Researchers Build Worlds Largest Disease Association Network

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A portion of the disease network shows diseases connected to hypertension and ischemic heart disease in black and white males. Blue links indicate comorbidities that are strongest among black males, whereas red links indicate comorbidities that are strongest among white males. Comparative studies like this one can be performed for any disease using the project’s website (http://hudine.neu.edu). Image credit: Hidalgo, et al. Understanding the connections among diseases is extremely challenging, yet it could lead to better healthcare in the form of earlier diagnoses and treatments. In a recent study, researchers from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have analyzed data from 32 million individuals’ insurance claims to build the largest ever disease association network. Their Phenotypic Disease Network (PDN) identifies correlations among more than 10,000 diseases. The researchers have made the data freely available to other researchers, doctors, and patients at http://hudine.neu.edu , where it can be downloaded in bulk or viewed in the form of graphs and tables that summarize the associations between a particular disease and all other diseases. The study is published in a recent issue of PLoS Computational Biology.“In the great scheme of things, we can think that there are two ways to understand the things that surround us,” lead author César Hidalgo of Harvard University told PhysOrg.com. “One is to try to understand what things are made of, i.e. take the objects that make up the world and break them up in order to study their components. The second way is to take the objects that make up the world and see how they relate to other objects, in what context they occur and how they are connected. Until now, medicine has concentrated most of its efforts in generating understanding by disaggregating their objects of study (diseases) into essential components (genes, proteins, pathways, organs). Here we show that it is in principle possible to characterize and understand diseases also by looking at their context, rather than their components.”As the researchers explain, their data comes from 32 million Americans aged 65 or older enrolled in Medicare. The data involves 32 million claims from 13 million individuals from 1990 to 1993 (the remaining individuals were not hospitalized during this period). The researchers compiled the data in the form of ICD-9 classifications, which consisted of 17,000 different disease categories. While most of these diseases were rarely diagnosed, a few were diagnosed in a large fraction of the population. (PhysOrg.com) — If you suffer from hypertension, how much does your risk for developing diabetes or other illnesses increase? Medical experts have long known that many diseases are related to one another, even to the point that there are often no clear boundaries between different diseases. Such correlations occur because diseases can have multiple causes, and also because multiple diseases can have the same cause (for example, the same gene or protein pathway). Explore furthercenter_img New biomarkers could help doctors spot Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases Citation: Researchers Build World’s Largest Disease Association Network (2009, April 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-04-world-largest-disease-association-network.html The Phenotypic Disease Network consists of nodes (diseases) and links between diseases. As such, the PDN can be viewed as a “map” of illness progression in space, in which patients “jump” from one disease to another along the network’s links. When an individual is affected by two diseases, the diseases share a “comorbidity relationship.” To quantify this relationship, the researchers used two different metrics: relative risk and Φ (phi) correlation. Due to intrinsic bias, the relative risk metric is more sensitive to rare diseases, while the phi correlation network is more sensitive to common diseases, and so each metric excels at a different scale.The researchers found that the structure of the disease networks could increase their understanding of illness progression in several ways. For instance, they found that patients are more likely to develop diseases close in the network to diseases they already have. In a sense, the development of a patient’s illness can be thought of as a spreading process over the network. In addition, diseases that are highly connected tend to be preceded by less connected diseases, and highly connected diseases are associated with higher degrees of mortality. In this way, a patient’s location in the network can serve as a predictor of the number of years he or she is expected to live. The researchers also found that an individual’s gender and ethnicity altered their personal disease network.Overall, the study shows that a network can serve as a valuable representation for disease progression, and offers the potential to help researchers better understand the origin and evolution of human diseases. By combining this kind of phenotypic information with genetic and proteomic information, researchers could have a broader perspective of illness progression and comorbidity relationships. Also, as healthcare becomes more delocalized, a map like the PDN could also be an ideal way to represent medical records for healthcare workers. “One possible application of medical health records is to compare the overall health status of different populations (e.g. cultural, geographical, etc.),” Hidalgo said. “Disease networks can inform us not only about the difference in prevalence between diseases, but also about differences in the strength of disease associations observed in different populations. In general, diseases have multiple causes and therefore differences in the associations between diseases are expected to be informative about the causes of diseases in different populations.”He added that, in the future, doctors could use digital flip-charts to access the medical records of a patient, in which a patient’s disease history would be represented by highlighted nodes in a disease network. Not only could the doctor see a list of the diseases that have previously affected that patient, but also other diseases that tend to co-occur with the patient’s diseases. Furthermore, the genes associated with those diseases could be only a click away.“Disease networks could also be informative for drug companies that could be interested in new potential indications of their drugs,” Hidalgo said. “They could also be helpful for hospital design, as given limited budget constraints, hospitals may want to be designed to not leave out diseases that are strongly connected to other diseases they are already treating.”More information: Hidalgo, César A.; Nicholas Blumm; Albert-László Barabási; Nicholas A. Christakis. “A Dynamic Network Approach for the Study of Human Phenotypes.” PLoS Computational Biology, April 2009, Volume 5, Issue 4, e1000353. www.ploscompbiol.org/article/i … journal.pcbi.1000353 Copyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.last_img read more

