Why Nobody Wants to Forecast the Business Cycle

first_imgCOMMENT: It is fascinating how your work has been so accurate on forecasting the business cycle, yet you are probably the most ignored by the mainstream media. The only possible reason for this is that they are not interested in someone who can forecast the business cycle when the general belief is that governments can manipulate it.Keep up the great workHSREPLY: You are correct. They are not ready to accept that the business cycle can be forecast. That undermines politics as we know it today.The OECD’s leading indicators on the global economy are still declining with the latest numbers marking the 19th consecutive monthly decline. The global economy is at its weakest point since July 2008, and the probability of a recession is still elevated and not fully reflected in equity valuations. South Korea, one of the world’s economies most tuned to globalization, is showing significant weakness with its leading indicators declining for 25 straight months to levels not seen since early 2012. The South Korean economy has historically been one of the best indicators for the global economy, so we expect more pain to come in the second half of the year.The only major economy that has turned positive among the OECD’s leading indicators is China. This is not a big surprise, given the recent major improvement in the credit impulse, although it is still negative. But China’s improved industrial sector is driven by a major national push from the government and is likely driving domestic demand more than global demand. Meanwhile, the country’s car sales (which serve as a proxy for the consumer sector) remain weaker than at the bottom of the financial crisis, highlighting elevated uncertainty among Chinese consumers. In fact, May data shows that sales growth weakened again.The problem is the entire Keynesian-Marxist agenda whereby governments believe their own propaganda. Nobody is willing to publicly look at our model because it highlights the entire problem with the assumption that governments are in control when they are just aggravating the trend. Categories: ECM Tags: 2020, Business Cycle, South Korea « The Next 8.6-Year Wave will be Inflationary center_img Why Are Equities so Disconnected from Economics? »last_img read more

Scientists make breakthrough in visualizing human brain tissue at microscopic level

first_img Source:https://www.hku.hk/press/press-releases/detail/17641.html May 7 2018A team of scientists from the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and Imperial College London has made a breakthrough in the visualization of human brain tissue at the microscopic level. The findings are now published in the latest issue of Nature Communications, one of the world’s most-cited and comprehensive multidisciplinary scientific journals.New techniques for visualization of human brain tissueTo understand how the brain works, scientists need to map how nerve cells (neurons) are wired to form circuitries in both healthy and disease states. Traditionally this was accomplished by serial cutting of brain tissue into thin slices and tracing the cut nerve fibers over many sections. However, this approach is difficult and labor-intensive as the neuronal circuitries span across great distances in three dimensions (3D) and are tightly entangled microscopically. To avoid the sectioning of tissues, tissue clearing techniques – methods that turn opaque tissue transparent – have been developed, enabling high-resolution and deep imaging of neuronal circuitries. Although such techniques have been very effective on rodent brain tissue, only limited studies have found success with human brain tissue. The difficulties and challenges may be attributed to fundamental differences between the human and the mice brain.To overcome these barriers, the team developed a new tissue clearing solution, OPTIClear. OPTIClear selectively adjusts the optical properties of tissue without damaging or changing their structural components. Combined with fluorescent staining and other tissue processing methods, the team created a simple yet versatile tool for the study of microscopic structures in the human brain. Nerve cells, glial cells, and blood vessels were visualized in exquisite detail, with their 3D relationship determined. For example, the team performed 3D morphological analysis on human brainstem dopaminergic neurons in the millimeter scale, and imaged more than 3,000 large neurons in the human basal forebrain in merely five days, which normally is extremely laborious and takes at least three weeks. These neurons have been implicated in neurological and psychiatric diseases such as dementia and depression; the promising results suggest that this novel method is applicable to future research on these conditions. More remarkably, OPTIClear can also be applied in both archived (>30 years) and clinical specimens.Related StoriesDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpThe team hopes that this simple method can catalyze further scientific development. By allowing scientists to study human tissue quicker and better, OPTIClear could potentially speed up the elucidation of circuitry mechanisms in a multitude of brain diseases. Professor Wutian Wu, Honorary Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU, co-supervisor of the study, commented, “We hope that a better understanding of the connections and circuitries of the brain will help uncover the pathologies that underlie the common degenerative diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.” Regarding future developments of the project, Mr. Lai Hei-ming, lead researcher of the study and 6th year HKU medical student, said, “In principle, this method is also applicable to other human organs and clinical specimens. We hope that this technique can also be used in studying other diseases, and eventually, help us to unravel the mysteries of the human body.”last_img read more

Research shows the crucial role of glasses in achieving Sustainable Development Goals

