上海419论坛,上海龙凤419,爱上海 – Powered by Piper Enzo!

Blood test in early pregnancy could determine a womans later risk for

by admin
first_imgAug 16 2018A blood test conducted as early as the 10th week of pregnancy may help identify women at risk for gestational diabetes, a pregnancy-related condition that poses potentially serious health risks for mothers and infants, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions. The study appears in Scientific Reports.Gestational diabetes occurs only in pregnancy and results when the level of blood sugar, or glucose, rises too high. Gestational diabetes increases the mother's chances for high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy and the need for cesarean delivery, and the risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes later in life. For infants, gestational diabetes increases the risk for large birth size. Unless they have a known risk factor, such as obesity, women typically are screened for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.In the current study, researchers evaluated whether the HbA1c test (also called the A1C test), commonly used to diagnose type 2 diabetes, could identify signs of gestational diabetes in the first trimester of pregnancy. The test approximates the average blood glucose levels over the previous 2 or 3 months, based on the amount of glucose that has accumulated on the surface of red blood cells. According to the authors, comparatively few studies have examined whether the HbA1c test could help identify the risk for gestational diabetes, and these studies have been limited to women already at high risk for the condition. The test is not currently recommended to diagnose gestational diabetes at any point in pregnancy.The researchers analyzed records from the NICHD Fetal Growth Study, a large observational study that recruited more than 2,000 low-risk pregnant women from 12 U.S. clinical sites between 2009 and 2013. The researchers compared HbA1c test results from 107 women who later developed gestational diabetes to test results from 214 women who did not develop the condition. Most of the women had tests at four intervals during pregnancy: early (weeks 8-13), middle (weeks 16-22 and 24-29) and late (weeks 34-37).Related StoriesMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorMetformin use linked to lower risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetesDiabetes patients experiencing empathy from PCPs have beneficial long-term clinical outcomesWomen who went on to develop gestational diabetes had higher HbA1c levels (an average of 5.3 percent), compared to those without gestational diabetes (an average HbA1c level of 5.1 percent). Each .1 percent increase in HbA1c above 5.1 percent in early pregnancy was associated with a 22-percent higher risk for gestational diabetes.In middle pregnancy, HbA1c levels declined for both groups. However, HbA1c levels increased in the final third of pregnancy, which is consistent with the decrease in sensitivity to insulin that often occurs during this time period."Our results suggest that the HbA1C test potentially could help identify women at risk for gestational diabetes early in pregnancy, when lifestyle changes may be more effective in reducing their risk," said the study's senior author, Cuilin Zhang, Ph.D., of the Epidemiology Branch at NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.Exercise and a healthy diet may lower blood glucose levels during pregnancy. If these measures are not successful, physicians may prescribe insulin to bring blood glucose under control.The authors noted that further studies are needed to confirm whether measuring HbA1c levels in early pregnancy could determine a woman's later risk for gestational diabetes. Similarly, research is needed to determine whether lowering HbA1c with lifestyle changes, either in early pregnancy or before pregnancy, could reduce the risk for the condition.Source: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/releases/081618-gestational-diabeteslast_img
Continue Reading

Experts present arguments both against and supporting sugar consumption

by admin
first_imgIn a Letter to the Editor, James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, and James H. O'Keefe, MD, of the Department of Preventive Cardiology, Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, MI, USA, provide strong criticisms to Dr. Archer's positions by arguing that dietary sugar (either glucose, sucrose, or high-fructose corn syrup) is not necessary for life, and that humans did not consume refined sucrose or high fructose corn syrup throughout most of their evolution.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancer"The truth is you really can't outrun a bad diet, especially when it comes to overconsuming refined sugar. While it's true that exercise may reduce the risk of obesity from overconsuming refined sugar, it doesn't prevent dental cavities, inflammation of the gums, or inflammation that occurs in the intestine, liver, and kidneys when the body processes large amounts of sugar," say Dr. DiNicolantonio and Dr. O'Keefe. "Healthy populations that consume fairly high amounts of raw honey who also live hunter-gatherer lifestyles should not be used as an example to give an industrialized sedentary population an excuse to overconsume refined sugar. Importantly, raw honey is not the same as refined sugar."In his rebuttal, Dr. Archer reasserts that obesity and metabolic diseases are caused by the confluence of physical inactivity and non-genetic evolutionary processes over many generations. He points out that by the late 1940s, both the life- and health-spans in the USA had increased dramatically despite half of all infants being reared on infant formula - a 100 percent artificial/synthetic product containing around 40 percent of calories from added sugars (e.g., lactose, sucrose, glucose, fructose, and/or corn syrup). He concludes: "It is time for the medical and scientific communities to return to their roots, eschew magical and miraculous thinking, and demonstrate a modicum of skepticism by refuting the illiterate nonsense and puritanical proscriptions engendered by diet-centrism."In an accompanying Editorial, Carl J. "Chip" Lavie, MD, FACC, FACP, FCCP, of the Ochsner Clinical School, The University of Queensland School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA, and Editor of Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, states his personal belief that the ill effects of sugar have been over-emphasized by scientists and, especially, by the media. "Most sedentary people who are gaining weight and/or have high glucose and/or triglycerides should limit their carbohydrates and, especially, simple sugars, but for lean physically active individuals without these characteristics, sugars and carbohydrates are not toxic and, in fact, are probably helpful." Dr. Lavie, however, feels it is important to have the scientists discuss opposing viewpoints in the journal. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 28 2018Over the past 50 years researchers, clinicians, professional organizations, and health charities have waged war on sugar, calling for dietary recommendations to be changed and for a sugar tax on soft drinks and sweet treats in an effort to reduce obesity and cardiovascular diseases. In 2014, the WHO recommended that adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than ten percent of their total energy intake. But could the war on sugar be bad for your health? Experts present the arguments both for and against sugar in this hotly contested debate on the "Sugar Wars" published in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.In his article, Edward Archer, PhD, of EvolvingFX, Jupiter, FL, USA, challenged the latest dietary recommendations and presented evidence from multiple domains to show that "diet" is a necessary but trivial factor in metabolic health. "Anti-sugar rhetoric is simply diet-centric disease-mongering engendered by physiologic illiteracy," he wrote. "My position is that dietary sugars are not responsible for obesity or metabolic diseases and that the consumption of simple sugars and sugar-polymers (e.g., starches) up to 75 percent of total daily caloric intake is innocuous in healthy individuals."In defense of sugar, Dr. Archer argues that: Source:https://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/research-and-journals/the-sugar-wars-rhetoric-or-reasoncenter_img Biological life depends on sugar in its many forms, for example, sugars and sugar-polymers are major nutritive constituents of many foods and beverages including breast milk, dairy products, fruit, fruit juices, honey, sucrose (i.e., table sugar; a disaccharide of glucose, and fructose), sugar-sweetened beverages, rice, beans, potatoes, wheat, corn, quinoa, and other cereal grains. Sugars and sugar-polymers have played critical roles in both human evolution and dietary history and were the major sources of nutrient-energy (calories) for most of the global population throughout human history. "Diet-centric" researchers often ignore the fact that physical activity, not diet, is the major modifiable determinant of metabolic health. The consumption of dietary sugars up to 80 percent of total energy intake is entirely innocuous in active populations. There is strong, positive association between sugar availability/consumption and health. Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus are not diet-related diseases but are metabolic conditions caused by the positive energy balance (i.e., over-nutrition) driven by physical inactivity in past and current generations.last_img
Continue Reading

