Turns out `good` cholesterol can at times be `bad`

News4u-News Desk- It turns out what’s referred to as “good” cholesterol might actually put you at a much greater risk of heart disease.

The generally accepted medical maxim that elevated HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) is “good” has been overturned by a multi-center, international study, led by researchers from the the University of Pennsylvania.

They show that a certain genetic cause of increased HDL-C may actually be “bad,” noting that a specific mutation in a gene which encodes a cell receptor protein that binds to HDL prevents the receptor from functioning.

The mutation causes an increased risk of coronary heart disease even in the presence of elevated levels of HDL-C or “good” cholesterol.

Senior author Daniel J. Rader said that the results indicate that some causes of raised HDL actually increase risk for heart disease. This is the first demonstration of a genetic mutation that raises HDL but increases risk of heart disease.

Rader and his colleagues sequenced the lipid-modifying regions of the genomes of 328 people with markedly elevated HDL (along with a control group with lower HDL) to identify genetic causes of high HDL. One of the genes they focused on was SCARB1, which encodes for Scavenger Receptor B1 (SR-B1), the major receptor for HDL on cell surfaces.

In the course of this sequencing, they identified, for the first time, a person without any SCARB1 function, typified by an extremely high HDL-C level of about 150 mg/dL, whereas the normal level is about 50 mg/dL. The subject had two copies of a SCARB1 mutation called P376L, which the team showed caused a breakdown in HDL receptor function.

Rader suggests that a therapeutic approach to increase the expression or activity of SCARB1 could be a new way to reduce the risk of heart disease even though it would reduce HDL blood levels.

He added, “The work demonstrates that the protective effects of HDL are more dependent upon how it functions than merely how much of it is present,” Rader concluded. “We still have a lot to learn about the relationship between HDL function and heart disease risk.”

Their findings are published in Science. (ANI)

Turns out `good` cholesterol can at times be `bad`

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Walking is `challenging task` for us

News4u-News Desk- It turns out, we haven’t quite mastered the whole walking-on-two-feet art yet, according to a recent study.

The study by Indiana’s Purdue University found that despite having thousands of years of practice, humans are surprisingly bad at walking.

Kinesiologists enrolled 94 undergraduates with an average age of 19 and found that falling over wasn’t just associated with old age, suggesting that walking is “inherently difficult” for humans.

Over 16 weeks, each of the volunteers received an email in the morning, asking whether they had had a fall in the past 24 hours. At the end of the experiment, the students had reported a total of 1495 trips and slips, while 82 full-blown falls were reported by 46 participants. That amounts to 52 percent of the sample.

The majority of falls occurred while walking (58 percent) and the main cause of the fall was a slip (48 percent) or trip (25 percent), the experts found.

They wrote that the fact that the majority of falls occurred while walking supports the prevailing argument that bipeds are mechanically unstable and also demonstrates that walking is a challenging task. These results address an understudied yet important question, and highlight the mechanically unstable nature of bipedal locomotion.

They concluded that the high fall and injury rate in a short interval reflects the inherent instability of bipedal locomotion and indicates that falls are not a trivial problem for young adults.

The study is published in the journal Human Movement Science. (ANI)

Walking is `challenging task` for us

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New US visa rule extends stay for international students

News4u-News Desk- The United States has changed rules for student visas by which international students will now be eligible to stay for three years after finishing their degrees for training potentially leading to employment.

Students earning degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from accredited higher education institutes and employed by employers participating in E-Verify will only be eligible for the optional practical training (OPT) program.

The new rule comes into effect from May 10, 2016, and seven months longer than the previous 17-month rule.

The extension has been made to widen the window of time to match fresh graduates with employers looking for skilled talented workers.

The students previously had to apply for an H-1B, given by lottery and capped at 65,000 with 20,000 reserved for those with advanced degrees.

As per the new rule, a STEM OPT student would not replace a full-or part-time, temporary or permanent US worker and that the salary offered would be commensurate to the American workers. (ANI)

New US visa rule extends stay for international students

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UK to deport non-EU workers earning less than 35,000 pounds

News4u-News Desk- The British Government in a new set of rules has said that non-European Union (EU) residents, who earn less than 35,000 British pounds a year, will be deported.

The new rules, which come into effect from April 6, will mean that all skilled workers from outside the EU who have been living here for less than 10 years will need to earn at least £35,000 a year to settle permanently in the UK.

However, certain jobs like nursing are exempt from the regulation.

A petition to repeal the new regulations has been signed by 100,000 British citizens and was even discussed in the parliament, but the government insists the new regulations are fair and added that the people have been given many years to prepare.

