International Current Affairs - 2019

Latest International Current Affairs 2019 with news summaries and current events in International developments, geopolitical, organizations, groupings and fora related updates for India and world with all important national news updates and events for the year 2019.

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U.K. court orders government to lift sanctions against Iranian bank

The U.K. Supreme Court has ordered the British government to lift the sanctions against Tehran-based Bank Mellat whose British assets had been frozen for allegedly financing Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.

The bank, one of Iran’s largest private banks, had been fighting to have the sanctions lifted since 2009, denying any links with the nuclear programme.

The court made a strong ruling by calling the singling out Bank Mellat was irrational and disproportionate. The court held that the bank was not served with any notice of the Treasury’s intention to make the direction, and therefore had given no opportunity to make representations which was against public law.

The Treasury was disappointed and might appeal. The bank’s assets would remain frozen pending an appeal.

Month: Categories: International

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Study finds significant role of platelets in immune system

Scientists from the University of Calgary, Canada, have found through a study a new type of surveillance mechanism linked with immune system taking place in the liver of mice. It was noticed that platelets, which are conventionally known to play a significant role in the clotting of blood and are crucial to wound healing, while flowing across the blood stream in the liver of mice, were making frequent short-lived “touch-and-go” interactions with specialized immune cells called Kupffer cells. Kupffer cells are present in the liver and protect us from infection by capturing and eventually killing bacteria that pass by.

As per scientists, the touch-and-go mechanism was how platelets were scanning for captured bacteria. But when platelets detected a Kupffer cell bound to bacteria, the platelet-Kupffer cell interaction sustained much longer, which led to the killing of the bacteria.

How does it happen?

As per researchers, two receptor proteins on the surface of platelets — GpIb, and the GpIIb-GpIIIa complex have an affinity towards a protein (von Willebrand factor (vWF)) found on the surface of Kupffer cells. The GpIb receptor binds to the vWF long enough to scan for any captured bacteria. If they detect nothing, the platelet comes off and continues along the bloodstream in a touch-and-go interaction. However, when platelets found a Kupffer cell with captured bacteria the second receptor binds to the Kupffer cell resulting in a more prolonged interaction eventually leading up to the killing of the bacteria. Scientists are yet to examine the helpfulness of this binding in fighting infection.

This platelet-mediated surveillance mechanism has been shown to be vital for the mice because most (80-100%) mutant mice lacking platelets or GpIb receptors died within four hours of infection, whereas more than 90% of wild-type mice survived.

What about Humans?

Although the presence of same kind of mechanism in humans is yet to be confirmed, there is good evidence that human platelets can kill malaria infected red blood cells and in sepsis platelets appear to also be involved so they likely do play a role in immunity.

Efficacy of Aspirin questioned

The findings also question the efficacy of drugs like aspirin, which are known platelet inhibitors. If aspirin by its platelet-inhibitory role allows bacteria to survive longer in blood it could help bacteria become more resistant. There may be a need to reconsider aspirin use in immunosuppressed patients.

Month: Categories: InternationalScience & Technology

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