has been recently revealed that there has been the development of a new stem cell by the scientists. These stem cells are grown in the lab and are taken from the human embryos. They are apparently of the best quality so far and can help in further research, towards the end of the next year, and would also be able to be used in clinical trials in the time to come.

It has been revealed that the stem cell trials conducted in the past have used research grading of lower quality. These were actually manipulated to make it the ‘clinical grade’. This time however the grade of stem cells used is the best one and they are of the clinical quality and come right from the patients for trials. This is the reason they can do without conversions. These stem cells are also untouched by the animal bi -products that are usually used for the stimulation of growth by other research teams.

“The key here is that these are clinical grade lines, they have been set up from the beginning as lines that do not contain animal products and have not got animal products coming into contact with them”, revealed Professor Peter Braude, one of the leading authors of the team.

It was further revealed that though such researches may have been done in the past by private drug firms, this is the first time it has been conducted on such a large scale, for the aid of public health.

This research might surely benefit the field of regenerative medicine in many ways. It might surely help scientists in developing newer way of cure and treatment for patients in the future.

Duqu Attackers: Master Coders, Linux rookies

Post the revelation that 12 known command-and-control (C&C) servers for Duqu were found with all files deleted on Oct. 20, 2011, it has been confirmed that there is no more hacking being done. This revelation has been made by Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab.

It has been found that as soon as the attackers got to know about the Duqu Trojan in October, they secretly tried to remove every single trace of their activity from all their command and control servers.

It is being believed that Duqu is a Trojan horse-based botnet which shares common code and characteristics with Stuxnet. Being developed by hackers, Duqu is told to be attacked by some other country which could have vested interest in the files stores in the Linux servers.

There were reports earlier about Stuxnet which had destroyed Iran’s nuclear program, but Duqu was not made for that purpose. It was made to keep a track on vulnerable installations and computer networks which could trigger the development of another worm targeting industrial control systems.

It has come to the notice during the investigation that hackers had removed every single server they had used as far back as 2009, and further, they checked it again if they have deleted all the stuff perfectly or not.

“The logical assumption here is that we’re looking at possibly a vulnerability in the older version and/or an added feature in the new version that’s of use to the attacker”, said Roel Schouwenberg, a Kaspersky senior researcher. It has been known that along with the command and control servers in India and Belgium, Duqu had been associated with servers in Vietnam and the Netherlands,

As of now, no clue about the hackers behind Duqu and Stuxnet is found as they planned their each move very smartly, however, significant efforts have been made by Kaspersky researchers on the same.

Surging Elective Surgeries Affecting Waiting Time

A recent report has highlighted that the waiting time period at the public hospitals for elective surgery are still higher. The MyHospital website has recently revealed that public hospitals are doing quite well in performing elective surgeries. However, it was also noted that the patients seeking elective surgery at public hospital are made to wait longer.

In the last five years, the admission to elective surgery, in the public hospital has increase by 2.5% as about 621,000 patients have contacted public hospital for elective surgery. It has been informed that 50% of the patients were made to wait more than 36 days to go for the surgery.

Longer waiting period can leave dire effect over the health of the patients. However, the good news is that fewer patients, as compared to earlier, are waiting longer for elective surgery. Since 2007, public hospitals have operated
130,000 elective surgeries.

It has further been revealed by MyHospital website that the emergency departments of Australia are becoming quite busier. There is need to large number of patients could be provide with treatment.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that with the pursuit of bringing awareness among people about health care importance a competition is being organized. The competition is mainly for the people residing in the rural areas of Australia.

The competition is being organized by the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) in collaboration with Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Both the organizations work towards promoting health care. The NRHA, is non-government body, it aims at promoting health and wellbeing at remote and rural areas of Australia.

The winner of the competition will be gifted with $1000. It is open for all creative people. Moreover, the picture of the winner would be imprinted on the AIHW’s next year publications.

Video Games Might Affect Your Emotional Activity

Playing a video game is the favorite time pass for all. But do you know what consequences it leaves on young minds. A recent study has found that young minds who are engaged excessively in playing violent video games can have severe damage on their frontal brain regions.

It is for the very first time when the researchers have showed a link between violent video game and brain damage. The frontal brain regions, is the area where emotional activity takes place. According to the researchers, young minds in the habit of playing violent video games turn less emotional.

The study was conducted at the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Indiana University School of Medicine. Youngsters in the age group of 18 to 29 were recruited. These young minds were divided in two groups.

The first group was asked to play video game for ten hours a week. However, in the next week of the study, the researchers were asked not to play video games. The other, however, didn’t play video game at all.

The researchers were encouraged to conduct the study after the recent revelation of “pathological Internet misuse”, a condition in which people becomes addictive of gaming and internet. This addiction is also described as mental disorder.

The advent if 3-dimentional graphic and life-like sound has made it difficult for the people to resist the temptations. Therefore, parents have been encouraged to bring in those games which are in accordance to the development of kids’ brain.

Holidays are the most vulnerable period in which kids get hooked to the video games. It is hoped that acknowledging the findings of the study, people will pay greater emphasis in deciding which video game to be purchased. The researchers would now be conducting a separate study to gauge the affect of gaming on health.

Adobe Photoshop: The Photographers’ Delight

The world of photography has advanced rapidly over the years. Nowadays, photography is more like an art, passion, whatever. It’s an amateur profession where people find hobby striking with living. Modern celebrities and models photographers and photo journalists in fashion magazines and adverts are buffed with using digital polish, day in day out. They are up for any sort of challenge coming their way. Be it moderate restyling like colors brightened, red eye removal, a placing a stray hair in apt order and healing a pimple, or maybe a drastic shedding of weight, say around 10 or 20 pounds, erasing all blemishes and wrinkles, and adding a few inches of height – all are no problem when done with Adobe’s Photoshop software, the magic wand of photo experts.

