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Manufacturing Process of Polyester filament Yarn

These fibers are synthetic textile fibres of high polymers which are obtained by esterification of dicarboxylic acids, with glycols or by ester exchange reactions between dicarboxylic acid esters and glycols.

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Raw Materials
The main raw materials required for the manufacture of polyester fibres are p-xylene ethylene glycol and methanol.

The use of Dimethyl Teraphthalate is preferred instead of Teraphthalic acid as the purity of the reacting chemicals is essential and it is easier to purify DMT than teraphthalic acid.

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Production of Polyester Filament Yarn from Polyster Chips

The polymer is made by heating teraphthalic acid with excess of ethylene glycol (Both of high priority) in an atmosphere of nitrogen initially at atmospheric pressure. A catalyst like hydrochloric acid speeds up the reaction.

The resulting low molecular weight ethylene glycol teraphthalate is then heated at 280 deg C for 30 minutes at atmospheric pressure and then for 10 hours under vacuum. The excess of ethylene glycol is distilled off. the ester can polymerise now to form a product of high molecular weight. The resulting polymer is hard and almost white substance, melting at 256 deg C and has a molecular weight of 8000-10000. Filaments are prepared from this.

Spinning of Polyester Fibres

The polymer is extruded in the form of a ribbon. This ribbon is then converted into chips.

The wet chips are dried and fed through a hopper, ready for melting. This molten polymer is then extruded under high pressure through spinnerettes down to cylinder.

Each spinnerette contains 24 or so holes. A spinning finish is applied at this stage as a lubricant and an antistatic agent. The undrawn yarn is then wound onto cylinders.

This yarn goes to the drawing zone, where draw twist machines draw it to about four times their original length. This is hot drawn in contrast to cold drawing of nylon filaments.

For the production of staple fibres, the filaments are first brought together to from a thick tow. These are distributed in large cans. The tow is drawn to get correct strength. Then it is passed through a crimping machines, the crimps being stabilized by heating in ovens. It is then cut into specified lengths and baled ready for dispatch.

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Manufacturing process of PET

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Crystalline structure of PET

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Properties of Polyester

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Moisture Regain

At 65% RH and 70 deg F–> 0.4%

Because of low moisture regain, it develops static charge. Garments of polyester fibres get soiled easily during wear.

Thermal Properties

Polyester fibres are most thermally stable of all synthetic fibres. As with all thermoplastic fibres, its tenacity decreases and elongation increases with rise in temperature. When ignited, polyester fibre burns with difficulty.

Shrinkage

Polyester shrinks approx 7% when immersed in an unrestrained state in boiling water. Like other textile fibres, polyester fibres undergo degradation when exposed to sunlight.

Its biological resistance is good as it is not a nutrient for microorganisms.

Swelling and Dissolving

The fibre swells in 2% solution of benzoic acid, salycylic acid and phenol.

Alcohols, Ketones, soaps, detergents and drycleaning solvents have no chemical action on polyester fibres.

Chemical Resistance

Polyester fibres have a high resistance to organic and mineral acids. Weak acids do not harm even at boil. Similarly strong acids including hydrofluoric acids do not attack the fibres appreciably in the cold.

Uses of Polyester

1. Woven and Knitted Fabrics, especially blends.
2. Conveyor belts, tyre cords, tarpaulines etc.
3. For filling pillows
4. For paper making machine
5. Insulating tapes
6. Hose pipe with rubber or PVC
7. Ropes, fish netting and sail cloth.

Organic farming and its importance

 

Organic farming is a form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost, and biological pest control. Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. Organic farming is involved with the natural methods like crop rotation, biological pest control, compost etc. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony. Organic farming is a concept with stringent guidelines for certification. There are a number of techniques that are well suited for organic cropping. In organic farming farmers are required to use traditional farming techniques along with relevant technology to help get enough produce and ease the process. The techniques are based on biological processes and usually come under the field of agro ecology. There are a number of websites that help the farmers in understanding different farming techniques. Several environmentalists and consumer protection organization have claimed that the use of synthetic pesticides not only damages the environment but also have an adverse impact on the quality of food. Pests and insects easily get adapted to the effects of the chemicals involved in them and so these pesticides lose their worth. Sooner or later it damages the health of the final consumer who unknowingly consumes a large amount of lethal chemicals and synthesized materials along with the natural food.

