PM directs to develop strategies related to plantation drivers
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed all provinces to develop a coordinated strategy and monitoring mechanism for plantation efforts and green area protection.
Chairing the weekly meeting of the National Coordinating Committee for Housing, Construction and Development in Islamabad today (Thursday), he said environmental pollution is a silent killer, which is bad for people’s health.
Emphasizing the importance of environmental protection, Imran Khan called for taking timely steps to avoid the devastating effects of the threat in major cities.
He said the incumbent government had taken various steps on the basis of war for environmental protection.
Emphasizing the importance of providing data for digitizing land records, Imran Khan said it would help better planning and inspect land grabbers.
The Prime Minister urged to secure green areas in a construction project in Islamabad.
The Prime Minister’s Adviser on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam briefed the meeting on a consultation process on piloting building codes with housing schemes and for controlling urban flooding in major cities.
Karachi Commissioner Navid Ahmed Shaikh on Monday initiated the first anti-polio movement of the year in the city. The campaign will continue until January 17th.
Deputy Commissioner Irshad Ali Selatan, District Health Officer Dr Raj Kumar, Bill and Milinda Gates Foundation representatives, Dr Ahmed Ali Shaikh, representatives from the World Health Organization and UNICEF officials were present at the inauguration ceremony held at the Hilal-e-Ahmer House in Clifton.
Commissioner Karachi gives polio drops to children at the inauguration to start the campaign. Speaking to media, Shaikh said more than 2.2 million children up to the age of five will be given polio drops in the car.
The commissioner said the government needed support from parents who played an important role in achieving the target successfully. He appealed to parents to encourage them to cooperate with the polio team in the anti-polio movement.
He said the campaign was a national goal. “This will be held every month. Parents should take advantage of the opportunity every month to vaccinate their children so that their immunity is stronger, “he added. He said the anti-polio push would not affect continued efforts to implement the government-issued coronavirus related SOPs.
Despite decades of research, and its impact on one in 500 New Zealanders and millions more worldwide, Parkinson’s disease remains a medical mystery. Photo / 123RF
Kiwi scientists are trying to get closer to revealing the important role one gene plays in the development of Parkinson’s disease.
A new study comes after research in New Zealand, supported by the charity of world-renowned Hollywood star Michael J Fox, sheds light on the fascinating link of the gene to the notorious neurodegenerative condition.
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative condition caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain, resulting in slow and awkward movements.
Despite decades of research, and its impact on one in 500 New Zealanders and millions more worldwide, the disease remains a medical mystery.
Doctors don’t yet know why most people develop it and for those who are diagnosed, there is no cure.
Over the past few years, scientists have been pursuing promising new clues in the genetic mutation that is one of the biggest risk factors for the disease.
The specific gene involved is called acid beta glucoserebrosidase, or GBA.
Research has shown how GBA mutations inhibit enzymes that help clear out damaged or excess parts of cells, before they can build up to cause the damage seen in Parkinson’s disease.
Last August, a team led by Associate Professor Justin O’Sullivan, from the University of Auckland-based Liggins Institute, published findings that pinpoint the specific components of GBA that play a major role in regulating and delaying the onset of disease.
In the “non-coding” area of GBA – once thought of as aimless “junk” DNA – the team screened 128 sites to find that, where the gene happened to have a specific combination of three short non-coding DNA sequences, Parkinson’s onset could be delayed by five. year.
They also identified six other non-coding regions that act as switches to control how the GBA gene is turned on or off in the brain’s movement and cognitive centers.
Scientists – funded in part by the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research – are also creating maps showing how such switches affect other genes – apart from GBA – throughout the human body.
In the new study, supported by New Zealand’s Marsden Fund, O’Sullivan will work with University of Otago geneticist Professor Martin Kennedy to further explore the GBA puzzle.
Kennedy said the project proved to be an “accidental amalgamation” of initially separate research.
While O’Sullivan has focused on how gene expression is regulated in different cells, Kennedy and PhD student Oscar Graham has developed a new DNA sequencing method to check for mutations in the GBA gene.
When O’Sullivan and Kennedy sat together at the Queenstown conference to share their work, they realized what they could learn by putting it together.
“When put together, the two data sets show that not only clear mutations in GBA, but also a natural pattern of subtle variations in GBA genes, appear to impact Parkinson’s disease,” said Kennedy.
In addition, this may occur through changing the expression of perhaps 20 to 30 other genes.
Their joint study, which also involved the NZ Brain Research Institute’s renowned clinical director, Professor Tim Anderson, ultimately sought to confirm that subtle genetic changes in GBA do affect Parkinson’s early age.
But they also wanted to know why so many people who carry the GBA mutation don’t develop the disease.
Furthermore, they aim to build simpler ways of detecting variation so that it can be tested in larger studies, along with sophisticated new models exploring its effects in cell biology.
