Clinton leads Trump 48-43%: Tracking poll

Washington: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a five-point lead over Republican Donald Trump in the latest Washington Post-ABC Tracking Poll released early on Sunday.

In the Post-ABC poll released on Friday, Clinton led Trump by 47 per cent to 44 per cent.

Clinton had an advantage in affirmative support, the poll said, with 55 per cent of backers saying they are mainly supporting her, compared with 43 per cent of Trump voters. More Trump voters say they “mainly oppose Clinton.”



Pulimurugan becomes first Malayalam movie to enter 100-cr club

Kochi: Rattling box office collections, Mohanlal starrer Pulimurugan shatters all Mollywood records to emerge as the first Malayalam movie to join the 100-crore club.

The actor was elated and shared the news on Twitter. “Happy that #Pulimurugan becomes the 1st Malayalam Movie to enter 100 Cr Club. Thanks to entire crew, audience and almighty,” he tweeted.

Pulimurugan is made at a budget of Rs 25 crore, which is huge money for a Malayalam film. It has broken several records and created a few since its release on October 7.

Pulimurugan is an out and out commercial entertainer, starring Mohanlal, Kamalinee Mukherjee and Jagapathi Babu in the lead roles. The film that deals with man-animal conflict is directed by Vysakh.

The movie is also on a record-setting spree. It has completed 10,000 houseful shows in just 14 days, which is an all-time new record.

Meanwhile, the film has earned more than Rs 60 crore at the Kerala box office alone.

According to reports, the film had 600 plus shows on its opening day, which is more than Rajinikanth’s Kabali and Salman Khan’s Sultan, as they had 425 shows and 225 shows respectively in UAE and GCC regions.

The filmmakers have also earned Rs 15 crore in sales of the film’s satellite and overseas rights.

Looking at the success in Mollywood, Pulimurugan has also been dubbed into many languages including Hindi, Telugu and foreign languages like Chinese, Vietnamese and English.

The action-adventure film has already pushed the envelope for the Malayalam film industry, in terms of special effects, budget and theatrical collection.


India beat Pakistan to win Asian Champions Trophy title

Kuantan (Malaysia): Favourites India prevailed 3-2 over arch-rivals Pakistan to reclaim the Asian Champions Trophy hockey, presenting a perfect Diwali gift to the nation on Sunday.

Goals from Rupinder Pal Singh (18th minute), Yousuf Affan (23rd) and Nikkin Thimmaiah (51st) helped India surmount the challenge from Pakistan, who rallied from two goals behind through strikes by Muhammad Aleem Bilal (26th) and Ali Shaan (38th) in the title clash of the fourth edition of tournament.

This was the first time the teams were meeting in the final of a continental tournament since India dethroned Pakistan as the Asian Games champions in Incheon, South Korea in 2014.

India had won the inaugural edition of the Asian Champions Trophy by defeating Pakistan in the final in 2011.

Pakistan reversed the result in the title contest the next year and went on to retain it in 2013 by defeating Japan in the final.

World No. 6 India went into the title contest at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium without ace custodian PR Sreejesh, who was rested due to pulled hamstring and Akash Chikte took the position under the bar.

India scored the first goal in the 18th minute on their second penalty corner as Rupinder sent a rasping drag-flick into the left side of the net. This was the 11 penalty corner conversion in the tournament by Rupinder, the highest goal-scorer in the tournament by a big margin.

In the 23rd minute, Ramandeep Singh’s cross was deflected in by Yousuf Affan into the boards to put India 2-0 up.

Under pressure, Pakistan responded by forcing their first penalty corner, which was converted by Muhammad Aleem Bilal in the 26th minute. Bilal sounded the boards with a low drag-flick that beat the goalkeeper.

Pakistan defence had no trouble in warding away India’s attempts to send long diagonal balls into the circle and capitalised on a lapse by the Indian defence to draw 2-2 parity in the 38th minute. Ali Shan wasted no time in slapping the ball that had got deflected to him inside the scoring zone.

India wrested the lead back in the 51st minute as seasoned Indian midfielder Sardar Singh gave a through pass to Thimmaiah, who beat Pakistan custodian Fareed Ahmed with a diagonal flick that ended inside the right goal-post.