first_img Source:https://www.qub.ac.uk/News/Allnews/Hugeglobalproductivityboostinsight.html Jul 25 2018As the first Global Disability Summit takes place, new evidence of how a simple pair of glasses can improve workers’ productivity and reduce poverty is published.A trial of Indian tea pickers, has shown that the provision of glasses improved their productivity by 21.7 per cent – and for those aged over 50 the increase was 31.6 per cent. This represents the largest ever recorded productivity increase from any health intervention.If the improvement was replicated across India’s crop industry it would mean an extra $19 billion in growth from productivity gains alone.With 2.5 billion worldwide suffering from poor vision and no access to glasses, the research demonstrates the crucial role of glasses in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.The findings – in a study called PROSPER [PROductivity Study of Presbyopia Elimination in Ruraldwellers] published in The Lancet Global Health this week – will intensify the pressure on companies all over the world to ensure that their workers have access to glasses, which can cost as little as $1.50 to produce, and other eyecare treatments. It will also add to the growing clamor for large companies who operate in poorer countries to provide free work-based sight tests, meaning the findings could have a game-changing impact on the way companies prepare their staff for work.Prosper is the first ever randomized controlled trial to explore the link between clear vision and productivity, representing a significant step forward in our understanding of the role of clear vision in accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals. The trial, which involved 750 mainly female workers on plantations in Assam, showed that the daily weight of tea picked by those given glasses increased by over 5 kilos, which translated directly into increased income for the tea-pickers and their families.The research was sponsored by Clearly, a global campaign to bring clear vision to the 2.5 billion people worldwide denied it as quickly as possible. It was carried out in collaboration with VisionSpring, a social enterprise dedicated to providing affordable glasses across the world, and Orbis, a global organization fighting avoidable blindness worldwide.Related StoriesAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology shares tips for staying safe around fireworksResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyJames Chen, founder of Clearly, said: “700 years after glasses were first invented we now have conclusive proof of the link between clear vision and productivity. Poor vision is the scandal the world forgot and affects a third of the world’s population. Solving this issue will accelerate progress against the UN’s goals on health, quality education, decent work, gender equality and poverty elimination.”Professor Nathan Congdon of Queens University Belfast and Director of Research at Orbis International, the study’s principal investigator said: “We thought it was crucial to demonstrate that performance even of tasks which may not seem obviously visual can be boosted so impressively by glasses. Nearly 90% of workers were still wearing their glasses by the end of the study and virtually all were willing to pay to replace them if needed- people knew they were benefiting from better vision.”A spokesperson from Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd, owners of the tea garden where the trial took place said: “There is a clear and certain case for improving vision and providing sight tests for our business’ employees. It makes work more productive and more rewarding, and at the heart of this study there is a clear message for businesses like ours – good vision is vital to what we do. This is a turning point in awareness of the impact of clear vision on our tea garden’s wellbeing and productivity.We are happy to have played a leadership role in this study and, along with Clearly, VisionSpring and Orbis, will fully support the policy recommendations that emerge as a result.”Clearly will write to leading businesses sharing the results of the trial and urging them to introducework-based sight schemes.last_img read more

Podcast Cockroaches with personality using electric fields to treat cancer and more

first_imgDo cockroaches have personalities? Can electric fields help get chemotherapy drugs into tumors? And why should you throw away your old TV? Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm chats about these stories and more with Susanne Bard. Plus, György Buzsáki discusses how two types of neurons in the brain’s hippocampus work together to map an animal’s environment.last_img

In Japan embattled RIKEN chief to step down

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country TOKYO—Ryoji Noyori plans to resign as president of RIKEN, the network of Japanese national labs that has spent much of the past year embroiled in a fraud scandal, news outlets here report. A search for a successor is apparently already under way.Noyori, 76, won a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2001 and became head of RIKEN in October 2003. He has 3 years remaining in his third 5-year term as president. Various news reports said he was retiring because of his age. But some also mentioned his desire to bring to a close a drawn-out drama over fraudulent papers on stem cells. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Emailcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) In January 2014, a group led by Haruko Obokata of RIKEN’s Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe reported in two papers in Nature to have found a new and simple way to make pluripotent stem cells. The method was dubbed STAP. Little by little over the past year the claims unraveled, as a succession of committees found the papers riddled with manipulated images and plagiarized text and lacking supporting data. Obokata was found guilty of research misconduct. The papers were retracted in July. In December, investigators finally concluded that the so-called STAP cells had never existed. By then, Obokata had resigned and one of the senior authors had committed suicide.The news reports say Noyori will step down by the end of this month.last_img read more

Alan Sterns worldly ventures

first_imgAlan Stern’s salesmanship helped get New Horizons to Pluto. He has a few other things for sale as well: a trip to the moon for $1.55 billion, and naming rights to a crater on Mars for $5. Those are the signature products of Golden Spike and Uwingu, two of his companies. Golden Spike plans to send a two-seat lander to the moon, staging material in Earth orbit using commercial rockets. Governments with space ambitions—the target customers—have not lined up to buy tickets, but Stern insists that the company has made progress. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” he says.Uwingu has had more immediate impact, albeit on a smaller scale. Uwingu raises money for space research through campaigns, such as selling naming rights to martian craters on an unofficial Uwingu map (the bigger the crater, the more expensive the name). Founded in 2012 with a nearly $80,000 crowdsourcing campaign, Uwingu is a for-profit company. Half of the revenues go into a fund for scientific grants—between $130,000 and $150,000 in 2014, Stern says.Stern and other workers each pay themselves about 1% of the other half of the take. “It’s a very small amount of money,” he says. Asked if the naming campaigns are a way to poke at the authority of the International Astronomical Union, which is officially in charge of crater names and which rankled Stern by reclassifying Pluto as a dwarf planet in 2006, he says, “honestly, I get a chuckle when I hear that.” Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Ralph McNutt, a New Horizons scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, says that as an entrepreneur, Stern takes the buckshot approach, throwing up ideas, unsure which ones will stick. “If anybody can pull a rabbit out of the hat in all of this, it’s Alan,” he says. “But sometimes, I’m not sure if there’s a rabbit.”Related content:”Feature: How Alan Stern’s tenacity, drive, and command got a NASA spacecraft to Pluto”last_img read more

New gene drive technology could wipe out malaria but is it safe

first_imgA: Social scientists are trying to come up with better ways to sample human populations to get a better sense of what’s tolerable and what’s not tolerable in terms of their release. … If you release [modified mosquitoes] in Town A, the mosquitoes may not have any problem flying to Town B, even though Town B is not interested in having them. They’ll go anyway. Charles Kazilek BOSTON—If you could protect children in Africa from malaria by genetically transforming the entire mosquito population, would you do it? That’s the dilemma posed by a new technology known as gene drive, evolutionary ecologist James Collins from the Arizona State University in Tempe told a session here Friday at the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science. Based on CRISPR, the up-and-coming genome-editing technology, gene drives bias the inheritance of a trait, such as resistance to a parasite, causing it to spread through a population. But because of the possible unintended consequences of transforming the genetics of an entire population, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine last year said extensive testing should precede any release into the environment. Collins sat down with Science to discuss some of the concerns. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.  Q: What is the worst-case scenario of releasing these organisms? A: Eliminating an organism or reducing its numbers greatly. By eliminating one plant species, you cause the proliferation of others, and this leads to a series of changes in the ecosystem. We need to understand the system well enough so that we can take ethical concerns into account as we make decisions.  Q: Who gets to make these decisions? A: The advantage of these other technologies is that they are effective only as long as you’re releasing modified male mosquitoes. When you stop the manipulation, the population would bounce back to normal levels. You have a control over the system that is yet to be demonstrated for gene drives where once you alter the genes in these populations, they just keep changing. Caroline Davis2010/Flickr Q: Should we be looking at how the environment might be affected by gene drives?center_img Evolutionary ecologist James Collins. By Yasemin SaplakogluFeb. 19, 2017 , 12:15 PM A: Absolutely, this is a manipulation of nature. We don’t know how it would affect population dynamics and ecosystems. In some cases, the purpose of gene drives would be to reduce population sizes of an organism, which could influence processes like pollination and transmission of parasites. In other cases, we would use gene drives to weed out disease by driving the population that carries that disease to extinction.  Q: The Food and Drug Administration approved the release of genetically modified mosquitoes, altered to control the Zika virus, in certain areas of Florida. If that technology is acceptable, why be so cautious about gene drives? New gene drive technology could wipe out malaria, but is it safe? New gene drive technology carries hope and risk. Check out our full coverage of AAAS 2017.last_img read more

