Washington Ski Resorts Thriving in Current SeasonSpearheading a Critical National Need –

first_imgWashington’s ski destinations are reaping the benefits of outstanding conditions and especially large crowds over holiday weekends.Some resorts report snow levels unmatched in over a decade.  Tony Hickok of Mission Ridge claims they’re on schedule to break attendance records for the season.He says “We’re on a record setting pace as far as skier visitation goes this season.  Things have been great and lots of folks have been enjoying the awesome conditions.”Hickok notes the situation is the opposite of last winter when some resorts never opened up because of a lack of snow.“Just great coverage, deep base steps, nice dry light powder and sunny days.  The winds have been nice to us the last couple of weeks as well” said Hickok.Hickok adds the high elevation ski resorts almost always have sunny weather when valleys are socked in with clouds.All six lifts were open at Mission Ridge while the 10 lifts at Stevens Pass were operating over the busy Martin Luther King holiday weekend.  Most runs at both resorts were open as well.last_img read more

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HSS study aims to find if bariatric surgery prior to knee replacement

first_img Source:https://www.hss.edu/newsroom_swift-study-bariatric.asp May 18 2018Could weight loss surgery before knee replacement improve outcomes or even eliminate the need for joint replacement in severely overweight patients? A study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) aims to answer that question.Orthopedic surgeons often encourage obese patients considering knee replacement to try to lose weight before the procedure. The study, known as SWIFT (Surgical Weight-Loss to Improve Functional Status Trajectories Following Total Knee Arthroplasty), is enrolling patients at a number of hospitals nationwide, including HSS. The goal is to compare outcomes in individuals who have bariatric surgery versus those who do not have weight loss surgery before joint replacement. Researchers also aim to determine if losing a significant amount of weight could enable patients to hold off on knee replacement or postpone it indefinitely.”This is the first prospective study of its kind,” explained Alexander McLawhorn, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and lead investigator at HSS. “We hypothesize that weight loss resulting from bariatric surgery prior to knee replacement will improve joint replacement outcomes in obese patients with painful arthritis. It will also be interesting to see if weight loss and reduced stress on their joints will result in less pain and improved mobility, which may enable patients to postpone knee replacement surgery.”A previous retrospective study at HSS found that in severely obese patients, bariatric surgery performed prior to a total hip or knee replacement reduced complications while patients were in the hospital and in the first 90 days after joint replacement surgery.In the current study, researchers will divide enrolled patients into two groups. One group will undergo bariatric surgery prior to knee replacement, and the other group will have knee replacement only. Patients who choose to have weight loss surgery will have the procedure at New York Presbyterian Hospital. All knee replacement surgeries will take place at HSS.Related StoriesLow-carb diet may reverse metabolic syndrome independent of weight lossIntermittent fasting may regulate blood glucose levels even without weight lossTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’Approximately 9 to 13 months after bariatric surgery, participants in the first group will be evaluated to determine if they still wish to go ahead with knee replacement; if they feel the surgery can be delayed; or if they believe they no longer need it. Those who choose to have a knee replacement will complete nine research visits over the course of 3.5 to 4 years, in addition to the standard of care visits required for bariatric surgery and knee replacement. Research visits will include the completion of questionnaires to measure pain, physical functioning, quality of life and patient satisfaction; vital sign measurements; and physical function assessments, including the ability to walk a quarter of a mile and climb stairs.Participants in the control group will undergo a total knee replacement without weight loss surgery and will complete six research visits over the course of 2.5 to 3 years, in addition to the standard of care visits required for knee replacement surgery. The research visits for this group will include the same evaluation activities as those in the bariatric surgery group.The study is open to individuals with knee osteoarthritis up to age 75 with a body mass index ≥ 40 or a BMI >35 with a qualifying co-existing condition such as obstructive sleep apnea or diabetes. Anyone wishing to receive more information on the study is invited to email Ethan Krell: KrellE@hss.edu.last_img read more

