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Protein found in the eye can protect against diabetic retinopathy

first_imgPeople with diabetes have a high risk of developing complications due to extended periods of elevated glucose levels. These complications could include nerve damage, kidney disease, and eye disease. But a rare subset of people who have had insulin-dependent diabetes for more than 50 years have avoided such complications. For 15 years, Joslin researchers have tracked these individuals as part of the Medalist Study. They noted that 35 percent of patients avoided retinopathy, even when they had elevated glucose levels.Dr. King and his team deduced that these patients must have something endogenous-;or created by their own body that are neutralizing the toxic effects of high glucose levels. This new study aimed to build on this observation, to determine which molecules could be responsible for the protection of the eye.They took biosamples from the eyes of Medalists -; both from living patients during surgery and from people who had donated their eyes postmortem. They then characterized the many proteins that were present, to determine if any proteins were elevated more in the protected eyes than in eyes of people who developed retinopathy.They recognized that RBP3, a protein only made in the retina/eye, was elevated. To determine if this was indeed the protective factor they were looking for, they constructed experiments to compare normal versus increased expression of RBP3 in mouse models. Mice with increased RBP3 expression were protected from developing diabetic retinopathy.Next, the researchers injected pure RBP3 into the vitreous of the eyes of mice in the early stages of retinopathy. The infusion of RBP3 reversed the damages done by early eye disease. They also discovered that diabetes seems to reduce the expression of RBP3 in eye in many subjects, which could explain why its protective effects are limited to only some patients.Related StoriesEye research charity funds development of ‘organ-on-a-chip’ to fight glaucomaStudy reveals a revolutionary way to treat eye injuries, prevent blindness’Eye-in-a-dish’ model helps scientists to uncover ‘surprising’ AMD gene variant”If we could find out what’s causing the decrease of RBP3 in the retina in the first place, we could design some kind of treatment to maintain its production, allowing all diabetic patients to have an endogenous protection against eye disease,” says Dr. King.RBP3 is found in all eyes. Normally, it is used to regenerate a certain type of vitamin A in the eye that powers sight-giving rods and cones. But when the eye is exposed to high glucose levels, RBP3 changes its role.”It appears to decrease the toxic effects of high glucose levels that exist in diabetes by reducing the entering of glucose into several important retinal cells by inhibiting the actions of a glucose transporter, GLUT-1.” says Dr. King.Understanding these mechanisms may allow researchers to develop a targeted treatment to fight early-stage retinopathy. Currently, severe retinopathy can be addressed by the Joslin-developed treatments of either laser photocoagulation or VEGF inhibitor injections.”We are interested in how we can treat diabetic eye disease at its earliest stages before it gets to the severe forms,” says Dr. King.One surprising finding from this study showed that RBP3, while it mainly resides in the eye, can also be detected to some degree in the bloodstream. Dr. King and team have planned follow-up studies to determine if RBP3 levels in the bloodstream correlate with severity of diabetic retinopathy. If they do, this circulating RBP3 could become a biomarker that doctors can use to screen for retinopathy during regular lab tests.”That could be a very important screening tool for family or internal medicine doctors who are not experts at examining the eye,” says Dr. King. “Right now, all people with diabetes have to be sent to ophthalmologists to really give us a sense of the status of their eyes with regard to diabetes. So, if this could be a general screen, we may be able to catch more cases of retinopathy earlier in the disease course.”Joslin and its Beetham Eye Institute have a strong history of developing treatments for retinopathy. This discovery brings them a step closer to prevention of the devastating complication.”This has the potential to become equally as important as our previous discovery of VEGF as critical for diabetic proliferative disease or severe diabetic eye disease,” King says. Source:Joslin Diabetes Center Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 4 2019Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center have shown that a protein found in the eye can protect against and potentially treat diabetic eye disease. At high enough levels, Retinol Binding Protein 3 (or RBP3) prevents the development of diabetic retinopathy. If introduced early enough in the development of the disease, RBP3 was shown to reverse the effects of the complication in rodent models of diabetes. These results are reported today in Science Translational Medicine. The level of RBP3 in the eye’s vitreous and retina are higher in people who don’t progress to diabetic eye disease than in those who do. Building on that observation, we saw that if you overexpress RBP3 by molecular methods [in animal models], you can prevent the onset of diabetic eye disease. And when we injected RBP3 itself into the vitreous of diabetic rats, we reversed some of the early changes of diabetic eye disease.”George King, Chief Scientific Officer at Joslin Diabetes Center and senior author on the paperlast_img read more