Pall hangs over USIran science ties

first_img Ebrahim Mirmalek Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Heightening the uncertainty, the Trump administration has consistently articulated its disdain for the nuclear deal; Trump and others have suggested that the U.S. government may declare Iran out of compliance with the nuclear deal at a 3-month review next month, despite assurances from other signatories and from the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran is abiding by the deal’s terms. The prospect of the nuclear deal unraveling has further imperiled people-to-people ties between the United States and Iran, including science.“Can these programs contribute to breaking the downward spiral? So far they haven’t. Let’s not fool ourselves,” says John Limbert, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and a veteran diplomat who was held captive at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran for 444 days, from 1979 to 1981. But he applauds Schweitzer and others for their efforts in science diplomacy with Iran. “It is profoundly in U.S. national interests to maintain, nurture, and expand people-to-people ties with Iran,” adds Barbara Slavin, director of the Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative.A few intrepid U.S. scientists are persevering. Iranian-American researchers have participated in recent expeditions to the Lut Desert, the hottest spot on the planet and home to a unique ecosystem that depends on dead migratory birds. And David Laylin, an independent U.S.-based ecologist who has worked on projects in Iran for decades, will spend 3 weeks there next month visiting sites designated for ecological restoration, including Lake Urmia, a saline water body in northwestern Iran that had lost about 90% of its maximum volume by 2014; the lake has recovered somewhat since then. Laylin, for one, is optimistic. “I am personally convinced U.S. scientists can visit Iran,” he says. However, he cautions, “If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can get in a lot of trouble.”Schweitzer is uncertain when NAS will be able to resume its engagement program with Iran. Funding has largely dried up, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury has tightened restrictions on licenses for U.S. scientists to bring equipment to Iran or even participate in conferences. “Looking to the future, we should get beyond the perennial problem of whether [the nuclear deal] will be sustained or not, and start focusing on what we can do to engage,” Schweitzer says. But the situation is more delicate than ever—for scientists in both countries. “We don’t want anyone going to jail because of us.” WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rising tensions between the U.S. and Iranian governments have frozen most scientific contacts between the two nations, experts reported at a forum here last week.Long at the vanguard of efforts to broker ties between Iranian and U.S. scientists, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) has mothballed its highly praised, 16-year-old engagement program, Glenn Schweitzer, director of NAS’s office for Central Europe and Eurasia, stated at a forum hosted by the Atlantic Council. That’s a huge blow to science diplomacy with Iran, as the academy’s program since its inception has accounted for more than half of all participants in U.S.-Iran science engagement activities—some 1500 scientists from 120 institutions—according to an NAS report released on Friday that summarizes the program’s activities from 2010 to 2016.Iran and the United States do not have diplomatic relations, and as a result scientific ties have waxed and waned often in concert with the levels of hostility expressed by the two governments toward each other. Science engagement efforts were gaining momentum in 2015 and in early 2016, after the Iran nuclear deal was signed and came into effect. But President Donald Trump’s administration’s efforts this year to restrict travel from Iran and five other Muslim-majority nations prompted Iran to retaliate by tightening its visa policy for U.S. citizens. Also casting a pall is Iran’s imprisonment of several U.S. citizens, including Xiyue Wang, a Chinese-American graduate student in history at Princeton University sentenced in July by Iran’s judiciary to 10 years in jail over accusations of espionage. Pall hangs over U.S.-Iran science ties Despite a sour political climate, some U.S. scientists continue to be involved in efforts to restore Iran’s vanishing Lake Urmia.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Richard StoneSep. 11, 2017 , 4:35 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Emaillast_img read more

