Interesting Facts about the Human Heart

Medindia Health News
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Interesting Facts about the Human Heart

Nov 16th 2013, 07:08

Your heart is probably the most important organ of your body; and why not? Considering its remarkable ability to keep the body going, and the various organs and organ systems functioning normally, it does deserve all the extra care and attention.

But do you know all about this ‘most important’ part of your body? Here are some really cool facts about the heart that you probably didn’t know-

Size issues: The size of the heart can be estimated by looking at the fist-for kids, the heart is around the same size as one fist, and for adults it is two.

It beats: In a day, the heart beats for more than 100,000 times; and in a whole lifetime, it can go as high as 2.5 billion beats.

Pump it up: Your heart pumps out a lot of blood in the entire lifetime-by a lot, we mean approximately equal to 3 super tankers.

Time factors: A normal kitchen faucet would need to be running for at least 45 years to flow out the same amount of water as the blood pumps out during an average lifetime.

Electric it is! The heart has a power output ranging from 1-5 watts; calculated for 80 years, it equals around 2.5 gigajoules of power.

Super cell: The human body contains over 75 trillion cells, and all of them have access to the blood pumped by the heart; except for the cornea of the eye.

Lub dub: The heart contains 4 valves, and the lub dub sound of the heart beating is actually made by the closing and opening of the valves of the heart.

Beats 4 you: The heart of a baby begins at around 4 weeks after conception.

Tissue or liquid: As much as it looks like a reddish blue liquid, blood is actually a tissue, just like your skin, kidney and many other parts of the body.

Speed it up: When you are at rest, it takes just six seconds for your blood to get from your heart to your lungs, and back; and about eight seconds for it to travel from the heart to the brain and back; and just sixteen seconds for it to travel from the heart to the toes and back to the heart.

Men-women: A woman’s heart beats much faster than a man’s on an average- it beats for around 78 times a minute, while a man’s heart beats around 70 times per minute.

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New Technique for Developing Drugs to Treat Serious Illnesses Identified

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New Technique for Developing Drugs to Treat Serious Illnesses Identified

Nov 16th 2013, 07:08

Researchers in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences and Department of Biochemistry at the University of Leicester, together with colleagues in Cambridge, the USA and Italy, have employed a new technique to create protein-based drugs.

According to Professor Nick Brindle, the lead researcher: “This technique harnesses the power of evolution to engineer specific functions into a protein, such as the ability to neutralise a toxin or to activate healing.

“This involves making a particular cell type generate millions of different variants of our protein, selecting the variants that have improved properties and then repeating the cycle until the protein has been changed to a form with the exact properties we want.”

To show how the method works, the group took a protein normally found in the body and evolved it into a form that can block a molecule involved in blood vessel growth and inflammation.

This new protein, called a ligand-trap, is now being developed as a potential therapeutic for treating heart disease, inflammation and other illnesses.

Said Professor Brindle: “The idea that you can evolve proteins into forms that do what you want is not new, but it has been very difficult to do this for many of the complex proteins that we want to use as drugs or for other applications.

“This new approach promises to make engineering of such proteins not only possible but relatively easy. In addition to medicine, these specifically evolved ‘designer proteins’ have a wide range of applications in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and agricultural industries.

“This is a big step forward. We are hoping that, over the next five years or so, this new protein can be developed into a form that could be used to treat inflammation and other conditions.”

The work, being published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), MRC and the Wellcome Trust. The Leicester team collaborated principally with Dr Julian Sale at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, with additional input from Dr Hiroshi Arakawa in Italy and Dr Jean-Marie Buerstedde at Yale.

Professor Brindle said: “We are really excited about getting this technique to work and are already using it to make other new molecules that we think will be useful to people. It was a real bonus for us to be able to evolve the ligand trap using the technique as this trap targets a molecule that is involved in a whole range of health problems.”

Source: Eurekalert

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Sandoz’s TB Combination Drug 4D and 4D Plus Recalled Due to Inappropriate Dosage on the Strips

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Sandoz’s TB Combination Drug 4D and 4D Plus Recalled Due to Inappropriate Dosage on the Strips

Nov 16th 2013, 06:09

The Maharashtra FDA received reports that strips of pharma major, Sandoz’s TB combination drug, 4D, sold across six states carried the wrong dosage.
On investigation, FDA inspectors found that a more powerful version of the TB drug called 4D plus also carried the wrong dosage. The FDA has ordered the suspension of the sale of drugs 4D and 4D Plus in the state and also alerted the other states where the drug is marketed.

