Hyundai Kona Electric POV Test Drive

first_imgSource: Electric Vehicle News It’s almost like you’re driving this Hyundai Kona Electric yourself.It seems few people have enjoyed the opportunity to test drive the Hyundai Kona Electric, especially in the U.S. However, we were fortunate to have two of our esteemed team members drive it and review it. In addition, Tom Moloughney spent some time putting together an in-depth comparison of the Kona Electric and Chevy Bolt EV. Hopefully, our long list of reviews and coverage has helped you form an initial opinion about the electric crossover. Now, you get a chance to see what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat of this all-electric Hyundai.Additional Hyundai Kona Electric Coverage: Hyundai Kona Electric Test Drive Review From Paris: Video 41 photos There’s not much to share here since this video is of the silent variety. Still, it’s well done and surely pretty sweet to imagine that you’re in the cockpit. Also, RoadFanatic does provide a link to a technical specs page in the video description below. Let us know your thoughts and observations in the comment section.Video Description via RoadFanatic on YouTube:2018 Hyundai Kona Electric – POV Test Drive (no talking, pure driving)This POV test drive features a Hyundai Kona Electric. For technical specifications of this car, visit https://www.roadfanatic.com/electric-…HYUNDAI KONAcenter_img EV Comparison: Chevy Bolt Versus Hyundai Kona Electric This Hyundai Kona Electric Review Claims “It’s Amazing” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on November 2, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Elon Musk would like Tesla to work with MercedesBenz on an electric

first_imgTesla CEO Elon Musk said that he will reach out to Daimler to propose a collaboration on an electric version of the Sprinter van. more…The post Elon Musk would like Tesla to work with Mercedes-Benz on an electric Sprinter van appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img

This 660 folding electric mountain bike surprised the heck out of me

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Electric bicycles come in a wide range of price and quality. From $10,000 super premium electric bicycles to $400 specials, I’ve pretty much ridden the gamut. And while the high-end electric bicycles are nice, I think that budget electric bicycles are perhaps more important because they open the door for first-time e-bike converts.The latest budget electric bicycle I’ve been riding is the $660 Ancheer folding electric mountain bike. And believe it or not, this bike really surprised me. more…The post This $660 folding electric mountain bike surprised the heck out of me appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

Electrify America now has 120 charging stations at Walmart stores plans to

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Electrify America and Walmart announced there are now more than 120 ultra-fast EV charging stations at US Walmart stores, with more planned to follow. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Electrify America now has 120 charging stations at Walmart stores, plans to expand further appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Buried Not Forever

