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Bangladeshi girl pleads guilty to knifing Australian


first_imgMomena Shoma. File PhotoA young Bangladeshi woman who stabbed an Australian man in the name of the Islamic State has lifted her niqab veil in court to plead guilty to intentionally engaging in a terrorist act, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.Momena Shoma, 25, refused to stand in the dock when Australian Supreme Court justice Elizabeth Hollingworth entered the court on Thursday, but lifted her facial covering when the judge asked to confirm her identity.She then pleaded guilty to engaging in a terrorist act, after she stabbed Roger Singaravelu on 9 February, as he napped next to his five-year-old daughter in the rumpus room of his Mill Park home.Singaravelu woke when he felt piercing pain in his neck and was able to wrestle the kitchen knife off Shoma, before he dashed out of the room with his daughter and got help in the street.Momena, a Bangladeshi national who came to Australia to study at La Trobe University only met Singaravelu the night before she attacked him, having moved into his family’s home to lodge, according to the New South Wales-based English-language daily.She arrived in Australia at the start of February and spent her first week at another family’s home.Momena was also charged with attempted murder but that charge was withdrawn.Documents released by the court say she intentionally engaged in a terrorist act, with the motive of ‘‘advancing a political, religious or ideological cause, namely violent jihad’’.She refused to stand when justice Hollingworth left the court and was remanded in custody to return to court for a plea hearing in January.She put the veil back over her face after entering her plea.Singaravelu was in court on Thursday, the Australian newspaper adds.The day after the stabbing, Momena told police she attacked Singaravelu ‘‘because of, ah, the order of the Islamic State’’, according to a record of interview that was among documents released last month by Melbourne Magistrates Court.She told detectives the terror organisation was calling on ‘‘everyone, even the woman. So I just felt obligated, and it was like a burden on me. Yeah, I just had to do it.‘‘I had to do it … it could have been anyone, it’s not specifically him. He just seemed like a very easy target since he was sleeping, so yeah, and I had to push myself. I wouldn’t even hurt a rat. This, I just felt like if I don’t do it I will be sinful, I will be punished by Allah.’’Singaravelu told police he was having a nap next to his daughter on a mattress when he felt pain in his neck, and saw the woman he knew as Suma pushing a knife into him.‘‘I thought that I was dreaming as I felt a sharp pain in my neck. I woke up and started screaming,’’ he said.‘‘I saw Suma right next to me, she was on her knees with both of her hands on a knife that was in my neck.‘‘Suma had such an intense look. Her eyes were so intense. She was saying ’Allah Akbar’, she kept on saying this over and over.’’ Singaravelu was later treated for a one-centimetre wound to his neck and cuts to his fingers.He told police he heard a friend went inside the house and found Momena standing in the kitchen, where, according to the friend, she claimed ‘‘it was a mission and that she had to do what she had to do’’.Momena told police she bore Singaravelu no personal grudge, but felt a ‘‘little bit burdenless’’ after the attack. She prepared for it by slashing a pillow at the other family’s home, and in the hours before the stabbing watched Islamic State propaganda videos which featured beheadings.Asked by a detective whether she travelled to Australia to study or hurt someone in the name of Islamic State, she replied, ‘‘The later one.’’last_img read more


Researchers uncover reason why mole rats are oblivious to acid pain


first_imgNaked Molerat Heterocephalus glaber eating. Image: Wikipedia. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that because they live so close together underground, carbon dioxide builds up in their den to levels that would kill most other mammals, and because oxygen levels are low too, an environment exists that would prove painful for most animals due to acid buildup in tissues. Mole rats are impervious to pain from acid though, a fact that has intrigued scientists for years. Most assumed they simply had different types of nociceptors than other mammals. But that’s not the case, as Gary Lewin and his colleagues from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin write in their paper published in Science. Instead, it appears the mole rats have a species specific variant of a certain sodium channel.In order to feel things such as acid burn, animals have sensory neurons in their tissues, the tips of which have channels called nociceptors which control the flow of sensory information to the neuron, which is responsible for sending electrical signals to the brain. Channels can let things through, or slam shut blocking things off depending on the cause of the stimulation. In the case of acid, nociceptors for most mammals are stimulated and partially close, but let enough of the sensory information pass through to allow the brain to feel the pain acidic substances create. Oddly enough, the team found that to be the case with mole rats too, which meant they had to look elsewhere. In this case that meant looking at another type of sodium channel, called NaV1.7, which they found became blocked when exposed to acid.This new discovery by the team means they have discovered that an animal doesn’t have to have a unique type of nociceptor in order to be free from acid pain, all that’s necessary is a change in the NaV1.7 channel that directs the flow of information passed on to neuron below. This is quite a find because it could lead to ways to alleviate certain kinds of pain that people experience, such as inflammation from arthritis. Journal information: Science More information: The Molecular Basis of Acid Insensitivity in the African Naked Mole-Rat, Science, 16 December 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6062 pp. 1557-1560. DOI: 10.1126/science.1213760ABSTRACTAcid evokes pain by exciting nociceptors; the acid sensors are proton-gated ion channels that depolarize neurons. The naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber) is exceptional in its acid insensitivity, but acid sensors (acid-sensing ion channels and the transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 ion channel) in naked mole-rat nociceptors are similar to those in other vertebrates. Acid inhibition of voltage-gated sodium currents is more profound in naked mole-rat nociceptors than in mouse nociceptors, however, which effectively prevents acid-induced action potential initiation. We describe a species-specific variant of the nociceptor sodium channel NaV1.7, which is potently blocked by protons and can account for acid insensitivity in this species. Thus, evolutionary pressure has selected for an NaV1.7 gene variant that tips the balance from proton-induced excitation to inhibition of action potential initiation to abolish acid nociception.center_img Study: Why cold is such a pain © 2011 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Mole rats aren’t the prettiest things; living underground as they do, they more resemble Gollum from the Lord of the Rings trilogy than other rats or mice. But they’re interesting to scientists nonetheless because they have some interesting traits. They live for twenty years for example, and none of them ever get cancer. Citation: Researchers uncover reason why mole rats are oblivious to acid pain (2011, December 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-uncover-mole-rats-oblivious-acid.htmllast_img read more