President Ram Nath Kovind awarded the Presidential Colours to Ladakh Scouts, and reminded the troops of their pledge to protect the sovereignty of the nation at any cost.The Ladakh Scouts, or “Snow Warriors”, is a regiment of the Army stationed in Ladakh and serves as the first line of border defence. Dedicating his Leh visit — his first official trip outside Delhi — to the armed forces, Mr. Kovind said: “Being the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, this visit is dedicated to the soldiers.”Mr. Kovind’s visit comes just a week after Indian and Chinese troops got into a scuffle following an attempt by the Chinese soldiers to cross the Line of Actual Control near the Pangong Lake.Heroic battlesRecalling the heroic battles fought by the Ladakh Scouts in defending the country, Mr. Kovind said, “We have pledged to protect the sovereignty of our nation in all situations. I am sure we will fulfil this pledge at all costs and uphold the pride and honour of the country.”Stating that the Ladakh Scouts was set up to thwart the Pakistani attack in 1947-48, he noted that the regiment had displayed exemplary courage and the spirit of sacrifice in fighting the Chinese in 1962, Pakistanis in 1971 and the Kargil war in 1999.Presidential Colours is one of the greatest honours conferred upon a unit for their extraordinary service. “Posted in one of the most difficult climatic conditions and geographical locations, your bravery is bigger than your numbers,” he told the troops after inspecting an impressive parade at the Ladakh Regimental Centre.Border reviewThe Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, participated.General Rawat, who arrived in Leh on Sunday, would review border security against the backdrop of the tensions with China.Earlier, on his arrival at the Leh airport, Mr. Kovind was received by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and General Rawat.
A court on Tuesday denied bail to Vikas Barala, son of Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala, and his friend Ashish Kumar, accused of stalking and attempt to abduct a woman here earlier this month. Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate B.P. Singh rejected their bail applications. After Vikas and Ashish submitted their petitions last Friday, the court sought a reply from the Chandigarh police, who opposed their plea. Vikas Barala and Ashish were remanded in judicial custody till August 25 after they were arrested on August 5 on a complaint from Varnika Kundu, 29. But they were soon freed on bail. This prompted political parties and activists to accuse the police of “diluting” the case by not making out the serious charge of kidnap against the duo. The police re-arrested them on August 9 after charging them under Sections 365 and 511 of the IPC (attempt to abduct). read more
Four Maoist, who had allegedly killed a tribal on October 6 night accusing him of being a police informer, were arrested in Malkangiri district of Odisha on Sunday.They were arrested during a raid by the security personnel inside the jungle near Rajulkonda village under the Kalimela police station. Kalimela police station in-charge Ram Prasad Nayak said initial investigation has revealed that the four arrested persons were directly involved in the murder of Dambaru Nayak. The tribal had been beaten and tortured after being termed a police informer at a praja court held by a group of ultras at Kurub village on October 6. Later, Dambaru Nayak had been dragged into the nearby forest, where his head was crushed with a heavy boulder.As the investigation is on, the identity of the arrested persons was not revealed by the police. However, as initial investigation revealed that a group of Maoists and their militia led by Randev, leader of Kalimela Dalam of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) organisation, was involved in the murder. “To terrorise the tribals living in this remote region, the Maoists murdered the victim, who was a successful farmer of Kurub and had no links with the police,” said Mr. Nayak. After the murder at Kurub village, the police had started tracking the Maoists involved. Proper gathering of intelligence about the movement of Maoist of the region led to the arrest of the four. read more
The Goa Police on Thursday arrested French national Stephane Humbert (58) for alleged possession of narcotic substances and foreign currency worth ₹6.5 lakh.He was arrested during a raid at Chapora village, considered a popular narco-tourism destination. Officers from Anjuna police station seized LSD strips, cocaine and charas worth about ₹4.5 lakh from Mr. Humbert. “We have also seized around ₹2 lakh in foreign currency from the accused. He has been booked under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. He will also be booked for possession of foreign currency,” a police spokesperson said.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said militants were trying to sabotage the Ramzan ceasefire, as the Army foiled another infiltration bid and killed three militants in north Kashmir’s Kupwara.