GoFundMe scams I dont think anyones got their arms around it

first_img Desperate & duped? GoFundMe means big bucks for dubious care Jeremiah Jon Smith, 38, pleaded guilty Oct. 17 in Rice County District Court to theft by swindle, a felony. He admitted spending more than $23,000 raised for his medical bills through GoFundMe, an online fundraising platform, and benefit events.Swindles like the one Smith pulled raise the question of whether online fundraising is safe, consumer advocates said.”I don’t think anyone’s got their arms around it,” said Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates in Washington. “And the GoFundMes of the world pooh-pooh it.”GoFundMe claims to have raised more than $5 billion since 2010 and says fraud on its website is minuscule. The company warns potential donors to give only to people they know.”GoFundMe is dedicated to empowering people to help people, and an overwhelming majority of campaigns on our platform are safe and legitimate,” the company said in a statement. “Fraudulent campaigns make up less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all campaigns.”In the rare instances where people create campaigns with the intention of taking advantage of others’ generosity, GoFundMe takes swift action to resolve the issue.”A GoFundMe spokeswoman said the company will refund donations if a campaign organizer or beneficiary is charged with a crime. The company also may refund donations of up to $1,000 if its own investigation finds “misuses” of donations.Scams have always been with us, said Christina Tetreault a staff attorney with Consumers Union, a nonprofit based in Yonkers, N.Y.”I would say that the mode is new, but the scams are old,” Tetreault said during a panel discussion on peer-to-peer payments sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission.But the fact that fraud is taking place on the internet doesn’t make it any less prosecutable, said Prentiss Cox, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and the former head of consumer protection with the Minnesota attorney general’s office.”There are three kinds of consumer protection cases: scum, scam and skim. And this is scum,” Cox said of the cancer swindle. “If someone lies about cancer to take money from people, that’s just scum.”And the most effective way to stop it is to make sure people know that if they’re going to do this, they’re going to jail.”That apparently won’t happen in Smith’s cases. He’s scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9 in Rice County District Court. His plea agreement calls for no jail time, 10 years of probation, full restitution to identifiable victims and 480 hours of community service.Rheingold said GoFundMe and other fundraising platforms have a duty to ensure their campaigns are legitimate, because the platforms make money from them.”What level of duty do they have to the consumers who use it?” he said. “I would argue pretty strenuously that if somebody is using their platform and committing fraud, they need to demonstrate that they have engaged in some level of due diligence.”Adrienne Gonzalez runs a site called GoFraudMe that tracks GoFundMe scams. Gonzalez, of Richmond, Va., said she’s uncovered more than 220 scams in just over three years. GoFundMe has been better at taking down fraudulent campaigns, she said, but the site still relies on users to report suspected fraud.”GoFundMe says they’re the safest fundraising platform,” Gonzalez said. “I’m just over here on the other side, saying, ‘Look, these things happen.’?” ©2018 Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Citation: GoFundMe scams: ‘I don’t think anyone’s got their arms around it’ (2018, October 30) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-gofundme-scams-dont-arms.html 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. Explore further A Faribault, Minn., man has admitted faking cancer and spending the money raised for medical bills on marijuana, liquor, video games and dart tournaments.last_img read more