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Antidepressant use in people with COPD linked to increased risk of death

first_imgJun 26 2018Antidepressant use in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with a 20 per cent increase in likelihood of death and a 15 per cent increase in likelihood of hospitalization due to related symptoms, finds a new study led by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital.Published today in the European Respiratory Journal, the research suggests that amongst adults with COPD, new users of serotonergic antidepressants – a specific class of the medication – have higher rates of hospitalization, emergency room visits, and mortality related to respiratory conditions, as well as death overall versus non-users of the medications. While the study does not show cause and effect, it suggests strong association.”We were not surprised by these findings, as there are biological reasons why antidepressants could lead to respiratory issues,” said Dr. Nicholas Vozoris, a scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital and the lead author. “These drugs can cause sleepiness, vomiting and can negatively impact immune system cells. This increases the likelihood of infections, breathing issues, and other respiratory adverse events, especially in patients with COPD.”Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryMultifaceted intervention for acute respiratory infection improves antibiotic-prescribing’Traffic light’ food labels associated with reduction in calories purchased by hospital employeesCOPD is a progressive lung disease that causes increasing breathlessness. It affects more than 10 per cent of those aged 40 and older worldwide. Because of the nature of the disease, upwards of 70 per cent of those with COPD also struggle with symptoms of low mood and anxiety, said Dr. Vozoris, who is also an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a respirologist at St. Michael’s.Using health administrative databases from the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), Dr. Vozoris and his team studied 28,360 new users of serotonergic antidepressants with COPD aged 66 and older and matched them to an equivalent amount of non-users. The analysis revealed that among older adults with COPD, new users of this class of medication have modest, but significant, increases in rates of breathing-related death and all causes of death. The research showed a strong association, but not a definite cause and effect.”The study results should not cause alarm among those who use these medications, but rather increase caution among patients and physicians,” Dr. Vozoris said. “I hope our study encourages increased awareness when prescribing these medications and monitoring for adverse side effects. Also, because there is this association, we as physicians should give thought to psychotherapy and pulmonary rehabilitation as non-drug related treatment.”Dr. Vozoris plans to continue to study other classes of medications used for treatment of psychological issues in patients with COPD to build a more complete picture of medication risks.Source: http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/last_img read more

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Undetected Zika infections may be cause stillbirths and miscarriages

first_imgJul 2 2018A collaborative study between six of the National Primate Research Centers shows pregnancy loss due to Zika A infections that don’t cause women any symptoms may be a common but unrecognized cause of miscarriages and stillbirths.”This is an important study where all of the primate centers collaborated to provide enough data and information to further our understanding of Zika’s effect on pregnancy,” said Scientist Jean Patterson, Ph.D., of Texas Biomedical Research Institute and the Southwest National Primate Research Center.Zika roared into world headlines in 2015 when a cluster of cases in Brazil produced a large spike in babies born with a devastating birth defect called microcephaly, a brain abnormality. Other adverse outcomes include sensory defects, like blindness and even pregnancy loss.Related StoriesVirus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds studyCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchCollecting data from several species of nonhuman primates (rhesus macaques, pigtail macaques and marmosets), scientists found 26% of female nonhuman primates (NHP) innoculated with Asian/American ZIKV (Zika virus) in the early stages of pregnancy experienced miscarriage or stillbirth later, despite the fact that the animals showed few clinical signs of infection.During the pregnancies of the Zika-infected monkeys, scientists monitored their progress through ultrasounds (to detect the fetus’ heart beat), amniocentesis (a test in which amniotic fluid is drawn) and blood draws.”The primary conclusion from this multi-center study with important implications for pregnant women infected with Zika virus is that stillbirth and miscarriage occur more frequently in infected nonhuman primates than animals not exposed to the virus,” explained lead author Dawn Dudley, Ph.D., with the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. “This conclusion would not have been possible without the concerted efforts among the investigators at each institution to share and combine our data to draw statistically significant conclusions while also conserving precious nonhuman primate resources.”The study is published in the journal Nature Medicine. The authors conclude “the high rates of fetal loss among ZIKV infected NHP pregnancies raises concern that Zika-associated pregnancy loss in humans may be more frequent than currently thought.”The results parallel human reports of more significant adverse outcomes in babies exposed to ZIKV during the first trimester. No treatments or vaccines for Zika exist, although scientists at Texas Biomed and elsewhere are experimenting to find ways to cope with this emerging mosquito-borne infectious disease.In the United States, Zika infections have been detected in Florida and Texas. In counties along the Texas border with Mexico, the Texas Department of State Health Services is asking OB/GYNs to test pregnant patients for Zika three times during their pregnancy. All pregnant women are cautioned to protect themselves against mosquito bites. Source:https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/undetected-zika-infections-may-be-triggering-miscarriages-and-stillbirths/last_img read more