Ford to invest Rs 1,300 cr in Chennai for R&D

Chennai: US auto major Ford on Tuesday announced the setting up of its new research and development centre at a cost of Rs 1,300 crore.

Ford’s Executive Chairman Bill Ford made an official announcement regarding the investment plan in Chennai.

The automaker will invest $195 million (around Rs 1300 crore) and hire 3,000 skilled people for the new centre over the next 5 years.

It will serve as a hub for product development, mobility solutions and business services in India and other markets across the world.

Ford will also consolidate 9000 employees from its six existing facilities, spread over a campus area of 28 acres, in Chennai.



Scientific study develops new strategies to prevent Alzheimer’s

Washington: According to a recent study, scientists suggest that taking a certain kind of pill may prevent the accumulation of toxic molecules in brain which would help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease.

The study took a three-pronged approach to help subdue early events that occur in the brain long before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are evident.

The scientists were able to prevent those early events and the subsequent development of brain pathology in experimental animal models in the lab.

Senior author of the study Huda Zoghbi said, “Common diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia are caused in part by abnormal accumulation of certain proteins in the brain. Some proteins become toxic when they accumulate; they make the brain vulnerable to degeneration. Tau is one of those proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”

Cristian Lasagna-Reeves, the first author of the study said,”Scientists in the field have been focusing mostly on the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Here we tried to find clues about what is happening at the very early stages of the illness, before clinical irreversible symptoms appear, with the intention of preventing or reducing those early events that lead to devastating changes in the brain decades later.”

The scientists reasoned that if they could find ways to prevent or reduce tau accumulation in the brain, new possibilities for developing drug treatments for these diseases could be uncovered.

Cells control the amount of their proteins with other proteins called enzymes. To find which enzymes affect tau accumulation, the scientists systematically inhibited enzymes called kinases.

“We inhibited about 600 kinases one by one and found one, called Nuak1, whose inhibition resulted in reduced levels of tau,” said Zoghbi.

The scientists screened the enzymes in two different systems, cultured human cells and the laboratory fruit fly.

Screening in the fruit fly allowed the scientists to assess the effects of inhibiting the enzymes in a functional nervous system in a living organism.

“Screening hundreds of kinases in the fruit fly animal model was critical because we could assess degeneration caused by tau in the fly’s nervous system and measure neuronal dysfunction. Screening such a large number cannot be done with other animal models like the mouse, and cultured cells cannot model complex nervous system functions,” said co-senior author Juan Botas.

Brain section from mouse carrying the dementia-causing P301S mutation in human tau shows accumulation of tau neurofibrillary tangles.When Nuak1 levels are decreased by 50 percent, fewer tau tangles accumulate.

“We found one enzyme, Nuak1, whose inhibition consistently resulted in lower levels of tau in both human cells and fruit flies. Then we took this result to a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease and hoped that the results would hold, and they did. Inhibiting Nuak1 improved the behaviour of the mice and prevented brain degeneration,” said Zoghbi.

“Confirming in three independent systems – human cells, the fruit fly and the mouse – that Nuak1 inhibition results in reduced levels of tau and prevents brain abnormalities induced by tau accumulation, has convinced us that Nuak1 is a reliable potential target for drugs to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s,” Zoghbi added.

He further said, “The next step is to develop drugs that will inhibit Nuak1 in hope that one day would be able to lower tau levels with low toxicity in individuals at risk for dementia due to tau accumulation.”

Scientific studies like this one make it possible to develop new strategies to prevent or treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or dementia.

In the future it might be possible to treat people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease by keeping tau low.

Think of how taking drugs that lower cholesterol has helped control the accumulation of cholesterol in blood vessels that leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease.

“When people started taking drugs that lower cholesterol, they lived longer and healthier lives rather than dying earlier of heart disease,” said Zoghbi.

“Nobody has thought about Alzheimer’s disease in that light. Tau in Alzheimer’s can be compared to cholesterol in heart disease. Tau is a protein that when it accumulates as the person ages, increases the vulnerability of the brain to developing Alzheimer’s. So maybe if we can find drugs that can keep tau at levels that are not toxic for the brain, then we would be able to prevent or delay the development of Alzheimer’s and other diseases caused in part by toxic tau accumulation,” he concluded.

The study was published in the Cell Press journal Neuron.