“Even as we see the ceasefire bringing great relief to the people of J&K, militants seem to be continuing their violent activities and desperately trying to sabotage the process. I only hope that they realise the futility of their actions soon,” Ms. Mufti said.The statement comes a day after Lashkar-e-Taiba attacked an Army camp in Bandipora’s Hajin.Meanwhile, Army’s Srinagar-based defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said the Army foiled an infiltration bid and killed three militants near the Line of Control (LoC) in Machil Sector in the morning.In south Kashmir, a spontaneous shutdown was observed in Pulwama and Kulgam as the bodies of Mudasir Ahmad Bhat and Sheraz Ahmad Sheikh were buried in their villages.The bodies were exhumed on Tuesday evening from Kupwara’s Tangdhar area. The two local militants were among five infiltrators killed on May 25 and 26 in an Army operation in Kupwara.The authorities also snapped Internet services in Pulwama and Kulgam districts. Railway authorities also suspended train service. read more
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to provide a copy of the full report of Assam NRC Co-ordinator Prateek Hajela to the Centre on what excluded citizens could offer as proof of ancestry.“We are extremely interested in having a copy,” Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal submitted.To this, Justice Ranjan Gogoi replied, “You may be interested, but we have to balance it. The court has called for the report, now it is the discretion of the court to give it to you or not. First you respond to this suggestion (of Mr. Hajela that excluded citizens be allowed to produce additional documents to prove their legacy), then we will see about it.” Later, in the court’s order, Justice Gogoi recorded that “the Attorney General has sought a copy of the co-ordinator’s report. We are of the view that what has been set out in the order (of the court) would be sufficient for the Union of India, stakeholders to indicate their views on it.”In the previous hearing on August 28, the apex court had noted how the ouster of 40 lakh people in the draft NRC raised “human problems of a huge magnitude.”‘Re-doing’ exerciseHowever, the previous hearing had also seen the Bench of Justices Gogoi and Rohinton Nariman raise questions about the Centre’s willingness, expressed in its draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for receiving claims and objections, to allow claimants another chance to prove their Indian ancestry by submitting fresh documents.It had even indicated that giving a second opportunity to claimants would “upset the apple cart” and amount to “re-doing the entire exercise” of NRC.The court’s questions had prompted Mr. Venugopal to plead that the government was only giving “another chance to people who risk losing all their rights.” Finally, the Bench had ordered Mr. Hajela to file a report on the ramifications of the Centre’s proposal. read more
A day after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati talked tough on alliances, warning her party wás ready to go it alone if a respectable numbers of seats weren’t offered to them, the Congress on Monday reacted with caution.“Mr. Kamal Nath [State Congress chief] is carrying on negotiations with the BSP,” Jairam Ramesh, a member of the Congress core group, told The Hindu on a day when party president Rahul Gandhi participated in a road show in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal. “How the negotiations will play out will be revealed in the next few days. Whether we have an alliance, how many seats will the BSP contest and even if we have an alliance, it is very clear that the majority of the seats would be contested by Congress,” Mr. Ramesh said. The Congress is looking for a tie-up with the BSP in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to consolidate the anti-BJP votes.Sources close to the negotiations say the BSP is eyeing 50 seats in M.P. while the Congress isn’t willing to offer more than 30 right now.But beyond Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Ms. Mayawati’s comment could lend itself to interpretations in the context of a possible grand alliance of Opposition parties, especially in the crucial battleground of Uttar Pradesh. Observers point here to Ms. Mayawati’s decision to not participate in the recent Congress-led nationwide agitation over soaring fuel prices as a clear indication that the BSP supremo was already setting the stage for some hard bargaining. Opinion in the Congress is divided on how the BSP’s stance may impact Opposition unity. While one section contends the “BSP has no option,” another section avers that the BJP is resorting to pressure tactics to dissuade Ms. Mayawati from any such alliance.“Like all opposition leaders, Behenji [Mayawati] is no exception and there will be pressure on her too,” a Congress leader from U.P said on condition of anonymity. “We are not the only ones who are in touch with her. The BJP’s top leadership too would be reaching out and, at times, through government agencies.” read more
