Scientists decode Indian cobra genome, identify 19 key toxin genes

first_img Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” It will modernise antivenom development by leveraging genomics, recombinant protein expression and synthetic antibody development technologiesIn the January 2020 issue of Nature Genetics, scientists from SciGenom Research Foundation (SGRF), India, AgriGenome Labs, India, MedGenome, India/USA, SciGenom, India, and Genentech, a member of the Roche group, along with a team of international collaborators from academia and industry report the sequencing and assembly of a high-quality genome of the highly venomous, medically important Indian cobra (Naja naja). Using a combination of cutting-edge genomic technologies, the authors have assembled the most contiguous genome of this iconic venomous snake.Venom is a complex mixture of proteins encoded by genes that have been co-opted by some snakes as they evolved some 100 million years ago. In the Indian cobra genome, the authors identified 19 key toxin genes primarily expressed in the venom glands.“Targeting these 19 specific toxins using synthetic human antibodies should lead to a safe and effective antivenom for treating Indian cobra bites” said Dr Sekar Seshagiri, President, SGRF, Former Staff Scientist at Genentech, and lead study author. Currently, antivenom is produced by immunising horses with extracted snake venom and is based on a process developed well over 100 years ago. This process is laborious and suffers from a lack of consistency leading to varying efficacy and serious side effects.“It is about time we modernise antivenom development by leveraging genomics, recombinant protein expression and synthetic antibody development technologies. The Indian cobra genome and the catalogue of target toxins are a blueprint needed to do this. For the first time, we now have a full list of venom-relevant toxin genes of the Indian cobra” said Dr R Manjunatha Kini, Professor, National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore and an author on the study.“The Indian cobra is the first of the ‘big four’ deadly snakes to be sequenced. This is a major step towards understanding its venom components and it will effectively change the way antivenom is developed” said Dr George Thomas, Chief Operating Officer, AgriGenome Labs, India. He further added, “This study has provided a very high-quality reference genome that will make assessment of the Indian cobra genetic diversity possible and practical. It will be an important resource for conservation of this revered and feared Indian snake.”“Obtaining the genomes and the venom gland genes from the other three of the ‘big four’ and the deadly African snakes such as the black mamba, carpet viper and spitting cobras is the logical next step. It will provide a complete platform for developing a safe, universal antivenom for snakebite victims all over India, Africa and other neighbouring countries,” added Dr R Manjunatha Kini.Safe and effective antivenom is a major unmet social need in India and other parts of the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified snakebite as a neglected tropical disease (NTD). Institutions such as the Welcome Trust have announced funding for development of better antivenom. The Dept of Biotechnology, under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt of India, has also announced funding opportunities for antivenom development in India. These developments along with the insights gained from genome sequencing as reported in Nature Genetics, will help develop better antivenom that can end the snakebite crisis. Share MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app By EH News Bureau on January 7, 2020 Read Article The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story News WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals Scientists decode Indian cobra genome, identify 19 key toxin genes Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha AgriGenome Labsblack mambacarpet viper and spitting cobrasGenentechIndian cobra genomeMedGenomeNaja najaNature Geneticsneglected tropical diseaseRoche groupSciGenomSciGenom Research FoundationThe Dept of BiotechnologyThe World Health OrganisationVenom Related Posts Add Comment Comments (0)last_img read more

Mother charged with manslaughter after 1-year-old dies in hot car

first_imgSeminole County Sheriffs Office(SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla.) — The mother of a 1-year-old found dead after being left in a hot car all day has been charged with negligent manslaughter, authorities in Florida said Saturday.Kailyn Pollard, 29, was arrested on Friday hours after police in Seminole County said they were investigating the infant’s death. She made her first court appearance on Saturday.Pollard’s daughter was found at a Wawa gas station in Sanford, Florida, at about 4:40 p.m. on Friday, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Department said.According to an arrest report obtained by Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV, Pollard apparently forgot to drop her daughter off at day care before showing up to work at 8:30 a.m. The child remained in the car all day until Pollard left at about 4 p.m.The mother drove to Olive Garden to pick up dinner and then stopped for gas when she realized her daughter was in the rear-facing car seat in the back, according to the arrest report.The child was already dead when authorities arrived at the gas station, police said.Pollard was released from jail on $20,000 bond, according to WFTV, and will be back in court on Oct. 23.The high temperature in Sanford on Friday was 94 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.The child was one of two found dead in a hot car in central Florida on Friday, according to WFTV.Another child was found in a hot car in Orlando at about 2 p.m. on Friday and taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital where he was pronounced dead. No charges have been filed in that case.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Grayline Coaches receives a Tourliner Select

first_imgBicester-based Grayline Coaches has taken delivery of a Neoplan Tourliner Select P20, supplied by MAN Truck and Bus (01793 448000).Operations Manager Paul Gray says that he was impressed by the specification and build quality offered by the new Tourliner Select range, and the latest delivery follows a line of MAN-powered coaches purchased over a number of years.“We operate MAN coaches because of their reliability, economy and performance. The new Tourliner fits in with the rest of the fleet and our drivers and passengers are impressed with the overall package.“As Operations Manager, I can sleep easily at night knowing that the coach can go anywhere in Europe and have full back-up and support.“The MAN Neoplan is one of the finest vehicles; they are a great product and very keenly priced, and are rightly renowned and respected.”last_img read more