Researcher sees potential in generating energy from vibrations

first_img Citation: Researcher sees potential in generating energy from vibrations (2019, March 8) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-potential-energy-vibrations.html As an aerospace engineer who specializes in designing structures to avoid destructive vibrations, it was only natural for Levin to approach the quest for sustainable energy by applying what he knows about flutter and limit cycle oscillations, or LCO. Because of its potential to cause structural failure, flutter is nearly always engineered out of structures. “Usually flutter is not desirable,” said Levin. “But sometimes violent flutter can turn into moderate LCO, which will cause no failure, and this can be useful.” Levin wanted to explore the potential of harnessing the energy generated by flutter, and he took a six-month detour from his dissertation work, with the support of his advisor.Levin set up an experiment in the aeroelasticity lab’s wind tunnel, using a thin aluminum plate and piezoelectric elements, which generate voltage in response to mechanical stressors like flutter. He found that by increasing the vibrations’ frequency and amplitude, creating more curvature in the vibrational motion, using efficient piezoelectric elements and reducing air speed, he could squeeze the most power from the motion of the plate—sometimes increasing efficiency by more than 200 percent. Are large-scale flutter farms in our future? Probably not, said Levin. “My vision for this is, maybe you go on a long hike, on a cloudy day. You don’t have any solar power to charge your phone. But you do have a folded generator in your bag that you can take out, let it catch the breeze as you hike, and it can charge your phone. You can go even further and combine solar and wind. It’s scalable and useful. And,” he added jokingly, “it doesn’t involve scary mathematics. We’re using something that is so simple and so basic—at least for an aerospace engineer.”Levin will present his project, titled “Improving Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting from an Aeroelastic System,” at the International Forum on Aeroelasticity and Structural Dynamics in Savannah, Georgia in June of 2019. Provided by Duke University 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. Credit: Duke Universitycenter_img “Everyone is trying to get free energy—from the wind, from the waves, from the sun,” said Dani Levin, a Duke MEMS Ph.D. student in the lab of Professor Earl Dowell. Scientists harvest energy from beam’s self-induced, self-sustaining vibrations in airflow Explore furtherlast_img read more

Alliance Bank to undergo streamlining

first_imgTHE spotlight is on the country’s smallest lender, Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd, which could be looking at paring down its stake in its wholly-owned subsidiary, Alliance Investment Bank Bhd (AIBB).The move, if it materialises, will come amid an extremely competitive time for the investment banking scene both here and globally where it is becoming increasingly difficult to survive without a strong niche.IPO deals have dried up in recent years not only here but regionally while other deal-making activities in Asia have had their worst start to this year since about five years ago due mostly to a global economic slowdown. A source says that advisers have already been hired to start off the process of Alliance Bank selling its majority interest in AIBB. AdChoices广告When asked, Alliance Bank neither confirmed nor denied the matter.Unlock exclusive insights, analyses, and curated news on the economy on The Star Online’s Business section with Starbiz Premium.SubscribeLog In Corporate News13 Jul 2019IJM contract termination likely due to deadline issueCorporate News13 Jul 2019Yinson continues to draw interestProperty13 Jul 2019Pioneering the wellness concept for offices in Malaysia More Stories Tags / Keywords:center_img Economy13 Jul 2019Much to benefit from Malaysia-China tiesBanking12 Jul 2019Fed’s Williams joins with other officials leaning toward rate cutsOil & Gas11 Jul 2019OPEC action and trade truce may give oil the lift it needs Corporate Newslast_img read more

Varanasi Girl alleges discrimination at BHU administration denies

first_img Next Asian News International VaranasiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 13:05 IST BHU Student Archana Kumari alleges of discrimination by security guard.Photo: ANIA girl from Banaras Hindu University on Friday alleged discrimination by a security guard while trying to use a toilet in one of the colleges in the varsity campus.Archana Kumari told ANI, “I am a second-year student here. I am in charge of the BHU Bahujan help-desk which we place near Mahila Maha Vidyalaya (MMV) for helping students in the admission process. Yesterday when I was trying to get inside MMV to use the toilet, they refused to allow me to enter inside the college. He also misbehaved with me.”She also alleged that misbehaviour by security guards is common at the university and said, “Security guards often misbehave with women in BHU. Today also they have done the same and there anti-women behaviour is intolerable.”One of Archana’s associates, Ravindra Prakash Bharti said, “We put-up help desk at different places in BHU with due permission from the administration. This behaviour by security guard reeks of the social menace of untouchability. We demand the necessary action from authorities.”College administration, however, refuted the allegations and claimed that the girl was only barred from using a toilet meant for men.OP Rai, Chief Proctor, BHU said, “I have received the information about the incident and also sent a concerned official to the spot. After visiting the place of the incident he informed me that the girl was seeking to access a toilet meant for males for which she was prohibited. However, she was allowed to enter the college and use the designated washroom for girls.”The girl had also written a letter to Vice-Chancellor and proctor of the university seeking justice.Also read: BHU student shot dead outside hostel, tension on campusALSO WATCH| VC claims plot to defame BHU: Do you agree?For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byIram Ara Ibrahim Varanasi: Girl alleges discrimination at BHU, administration deniesCollege administration, however, refuted the allegations and claimed that the girl was only barred from using a toilet meant for men.advertisementlast_img read more

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on the denial of international media access to cover the elections. read more

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