While expressing his opinion regarding the highly effective version of Adobe Photoshop software and all the effective operations one can carry out on it, a professor of computer science and a digital forensics expert from Dartmouth, Hany Farid said: “Fix one thing, then another and pretty soon you end up with Barbie”.

Though there exist some issues in it as the feminist legislators from Britain, Norway and France claim that they want a special labeling on all digitally altered photographs. Earlier in June, the American Medical Association was abiding by a policy on advertising and body image that wanted advertisers and all other involved in the process to “discourage the altering of photographs in a manner that could promote unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image”.

Dr. Farid revealed that he was immensely intrigued by the issue once he read regarding the photo-labeling suggestions in Europe. For him, categorizing photos as either modified or not was too dull for an approach.

In this regard, he carried out a research for calculating the extent to which fashion and beauty images have been modified. The reports have been made available in this week’s edition of the journal “The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”.

Glenmark Celebrated World Health Day

Medicine manufacturing company Glenmark organized a campaign to celebrate the World Heart Day in Kochi, India. The Company organized a number of health-related activities, which were attended by 200 people of the region.

The camp was held at the Lions Community Hall, Kadavanthara, where free heart check-ups and information about heart-related diseases was provided by health experts. Also, doctors and patients’ rally was carried out. The doctors also provided free tests for diabetes and blood pressure to the people who attended the camp.

According to Dr. Shaji C. S., Clinical Cardiologist, Maharaja’s Government Hospital, Karivelpady, patients suffering from blood pressure and cholesterol were also provided with free medications at the camp. Dr. Shaji also delivered an informational speech to the people gathered to attend the camp. Dr. Shaji revealed that following healthy diet results in avoidance of heart-related sickness.

Also, a rally was carried out on 24th September, which was attended by 2,000 people of the region. The rally aimed to make people conscious about the seriousness of heart-related diseases and informed people about the negative effects of hypertension. As per Dr. Thillai Vallal, Cardiologist, “Most people spend about 60 percent of their waking hours at work, so healthy choices at the workplace are critical for overall wellness”.

Contraceptives Can Offer Unique Function

Giving an interesting claim, Dublin’s Cork and Trinity College researchers recently claimed that a common contraceptive drug, used for the pregnancy prevention, can certainly perform many other unique functions.

However, the announcement was made after the researchers claimed that while doing an experiment with the pill, they were shocked to see that it positively strengthened the light sensing cells in the eye in mouse models of degenerative sightlessness.

Meanwhile, all these thrilling statements were published in the Neurochemistry journals.

The journal reports further claimed that Norgestrel, an artificial progestin drug usually used in hormonal contraception procedure, helped in the avoidance of a certain type of death cells entitled as apoptosis in retinal growing cells.

Sharing his views about the study findings, UCC’s biochemistry department lecturer, Prof. Tom Cotter commented that certainly this medicine appeared to be working by inspiring the manufacturing of a protein endurance feature known as FGF from adjacent cells in the eye, which positively assisted the light detecting cells to stay alive and further allowed the animals to observe inn a better way.

He added, “It ‘beefs up’ the cells, makes them stronger and better able to resist the destructive effects of the damaged gene that causes the disease”.

Quality Bakers Goes Gluten-Free

With increase in demand of gluten-free cakes, Quality Bakers have unveiled a bakery shop at Huntly, which is apparently a pure gluten-free bakery.

The baking company had paid out more than $2 million in establishment of the new bakery. The Company will not offer any wheat based products in the shop. The bakery aims to produce the best tasting gluten free products such as bread, slices, cakes and cookies.

The new bakery has been opened in association with two most popular and well loved New Zealand brands, Vogel’s and Ernest Adams, whose gluten free products will be manufactured at Huntly. The new establishment includes products such as Vogel’s 6 Seed Gluten Free Bread, Ernest Adams Gluten Free Raspberry Slice and Ernest Adams Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.

As per Roger Gray, Managing Director of Quality Bakers New Zealand, “We are also delighted to be supporting the vibrant community of Huntly with jobs that will put the town at the centre of gluten free manufacturing with products being delivered to consumers from the Cape to the Bluff”.

The gluten-free products have become popular with people of New Zealand because of the coeliac disease increase. With the availability of gluten free bakery items, people allergic to gluten can enjoy these products.

75% Herbal Medicines do not Provide Safety Information

Herbal treatments are considered as the next best alternative to the prescribed allopathic medicines. A new study has emphasized on the information that is absent on the herbal medicines, which is necessary to be known before its consumption.

The researchers of the study from Leeds University School of Pharmacy investigated certain herbal medicines for their safety information. The herbal medicines like St John’s Wort, Asian ginseng, Echinacea, Garlic, Ginkgo were examined by the researchers.

The study published in the journal BMC Medicine revealed that 75% of the herbal medicines did not constitute the complete safety information required to be displayed for the consumers.

Such a fault at hands of these herbal medicine manufacturing companies could risk lives of their consumers.

Only three out of the five products provided information about its adverse reactions. The medicines were available at the two health-food stores, three chain pharmacies and three supermarket chemists.

As per Professor Theo Raynor, who led the study, the consumers of such medicines should confirm that the medicine possessed Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) logo, which means that the medicine was authenticated by the Government. He further added, “People should tell their doctor about herbal medicines they are taking so they receive the best care”.