QA How the Franco dictatorship destroyed Spanish science

by admin
first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Francisco Franco ruled over Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. His nationalist, authoritarian regime had a brutal grip on the country's political and cultural life—but also on science, according to Education, science and ideology in Spain (1890–1950), a recent book published in Spanish. In it, Manuel Castillo Martos and Juan Luis Rubio Mayoral show that Francoism smothered research and relied on Opus Dei, a conservative Catholic institution, to police academic life.ScienceInsider talked to Castillo Martos; this exchange has been edited for brevity and clarity. 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 Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)center_img Email Q: You studied chemistry during Franco's dictatorship in the 1960s. What did you yourself experience at university at the time?A: I remember taking a biology class by Pedro Castro Barea, who imbued his teaching with liberal, humanist principles. I could see the difference with other, more conservative lecturers. Before I had him as a lecturer, Castro Barea was ousted from the university for 5 years, then accepted back in but demoted as part of Franco's depuración, or “purging.”Q: What did "purging" mean?A: In the book, we explain that “purging committees” were created in each Spanish university to identify academics that the government wanted to remove based on their political or religious ideas. Some were removed from their university chair, others could not return to the university at all, some were jailed. Some could not leave the country, but many academics left—including over a hundred who went into exile in Mexico.Q: What other means did Franco's regime use to control academic inquiry?A: We found unpublished data about prohibitions in Spanish universities banning Darwin's books. The Franco regime defended the literalism of the Bible, which was considered an infallible account, inspired by the word of God. Scientific ideas that contradicted it, such as Darwinist evolution, were considered unacceptable. For example, in the last years of Francoism, religious censors prohibited science broadcaster Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente from using the phrase “the sea, the cradle of life” on public television.Q: You write that in 1937, Franco dissolved the Board for the Advancement of Studies and Scientific Research (JAE), set up in 1909 to promote Spanish science and exchanges with foreign researchers.A: The modernization of science under the JAE was stopped by the Spanish Civil War [between Republicans and Franco's nationalists]. Franco was determined to bury the spirit of renewal that [the] JAE represented. The regime kept the infrastructure but destroyed everything else, including grants to send Spanish scientists abroad or invite foreign scientists to Spain.Q: Then in 1939, Franco created what today is the largest public science body in Spain, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). How did it differ from the JAE?A: Under Franco, the CSIC was in the hands of the Opus Dei. That's the reality. The spirit of the JAE years was gone completely. But those who were responsible for repression against researchers were the political authorities, not the CSIC as an institution.Q: How did Spanish science recover after Franco's dictatorship ended?A: After 1975, we saw a return to the JAE's spirit, helping professors to spend time abroad. I myself spent time in Germany after my doctorate. I think the CSIC has gotten completely over its early history and reached a high scientific level. It carries out international research projects and has opened up to all continents. But in the past few years, it's suffered severe budget cuts, so we're seeing a decline again. There's a latent neo-Francoism under the current [conservative] government.Q: Are dictatorships in general bad for science?A: We see similarities between what happened in Spain and other dictatorships in Portugal, Greece, or Germany. Science, and knowledge in general, have to develop and progress free from any ideological bonds, be they religious or political. That's what no dictatorial regime can tolerate or admit.last_img
Continue Reading

NIH refocuses research into chronic fatigue syndrome

by admin
first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img In the wake of mounting criticism that researchers pay scant attention to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced that it is increasing efforts to figure out what causes the baffling illness and to find treatments for it.NIH Director Francis Collins told Science that some investigators have long shied away from studying ME/CFS because it has been a “tumultuous” research arena, with high-profile leads that imploded and a vocal advocacy community. The attitude among many researchers has been “maybe this is an unsolvable problem, let’s just work on something else,” Collins says. “I’m happy to say we’re countering that attitude rather strongly here.”NIH has not committed new funding to ME/CFS research, but its Clinical Center plans to launch a study of people shortly after they develop related symptoms from a probable but as yet unidentified infection. (Symptoms of the disease range from neurological and cognitive problems to immune and sleep abnormalities.) NIH also is moving oversight of ME/CFS research from the Office of Research on Women’s Health to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Disease advocate Robert Miller, whom Collins called this morning before making the announcement, applauds both the decision and the patient population for its effective lobbying. “For the patient population this is huge,” says Miller, a former coal miner who lives in Reno, Nevada, and developed the disease in 1982 after a bout with the flu. “One of the really key things is that we’re basically being moved out of Siberia,” says Miller, referring to the shift from the poorly funded women’s health branch to NINDS.NIH currently spends only $5 million on the disease, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates affects more than 1 million Americans. Its “renewed research focus” comes in the wake of an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report released in February that said “remarkably little research funding” had gone toward understanding causation, pathophysiology, and treatment of ME/CFS. Collins says the IOM report—which also called for renaming ME/CFS “systemic exertion intolerance disease,” a moniker that has received little traction—is only one factor behind the new NIH agenda. “I’ve been troubled about the lack of answers we have for this condition since I became NIH director,” says Collins, who took the job in 2009.Miller says “it would be nice if they had put a dollar amount” on NIH’s new research push, but he says he was convinced by Collins’s assurance that the purse strings will loosen. “In the past, they said, ‘There’s not enough science to put more money into it,’” he says. “They’re not doing that now.”Collins says NINDS Director Walter Koroshetz is “determined to move pretty fast on this,” including soon issuing a new request for proposals to extramural researchers. “Give us a chance to prove we’re serious, because we are,” Collins says.last_img
Continue Reading

