Archive for November 2009
Molecules identified from herbs can be potential drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease: Dr K P Mohanakumar
27 November 2009
By Peethaambaran Kunnathoor
CHENNAI: Researches conducted on certain ayurvedic herbs have provided hope in identifying a set of anti-parkinsonian molecules that might help to design novel drugs for arresting the progression of Parkinson’s disease, according to Dr K P Mohanakumar, scientist, Division of Cell Biology & Physiology at the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, for which symptomatic relief is the only therapeutic strategy, he said while delivering Dr Lalitha Kameswaran Memorial Oration at PSG College of Pharmacy in Coimbatore……Read complete news item…….
27 November 2009
HYDERABAD: A new research at the Indian Institute of Sciences (IIsc) in Bangalore has found that a drug combined with curcumin from turmeric can prove to be effective in treating malaria.
The drug has been developed by Professor G Padmanaban from the department of biochemistry, at the prestigious institute.
The research has found out that a combination of curcumin which is extracted from turmeric (haldi) a spice used in Indian kitchens commonly, has anti-malarial activity when combined with Artemisinin, and proves lethal for the malaria parasite, Padmanaban, who was here to deliver the foundation lecture at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) told reporters.
Curcumin combined with Artemisinin has been the most effective in mouse malaria, and studies done so far indicate that this combination is cent percent successful with no resistant, he said……..Read complete news item……
27 November 2009
DHARAMSALA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama attended the 18th annual National Conference of the Vitreo-Retinal Society Thursday in Palampur, some 40 Kms from here, after concluding a 3 day teaching and initiation for Russian Buddhists yesterday.
Speaking at the conference, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said the world should learn religious harmony from India.
“Religious harmony is still very much alive in India. So rest of the world must learn that.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke highly of India saying that the concept of Non Violence or “Ahimsa” was an ancient Indian philosophy and that he was only a messenger conveying the principles of Non-Violence everywhere he travels.
His Holiness said that eye was a vital organ and that he was pleased to be amidst eye surgeons. “Eye is, I think, one of the most important organs. I can imagine, without hearing, ok. Complete blind, very difficult,” His Holiness said in his self taught English.
The Tibetan leader also released a book at the conference that is participated by more than a hundred eye surgeons from various parts of India and abroad. The Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology in Palampur has organized the conference. His Holiness also released a book on the occasion……Read complete news item…..
26 November 200p
By Chukwuma Muanya
YAHAYA Yusuf has been smoking for the past 22 years. At 36, Yusuf has tried on several occasions to quit the habit, but without success. With an irritant and persistent cough, and warning from his doctor that his lungs are already affected, it has dawned on him it was ‘now or never.’
It has been shown that smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and reducing the health of smokers in general.
In desperation to quit the habit, Yusuf has used different conventional drugs, a special chewing gum, and even the much hyped nicotine patch, but without success until he came across a herbal preparation made predominantly with ginger (Zingiber officinale), scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum, nchuanwu in Igbo, effirin ajale in Yoruba), cloves (Syzygium aromaticum), nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), camphor plant (Cinnamomum camphora), among others.
……..The anti tobacco addiction herbal formulation comprises of Sesbania grandiflora, Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), holy basil (Ocimum sanctum), nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), Elettaria cardamomum, Carum copticum, clove (Syzygium aromaticum), Cinnamomum tamala, calamus root (Acorus calamus), ginger (Zingiber officinale), black pepper (Piper nigrum), Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Cuminum cyminum, Nigella sativum, camphor plant (Cinnamomum camphora), Piper longum, scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum) and Hemidesmus indicus.
The inventors include: Karerat Arun Kumar, Ifthikar Oommer Rowther Mohammed, Varghese Joy, and Vellappillil Achuthan Venugopal of MIR Holistics Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India; and Palpu Pushpangadan, Rawat Ajay Kumar Singh, Rao Chandana Venkateswara, and Govindarajan Raghavan of National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.
In a detailed description of the invention, the inventors wrote: …”If desired one or more pharmaceutical additives can be added and the composition converted to a solid dosage forms like tablet or capsule or used as a syrup, aerosol spray etc. Sesbania grandiflora and Ocimum gratissimum potentiated the free radical scavenging and 89.5 per cent stopped smoking with the formulation containing the Sesbania grandiflora and Ocimum gratissimum than that of the composition containing the other components…”……..Read complete news item….
