Researchers have discovered a completely new human organ, which they named “Interstitium”. Scientist believes that this organ may play a role in cancer. This discovery is happening exactly after an year after the discovery of organ number 79 Mesentery.
The organ “interstitium” is a mesh-like layer made up of collagen and fluid-filled compartments. The interstitium exists within connective tissue, beneath the skin. Earlier it was considered as a part of connective tissue. This organ surrounds several other organs and could be body’s largest organ, researchers said.
The interstitium may be functioning as a “shock absorber”, protecting other organs, muscles and vessels. It’s believed the organ may also help cancerous cells spread throughout the body.
A routine endoscopy performed by Dr David Carr-Locke and Dr Petros Benias while investigating a patient’s bile duct, searching for signs of cancer accidentally discovered this organ. They approached Neil Theise, a pathologist and team at New York University School of Medicine which led to finding of this new organ.
This new organ would allow scientists to develop new tests for cancer.
Wouldn’t it have been good if we had ‘Magic Scissors’ that could eliminate disease, solve world hunger problem, create unlimited clean energy…..it’s no longer a future technology…..the technology is already among us. Discovery of this technology has been hailed as ‘monumental moments in the history of biomedical research’ by David Baltimore a Nobel laureate.
This post is all about this ‘Magic Scissors’, a new gene editing technology, known as CRISPR-Cas9 and what it can do to science and how it can impact common man’s life. This Scissors promises myriad of wonderful opportunities as well as frightening ethical challenges .
What is this ‘Magic Scissors’
What we are, what we look like or how healthy we are , all are dependent on genetic material DNA. DNA is like a record of instructions which tells the cell what its job is going to be. In simple way, DNA is to human cells, as codes are to computers. As codes control the functioning of computer, Genes present within interwined DNA regulates the functions of the cell. So if there is an error in these codes or some external organism like virus attacks cells, the normal programming of cells gets affected and the cells won’t function normally. This is what leads to diseases. The best option to make the cell up and running, would be to erase or alter the corrupted codes from Genes. This is what CRISPR-Cas9 does with high precision.
Little deep into CRISPR CAS9…for curious minds
CRISPR or “Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats” was isolated from bacterial system. The CRISPR-CAS9 system comprises of two components – Guide RNA and CAS9 endonuclease. Guide RNA can be tailor-made to perfectly match a sequence of DNA (the mutated or corrupted DNA) and CAS9 will do slicing act with precision. So one end binds to the target gene or wrong gene, and the other end delivers a DNA-cutting enzyme, which will remove with accuracy the wrong gene.
Jennifer Doudna, a biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley and Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in German demonstrated for the first time the full potential of CRISPR in 2012.
CRISPR, ‘The Magic Scissors’, is worth the hype. This technology will help to fight cancer, treat Alzheimer’s and eradicate Malaria. It’s an exciting development and scientists from across the globe from different fields are gung ho about this ‘new editor’.
What could CRISPR Do ?
Time for Super Plants
Imagine we can get mangoes all around the year or can make strawberries to grow in deserts. Researchers are currently experimenting with ways to improve crop disease resistance and environmental stress tolerance using CRISPR. CRISPR would steer an era of super plants with yields higher than ever.
Let’s Treat HIV
HIV has been eluding scientists for a long time. But no longer. In 2015, scientists used CRISPR to cut HIV cells out of living cells of patients in a laboratory – proving that it is possible. By injecting CRISPR into the rats with HIV, they were able to remove 48 per cent of the virus from the DNA of their body cells. Although the experiments are still in their infancy, it looks like CRISPR could be the ultimate solution to cure HIV and ultimately AIDS.
Black garlic – You read it correct. This aged version of garlic has twice the antioxidants of regular garlic. Black garlic exhibits several advantages, when compared to fresh garlic. The taste of black garlic has been compared to that of a dried fruit.
Black garlic is simply fresh garlic that has been fermented for a period of time at a high temperature under high humidity. No additives, preservatives, or burning is involved in making it. The process turns garlic cloves dark, gives them a sweet taste, and alters their consistency to chewy and jelly-like.
Fresh white garlic changes its white color to black by undergoing fermentation process in a temperature and humidity controlled room for one month.
Why should we eat Black garlic:
Black Garlic Has More Than Double the Powerful S-Allyl-Cysteine (SAC), an Antioxidant compared to raw garlic. Black garlic contains vitamin C and B6, manganese and selenium. Black Garlic contains 18 Amino Acids, which are very important for our body. Research have found that extracts found in black garlic are able to inhibit the growth of certain cancers such as stomach and colon, by triggering their natural destruct mechanism known as apoptosis.