Surprise nuclear strike Heres how well figure out who did it

by admin
first_imgStill, the testing program was a proving ground for postdetonation forensics. The U.S. national labs “put together some very good radiochemical procedures for analyzing debris,” says Hall, a radiochemist. Fallout is a mélange of the vaporized environment—soil and structures that were near the blast—laced with fission products (radioisotopes created when fissile materials like uranium or plutonium fission), activation products (radioisotopes formed when the blast radiation transmutes shielding and other bomb components), and residual nuclear material. The precise constituents vary according to a weapon’s design—whether it’s a simple gun-triggered uranium device, for example, or an intricate hydrogen bomb.“Each type of weapon has a distinct fingerprint,” says Michael Pochet, a U.S. Air Force electrical engineer detailed to DTRA. In plutonium bombs, for example, the fissile isotope is plutonium-239, made in nuclear reactors and extracted by reprocessing spent fuel, which contains a mix of plutonium isotopes and other actinides like americium. Detecting those nuclei indicates that the bomb’s core was plutonium. Their proportions hold clues to the bomb’s history, says Joel Ullom, a physicist at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, who, with colleagues at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, has developed a superconducting sensor that speedily differentiates plutonium isotopes.The ratio between plutonium isotopes and americium-241, a decay product of plutonium-241, “can tell you the time since the plutonium was chemically purified,” Ullom says. Americium is removed during reprocessing, so as the freshly separated plutonium ages, americium starts accumulating again. Hall, meanwhile, is developing faster methods to analyze lanthanides, the 15 rare earth elements that, with the radioactive actinides, are key constituents of fallout. The mix of lanthanides and actinides reveals information about the weapon’s shielding, for example, and the energy of the neutrons that bombarded it. He intends to fit his gas phase separation apparatus onto a “flyaway lab”: a skid that can be deployed quickly in the event of an attack.To ground-truth these analytical techniques, researchers at Livermore and other national labs are producing surrogate fallout representing different bomb types. The scientists have pressed into service the National Ignition Facility at Livermore, one of the world’s most powerful lasers, which Kristo calls “a ready source” of neutrons at energies comparable to those produced in the deuterium-tritium fusion reactions that power a hydrogen bomb.Hall’s team is cooking up another type of test sample for postdetonation forensics: artificial melt glass. The real thing forms when an atomic inferno instantly melts anything having the misfortune of being at ground zero. The glass varies with the explosion site, but different bomb specs also produce unique melt glasses, providing clues about what happened. Hall’s group has developed a recipe book of melt glass for any geographic location based on a “witch’s brew” of the bomb’s fissile material and explosive yield, its detonation point, and the local geology and construction materials.The team reproduced trinitite, the green-hued glass left by the Trinity test, the first U.S. nuclear detonation, which took place in 1945 at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. They have also baked up specimens for Houston, Texas, where the glass-dominated architecture would yield a grayish glass if nuked, and for New York City, whose iron-heavy construction leads to a darker, volcanic-looking glass.ATOMIC BLASTS ALSO UNLEASH an electromagnetic pulse—a blitzkrieg of gamma rays, x-rays, and radio waves that instantly fries most nearby electronics—as well as intense light, seismic waves, air pressure waves, and infrasound. All may provide information on the type of bomb and its origin. In the 1940s, scientists began designing sensors to capture these signals, first at White Sands and then primarily at the Nevada Test Site, where the United States detonated 928 bombs.Now, DTRA is leading a government-wide effort to upgrade those sensors and link them up in an array, called Discreet Oculus, which can be deployed in and around cities. “We’ve repurposed the sensors for an urban environment,” Cartledge says. That required devising algorithms to account for how cityscapes deflect or absorb various types of waves, for instance, and filtering out noise from sources such as subways, the vibrations of which could interfere with interpreting vibrations from the detonation.Mighty Saber set out to test the ability of Discreet Oculus to identify the type of bomb in a surprise attack. The exercise’s premise was that a bomb had been diverted from the U.S. arsenal and detonated. “We pulled in weapon designers to see what those signals would be,” Pochet says. In late 2013, several dozen experts began ginning up a fallout profile and modeling how waves would propa- gate and attenuate in a real U.S. city. DTRA won’t say which city it was; Cartledge refers to it as Gotham. “No city wants to know it was used as a model for a nuclear attack,” he says.Based on these models, DTRA sent data simulating what Discreet Oculus sensors would record during the explosion to the Air Force Technical Applications Center on Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, which distributed it to four teams of experts from the center and the U.S. national labs. “We said, ‘Here’s the data, go and do your analyses’,” Cartledge says. The task was to identify the bomb, and time was of the essence. “In real life,” Pochet says, “we would be working against the clock, struggling to keep up with the news cycle.” The exercise ran for 25 days; all four teams figured it out, Cartledge says. He won’t specify how quickly but says, “We need to be faster.”DTRA HAS ALREADY INSTALLED Discreet Oculus in several U.S. cities, where the arrays are undergoing testing. They are expected to be operational and transferred to the U.S. Air Force in 2018. DTRA has also begun working on a portable version called Minikin Echo that could be deployed for events like the Olympics.Although postdetonation forensics may well finger a bomb design, that knowledge by itself wouldn’t always unmask the perp. A gun-triggered uranium bomb, for example, could be fashioned by any of a number of terrorist outfits with modest technological expertise, such as the Islamic State group, providing they can lay their hands on several kilograms of highly enriched uranium. That’s “where intel comes in,” Hall says. But to have any chance of unraveling the details of a nuclear attack, investigators have to lay the scientific groundwork—while hoping it will never be needed. Last summer, an atomic bomb detonated in a city on the U.S. Eastern seaboard, killing tens of thousands and plunging the nation into despair. As first responders and the military grappled with the aftermath, elite teams of scientists raced to analyze the blast for clues to precisely what kind of bomb had gone off and who bore responsibility for the act.That was the premise of an exercise—the first of its kind—held in July and August 2015 to test a new network of sensors that would collect data during a surprise nuclear strike. The Mighty Saber simulation was a sobering acknowledgment of many experts’ belief that an attack on U.S. soil is more likely than ever—yet tracing responsibility would be far harder than it was during the Cold War, when the chief threat was annihilation by the Soviet Union.“The scenario has changed,” says Thomas Cartledge, a nuclear engineer with the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. “Now, if you see a mushroom cloud go off in New York City, you won’t know who did it, or what kind of weapon they used.”Possibilities include a warhead diverted from the U.S. arsenal or smuggled into the country by terrorists, or a bomb delivered by an enemy state such as North Korea, which has threatened to nuke the White House.The conceivable need to unmask a perpetrator and mount a response is propelling the emerging area of postdetonation forensics. “Someone’s going to get the pointy end of the stick. You want to make sure the right entity gets it,” says Howard Hall, director of the Institute for Nuclear Security at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He and other nuclear detectives are devising new sensors, manufacturing artificial fallout to hone analytical techniques, and studying how the glass formed in the furnace of an atomic blast would vary depending on the nature of the bomb and the city where it detonated.The most likely nuclear terrorism scenario, experts say, is a bomb set off on a city street. Past experience offers only a sketchy picture of the resulting devastation. The atomic bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 detonated about 500 meters above those cities. During the subsequent half-century, while the United States refined its atomic arsenal, nearly all tests were in the air or underground, not in citylike environments. Researchers did study fallout and how it forms, but they were seeking clues about how to prevent or alleviate radiation illness, not identify the perpetrator. “Scientists were not interested in figuring out what kind of device had detonated, because they already knew that,” says analytical chemist Michael Kristo, a nuclear forensics expert at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. A. Cuadra/Science last_img
Continue Reading