first_imgby, Eilon Caspi, ChangingAging GuestbloggerTweetShare75ShareEmail75 SharesLong-term care residents living with dementia labeled as “aggressive” when they engage in distressing and harmful “resident-to-resident incidents” are in reality expressing real human needs and frustrations that are not being met by understaffed, undertrained, and inadequately supervised direct care staff members.A review of research on resident-to-resident incidents in nursing homes supports this argument and indicates that a vast majority of residents with dementia are not inherently “aggressive’ ‘abusive,’ ‘violent’ or “dangerous.” (See the Need-driven Dementia-compromised Behavior Model by Whall & Kolanowski, 2004, and studies by Rosen and colleagues 2008; Sifford, 2010; Pillemer and colleagues, 2012; Snellgrove, Beck, Green, & McSweeney, 2013).Blaming incidents between residents on dementia runs the risk of stigmatizing this already stigmatized population. It will also create a slippery slope leading to misuse and excessive use of largely ineffective and potentially harmful psychotropic medications. The majority of residents with dementia do not engage in physically “aggressive” or “abusive” behavioral expressions towards others (Volicer, 2008; Moniz-Cook & Clarke, 2013; Somboontanont and colleagues, 2004; Williams and colleagues, 2003; Williams and colleagues, 2009). Indeed, previous research studies have shown that only a small portion of people living in nursing homes and other facilities and those with dementia account for a large portion of resident-to-resident incidents. (Malone, Thompson, & Goodwin, 1993; Almvik, Woods, & Rasmussen, 2007; Bharucha and colleagues, 2008). Labeling a person with dementia as “aggressive” or “abusive” implies that the behavioral expression is intentionally initiated to harm or injure another resident when the majority of individuals with dementia (especially those in mid-to-late stages) do not initiate these behavioral expressions without provocation (Volicer & Hurley, 2003).Unfortunately, such provocations do occur and harmful resident-to-resident incidents are a prevalent but largely overlooked phenomenon, as shown by a large-scale study in 10 nursing homes in New York state (Lachs and colleagues, 2016). In addition, a Star Tribune Special Report found that “more than 4,000 complaints of resident-to-resident abuse went uninvestigated by the Minnesota Department of Health” during Fiscal Year 2016 (Serres, 2017). Another groundbreaking Harvard study (by Shinoda-Tagawa and colleagues in 2004) found that these incidents led to a substantial number of injuries among nursing home residents in a single year in Massachusetts. In addition, numerous reports in the media indicate that these incidents can result in tragic deaths of residents (Caspi, 2016).For example, Dwayne E. Walls was a Korean War Veteran, an accomplished investigative journalist, and an editor at The Charlotte Observer. Focusing his work on marginalized populations and issues of social justice, he won numerous journalism awards throughout his career. Later in his life, he developed Alzheimer’s disease and when his wife, Judy, could no longer care for him at home, she moved him to a nursing home in South Carolina. One evening, Dwayne walked into another resident’s bedroom and climbed into his bed. Moments later, the 88-year-old resident whose bed was invaded (he also had dementia) walked into the bedroom, saw him there, and beat him repeatedly with his cane. Dwayne was found severely injured, bleeding, and unconscious in a fetal position on the floor with the man still beating him. Dwayne’s condition deteriorated and he died a week later (Bartelme, 2009).The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently recognized the seriousness of this phenomenon: “The amount of attention given to phenomena such as resident-to-resident aggression has increased over the last decade…its occurrence produces injuries and wounds identical to those resulting from abuse and may result when institutions fail to take action to prevent or manage aggression or take actions that are not sufficient to assure resident health and safety” (Hall and colleagues, 2016).Given the projected growth in the number of people with dementia in the U.S. (from the currently estimated 5.7 million to nearly 14 million by 2050), distressing and harmful incidents between residents are expected to rise in the coming years (Raia, 2006). Despite growing concerns among consumer advocacy organizations, the phenomenon is, surprisingly, not being tracked by the two largest federally mandated clinical and regulatory oversight systems in nursing homes. The Federally mandated process for comprehensive clinical assessment in Medicare or Medicaid certified nursing homes (Minimum Data Set 3.0) does not contain a single question about this phenomenon (Caspi, 2013), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) does not have a unique state survey deficiency citation (F-Tag) for these incidents (Caspi, 2017). Rather, these incidents are frequently issued and practically buried under the broad regulatory groupings of “abuse,” “neglect,” and “accident.” The lack of centralized tracking of these harmful incidents limits important opportunities to prevent them. In the words of David Wright, director, Survey and Certification Group, CMS, “What are we accomplishing if we find the same deficiencies every year? We should not be the historians of bad things that happen in nursing homes. We need to be preventive of bad things from happening… We need more analysis (Wright & Tritz, 2016).Nursing homes and assisted living residences have strong disincentives to report incidents such as these to their state survey agencies and law enforcement. Reporting can lead to adverse publicity and increased liability. It has, indeed, been difficult to study the more serious forms of these incidents. As a gerontologist, I have had to rely on nontraditional data sources and analytic methods. In a recent exploratory study, published in the Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, I examined the circumstances surrounding the death of 105 elders as a result of resident-to-resident incidents in long-term care homes (Caspi, 2018; Link to abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29851550) using data from over 150 newspaper articles and dozens of death review records. To my knowledge, it is the first study in the U.S. and Canada on these fatal incidents. To see the main findings of the study in a poster, click here.Common contributing factors to residents’ engagement in these fatal episodes included invasion into personal space, unwanted entries into one’s bedroom, taking personal belongings from other residents, reaching a breaking point after verbal or behavioral expressions perceived as frustrating, and conflicts between roommates about preferred ways of using the shared bedroom. The majority of these circumstances could no doubt be considered as situational frustrations and unmet human needs.In my work and research on this phenomenon for over a decade, I have found a clear need for systemic change in recognizing and addressing these incidents, including an urgent need for a staff training program aimed at reducing these incidents (Teresi and colleagues, 2013). As importantly, leading agencies such as CMS and CDC Division of Violence Prevention must develop a national strategy for prevention of these distressing, injurious, and fatal incidents (Caspi, 2015). In addition, the first investigation of this phenomenon by the U.S. Office of Inspector General and U.S. Government Accountability Office is sorely needed (previous investigations on other issues in nursing homes by these agencies such as the misuse of antipsychotic medications have proven instrumental for bringing changes in policy and practice).A strong commitment by the aforementioned agencies and other stakeholders such as AARP, the Alzheimer’s Association, Argentum (formerly Assisted Living Federation of America), and the Department of Veterans Affairs to addressing this prevalent, harmful but largely hidden phenomenon will increase the likelihood that vulnerable and frail residents – many of whom with dementia – will remain safe. It is their human and Federal right to live in a safe care environment.Family members who have lost their loved ones as a result of these incidents frequently ask that serious measures will be taken to ensure that these incidents will not occur to other residents.  Selected examples of such measures include, among others, sufficient staffing levels at all times, a staff training program in person-directed care practices for individuals living with dementia and serious mental illness (including recognition, prevention, and de-escalation of these incidents in these populations), a robust meaningful engagement program (throughout the day and evening with personally tailored breaks), systematic use of a Behavioral Expressions Log (that enables to identify patterns, unmet human needs, and situational frustrations and triggers of these expressions; the basis for prevention), elder-friendly and dementia-friendly small-scale physical environments that increase (not limit) staff ability to supervise residents effectively and respond to early warning signs of distress in real time, and provision of private bedrooms as a standard practice (bedrooms are residents’ last frontier of privacy). Most importantly, full commitment to the proactive implementation of person-directed approaches such as Dr. Al Power’s Experiential Pathway to Well-Being Model as part of a deep transformation of the care practices and organizational operations will likely reduce the incidence of these distressing and harmful episodes to the minimum possible.In the words of a son of an 87-year-old resident with Alzheimer’s disease who died after being pushed by another resident, “We want to see a solution. We don’t want the death of our father to be in vain. I want to see something done so this doesn’t happen again.”ReferencesAlmvik, R., Woods, P., & Rasmussen, K. (2007). Assessing risk for imminent violence in the elderly: The Brøset Violence Checklist. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22(9), 862–867.Bartelme, T. (2009). Alzheimer’s and violence. The Post and Courier, May 16, 2009.Caspi, E. (2013). MDS 3.0: A giant step forward, but what about items on resident-to-resident aggression? Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 14(8), 624–625.Bharucha, A. J., Vasilescu, M., Dew, M. A., Begley, A., Stevens, S., Degenholtz, H., & Wactlar, H. (2008). Prevalence of behavioral symptoms: Comparison of the minimum data set assessments with research instruments. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 9(4), 244–250.Caspi, E. (2016). Deaths as a result of resident-to-resident altercations in dementia in long-term care homes: A need for research, policy, and prevention. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 17(1), 7-11.Caspi, E. (2017). A federal survey deficiency citation is needed for resident-to-resident aggression in U.S. nursing homes. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 29(4), 193–212.Caspi, E. (2016). Deaths as a result of resident-to-resident altercations in dementia in long-term care homes: A need for research, policy, and prevention. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 17(1), 7-11.Caspi, E. (2018). The circumstances surrounding the death of 105 elders as a result of resident-to-resident incidents in dementia in long-term care homes. Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, Online Ahead of Print, May 31, 2018. Link to abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29851550Caspi, E. (2015). Policy Recommendation: The National Center for Prevention of Resident-to-Resident Aggression in Dementia. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 16, 527-534.Hall, J., Karch, D. L., & Crosby, A. (2016). Elder abuse surveillance: Uniform definitions and recommended core data elements. Version 1.0. Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Lachs, M. S., Teresi, A. T., Ramirez, M., Van Haitsma, K., Silver, S., Eimicke, J. P., Pillemer, K. A. (2016). The prevalence of resident-to-resident elder mistreatment in nursing homes. Annals of Internal Medicine, 165(4), 229–236.Malone, M. L., Thompson, L., & Goodwin, J. S. (1993). Aggressive behaviors among the institutionalized elderly. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 41(8), 853–856.Moniz-Cook, E., & Clarke, C. (2013). Dementia care: Coping with aggressive behavior. Nursing & Residential Care, 13(2), 86–90.Pillemer K, Chen EK, Van Haitsma KS, et al. (2012). Resident-to-resident aggression in nursing homes: results from a qualitative event reconstruction study. The Gerontologist, 52(1), 24-33.Pillemer, K. (2018, June 26). Ending nursing home violence between residents: Prevention, intervention, and advocacy. Webinar presented on June 26, 2018 at the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center.Raia, P. (2006). Avoid resident-to-resident violence in nursing homes. Alzheimer’s Association MA Chapter Newsletter, 24(1), 21–22.Rosen, T. Lachs, M.S., Bharucha, A.J., Stevens, S.M., Teresi, J.A., Nebres, F., Pillemer, K. (2008). Resident-to-resident aggression in long-term care facilities: Insights from focus groups of nursing home residents and staff. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 56(8), 1394-1408.Serres, C. (2017). When an abuser lives next door. Part 3 in Star Tribune 5-Part Special Report entitled Left to Suffer (Nov 14, 2017). Link: http://www.startribune.com/surging-resident-on-resident-violence-rarely-investigated/450625693/Shinoda-Tagawa, T., Leonard, R., Pontikas, J., McDonough, J. E., Allen, D., & Dreyer, P. I. (2004). Resident-to-resident violent incidents in nursing homes. Journal of the American Medical Association, 291(5), 591–598.Sifford-Snellgrove KS, Beck C, Green A, McSweeney JC. (2012). Victim or initiator? Certified nursing assistants’ perceptions of resident characteristics that contribute to resident-to-resident violence in nursing homes. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 5(1), 55-63.Sifford, K.S. (2010). Caregiver perceptions of unmet needs that lead to resident-to-resident violence involving residents with dementia in nursing homes. Doctoral dissertation, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.Somboontanont, W., Sloane, P. D., Holditch-Davis, D., Hougue, C. C., & Mitchell, C. M. (2004). Assaultive behavior in Alzheimer’s disease: Identifying immediate antecedents during bathing. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 30(9), 22–29.Teresi, J. A., Ramirez, M., Ellis, J., Silver, S., Boratgis, G., Kong, J., . . . Lachs, M. (2013). A staff intervention targeting resident-to-resident elder mistreatment (R-REM) in long-term care increased staff knowledge, recognition, and reporting: Results from a cluster randomized trial. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50, 644–656.Volicer, L. (2008). Is aggression a common symptom of dementia? Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 9(7), 532. [Letter to the Editor].Volicer, L., & Hurley, A. C. (2003). Management of behavioral symptoms in progressive degenerative dementias. The Journals of Gerontology Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 58(9), M837–M845.Whall, A.L. & Kolanowski, A.M. (2004).  The need-driven dementia-compromised behavior model: A framework for understanding the behavioral symptoms of dementia. Aging & Mental Health, 8(2), 106-108.Williams, K., Kemper, S., & Hummert, M. L. (2003). Improving nursing home communication: An intervention to reduce elderspeak. The Gerontologist, 43, 242–247.Williams, K. N., Herman, R., Gajewski, B., & Wilson, K. (2009). Elderspeak communication: Impact on dementia care. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias, 24 (1), 11–20.Wright, D., & Tritz, K. (2016, November 4). Something old, something new: The revised federal nursing home regulations. Plenary session at the 40th Annual Conference of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, Arlington, Virginia.Related PostsTweetShare75ShareEmail75 SharesTags: alzheimer’s association Alzheimer’s Disease Dementialast_img read more

HCM mutation prevents the heart from increasing pumping force study shows

first_imgMay 21 2018Researchers from Washington State University have discovered how a genetic mutation linked to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) disrupts the heart’s normal function. The study, which will be published May 18 in the Journal of General Physiology, reveals that the mutation prevents the heart from increasing the amount of force it produces when it needs to pump additional blood around the body.According to the American Heart Association, HCM affects up to 500,000 people in the United States and is usually caused by inherited genetic mutations that result in the heart muscle becoming abnormally thick and unable to pump enough blood around the body. In 2009, researchers in Spain identified a mutation in the heart muscle protein troponin T that appeared to pose a particularly high risk of sudden death in children and adults, despite it causing only a mild thickening of the heart muscle wall. The mutation, known as F87L, alters a single amino acid in the central region of troponin T but how this affected cardiac function was unclear.Related StoriesCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaMurali Chandra, a professor at Washington State University in Pullman, WA, and graduate student Sherif Reda introduced an equivalent mutation in the cardiac troponin T gene of guinea pigs and analyzed how this affected the ability of guinea pig cardiac muscle fibers to contract and produce force.Troponin T is part of the troponin complex that allows muscle fibers to contract in response to calcium released upon electrical stimulation. An important feature of cardiac muscle filaments is that they become more sensitive to calcium-;and therefore contract more strongly-;as they are stretched to longer lengths. Thus, when the heart fills up with more blood, as occurs during increased physical activity, it stretches the muscle walls and the heart contracts with increased force to pump out extra blood. Troponin is thought to play a central role in this phenomenon, which is known as the Frank–Starling mechanism.Reda and Chandra found that the F87L mutation in troponin T abolishes this length-dependent increase in calcium sensitivity. Short, unstretched muscle fibers expressing mutant troponin T showed the same response to calcium as longer, stretched fibers.”Our data demonstrate that the length-mediated increase in force is significantly decreased by this HCM-associated mutation, suggesting that the mutation may blunt muscle length–mediated increase in force production in the heart,” says Chandra. “Attenuation of the Frank–Starling mechanism may have severe consequences for the individual because it limits the heart’s ability to increase output when it needs to pump additional blood around the body.” Source:http://www.rupress.org/last_img read more