24 November 2009
By Radhieka Pandeya and Asit Ranjan Mishra
Intellectual property rights (IPR) have always been a thorny issue for India, be it in terms of enforcing patent protection against piracy or preventing its own age-old processes and products from being usurped as modern-day inventions or discoveries. Francis Gurray, director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (Wipo), on his first visit to the country where he met senior civil servants and called on the Prime Minister (PM), discusses his plans to work with India and its intellectual property system. Edited excerpts:
What is the aim of your visit?
The objective is to discuss the agenda at Wipo, what’s happening at the organization, what are the issues and the various areas in which we cooperate directly, for instance traditional knowledge or the exchange of patent data for databases, and in that capacity I have had the opportunity of meeting the PM. So it’s an opportunity to discuss all the current issues and to arrive at an understanding of what are the concerns in particular to India and where India thinks the organization should be going.
Recently, our member-states reached a decision, which was a major step forward for us to start text-based negotiations to establish an international legal instrument that will ensure effective protection to traditional knowledge (TK).
Since India already has its Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), how is Wipo looking to leverage that?
It is a very important and fine product that is being produced by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. It is a product that can make available to patent offices around the world on a confidential basis…detail of traditional knowledge to assist in preventing the granting of patents over that traditional knowledge by unauthorized parties. It is also a basis on which to establish potential collaborative arrangements with private sector or industry to actually use the traditional knowledge in practice. I hope to also collaborate with India to lead a process of establishing similar TKDLs using its approach in other developing countries that wish to use this methodology……Read complete interview…..
23 November 2009
WASHINGTON: he Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced that the Government of India has granted the agency’s patent examiners access to a new digital database containing a compilation of traditional Indian knowledge. Access to the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is important for both India and the United States to prevent misappropriation of traditional knowledge.
“The USPTO has long been concerned about attempts to patent traditional knowledge, not only because it may result in an incorrectly granted patent, but also because it removes knowledge from the public domain,” said Sharon Barner, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO.
This database will be an important addition to the growing array of search tools on traditional knowledge from around the world that is already available to USPTO examiners. These tools include dictionaries, formularies, handbooks, and historical or classical works, as well as databases such as the TKDL. USPTO examiners use these tools to help prevent the patenting, and thereby misappropriation, of existing traditional knowledge. A listing of some of these publicly available traditional knowledge tools can be found on the USPTO’s Web site at: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dcom/olia/tradknowledge.html.
“We have urged countries to create, and make available to examiners around the world, digital libraries of their traditional knowledge to prevent erroneous patent grants,” Barner said. “India’s TKDL is just such a library, and we are pleased that our examiners now have access to it.”
The new database, developed jointly by India’s Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH), includes over 200,000 traditional medicine formulations on Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha comprising 30 million pages. The TKDL contains text-searchable English-language translations of these sources, permitting USPTO examiners to search thousands of years of India’s accumulated traditional knowledge. The TKDL also contains translations into French, German, Japanese and Spanish, from these sources, originally written in Hindi, Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian and Urdu.
The misappropriation of traditional knowledge through the mistaken issuance of patents has been a growing concern with the rise of the global economy and the increasing importance of intellectual property. A few high profile cases brought significant attention to this matter, prompting efforts by a number of countries to create digital traditional knowledge databases accessible to patent examiners around the world. If a patent application attempts to claim an invention within the existing traditional knowledge, a patent examiner will reject the application provided they can find evidence proving the prior existence of that knowledge. Searching the TKDL will provide access to just the sort of evidence needed by examiners to establish that proof.
24 November 2009
By Radhakrishna Rao
National Aerospace Laboratories is gearing up to fly the third Saras twin-turboprop prototype next year and hopes to clinch certification for India’s first indigenous transport aircraft in 2011.
Development of the 14-seat twin-turboprop pusher has been marred by a series of delays since its launch in 1991, including the fatal crash in March of the second prototype.
According to the head of NAL’s centre for Civil Aircraft Design and Development M S Chidananda, the weight of the third prototype – PT3 – is being reduced by around 500kg (1,100lb) “through great use of composites and by fine-tuning the structural design and optimising some of the on-board systems”. This will bring the aircraft closer to the desired weight of 7,100kg……Read complete news item………..