Building a wall around Mexican science The ScienceInsider briefing

by admin
first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The front pageMexican scientists feel the Trump effectThe proposed border wall might not yet be planned or paid for (you can see how much it could cost, according to MIT Technology Review), but Mexican scientists already are feeling the effects of a virtual wall: The fall of the peso is gutting the buying power of research grants, and chilly relations could change the fate of cross-border collaborations. “Geography made us cousins,” says climate scientist Carlos Gay of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City. “This is like breaking up a family.” Science Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country 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 Scientists from countries affected by refugee order speak outOver the past few days, academics affected by the Trump administration’s refugee order have been emailing the Science newsroom with their stories. Here are a few (some asked not be fully identified): Day 12 of the new U.S. administration is shaping up to be no less exciting than days one through 11. The White House this afternoon sent out a “stay tuned” memo to announce U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court this evening. Meanwhile, officials at the departments of justice, state, and homeland security are scrambling to make sense of the fallout from Trump’s sweeping executive order on immigration. How are scientists faring in the meantime? Read on! Shabnam Akhtari is a mathematician at the University of Oregon in Eugene. She was born in Iran, became a Canadian citizen in 2008, and holds a green card. The order has put a trip to Toronto, Canada, in doubt, she writes, and she worries that difficulty traveling for work could “make me invisible” in her field. Zahra, an Iranian scientist, had won a visa to move to a laboratory at a large university in Texas. But U.S. officials have canceled meetings for completing the expensive process, “without even an apology or warning or refund. It is so unprofessional from a country like U.S.A.” Fatemeh’s plans to enroll in a doctoral program at a U.S. university are on hold. “I have been looking forward to this moment for years … but with the swipe of a pen, that dream has shattered.” Democrats boycott confirmation votes for Trump nomineesRepublicans on the Senate Finance Committee always knew things could get messy during confirmation hearings for Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Representative Tom Price (R–GA). But now Democrats have thrown them for a loop: Citing a report in The Wall Street Journal that Price got preferential treatment in an Australian health care stock offering—and failed to disclose it—all 12 Democratic members of the panel walked out in protest. They also boycotted a vote on Trump’s pick for treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin. At least one Democrat has to be present for the panel to be able to vote. The HillDeVos investments in a therapy under scrutinyDepartment of Education nominee Betsy DeVos, who cleared her own committee vote early today, has come under fire for one of her ventures: a franchise of brain performance centers that claim to offer an effective treatment for everything from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to autism. But many scientists say the ideas are theoretically appealing, but “oversold.” DeVos has also come under criticism for her support of groups that champion intelligent design.  The New York TimesIn case you missed it: What are we missing?Send us your stories and tips—confidential and otherwise—about how the new administration is affecting your work and community: science_news@aaas.org Email Senate panel advances DOE, Interior nominees Obama science adviser: Trump immigration ban ‘an abomination’ Another alarm for scientists: Trump’s pick to guide NOAA transition People around the world are helping the United States save its climate data Scientists ‘partly to blame’ for skepticism of evidence in policymaking, says AAAS CEOlast_img
Continue Reading

Podcast tracking ancient Romes rise using Greenlands ice and fighting fungicide resistance

by admin
first_imgOregon State University Two thousand years ago, ancient Romans were pumping lead into the air as they smelted ores to make the silvery coin of the realm. Online News Editor David Grimm talks to Sarah Crespi about how the pollution of ice in Greenland from this process provides a detailed 1900-year record of Roman history.This week is also resistance week at Science—where researchers explore the global challenges of antibiotic resistance, pesticide resistance, herbicide resistance, and fungicide resistance. Sarah talks with Sarah Gurr of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom about her group’s work on the spread of antifungal resistance and what it means for crops and in the clinic.And in a bonus books segment, staff writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel talks about medicine and fraud in her review of Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou.This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.Listen to previous podcasts.[Image: Wheat rust/Oregon State University; Music: Jeffrey Cook]last_img
Continue Reading

NCI Director Norman Sharpless named acting FDA chief

by admin
first_img By Jocelyn KaiserMar. 12, 2019 , 2:45 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country 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 Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Ned Sharplesscenter_img Norman Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland, will become acting administrator of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Silver Spring, Maryland, after current FDA chief Scott Gottlieb steps down in early April.The announcement came this morning from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing. “Dr. Sharpless’ deep scientific background and expertise will make him a strong leader for FDA,” Azar said in a statement. “There will be no let-up in the agency’s focus, from ongoing efforts on drug approvals and combating the opioid crisis to modernizing food safety and addressing the rapid rise in youth use of e-cigarettes.”Gottlieb's resignation to spend more time with his young family in Connecticut rattled markets and FDA watchers when it was announced last week. That uncertainty is at least temporarily eased by the acting appointment of Sharpless, a physician-scientist and former director of the University of North Carolina’s cancer center in Chapel Hill who has drawn praise as NCI director since October 2017. Daniel Sone/National Cancer Institute NCI Director Norman Sharpless named acting FDA chief Sharpless has bolstered support for NCI-funded clinical trials and freed up funds for research grants by trimming the internal NCI budget. He introduced a new policy to support promising young investigators by adding 2 years to their initial 5-year research grants. A champion of big data, Sharpless had just begun to shape a plan to spend $50 million in 2020 in part to share data on pediatric cancer patients as part of a 10-year childhood cancer initiative proposed by President Donald Trump. Although he does not have an industry background, he has started two biotech companies.The highly regarded Gottlieb reportedly recommended Sharpless as his replacement. He tweeted today: “I’m delighted by the announcement from @SecAzar that @NCIDirector will serve as acting commissioner of #FDA. Ned is a friend to FDA, a great public health champion, a dedicated physician, and will be warmly welcomed into his new role. FDA will benefit greatly from his leadership.”NCI Deputy Director Douglas Lowy, who served a stint as acting NCI director from April 2015 to October 2017, will again step in as acting NCI director.last_img
Continue Reading

New batlike dinosaur was early experiment in flight

by admin
first_img Even Ambopteryx’s stomach contents were preserved. Researchers recovered pieces of bone and small rocks called gastroliths, which modern birds use to grind plant material, indicating the species may have been omnivorous. Though the creature was replete with feathers, these were a downy fuzz and not used for flight. O’Connor also speculates that males of the species may have sported long ornamental tail feathers, possibly to woo females, as can be seen in other scansoriopterygid fossils.The complete skeleton has allowed scientists to make the first detailed analysis of differences in wing design and mode of flight between these dinosaurs and birds. Researchers measured the bones of the arms and fingers in each type of wing and compared them using statistical methods.Ambopteryx’s wings were formed by elongating the humerus and ulna, the bones of the upper and lower arm in humans, the team reports today in Nature. Birds instead achieved flight by elongating their metacarpals, analogous to our fingers. “The main lift-generating surface of birds’ wings is formed by feathers,” O’Connor explains. “In bats, pterosaurs [dinosaur-era reptiles that flew similar to bats], and now scansoriopterygids—you instead have flaps of skin that are stretched out in between skeletal elements.”“This new discovery shows Yi qi was not an aberrant species, but that there was an entire group of bat dinosaurs taking to the skies in the [Jurassic],” says Darla Zelenitsky, a paleontologist at the University of Calgary in Canada who has studied feathered dinosaurs.However, although nearly 10,000 species of birds live today, no scansoriopterygids survived past the end of the Jurassic. That suggests their early experiment in flight was far less successful, O’Connor says. Still, she says, their existence is remarkable, given that flight has only evolved in a handful of groups of animals across the entire history of life. “The idea that flight evolved more than once in dinosaurs is incredibly exciting and hasn’t quite sunk into the scientific community yet.”“The evolution of flight wasn’t a gradual march from dinosaur to bird,” Brusatte adds. “It involved lots of experimentation and tinkering.” By John PickrellMay. 8, 2019 , 1:00 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The new Ambopteryx fossil, with two folded wings in the center and the remains of fuzzy feathers along the neck A number of tiny, bat-winged dinosaurs flew the Jurassic skies, according to the strongest evidence yet for such creatures—a well-preserved fossil of a starling-size fluffball that may have looked a little like a flying squirrel. The find, recovered near a farming village in northeastern China, suggests dinosaurs were experimenting with several methods of flight during this period, but many were an evolutionary dead end.“This fossil seals the deal—there really were bat-winged dinosaurs,” says Stephen Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh who was not involved with the study.Scientists were already confident that a number of dinosaurs could fly. There are birds, of course, which are technically dinosaurs and appeared during the Jurassic period, at least 150 million years ago. Other dinosaurs sported feathers on their hind- and forelimbs, effectively giving them four birdlike wings. Min Wang/Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology/Chinese Academy of Sciences Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Then, in 2015, researchers discovered a dinosaur that may have flown more like a bat. Named Yi qi (Mandarin for “strange wing”) and discovered in northwestern China, the crow-size creature appeared to have a flap of skin stretched between its body and arm bones that was supported by a rod of cartilage. But the fossil, which belongs to an enigmatic group of dinosaurs called the scansoriopterygids, was partial and poorly preserved, so scientists couldn’t be sure it actually flew like a bat. “There’s been debate about whether the skin flap was really an airfoil or used for another purpose,” Brusatte says.The new fossil, named Ambopteryx longibrachium (meaning “both-wing” and “long arm,” referring to this second method of dinosaur flight) and dated to about 163 million years ago during the Jurassic period, doesn’t have that problem. Nearly every part of the little dino—which was uncovered by a farmer who provides the fossils he finds to the Chinese Academy of Sciences’s Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in Beijing—is well-preserved, including membranous batlike wings similar to those of Yi qi. “You could have fit it in your hand,” says IVPP paleontologist and study author Jingmai O’Connor. “It would have been this tiny, bizarre-looking, buck-toothed thing like nothing alive today.” Min Wang/Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology/Chinese Academy of Sciences New batlike dinosaur was early experiment in flight An artist’s illustration of Ambopteryxlast_img
Continue Reading