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Plant and animal in direct competition for food

first_img The insect-eating wolf spider (Sosippus floridanus) lives close to the ground in wetland regions of southern Florida, where it builds dense webs to catch its prey, which consists of a variety of flies, crickets, ants, and other insects. The insect-eating pink sundew (Drosera capillaris) lives in the same bogs and catches insects by trapping them in a sticky mucous it secretes on its leaves, and then consumes hapless insects with digestive enzymes.University of South Florida ecologist, Jason Rohr, decided to find out if the two very different species competed directly for exactly the same prey species. Rohr and colleagues surveyed sites where both species lived and observed the placement and numbers of each species. They also collected insects to determine what resources were available to the spider and plant. As a result of their observations they discovered when sundews were present the webs built by the spiders were larger than if there were no sundews in the vicinity.The researchers then collected samples of the spiders and sundews and transported them back to the laboratory, where they placed them in 40 glass tanks and gave them crickets to eat. They planted six sundews in boggy soil in each tank, and then divided the tanks into five groups: spider/no spider with high insect food supply, spider/no spider with low insect food supply, and no spider with no insect food.They found the sundews produced more leaves and seeds when spiders were absent than when they were present. When spiders and sundews were placed in the same tank the spiders ate most of the insects before the plants could grab them. In this case the plants produced fewer leaves, seeds and flowers. The results clearly demonstrate the presence of spiders reduced sundew fitness. The scientists said the study was the first to demonstrate a land plant and animal competing directly for food.Rohr said animals and plants are not usually thought to compete for the same food sources, but there may be many more instances. His team plan to further their research by studying the effect on the sundew of the oak toad, a tiny insect-eating amphibian inhabiting the same boggy regions. The paper is published online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. More information: David E. Jennings et al.: Evidence for competition between carnivorous plants and spiders, Published online before print May 12, 2010, doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.0465 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Spider-eating wasp moves into Britain © 2010 PhysOrg.com USF researchers have discovered that in Florida, wolf spiders and pink sundews, a carnivorous plant, compete when food is scarce in their shared habitat. Photo: Christopher V. Anderson. (PhysOrg.com) — Animals often compete aggressively with each other for food or other resources, and plants often compete with each other for light, water, or other resources. Now scientists in the U.S. have found an animal that competes directly for food with a plant. Citation: Plant and animal in direct competition for food (2010, May 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-05-animal-competition-food.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Leap Motion creates fingerhappy gesture control w Video