Study finds sexbased differences in genetic risk factors for developing gliomas

first_imgJun 29 2018Glioma is the most common type of primary malignant brain tumor in the United States; glioblastoma being the most common type of glioma in adults. While sex differences in the incidence and survival rates of glioma were known, researchers had not investigated whether genetic differences based on sex could cast light on potential differences in the risk profile of glioma between men and women.Now, a team from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, together with an international consortium of researchers, have discovered that men and women have different genetic risk factors for developing glioma.The research was recently published in Scientific Reports. The study involved the work of more than 35 investigators representing more than 30 universities, institutes and government agencies worldwide.”Sex-stratified analyses in studies such as this can reveal novel insights into the known sex differences in glioma and provide previously unknown genetic risk associations,” said Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, Sally S. Morley Designated Professor in Brain Tumor Research at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Associate Director for Bioinformatics at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Associate Director for Translational Informatics at the Institute for Computational Biology. “This finding could provide an avenue to gaining a better understanding of sex differences in brain tumor incidence, and may also suggest varying mechanisms and pathways of the disease.”The consortium looked at the genetic differences among all glioma, glioblastoma only and non-glioblastoma patients based on their sex. Quinn Ostrom, PhD, came up with the idea for the study while she was a graduate assistant for Barnholtz-Sloan. Ostrom now is doing post-doctoral work in cancer epidemiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerThe researchers found three regions in the genome where significant genetic differences between men and women existed, and these differences also varied by sex and type of tumor (glioblastoma vs. non-glioblastoma). “There’s one where it’s clearly associated with an increased risk in males, one where it’s clearly associated with an increased risk in females, and one where it’s showing in both males and females, but it seems to have a stronger association in females,” Barnholtz-Sloan said.Though early in the process of understanding the genetic sources of sex based differences in malignant brain tumors, the recent analysis could help define a path to a genetic test that helps doctors assess patient risk for brain cancer.”We were surprised to find a large region in the genome associated with glioma and specifically glioblastoma in females only,” Barnholtz-Sloan said. “This region had not previously been associated with gliomas, although other similar genome-wide associated studies have identified associations at this region for a variety of traits, including several autoimmune diseases, as well as increased age at menarche.” As the study discussion notes, if increased lifetime estrogen exposure decreases glioma risk, as some have hypothesized, it is possible that variants which increase age at menarche (potentially decreasing total estrogen exposure) may increase glioma risk in females.​ Source:http://casemed.case.edu/cwrumed360/news-releases/release.cfm?news_id=1337&news_category=8last_img read more

Climate change could cost US coasts 1 trillion by 2100

first_imgClimate change will cost U.S. coastal areas twice what analysts had predicted, according to a new study. Researchers had estimated that preparing coastal cities, repairing property damages, and relocating inhabitants for future sea level rise could have a roughly $500 billion price tag by 2100. But storm surge from tropical cyclones can cause additional local rises in sea level rise; that figure hits about $1 trillion, researchers report this month in Climatic Change. Researchers modeled the combined effects of sea level rise and U.S.-striking tropical cyclones on coastal property around the country. They chose 17 multicounty areas on the Gulf, East, and Pacific coasts and then estimated the impacts to the remaining, nonmodeled coastal areas based on how the modeled areas closest to them were impacted. The team also assumed that society would spend billions on adaptation measures, which studies suggest could be a cost-effective policy measure. Among these measures are abandoning properties in low-level areas, adding more sand to beaches, and building barriers to reduce beach erosion. The costs from sea level rise and storm surge together, including adaptation, total $930 billion to $1.1 trillion nationally by 2100, 84% to 110% higher than from sea level rise alone, the researchers found. The Gulf and East coasts would suffer nearly all the costs. Future costs would be $84 billion to $140 billion lower if emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide were to level off and gradually fall, but most impacts through midcentury are already locked in because emissions cuts take time to work, the researchers say. The study, they warn, doesn’t account for potential additional damages to business activity, infrastructure such as roads and power grids, and natural resources and wildlife.last_img read more

Genetic firewall holds engineered microbes captive

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Human-engineered microbes are workhorses of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, churning out biofuels, drugs, and many other products. But they can cause big problems if they become contaminated by other microbes or viruses or escape into the environment. Now, a new type of microbe that can survive only on artificial nutrients promises better security against such mishaps. The strategy, described in two papers in this week’s issue of Nature, might ultimately be used to control genetically engineered plants or other organisms released into the wild to create products or clean up pollution.Contamination is one of many risks involved in using engineered microbes to produce biological pharmaceuticals and high-value chemicals. Viruses, for example, can hijack bacteria and spoil a batch of drugs. “It can be disastrous,” George Church of Harvard Medical School in Boston, who helped lead the new research, told reporters during a telephone briefing. Engineered microbes themselves can also accidentally end up in a product or the environment. That’s why government regulators require that most engineered microbes be physically contained in sealed vats or other containers.In principle, a microbe could be confined more securely by modifying its genome so that it can reproduce only in the presence of certain nutrients or chemicals. But microbes can usually evolve to get around these obstacles. Now, Church and colleagues say they’ve overcome those issues by redesigning the Escherichia coli genome so that the microbe depends on a synthetic amino acid to create proteins necessary for survival and reproduction. When the microbes are grown without this synthetic nutrient, their genetic machinery grinds to a halt and they die. The modification also prevents viruses from contaminating the culture, as they can’t replicate inside the altered microbes. Farren Isaacs, a former postdoc in Church’s lab now at Yale University, describes similar results in the same issue of Nature. 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Country To lower the chances that any of the engineered microbes can mutate and survive without the special diet, the groups altered three genes to require the synthetic amino acids. “It really adds increasing layers of security onto this system,” says Tom Ellis, a synthetic biologist at Imperial College London, who was not involved in the research. Neither group has yet detected any successful mutations in the microbes. “They’re opening a door into a completely new area for investigation in biosafety,” adds Markus Schmidt, a biosafety expert and consultant in technology assessment at Biofaction KG in Vienna.Several steps remain before the microbes are ready for prime time. One important question is the cost of the synthetic amino acids used to feed the engineered microbes. For example, Ellis says that the amino acid used in Isaacs’s experiment would be prohibitively expensive for most commercial applications. Church engineered microbes to require a cheaper synthetic amino acid.*Correction, 26 January, 10:07 a.m.: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Church’s microbes reproduced less quickly than those in the experiments by Isaacs. In addition, neither group measured the ability of the microbes to produce chemicals.last_img read more

Lab on a chip turns smart phones into mobile disease clinics

first_imgSmart phones can pay our bills, track our diets, and record our slumber. Soon they may become a leading weapon in the global fight against disease. Researchers have designed a cheap, easy-to-use smart phone attachment (shown above) that can test patients for multiple deadly infectious diseases in 15 minutes. All it takes is a drop of blood from a finger prick. Pressing the device’s big black button creates a vacuum that sucks the blood into a maze of tiny channels within its disposable credit card–sized cartridge. There, several detection zones snag any antibodies in the blood that reveal the presence of a particular disease. It only takes a tiny bit of power from the smart phone to detect and display the results: A fourth-generation iPod Touch could screen 41 patients on a single charge, the team says. The researchers conducted a field test of the device at three Rwandan community clinics, where health care workers rapidly screened 96 patients for HIV and active and latent forms of syphilis. Compared with gold standard laboratory tests, the dongle was 96% as accurate in detecting infections, missing just one case of latent syphilis, the team reports online today in Science Translational Medicine. Despite a 14% false alarm rate, the researchers say the device’s high sensitivity and ease of use make it a powerful tool for diagnosing these deadly diseases in the field, particularly among pregnant women. The researchers are now preparing a larger scale trial for the $34 device, which they hope will let mobile clinics and health workers provide rapid and reliable disease screening in the remotest areas of the world.last_img read more