Activist and trade unionist Sudha Bharadwaj on Tuesday submitted before a special court here that there was no authenticity in the letter apparently written by her to a Naxalite seeking funds to mobilize cadres.Special Judge K.D. Wadane was hearing the bail pleas of Ms. Bharadwaj and Vernon Gonsalves, who were arrested on August 28 for alleged Maoist links and in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon clashes. “The Pune police have produced only one letter purportedly written by Ms. Bharadwaj to a certain Maoist. This letter is undated, unnamed and its authenticity is eminently questionable. How much importance can it be accorded?” said senior advocate Dr. Yugmohit Chaudhary, representing Ms. Bharadwaj.Ms. Bharadwaj’s social work for the rights of tribals and oppressed communities had established her “unblemished character,” Mr. Chaudhary said.“How can the Pune police base her arrest on the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ event when she was not even physically present there?” he said.No separate offenceFurther, Dr. Chaudhary asked why agencies had not registered a separate offence against Ms. Bharadwaj and other activists if they believed that the latter were part of a plot to assassinate the Prime Minister, as mentioned in another letter. “Despite a Naxal letter which linked the activists in a plot to kill the PM, why was their investigation and arrest based on something as flimsy as the FIR in the ‘Elgaar Parishad’ event?”The Delhi High Court on October 1 ended the house arrest of journalist-activist Gautam Navlakha, who was arrested along with Ms. Bharadwaj. As the courts had deemed Mr. Navlakha’s arrest ‘illegal’, then the only logical consequence is to grant her bail too, Mr. Chaudhary said.The Maharashtra government has moved the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court order.Political vendettaAdvocate Dhairyasheel Patil, representing Vernon Gonsalves alleged that he was “a victim of political vendetta.”“[Mr. Gonsalves] has been framed as he has written in the past against the powers-that-be,” Mr. Patil said.The next hearing is on October 20.On Monday, the court heard the bail plea of activist Arun Ferreira. His counsel, Sudeep Pasbola, submitted that the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), to which his client belonged, had no connection with Naxals and that mere possession of allegedly incriminating documents did not prove membership of a banned organisation.Stating that Mr. Ferreira is the IAPL treasurer, Mr. Pasbola said that the outfit fought legal battles for the downtrodden and marginalized and was well within Constitutional limits.The court has already heard the bail pleas of activists Shoma Sen and Surendra Gadling.Ms. Sen, human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, Dalit activist-publisher Sudhir Dhawale, and activists Mahesh Raut and Rona Wilson were arrested by the city police on June 6 for their alleged links with the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the Bhima-Koregaon clashes.On August 28, in a second countrywide crackdown, the Pune police arrested activists Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha on similar charges. read more
The Congress in Goa on Friday demanded that the BJP-led coalition government must prove that the ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has not been seen in public since October 14, is fit to govern.Addressing a press conference at the Congress State headquarters in Panaji, former MLA and party spokesperson Jitendra Deshprabhu warned that the Opposition party would have to approach the Court in public interest to seek directions to the government to issue a medical bulletin specifying the health details of Mr. Parrikar. “At least they should release a video showing that the Chief Minister is walking, speaking and working. There is no bulletin or any doctor speaking on his health condition,” Mr. Deshprabhu said. “We request the BJP president not to misguide people. The fact should be known to the people of Goa,” Mr. Deshprabhu said in the context of recent statements by Goa BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar that Mr. Parrikar will be back in Secretariat in first week of November.Mr. Parrikar who is currently taking treatment at his residence, has been in and out of hospitals in Goa, Mumbai, Delhi, and the US. His prolonged absence has created a political leadership vacuum in Goa with the Opposition parties repeatedly demanding that he should step aside and focus on his treatment. Mr. Parrikar has not had a single public appearance since his return from Delhi’s AIIMS hospital on October 14. Sources in BJP said Mr. Parrikar is undergoing treatment at his private residence, which has been converted into a hi-tech medical facility, with medical and para medical staff on 24-hour duty. read more