You can make use of organic farming to turn your dreams of safe and wholesome food into reality and the best part is it is already benefiting millions of people. The policy makers are also promoting organic farming for reasons like – sustaining rural economy, improving soil health, creating good environment etc. In India, organic farming has been in practice for decades. Organic farming is of great importance and there are a number of benefits of organic farming.

Some of the benefits of organic farming –

  • The food items that are grown by the methods of organic farming are tasty, wholesome and healthier.
  • In the conservative farming, many pesticides and fertilizers are used to protect the crop. There are many pesticides that are highly dangerous for humans. In organic farming, the usage of pesticides is very limited and hence, people who consume the food items produced from organic farming are at low risk.
  • Organic farming relies on the breakdown of soil management. Different techniques are used to preserve the nutrients that are taken by the previous crops.

Organic farming is very cost effective compared to the conservative farming.  Moreover, this farming is not very tiresome, time taking or difficult.

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  • Effect of nutrient management through organic and natural sources in soybean [Glycine max (L) Merrill] at farmers field in Vindhya Plateau of  Madhya Pradesh

Abstract

  • The field trials were conducted with soybean (variety JS 9560) on six farmer’s fields (one farmer in one district). Necessary plant protection and intercultural operations were done as per package of practices of the crop. Sowing was done at farmer’s field with recommended seeds and fertilizers (seed rate -80 kg ha-1, N-20, P2O5-60, K2O-20 and S-30 kg ha-1) during kharif season 2014 at farmers field on black clay soils classified typic Ustochrept of Vindhya Plateau of Madhya Pradesh to study the Effect of Integrated Nutrient Management on yield attributes, seed and straw yield, economics and total nutrient uptake of soybean. The experimental soil belongs to order Vertisoils with low ECe 0.26 dSm-1 and neutral pH of 7.58. The available nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content of the soil were 180 N,13 P2O5 and 460 K2O kg ha-1, respectively. The treatment T6 i.e. application of RDF + 5 t ha-1 cow dung (sources N-urea, P-rock phosphate, K-feldspar, S-gypsum) significantly increased most of the attributes and seed and straw yields of soybean as compared to control (T1 RDF) (sources N-urea, P-rock phosphate, K-feldspar, S-gypsum and no cow dung). Plant height increased 9.67 % more (40.30 cm) in T6 as compared to T1.The plant height of 36.40 cm was noticed in case of T1. Maximum dry matter/plant, pods/plant, seed index, harvest index and straw yield (kg ha-1) were found maximum in treatment T6 as compared to other treatments under study (Table-1). The maximum grain yield (725 kg ha-1) was recorded in treatment T6 which was over 19.8, 14.2, 8.7, 4.3 and 2.5 percent more as compared to T1, T2 (RDF + 1 t ha-1 cow dung),   T3 (RDF + 2 t ha-1 cow dung), T4 (RDF + 3 t ha-1 cow dung) and T5 (RDF + 4 t ha-1 cow dung) respectively. The highest net returns Rs 21327 / ha and Benefit: Cost ratio (1.94) was obtained with treatment T6.
  • Table – 1. Effect of gypsum and its mixture with low grade rock phosphate, feldsphar, and cow dung on yield attributes and yields of soybean crop.
Treatments Plant height

(cm)

Dry matter/plant

(g)

Pods/

plant

(No)

Seed index

(g/100

Seeds)

Harvest Index

(%)

Seed yield

(kg/ha)

Straw yield

(kg/ha)

Net returns

(Rs/ha)

Benefit:

