The Health News – 14 April 2014

Overview

  • AN Australian aircraft involved in the hunt for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 picked up a possible fifth signal yesterday in the search zone where previous signals consistent with the plane’s black box were detected.
  • AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been criticised in front of a high-powered crowd in Washington DC for cutting the nation’s foreign aid budget.
  • An amoeba parasite that causes potentially fatal dysentery in poor countries wreaks its havoc by eating intestinal cells alive, according to scientists.


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http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/planes-13-ships-continue-mh370-search/story-e6frfku9-1226879694942

AN Australian aircraft involved in the hunt for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 picked up a possible fifth signal yesterday in the search zone where previous signals consistent with the plane’s black box were detected.

An Orion aircraft, which had been dropping buoys with microphones, detected a signal in the vicinity of the vessel Ocean Shield. The acoustic data will require further analysis but shows potential of being from a man-made source according to sources. Yesterday’s search of more than 57,000 square kilometres by 14 planes and 13 ships was the smallest yet in the month-long hunt.

The search continues for debris on the surface of the ocean, although none of the objects found so far have had any connection with MH370, which disappeared with 239 people on board.

AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been criticised in Washington DC for cutting the nation’s foreign aid budget.

http://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/abbott-accused-of-indecency-over-aid-cut/story-e6frfkui-1226880497189

 Hugh Evans, the Australian founder and chief executive of The Global Poverty Project said Thursday the prime minister “broke his promise” and “He slashed the foreign aid budget dramatically which will have far-reaching consequences for the world’s poor. 

The New York-based Evans was unapologetic about calling out the Australian prime minister on the international stage and urged world leaders to end extreme poverty by 2030. Adding that “In 2007, after more than a million Australians had joined the movement to end extreme poverty, both major parties promised to increase Australia’s foreign budget to 0.5 per cent of gross national income. And that  “Seven years later, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has abandoned these commitments by drastically cutting the aid budget. Evans further stated that he hopes World Bank Treasurer Joe Hockey charts a course to increase Australia’s overseas aid to 0.5 per cent of GNI in his first budget.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/04/10/3982692.htm?site=science&topic=latest

An amoeba parasite that causes potentially fatal dysentery in poor countries wreaks its havoc by eating intestinal cells alive, according to a team of scientists led by William Petri of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.  Resesearchers observed the process called trogocytosis via microscope.

The parasite known as Entamoeba histolytica destroys cells lining the colon, causing ulcers and abscesses and sometimes spreading in the blood to the liver and other organs.

A common presumption was that the amoeba injects a toxic cocktail into the cells to kill them and then ingests. However, scientist have found that the parasite takes single bites out of living cells until the damage is such that the cell eventually dies. The amoeba then detaches, discards non-digested portions of the cell  and moves to the next cell.

This is the first time a parasite has been seen doing this in human cells.

Amoebic dysentery,  is handed on in faecally-contaminated food and water or through person-to-person contact.

Its hallmarks are violent diarrhoea, often with traces of blood, abdominal pain and flatulence. There is no vaccine, but the condition can be treated with an antibiotic.

Understanding how E. histolytica devours intestinal cells suggests intriguing new paths for drugs to block it, according to the study published in the journal Nature.

“Amoebic trogocytosis is a potentially promising target for the future of new therapeutics for  a major neglected disease in the developing world, according to researchers.

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