first_img Leap’s web site and team comments in interviews all say that Leap is not just any game system to be confused with living-room playing in front of the TV. Rather, Leap founders took some hard work in years to improve on a technology where the individual mobile user can get at information easily. “Two or three hundred thousands lines of code later, we’ve figured out how to use the Leap to create an interaction space around your computer, in 3-D. Able to distinguish thumbs from fingers, and even handheld items like pencils,” according to the company site. (Phys.org) — Developers and end users both have been indicating they are ready to start saying long goodbyes to mouse and keyboard. In this touchscreen generation of mobile users, the big stir among gadget reviewers this week is the announcement by Leap Motion that you can not only say goodbye to mouse and keyboard, but goodbye to touchscreen, too. “That nice LED display remains clean and untouched, as it should be,” says the company. The San Francisco based company has announced it is accepting pre-orders for its new Leap, a small USB peripheral that performs motion control with in-the-air sweeps of hand and movements of fingers. The Leap creates a 3-D interaction space of eight cubic feet to interact with and control software on a laptop or desktop. This gesture-control device for computers is running rings, and orbs, and swirls, and curlicues, around Kinect, the most well known of technologies that help users interact with computers without mouse and keyboard. Swipes in the air and nuanced finger gestures zoom and pinch and move pages and manipulate other image feats. Gestures create anything from rings, to orb eruptions, to swirls and curlicues, to handwriting, at times hands seemingly reaching inside the screen to extract content. Leap consists of a USB input device and software platform. Its size is described variously as no bigger than “a packet of chewing gum” to “no bigger than a pocket knife.” The Leap plugs into a USB port. The user loads the Leap Motion software and “waves” to calibrate. The 3-D motion-control system is available for pre order at $70. The company estimates the units will ship in December this year or January 2013.The technical strengths do not come from one-off discovery but from tedious years of careful research. The Leap gesture recognition is claimed to be 200 times more accurate than anything else on the market. The other advantage being promoted is comfort. If you have to keep waving your arms around, you quickly tire. With Leap, finger movements are less fatiguing and more efficient. The original inspiration behind Leap came from frustration over 3-D modeling—something taking ten seconds in real life could take 30 minutes with a computer. Molding virtual clay should be as easy as molding real clay, thought the company leaders. They felt that the mouse and keyboard were simply getting in the way.Leap Motion is presently reaching out to software developers, as developer participation will be important to the product’s growth, The company is accepting applications for software developer kits in the hopes of growing applications available at launch. Citation: Leap Motion creates finger-happy gesture control (w/ Video) (2012, May 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-motion-finger-happy-gesture-video.html More information: www.leapmotion.com/ Explore further © 2012 Phys.Org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. NEC unveils gesture controlling devicelast_img read more

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Keep checking that phone It could be Nomophobia

first_imgWe all have that one friend who is always on the phone, s/he will carry it to wash rooms, sleep with it, continuously talk or keep on looking at the screen. Sometimes they will totally ignore what you are saying because they are far too engrossed with that device.  Warn your friends for this can be more than just an annoying habit, it could turn out to be Nomophobia. A recent study revealed that many people suffer from a fear of having ‘no mobile phone phobia’ aka Nomophobia. People often get stressed or panic if the phone has no network coverage, credit goes down or worse case scenario – the battery runs out. ‘I cant keep away from my phone, it goes with me everywhere, I keep checking my pockets to see my phone is there or not,’ says Nishant Chaudhary an 21-year-old, MBA student. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In the era of technology, where staying in touch is the need of the hour, dependency on smart phones has highly increased. 26-year-old Neha Sharma, a private school teacher, confesses that she gets jittery without her phone during the 45-minute lectures, ‘After every lecture I rush to staff room to check my phone. I constantly feel that someone would have tried to reach me so.’ When we look around we can see people constantly on their phones. People tend to share their lives online by putting Facebook updates or tweeting. Rahul Shah, an engineer, admits that he changed his gym due to the absence of mobile network in there. ‘I just couldn’t concentrate on working out, I kept rushing out of the building to get network.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMost blame the constant hankering to check phones on the need to stay connected. They don’t realise that this can turn into a phobia. When people are not able to check their phones stress levels, anxiety and irritation increases.  Dr Sushma Ojha, a psychologist, says, ‘Everybody needs to stay connected but they should remember that real world is more important the virtual one. They should try to switch off their phones at night or use it strictly for communication purpose. Try to spend more time with others than talking over the phone or sending a text.’last_img read more