“In the past it has been too easy for some businesses to bring in workers from overseas rather than to take the long-term decision to train our workforce here at home,” the guardian quoted a British Home Office spokesman as saying.

The Home Office in its impact assessment estimated that the new salary threshold will cost the British economy between 181m pounds and 171m pounds while other organisations cited a much higher amount of 761m pounds.

The British Government even admitted that the new measures will effect on reducing net immigration.

“We do not believe there should be an automatic link between coming to work in the UK temporarily and staying permanently.

The 35,000 threshold was set following advice from the Migration Advisory Committee, an independent advisory body consisting of expert labour market economists, and was equivalent to the median pay of the UK population in skilled jobs,” the Guardian quoted the British Home Office statement as saying.

To enter or stay in the UK as a skilled worker, non-EU migrants must have a Tier 2 visa and to qualify for that one must have been offered a job in the UK and have held at least 945 pounds in the bank account for 90 days.

The job a migrant is offered must pay at least 20,800 pounds, although the British government is currently considering a recommendation to raise the amount to 30,000 pounds. This threshold is not met by certain occupations.

Individuals must pay 200 pounds per year as a healthcare surcharge, should be able to prove knowledge in English language and must get a certificate of sponsorship from the employer.

The non-EU migrants are only permitted to remain in the UK on Tier 2 visas for a maximum of six years.(ANI)

UK to deport non-EU workers earning less than 35,000 pounds

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Anti-corruption campaign launched by EU in Afghanistan

News4u-News Desk- The European Union Delegation in Afghanistan on Saturday has launched Anti-Corruption Campaign 2016 in a bid to help Afghan citizens to fight and mobilize government in taking stronger action against corruption.

“Afghanistan’s endemic corruption is crippling the economy and undermining the fight against the insurgency. This threatens past achievements and investments in Afghanistan as well as the future of all young Afghans,” Tolo news quoted EU’s statement.

The statement also said that the campaign will focus on four themes: Corruption and peace; corruption in the judicial sector; natural resources and stability - the threat of illegal mining; and public action against corruption.

Ambassador Franz-Michael Mellbin, EU Special Representative in Afghanistan present during the campaign launch said that every day ordinary Afghans are confronted with corruption’s dark shadow that fills the pockets of the rich while the poor suffer.

He asserted that corruption undermines the Afghan people’s hard-won achievements over the last 14 years, and it is a primary threat to the sustainability and survivability of the Afghan state.

He said that the government should do more and since it cannot stand alone , the citizens should take responsibility in ending this scourge.

The campaign is set to for seven weeks and will culminate with a high-level conference in early May.

A new study by Transparency International in January released results that found Afghanistan as the second most corrupt country among 176 in the world.

The top three were Somalia, Afghanistan and North Korea. (ANI)

Anti-corruption campaign launched by EU in Afghanistan

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Biggest online dating turn-off is `grammatical errors`

News4u-News Desk-: What are the reasons for loneliness even after surfing the online dating sites?

Popular online dating site ‘Zoosk’ reveals that ‘the one thing’ that is responsible for dating melancholy is ‘poor grammar,’ reports News.com.au.

The study surveyed more than 9000 Zoosk singles, looking at the extent to which poor grammar affected an individual’s attraction levels across different age groups.

The survey found that nearly half of singles, almost 48 per cent, considered grammar to be a deal-breaker in online dating. Blatant spelling errors are a turn-off to the majority of singles.

According to this survey, a period at the end of a text impresses singles, with 93 per cent saying that they become happy if they receive a text message with this proper punctuation. First messages sent with an exclamation marks, produce a 10 per cent higher response rate.

65 per cent of women said that poor grammar, either in an online dating bio or after multiple offences, would be a deal-breaker, compared to 40 per cent of men.

People, who use four-letter acronym of prepubescent doom like YOLO and LOL, will see a 47 per cent decrease in response rates. (ANI)

Biggest online dating turn-off is `grammatical errors`

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New ‘AsthmaMap’ brings ‘personalised therapy’ closer to reality

News4u-News Desk- A newly-developed digital map detailing different mechanisms that contribute to the development of asthma has opened the door to personalised treatment more targeted to the type of asthma patients live with.

In other disease areas, the Parkinson’s disease map and the Atlas of Cancer Signalling Network, have already begun the process of integrating knowledge about the involved mechanisms in order to understand the different subtypes of these diseases. The AsthmaMap is the first detailed representation of the different molecular processes involved in asthma.