The team plans to import specific stem cells taken from Parkinson’s patients, which will be modified in the laboratory using the latest gene editing methods to provide cells with various forms of the GBA gene.
“These cells can be differentiated in the laboratory into different cell types, such as certain brain cells, then we can see differences in gene expression due to the presence of different forms of the GBA gene,” explains Kennedy.
“Then we’ll set up experiments to better understand the biological impact of differences in expression of any gene, both in cultured cell models, and ultimately in humans.”
Kennedy expects this pioneering research to come up with challenges – particularly around modifying genes in cell lines, but also in understanding what the differences in gene expression caused by different forms of GBA actually mean.
“Until we discover those changes and start thinking about gene function, we won’t be able to plan proper experiments to answer the key questions of this research.”
But if successful, their research may prove important for ongoing efforts to understand and prevent Parkinson’s.
“GBA is the single biggest genetic factor we know of that underlies Parkinson’s, but we don’t really understand how it exerts its effects,” said Kennedy.
“In addition, drugs are being developed and piloted that target the GBA and its lines of operation, so it is increasingly important to understand all the how and why of the GBA.
“We believe our genetic work will lead to a better ability to predict Parkinson’s risk – and possibly allow targeting of treatment, or even prevention for people at high genetic risk who don’t already have it.”
Operation to remove encroachment from along Mehmoodabad Nullah in Manzoor Colony continues for the third day in a row on Wednesday.
The 5.5-kilometer storm drain area from Manzoor Colony Fire Station to Korangi will be widened with heavy equipment in the coming days, according to a statement issued by the Karachi Municipal Corporation.
Karachi administrator Laeeq Ahmed visited Mehmoodabad Nullah in Manzoor Colony on Wednesday. He was accompanied by Metropolitan Commissioner Afzal Zaidi and other officials. Administrators review anti-encroachment operations and provide directions to officials in the field.
He said the importance of the area would increase after the elimination of encroachment. He said people faced difficulties because they littered and they lived in an unsanitary environment. He said the road would be built around Nullah and the area would depict a different appearance.
Ahmed added that they welcomed that the residents had cooperated with the government, and that some had torn down illegal buildings themselves. He said the operation would be completed in a few days.
The administrator said encroachment had been removed at the direction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and the KMC Anti-encroachment Department, Katchi Abadi department, land department, city services, city wardens and others participated in the operation.
He said encroachment had been cleared from both sides of Mehmoodabad Nullah for the construction of a road that would have heavy traffic. He said encroachment would also be removed from about seven kilometers of the area from the Manzoor Colony Fire Station to Korangi.
In a briefing to administrators, Metropolitan Commissioner Afzal Zaidi said that 57 houses and shops were partially affected during the relocation operation. He said that the residents were cooperating with the local government and there was no reaction.
He said Mehmoodabad Nullah’s recovery as per the original plan would be ensured.
Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) carried out a massive anti-encroachment operation on Friday in three city districts under a directive issued by Administrator Laeeq Ahmed.
According to details shared by senior anti-encroachment director Bashir Siddiqui, the operations were carried out on major markets, highways and roads in the Central, East and South districts.
In the North Karachi area of the Central District, from Power House Chowrangi to Nagan Chowrangi, all kinds of commercial encroachment have been eliminated. “Strollers, cabins, grills, chairs, tables and stalls on the road and sidewalk have been removed,” said Siddiqui, adding that sunshades protruding onto the road were also destroyed by KMC officers.
Gas cylinders and workshops whose accessories are on the road were all confiscated and moved to KMC workshops and warehouses. The central director of the anti-encroachment department, Kamran Alvi, and Deputy Director Younus Khan oversaw the operation with the help of law enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, in Sector-I Karachi North Central District, near the Siddiq-e-Akbar Mosque and at the Motorcycle Market in UP Morr, another major operation was carried out in which gas cylinders, parked old cars were confiscated by the department.
During the operation, Siddiqui said a KMC city warden was injured when the blinds fell on him. “The warden was immediately transferred to the hospital,” he said. In the East District, anti-encroachment operations were carried out in the areas of Jalan Tariq, Jalan Jamshed, Guru Mandir and the Muslim Community of Sindhi. The heavy generators occupying space on the trail were all confiscated. The generators mostly belong to restaurants around the Sindhi Muslim Society roundabout. Deputy Director Ameen Lakhani oversaw the operation.
Around the Guru Mandir area, Siddiqui said, cabins, betel and paan stalls, as well as restaurant and teashop tables and chairs were all removed. Meanwhile, sun visors, iron grills, and ladders jutting out into the paths and walkways were all dismantled.
In the Southern District, operations were carried out at Kaghaz Bazaar and Plastic Market. Siddiqui described how the shop accessories that took up space on the streets and walkways in the two markets were confiscated, and some stoves, chairs and restaurant tables were also removed.