Combating obesity with new Okinawan rice

In recent years, Okinawa has recorded the dubious distinction of having the highest obesity rate in Japan. Preventing obesity-related diseases is an urgent issue. Professor Hidetoshi Saze of the OIST Plant Epigenetics Unit is leading a new research project to develop a new strain of rice that produces digestion-resistant starch to prevent these diseases. The project, fostered by the Okinawan government, involves three activities by the medical, agricultural, and food industries: development of the new rice strain, nutritional and physiological analyses, and processing and sales.Nanshoka-Mai, or rice with digestion-resistant starch is a new breed of rice rich in starch that does not as readily break down into glucose. This rice strain was first developed by a research team at Kyushu University 30 years ago. The starch from most grains, which consist largely of an unbranched glucose polymer known as amylose, is normally broken down into glucose during the digestive process and serves as our primary energy source. However, excessive consumption of sugars (simple carbohydrates) can cause life-style-related diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. This new strain of rice is expected to serve as an alternative preventative measure. In addition to its anti-obesity effect, gathering evidence suggests that the rice with digestion-resistant starch may also provide other benefits, such as lower blood sugar levels, reduced neutral fat, and harmful cholesterol levels, and prevention of lipid accumulation in the liver.Despite its great promise, when researchers planted the original strain of resistant-starch rice in Okinawa, the yield per hectare was about half that achieved in mainland Japan. Prof. …

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Pharma company fined after man burned by chemicals

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 9 » Pharma company fined after man burned by chemicalsPharma company fined after man burned by chemicalsA pharmaceutical company based in the north-east of England has been fined for a serious safety breach after a worker was doused in a corrosive chemical.The unnamed employee was conducting his normal duties at the Aesica Pharmaceuticals site at the Windmill Industrial Estate in Northumberland when the accident took place.Although a previous inspection at the facility highlighted a tank containing bromine needed decommissioning as soon as possible, this had not been done by 2012 when the incident took place.Part of the unit was breached and bromine sprayed all over the staff member.He was immediately rushed to hospital, where he nearly died, but after 48 hours in intensive care the man pulled through.For failing to adequately maintain its equipment, Aesica Pharmaceuticals was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.The firm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was forced to pay fines and costs totalling £107,803.By Francesca WitneyOr call us on 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Kebab worker injured in horrific accident

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2013 » 10 » Kebab worker injured in horrific accidentKebab worker injured in horrific accidentAn Essex-based kebab manufacturer has been fined after a worker suffered horrific injuries on February 9th 2012.Ethem Torunoglu, 36, from London, was working for Kismet Kebabs when the incident took place and Chelmsford Crown Court was told the man was cleaning a derinding machine when he noticed a piece of meat caught in a stripper comb.Even though the device was still running, Mr Torunoglu decided to try and dislodge the blockage by using a pressure washer, but when this failed to render the unit usable, he simply reached inside and tried to grab the offending debris.The 36-year-old’s hand was drawn inside and a serrated roller began to grind away at his hand and he could not free his limb.Despite there being an emergency stop button right next to the machine, this was just out of reach and he had to wait until a colleague could arrive and disable the unit.Mr Torunoglu was rushed to hospital and doctors treated him for significant injuries, including the loss of all knuckles on his right hand and tendon, vein and flesh damage.These ailments led to a 19-day stay in a medical facility and the 36-year-old had to have three operations to rebuild his limb, including a large skin graft taken from his left thigh. He has since had to undergo two more operations and is awaiting plastic surgery.According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Mr Torunglu has been unable to return to work.HSE inspectors told Chelmsford Crown Court training for the deriding machine was poor and employees had not been made aware of risks involved in cleaning the device.As a result of this, Kismet Kebabs was fined £17,500 and told to pay £7,500 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching two regulations.After the successful prosecution, HSE inspector Julie Rayner said: “This incident was wholly avoidable. Ethem Torunoglu was failed by the company’s lack of proper training, inadequate assessment of risks and lack of effective measures to stop access to dangerous parts of equipment.”By Chris StevensonOr call us on 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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Cardiac MRI use reduces adverse events for patients with acute chest pain

June 10, 2013 — Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center doctors have found that using stress cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in an Emergency Department observation unit to care for patients with acute chest pain is a win-win — for the patient and the institution.In a small, single-center clinical trial, Chadwick Miller, M.D., M.S., and colleagues found that evaluating older, more complex patients in the observation unit with stress cardiac MRI, as opposed to usual inpatient care, reduced hospital readmissions, coronary revascularization procedures and the need for additional cardiac testing.The observation unit is an area of the Emergency Department designed for short stays — longer than a typical ED visit, said Miller, but shorter than a hospital admission. Cardiac MRI is a type of heart testing that uses magnetic forces to capture pictures of the heart.”We were looking at the optimum way to evaluate people with chest pain and focusing on those patients who are generally older, have many risk factors for coronary disease or may have had prior health problems, basically the intermediate to higher risk population,” Miller said. “At most hospitals in the United States, after evaluation in the emergency department, these patients are admitted to the hospital to complete their care.”The study appears online this month ahead of print in the journal JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.Miller, who serves as director of clinical research and executive vice-chair of Emergency Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist, said the study built on previous research findings that more complex patients managed in an observation unit with stress CMR testing experienced a reduction in care costs of about $2,100 per patient per year. For the new study, the researchers wanted to specifically look at three care events: coronary revascularization, hospital readmissions and additional heart testing.The researchers recruited 105 patients from Wake Forest Baptist’s Emergency Department, randomizing them to receive care either in the Observation Unit with CMR or in the hospital. The patients were followed for 90 days, after which the researchers found significant reductions in coronary revascularization procedures, fewer hospital readmissions and fewer recurrent cardiac testing episodes or the need for additional testing.”What’s exciting about this is not only can we reduce events that are important to patients, but we can reduce costs as well,” Miller said. “What we think is happening is that the cardiac MRI is more accurately selecting patients who will benefit the most from having invasive procedures done. It’s a win-win.”The single-center design of the study is a limitation, Miller said, and these findings need to be replicated across multiple centers to validate the findings.The study was funded by National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, grant 1 R21HL097131-01A1; 1 R01HL076438, NIH T-32 HL087730.

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