Barakah Offshore scores subsea work with Petronas

first_imgMalaysia’s Barakah Offshore has secured a contract to provide subsea services at Petronas Carigali’s subsea fields in east Malaysia.The contract calls for the provision of a main and support vessel, air and saturation diving, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and other related subsea services.These include Inspection, Maintenance, Repair, drilling support and other work to support Petronas Carigali’s operations, as and when necessary.The work will be carried out by Barakah Offshore’s subsidiary, PBJV.Barakah Offshore did not provide the financial details on the award, as the total value of the deal will depend on the actual work orders to be issued by Petronas Carigali during the contract period, which starts in August 2016 and ends in August 2018.There also an option to extend for another year. Petronas Carigali is an exploration and production subsidiary of the Malaysian energy giant Petronas.last_img read more

Getting the message on Twitter

first_img Follow John on Twitter Poison-pen columnists looking for a cheap shot can always rely on the ‘judges out of touch’ jibe. So it came as something of a welcome surprise to some to see the lord chief justice dealing firmly with the issue of Twitter in court last week. Not that he was prepared to refer directly to Twitter, instead using the quaint term ‘text-based communications devices’ (a tweet-ruining 34 characters). Stories referring to Twitter being allowed in the court room were a little misleading – last week’s practice guidance was merely a rubber-stamping of interim guidance from one year ago. It’s admirable that Lord Judge chose to intervene in an issue that clearly needs addressing. Let’s not kid ourselves: texts and tweets have been sent from courts for years – most of you reading this piece will probably have indulged at some point away from the gaze of the judge. This made the LCJ’s task a near-impossible one. The use of these devices (let’s call them ‘mobiles’ shall we?) by court users is inevitable, barring a draconian confiscation of every one as people enter. But the guidance will do little to address the dangers Lord Judge himself acknowledges are created by tweets from court. It is noted in his report that witnesses waiting to enter the courtroom will be able to read what is happening inside, helping to coach or brief them in ways that have always been prevented. There are also serious question marks over juries being granted access to inadmissible evidence from which they would normally be shielded. The guidance states that journalists are automatically allowed to tweet from court, the assumption being that they understand the laws of contempt and will edit their 140 characters accordingly. But what of legal bloggers? Do they count as members of the public or the media? It’s a grey area that has been granted no light here. Members of the public will have to apply to the bench for permission to tweet, a stipulation that will surely be abused in courtrooms across the land. It’s not difficult to conceal a phone while sitting in the public benches. And even if permission is sought and granted, how can the judge be satisfied that tweets are being kept within legal boundaries? Are they to impose hashtags for every case and monitor the live feeds on their own communications device? It is unworkable surely, and naïve to think that Twitter can be restrained from the courtroom. It is wise to allow the use of laptops and mobile phones, if only to prevent the absurd scuttling of reporters to and from courthouse press areas. Journalists should be allowed to write from the court, provided it is quiet and unobtrusive. But judges face an impossible task in regulating and supervising every tweet that emanates from the public benches. It won’t be long until a defence solicitor calls for a trial to be halted because of a rogue text or tweet. If it was a man with a megaphone threatening contempt laws outside court they would be stopped. Twitter can reach millions more people, but it’s a Pandora’s box that is near impossible to close.last_img read more

AU donates reusable face masks to South Sudan

first_imgAU Dismayed by South Sudan Related South Sudan Stalemate AU commends South Sudan on peace process South Sudan has reported 2,021 COVID-19 infections and 38 deaths.The African Union on Monday handed over a donation of reusable face masks to South Sudan to bolster its fight against COVID-19.The donation was presented to vice president Rebecca Nyandeng by the AU Commission chairperson’s Special Representative for South Sudan and Head of the African Union Liaison Office in South Sudan (AULOSS), Ambassador Joram Biswaro.South Sudan has reported 2,021 COVID-19 infections and 38 deaths, according to data from the U.S.-based Johns Jopkins University.The AU donation comes days after the Chinese Embassy in South Sudan also donated medical supplies to strengthen the country’s efforts against the pandemic.South Sudan’s weak health systems have been a cause of concern in many quarters regarding the country’s ability to tackle the spread of COVID-19.Various missions in the country have however helped the country in its response to the health crisis.Some civil organizations have also offered support to South Sudan in the fight against COVID-19.H.E. Amb. Joram Biswaro, #AU SRCC to #SouthSudan handed over reusable face masks to H.E. Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng, Head of the Gender and Youth Cluster in the @SouthSudanGov. The donation is part of ongoing AU assistance to South Sudan’s response to the #COVID19 pandemic— African Union Peace (@AU_PSD) July 6, 2020last_img read more