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Turn it tangy

first_imgDakshin that has been serving for 25 years now are up with an another delight for foodies. The restaurant presents the Moplah Food Festival. Moplah Magic is the tale comprises of how strangers came from afar, pausing briefly to trade (or perhaps looking for a home), and in Kerala they decided to stay, for hundreds of years.Despite adopting several local customs, the Moplahs have a distinct anddeveloped sub-cultural identity. And nowhere is this expressed more fiercely than in their colourful cuisine. Rice as the staple food and the use of coconut oil in cooking is common to all of Kerala. But, there are unique differences in the preparations of northern Malabar that are recognized solely as Moplah fare. Meen Varattiyathe, fish cooked in a tangy tamarind sauce will be the special attraction in the menu.Where:  Dakshin, Welcomhotel Sheraton Where : 9 – 18 Maylast_img read more

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BJP gaining ground in Raj Panchayat polls

first_imgIn the keenly-fought Rajasthan Panchayati Raj polls, ruling BJP on Friday led by clinching 20 Zila Parishad seats while opposition Congress had bagged nine seats.Out of 33 Zila Parishad seats, results of 30 has been announced so far and the outcome for remaining three is likely to be declared tomorrow.Both the parties won equal number of Ward Member seats in Jhunjhunu Zila Parishad, where one seat was bagged by an independent candidate.Results of 911 seats of Zila Parishad Member out of total 1,014 have been announced so far.last_img

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Fourth time lucky for vexed Guj terror Bill

first_imgThe Bill had been earlier returned by the President thrice to the state government for reconsideration, when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister.The Bill, on Tuesday was passed in the state Assembly amid stiff resistance from opposition Congress, which walked out of the House over its controversial provisions, including permission to the police to intercept and record telephonic conversations and submit them in court as evidence. However, the rechristened legislation has retained controversial provisions like that of empowering of the police to tap telephonic conversations and submit them in court as evidence. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIThe Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill 2015, which also makes confessions made before police admissible in court and extends the period of probe from the stipulated 90 days to 180 days, before the filing of chargesheet, was approved by a majority vote.The first version of the proposal was sent to the Centre in 2004, when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister; the Union government, headed by the BJP’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee had sent it back, asking for major changes. The coalition government led by the Congress had also objected to later versions of the Bill. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindNow that Narendra Modi has become Prime Minister with full majority at the Centre, the Anandiben Patel government in Gujarat is hopeful of getting presidential assent shortly. Making a strong case for the new Bill, Rajanikant Patel, minister of state (MOS), Home in Gujarat government said: “Terrorism knows no national boundaries and is fuelled by illegal wealth generation by contract killing, extortion, smuggling in contrabands, illegal trade in narcotics, kidnappings for ransom, collection of protection money economic offence such as running of the ponzi schemes or the multi-level marketing schemes with a view to defraud the people for obtaining the monetary benefits or large scale organised betting in any form, cyber crimes, etc. The illegal wealth and black money generated by organised crime is huge and has serious adverse effects on economy.” Patel also said: “It is noticed that the organised criminal syndicates make extensive use of wire and oral communications in their criminal activities. The interception of such communications to obtain evidence of the commission of crimes or to prevent the commission thereof is inevitable and an indispensable aid to law enforcement and administration of justice.’’ Leader of opposition (LOP) Shankarsinh Vaghela, while opposing the Bill said: “I know this will be passed by majority but we are against this Bill. If this government is so concerned about the safety of Gujarat, why they did not bring it while they were in power during Vajpayee’s seven-year tenure?”Former President APJ Abdul Kalam had in 2004 objected to the particular section-14 (telephonic interception as evidence) and returned the Bill to the Modi government to remove the clause.The Bill was again introduced on Tuesday in the House by minister of State for Home Rajnikant Patel, after which a long debate took place with the Opposition Congress demanding the removal of controversial sections.last_img read more

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Life times of Kabir

first_imgAfter successfully running shows of Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein all over India between 1982 and 1992, veteran theatre director M. K. Raina is back with this production which has been written by late Hindi writer-playwright and actor Bhisham Sahni. This play is The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust’s (SAHMAT) tribute to Sahni whose birth centenary year is being celebrated in 2015.“People are celebrating Sahni’s celebrated works through various activities and events. So when someone asked me what I was doing, I thought of reviving the play,” Raina told. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’With a young ensemble in place, Raina hasn’t tampered with the script as he feels the outlook and poetry of Kabir is relevant in today’s time. “He represented the period of Sufi and Bhakti sangeet that spread across all languages and religions. He was the one who had a secular, multi-cultural view about India.  This is what Kabir stood for and his viewpoint is very relevant today,” Raina added. The two-hour play will be staged at the Shri Ram Centre on the occasion of the 27th National Street Theatre Day. When: April 14Where: Shree Ram Centrelast_img read more