Ten persons, including eight children, died when the fishing boat they had boarded capsized near Nipania village in Odisha’s Kendrapara district on Wednesday evening.The overloaded boat was anchored in a creek of the Mahanadi River system a few kilometres away from Hukitola, an unmanned island in Bay of Bengal and a popular picnic spot. The boat turned upside down when three of the occupants tried to embark from one side.“Forest department, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, police and local people carried out rescue operation on Wednesday night and managed to fish out nine bodies. Body of a six-year-old girl, who is believed to be dead, is to be retrieved,” said Dasarathi Satpathy, Kendrapara district magistrate, speaking to The Hindu via telephone from the spot on Thursday morning.As many as 55 persons, mostly women and children, of 17 families belonging to Hasina village from neighbouring Jagatsinghpur district had come to Hukitola for a New Year picnic.They had taken a fishing boat which was not fit for carrying passengers and was meant for a maximum of 20 people. They were returning to their village in the evening when a woman wanted to answer the call of nature. As the boat was anchored in the creek, two more women got down.The boat turned upside down as all three tried to embark it from the same side. Hearing the shrieks of drowning passengers, the villagers of Nipania rushed to the spot. Braving the cold weather and possible presence of crocodiles in water, locals rescued passengers and retrieved dead bodies.Expressing his grief over the boat tragedy, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday morning announced ex gratia of ₹4 lakhs to the next of kin of the deceased and free treatment to the injured. read more
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday expressed concern over the Food Corporation of India’s gradual withdrawal from procurement of foodgrains in the State.He said the State government would raise the issue with the Centre and seek increase in the central agency’s procurement share.An official statement said that Capt. Amarinder, during a meeting to review the procurement arrangements for the upcoming Rabi season, said that he would ask the Union Food Minister to increase the share of FCI in State procurement. The procurement, he pointed out, had declined from 30.69% to a mere 12% in the last 20 years.“In the last ten years, FCI had been pulling back at the last minute from procuring even the quota decided at the start of the season,” said the statement.
The Meteorological Department has issued a fresh yellow weather warning for thunderstorm in Himachal Pradesh on April 24, an official said on Tuesday. The Shimla Met centre forecast thunderstorm accompanied with hailstorm at isolated places in high and low hills of the State on Wednesday. The Met office issues colour-coded warnings to alert people ahead of severe or hazardous weather which has the potential to cause “damage, widespread disruption or danger to life”. Yellow is the least dangerous out of the weather warnings — it indicates the possibility of severe weather over the next few days. Meanwhile, the weather remained dry over the State.
Want to live a long, dementia-free life? Stress your cells out. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that heightened cellular stress causes brain cells to produce a protein that staves off Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The work could lead to new ways to diagnose or treat such diseases.“This paper is very impressive,” says neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who was not involved in the new work. “It puts a finger on a particular pathway that can provide some explanation as to why some people are more susceptible to Alzheimer’s.”Alzheimer’s disease, characterized by a progressive loss of memory and cognition, affects an estimated 44.4 million people worldwide, mostly over the age of 65. The illness has been linked to the accumulation of certain proteins in the brain, but what causes symptoms has been unclear. That’s because the brains of some elderly people without dementia have the same clumps of so-called amyloid β and τ proteins typically associated with Alzheimer’s.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The new study deals with a protein called repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor (REST), which turns genes and off. Scientists knew that REST played a key role in fetal brain development by controlling the activity of certain genes, but they thought it was absent in adult brains. However, when Bruce Yankner, a neurologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, looked at all the genes and proteins that change in brains as people age, he found that REST levels begin increasing again when a person hits their 30s. Stumped as to why, he and his colleagues isolated human and mouse brain cells and probed what factors altered REST levels and what consequences those levels had.Any form of cellular stress, Yankner discovered, ranging from immune reactions to protein accumulation, causes an increase in REST in the brain. Such stressors become more prevalent as someone ages, Yankner says. And when REST levels rise, he found, the protein begins turning off genes involved in cell death—keeping brain cells alive even if they would normally undergo cellular suicide. While cells elsewhere can replace themselves after such cell death, most brain cells can’t. So keeping brain cells alive even through cellular stress is key to a long-lasting brain, Yankner says.