Nearly 1000 Kazakhs detained over protests – authorities

by admin
first_img Advertising By Reuters |Kazakhstan | Updated: June 13, 2019 5:36:16 pm Kazakhstan: After 28 years of Nazarbayev’s rule, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev becomes new President Explained: Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbayev resigns after 30 years Pak PM Imran Khan trolled for sitting while other leaders stand at SCO summit in Bishkek Advertising Of those, 670 have been formally arrested – which in the Kazakh legal system can mean spending a few days or weeks in detention – while 115 have been fined and 172 issued warnings.With a majority of those arrested either already set free or scheduled for release on Thursday, 218 remained in detention, according to official data.The 78-year-old Nazarbayev, who had run the former Soviet republic for almost three decades, resigned in March, making Tokayev interim president and then backing his candidacy in Sunday’s snap election.Nazarbayev retains sweeping powers and many observers regard Tokayev, a career diplomat, as little more than a figurehead.Tokayev, 66, has called for dialogue and has said he will set up a special national council open to, among others, young activists. The biggest wave of public protests in years has become the first challenge for President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as he takes over the oil-rich nation of 18 million. Fears of violent clashes brought life to a standstill in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s biggest city, on Wednesday, when the latest protest took place.The protesters accuse the government of running a staged vote in which Tokayev faced no real competition. Some, including Western observers, have also disputed the ballot count which gave Tokayev almost 71 per cent of the vote.At least five separate rallies – which are illegal in Kazakhstan without government permission – have taken place since Sunday’s election and the prosecutor-general’s office said 957 people had been sent to court. Nearly 1,000 Kazakhs detained over protests - authorities Of those, 670 have been formally arrested – which in the Kazakh legal system can mean spending a few days or weeks in detention – while 115 have been fined and 172 issued warnings. (Reuters)Kazakh authorities said on Thursday they had detained nearly 1,000 people for taking part in protests over last weekend’s presidential election that was won by veteran leader Nursultan Nazarbayev’s hand-picked successor. 0 Comment(s) Related News last_img
Continue Reading

Trump proposed DMZ meeting in letter to Kim before visit Report

by admin
first_img Donald Trump and Democrats clash over President’s ‘racist’ tweets Explained: Trump’s immigrant policy; what the ICE planned, and why trump-kim meeting, Donald trump, Kim Jong Un, us north korea, north korea us,  us north korea sanctions, world news, Indian Express Trump suggested the DMZ meeting in a letter to the North Korean leader, which was sent to Pyongyang in June by a senior US official, the Japanese newspaper said.President Donald Trump’s blitz meeting with Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone between the Korean nations on June 30 was planned ahead by the two sides, the Asahi reported, citing unnamed U.S. and North Korean diplomats. They’re not afraid Related News Trump suggested the DMZ meeting in a letter to the North Korean leader, which was sent to Pyongyang in June by a senior US official, the Japanese newspaper said. The North Korean side agreed to give a “sign” if the meeting were to go ahead, according to the report.White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed in a statement that month that a letter was sent by the president. Kim said the letter had “excellent content,” state media KCNA reported at the time.The day before the summit, while in Japan for the G-20 gathering, Trump tweeted about his willingness to cross the border to meet Kim. He said he “put out a feeler” and that he didn’t know where Kim was at the time. Hours later, North Korean diplomat Choe Son Hui called Trump’s tweet “a very interesting suggestion.” According to Asahi, that was the signal to the U.S.’s special envoy to North Korea, Stephen Biegun, to begin preparations for the meeting.While Trump has met Kim twice before at summits in Singapore and Hanoi, no U.S. president had ever sat down with a North Korean leader at the DMZ. Kim said he was “surprised” by Trump’s request to meet, and called the U.S. president’s short walk over the demarcation line into North Korea “a very courageous and determined act.” Advertising Post Comment(s) By Bloomberg | Published: July 6, 2019 10:38:04 amlast_img
Continue Reading

Bihar floods Six districts under water over a lakh displaced NDRF deployed

by admin
first_imgBy Express News Service |New Delhi | Published: July 14, 2019 8:11:36 pm Advertising Rapid warming of Arabian sea among causes of 3-fold rise in erratic rain in central India: Weather experts Aamir Khan donates Rs. 25 lakh to Bihar Flood victims 4 Comment(s) While three people have reportedly drowned in different locations, there is no official confirmation of any death. Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been deployed to conduct rescue and relief operation.Bihar, Bihar floods, Bihar flood deaths, Bihar news, Champaran flood, Nitish Kumar, Bihar CM, NDRF, SDRF, Flood, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, India news, Indian Express A view of broken culvert broken due to flooded water following incessant monsoon rainfall, at Chiraiya block under East Champaran. (PTI Photo)“We are sending teams of NDRF and SDRF for rescue operations. We have been also running dozens of camps and community kitchens for the flood-affected people,” Disaster management principal secretary Pratyaya Amrit told The Indian Express.Thousands of people are now living in camps and eating at community kitchens being run by the state government. The floods are a result of additional water discharge in Kosi, Gandak and Bagmati rivers from Nepal owing to heavy rains in the country. Due to increased water pressure on banks of Kosi in Supaul, all 56 gates of Birpur barrage have been raised since Saturday evening. Nearly four lakh cusecs water was discharged from the barrage on Sunday morning, causing floods in Supaul, Kisanpur, Marouna and Nirmali. Meanwhile, Bagmati river, which has been flowing above danger marks, has caused floods in over 200 villages of Sitamarhi and Sheohar in North Bihar.Bihar, Bihar floods, Bihar flood deaths, Bihar news, Champaran flood, Nitish Kumar, Bihar CM, NDRF, SDRF, Flood, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, India news, Indian Express Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar takes an aerial survey of the flood affected districts of Bihar, Sunday. (PTI Photo)Sheohar district has lost connectivity with adjoining districts as roads have submerged underwater at several places including the road between Nanpur block of Sitamarhi and Gayghat block of Muzaffarpur. Besides Bagmati, Kamala Balan and Lakhandei rivers have also swelled.Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi and water resources minister Sanjay Jha conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit districts during the day. Nitish has issued a series of instructions to water resources and disaster management department to intensify relief and rescue operations. Lessons Mumbai didn’t learn Bihar, Bihar floods, Bihar flood deaths, Bihar news, Champaran flood, Nitish Kumar, Bihar CM, NDRF, SDRF, Flood, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, India news, Indian Express East Champaran: A view of flooded streets following incessant monsoon rainfall, at Patahi Block under East Champaran. (PTI Photo)Incessant rains over the last three days have caused floods in six districts of Bihar displacing over a lakh people. The floods have ravaged Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Muzaffarpur, East Champaran, Madhubani, Araria, Darbhanga, Supaul and Kishanganj districts in the state. Advertising Related News last_img
Continue Reading