T rex gets new home in shakeup of dino family tree

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The reshuffled dino family tree suggests that the ancient Herrerasaurids like this one were not as primitive as had been thought. Eva Kröcher/Creative Commons Your inner 9-year-old may be in for a shock: A new study gives the long-standing dinosaur family tree an overhaul. Based on analyses of hundreds of fossils, the study strikes down a fundamental split of dinosaurs into “bird-hipped” and “reptile-hipped”; it also shifts the charismatic theropods—the group that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and eventually gave rise to birds—to a new spot on the tree, closer to the bird-hipped dinos. But don’t throw out your dog-eared dinosaur books just yet, other researchers caution: This new family tree is likely to be debated for some time to come.”This paper does have the potential to make us rewrite textbooks and redesign museum exhibits,” says paleontologist Thomas Holtz of the University of Maryland in College Park. But, “before the American Museum of Natural History shifts all their dinosaur skeletons around, we have to remember this is just one paper.”For decades, paleontologists have separated the “reptile-hipped” saurischians, which included both herbivorous sauropods such as Brontosaurus and carnivorous theropods such as T. rex, from the “bird-hipped” ornithischians, among them herbivores such as Stegosaurus and Triceratops. But these broad groupings haven’t been entirely satisfactory. Researchers have noted that some of the earliest ornithischians are very theropodlike: bipeds that may have had a taste for meat. And no one knew where to put the herrerasaurids—early, carnivorous dinosaurs that look a little like theropods and a little like sauropods. Email By Carolyn GramlingMar. 22, 2017 , 2:00 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) GRAPHIC: ADAPTED FROM K. PADIAN, NATURE VOLUME 543, ISSUE 7646 (23 MARCH 2017) © NATURE BY A. KITTERMAN/SCIENCE In all, Baron’s team analyzed 457 traits in some 74 taxa, including some reptiles considered outside the dinosaur family. They found that despite their reptilelike hips, theropods aren’t saurischians at all; instead, they and ornithischians are “sister clades,” arising from a common ancestor (see graphic). The team concluded that herrerasaurids also branched off later than thought and, with the sauropods, make up a second pair of sister clades.This shuffle implies a few things, Baron notes: For one, it suggests that sharp, recurved, and serrated teeth, as well as a hypercarnivorous diet (greater than 70% meat) evolved independently in theropods and herrerasaurids, a result of convergent evolution. And it confirms that “reptilelike hips” are not a reliable sign of shared ancestry. The analysis also supports the prevailing idea that the earliest dinosaur ancestor was a small bipedal animal with grasping hands.The shuffled tree may upend the picture of where the dinosaurs arose, too. Most researchers have long assumed that dinosaurs were born in the Southern Hemisphere, in part because the oldest dinosaur fossils, including the 231-million-year-old Herrerasaurus and a number of early relatives, have been found in Argentina, South Africa, and other southern spots. But with herrerasaurids now considered further from the base of the dinosaur family tree, Baron argues that enigmatic Triassic fossils from the Northern Hemisphere deserve a second look as candidates for early dino ancestors. If so, Triassic sites in the United States and Europe may be a good place to ramp up the fossil hunt.The new picture is “plausible, but not a slam-dunk,” says Stephen Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh, noting that the tree shuffle isn’t based on new fossils, but on a new analysis of existing specimens. Researchers need to comb through the characters and evaluate the team’s choices, he says. “It would be cool if they’re right, [but] there’s a big burden of proof when you’re going against a long legacy in the literature.” The authors haven’t met that burden, says paleontologist Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago, because they don’t explain how their analysis of traits altered the tree so dramatically.Kevin Padian, a paleontologist at the University of California, Berkeley, says he is intrigued but reserving judgment. “It shows that with just a slightly new analysis you can overturn results,” he says. The Triassic was a “crazy time, one big spring break at Cabo [San Lucas],” he adds, with many different animals bursting on the scene at once. Tracing their relationships remains a dinosaur-sized task. 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 T. rex gets new home in shakeup of dino family tree Shaking the dinosaur family tree A new analysis suggests that theropods like Tyrannosaurus rex, which eventually led to living birds, shared a common ancestor with “bird-hipped” ornithischians. To trace dinosaur relationships, paleontologists study fossils in minute detail, cataloging every bump and hole, each of which may be a heritable trait. They then analyze these data to construct a family tree. Matt Baron, a Ph.D. student at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, noted that past analyses of dinosaur relationships often gave short shrift to the ornithischians, perhaps because they are so different from other dinosaurs. They possess unique traits such as an extra chin bone and evenly spaced, molarlike “cheek teeth,” notes Baron, and previous studies assumed they were “this weird offshoot” that must have split off from other dinosaurs early. But few fossils of ornithischians date to the Triassic, the earliest era of the dinosaurs.For their study, out this week in Nature, Baron and his co-authors used hundreds of traits gleaned from existing studies and fossils—including “lots of ornithischians that had been overlooked,” he says. In many cases they relied on subtle details, from the exact shape of a tiny eye socket bone to the presence or absence of a groove on the femur. The devil is in those details—and in the selection of exactly which species and traits to analyze.last_img read more

First fossil jaw of Denisovans finally puts a face on elusive human

first_img By Ann GibbonsMay. 1, 2019 , 1:00 PM The proteins in this lower jawbone identify it as Denisovan. 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 Email Thirty-nine years ago, a Buddhist monk meditating in a cave on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau found something strange: a human jawbone with giant molars. The fossil eventually found its way to scientists. Now, almost 4 decades later, a groundbreaking new way to identify human fossils based on ancient proteins shows the jaw belonged to a Denisovan, a mysterious extinct cousin of Neanderthals.The jawbone is the first known fossil of a Denisovan outside of Siberia’s Denisova Cave in Russia, and gives paleoanthropologists their first real look at the face of this lost member of the human family. “We are finally ‘cornering’ the elusive Denisovans,” paleoanthropologist María Martinón-Torres of the National Research Center on Human Evolution in Burgos, Spain, wrote in an email. “We are getting their smiles!”Together, the jaw’s anatomy and the new method of analyzing ancient proteins could help researchers learn whether other mysterious fossils in Asia are Denisovan. “We now can use this fossil and this wonderful new tool to classify other fossil remains that we can’t agree on,” says paleoanthropologist Aida Gomez-Robles of University College London, who reviewed the paper, which appears in Nature this week. DONGJU ZHANG/LANZHOU UNIVERSITY The international team of researchers also reports that the jawbone is at least 160,000 years old. Its discovery pushes back the earliest known presence of humans at high altitude by about 120,000 years.A massive search for Denisovans has been underway ever since paleogeneticists extracted DNA from the pinkie of a girl who lived more than 50,000 years ago in Denisova Cave and found she was a new kind of human. Max Planck Society researchers have since sequenced DNA from several Denisovans from the cave, but the fossils—isolated teeth and bits of bone—were too scanty to show what this enigmatic hominin looked like. Denisovans must have been widespread, because many living people in Melanesia and Southeast Asia carry traces of DNA from multiple encounters between modern humans and Denisovans. But although intriguing fossils across Asia could be Denisovan, they have not yielded the DNA that could confirm their identity.Enter the new jawbone, found by an unidentified monk in Baishiya Karst Cave in Xiahe county in China at an altitude of 3200 meters on the margins of the Tibetan Plateau, according to co-author Dongju Zhang, an archaeologist at Lanzhou University in northwestern China. She traced the jawbone’s discovery by interviewing local people in Xiahe, who told her they remembered human bones from the large cave, which is next to a Buddhist shrine and is still a holy place as well as a tourist attraction. Recognizing the jaw’s unusual nature, the monk gave it to the sixth Gung-Thang living Buddha, one of China’s officially designated “living Buddhas,” who consulted scholars and then gave the jaw to Lanzhou University. The jawbone was so “weird” that researchers there didn’t know how to classify it, and it sat on shelves for years, Zhang says. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country First fossil jaw of Denisovans finally puts a face on elusive human relatives A jawbone was found by a Chinese monk in a holy cave high on the Tibetan Plateau.  Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) DONGJU ZHANG/LANZHOU UNIVERSITY She and geologist Fahu Chen, also from Lanzhou University and the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research in Beijing, showed the jaw to paleoanthropologist Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. After seeing its large molars—as big as ones found in Denisova Cave—Hublin immediately suspected it was Denisovan.Max Planck paleogeneticists couldn’t get DNA from the jaw, but Hublin’s graduate student Frido Welker had found in his doctoral work that Neanderthals, modern humans, and Denisovans differ in the amino acid sequence of key proteins. Welker, now a postdoc at the University of Copenhagen, was able to extract collagen, a common structural protein, from a molar of the Xiahe jawbone. He found its amino acid sequence most closely matched that of Denisovans.Other team members dated a carbonate crust that had formed on the skull by measuring the radioactive decay of uranium in the carbonate. They got a date of 160,000 years ago—a “firm minimum date” for the skull, says geochronologist Rainer Grün of Griffith University in Nathan, Australia, who is not a member of the team.The date suggests Denisovans would have had tens of thousands of years to adapt to the altitude of Tibet by the time modern humans arrived in the region, some 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. Encounters between modern humans and Denisovans adapted to high altitude could explain how the Tibetans of today came by a Denisovan gene that helps them cope with thin air. “It seems likely that ancestral Tibetans interacted with Denisovans, as they began to move upslope,” archaeologist David Madsen of the University of Texas in Austin wrote in an email.The jaw’s features could be a template for spotting other Denisovans. “Its distinct large molars and premolar roots differ from those of Neanderthals,” and the jawbone “is very primitive and robust,” says Hublin, who sees a resemblance to a jawbone found off the coast of Taiwan known as the Penghu mandible.What anatomy can’t confirm, proteins might. “The protein analyses allow us to see landscapes where DNA cannot reach”—from warmer climates or much more ancient sites where fragile DNA doesn’t persist, Martinón-Torres says. Other researchers have a half-dozen fossils they want to test for proteins or compare with the Xiahe jaw.The implications are far-reaching. “Forget the textbooks,” says archaeologist Robin Dennell of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. “Human evolution in Asia is far more complex than we currently understand, and probably does involve multiple lineages, some of which probably engaged with our species.”Meanwhile, Chen and Zhang did their first excavation at the cave in December 2018, with permission from local villagers and Buddhists. They dug two small trenches where they have already found stone tools and cut-marked rhino and other animal bones. “We do have hope we’ll find more Denisovans,” Zhang says.last_img read more