NIH says its 1millionperson health study is off to good start

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Dake Kang/AP Photo The National Institutes of Health’s All of Us health study aims to enroll 1 million participants, including children, within 6 years. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img NIH says its 1-million-person health study is off to good start A plan to entice 1 million people in the United States to volunteer for a huge study of health and genes is making good progress 1 year after its national launch, organizers said this week. The All of Us study run by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, has recruited 143,000 participants who have already taken surveys and visited a clinic to give blood and urine samples. Another 87,000 have at least registered for the study.Study leaders say these numbers give them confidence All of Us will reach 1 million participants within 5 or 6 years—although they will need to ramp up enrollment to reach that goal. And they expect to broaden the study’s geographic distribution, which so far largely covers just a few states.Announced by then-President Barack Obama 4 years ago, the All of Us study, which could cost $4 billion over 10 years, aims to enroll a diverse swath of U.S. inhabitants—citizens or not—who agree to share their health records and DNA on an anonymized basis. Researchers will use the data to develop “precision medicine,” or personalized treatments for others—the study participants themselves can request their genetic data but won’t receive medical help as part of the project. The 143,000 people who have given consent, taken surveys, and visited a clinic for physical measurements and to give blood and urine samples meet All of Us’s original diversity goal: Fifty-three percent are ethnic or racial minorities, far more than the 39% these groups constitute in the U.S. population. (For example, participants with self-identified African ancestry constitute 20% of the study, compared with 13% in the population.) And 80% are from groups All of Us has defined as “underrepresented in biomedical research.” That includes gay people, rural dwellers, the elderly, and those who are disabled or don’t have good access to medical care. In just its first year, “All of Us has managed to become one of largest, most diverse research resources in history,” said NIH Director Francis Collins at a 6 May event marking the study’s anniversary.The enrollment figures are not quite as rosy as they initially appear. For one thing, NIH had already enrolled 20% of the total before May 2018 during pilot testing. And some people who sign up online will never show up at a clinic to fully participate, says NIH’s Eric Dishman, director of All of Us. However, he expects enrollment to reach 4000 people a week by next fall—on track for 1 million within 6 years—as the study adds more sites. The pace will also pick up when the study eventually begins to enroll children.To speed things up, Dishman’s staff members are tweaking the study’s original plans. For example, the health provider organizations (HPOs) enrolling many participants can now include people who don’t get health care through that HPO. And a pilot project will soon send 13,000 saliva kits to people who sign up online or by phone through the study’s “direct enrollment” process. Study staff can then quickly test these volunteers’ DNA for disease-associated markers, then later have them visit a clinic to give blood for fuller genome sequencing.All of Us has also unveiled a “research hub” that holds pooled health and survey data for participants. (A “workbench” where approved researchers can work with the full data set will go online next winter.) The data show that more than two-thirds of fully enrolled participants come from just six states with participating HPOs, with 19% of participants from Arizona (which has 2% of the U.S. population). Dishman says Arizona surged ahead because it had effective “techniques and methods” for recruiting. Although the study won’t attempt to represent the U.S. population’s geographic diversity, the distribution will even out as more volunteers join the study via direct enrollment, which could end up including half of all participants, he says.Overall, Dishman is not worried about reaching 1 million volunteers. “What I am worried about is retaining 1 million,” or keeping people from dropping out during the study’s 10-year span, he says. All of Us plans to work on that by holding community events in key cities to “gin up excitement about the program and pull people through,” he says. By Jocelyn KaiserMay. 8, 2019 , 5:15 PMlast_img read more

Insomnia tied to depression cardiovascular disease

first_img By Michael PriceFeb. 25, 2019 , 12:10 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Insomnia tied to depression, cardiovascular disease Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe DimaBerlin/shutterstock.com Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Insomnia, often blamed on stress or bad sleep habits, may instead be closely linked to depression, heart disease, and other physiological disorders, a pair of deep dives into the human genome now reveals.“Both studies are very well done,” says psychologist Philip Gehrman of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, who researches sleep behavior. Still, he stresses that much more work remains before the genetic connections to insomnia can be translated to new therapies for patients.Insomnia costs the U.S. workforce more than $63 billion each year in lost productivity, according to some estimates. It’s also incredibly common: As much as a third of the worldwide population suffers from insomnia-related symptoms at any given time. Yet the disorder remains poorly understood. In one new paper reported today in Nature Genetics, researchers led by geneticist Danielle Posthuma of Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS), which looks for links between shared sequences of DNA and particular behaviors or clinical symptoms. The group analyzed the genomes of more than 1 million people, which the authors say is the largest GWAS to date. The data came from UK Biobank, a long-running, enormous U.K. genetics study, and the private genetics firm 23andMe. The prevalence of insomnia in the people covered by both databases was about 30%, which is in line with estimates for the general population.The scientists ultimately turned up 956 genes that predicted some level of insomnia risk. Many have been previously associated with depression, neuroticism, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, yet they are only weakly linked to other sleep characteristics, such as quality of sleep and being a morning or night person. The team also found a link between insomnia and MEIS1, a gene previously tied to restless leg syndrome.In another study appearing today in Nature Genetics, a different team also ran a GWAS on insomnia. The researchers, led by geneticist Richa Saxena of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, looked at 453,379 genomes. They found 57 chromosomal locations containing approximately 236 genes that are associated with insomnia symptoms. MEIS1 was one of them as well, and again there appeared to be a link between insomnia and genes involved with depression, coronary artery disease, and poorer self-reported quality of life. What’s more, the team’s analysis suggests insomnia can cause symptoms of depression and heart disease in some people.“Insomnia is an important sleep disorder to be taken seriously, both for its impact on quality of life … and on future depression and heart disease,” Saxena says.Identifying these genetic targets could allow researchers to more effectively tailor medicines and therapies, Posthuma says. For example, drugmakers could hunt for molecules that tamp down the activity of some of these genes. Alternatively, existing treatments for depression, such as antidepressants or cognitive behavioral therapy, might also help ease insomnia symptoms, Posthuma says.Pinpointing the right targets out of the hundreds of gene candidates suggested by these studies will be the next difficult step, Gehrman says. Scientists, he notes, need “to figure out which ones are ‘real’ or just random associations.”last_img read more