This information to the FDA in Maharashtra was passed on by a South Mumbai Doctor who had noticed the wrong dosage on some strips that one of his patients had bought from a pharmacy in Cumballa Hill.

The patient had come to him after falling extremely sick with bouts of vomiting as he had consumed five such strips.

Consuming drugs in wrong dosages is extremely dangerous. Not only does it render the drug ineffective, such inappropriate dosages can be one of the reasons for the TB bacterium developing great resistance to antibiotics.

Source: Medindia

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Protein-rich Breakfast Helps Curb Appetite

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Protein-rich Breakfast Helps Curb Appetite

Nov 16th 2013, 06:09

In 18-55-year-old women, eating protein-rich breakfast can help curb hunger throughout the morning, reveals study.
“Eating a breakfast rich in protein significantly improves appetite control and may help women to avoid overeating later in the day,” Kevin C. Maki, principal investigator of the study and a research scientist with Biofortis Clinical Research, a Merieux NutriSciences company, said.

All of the breakfast meals contained approximately 300 calories and similar quantities of fat and fiber. The protein-rich breakfast bowls contained 30 to 39 grams of protein.

Participants completed questionnaires to rate aspects of appetite – such as hunger, fullness, and desire to eat- before breakfast and at 30 minute intervals between breakfast and lunch. A standard lunch meal of tortellini and sauce was served and subjects were asked to eat until comfortably full.

Study participants had improved appetite ratings (lower hunger, more fullness, less desire to eat) throughout the morning after eating each protein-rich breakfast, and also ate fewer calories at lunch, compared with the low-protein breakfast and breakfast skipping (water only).

The study was presented at The Obesity Society’s annual scientific meeting in Atlanta.

Source: ANI

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New 3-year BSc Community Health Programme Gets Government Approval

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New 3-year BSc Community Health Programme Gets Government Approval

Nov 16th 2013, 06:09

The main purpose of creating a new cadre of health professionals in rural areas is because many doctors were not willing to serve in these areas.

According to The Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, the proposed course is likely to be introduced in the states that are willing to adopt it from academic 2013-14. This new cadre of health professionals in community health programmes will boost the rural medicare infrastructure in the country.

This course will be a three-and-a -half-year Bachelor of Rural Healthcare course, BSc (Community Health), and those that successfully complete this course can seek employment as Community Health Officers (CHOs) in rural India.

Source: Medindia

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In African-American Children, Researchers Identify First Genetic Mutations Linked to Atopic Dermatitis

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In African-American Children, Researchers Identify First Genetic Mutations Linked to Atopic Dermatitis

Nov 15th 2013, 19:03

A new report by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that loss-of-function mutations to Filaggrin-2 (FLG2), a gene that creates a protein responsible for retaining moisture and protecting the skin from environmental irritants, were associated with atopic dermatitis in African American children. The study, the first report to deduce the mechanism responsible for the persistent form of the condition in African American children, was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Nearly half of people with atopic dermatitis in the United States are African-American children. Previous studies have shown than those of African descent do not usually carry a mutation to the filaggrin gene (FLG) that has been associated with the risk of onset and persistence of AD in those of European and Asian ancestry.

“This finding helps confirm that skin barrier proteins are important in Atopic Dermatitis for people of all ancestries,” said lead study author David Margolis, MD, PhD, professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology. “It could also lead to a way to determine which children are most likely to have persistent flare ups throughout their lives.”

The team evaluated DNA from 299 African American children, none of whom had experienced skin free of symptoms of AD while not on medication in the previous 6 months. Within the group, researchers discovered that children with either one of two FLG2 mutations – rs12568784 or rs16833974 – were more than 50 percent more likely to have persistent AD than those without the mutations.

Future research will work to better understand mutations of FLG2 and determine if they result in functional changes to the FLG2 protein. In addition, the team is continuing research into mechanisms that may turn off the immune response to irritants that pass through the dysfunctional skin barrier and incite the inflammatory response seen in AD.

Source: Eurekalert

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