NZ researchers help find key 'villain' in causing migraines

Researchers have found a key "villain" in causing migraines.

Scientists at Victoria's Monash University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, in collaboration with researchers in New Zealand and around the world, discovered the molecular details of one of the key initiators of migraines, with the findings published in the Nature science journal on Thursday.

A neuropeptide called calcitonin gene-related peptide has been found to be a main offender of initiating migraines and causing pain, the research reveals.

The peptide interacts with a receptor in the brain which causes the pain response.

But this receptor doesn't respond to the neuropeptide unless there's another partner protein.

This study reveals the first high-resolution structure of the activated receptor, together with the neuropeptide and its main signal-transmitting partner.

"Our work, solving the structure of activated receptor complex, allows design of novel drugs that can activate the receptor," one of the researchers Dr Denise Wootten said.

"Excitingly, the CGRP receptor is not just a villain, but can also be activated for beneficial outcomes. For example, there is accumulating evidence that activation of the receptor could be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, or resistant hypertension".

About two million Australians experience migraines with symptoms including pain, nausea and poor sleep, Monash University states.

"This research could pave the way for novel drug development in areas of ongoing therapeutic need," institute director Professor Christopher Porter said.

The research was a multi-disciplinary effort with collaborators also in Germany, the UK, New Zealand, China, and the Mayo Clinic in the US.

Cropped shot of a stressed businessman sitting at his deskhttp://195.154.178.81/DATA/i_collage/pi/shoots/783721.jpg
Source: istock.com



'Should be a blank gap in between letters if it was a real mistake' - Engineer casts doubt over plane typo

Cathay Pacific are not shying away from a huge mistake – a typo to be exact.

The airline had a Boeing 777-367 on the ground at Hong Kong airport emblazoned with “Cathay Paciic” after leaving the f out of its name.

The airline referenced the error on its Twitter account but an engineer for sister company, Haeco, cast doubt over the typo.

“The spacing is too on-point for a mishap. We have stencils. Should be a blank gap in between letters if it was a real mistake I think,” the engineer told the South China Morning Post.

The Boeing 777 was snapped in Hong Kong this week with the major error for all to see. Source: Breakfast

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Man who beat pensioner to death soon after release from mental health unit jailed at least 13 years

A man who stomped a pensioner to death shortly after being discharged from Auckland City Hospital's mental health unit has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 13 years.

Gabriel Yad-Elohim appeared at the High Court in Auckland today for sentencing for the murder of 69-year-old Michael Mulholland.

Mr Mulholland's daughter told the court that the pain of losing her father was immense.

She said her father was just an old man who enjoyed collecting National Geographic magazines and reading. He treasured gifts and letters from his children like diamonds.

Yad-Elohim had been out of Auckland City Hospital's Te Whetu Tawera for only three days when he killed Mr Mulholland in September last year.

His lawyers argued he had a disease of the mind, was hearing voices at the time and had no way of telling right from wrong.

The Crown said despite having schizophrenia, he knew right from wrong and killed Mr Mulholland for revenge after losing $200 in a methamphetamine deal.

rnz.co.nz

Gabriel Yad-Elohim at the High Court in Auckland today. (Claire Eastham-Farrelly) Source: rnz.co.nz

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Australian man admits stealing funeral donations, including those for an autistic boy whose father died

An Australian man admits stealing money donated at funerals, but disputes that he got away with thousands of dollars.

Paul Pecora allegedly targeted grieving families in Melbourne after looking for tributes in the newspaper that requested donations.

In January, Pecora was allegedly seen on security vision cutting through a funeral procession for Shane, a 43-year-old father of an autistic child.

The 57-year-old admitted in Werribee Magistrates Court yesterday that he stole envelopes containing money for Kai, the deceased’s five-year-old autistic son, but denied taking $7000.

A week later he attended a woman’s funeral in Essendon but left empty handed before turning himself in to police.

He told police that night he couldn’t help it and “saw an opportunity to take some money and I took the money".

"I don't even know who the funeral was for to tell you the truth."

He is also alleged to have stolen $700 in a donation box from a Bundoora funeral.

The court heard the investigating officer had contacted the mourners at Shane’s funeral and confirmed that donations ranged from $500 to $3000.

Pecora did not formally pled and will face court again next month.


Radio station already playing Christmas songs, but it's to ease dying toddler's pain

A radio station in the US is already playing Christmas music.

But it's not a shameless bid to further commoditise the holiday that some listeners have mistakenly assumed. The station has agreed to play the music months ahead of schedule to help dying toddler Brody Allen.

The two-year-old, who has a rare form of brain cancer, has asked to celebrate the holiday early in case he doesn't make it that long.

Cincinnati, Ohio, radio station WARM 98 has promised to add a little Christmas cheer to its broadcast at least once an hour.

"You should see the Facebook comments that we're getting," radio host Jim Day told news outlet WKRC. "As soon as we explain it, they're like, 'Oh, that's a really good reason', and they're fine with it."

The station has also organised another "Christmas miracle" for tomorrow in which staff and listeners will sing carols in the child's neighbourhood, which is already adorned with decorations. A Christmas parade will take place on Monday.

"Just all over the world he's touched people," said radio station co-host Amanda Orlando, explaining that little Brody has received Christmas cards from as far away as Australia, Lebanon and Japan.

It was a sentiment echoed by Brody's father, who choked back tears earlier this week as he spoke about the community and worldwide effort with a reporter for local station Fox19.

"To have so many people across the world reach out to my son and to tell him, 'Merry Christmas, we're thinking about you and we love you', is just the greatest gift that I as a father could ever give him," Todd Allen said.

Cards can be sent to the family at 9696 Adair Court, Cincinnati, Ohio 45251, USA.