Kentucky’s weakness could mean big day for Prescott, Robinson

first_img‘Dakman and Robinson’ signs sprouted up in the Junction three weeks ago as SEC Nation arrived in Starkville. Fans painted Dak Prescott in a Batman costume, while they photoshopped Josh Robinson in a Robin outfit.The tandem may be superheros at Mississippi State, but opponents view them as brain-cramping riddles.The duo ranks in the top four in rushing in the Southeastern Conference. They are the only teammates in the power five conferences to accomplish that feat.Georgia Tech is the only other major conference school with two in the top five. Justin Thomas and Zach Laskey rank fourth and fifth respectively in the Atlantic Coast Conference.Robinson leads all active SEC players averaging 114.8 yards per game. Only Todd Gurley averages more at 154.6. But the Georgia running back is suspended indefinitely due to an NCAA investigation.Prescott is fourth in the league, averaging 96 yards per game.“The way Dak is throwing the ball as well, they stretch you constantly,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. “So it is a concern.”The numbers back that up. Kentucky is 11th in the SEC in run defense. The Wildcats allow 178 rushing yards a game. Those number become even worse in the SEC. Kentucky allowed an average of 274 yards on the ground to Florida, South Carolina and LSU. The Tigers piled up 303 yards last week. Mississippi State averages more rushing yards per game than all three of those teams. “I know what good run defense looks like and does not, so certainly we all know we need to get better and improve in certain areas,” Stoops said. “But like I said, I think some of it was improved.” The Bulldogs are second in the SEC rushing for 264 yards per game They trail Georgia by one yard. Southern Miss remains the only game this season that Prescott or Robinson didn’t run for 100 yards. The duo both eclipsed the century mark against UAB and LSU. Kentucky’s rush defense offers another opportunity Saturday.last_img read more

In new book, Times reporters detail Weinstein investigation

first_imgIn this Aug. 26, 2019, photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives in court in New York. A new book by The New York Times reporters who uncovered sexual misconduct accusations against Weinstein includes new details on the movie mogul’s attempts to stop the newspaper from publishing the story. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)NEW YORK  | A new book by The New York Times reporters who uncovered sexual misconduct accusations against Harvey Weinstein reveals the identities of some of the whistleblowers who aided their investigation and includes new details on the movie mogul’s attempts to persuade the newspaper not to publish the story.“She Said,” by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, details how Weinstein and a team of lawyers including an unlikely ally, the feminist lawyer Lisa Bloom, tried to convince reporters that accusers including the actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan were unreliable and mentally unstable.The book, which hits bookstore shelves Tuesday from Penguin Press, includes a copy of a confidential memo Bloom wrote to Weinstein in December 2016, in which she said she was “equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them.”“They start out as impressive, bold women, but the more one presses for evidence, the weaknesses and lies are revealed,” wrote Bloom, who has represented women who accused comedian Bill Cosby, former Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly and President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct.Bloom also suggested planting articles portraying McGowan as “unglued.”Bloom later told Kantor and Twohey she “deeply regretted” representing Weinstein and called the endeavor a “colossal mistake.”In another example of pulling back the curtain on their reporting, Kantor and Twohey reveal in the book that Weinstein’s longtime accountant, Irwin Reiter, had secretly provided them with information about women who had complained that they were harassed or assaulted by Weinstein, and the company’s failure to do anything about repeated complaints.That included giving the reporters an internal memo in which a movie studio employee described Weinstein’s harassment of female employees and actresses.“She Said” also includes a previously unreported allegation from Rowena Chiu, a former assistant at Weinstein’s Miramax studio, who says Weinstein pushed her against a bed and tried to rape her two decades ago.Weinstein’s lawyer, Donna Rotunno, said those allegations and others in the book are false.“This book contains one-sided allegations without having adequately investigated the facts of each situation,” she wrote, adding that there is a “very different side to every story.” Rotunno said Weinstein and Chiu had “a six-month physical relationship” that was consensual. She added that Weinstein was “now studying taking legal action” against Chiu for breaking a nondisclosure agreement.“As for Mr. Reiter, we know that he has his own dark reasons for sabotaging Mr. Weinstein and the company,” Rotunno added.Weinstein, 67, is scheduled to go to trial in January on charges alleging he raped an unidentified woman in his Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.Among other things, “She Said” details how Weinstein’s brother and business partner, Bob Weinstein, tried to convince him to get help two years before he was engulfed by the firestorm of allegations.It includes a previously unreported letter Bob Weinstein wrote in 2015 in which he told his brother he had “brought shame to the family.”“Your reaction was once more to blame the victims, or to minimize the misbehavior in various ways. If you think nothing is wrong with your misbehavior so in this area then announce it to your wife and family,” Bob Weinstein wrote in the memo.last_img read more