Testing and cleaning North Carolinas water supply postFlorence could prove tricky A

by admin
first_imgMicrobes in floodwaters from Hurricane Florence have likely contaminated drinking water. Testing and cleaning North Carolina’s water supply post-Florence could prove tricky. A microbiologist explains why Hurricane Florence dropped record-breaking amounts of rain as it hovered over the Carolinas last week. The resulting floodwaters killed dozens of people and created a lingering crisis for drinking water supplies. Across North Carolina, lagoons full of livestock waste, enclosures full of dead chickens and hogs, raw sewage from wastewater treatment plants, and coal ash ponds are all overflowing. The Environmental Protection Agency issued a statement on Monday that at least 23 drinking water systems in the state had temporarily halted their operations and that 21 others were operating with boil water advisories.Rachel Noble, a microbiologist at The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and her team are working to track potentially dangerous bacteria and viruses as they flow through North Carolina’s water system. She told Science about poststorm threats to drinking water and how to cut down on the dangerous lag time in the tests that detect them.This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. Email By Frankie SchembriSep. 21, 2018 , 5:00 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe David Goldman/AP Photo Q: What are the common contaminants in flooding situations like this?A: Bacterial pathogens like E. [Escherichia] coli, salmonella, and Campylobacter are common in floodwaters. Vibrio bacteria are naturally found in estuaries like those along the Carolina coast and could have been washed in with storm surge. There are also viral pathogens like Norovirus and adenovirus, and some less common parasites. A lot of these exist in our sewage systems, but we don’t ever come in contact with them unless there’s a breach or spill.Q: What can happen if a person encounters these pathogens?A: If you ingest enough of them or they come in contact with a wound, they can cause gastrointestinal illness like diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. The sad thing about bacterial and viral pathogens is once you become infected, you can then carry that on to your family members, even if they haven’t been exposed to that particular floodwater.Q: How do cities test for contamination after a storm?A: Municipal systems have a regular water testing protocol, and then whenever a testing result shows there’s been contamination, the system is treated and a boil water advisory is issued in the meantime. One of the unfortunate things about our current system is that these tests can take between 1 and 2 days. So these systems in North Carolina were probably contaminated during the storm, but there’s been a lag time for us to understand the level and extent of contamination and get this information out to the public.Q: About 900,000 households in the state rely on private wells for their water. What about them?A: It’s going to take some time for those to all get tested. It’s a matter of getting personnel out there. Power is still out in some areas, and some areas are still being flooded and are inaccessible. To be safe, people should stick to bottled drinking water until their well can be tested.Q: What is the process for clearing water systems of these contaminants?A: Typically, it’s a chlorination process similar to what you would do with a swimming pool. They let that chlorine sit in the system for about 24 hours. That works well for the contaminants we’re familiar with, but I’m concerned about bacteria or chemicals that we might not understand from hog farms or other industrial waste. We don’t understand how they’re transported through water systems and we don’t understand how long they persist.Q: Are you planning to run experiments to learn more about these contaminants?A: Yes, my lab is already investigating what happens to these contaminants as they move through the water system to the coast. We’re also working really hard on improving some of the methods to test for these things so that we can get results in only about an hour or two.Q: How do you design a faster test?A: Rather than the traditional method of relying on the bacteria to grow in an incubator, we just test directly for the contaminant’s DNA in the water sample. We can get results for E. coli or for enterococcus in about 45 minutes. We are working to get these tests approved for drinking water, other types of water, and for shellfish. But getting federal agency approval can take a while.Q: How could we better secure water systems against contamination?A: We could improve the ways that municipal water systems are sealed or protected from flood waters. We can do a better job with processing industrial waste and hog lagoons—we just don’t have a lot of incentives to do so. There’s no money in processing hog waste at the moment.We should be looking to improve our response to microbial and chemical contaminants before future events like Florence. These are the things that we eat and drink afterwards, and protecting them isn’t getting enough attention right now.last_img
Continue Reading

Sardar Sarovar Narmada Yojana Govt Oppn lock horns on claims about irrigation

by admin
first_imgPatel demanded a clarification from Dhanani for contesting his claim that 16.38 lakh hectare command area received Narmada water under the scheme. Last week, citing the socio-economic review 2018-19, Dhanani said that only 6 lakh hectare got water for irrigation. Dhanani asked Patel to explain the gap of 10 lakh hectare.Patel had not said anything then but raised the issue on Monday, demanding that Dhanani provide evidence. He asked him to show if the figure of 6 lakh hectare is written in the Socio-Economic Review.Patel said the Speaker should reprimand Dhanani if he cannot produce evidence. Dhanani sought time. Granting him time, the Speaker said he would give his ruling based on what Dhanani produces before the house. Related News Advertising Sardar Sarovar Narmada Project- Underground pipeline has limited reach, more trouble: Expert panel Canal irrigation: When water comes to the fields Narmada project: Against CM’s adviser suggestions, govt opts for underground pipeline, invites tenders Gujarat govt sends EWS quota proposal to Centre to implement in colleges Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel. (File photo)Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani on Monday sparred over the area receiving irrigation water under the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Yojana. By Express News Service |Gandhinagar | Published: July 16, 2019 5:16:32 am Post Comment(s)last_img
Continue Reading

John Snow Labs launches new Data Market to help healthcare and life

by admin
first_img Source:https://www.johnsnowlabs.com/ Nov 13 2018John Snow Labs Data Market provides datasets that are ready to use for analytics or model training, thus eliminating the effort of data preparation and maintenance.John Snow Labs, an award-winning global data operations and AI company, today announces the launch of John Snow Labs Data Market. The Data Market is an online store that allows users to subscribe to datasets and/or data packages in the healthcare and life science domain.John Snow Labs helps accelerate progress in data science and analytics by taking on the headache of managing data and AI platforms. The launch of its Data Market will help researchers, data scientists, or anyone looking to collect data to better do their job, by giving them access to the reference datasets they need.Related StoriesHealthcare solutions of the future: Boehringer Ingelheim relies on digitalizationISPOR examines how real-world evidence can be improved with patient-provided informationAlmost 74% of Americans show concern about burnout among healthcare professionalsDevelopers building a mobile app to give advice to people with diabetes, for example, can use the Data Market to access diabetes-related datasets that contain essential information, such as nutritional data, diagnosis terminology, or available drugs, that they would require to build the app.A simple keyword-based search allows users to identify all datasets and data products having a given keyword in their name, description or summary. A catalog of datasets and data packages can also be explored by navigating the list of categories (e.g., Healthcare, Life Science, Core, Terminology) and selecting the subcategories of interest.Premium databases are high-quality datasets that have been curated, normalized, optimized and enriched and are constantly kept up-to-date by a team of expert data researchers and industry experts. They are ready to use and can be easily loaded into Python, R, SAS, Hadoop, Spark, SQL & BI tools. Datasets are provided in both CSV and Parquet formats, which are read-optimized for big data deployments. Metadata is provided in both a human-readable PDF and machine-readable JSON formats.“John Snow Labs data is the highest quality data available in the healthcare domain to date,” said Dr. Dia Trambitas, Product Manager of John Snow Labs’ Data Market. “Our data researchers use their clinical domain understanding when collecting the data, cleaning, normalizing and enriching it - and then apply our state of the art tools and processes before publishing it in a ready to use format.”“John Snow Labs datasets are ready to use for analysis or model training and reduce your reference data preparation efforts to zero,” added Trambitas.The data science platform market is expected to grow to over $100 billion by 2021 and $385 billion by 2025. The healthcare industry, in particular, is embracing the need for data science platforms to deliver deeper insights into health and lifestyle data. Currently, data science platforms are often developed, installed and managed by data science companies, restricting access to companies and researchers who acquire these services. John Snow Labs allows individuals, startups, hospital and healthcare institutions to instantly gain access to data packages required to build their products and services.last_img
Continue Reading