Bengaluru Kerala band forced off stage after unruly pubgoers object to singing in

first_img Bengaluru news: Top stories – July 16 Advertising LiveBangalore news LIVE updates: Crucial day for JD(S)-Congress coalition government; CM Kumaraswamy arrives However, the exchange of the same on social media attracted widespread criticism from many music lovers and enthusiasts from the city. One user said, “Yo Foxtrot and Mr Kant you do know this is almost unconstitutional, apart from it being shameful. I know some bangalore goons are difficult to deal with but isn’t it your responsibility to deal with such unruly customers in the first place? Spineless you lot are.” P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Related News Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru | Updated: July 17, 2019 8:30:17 am Another response to the same reads, “If some hooligans misbehave or show any kinda intolerance its their fault. On what grounds your team decided to stop them performing on the stage? Truly unprofessional.”Taking a legal course? ‘No, a musical one’Many pointed out that the issue should be taken to court and should be fought legally. However, Street Academics has decided to fight the issue in their own way. “Our next step is to make sure we don’t perform in such venues any more. We will keep doing what we do best – make good music without language barriers. In fact, we are coming out with a song about the same issue this week,” Vivek adds.Street-Academics-Bangalore-Malayalam-Multingual-band-perform-stopped-Kerala-Bengaluru-pub The six-member-band has decided to take a ‘musical’ course to protest the incident over a legal move.Vivek also confirmed that officials from the venue and their music promoters had apologised to them on the same promising such an incident would not occur again. “There are a lot of budding and established artists who put in their heart and soul to build up an independent music industry in India, regional bands like ours paving the way. This is our bread and butter and we hope no other artist from any part of the world should face what we had to, unfortunately,” Vivek says over phone as he rushes back to further discussions and fine-tuning process of their upcoming song on the issue.The six-member-band include Abhimanyu aka Earthgrime, Arjjun aka Imbachi, Amjad aka Azuran, Rjv Ernesto aka Pakarcha Vyadhi, Haris aka Maapla apart from Vivek fondly called V3K in the industry. 11 Comment(s) Best Of Express Members of the band, Street Academics, are still grappling with the shock. “Such an incident is not happening for the first time in Bengaluru for sure as we have heard some other regional bands experiencing the same in different forms. However, we were playing a pre-planned list of songs which included multilingual tracks and were about to finish our 45-minute gig when this happened,” Vivek Radhakrishnan, music producer of Street Academics told indianexpress.com.Street-Academics-Bangalore-Malayalam-Multingual-band-perform-stopped-Kerala-Bengaluru-pub-event-poster-Khulle-Naagde-759 The event poster of ‘Khulle Naagde’ during which the incident took place in a pub in Marathahalli, Bangalore.The incident, which took place on Saturday in Foxtrot, a pub in Marathahalli, came to light after music promoters 4/4 Experiences put up a Facebook post on the same on Sunday.According to them, the show was stopped “by a group of customers and Foxtrot Marathahalli’s management due to Street Academics performing songs written in Malayalam.” The statement also explained the scenario that led to the incident mentioning how Ravi Kant, the floor manager at the pub, approached 4/4 Experiences’ representative Prasad Iyer requesting artists to sing songs written in different language (other than Malayalam) as a small group of customers had an issue with the language the songs were written in. Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off “We strongly protest against Mr Kant and the Foxtrot management’s behaviour and the lack of respect and support shown by them towards the artists. We would also like to highlight our stand against the atmosphere of intolerance that is targeting artists from different regions and would like to express our concern about the ease with which a small group of people can interrupt a show and get an artist silenced in the absence of support from venues and their management teams. We would also like to apologise to our fans and Street Academics in particular for this incident,” the statement further read.Responding to this, Foxtrot officials put up a statement on Facebook said the decision to “pause the show briefly” was taken to “de-escalate the issue, safeguard our guests, artists and staff and to avoid a security lapse.”“We officially apologise to Street Academics, 4/4 Experiences and Azadi Records (music promoters) for the unfortunate experience and would like to reinstate that we are all for great music, but need to take certain calls to ensure people’s safety. We were only de-escalating the situation, and always do stand by the artist community and music of all kind,” Foxtrot added. Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Advertising Bangalore news July 17 highlights:Whip not applicable to rebel MLAs, says SC; Speaker can decide on resignations Street-Academics-Bangalore-Malayalam-Multingual-band-perform-stopped-Kerala-Bengaluru-pub-event-team Street Academics, a hip-hop band based in Kerala.A Kerala-based hip-hop band had a horrid time recently while performing live in a Bengaluru pub as they were forced to get off the stage after some people in the audience objected to their singing in Malayalam.last_img read more

Iran breaches key uranium enrichment limit in nuclear deal

first_img Post Comment(s) Trump says ‘will take a look’ at accusations over Google, China US House votes to set aside impeachment resolution against Trump Advertising US mulls increasing merit-based immigration to 57% Related News Advertising Taking stock of monsoon rain Advertising Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield More Explained After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Best Of Express Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence The acknowledgement by the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to The Associated Press shows that the Islamic Republic trying to increase pressure on those still in the 2015 nuclear deal. It also comes just days after Iran acknowledged breaking the 300-kilogram (661-pound) limit on its low-enriched uranium stockpile, another term of the accord.The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, confirmed that Iran surpassed the enrichment threshold.Experts warn that higher enrichment and a growing stockpile could begin to narrow the one-year window Iran would need to have enough material for an atomic weapon, something Iran denies it wants but the deal prevented. While the steps now taken by Iran remain quickly reversible, Europe so far has struggled to respond. Enriched uranium at the 3.67% level is enough for peaceful pursuits but is far below weapons-grade levels of 90%. At the 4.5% level, it is enough to help power Iran’s Bushehr reactor, the country’s only nuclear power plant.Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for Iran’s nuclear agency, confirmed the increased enrichment to the AP.“At the moment our enrichment is at around 4.5%,” Kamalvandi said. He did not elaborate.Kamalvandi separately hinted in a state TV interview broadcast Monday that Iran might consider going to 20% enrichment or higher as a third step, if the material is needed and the country still hasn’t gotten what it wants from Europe. That would worry nuclear nonproliferation experts because 20% is a short technical step away from reaching weapons-grade levels of 90%. Kamalvandi also suggested using new or more centrifuges, which are limited by the deal. iran, nuclear deal, united states, us sanctions, donald trump, uranium, iran uranium enrichment, nuclear weapons, economic sanctions, iran oil, iran oil sales, saudi arabia, tehran, middle east, crude oil, world news, indian express news From left to right, spokesman for Iran’s atomic agency Behrouz Kamalvandi, Iran’s government spokesman Ali Rabiei and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo)Iran on Monday began enriching uranium to 4.5%, just breaking the limit set by its nuclear deal with world powers, while it is still seeking a way for Europe to help it bypass U.S. sanctions amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington. Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Iran appreciated the efforts of some nations to save the deal, but offered a jaded tone on whether Tehran trusted anyone in the negotiations.“We have no hope nor trust in anyone, nor any country, but the door of diplomacy is open,” Mousavi said.He also gave a sharp, yet unelaborated warning to Europe about another 60-day deadline that Iran set Sunday. That deadline is Sept. 5, though Iran’s senior Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri described it as being Sept. 7. The different dates could not be immediately reconciled.“If the remaining countries in the deal, especially the Europeans, do not fulfill their commitments seriously, and not do anything more than talk, Iran’s third step will be harder, more steadfast and somehow stunning,” he said. The remaining signatories to the deal with Iran are Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.The U.S. will not waver from its course of maximum pressure against Iran and “will never allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon,” Vice President Mike Pence told a pro-Israel Christian organization in Washington.“Iran must choose between caring for its people and continuing to fund its proxies who spread violence and terrorism throughout the region and breathe out murderous hatred against Israel,” Pence said, in comments that were reinforced by national security adviser John Bolton, a longtime advocate of tough measures against Iran, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.America has implemented the “strongest pressure campaign in history against the Iranian regime,” Pompeo told the group, adding, “and we are not done.”The U.S. has sent thousands of troops, an aircraft carrier, nuclear-capable B-52 bombers and advanced fighter jets to the Middle East. Mysterious oil tanker attacks near the Strait of Hormuz, attacks by Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen on Saudi Arabia and Iran’s downing of a U.S. military drone have raised fears of a wider conflict engulfing the region.French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and said they are trying to find a way by July 15 to resume international dialogue with Iran. It remains unclear what Europe can do, because Iran wants it to help Tehran sell its crude oil abroad.Macron is sending his chief diplomatic adviser, Emmanuel Bonne, to Tehran on Tuesday, although it was not immediately clear how long he would stay or with whom he would meet.U.S. sanctions have targeted Iran’s oil sales and top officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It’s also unclear what international company would risk U.S. sanctions to help Europe trade with Iran outside of the exceptions granted for food and medicine.U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres believes Iran’s action would neither help preserve the agreement “nor secure tangible economic benefits for the Iranian people,” according to U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq.Mousavi said he didn’t know where an Iranian supertanker was heading when it was seized off the coast of Gibraltar. Authorities there said they seized the Grace 1 last week and confirmed Monday it was fully loaded with crude oil. Its suspected destination was a refinery in Syria that is under European Union sanctions.Hard-liners in Iran have demanded a British oil tanker be seized in response. State TV said Britain’s ambassador to Tehran had been summoned Monday for a third time.A lawmaker also has suggested that Iran charge ships moving through the Strait of Hormuz, something Mousavi dismissed while insisting Iran’s right to patrol the waters off its coast.“We are responsible for maritime protection of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. This is our region. This is our gulf,” he said, reiterating Iran’s longtime stance. “This is our innate duty to secure this region and sustain its security. Countries that claim from thousands of miles from here that they should guarantee the maritime security here are speaking exaggeratedly.” There are fears that a miscalculation in the crisis could explode into open conflict. President Donald Trump, who withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal over a year ago and re-imposed crippling economic sanctions on Iran, nearly bombed the country last month after Tehran shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone. Even China, engaged in delicate trade negotiations with the White House, openly criticized America’s policy toward Iran.“What I want to emphasize is that the maximum pressure the U.S. imposes on Iran is the root cause of the crisis in the Iranian nuclear issue,” said Geng Shuang, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman. “It has been proven that unilateral bullying has become a worsening tumor and is creating more problems and greater crises on a global scale.”On Sunday, Trump warned that “Iran better be careful.” He didn’t elaborate on what actions the U.S. might consider but told reporters: “Iran’s doing a lot of bad things.”Under the deal, Iran has been closely monitored by inspectors from the IAEA, which on Monday verified “that Iran is enriching uranium above 3.67%.” The Vienna-based agency did not specify how much beyond the threshold Iran has gone. By AP |Tehran (iran) | Published: July 9, 2019 10:55:39 am Iran’s Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami also offered his own warning to the British over the tanker’s seizure: “It won’t remain without a response.”last_img read more