Raw Power

first_imgBy RUSSELL BENNETT IF THE Gippsland Power’s clash with the Bendigo Pioneers proved anything on Saturday, it’s that the gap…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Leafs are ready to put the past behind, start post season Tuesday

first_imgBy Bruce FuhrThe Nelson Daily SportsThe way the season started is the way the regular campaign ended for the Nelson Leafs — with a loss.Five players shared in the scoring to lead the Creston Valley Thunder Cats to a 5-4 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Nelson Leafs Saturday night at the NDCC Arena.The Leafs, finishing with a 25-22-0-3 record and third spot in the Murdoch Division, now prepare to face Beaver Valley in game on of the divisional playoffs beginning Tuesday in Fruitvale.“We’re now ready for the new season,” said Leaf captain Taylor O’Neil following the season-ending loss Saturday.“Our record is completely erased . . . we can completely forget it. Now we can focus on Beaver Valley.”The Thunder Cats, gaining a bit of revenge on the Leafs after losing 4-3 Friday in Creston, took the lead with a shorthanded marker by Brandon Formosa midway through the opening frame. Ryan Hewitt made it 2-0 before Nelson center Gavin Currie, playing his second game after recovering from a shoulder injury, combined with Dustin Johnson and Marcus Dahl, the cut the lead to 2-1 at intermission.Jovi Fabbri and Kane Dawe increased the lead to 4-1 six minutes into the second period before Johnson got one back for Nelson.However, Brennan Foreman got a little satisfaction on his former club scoring on Marcus Beesley two minutes later to restore the three-goal advantage. Foreman, dispatched to the Cats at the trading deadline in January, glared at the Leaf bench while skating past coach Chris Shaw after scoring.Dahl, with his second point of the game, gave Nelson some life before the period ended when his shot fooled Cats’ goalie Weston Joseph.It took the Leafs 19 minutes, and pulling the goalie, to cut the lead to 5-4. Colton Schell scored from a goalmouth scramble.Despite playing with two extra players after Creston’s Formosa was penalized in the final minute of the game, Nelson couldn’t find the equalizer.“That’s a pretty good team over there,” O’Neil confessed. “Obviously we were able to come together as a team last night but it was a close game too.”“It’s been like that all year,” O’Neil added. “We just didn’t have it tonight . . . had a couple unlucky bounces.”Nelson out shot the Cats 29-23, including 14-8 in the opening frame. Beesley was out dueled in goal by Joseph, who recorded the win.Ryan Waldhaus of Prince George, acquired by Nelson to fill the injured roster position of Darren Hogg, replaced Beesley in the second period.Nelson was given special exemption by B.C. Hockey to place Waldhaus on the roster after it was revealed Hogg would not be able to play again this season due to an injured leg.BLUELINES: It was quite a festive atmosphere in the arena Saturday as Leaf brass joined forces with Save On Foods and the NDCC to raise funds for Children’s Hospital Child Heath of B.C. . . .More than 700 fans attended with the 50-50 draw topping the $500 mark. . . .The concourse was filled with booths for the fans to enjoy, including tents occupied by The Bridge and Scotia Bank. . . .The Leafs welcomed back sniper Gavin Currie to the lineup this weekend. Currie, out since December 31 with a shoulder injury, has two points Saturday. . . .Colton Schell, with two points Saturday, won the Nelson scoring race by four points over Joel Stewart and five over Currie. . . .Blake Arcuri missed another game due to a shoulder injury, which he originally suffered in minor hockey. The Nelson Minor Hockey grad will have surgery in the next few weeks. . . .Evan J. Moir suffered a season-ending shoulder injury Friday in Creston. . . .Ryan Voykin, a contestant throughout the season during the Leafs shoot-to-win contest, and Shawn Badger, after winning the program draw, had a chance to win a Ford Fiesta in the Nelson Ford Shootout during the second period intermission. Both missed in their bids. . . .Friday, Connor Enright scored twice and added an assist to lift Nelson to the 4-3 [email protected]last_img read more