RNAbinding protein needed for development of pathological hypertrophy

by admin
first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 31 2019In response to conditions such as high blood pressure and reduced blood flow to cardiac muscle, the adult heart can drastically enlarge, a process called pathological hypertrophy that preserves cardiac function in the short term but predisposes patients to intractable heart failure and sudden cardiac death if left untreated. Now, researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found that the RNA-binding protein Lin28a is needed for the development of pathological hypertrophy.Published in the journal Circulation, the discovery could have considerable impact on the development of more potent therapeutics for the treatment of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States and around the world."One of the initial steps of gene regulation is the transcription of a DNA sequence into RNA. However, post transcriptional regulation, by RNA-binding proteins has emerged as a critical regulatory layer for the control of gene function in health and disease," said Jiandong Liu, PhD, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at UNC and the study's senior author. During pathological hypertrophy, the heart undergoes extensive structural changes that are known to involve profound alterations in cardiac gene expression."The identification of Lin28a as a new regulator of pathological cardiac hypertrophy adds RNA post-transcriptional regulation as a new mechanism underlying this important player in heart disease," Liu added.One of the major hallmarks of cardiac hypertrophy is a change in metabolism, as the hypertrophic heart relies more on glucose metabolism - when glucose is turned into energy for cells - than fatty acid oxidation, which is a different complex process cells use to create energy.Related StoriesTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell research"It is interesting to note that most genes regulated by Lin28a at the early phase of cardiac hypertrophy are enriched in metabolism and metabolism-related cell pathways, and that Lin28a helps increase glycolysis and decrease fatty acid oxidation in hypertrophic hearts," said Liu, who is also a member of the McAllister Heart Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill.Through a number of research techniques including next generation sequencing, RNA immuno-precipitation, and gene expression analyses, the Liu research group also identified part of the mechanism by which Lin28a stimulates hypertrophy. His lab found that Lin28a targeted the gene Pck2, which encodes a key mitochondrial protein needed for the heart to enhance glycolysis."Our study provides strong evidence that Lin28a plays an important role in the cardiac stress response during pathological hypertrophy," Liu said. "By directly binding to the Pck2 mRNA, Lin28a facilitates an important switch in metabolism processing that is needed for the heart to enlarge in response to stress." These results are consistent with previous studies that also found that a switch in metabolism needs to occur before the heart can drastically enlarge.Altogether, Liu's findings support the idea that a switch in metabolism processing during the early stages of cardiac hypertrophy could be instrumental to the restructuring and enlargement of the heart in response to cardiac stress."The identification of key genes such as Lin28a and Pck2 that facilitate this switch in cardiac metabolism, and that ultimately lead to heart enlargement, provides a major step in creating potential therapeutic options for those who suffer from pathological hypertrophy and heart failure," Liu said.​ Source:http://news.unchealthcare.org/news/2019/january/research-reveals-new-molecular-player-in-heart-enlargement-due-to-cardiac-diseaselast_img
Continue Reading

How easy are vaccine exemptions Take a look at the Oregon model

by admin
first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 4 2019As measles outbreaks continue in the Northwest and across the nation, newly revealed health records from Oregon suggest it's surprisingly easy to opt out of required vaccinations in that state — as in several others.In Oregon — which has the highest kindergarten vaccine exemption rate in the U.S. — about 95% of parents whose kids skip one or more vaccines use a print-your-own certificate to do so.That's according to data from the Oregon Health Authority, which shows that of more than 31,500 non-medical vaccine exemptions submitted last year, nearly 30,000 were documented by parents who watched an online education video and then printed out a do-it-yourself form.Fewer than 2,000 chose the second option: to talk to a health care provider and obtain a signature.The state, where 7.6% of kindergartners were exempt from one or more vaccines in the 2017-18 school year, has had an education requirement for non-medical exemptions in place since 2013.But Oregon state Rep. Mitch Greenlick, a Democrat who has proposed a bill to eliminate non-medical vaccine exemptions, criticized the online educational module."It's obviously letting too many people off the hook," he said.It's clear why parents are overwhelmingly choosing the online option, said Dr. Saad Omer, a vaccine and infectious-disease expert at Emory University in Atlanta: convenience.Omer and other public health officials find this trend worrisome, because kids who remain unvaccinated can catch — and spread — dangerous diseases such as measles, posing a risk to themselves and the wider community.In the U.S. this year, at least 387 cases of measles have been detected in 15 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the cases are clustered in six outbreaks, including an outbreak centered in Clark County, Wash. The county is part of the Portland, Ore., metro area, a well-known hot spot for vaccine hesitancy. At least 78 cases of measles have been linked to that outbreak, with four of those confirmed in Oregon. The state has reported six additional measles cases not linked to that outbreak.Across the U.S., nearly all cases of the highly contagious disease have occurred in unvaccinated children, officials said.Evidence shows, however, that making it more difficult to obtain vaccine exemptions can reduce the rates of those who opt out."The ease of exemption is a big predictor," said Omer, who has been named the inaugural director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, starting in July.He favors counseling by a health care provider as one good way to strengthen requirements. That not only makes it harder to get exemptions, but also puts parents in touch with "the most trusted source" of information, Omer said.In Washington state, overall vaccine exemption rates fell by about 40% after passage of a 2011 law that required a health care provider's signature on exemption forms, according to a 2018 study by Omer.Oregon is one of 17 states that allow exemptions based on philosophical opposition to vaccination, as well as religious or medical reasons. Only three states — California, Mississippi and West Virginia — ban all non-medical exemptions.Related StoriesScripps CHAVD wins $129 million NIH grant to advance new HIV vaccine approachNanotechnology-based compound used to deliver hepatitis B vaccine$3.1 million NIH funding awarded to develop universal flu vaccineIn 10 of the states that allow personal or philosophical exemptions, a parent's signature on a statement or a form is all that's required to opt out. In three states, the paperwork has to be notarized. Only two states — Washington and Michigan — require consultation with a health care provider.Since 2015, when Michigan began requiring parents to participate in an education session at their local health department, vaccine waiver rates fell from 4.8% in 2014 to 3.6% in 2017, said Lynn Sutfin, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.Three states — Arkansas, Oregon and Utah — offer an online education option, which includes scientifically based information compiled by state health officials.Utah, with a 5.2% kindergarten exemption rate, began allowing use of the 20-minute online education module last summer. Since then, more than 8,700 certificates have been printed, said Rich Lakin, immunization program manager for the Utah Department of Health.But the new option is rife with problems, said Lakin. People have submitted fictitious names such as "Mickey Mouse" into the system, he said. Others have used the web-based portal to criticize health officials for requiring documentation for exemptions.In Oregon, Greenlick's proposed bill to ban non-medical vaccine exemptions sparked a firestorm of opposition, with hundreds of parents showing up at recent public hearings to protest. Action is pending.Jennifer Margulis, 49, of Ashland, Ore., said she has used the state's online education module to exempt all four of her children from some vaccine requirements. She said the video, which takes about 40 minutes, requires active participation — clicking through a series of screens."You really have to pay attention. It's a lot of information," she said. "I did not find it convenient. I found it interesting and time-consuming."She said the online option is a good alternative for parents who want to make their own choices about vaccination, despite scientific evidence and advice from public health officials.One Oregon lawmaker, Sen. Jeff Golden, a Democrat from Margulis' district, has opposed the bill banning non-medical vaccine exemptions, calling for "less sweeping and authoritarian options."But a legislative aide, Adam Lohman, said Golden wasn't aware so many Oregonians were opting out of vaccinations using the online module. "He would be interested in an option that preserves parent choice and makes it more stringent," Lohman said. 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.last_img
Continue Reading