Selenium is an essential micronutrient found in Brazil nuts, chicken, fish, turkey, crab, nuts, cereal and eggs. Selenium is an “essential nutrient”, meaning our bodies cannot make it, and so we have to get it from our diet. Without it the heart, joints, eyes, immune system and reproductive system can suffer. We require 55 micrograms of seleniumto maintain proper health and this selenium we must obtain through dietary sources.
What is Selenium
Selenium is a non-metal element that occurs in the earth’s crust. Selenium is necessary in the body’s production of selenoproteins. There are around 25 selenoproteins in humans and many of these are enzymes that act to protect the body against oxidative damage. Since the ageing process, as well as certain diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease, is associated with an increase in oxidative damage, maintaining adequate selenium intakes may provide some protection against these processes.
Where is Selenium found
Plants pick up selenium from soil. The selenium content in plant foods depends on the concentration of selenium in the soil where the plants grow. Seafood and organ meats are rich in selenium. Other foods that have selenium include muscle meats, grains and dairy products. It can also be found in drinking water in some places.
People living in places where the soil is selenium deficient have low selenium levels. People who smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol often are more likely to have selenium deficiency. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or other conditions that interfere with how the body absorbs selenium can lead to low selenium levels. Kidney dialysis patients may also become low in selenium. The chemotherapy drug cisplatin can lower selenium levels in the blood, but it is not known if cisplatin can lead to a significant deficiencies.
We all take special care to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays; but what about the harmful effects of blue light rays? Usage of blue light emitting gadgets before bedtime prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep, delays the circadian clock, suppresses levels of the “darkness hormone” melatonin.
Sources of blue light include the sun, digital screens (TVs, computers, laptops, smart phones and tablets), electronic devices, and fluorescent and LED lighting.
As the day progresses, we actually move closer to the back lit devices
Impact on Sleep:
Digital Screens emit blue light which are so bright that at night, brain gets confused by that light. Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night. This causes the brain to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that gives body the “time to sleep” commands. Because of this, digital screen light can disrupt sleep cycle, making it harder to fall and stay asleep.
Changes in sleep patterns can in turn shift the body’s natural clock, known as its circadian rhythm. Studies have shown that shifts in this clock can have devastating health effects because it controls not only our wakefulness but also individual clocks that dictate function in the body’s organs. Research also shows that it may contribute to the causation of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and even obesity.
Most people consider microbes as germs, but truth is trillions of microbes that live in our gut execute many functional roles – aid in digestion, keep a check on infectious agents, boost immunity, synthesize many vitamins, play a key role in maintaining Hormone balance and Brain function.
So they are for sure our ‘Friends’
“Taking into account the major role gut microbiota plays in the normal functioning of the body and the different functions it accomplishes, experts nowadays consider it as an “organ”
Two thirds of the gut microbiome is unique to each person, and what makes this unique is the food we eat, the air we breathe and other environmental factors.
The initial composition of the gut microbiota depends on the mode of delivery: babies delivered vaginally harbour gut microbiota resembling microbial communities found in their mothers’ vaginas, whereas those born via Cesarean section apparently acquire microbes from the skin, dominated by taxa such as Propionibacterium and Staphylococcus
Formula fed babies have less of good microbes compared to breast fed babies, giving them a healthier edge over the other. Gut of breastfed babies primarily consists of Bifidobacteria – considered a “friendly” bacteria that benefits the gut
People treated with prolonged courses of antibiotics that kill a wide spectrum of bacteria can develop life-threatening diarrhoea due to an overgrowth ofClostridium difficile
Microbiome and Disease state
Each of us have a complex ecosystem of bacteria located within our gut and we call them microbiome or gut microbiota. The vast majority of the bacterial species that make up our microbiome live in our digestive systems. Some researchers believe that up to 90 percent of all diseases can be traced in some way back to the gut and health of the microbiome. Poor gut health can contribute to leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases and disorders like arthritis, dementia, heart disease, and cancer.
Acrylamide is a chemical used primarily as a building block in making polyacrylamide and acrylamide copolymers. They have proven without doubt to be causing cancer in animal models. Scientist believe that the case is not going to be different in humans. The evidence from human studies is not complete.
Researchers in Europe and the United States have found acrylamide in certain foods that were heated to a temperature above 120 degrees Celsius, but not in foods prepared below this temperature . Potato chips and French fries were found to contain higher levels of acrylamide compared with other foods.