Dec 28, 2014

Antibody

An antibody also known as immunoglobulin is a Y-shape protective protein produced by the immune system in response to the presence of a foreign substance, called an antigen. Antibodies recognize and latch onto antigens in order to remove them from the body. A wide range of substances are regarded by the body as antigens, including disease-causing organisms and toxic materials such as insect venom.

When an alien substance enters the body, the immune system is able to recognize it as foreign because molecules on the surface of the antigen differ from those found in the body. To eliminate the invader, the immune system calls on a number of mechanisms, including one of the most important — antibody production. Antibodies are produced by specialized white blood cells called B lymphocytes or B cells. When an antigen binds to the B-cell surface, it stimulates the B cell to divide and mature into a group of identical cells called a clone. The mature B cells, called plasma cells, secrete millions of antibodies into the bloodstream and lymphatic system.

Dec 21, 2014

Persia - One of the world’s first civilizations

Persia (which changed its name to Iran in 1935) was one of the world's first civilizations; it has evidence of Neolithic Aryan (peoples who spoke Indo-European languages) settlements from nearly ten thousand years ago. Persians are a non-Arab people who migrated from central Asia. According to National Geographic, "If you draw lines from the Mediterranean to Beijing or Beijing to Cairo or Paris to Delhi, they all pass through Iran, which straddles a region where East meets West. Over 26 centuries, a blending of the hemispheres has been going on here-trade, cultural interchange, friction -- with Iran smack in the middle."

The Elamites established the first known Persian dynasty in the third millennium BC. Another Aryan people, the Medes (the ancestors of the Kurds of today), created a unified empire in the northwestern part of that region around 625 BC. Cyrus the Great, who issued what some consider the world's first declaration of human rights, overthrew the Medes and established the Achaemenid Empire, expanding Persian control and influence from Egypt to India -- making it one of the largest empires in history. His descendants, Darius and his son Xerxes, invaded Greece but were defeated and expelled from Europe in 479 BC.

In the next century, Alexander the Great conquered Persia and ended the Achaemenid dynasty. After about a hundred years of Alexander's Seleucid Empire, the Parthian and Sassanid dynasties reestablished Persian rule until the Arab invasion in the seventh century AD. The Persians, the Kurds, the Turks, and others then converted to Islam. 
(Kee Malesky, ‘All Facts Considered – the essential library of inessential knowledge’)

Dec 14, 2014

Arterial stiffness


Arterial stiffness occurs as a consequence of age and arteriosclerosis. Age related stiffness occurs when the elastic fibres within the arterial wall (elastin) begin to fray due to mechanical stress. The two leading causes of death in the developed world, myocardial infarction and stroke, are both a direct consequence of atherosclerosis. Increased arterial stiffness is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events.

When the heart contracts it generates a pulse or energy wave that travels through the circulation. The speed of travel of this pulse wave (pulse wave velocity or PWV) is related to the stiffness of the arteries. 

(PWV) is a measure of arterial stiffness. It is easy to measure invasively and non-invasively in humans, is highly reproducible, has a strong correlation with cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality, and was recognized by the European Society of Hypertension as integral to the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension. 
(Wikipedia Encyclopedia)

Dec 7, 2014

Undernourished Worldwide -- 2014

Haiti: has the highest percentage of undernourished – 52%
India: has the highest number of undernourished – 191 Million
(Adapted from National Geographic)