“By and large, the neurons in your brain that you’re born with are the ones you die with. So there’s a premium on keeping neurons alive, even if they’re slightly damaged,” he says. “We think REST is part of this robust machine that enables the brain to survive for a lifetime.”When Yankner’s group measured REST levels in the autopsied brains of elderly people who had died of Alzheimer’s, levels of the protein were three times lower than in the brains of people of the same age without dementia, the team reports online today in Nature. This suggests that the protection provided by REST against brain cell death is lessened in those affected by dementia, Yankner says.Indeed, in mice lacking REST proteins in their brains, neurons died quickly as the mice aged, but adding REST back to mice’s cells stopped the neuronal death, Yankner’s group found. Likewise, in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, animals that lacked a worm version of REST and were also prone to accumulating amyloid β proteins showed faster neuron degeneration than worms with similar amyloid β levels but high levels of REST.“This doesn’t dispute the idea that amyloid or τ accumulation is playing a role in Alzheimer’s,” Yankner explains. “It basically says that there are toxic influences on the brain and there are protective influences.” REST, he says, appears to be a protective influence.“Now, this becomes a chicken-and-egg question,” Tsai says. “What causes low levels of REST and what can people do to increase them?” For the finding to have clinical implications, she says, researchers must develop ways to test REST levels in the bloodstream, rather than just in autopsied brain tissue.Yankner says he and his colleagues are working on developing such tests, as well as sorting out whether diseases and dementias other than Alzheimer’s are linked to low REST levels. Already, they’ve shown that certain existing drugs may boost REST. “It’s an eminently druggable target,” he says. “And it’s exciting to have a new idea in a field that’s been ruled by a fairly stereotypical paradigm until now.” read more
For much of the last decade, a team of researchers in Boston has eagerly exhumed and reburied dirt. It’s part of a strategy to access an untapped source of new antibiotics—the estimated 99% of microbes in the environment that refuse to grow in laboratories. Now, their technique has yielded a promising lead: a previously unknown bacterium that makes a compound with infection-killing abilities. What’s more, the team claims in a report out today, the compound is unlikely to fall prey to the problem of antibiotic resistance. That suggestion has its skeptics, but if the drug makes it through clinical trials, it would be a much needed weapon against several increasingly hard-to-treat infections.Many existing antibiotics, including penicillin, were identified by cultivating naturally occurring microorganisms—bacteria often try to kill each other with chemical warfare, it turns out. But the supply of novel microbes that will grow in a lab has been largely tapped out. In 2002, microbiologist Kim Lewis, along with his colleague at Northeastern University in Boston, microbial ecologist Slava Epstein, described a new technique for coaxing bacteria to grow: Put soil samples into tiny chambers sandwiched between permeable membranes and return these contraptions to the ground. The bacterial strains confined in the chambers will form colonies—thanks in part, the team suspects, to growth factors from neighboring organisms that cross the membranes. The resulting “domesticated” colony can then be removed from the chamber and sometimes will more readily call a petri dish home.The researchers used a version of this approach to isolate and grow new bacterial colonies—many scooped out of soil in the backyard of microbiologist Losee Ling, who leads research and development at the startup company NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals, formed to commercialize their approach. To test the antibacterial properties of these soil microbes, the team let each of them duel in a lab dish with Staphylococcus aureus, a cause of serious skin and respiratory infections. Then they isolated and tested individual compounds—10,000 in all—from the bacteria that most effectively killed the staph bacteria.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)One bacterium, from a grassy field in Maine, produced a compound with powerful abilities to kill a variety of other bacterial species, including many human pathogens. Moreover, these pathogens failed to develop resistance to the compound: There were no surviving individuals that had evolved to withstand its attack. (Resistance usually develops when a small percentage of microbes escape an antibiotic because of a mutation and then those bacteria multiply.) Lewis initially took this total devastation as a discouraging sign—the mark of “another boring detergent.” (Bleach, after all, is a strong antibiotic, but it’s a little too effective at killing any surrounding cells.) However, it turned out that the new compound, which the group named teixobactin, was not toxic to human cells in a dish.And it showed other qualities of a good antibiotic, the team reports online in Nature. On bacteria growing in lab dishes, it outperformed vancomycin, a drug long relied upon to treat the obstinate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), by a factor of 100, Lewis says. In mice infected with MRSA, injections of teixobactin led to a 100% survival rate at lower doses than vancomycin.The compound isn’t effective against so-called