Gunmen massacre 18 including children in Papua New Guinea attack

first_img Best Of Express Advertising NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Gas project critic James Marape elected Papua New Guinea PM Papua New Guinea assesses extent of damage from strong quake papua new guinea, papua new guinea attack, gunmen, gunmen attack, papua new guinea gunmen attack, james marape, tribal feud, violence, criminals, world news indian express news Undialu said the particular trigger for the killings in Karida village, some 630 km (390 miles) northwest of the capital, Port Moresby, was not known but the violence was the latest flare-up of a conflict running for years. (Representational Image)Gunmen have massacred as many as 18 people including women and children in a remote village in Papua New Guinea, apparently the latest victims of a tribal feud, and Prime Minister James Marape vowed on Wednesday to hunt down the killers. Related News Violence has long ravaged the poor but resource-rich Pacific Ocean nation, but the scale of the latest bloodletting has shocked the country.“It’s a very sad story,” Philip Undialu, the governor of Hela Province in the rugged central highlands where the attack took place, told Reuters by phone.Pictures posted on Facebook showed the dead, including several children, from the Monday violence wrapped in cloth and laid on palm leaves by the side of a road. Ten members of Papua New Guinea’s U19s suspended for stealing center_img Undialu said the particular trigger for the killings in Karida village, some 630 km (390 miles) northwest of the capital, Port Moresby, was not known but the violence was the latest flare-up of a conflict running for years.Those targeted had offered shelter to victims of a bout of violence several weeks ago, he said.“It was retaliation of a previous attack … it was a very sudden attack,” he said, adding that in all, 24 people had been killed in the latest phase of violence.“Both attacks were made in an innocent community where people were not expecting it and all of us are in a state of shock.” Post Comment(s) In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief Prime Minister Marape said he was “coming for” the killers.“In memory of the innocent who continue to die at the hands of gun-toting criminals, your time is up,” Marape said in a post on his official Facebook page.“Before I had someone else to report to, now I have no one else to report to but the innocent you kill,” he said. “I am not afraid to use strongest measures in law on you … I am coming for you.”Marape, who became leader in May, cited a lack of police on the ground as a major problem in a region that has for years grappled with violence, sometimes driven by disputes over the distribution of resource wealth.Last year, aid workers bringing relief supplies to the area’s district town of Tari after a big earthquake were ordered out and the army was sent in to quell tribal disputes. Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook By Reuters |Sydney | Published: July 10, 2019 2:17:43 pm Advertisinglast_img read more

Samsungs Foldable Smartphone Slated for Next Year Report

first_imgThe unsubsidized retail price of the foldable device will be “at least $2,200,” Hyers suggested. However, “suppliers and our own bill of materials analysis put an upper limit of $2,500 retail.”Initial unit volumes will be “fairly low,” he said, “but once production ramps up into the millions in 2020, the price will come down as carriers introduce subsidies in order to drive volume.”Pricing will be “a huge issue,” Hyers acknowledged, “but, given the small volumes initially available, it will sell out.”Other vendors — including Huawei and possibly LG and Oppo — will launch their own foldable devices in 2H 2019, said Hyers, but Samsung “will have first-mover advantage.” Their volumes “will be much smaller than Samsung’s [because] Samsung has a near monopoly on the display technology at this time.”Apple “is unlikely to introduce its own foldable smartphone until at least 2020, and possibly 2021,” he predicted, because it won’t do so until display volumes “are high enough to support a global model launch.” Fewer than 1 million foldable display smartphones will be shipped in 2019.”There is a race to be first to market with a foldable display,” IHS’ Schneemann noted. However, “success will likely be defined differently than with a traditional handset. A success for Samsung could be to launch the device successfully without major quality issues, setting up a differentiated form factor for the future.” Foldable phones would be “better for videos and generally better for reading” because of their larger main screen, Enderle said. They would offer “far more flexibility,” but the trade-offs would be on weight, thickness, cost, battery life and durability. Pricing and Competition Foldables “will serve as a replacement for tablets and potentially laptops,” Strategy Analytics’ Hyers suggested. “For me, most flagship smartphones with displays of 6 inches or more are too large to comfortably fit in a pocket, but I still want the large display.”He currently travels with a laptop, a second display, a couple of smartphones and a tablet, and a foldable smartphone “would allow me to ditch the tablet.” In the future, as Samsung’s DeX pad solution gets better, “I might be able to ditch the laptop too.”Also, the larger form factor “will allow other changes in the device, such as adding neurotrophic chips for on-device AI, more powerful GPUs and other technologies,” Hyers said, along with “demonstrating the potential of 5G networks.”Service providers will need to subsidize the foldable phones, he said. “Given that these devices, with their larger screens, will drive higher data use through increased video consumption and gaming, operators will be more willing to do so as they will drive higher tariffs.” If delays should occur, they might be due to production problems such as low yield or quality issues during stress testing or software platform implementation, suggested Gerritt Schneemann, senior research analyst at IHS Markit.”There will need to be some changes to the interface to address the changing form factor,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This was one of the main problems with the ZTE Axon M. Unlike ZTE, Samsung has enough scale to get developers interested — potentially.”Ensuring quality and reliability for the display, batteries and other components will be major hurdles, Schneemann noted. Also, the software experience has to match.The foldable Samsung smartphone will run Android, he said. “If the experience is essentially an Android tablet software port, I think users will be dissatisfied.”The first versions “will have issues that make them more niche than mainstream,” predicted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.”A lot of stuff needs to get resolved — battery life, durability of the screen, and how well the device morphs between smartphone and tablet modes,” he told TechNewsWorld.These issues indicate that it will “take a few years to mature this offering,” Enderle said. Samsung plans to launch a foldable-screen smartphone early next year, according to a Wall Street Journal report, possibly priced at US$1,500.The company was making progress on the foldable phone, DJ Koh, CEO of Samsung’s mobile division, told Cnet at the Galaxy S9 launch earlier this year.Samsung displayed the foldable smartphone, known as the “Galaxy X,” at CES 2018 in private meetings with potential customers, and it plans to begin production in November, according to The Investor, an English business publication based in South Korea.Samsung’s foldable phone will resemble a book, with the main display inside the covers, said Ken Hyers, director of the emerging device strategies service at Strategy Analytics. The exterior will have a smaller notification display on the front, and a camera, or cameras, on the back.The main display will have a 7.3-inch screen, he told TechNewsWorld. The foldable smartphone may have a 3,000 mAh battery or larger, because “the larger display will drive higher power consumption, meaning that a bigger battery would be better.”However, the combination of a very large display along with the other components necessary to make a folding smartphone, as well as the need for effective heat dissipation, “means that there’s little room left for a +3,000 mAh battery” if the device were standard-sized, Hyers noted.The foldable form factor “means the overall device will be larger, even when folded, than a standard smartphone. Future versions will undoubtedly have larger batteries,” he said. Foldable Phone Pros and Cons The Launch Timing Bumps in the Road “I’ve just been traveling in Asia talking to smartphone vendors and suppliers about foldable display technology,” Hyers said, adding that he had “99 percent confidence” that Samsung will launch the foldable smartphone as expected, “barring some last minute technology snafu that limits yield.”The device likely will be released in Q1, Hyers said. “Early talk was that CES 2019 (in January) would see its launch, but the Mobile World Congress in February is looking more likely.”Samsung doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation, company rep Amber Reaver told TechNewsWorld. Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.last_img read more