Cost

ratio

T1 36.40 14.20 31.40 10.00 38.70 605 926 15978 1.45
T2 37.00 15.12 32.00 10.22 39.00 635 972 17316 1.57
T3 38.10 16.18 36.20 10.52 39.82 667 1021 18743 1.70
T4 38.80 17.18 37.20 10.78 40.12 695 1063 19989 1.82
T5 39.60 18.13 41.50 10.74 40.76 707 1082 20526 1.87
T6 40.30 20.17 46.80 10.82 41.37 725 1109 21327 1.94
CD at 5% NS NS 5.09 NS NS 48 87    

 

About Authors:

S.R.S.Raghuwanshi, O.P.S.Raghuwanshi, M.S.Raghuwanshi and Lekhraj Yadav

J.N.K.V.V Campus College of Agriculture, Ganj Basoda, District Vidisha (M.P.) 464 221

Cover Story – Exterminate – Exterminate

 

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WHO recently advocated trials and assessment of methods previously thought to be on the border of what was considered “ethical means”, thanks to the Zika outbreak earlier this year. This was in relation to the use of genetically modified mosquitoes to break the chain that has troubled mankind for thousands of years.

The boundaries of what is “ethical”, what is “correct” and what is “the right thing to do” have now blurred.

The correct thing to do would be for us humans to remain within the ecosystem and not as an outside agency for whom the earth and her environment were tools for exploiting. The ethical thing would be to refrain from meddling with nature

The right thing, perhaps, is to be neither a spectator to the devastation caused by nature, nor to needlessly meddle with it; yet take some bold steps when needed.

We have the distinction of wiping away hundreds of species of plants and animals off the face of the earth. A natural rate of 1-5 species is considered normal – the background rate. However, we are now losing species directly or indirectly to human activity at over 1000 times the background rate. Around 30% of the known invertebrate of the species evaluated at risk of extinction.

And therefore a question that often arises is, why couldn’t we, or rather, why shouldn’t we do it to those delicate looking tiny insects – the mosquitoes?

The general nuisance created by swarms of these biting, buzzing creatures is nothing compared to the amount of morbidity and mortality they cause. About 3.2 billion people are at risk of malaria. – This is around half the world population. According to a WHO report (December 2015), there were 214 million estimated cases of malaria in 2015 with 4,38,000 deaths. Similarly mosquitoes transmit dengue, chikungunya and zika. An estimated 5,00,000 people with severe dengue require hospitalization each year worldwide, a large proportion of whom are children. About 2.5% of those affected die.

They don’t play such a critical role in the ecosystem that can’t be compensated for either. Some entomologists believe that their role as pollinators and as food for predators can be easily taken over by other insects. Others think their absence would impact the ecosystem significantly, at least for a while.

The food for thought is that there are around 3.5K species of mosquitoes and less than 1% of them are vectors for serious human diseases. What harm would selectively eradicating them do? And considering the advances in science, how difficult can it be?

 

How do we get rid of them?

 

The most advocated and the least ecologically damaging method is that of self-protection through use of nets, clothing and repellants. But everyone knows that the benefit is limited.

Advanced science is now looking at mosquito traps using agents like carbon dioxide, warmth, odour producing chemicals that mimic mammalian presence to attract and trap mosquitoes.

Biological means like the Gambusia species of fish ,dragonflies ,mosquitofish etc also have been tried.

Integrated pest management involves use of more than one method depending on the environmental conditions, types and distribution of mosquitoes, seasonality and other factors.

All these are applicable for isolated areas for relative control and by no means look at the big picture.

Use of pesticides is fraught with its own set of issues including accumulation of the pesticides in human food chain and its adverse effects like nerve disorders, various cancers, endocrine disorders and a long list of relatively minor problems.

More sophisticated means now under study have adopted a humane approach rather than charging at them with chemicals.