The current “one-size-fits-all” approach to healthcare, in which there are standard treatments for single conditions, means that many patients take medication that does not improve their symptoms. An emerging field, known as “systems medicine,” is harnessing the use of new technologies to gather big data sets on many patients in different disease areas, to understand how diseases affect people differently.

Lead author Alexander Mazein from the European Institute for Systems Biology and Medicine said that in-depth understanding of asthma means redefinition of asthma subtypes based on the mechanisms that lead to the development of the disease. This translates into more accurate diagnostics, new therapy strategies and the development of patient-focused drugs that can target the different subgroups of asthma

He added, “AsthmaMap is a key step forward in our move towards a personalised approach to healthcare in the respiratory field. While it will primarily be used for research purposes at this stage, we anticipate that once validated, the tool can be used by clinicians as they are treating patients.”

The study is presented in Estoril, Portugal at the European Respiratory Society’s Lung Science Conference. (ANI)

New ‘AsthmaMap’ brings ‘personalised therapy’ closer to reality

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Turkey hits PKK targets in Iraq with air strikes

News4u-News Desk-Turkey’s air force bombarded Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq this week, killing 67 rebel fighters, the military said today, the first such strikes in nearly a month.

The air strikes, carried out by 14 F-16 and F-4 fighter-bombers, hit camps and other installations run by the PKK, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and its Western allies, the military said in a statement carried by local media.

It is the first such operation against PKK bases in Iraq since February 18, when the air force launched raids in retaliation for a suicide bombing in Ankara that killed 29 people, which Turkey blamed on Kurdish rebels.

The Ankara attack, which targeted a convoy of five buses carrying army staff, was claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), who have been linked to the PKK.

Turkey has in recent months waged an all-out assault on the PKK, which launched an insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984, fighting for greater autonomy and rights for the country’s largest ethnic minority.

After more than two years of ceasefire, deadly clashes restarted last year between security forces and rebels in the Kurdish-dominated southeast.

Last month Turkey carried out artillery bombardments on Kurdish fighters in Syria and threatened to extend the action to include air strikes.

Turkey targeted the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, which it considers to be a terror group linked to the PKK despite support for the group from Ankara’s ally Washington.

Turkey hits PKK targets in Iraq with air strikes

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Arun Jaitely addresses RBI Board meeting on financial sector reforms

News4u-News Desk-Finanace Minister Arun Jaitely addresses RBI Board meeting on financial sector reforms. He said there is rationale behind merger and recapitalisation of some banks.

Briefing media persons, he said detailed discussions with members of the RBI Board were held and the rationale behind the various financial sector reforms announced in the budget 2016-17 was explained in depth.

He further added that there was a discussion on disinvestment and initiatives to clean up the bank’s balance sheets.

RBI Governor further said there is a well-defined process to define wilful defaulters.

RBI Governor Dr.Raghuram Rajan said Govt needs to be complimented for displaying fiscal discipline.

Arun Jaitely

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Pak will use F16 against us: Baloch envoy to UN

News4u-News Desk- Baloch representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the European Union Mehran Marri on Sunday condemned the move by the United States Government to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, saying that Islamabad would use them against the Baloch population.

“We condemn the sale of any arms and ammunition to Pakistan Government and military, especially F16 with mountainous capabilities because they’re purely used against Baloch population,” said Mehran.

“It is a sad and black day in the history that more weapons of destruction have been sold to Pakistani military. During Bin Laden era, America and European Union heavily armed the Pakistan military to find Bin Laden and eliminate him. But we came to know that Bin Laden was sitting in their lap in Abbottabad,” he added.

Mehran also feared that Islamabad, which has been using the arms and ammunitions against the Baloch, would now use it against them again.

Taking a major step towards finalising the deal, the United States government on March 6 had formally issued a notification on the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.

The notification estimates the total cost of the deal to be nearly USD 700 million.

However, India and some US lawmakers are questioning Washington’s move and that if such an arms transfer will help combat terrorism while claiming that the fighter jets will change the military balance in South Asia and will ultimately be used against India.

In a policy justification, posted on the Federal Register, the US administration rejected this assertion. “The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” it argued, adding that the aircraft would improve “Pakistan’s capability to meet current and future security threats”.

The administration also noted that the additional F-16 aircraft would facilitate operations in non-daylight environments and “enhance Pakistan’s ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations”.

However, Pakistan has conveyed to the United States that it needs the F-16 jets for counter-terrorist operations which would strengthen the country and promote regional stability. (ANI)

Baloch Leader Mehran Marri

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