Analysis of bright spot in confocal microscopy images to diagnose brain tumors

by admin
first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 12 2019Photodynamic diagnosis using 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is now widely used for neurosurgical resection of brain tumors. Distinguishing a tumor from healthy tissue is based on greater 5-ALA-derived protoporphyrin IX accumulation in glioma cells than in non-cancerous cells, resulting in much greater red fluorescence (peak at 635 nm) when excited at 405 nm. However, it is still difficult to precisely distinguish the tumor margin and infiltrating regions from non-tumor tissue because the fluorescent boundary is usually vague. In our previous study, we noticed that bright spots in confocal microscopy images may be able to distinguish tumors from normal tissue.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryResearchers measure EEG-based brain responses for non-speech and speech sounds in children[Methods]Brain tumor tissues resected from 5-ALA-treated patients was sectioned to evaluate bright spots captured by a 544.5-619.5 nm wavelength band-pass filter that eliminated the fluorescence induced by 5-ALA under a confocal microscope. Boarder regions and adjacent normal tissues were observed. Pathological inspection was performed to confirm the locations of tumors, infiltrating tumor cells, and normal tissue regions by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining of serial sections of the same samples. Bright spot areas were measured in the same region used for pathological inspection. This method was applied to brain tumors with and without red fluorescence as well as glioblastoma (GBM) and non-GBM brain tumors.[Results]The bright spot area was substantially smaller in the GBM tumor than in normal brain tissues. It was also smaller in infiltrating tumors than in normal tissue at the margin. The same bright spot pattern was observed in tumors tissues without red fluorescence and in non-GBM tumors. Bright spot fluorescence has been suggested to be derived from lipofuscin based on emission spectra (mainly within 544.5?619.5 nm) and an optimal excitation wavelength (about 405 nm).[Significance and future prospects]Bright spot analysis is useful to facilitate discrimination of an infiltrating tumor from bordering normal tissue in photodynamic diagnosis using 5-ALA. This method is also potentially useful for tumors without 5-ALA-derived red fluorescence and non-GBM tumors. The mechanism of bright spot fluorescence reduction in tumors and its application for precise discrimination of brain tumors should be investigated further. Source:https://www.kanazawa-u.ac.jp/latest-research/66616last_img
Continue Reading

Longacting contraceptives do not increase risk of HIV concludes new study

by admin
first_imgAfter decades of uncertainty, we finally have robust scientific evidence about the potential relationship between hormonal contraception and the risk of HIV from a rigorous randomized clinical trial. [However], the findings are also sobering because they confirm unacceptably high HIV incidence among young African women. “Helen Rees, Researcher Responding to previous researchThe ECHO study began in response to repeated reports suggesting that the use of contraceptives using only progestogens, including DMPA-IM, could promote HIV infection in the users. This was based on several observational studies.For instance, the Lancet published a report citing a two-fold risk of HIV infection among women on this injection. This was followed by a report in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases (2015) which showed an increased risk of 40% in this group. On the other hand, the researchers also warned of the dangers of unwanted pregnancy.The current paper includes thousands of active women who were HIV negative at the start of the study and live in countries where HIV is highly prevalent – Eswatini, South Africa, Kenya and Zambia. All of them were willing to use modern contraception. Before receiving any of the contraceptive options, the women were counseled on HIV prevention and treatment, screening and the management of other sexually transmitted infections with their partners. They were also provided with condoms, and late in the trial, with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP, a daily antiviral drug which prevents HIV).During the 18 months that followed, 92% of the women adhered to the contraceptive plans, and almost 400 HIV infections occurred. These were almost equally distributed among the three groups. The risk was 29% higher for DMPA compared with the LNG implant, but only 10% higher than with the copper IUD. The latter had an 18% higher risk compared with the LNG implant.Discontinuation rates ranged from 4% to 9% and were highest with the copper IUD. 255 pregnancies occurred, of which almost 30% occurred during the use of the contraceptive method. These results will be reflected in the updated WHO contraception guidelines expected in August 2019.‘A public health crisis’The study group showed a disturbingly high incidence of new HIV infections in this low-risk group, almost 4% per year. HIV poses both personal and public health challenges in these countries, with 600 000 new female HIV infections each year. This is especially true for sexually active women under the age of 25 years.Calling this a “public health crisis”, HIV experts recommend that contraception services should include HIV testing and multiple choices for HIV prevention.For HIV-positive women, this includes linking to antiretroviral therapy, partner testing, and promoting condom use. Condom use is not acceptable in some places. As a result, women bear the brunt of infection in sub-Saharan Africa, reporting almost 60% of new infections.Scientists are looking for contraceptives which can be used by women rather than by men, and which stop the HIV virus as well. PrEP is the standard for regions where the reported incidence crosses the WHO threshold of 3%. By Dr. Liji Thomas, MDJun 14 2019One of the largest and most robust studies to be conducted so far on the effect of contraceptive methods on the risk of acquiring HIV concluded that there were no significant differences among users of any of four popular long-acting contraceptives. This includes DMPA, levonorgestrel, and intrauterine devices.Image Point Fr | ShutterstockThe Evidence for Contraceptive Options and HIV Outcomes (ECHO) study compared the following contraception methods: 3-monthly DMPA-IM (intramuscular depot medroxy progesterone acetate), implanted LNG (levonorgestrel) that acts for five years, and a copper-carrying IUD (intrauterine device) that lasts 10-12 years.In total, 7829 women were randomly assigned to receive one of the four contraceptive methods. The researchers then followed their HIV status for the next 18 months, to determine whether any of the methods increased the risk of HIV infection.The WHO reports that safe and effective contraception is sought by 214 million women in low- and middle-income countries, including almost half of African women who want to avoid pregnancy. The study could help address this need. Regardless of the data from the ECHO trial, the limited choice of contraceptives that women have is not OK. We hope that this result will prompt action and put women first. Women want more options beyond DMPA.”Yvette Raphel, Advisory Member for the Study Source:ECHO Consortium (2019). HIV incidence among women using intramuscular depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, a copper intrauterine device, or a levonorgestrel implant for contraception: a randomised, multicentre, open-label trial. The Lancet. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31288-7last_img
Continue Reading