Using lab grown genetically modified mosquitoes to be released in the environment is one method. These transmit their genome to the offspring making them sterile or shortening their lifespan or disrupting the parasite’s cycle inside the mosquitoes. This method can be customized to affect a specific species at a specific point in their genome and therefore can be highly controlled.

However easy this sounds in theory, in practice, it will need to be a massive project orchestrated to precision and rolled across the world while grappling with the reality of not being able to cover the entire mosquito population or random and unforeseen mutations amongst the mosquitoes making the whole thing ineffective or partially effective

Then there are ethical borderline concerns like a more dangerous species developing or a cascade of ecologically disruptive consequences.

Therefore, for now, while technology is available, we are still struggling with pain, sickness and even death in this longstanding battle against the mosquitoes.

 

About Author: Editor TSI

 

References:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/16/who-paves-way-for-use-of-genetically-modified-mosquitoes-to-combat-zika

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/extinction_crisis/

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/

ASTROSAT: India’s First Astronomy Mission

 

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Pic: ASTROSAT before it’s launch at ISAC Bengaluru

India’s first multi-wavelength observatory ASTROSAT was launched on Sept 28, 2015 from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Shriharikota, Andhra Pradesh at 10 am by Polar Satellite launch vehicle (PSLV- C30). The satellite weighed 1513kg is launched into a 650km (around 404miles) orbit inclined at an angle of 6° to the equator. It is launched with a life-time of five years. Total cost of the project was approximately 180 crores. Prior to this mission, India was mainly focusing on communication, navigation, education, earth observations but this was the first time when Indian scientists worked for a dedicated astronomy mission.

Conceptualization of India’s astronomy mission was started in the year 1996 and a project report outlining the mission was submitted in 2000. In 2002 the project got approved by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) with the grant of seed fund. Later, in 2004 the mission gained approval and full funding from Gov. of India. The mission was aimed to be launched in the year 2011 but due to some technical issue it has suffered a long delay. Resolution of technical issues and prelaunch testing of instruments was complete by Aug 10, 2015. The satellite was assembled at ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bengaluru and finally placed into orbit on Sept 28, 2015.

 

Why ASTROSAT was needed:-

The universe has always been a fascinating subject. Ever since the dawn of human civilization the mysteries of universe has been drawing the curious minds of the societies to study the universe. It was this thirst of curiosity which first led to assumption about outer space, different stars, and distance between them, followed by dedicated study in this field. The space science started booming after the development of telescopes that was further led to new height with the development of ground based astronomical observatories. The ground based observatories provided the scientists a peep through the Earth’s atmosphere into outer space. With the advent of time and technology scientists felt a need to develop a space observatory as ground based observatories suffered many limitations, prime being the atmospheric distortion. A space observatory is any instrument (such as telescope) in outer space that is used for observing distant planet, galaxies and other outer space objects. India already had ground based telescopes like Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope near Pune and Indian Astronomical Observatory in Ladakh. Ground based telescopes have limitations of detecting radio-waves and infrared radiations only, as these penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere. Moreover ground based observatories had to contend with atmospheric turbulences and suffer light pollution and daylight problem. Indian scientists had to depend on international resources for the study of entire radiation bands. If India wants to be at the forefront of worldwide scenario of space technology it cannot afford to rely on foreign data resources for longer period of time. The time had come when India felt the need for development of its own indigenous space observatory and Indian scientist came up with the idea of India’s first astronomy mission “ASTROSAT”.  ASTROSAT is targeted to observe distant celestial object in full electromagnetic spectrum range in order to have better understanding of our Universe. It is for the first time any space observatory would be observing the universe in such a broad range of wavelength. Multi-wavelength observations of ASTROSAT can be further extended with co-ordinated observations using other space crafts and ground based observations.

