Author Topic: Australian scientists have discovered a potent molecule  (Read 15 times)

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Australian scientists have discovered a potent molecule
« on: June 14, 2018, 04:32:35 AM BST GMT »

by Ronald Njoroge and David Musyoka

NAIROBI, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan doctors on Tuesday ended their three-month strike after reaching a deal with both national and county governments.

Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Ouma Olunga said the doctors will resume to work immediately even as government and union iron out the remaining provisions of the agreement.

"We are very thankful for the support we have received from Kenyans during the 100 days of the strike and we promise to offer the best health care possible," Olunga told journalists in Nairobi after signing the agreement.

"By doing so, we bring to an end the painful struggle that we have been through. Patients and doctors cannot be separated. The strike is over but we need to restore industrial harmony," he added.

Doctors are currently expected to work under the supervision of some 47 County governors, who are responsible for public health as the second tier of a devolved government structure.

The KMPDU which has been demanding a 300 percent salary increase for its members as agreed in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) says the lowest paid doctor should earn 3,450 U.S. dollars while the highest should be earning 9,450 dollars.

However, the government has offered a 500 dollar or 40 percent increase for the lowest paid doctors, which would have raised their salaries to 1,760 dollars but unions rejected it and walked out of talks.

Oluga said the doctors have concluded a return-to-work formula between them and government, bringing to an end the strike by the medics that has paralyzed the health services for more than three months.

"It has been one of the most difficult industrial relations in the country. I want to announce here that the doctors union has finally put to an end the strike," he declared at a joint news conference with government officials and religious leaders who brokered the deal.

The doctors have also been demanding improved working conditions at the public hospitals, where some 5,000 members are employed.

The doctors say the industrial action was occasioned by three year industrial dispute concerning the disputed CBA signed on June 27, 2013 and effective July 1, 2013 but the government disowned it, saying the government officials who signed it did so illegally after their tenure in government ended.

Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu lauded the doctors union for calling off the strike, terming it regrettable.

"I am glad that the strike has ended but I must say that it was a regrettable situation that will go to the black books of history," Mailu said.

The Tuesday deal whose details were not disclosed followed intense negotiations brokered by religious leaders who brought together representatives from the Attorney General's office, Health Ministry and the Council of Governors.

During the negotiations, the doctors accused the government side of failing to show any good will in the negotiation process but instead threatening them with law suits.

A deal with the government was signed in 2013, but the government disowned the agreement saying the government officials who signed it did so illegally after their tenure in government ended.

The standoff between the doctors and the government has pushed thousands of low income patients to the edge, and with no cash to visit to high cost private facilities, distressed families have flocked ill-equipped clinics found in residential areas.

SYDNEY, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Australian scientists have discovered a potent molecule responsible for inflammatory diseases.

In a study published on Thursday, researchers form Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) found that an inflammatory molecule released by dying cells triggers inflammation during necroptosis, a form of cell death linked to inflammatory disease.

Necroptosis is a process for protecting humans from infections by sacrificing infected or diseased cells "for the greater good."

However, if necroptosis becomes excessively activated it can trigger damaging inflammation that leads to inflammatory disease.

Lisa Lindqvist, the lead researcher, said that interleukin-1 beta (IL-1b) triggered inflammation during the cell death.

She said the discovery challenged a long-standing dogma that inflammation triggered by necroptosis was a by-product of dead cell debris.

"Our research has pinpointed that, during necroptosis, dying cells release IL-1b, a potent inflammatory signal," Lindqvist said in a media release on Thursday.

"Now that we have discovered IL-1b is the 'root' of the inflammation associated with necroptosis, we speculate that targeting this molecule could be an effective way of treating inflammatory diseases."

Researchers are optimistic that the findings suggest suppressing IL-1b would reduce inflammation associated with inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), liver disease and pancreatitis.

"Our research suggests that existing drugs that block IL-1b might be useful in treating these diseases," Lindqvist said.

"We are also exploring how IL-1b is signalled to be secreted during necroptosis, so that we can create new drugs to stop its release and reduce inflammation to treat inflammatory diseases."

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