Gram-negative bacteria, increasingly feared in hospitals for their resistance to existing drugs. But the authors suggest it could be of great value to people fighting MRSA, tuberculosis, and infections with rare-but-nasty Enterococcus bacterial strains that aren’t responding to available drugs.These results offer hope that other promising agents await discovery in the soil, says Helen Zgurskaya, a biochemist at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, who studies how bacteria become susceptible to antibiotics. “This study demonstrates that unculturable bacteria … have new, previously unrecognized, biologically active compounds,” she says. “We now have proof of principle, and I hope more people will follow this path.”But will teixobactin, like so many promising agents before it, eventually meet its match in a resistant strain? Lewis and his co-authors believe it’s unlikely. Collaborators at the University of Bonn in Germany figured out that teixobactin works by interfering with two important lipids that bacteria use to build their cell walls. (A few other known compounds work in a similar way, including vancomycin.) The authors suggest that bacteria are unlikely to evolve ways to resist teixobactin because it acts on two different targets that are highly conserved across many bacterial species and are not easily changed.Bacteria did eventually develop resistance to vancomycin, though Lewis points out that it took 30 years. And he thinks this compound may have even better odds than vancomycin. Based on the team’s screens of soil, the compound seems to be relatively rare, so Lewis doubts that many bacteria have evolved to produce an enzyme that could destroy it.That’s a logical argument, says Michael Fischbach, a microbiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. But there are many paths to developing resistance, and if any bacterium out there makes a substance with even limited activity against teixobactin, that could be “the starting point for evolution,” he says. “The results that they got were promising, no doubt about it,” he concludes, but “I would never underestimate the wiliness of bacteria.” read more
By end of 2018, the economy is expected to recover, as the impact of demonetisation and GST transition fade away. As per IMF estimates, India will become the fastest growing economy in the world outpacing China in 2019. IMF retained its India’ s GDP growth forecast of 6.7per cent and 7.4per cent in 2017 and 2018 respectively and pegged 2019 GDP growth at 7.8 per cent. India has typically recovered much faster than other prominent nations after global economic slowdown events such as dot-com crash, 9/11 crash or 2008 financial crisis thus showing signs of a maturing, stable economy.Read it at Entrepreneur Related Items
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services will accept new petitions for the H-1B work visas from April 1 to April 7.This agency says it will extend the date if the number of applications do not exceed the annual quota of 65,000.Last year the quota was exhausted in a day, but a slow down in the economy coupled with new legislation imposing restrictions on businesses received federal bailout money from hiring foreign workers is expected to ease the demand considerably this year. Related Items
Brus, the tribal community displaced by ethnic violence in Mizoram two decades ago, will soon decide whether or not to return to their villages from relief camps in adjoining Tripura.The Centre is planning to close down the relief camps in October after completing the ninth and final round of repatriation by September, for which the Mizoram government is expected to begin the process of re-identification of the refugees from Wednesday. Of the more than 40,000 Brus — also known as Reangs — who fled two rounds of ethnic violence in Mizoram since 1997, about 32,850 have stayed back in six relief camps in Tripura. “Our leaders and advisors will be meeting soon to decide whether the situation is safe enough for us to go back to Mizoram,” said Laldingliana, leader of the Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Coordination Committee. The Joint Monitoring Group on Bru Repatriation had discussed the issue of repatriation in New Delhi on June 28. Leaders of the rival Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum attended the meeting with officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs and governments of Mizoram and Tripura.“The Central government has not yet intimated to our organisation on the proposed final repatriation,” Mr Laldingliana said.A Mizoram government official said the refugees who return will be provided free ration and ₹5,000 a month per family for two years.The refugees who have spurned the repatriation offer said they would leave the relief camps only if the government fulfilled their demands. They include the creation of a development council for the Brus in Mizoram, allocation of five hectares of land to each refugee family, their settlement in cluster villages with each housing at least 500 families, ₹4 lakh compensation to each family before repatriation, revision of electoral rolls, identification of 1,000 left out families and general amnesty to the refugees. read more