 

Uniqueness of ASTROSAT:

  • ASTROSAT is India’s major scientific mission which helped ISRO to setup an observatory in space thus facilitating the study of cosmological phenomenon.
  • It is for the first time India aimed at a dedicated astronomy mission.
  • ASTROSAT is a multi-wavelength astronomy mission on an IRS-class satellite into a near- Earth, equatorial orbit. It enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite. It carried five instruments ( payloads) which would help to observe a wider variety of wavelengths.
  • It is a major step forward for India for emerging power’s increasingly capable space programme.
  • After the launch and success of ASTROSAT India became the first state in developing countries to place its own telescope in space and thus became a member of elite group of nations having their own space observatory after US, Japan, Russia and Europe.
  • To avoid reparing process as faced by HUBBLE, ASTROSAT has been launched with the life-time of five years only.

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Pic: Payloads of ASTROSAT

PAYLOADS (INSTRUMENTS):

ASTROSAT has five payloads which have been developed by ISRO in collaboration with four Indian Institutions and two foreign organizations. The payloads of ASTROSAT will facilitate a deeper insight into our universe. It will help in monitoring the various astrophysical processes occurring in the various types of astronomical objects in space. These payloads relay on the visible,UV and X-rays coming from distant celestial sources. The payloads of carried by ASTROSAT are as follow:

1. Ultra-violet Imaging Telescope( UVIT) :– UVIT was developed by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru, and the Inter- University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune. It consist of two telescope and three independent detector system. The detector in each channel is a photon counting image device which is capable of observing the sky in visible(320-530nm), near UV( 180-300nm) and far UV(130-180nm) regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Multiple choices of filters are available in each channel.

2. Large Area X-ray Proportional Counter( LAXPC):– LAXPC was developed by the Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru, and the TATA Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. It is a non imaging instrument. The main objective of this instrument is to record and study the variation of total intensity of sources within 1degree field of view with high time resolution and moderate spectral resolution of X-rays from sources like X-ray binaries, Active Galactic Nuclei and other cosmic sources.

3.Soft X-ray Telescope(SXT):– It was developed by TIFR, the University of Leicester, U.K., and ISRO. It has a focusing X-ray telescope fitted with a CCD imaging camera. It is designed for studying how the X-ray spectrum of 0.3-8kev and 2-10kev range coming from distant celestial bodies varies with time. It will work primarily in photon counting mode, recording the position, time and energy of every detected photon.

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Pic: ASTROSAT instrument details

4.Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager( CZTI):– It was provided by TIFR, IUCAA, ISRO. It has a hard X-ray coded mask camera which has a coarse imaging capability. It function in the X-ray region extending the capability of the satellite to sense X-rays of high energy in 10-100kev range.

5.Scanning Sky Monitor(SSM):– developed by ISRO satellite centre, Bengaluru, and IUCAA. It will monitor the highly variable X-ray sources in the sky. It is intended to scan the sky for long term monitoring of bright X-ray sources in binary stars, and for the detection and location of sources that became bright in X-rays for a short duration of time. The main purpose of SSM is to quickly detect suddenly appearing interesting sources.

6.Charged Particle Monitor( CPM):– a separate CPM is included as a part of payload to control operation of LAXPC and SSM instruments through zones of high fluxes of charged particles. A Scintillator Photodiode Detector( SPD) with a built in preamplifier is used for CPM.

The satellite was assembled at ISRO’s satellite centre, Bengaluru. Generally the payload mass is less than 10% of the mass of the satellite but because of the lower orbit ASTROSAT could afford to have heavier payloads. The combined mass of the payloads is more than the mass of the satellite.

The satellite during its mission life will be managed by the spacecraft control centre at Mission Operations Complex (MOX) of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru. The satellite will gather data of various astrophysical processes occurring in universe and will send it to ground station at MOX. This data will then be processed and distributed by Indian Space Science Data Centre( ISSDC). All major astronomy institutions and some universities in India will also participate in these observations. The archival data will be accessible to any scientist in the world from data centre.

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Scientific Objectives of ASTROSAT:

  • To understand high energy process in binary star systems containing neutrons star and black holes.
  • To estimate the magnetic field of neutron stars.
  • To study the star birth regions and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy.
  • To detect new briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky.
  • To perform a limited deep field survey of the universe in the ultraviolet region.