Principal Enforcing Strict Parents Dress Code Speaks Out

first_img“WE HAVE IMPRESSIONABLE YOUNG MEN AND WE HAVE MEN HERE.” Principal Carlotta Brown of #Madison H.S. who instituted dress code for parents defends the controversial policy. More coming up at 4 on Channel 2 News. @KPRC2 #KPRC2 #Houston pic.twitter.com/Vcldv0ld9Y— Syan Rhodes (@KPRC2Syan) April 26, 2019 John Singleton Outrage was swift for one Houston high school principal who decided to implement a dress code for parents. Now that principal was defending her decision, which has been seen as yet another example of how society tries to police Black culture.An April 9 letter that was sent home with James Madison High School’s 1,600 students went viral for all the wrong reasons. In the letter, which was crafted by the school’s Black principal, Carlotta Brown, parents are given strict guidelines for what they can and cannot wear when entering the school. Sagging pants, bonnets, rollers, crop tops, shorts, leggings that are not covered by long shirts and more are forbidden, according to the letter. Morehouse Students Take To Social Media And Claim Sexual Harassment Complaints Were Ignored Dear Carlotta Outley Brown, principal at James Madison High School,There are so many glaring errors in your letter to parents, I’m alarmed to know you run a school. Perhaps you could enroll yourself in some English grammar/mechanics courses. It could give you credibility. pic.twitter.com/9j3kFRNnEF— Dr Alice Clearman Fusco (@aliceclearman) April 23, 2019“You are your child’s first teacher,” Brown wrote. “We are preparing your child for a prosperous future,” she added. “We want them to know what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for any setting they may be in.”Brown’s letter was sent out the day after Joselyn Lewis, the mother of a high school student, went to Channel 2 News claiming she had been turned away from enrolling her daughter for class while wearing a t-shirt dress and head wrap.“I can wear what I want to wear. I don’t have to get all dolled up to enroll her to school,” Lewis said. “My child’s education, anyone’s child’s education should be more important than what someone has on, that shouldn’t matter.” In New York and California, legislation has had to be passed to prevent employers from discriminating against Black hair and it leaves one to ponder what that says about society at large. Though Brown is a Black woman, her dress code policy can be seen a reinforcement of the racism that Black people experience in this country.SEE ALSO:Video: Black Student Arrested For Wearing BandanaBlack North Carolina Student Almost Arrested Over Shirt Jamaican Republican Who Is Running Against AOC Supported Her A Year Ago Houston , school dress code Despite the backlash, Brown has held steadfast to her new policy. In an interview with Madd Hatta Morning Show, she claimed the dress code was in response to several incidents where she witnessed inappropriate attire, including seeing a woman’s breasts through her see-through shirt. Brown went on to say that the policy was in the best interest for her students’ futures.“[My overall goal for my students is to] graduate with highest honors and let them have the opportunity to go to college and not be turned down,” Brown said on Monday. “And it starts with how we present ourselves.” More By Megan Sims Actors Who Got Their Big Breaks In John Singleton Movies James Madison HS in Houston is enforcing a “Parent Dress Code.” The school will turn away parents who show up wearing bonnets, hair rollers, PJs, leggings, sagging pants etc…It was implemented by Principal Carlotta Outley Brown, a black professional. What do you think? pic.twitter.com/7jkei9vv8E— Demetria Obilor (@DemetriaObilor) April 24, 2019Brown said she received an email arguing that satin bonnets were a part of Black culture, but she strongly disagreed.“It’s not a part of my culture. My family has never worn bonnets outside of the home and not even inside of the home,” Brown claimed. “The same type of aggressiveness that you’re apart of for this whole quest for the dress code, I need all parents to be like that for their child’s education.”There have been controversies all around the country regarding Black people’s attire, which has lead many to believe there is a larger policing of Black culture, especially when it comes to education. Some students have been expelled or disciplined for wearing braids or African head wraps. In New Jersey a wrestler was forced to cut his dreadlocs to compete. White Tears! Former Meteorologist Files Lawsuit Claiming He Was Fired Because Of Diversitylast_img read more

No voter ID and a bloated list are a recipe for fraudulent

first_imgShareTweetSharePinMcKenzie expressed a lack of confidence in the indelible ink which is currently being used. File photoPresident of the Dominica Business Forum and member of the Electoral Reform Group, Serverin McKenzie has told  Dominica News Online (DNO) that two political parties have confirmed that they will attend tonight’s panel discussion on electoral reform.The discussion has been organized by the Electoral Reform Group (a grouping of various sectors of society) on the topic: “Electoral Reform  – Facilitating the verification of identity of persons on the Voter’s Registration Lists to enhance the process of issuing Voter ID Cards as an administrative tool in Sanitizing Voters Registration List.”McKenzie did not reveal which of three parties that have been invited to take part in the panel discussion, had not yet responded. “At least two of them have confirmed their participation and the other one we were awaiting the final confirmation but in the previous consultation that we had with all of them, all of them have in fact indicated that they would be willing to participate in some type of discussion,” McKenzie stated. “The discussion tonight is in fact a follow up from the discussions that we had with the various parties.”Dominica News Online (DNO) has been able to independently confirm that the United Workers Party (UWP) and The Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) have accepted the invitation to participate. The other party that was invited is the Dominica Labour Party.McKenzie emphasized that the two measures that are critical to free and fair elections are the cleansing of the voters list and issuance of voter ID cards to ensure that voting is free and fair. “In view of the panel discussion held last week … the chairman of electoral commission stated that apparently they haven’t got time to do the actual reform before the next general election. So, what we are concentrating on is what can be done under the existing law which clearly makes provision for the issuance of voter ID cards and also for the cleansing of the list under the existing law,” he said.He said the Commission’s failure to introduce Voter IDs and to cleanse the voter’s list, will give rise to two main concerns: Dominica going into the next general election with the use of the indelible ink as the mechanism which can cause people to vote more than once and Dominica going into the next election with an electoral list that is almost more than population.“These are the two main concerns that we have in the absence of the Electoral Commission failing to take the necessary measures to sanitize the list and issue identification cards as the population on a whole has been demanding. “He added with the use of indelible ink, people can come out from the polling station, dip their hand in some type of solution and can go somewhere else and present themselves to vote again.McKenzie is of the view that going into the next general election with the existing indelible ink and a bloated electoral list will be the recipe for a fraudulent election.The panel discussion will be held tonight, May 28th at the Dominica Public Service Union (DSPU) from 7pm.last_img read more

IN PICTURES Papa Creole Meet and Greet and Awards Presentation

first_imgShareTweetSharePinA smiling Gordon Henderson (Exile One) holds up one of the awards he receivedOn the eve of the historical Papa Creole show carded to begin at 10:00 o’clock tonight at the forecourt of Windsor Park Sports Stadium, representatives of the show’s line-up, Cadence-lypso enthusiasts, other musicians and sponsors, gathered at the Fort Young  Hotel for a “meet and greet” and presentation of awards to the musicians and others involved in the show.Awards were presented to Gordon Henderson, Fitzroy Williams and Vivian Wallace of Exile One; Phillip “Chubby” Mark and Marcel “Co” Mark of Midnight Groovers; Cletus “Halibut” Abraham (originally of Belles Combo) and Original Bouyon Pioneers (original WCK) which was accepted by Cornell “Fingers” Phillip.Show promoter Leroy “Wadix” Charles was also honoured.The awards were sponsored by Emile “Pa Ben” Serrant and the Ibrahim “Sign Man” Brohim.Below are some photos taken at the event. Gordon Henderson and Halibut displaying one of the awards they each received Gordon Henderson displays awardlast_img read more