Novel technique potentially more effective in fighting against ovarian cancer

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 30 2018Instead of destroying a tumors’ blood supply, a first-ever University of Guelph study has proven that opening up the vessels is potentially more effective when it comes to fighting ovarian cancer.This is because open vessels provide a clear pathway for treatment to attack the tumor.”There hasn’t been much hope for women with ovarian cancer,” said Prof. Jim Petrik, lead author of the ground-breaking study. “What we are working on has never been done before and it has the potential to make a significant impact on effective treatment.”Published recently in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the study is the first to investigate the impact of establishing a healthy blood supply to the tumor prior to treatment in mice models with an advanced stage of ovarian cancer.Current treatment has focused on destroying all the blood vessels and starving the tumor, but it has had poor success, said Petrik.”When you cut off a tumors’ blood supply it often becomes more aggressive,” he said. “We developed an approach where you only kill off the dysfunctional blood vessels. The result is a smaller, calmer tumor with a good blood supply. Once you have established an effective vascular system, you can use that system to get treatment to the tumor.”The study was conducted on mice models with an advanced stage of ovarian cancer because this type of cancer often goes undetected until the late stages when survival is low. The current mortality rate for ovarian cancer is 80 per cent.The first step was to prune the blood vessels supplying the tumor. Tumors grow at an intense rate and this rapid growth results in a vast, yet dysfunctional, blood supply. Once a smaller, healthier blood supply to the tumor was created, the mice were then treated with an oncolytic virus. This novel treatment uses viruses to infect and kill cancer cells and also stimulate anti-tumor responses in the body.Related StoriesUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerNew study to ease plight of patients with advanced cancerSpecial blood test may predict relapse risk for breast cancer patients”Using an oncolytic virus to treat ovarian cancer is currently underway in human clinical trials, but the success rate is very low. It’s difficult to get the virus to the tumor because of its dysfunctional vascular system.”By pruning the vessels to create a normal blood supply to the tumor, Petrik was able to dramatically increase the uptake and activity of the virus.”Using this combination of treatment we saw the tumor regress from an advanced state, but even more importantly we eradicated the spread of the cancer cells,” said Petrik. “With this type of cancer, the tumor will grow in the ovary to a large size and then typically spread to the abdomen causing perforation of the gut or sepsis. Women die from the metastatic nature of the disease not from the tumor.”Targeting the tumors’ blood supply and improving it rather than destroying it could also help other treatments, including chemotherapy, which are delivered through the vascular system, he added.”The treatment for ovarian cancer hasn’t really progressed in four decades. There are limited therapeutic advances, but these findings show that we may be able to improve the effectiveness of our current treatments if we improve the delivery system.” Source:https://news.uoguelph.ca/2018/10/novel-technique-can-potentially-improve-success-of-ovarian-cancer-treatment-study-reveals/last_img read more

Highintensity interval exercise could help combat cognitive dysfunction in obese people

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 10 2018It’s fast-paced, takes less time to do, and burns a lot of calories. High-intensity interval exercise is widely recognized as the most time-efficient and effective way to exercise. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from Florida Atlantic University have discovered another important health benefit of these short bursts of intense exercise with rest intervals. It could also be an effective strategy to prevent and combat cognitive dysfunction in obese individuals.Obesity reduces the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein in the brain that promotes the survival of nerve cells or neurons. Lower levels of this protein are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and obesity. Although studies have shown that obesity is a risk factor for cognitive dysfunction, the mechanisms of this relationship are not fully understood.To-date, studies on exercise and BDNF response in obese populations have only used continuous moderate-intensity exercise without rest intervals. FAU researchers and collaborators from the University of Texas at Austin and Purdue University, are the first to examine the modulatory role of obesity on exercise-induced BDNF release and to use an acute high-intensity interval exercise protocol as a practical model to measure the phenomena of BDNF release in both obese and normal-weight subjects. They also examined the potential relationship of exercise-induced BDNF with blood lactate and cortisol.Results of study, published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine, show that the BDNF response to acute high-intensity interval exercise was greater than continuous moderate-intensity exercise in obese subjects when compared to normal-weight subjects. Similarly, although acute high-intensity interval exercise induced greater blood lactate and plasma cortisol levels than continuous moderate-intensity exercise, obese subjects produced less blood lactate, but showed no difference in cortisol than normal-weight subjects.These findings suggest that acute high-intensity interval exercise may be a more effective protocol to upregulate BDNF expression in an obese population, independent of increased lactate and cortisol levels.”High-intensity interval exercise is a time-efficient strategy with similar or superior physiological benefits that promotes the expression of a growth factor typically associated with brain health, yet that appears to be down regulated in obesity,” said Chun-Jung (Phil) Huang, Ph.D., lead author and an associate professor in the Exercise Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of Exercise Science and Health Promotion, in FAU’s College of Education. “The relative simplicity and efficacy of high-intensity interval exercise supports its use as a preventive measure and as an intervention to combat obesity and other chronic disease conditions.”Related StoriesExercise during pregnancy can promote bone health of both mother and childHarnessing target of the brain chemical serotonin to combat obesityNew anti-obesity drug trial set to launch at Alberta Diabetes InstituteFor the study, male subjects participated in a counterbalanced and caloric equated experiment of high-intensity interval exercise. The high-intensity interval exercise protocol consisted of a five minute walking or jogging warm-up, followed by four high-intensity intervals lasting four minutes each, followed by three minutes of active recovery followed by each high-intensity interval. Blood samples were collected prior to, immediately following exercise, and an hour into recovery for measurements of serum BDNF, blood lactate, and plasma cortisol.Other findings from the study show statistically significant differences between the obese and normal-weight groups for body weight, BMI, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, and waist/hip circumferences and ratio. In addition, both the obese and normal-weight groups had comparable heart rate responses during both exercise protocols, demonstrating a similar relative exercise intensity and effort between groups. Therefore, the BDNF response was likely not influenced by disparities between aerobic fitness, with a greater level in obese subjects than normal-weight subjects following acute high-intensity interval exercise vs. continuous moderate-intensity exercise.”Increased levels of cortisol have been shown to down regulate BDNF expression, however, this relationship in response to exercise still remains equivocal,” Huang. “Specifically, our study and others, did not observe any correlation between cortisol and BDNF following either acute high-intensity exercise or continuous moderate-intensity exercise protocol, yet, the report of such is opposite.”Aerobic training has been shown to not only provide beneficial anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits, but also reductions in age-related cognitive decline. It also has been shown to preserve brain volume and potentially improve blood flow.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 93.3 million Americans were classified as obese in 2016. The annual medical costs of obesity were estimated at around $147 billion in 2008. Source:http://www.fau.edu/newsdesk/articles/hiie-obesity-cognition.phplast_img read more