 

ASTROSAT versus Hubble:-

  1. Although the ASTROSAT covers all ranges of wavelengths unlike any other space telescope, it has far lower precision compared to the Hubble.
  2. Hubble( 24,000 pounds) is ten times heavier than ASTROSAT(3,306 pounds)
  3. The life span of ASTROSAT is less than Hubble. Hubble is operated until now though launched in 1990 but ASTROSAT is expected to have a life span of only half a decade.
  4. ASTROSAT’s primary collecting mirror measures 30cm( around 11in) while Hubble has 2.4m( about 94in) wide hyperbolic collecting mirror.

 

SUMMARY:

The successful launch of ASTROSAT has marked several successes for India. Now India has joined the elite group of nations like US, Japan, Europe and Russia marking a fifth rank in the world when a space program has succeed in sending a space observatory. It is being considered as India’s Hubble with the uniquely of covering multi-wavelength bands. ASTROSAT mission has provided opportunity to Indian scientists to work in the frontier areas of high energy Astrophysics. Such missions inspire and motivate young minds and open new arena of research.

ASTROSAT had marked strong imprint on the success road of Indian space research following the step of its first successful mission Manglayan launched a year ago. The two consecutive successes were not only a morale booster but showed India’s capability in space research, drawing world’s attentions at India’s fast growing astronomy credentials.

 

Author:- Aastha Saxena

 

References:-

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki.Astrosat

www.isro.gov.in>spacecraft>astrosat

astrosat.iucaa.in

www.thehindu.com>Sci-Tech>Science

Application of Stem Cells in Clinical Conditions and Current Research – Part II

In the previous issue we learnt about Stem cell applications in Nervous system disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Spinal cord injuries and Multiple sclerosis. In this part we explore more uses that are being explored through stem cells.

2.2 Primary immunodeficiency syndromes

There are more than 70 different forms of congenital and inherited deficiencies of the immune system that have been recognized. These are among the most complicated diseases to treat with the worst prognoses. Included here are diseases such as severe combined immunodeficiency disease (the “bubble boy” disease), wiskott-aldrich syndrome, and the autoimmune diseases lupus. The immune deficiencies suffered as a result of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) following infection with the human immunodeficiency virus are also relevant here. Pluripotent stem cells could be used in treatment of virtually all primary immunodeficiency diseases.

 

2.3 Diseases of bone and cartilage

Stem cells, once appropriately differentiated, could correct many diseases and degenerative conditions in which bone or cartilage cells are deficient in numbers or defective in function. This holds promise for treatment of genetic disorders such as osteogenesis imperfect and chondrodysplasias. Similarly, cells could be cultivated and introduced into damaged areas of joint cartilage in cases of osteoarthritis or into large gaps in bone from fractures or surgery.

 

2.4 Cancers

At the present time, bone marrow stem cells, representing a more committed stem cell, are used to rescue patients following high dose chemotherapy. Unfortunately, these recovered cells are limited in their capacity to restore immune function completely in this setting. It is hoped that injections of properly-differentiated stem cells would return the complete repertoire of immune response to patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation. Complete and functional restoration will be required if, for example, immune/vaccine anticancer therapy is to work. More importantly, success would permit use of very toxic (and effective) chemotherapeutic regimens that could not currently be utilized for lack of an ability to restore marrow and immune function.