Mel Bradshaws artwork adds beauty to downtown Winslow

first_imgPhoto by Tess KennaThis reproduction of Mel Bradshaw’s “Mail Order Bride” now hangs above the entry of the Skylark Courtyard in historic downtown Winslow. Shown here hanging the mural on the ladders are Steve Adams (left) and Lawrence Kenna (right), along with Adam’s construction crew. Mel Bradshaw’s artwork adds beauty to downtown Winslow November 24, 2017center_img By Linda Kor A vinyl reproduction of Mel Bradshaw’s “Mail Order Bride” has been hung above the entry of the Skylark Courtyard in historic downtown Winslow, adding to the distinct culture of the city.      Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img read more

RTIs TETRAfuse 3D Technology wins 2018 Spine Technology Award

first_img Source:http://www.rtix.com/en_us/news/2018/rti-surgical-wins-2018-orthopedics-this-week-spine-technology-award-for-tetrafuse-3d-technology Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 25 2018RTI Surgical, Inc., a global surgical implant company, announced its TETRAfuse® 3D Technology won a 2018 Spine Technology Award from Orthopedics This Week, a widely read publication in the orthopedics industry. RTI will accept the award at the North American Spine Society’s (NASS) 33rd Annual Meeting taking place September 26-29, 2018 in Los Angeles and will be featured in upcoming issues of Orthopedics This Week and Orthopedics This Month Spine.”RTI is honored to receive this important industry recognition, which is a testament to the ingenuity and dedication of our employees,” said Camille Farhat, President and CEO, RTI Surgical. “TETRAfuse 3D Technology is one of many examples of RTI’s commitment to the development and ongoing clinical research of innovative spine-focused solutions that meet the demands of surgeons and improve patient outcomes around the world.”Related StoriesCleveland Clinic surgical team performs its first in utero fetal surgery to repair birth defectResearchers identify new subtypes of motor neurons and microglia present in ALS patientsResearchers study risk factors of infection of the surgical site following neurosurgeryTETRAfuse 3D Technology is an interbody fusion (IBF) device material, manufactured under an exclusive license with Oxford Performance Materials, designed to help drive optimal outcomes for patients undergoing spinal fusion procedures. It is the first 3D printed polymer-based IBF device material to incorporate a nano-rough surface that has demonstrated, in a pre-clinical study, more notable trabecular bone ingrowth compared to PEEK and titanium-coated PEEK.TETRAfuse 3D Technology is featured in RTI’s growing Fortilink® series of devices, including the Fortilink-C, -TS and -L IBF Systems. The devices are intended for use in interbody fusion procedures in patients with degenerative disc disease (DDD), an age-related condition when one or more discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column deteriorate or break down, which can lead to pain.Those attending NASS can visit Booth #1523 to learn more about the Fortilink series of devices featuring TETRAfuse 3D Technology, as well as RTI’s full line of high-quality hardware, interbody and orthobiologic spine offerings. For more information about the Fortilink IBF series of devices and TETRAfuse 3D Technology, visit www.tetrafuse3D.com. last_img read more

Shared decision making needed to diagnose treat and manage patients with CAH

first_img Source:https://www.endocrine.org/news-room/2018/managing-congenital-adrenal-hyperplasia-requires-shared-decisions All newborn screening programs should incorporate screening for CAH, and infants with positive screens should be referred to pediatric endocrinologists. Prenatal therapy for CAH should be avoided (except as part of ethically-approved protocols) due to incompletely defined postnatal risks. Healthcare professionals should inform all parents of pediatric patients with CAH (particularly girls with ambiguous genitalia) about surgical options, including delaying surgery until the child is older. All surgical decisions for minors should be the prerogative of families (i.e., parents with assent from older children) in joint decision making with experienced surgical consultants. Adolescents with CAH should start the transition to adult care several years prior to dismissal from pediatric endocrinology to ensure continuation of care throughout their entire life. Growing individuals with classic CAH should receive maintenance therapy with hydrocortisone and should avoid chronic use of more potent or long-acting glucocorticoids, which can have adverse side effects. Patients with CAH (and parents of minors) should seek mental health treatment to address any CAH-related psychosocial problems. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 28 2018The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline that offers best practices for healthcare providers on how to promptly diagnose, treat, and manage patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), an inherited endocrine disorder, throughout their entire lives.The guideline, titled “Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Due to Steroid 21-Hydroxylase Deficiency: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline,” was published online and will appear in the October 2018 print issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), a publication of the Endocrine Society. This is an update of the Society’s 2010 Guideline, to reflect newer published data and prospects of advances in diagnosis and treatments. The guideline emphasizes shared decision making among CAH patients, their families, and healthcare professionals when it comes to the medical, surgical, and psychological management of the disorder.Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is an inherited genetic disorder in which the adrenal glands, which make essential hormones for body functions, do not function properly. Classic CAH, which is common enough that it is screened shortly after birth in many countries, may cause life-threatening episodes of shock due to salt-wasting and dehydration. Female infants are usually diagnosed at birth because they have ambiguous genitalia (external sex organs that resemble male genitals). However, they still have normal internal female organs (ovaries and uterus). A male infant with classic CAH usually appears normal at birth, although he may show signs of early puberty.Non-classic CAH is a milder and more common form of the disorder that may not appear until childhood or adulthood. Symptoms can include early pubic hair growth and acne, masculine characteristics, and infertility. With proper care, people with either type of CAH can live long and healthy lives.”The management of CAH requires a multi-disciplinary team of experienced healthcare personnel who integrate the endocrine, genetic, gyneco-urologic, reproductive, and mental health aspects of care,” said Phyllis W. Speiser, M.D., of the Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, Northwell Health, and the Zucker Hofstra School of Medicine in New York. Speiser chaired the writing committee that developed the guideline. “Our new guideline stresses the importance of shared decision making between healthcare professionals, patients, and their families when it comes to treatment and the need for ongoing care.”Related StoriesNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careMolecular switches may control lifespan and healthspan separately, genetic discovery suggestsRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaRecommendations from the guideline include:last_img read more