UNCled scientists receive 51 million grant to combat cervical cancer in Malawi

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 7 2019Backed by a $5.1 million grant, University of North Carolina and University of Malawi College of Medicine physicians and scientists will launch a multi-pronged effort to combat cervical cancer in Malawi, a country in sub-Saharan Africa where cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women.The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, will fund a total of $12 million for two new programs to prevent cervical cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, including the project in Malawi and one in Mozambique.”By screening women, we are able to detect and treat precancerous changes before they develop into cervical cancer,” said Jennifer Tang, MD, MSCR, co-principal investigator of the study for UNC, associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology’s Division of Global Women’s Health and a member of the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases Malawi site. “Because women in Malawi weren’t getting screened, they were getting diagnosed very late. A late cervical cancer diagnosis is usually a death sentence in Malawi. That is why we’re trying to screen as many women as possible using a highly sensitive test, and to treat the women with evidence of precancerous lesions the same day. This increases the number of women screened and treated, and decreases loss to follow up.”Globally, the majority of cervical cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization. The disease is linked to the sexual transmission of HPV, or human papillomavirus.Malawi has the second-highest cervical cancer rate of any country in the world, according to 2018 estimates from the HPV Information Centre. That is due to high rates of HPV as well as HIV, and low population-level screening and vaccination, said Satish Gopal, MD, MPH, member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, cancer program director for UNC Project-Malawi and an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Division of Hematology/Oncology.In 2004, the Malawi Cervical Cancer Control Program set a target of screening 80 percent of eligible women for cervical cancer. Yet, less than a third had completed this screening as of 2015, according to data from the program.”Progress is being made, but there is a tremendous amount still to do to stem the cervical cancer epidemic,” said Gopal. “We need to understand how to most efficiently deliver the preventive services to the highest number of women, and avert these unnecessary cancer deaths.”With the new funds, UNC-Chapel Hill and the Malawi College of Medicine will evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of integrating self-collection HPV testing into voluntary family planning clinics and community-based sites in Malawi. The researchers also are planning to investigate the effectiveness of treating precancerous lesions using a method known as thermocoagulation in a “screen-and-treat” strategy.”We couldn’t be more proud of this team of U.S.- and African-trained investigators receiving such a large award to better understand the global burden of cervical cancer,” said Myron Cohen, MD, director of the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases. “UNC faculty and staff from across the campus have worked hard over the past 25 years to build a self-sustaining model of clinical care, research and training in Malawi for health professionals from the United States and in-country to succeed and improve health for all. This grant exemplifies this mission.”Recent technological advances have made the project possible, Tang said. HPV testing can now be completed rapidly to determine if a woman has a strain of the virus that is high-risk for causing cervical cancer. With the results, providers can determine which women might need same-day treatment of precancerous cervical lesions. Thermocoagulation involves using a portable, battery-operated device that can easily be used in settings with limited resources, she said.Related StoriesUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsSugary drinks linked to cancer finds study”Transportation is one of the biggest barriers to treatment for women in Malawi, along with cost,” she said. “We’re trying to save women from having to come to the clinic multiple times, spending money and time they don’t have. As soon as we find a problem, we are treating it immediately.”UNC physicians and researchers have been collaborating with Malawian health leaders since 1990 to provide clinical care and research for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. This partnership led to the establishment of the UNC Project-Malawi site in Lilongwe. As prevention and treatment interventions have improved the survival rates of people living with HIV in Malawi, cancer has emerged as a growing health problem in the country. In 2014, the Malawi Cancer Consortium was launched with funding from the National Cancer Institute to help fight cancer, and HIV-associated cancers in particular.Last year, Malawian leaders traveled to UNC-Chapel Hill to meet with Carolina leadership, physicians and scientists to prepare for the opening of Malawi’s first dedicated cancer center, which is expected this year and is being built adjacent to UNC Project-Malawi.The newly funded cervical cancer project builds on the results of a pilot study led by Lameck Chinula, MMED, FCOG, who is co-principal investigator for this project and the first Malawian-trained obstetrician and gynecologist at UNC Project-Malawi. During the pilot study, more than 400 rural women were screened for cervical cancer using a community-based screening approach, and then treated with thermocoagulation if they were found to have precancerous lesions.Chinula, who is also a research assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was trained in South Africa through funding from the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases partnership with the Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program and the Gilead Training Fellowship. To address another critical need, he was also trained to perform the surgical procedure used to treat invasive cervical cancer – radical hysterectomy – by two U.S. gynecologic oncology specialists. Chinula now strives to educate other clinicians, and Malawian women in general, to stop cervical cancer before it becomes deadly.”We would like to see providers maximize any contacts they have with women and use the most efficient, culturally-sensitive screening test available to identify patients needing treatment for cervical pre-cancer,” Chinula said. “By allowing women to self-collect specimens for HPV testing, we hope to empower and increase the number of women screened. As a clinician-researcher who has had to deliver the bad news of an incurable cervical cancer diagnosis in Malawi, I can look to the future with hope that a day will come when these diagnoses will be a rare occurrence.”According to the USAID, this is the first time the agency has funded programs to prevent cervical cancer in the context of broader women’s health, other than under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). These new programs in Malawi and Mozambique will coordinate closely with PEPFAR investments in both countries.”Women who aren’t screened and treated for cervical cancer have a higher risk of dying of this preventable disease,” said UNC Lineberger’s Jennifer S. Smith, PhD, professor of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. “We need to do all that we can to increase cervical screening rates globally. We’re testing a self-sampling technology that should increase screening coverage dramatically, but we do have unanswered questions about implementation within existing health care systems and cost. Study findings will inform future policy and implementation, not only for self-collection tests in Malawi, but other countries.”Source: http://unclineberger.org/news/unc-led-team-awarded-5-1mlast_img read more

Patients question how FDA approves medical devices

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 6 2019There’s no doubt that surgically implanted medical devices can improve lives.Hip and knee replacements can help people regain their mobility. Drug pumps can deliver doses of pain-relieving medicine on demand. And metal rods can stabilize spines and broken bones.But implanted devices can also do serious damage, as happened to Mechel Keel, who lives in Owosso, Mich.To fix her leaky bladder, an OB-GYN stitched a flexible mesh strap inside her pelvis in 2004. But within months, the mesh hardened and started cutting her insides.The pain kept her from returning to her job as a hairdresser. The injuries and scar tissue that developed required multiple surgeries to correct and also resulted in chronic infections.Keel said she understands why her doctor in Tennessee thought the high-tech mesh would help. But she also now feels she was treated like “a guinea pig.”“We were the testers,” she said. “There was no animal testing done. We were the animals.”Thousands of cases of complications from surgical mesh have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration. More and more ailments are being treated these days with medical devices, including implants. And most of these medical devices, unlike pills in a medicine cabinet, don’t go through human testing before being offered to patients.But some devices break down or malfunction in people’s bodies, and reports about sometimes debilitating injuries have led the FDA to rethink how it assesses medical devices before allowing them to be sold.For devices in which failure is obviously life-threatening, regulators have required some sort of human testing as part of the most stringent path — known as premarket approval. But most medical devices enter the market after manufacturers provide technical information and show that the devices are similar to others that have been legally sold previously.The FDA has acknowledged that some seemingly safe devices have caused major problems, and the agency has elevated the risk level of those products following reports of injuries, as it did with urogynecologic surgical mesh for some uses in 2016. “Unfortunately, the FDA cannot always know the full extent of the benefits and risks of a device before it reaches the market,” the agency said in a recent statement.“We have things like metal-on-metal hips,” said health journalist Jeanne Lenzer about a kind of orthopedic implant. “Outside the body, [they] seem to function just fine. They put them in little machines, rock them back and forth — they don’t break. [But] put them inside people, and something very different happens.”There have been massive recalls of hip implants, for example, due to devices causing swelling and pain. And there have been problems with weakened bones in patients who received hip implants that contained plastic.Lenzer wrote a scathing book, “The Danger Within Us,” about the device industry and said she was “dumbfounded” to find out how many devices never went through human testing the way drugs do.That’s in part because of a regulatory review process known as 510(k) for a section of the FDA law covering medical devices. Manufacturers typically show their product has “substantial equivalence” to a “predicate device” that has already been legally marketed.That standard can perpetuate problems. “You just say your device is like an old device, and the old device was never tested, nor was your device,” Lenzer said.In practice, sometimes the basis for a whole family tree of devices turns out to be defective. Pelvic mesh is a relevant example, with much of what’s on the market being based on mesh that was around prior to implementation of FDA regulations for medical devices in 1976. One study found that 16 percent of mesh on the market was designed like products that had been pulled from the market because of safety concerns.Thousands of women have filed suit — or reached settlements — with medical device companies that manufacture pelvic mesh.“I would want nothing if you could just give me my life back,” said Gloria Jones of Hillsdale, Mich., who is one of thousands who have settled with device manufacturers over faulty mesh. “They could have given me millions, but all I needed was my life back.”Jones, who has struggled to continue working through crippling abdominal pain as a middle school special-education teaching assistant, has had four surgeries to remove pieces and continues to require intravenous drugs to control infections.Related StoriesLipid-lowering drugs are underutilized for preventing atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseaseBariatric surgery should be offered to all patients who would benefitNew technology to harvest energy from the human knee“It seems like I get off one antibiotic, and three days later I have another one,” she said. “I would beg anybody who is even thinking of putting mesh in their bodies to stop and get a second opinion.”In response to problems reported with mesh, the FDA started requiring human testing for some of these products in recent years. The agency held an advisory committee meeting on Feb. 12 to discuss the safety and effectiveness of mesh and how it should be regulated.Manufacturers by and large have said they don’t oppose what the FDA is trying to do, calling the changes reasonable. But they have pushed back against calls to bring regulation of medical devices in line with that of pharmaceuticals.“If you’re treating someone for high cholesterol, the testing that you go through to ensure safety and effectiveness on a chemical that’s going to be used in your body to control your cholesterol is just very different than it would be for the implantation of a heart valve,” said Scott Whitaker, CEO of AdvaMed, a trade association for medical device companies. “Honestly, it’s apples and oranges.”Whitaker dismisses the idea that devices, which range from tongue depressors to surgical robots, should all go through human trials.“Testing should be as complete and as thorough and as ethical and as appropriate as possible. But it doesn’t all fit the same and can’t all fit the same standard,” Whitaker said. “And while we always strive for 100 percent, there are times when something might not go according to plan. It could also be because the surgery didn’t go as was planned.”The FDA declined NPR’s request for an interview. But the agency has released some written justification for the regulatory revamp.“We believe firmly in the merits of the 510(k) process,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a November statement, noting that applications have more than doubled in size to an average of 1,185 pages. “But we also believe that framework needs to be modernized to reflect advances in technology, safety and the capabilities of a new generation of medical devices.”In the same statement, the agency addressed some specific shortcomings and charted plans to make changes to the process over the next few months: Dr. Michael Matheny, a Vanderbilt University professor who tracks medical devices, approves of the FDA’s incremental approach and calls it thoughtful.“It would really be unfortunate if patients wouldn’t consider any medical devices at all to be used in their bodies,” Matheny said. “But I do think being aware that there’s nothing without risk is also important.”Matheny notes, though, that in some ways the risks can be more profound for devices than medication. If the FDA recalls pills, a patient can at least stop taking them immediately, he said. With implanted devices, patients are sort of stuck, at least for a while — and that’s if surgeons can even safely remove them.This story is part of a partnership that includes Nashville Public Radio, NPR and Kaiser Health News. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.center_img Pushing back on manufacturers that base any new device’s marketing application on one that’s more than 10 years old; More actively watching how devices perform once they’re on the market, rather than relying on patients to report problems; Scrapping the 510(k) name for something more descriptive, such as the “Safety and Performance Based Pathway.”last_img read more

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