 

2.5 Blood disorders

The most well established and widely used stem cell treatment is the transplantation of blood stem cells to treat diseases and conditions of the blood and immune system, or to restore the blood system after treatments for specific cancers. Blood diseases are typically caused by congenital or inborn deficiencies (e.g. sickle cell anemia), immune deficiencies (SCID), autoimmune mechanisms (immune thrombocytopenia purpura), and cancer (leukemia, myeloma, lymphoma). Standard treatments include blood transfusions, drugs to stimulate blood cell production, and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to supply new healthy cells. Hematopoietic stem cells make either myeloid cells (red blood cells carry oxygen to the tissues) or lymphoid cells (B and T cells that fight specific infections in the body). The hematopoietic stem cell transplants from bone marrow, umbilical cord and peripheral blood are approved by health Canada and the FDA to help treat a variety of different blood-based cancers including multiple myeloma, leukemia and lymphoma, and the other blood disorders, including anemia, thalassemia and severe combined immune deficiency or SCID.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is an aggressive form of therapy and although it can be used to successfully treat many blood disorders, including thalassemia, SCID, multiple myeloma, leukemia and lymphoma, more than 50% of patients are still not cured of their diseases.

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Human stem cells could also be used to test new drugs. For example, new medications could be tested for safety on differentiated cells generated from human pluripotent cell lines. Other kinds of cell lines are already used in this way. Cancer cell lines, for example, are used to screen potential anti-tumor drugs. But, the availability of pluripotent stem cells would allow drug testing in a wider range of cell types. However, to screen drugs effectively, the conditions must be identical when comparing different drugs. Therefore, scientists will have to be able to precisely control the differentiation of stem cells into the specific cell type on which drugs will be tested. Current knowledge of the signals controlling differentiation fall well short of being able to mimic these conditions precisely to consistently have identical differentiated cells for each drug being tested.

 

2.6 Uses in research

Much is left to be discovered and understood in all aspects of human biology. There are some of the larger problems in basic and clinical biology where the use of stem cells might be the key to understanding.

A new window on human developmental biology: The study of human developmental biology is particularly constrained by practical and ethical limitations. Human ES cells may allow scientists to investigate how early human cells become committed to the major lineages of the body; how lineages lay down the rudiments of the body’s tissue and organs; and how cells within these rudiments differentiate to form the myriad functional ell types which underlie normal function in adult. The knowledge gained will impact many fields. Cancer biology will reap an especially large reward because it is now understood that many cancers arise by perturbations of normal developmental processes.

 

Models of human disease that are constrained by current animal and cell culture models:

A large number of pathogenic viruses including human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus grow only in human or chimpanzee cells. ES cells might provide cell and tissue types that will greatly accelerate investigation into these and other viral diseases. Investigation of a number of human diseases is severely constrained by a lack of in vitro models. Current animal models of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease give only a very partial representation of the diseases’ process.

 

Transplantation:

Pluripotent stem cells could be used to create an unlimited supply of cells, tissues, or eve organs that could be used to restore function without the requirement for toxic immunosuppression and without regard to tissue matching compatibility. Such cells, when used in transplantation therapies, would in effect be suitable for “universal” donation. Bone marrow transplantation could become safe, cost effective and be available for treating a wide range of clinical disorders, including aplastic anemia and certain inherited blood disorders.

 

Gene therapy:

In gene therapy, genetic material that provides a missing or necessary protein, or causes a clinically relevant biochemical process, is introduced into an organ for a therapeutic effect. For gene-based therapies (specifically those using the DNA sequencing), it is critical that the desired gene be introduced into organ stem cells in order to achieve long term expression and therapeutic effect. Besides delivery problems, loss of expression or insufficient expression is an important limiting factor in successful application of gene therapy and could be overcome by transferring genes into stem cells (which presumably will then differentiate and target correctly).

 

  1. Current research

Current research includes application of different stem cells from their different sources of the body as described below:

 

3.1 Using bone marrow stem cells

In the past many years, transplants of hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow have been widely used of all stem cell therapies. Transplants can be autologous (from the patient) or allogeneic (from a donor). Autologous transplants circumvent the problem of graft rejection but, for reasons that may include age, poor health or bone marrow disorders, not all patients are candidates. The biggest stumbling blocks to the more widespread use of allogeneic transplants are the availability of suitable donors and the need to match a donor graft as precisely as possible to the recipient.