Groundbreaking computer models could boost treatment of common cardiac condition

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 27 2018Ground-breaking computer models that simulate the workings of individual patients’ hearts could boost treatment of a common cardiac condition that affects a million people in the UK and countless more worldwide.With funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and in collaboration with St Thomas’ Hospital, a team at King’s College London has taken the first steps in developing models designed to optimize a procedure that corrects atrial fibrillation, a condition which causes abnormal heart rhythms.The new personalized computer models aim to increase the effectiveness of this procedure (which is known as ‘catheter ablation’) by making it possible to explore, in advance, different strategies for its use geared to the specific needs of individual patients. They could potentially save the NHS over £20 million a year by reducing procedure times and cutting atrial fibrillation recurrence rates.Atrial fibrillation reduces blood supply, leading to dizziness, breathlessness and fatigue, and increases the risk of a stroke. Every year, around 10,000 people in the UK have a catheter inserted in order to treat the condition using radiofrequency energy. But the procedure is not always effective, there is a small risk of it causing a stroke or death, and the condition often recurs.Developed using skills in computational modeling, software development and image processing, and based on detailed data about the patient’s heart obtained through medical imaging, the models depict tissue condition and blood flow, and enable simulation of around 10 cardiac cycles lasting a few seconds in total.Related StoriesHeart disease is still the number 1 killer in Australia, according to latest figuresRNA-binding protein SRSF3 appears to be key factor for proper heart contraction, survivalStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesDr Adelaide de Vecchi of King’s College London, who has led the project, says: “The really important thing is that these new personalized models show the heart working as a whole ‘system’. They allow different catheter ablation strategies to be assessed for each specific patient – for example, with regard to the precise area of the heart to target – and therefore enable the very best option to be pinpointed, maximizing the prospect of improving the patient’s quality of life.”The models have been tested in collaboration with Dr David Nordsletten, Dr Oleg Aslanidi and Dr Des Dillon-Murphy from King’s, using clinical data from patients under the care of Professor Mark O’Neill at St Thomas’.The aim is now to enhance and extend the models in terms of the number of cardiac cycles they can depict and apply them to larger cohorts of patients. Once this is achieved, it is anticipated that full clinical trials will be undertaken.Dr de Vecchi says: “Subject to further development, we believe our models have the potential to enter routine clinical use within a decade, improving treatment of a condition that is especially common among older people. The models are very much in step with the drive towards personalized medicine, better cardiac care and improved management of our aging population.”Source: https://epsrc.ukri.org/newsevents/news/personalisedheartmodels/last_img read more

New communication strategies can help spread the word about cancer screening

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 19 2018Is there ever a truly good time for a colonoscopy? Even with the recommendation of a primary care physician, it’s easy to procrastinate or simply forget to schedule an appointment with your friendly neighborhood endoscopist. That’s why the Colorado Cancer Screening Program (CCSP) and partners have been exploring ways to remind patients – to prod them, if you will – in places that patients will notice. Namely via text and social media. Results of the initiative, called EndCancer, are published this week in the journal mHealth.”The idea was to start a text messaging campaign for cancer prevention,” says Andrea (Andi) Dwyer, University of Colorado Cancer Center investigator, and director of the CCSP.Related StoriesResearchers identify potential drug target for multiple cancer typesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerBasically, advertising including radio slots, Facebook promotions and even locally-posted flyers encouraged people in the community to text a given number to opt into information and reminders about cancer screening. Radio and flyers were largely unsuccessful in driving enrollment. But Facebook advertising resulted in 22,600 Facebook users exposed to ads.”Facebook was a good mechanism. Engagement was high with Facebook ads, and those who viewed ads clicked through to the sign-up page, an indication of intent to enroll,” Dwyer says.And once people signed up, they stayed enrolled. A full 96 percent of participants who texted to sign up stayed enrolled to receive all planned information/reminders. The group sees social media, and specifically Facebook, as a way to reach people living in areas where information about cancer prevention might otherwise be lacking, for example in rural areas of Colorado.”The challenge was getting enrollment in an opt in fashion,” Dwyer says, suggesting that in a future iteration of the project, the group might explore opt-out rather than opt-in strategies, potentially including enrollment through consent at primary care locations or bundling the delivery of information via text with existing health management apps.Technically, the answer to whether Facebook advertising can prevent cancer remains unanswered – it’s impossible to tell how many patients who otherwise would have developed cancer were caught early due to the group’s text-based information program. But the study did confirm that new strategies of communication, can be an effective way to reach hard-to-reach populations with information and strategies for cancer prevention. Source:https://coloradocancerblogs.org/can-facebook-advertising-prevent-cancer/last_img read more

