Study reveals malaria discovery could expedite antiviral treatment for Covid-19

WASHINGTON: A study outlines a strategy that could save years of drug discovery research and millions of dollars in drug development by repurposing existing treatments designed for other diseases such as cancer. The study demonstrated that the parasites that cause malaria are heavily dependent on enzymes in red blood cells where the parasites hide and proliferate. The approach shows so much promise it has received government funding for its potential application in the fight against Covid-19. The study, published in Nature Communications, was conducted by an international team and led…

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Study reveals brain noise contains a unique signature of dream sleep

WASHINGTON: When we dream, our brains are filled with noisy electrical activity that looks nearly identical to that of the awake brain. But researchers have pulled a signal out of the noise that uniquely defines dreaming, or REM (Rapid eye movement) sleep, potentially making it easier to monitor people with sleep disorders, as well as unconscious coma patients or those under anaesthesia. The study highlighting the first (electroencephalogram) EEG measure of REM sleep that allowed scientists to distinguish dreaming from wakefulness, was published in the journal eLife. Each year, hundreds…

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New study reveals GP trainees willing to use mindfulness to tackle burnout

WASHINGTON: Mindfulness could help trainee general practitioners (GPs) to build their resilience and reduce burnout, helping to reduce the number of newly qualified GPs leaving the profession, according to University of Warwick researchers. A new study of GP trainees in Coventry and Warwickshire shows that they are experiencing similar levels of burnout to experienced GPs, but that the majority were willing to use mindfulness as a method to reduce its impact. The study is published in the journal BJGP Open and surveyed 47 GP trainees working in Coventry and Warwickshire…

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Indian nurse stabbed to death in US

WASHINGTON: An Indian nurse has been killed outside a hospital in the US after she was stabbed multiple times and struck by a vehicle, in what police in South Florida are calling an incident of domestic dispute. Merin Joy, 26, who is from Kerala, was stabbed “multiple times” while leaving Coral Springs hospital on Tuesday. Coral Springs Police Deputy Chief Brad McKeone said the woman was leaving Broward Health Coral Springs, where she worked, when the man “pulled up behind her and ended up attacking her.” Joy was stabbed “multiple…

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New study show immunity drops quickly in mild Covid-19 cases

WASHINGTON: A study shows that in people with mild Covid-19 cases, their antibodies against the coronavirus drop sharply over the first three months after infection. A research team at the University of California, Los Angeles, did an in-depth study of 34 people who had recovered from mild Covid-19 infections. They tested their blood two or three times over three months, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday. The researchers found a rapid drop in antibodies – the immune system proteins that help stop viruses from infecting cells in the body. On…

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Scientists report that airborne coronavirus is probably infectious

WASHINGTON: Scientists have known for several months the new coronavirus can become suspended in microdroplets expelled by patients when they speak and breathe, but until now there was no proof that these tiny particles are infectious. A new study by scientists at the University of Nebraska that was uploaded to a medical preprint site this week has shown for the first time that SARS-CoV-2 taken from microdroplets, defined as under five microns, can replicate in lab conditions. This boosts the hypothesis that normal speaking and breathing, not just coughing and…

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Trump to revamp environmental law in bid to fast track pipelines, roads

US President Donald Trump (File photo: AP) WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump is expected to announce his final plans to expedite permitting for major infrastructure like oil pipelines and road expansions in Atlanta on Wednesday, a move that environmentalists say will bypass public input. The proposal to update how the 50-year old bedrock National Environmental Protection Act is implemented is part of Trump’s broader campaign to cut environmental regulation to boost industry and fast-track projects that often take years to complete – an effort that has been blocked or slowed down…

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Indian-American scientist appointed acting head of top US agriculture research organisation

WASHINGTON: Prominent Indian-American scientist Dr Parag Chitnis has been appointed as the Acting Director of the prestigious National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which drives all federally funded agricultural research in the US. Chitnis was named Associate Director for Programmes earlier this year and leads implementation of NIFA’s approximately USD 1.7 billion research projects. “Dr Chitnis brings more than 31 years of scientific research and experience to the Director’s office,” US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said while announcing the name of Chitnis as NIFA’s Acting Director. Chitnis replaces Dr…

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Donald Trump grateful for Indian-Americans’ support: White House

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump is “Incredibly grateful” for the “widespread support” he has received from the people of India and Indian-Americans, the White House has said in response to a survey suggesting that over 50 per cent of the community members in some key battleground American states are switching over to him in the presidential election in November. White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews made the comments while responding to a question on a recent survey results that Indian-Americans, who traditionally vote for the Democratic Party, are switching…

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Indian man arrested for smuggling 3,346 pounds of marijuana into US

WASHINGTON: An Indian national has been arrested for smuggling about 3,346 pounds of marijuana worth approximately USD 5 million into the US from Canada, a US attorney said on Tuesday. Arrested on charges of importing and possessing with intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, Gurpreet Singh, 30, faces mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life sentence on being convicted. Singh was arrested driving a commercial truck on the Peace Bridge from Canada to the US at Niagara Falls in the upstate…

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Indian-American businessman charged with Covid-19 relief fraud

WASHINGTON: An Indian-American owner of several information technology companies in the Chicago area has been charged with Covid-19 relief fraud running into USD400,000, federal prosecutors have said. Rahul Shah (51) has been charged in a criminal complaint filed in the Northern District of Illinois with bank fraud and making false statements to a financial institution. An initial appearance in US District Court in Chicago has not yet been scheduled. According to the complaint, Shah filed a bank loan application that fraudulently sought more than USD400,000 in a forgivable Paycheck Protection…

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Indian-American elected as Biden’s delegate for August convention

WASHINGTON: Indian-American entrepreneur from Silicon Valley Ajay Jain Bhutoria has been elected as a delegate for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for the party’s national convention in August. The Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Wisconsin in August would formally nominate Biden, 77, as the party’s candidate for the November 3 presidential elections. In the presidential elections, Biden will challenge Republican incumbent Donald Trump, 73, who is seeking re-election. On the National Finance Committee for the former vice president, Bhutoria is a prominent national bundler for the Democratic Party. He was…

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