 

3.2 Using umbilical cord blood stem cells

As home to a variety of stem cells, umbilical cord blood has tremendous potential as a cell therapy and is now routinely used as an alternative to bone marrow transplantation. The first cord blood transplant occurred between a brother and sister in 1988 to treat Fanconi’s anemia, a genetic condition that tends to lead to myeloid leukemia and bone marrow failure. This transplant was matched but subsequent efforts showed that it was also possible to transplant mismatched cord blood, with less graft versus host disease and the same survival benefit as mismatched bone marrow transplants.

 

3.3 Using peripheral blood stem cells

Low levels of hematopoietic stem cells can be found in the blood of healthy individuals. These are called peripheral blood stem cells. In the 1970s, scientists discovered that peripheral blood stem cells are also present in the blood of patients with myeloid leukemia. Through the 1980s, they learned that they could harvest the peripheral blood stem cells in patients with leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and solid tumors, and use the stem cells as autologous transplants to boost blood production. Today, peripheral blood stem cells are routinely used for this purpose, and a growing number of clinical trials are comparing matched peripheral blood and matched bone marrow allogeneic transplants. While engraftment is faster using peripheral blood stem cells transplants, the higher levels of graft versus host disease is still a concern.

 

3.4 Using induced pluripotent stem cells

In 2006, Dr.shinya yamanaka showed he could turn back the clock on adult skin cells and reprogram them to a younger, embryonic-like state. The cells are called pluripotent because they are no longer locked into making one cell type but instead can produce a variety of different cells. Since the technology was first developed, scientists now have methods in place for turning induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells from skin into a variety of variety of specialized cells, including blood. Scientists can also use iPS cells in the lab to create diseased cells and these are excellent tools for understanding blood diseases and screening candidate drugs. The combination of gene therapy and iPS technology is also very promising, and it was with great excitement that scientists found that genetically corrected skin cells from patients with Fanconi’s anemia could be reprogrammed into patient-specific iPS cells that could go on to make healthy red and white blood cells in the laboratory. They were also able to successfully correct a genetic blood deficiency in mice using the iPS/gene therapy combination.

 

  1. Conclusion

Stem cells whether cord blood, adult or embryonic, have numerous applications in the areas of scientific research and clinical therapy. For researchers, stem cells are the key to understanding how humans develop the way they do. Hopefully, the study of stem cells will unravel the mystery of how an undifferentiated cell is able to differentiate and will also determine what is the signal that triggers the sequence. The greater the understanding and possibly even control, of cell division and differentiation is a significant strategy in the battle against dreaded illnesses such as cancer, which is basically the continuous multiplication of abnormal cells. The use of stem cells for the testing of new medicines is another highly-anticipated application. Although, certain cells are already utilized for this purpose-cancer cells, for example, are used to tests anti-tumor drugs testing on pluripotent cells would open up this field to a much broader number of cell types. The third and possibly the most important application, is cell therapy, which is the use of stem cells to produce the cells and tissues required for the renewal or repair of the body organs that have been damaged by debilitating and mortal diseases such as cancer, spinal cord injuries, glaucoma, Parkinson’s.

Authors:

Ms. Srikruthi.N, Mr. Kaushik Dilip Deb, Mr. Swarup Kumar Chakrabarti, are the team of “DiponEd BioIntelligence LLP”. To know more about their services and educational programs please log in to http://www.diponed.com

References

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17582439

http://www.neurologyindia.com/article.asp?issn=0028-3886;year=2014;volume=62;issue=3;spage=239;epage=248;aulast=Srivastava

http://www.eurostemcell.org/factsheet/spinal-cord-injuries-how-could-stem-cells-help

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2678281/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2678281/

http://stemcellfoundation.ca/en/diseases/blood-disorders/

http://www.nature.com/news/stem-cells-take-root-in-drug-development-1.10713

http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=jas.2011.163.173&org=11

http://psasir.upm.edu.my/25346/1/Stem%20cells%20research%20and%20its%20application.pdf

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