Consumption of fruits and vegetables linked with physical mental wellbeing

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 5 2019A key feature of this work is that the study was able to follow the same individuals over time.The study also controlled for alternative factors that may affect mental well-being, such as age, education, income, marital status, employment status, lifestyle and health, as well as consumption of other foods such as bread or dairy products.The research showed a positive association between the quantity of fruit and vegetables consumed and people’s self-reported mental well-being.Specifically, the findings indicate that eating just one extra portion of fruits and vegetables a day could have an equivalent effect on mental well-being as around 8 extra days of walking a month (for at least 10 minutes at a time).Dr Neel Ocean of the University of Leeds, who authored the study with Dr Peter Howley (University of Leeds) and Dr Jonathan Ensor (University of York), said: “It’s well-established that eating fruit and vegetables can benefit physical health.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyAlmost 3 million deaths linked to low fruit and vegetable intake, warns studyStudy: New parents increase their spending on produce in high-income households”Recently, newer studies have suggested that it may also benefit psychological well-being. Our research builds on previous work in Australia and New Zealand by verifying this relationship using a much bigger UK sample.”While further work is needed to demonstrate cause and effect, the results are clear: people who do eat more fruit and vegetables report a higher level of mental well-being and life satisfaction than those who eat less.”Dr Howley said: “There appears to be accumulating evidence for the psychological benefits of fruits and vegetables. Despite this, the data show that the vast majority of people in the UK still consume less than their five-a-day.”Encouraging better dietary habits may not just be beneficial to physical health in the long run but may also improve mental well-being in the shorter term.”Dr Ensor added: “This work is part of a broader project between our universities known as “IKnowFood”. As well as investigating consumer behavior and wellbeing, IKnowFood is exploring how farmers in the UK, and businesses across the global food supply chain, can become more resilient in the face of growing uncertainty in markets, regulation and the natural environment.”Source: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/4366/hearts_and_minds_fruit_and_veg_boost_well-beinglast_img read more

Largescale clinical trial begins to study liver transplantation between people with HIV

first_img Source:https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/nih-clinical-trial-track-outcomes-liver-transplantation-hiv-positive-donors-hiv-positive Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 15 2019The first large-scale clinical trial to study liver transplantation between people with HIV has begun at clinical centers across the United States. The HOPE in Action Multicenter Liver Study will determine the safety of this practice by evaluating liver recipients for potential transplant-related and HIV-related complications following surgery. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and follows the 2018 launch of a similar study evaluating kidney transplantation between people with HIV.While organ transplants between donors and recipients with HIV have been successfully completed in South Africa since 2008, such transplants were illegal in the United States until the passage of the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act in 2013. The HOPE Act permits U.S. transplant teams with an approved research protocol to transplant organs from donors with HIV to qualified recipients with HIV and end-stage organ failure, a practice that may shorten the time they have to wait to receive a transplant. The transplantation of organs from donors with HIV to HIV-negative recipients remains illegal in the United States.Individuals with HIV have a higher risk of end-stage liver and kidney diseases because of damage caused by the virus and by common coinfections and associated comorbidities, such as hepatitis B and C viruses, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Certain antiretroviral treatments also can cause toxicities that damage these organs.In the early decades of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, individuals were rarely eligible to receive organ transplants from HIV-negative donors; these organs are consistently in short supply and high demand, because health outcomes were projected to be poor. However, NIAID-sponsored studies demonstrated that by carefully selecting individuals with HIV who are otherwise healthy to receive a kidney or liver from an HIV-negative donor, patient and organ graft survival rates could be like those of transplant HIV-negative recipients. These findings provided the scientific basis for the eventual passage of the HOPE Act of 2013.”Antiretroviral therapy has been incredibly successful in helping people with HIV live longer, healthy lives. As more people with HIV grow older, we see organ damage in this population linked to age, HIV and other infections,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “The HOPE in Action Multicenter Liver Study will allow researchers to evaluate the safety and efficacy of transplanting livers from donors with HIV to HIV-positive recipients. This strategy has the potential to both improve the wellbeing of those with HIV and increase the overall supply of transplantable livers.”The trial team previously launched the HOPE in Action Multicenter Kidney Study in May 2018, which is evaluating the safety and efficacy of kidney transplantation between people with HIV. At its launch, this trial was the first study of its type in the United States to receive Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval by following the research criteria and guidance mandated by the HOPE Act of 2013.The new study will track the clinical outcomes of 80 liver transplants. All transplant recipients in the study will be living with HIV; 40 of them will receive livers from deceased donors who had HIV, and 40 will receive livers from HIV-negative deceased donors serving as the control group. About 8 percent of people waiting for a liver transplant also require a simultaneous kidney transplant, and these recipients are also eligible to receive both organs from a single deceased donor. Individuals with hepatitis C virus (HCV) can receive organ transplants from donors with HCV. Health care teams and study participants will be made aware of the HIV and HCV status of the organ donor and will be counseled on HCV treatment.Related StoriesPrevalence of anal cancer precursors is higher in women living with HIV than previously reportedPatients with HIV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid have high risk of experiencing cognitive deficitsMetabolic enzyme tied to obesity and fatty liver disease”Liver transplants are the second most common type of organ transplant performed in the United States, and the number of people waiting for these life-saving procedures–both with and without HIV–increases every year,” said Christine Durand, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University and principal investigator of the HOPE in Action Multicenter Liver Study. “Should liver transplants between people with HIV be shown to be safe and effective through this research, the donor pool will expand–saving lives and reducing the time that both HIV-negative and HIV-positive people spend on an organ transplant waiting list.”Throughout the clinical trial, researchers will monitor the liver transplant recipients closely for signs of organ rejection, organ failure, failure of previously effective anti-HIV medications and HIV-associated complications. The HOPE in Action team will compare the results of those recipients who received livers from donors with HIV to those who received livers from HIV-negative donors. Researchers will also track participants’ psychological and social responses, changes in their reservoirs of latent HIV, and the potential development of HIV superinfection, a condition of infection with more than one strain of HIV.”Liver transplantation has a proven track record of saving and improving lives,” said Jonah Odim, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Clinical Transplantation Section in NIAID’s Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation. “The HOPE in Action team–with the collaboration of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, regional organ procurement organizations and the major transplantation centers participating in the trial–is doing the important work of determining if transplants can provide equal benefit when the liver comes from a person with HIV.”The study will comply with all current federal laws surrounding organ procurement and transplantation and meet the HOPE Act Safeguards and Research Criteria as set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in a 2015 Federal Register notice. These safeguards, developed for HHS with NIAID’s leadership, include organ recipients discussing the study with an independent advocate prior to transplantation. Additionally, participating organ recipients must be in good immune health and on effective antiretroviral therapy. Recipients must also be willing to adhere to transplant and anti-HIV–related medications. Individuals with HIV interested in registering their decision to be deceased organ donors can learn more at OrganDonor.gov.last_img read more