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Vedanta may discuss on sweetening Cairn India deal next week

first_imgThe Board of mining billionaire Anil Agarwal-controlled Vedanta Ltd will meet on Tuesday amid talks of the company being forced to sweeten its offer for absorbing its cash-rich oil subsidiary Cairn India.Vedanta has offered one share for every share of Cairn India, a deal which did not appear lucrative to minority shareholders of the oil producer particularly its erstwhile promoter Cairn Energy plc.Sources said besides the merger ratio, the minority shareholders including Cairn Energy and state-owned Life Insurance Corp (LIC) are concerned about the company not giving guidance on utilising the Rs 17,943 crore cash balance of Cairn India as of September 2015. Also Read – Punjab & Sind Bank cuts MCLR by up to 20 basis pointsVedanta board is scheduled to meet on October 27 to consider financial results for July-September quarter and the issue of sweetening the deal may crop up for discussion, they said.While the deal has been approved by the two stock exchanges, it is now awaiting a nod from the High Court before it goes for a shareholder vote. Vedanta needs the deal to go through by March 2016 as otherwise it will have to repay $1.25 billion it had taken as inter-company loan couple of years back. Also Read – ‘The great gold bull market has begun’When contacted, a Vedanta spokesperson said the company does not comment on market speculation.In June, India’s largest private miner Vedanta Ltd had announced it will absorb oil firm Cairn India in a $2.3 billion all-share deal to create the country’s largest diversified natural resources firm.In 2011, Vedanta Group acquired 58.5 per cent controlling interest in Cairn India from its UK parent, Cairn Energy plc, 20 per cent of this was acquired by Vedanta Ltd and 38.5 per cent by Twinstar Mauritius Holdings Ltd (TMHL) – a special purpose vehicle wholly owned by Vedanta Resources plc (VED). The acquisition by TMHL was funded by $4.43 billion of debt made up of bank debt sured by Cairn India shares and parent company guarantee/loan from VED. In August 2013, Vedanta Ltd acquired TMHL from VED.Vedanta Ltd had in its April-June quarter earnings presentation stated that: “As on June 30, 2015, debt at Cairn acquisition SPV comprises Rs 8,926 crore of bank debt and Rs 16,564 crore of inter-company debt from Vedanta Resources Plc.last_img read more

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Army personnel booked for abetting wifes suicide

first_imgKolkata: An army personnel has been allegedly accused of abetting his wife to commit suicide. On Tuesday, the deceased’s family members lodged a complaint against the army constable identified as Morri Venkataramana with Baguiati police station. Police informed that Venkataramana is a constable of the Indian Army and posted at the 2 Central Base Post Office (2CBPO). He used to live at the quarter of 2CBPO with his wife Morri Siya Nagajyoti. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThey were married in 2012. It was alleged that after one year of marriage, Venkataramana started torturing Nagajyoti. Her father Yaggadi Srinivasarao also alleged that Venkataramana’s mother used to torture his daughter for dowry. Though Nagajyoti did not tell her parents about her in-laws’ demand, she kept on facing conflict and as the intensity of torture increased, she could not bear it anymore. On Sunday, she hanged herself from the ceiling of a room in the flat and Nagajyoti’s father was informed over phone by Venkataramana that his daughter had committed suicide. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHer body was shifted to Command Hospital at Alipore where an autopsy was done. On Tuesday, Srinivasarao lodged a complaint against his son-in-law alleging that he abetted Nagajyoti to commit suicide. Based on the complaint Baguiati police station initiated a case against Venkataramana on charges of domestic violence (498A IPC) and abetment of suicide (306 IPC). The accused has not been arrested yet. Sources maintained that police have informed the concerned unit of army about the case. He will be arrested according to legal procedures.last_img read more

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