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Biomarkers responsible for exhaustion in cancer linked to fatigue in Parkinsons disease

first_img Source:http://news.rice.edu/2018/08/09/biomarkers-link-fatigue-in-cancer-parkinsons-2/ Aug 10 2018Biological markers responsible for extreme exhaustion in patients with cancer have now been linked to fatigue in those with Parkinson’s disease, according to new research from Rice University.”Inflammation and fatigue in early, untreated Parkinson’s disease” will appear in an upcoming edition of Acta Neurologica Scandinavica. It is one of the first studies to link the biomarkers responsible for fatigue in patients with cancer and patients with Parkinson’s.The researchers examined blood samples from 47 patients with Parkinson’s disease, half of whom experienced high levels of fatigue, which is characterized by feeling severely tired and unable to engage in usual activities and is disruptive to one’s work and social life and daily routines.Chris Fagundes, an assistant professor of psychology at Rice and one of the study’s lead authors, said that although Parkinson’s disease is not fatal, patients often complain that fatigue is one of the most common and disabling side effects and a contributor to reduced quality of life.”The No. 1 complaint among Parkinson’s disease sufferers is chronic fatigue,” Fagundes said.The researchers found that individuals with Parkinson’s disease who suffered from fatigue had elevated levels of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) inflammatory biomarkers. Interestingly, elevated levels of inflammatory markers such as these are also linked to fatigue in patients with cancer.This is the one of the first times these biomarkers has been linked to fatigue in patients with Parkinson’s, Fagundes said. His previous research has focused on the link between specific biomarkers and cancer-related fatigue, and he said this study was a great opportunity to take work from one area and help a separate population.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumors”This opportunity came about in an unexpected way,” Fagundes said. “I was invited to a symposium with a panel of world-renowned experts on Parkinson’s disease in Chicago. Although I had no expert knowledge related to this disease, I was invited because I have published on the biobehavioral mechanisms that underlie cancer-related fatigue. The panel was interested in my perspective.””After presenting data related to what we know about cancer-related fatigue, we surmised it was possible that the mechanisms were similar. In collaboration with Karen Herlofson, a physician who treats patients with Parkinson’s in Western Europe, we carried out a study examining fatigue and inflammation in patients with Parkinson’s thanks to a grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation.”The researchers hope the discovery will allow health care providers to target specific treatments that can lower the levels of the inflammatory biomarkers and in turn improve the quality of life for the patients impacted.”This discovery may help health professionals to develop treatments that target the biological mechanisms underlying fatigue,” Fagundes said. “By targeting the biological mechanism rather than simply teaching patients how to cope with the symptoms, we could potentially alleviate fatigue in these patients.”last_img read more

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Vaping among kids and teens a growing concern

first_imgImage Credit: Ulf Wittrock / Shutterstock Gottlieb said in s statement, “The FDA cannot tolerate a whole generation of young people becoming addicted to nicotine as a trade off for enabling adults to access these products.”The CDC data in its annual National Youth Tobacco Survey says that there has been a 75 percent rise in teenagers using e-cigarettes. This translates into 20 percent of high school kids and around 3 million kids across the country.Matt Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said, “I’m not very happy with either the FDA or Juul… What I want is the government to do its job.” “The FDA pointing the finger at Juul is not enough,” he said. The American Lung Association has also said in a statement after the FDA stance, “For years, the American Lung Association has been sounding the alarm that FDA has been extremely slow to use its authority to protect children from e-cigarettes.” The American Academy of Pediatrics condemned the FDA’s new plan of providing the companies with 60 days to come up with an answer. Both the ALA and the AAP call this just a “delay” strategy. “FDA for years has repeatedly missed opportunities to keep tobacco products out of the hands of our children,” added the American Cancer Society. Truth Initiative, a group dedicated to preventing youth tobacco use also said, “The time for action is before a product such as Juul is in every high school in the United States, not after.”Related StoriesE-cigarettes much more effective for traditional cigarettes finds studyCo-use of cannabis and tobacco associated with worse functioning, problematic behaviorsSan Francisco set to ban sales of e-cigarettesThese groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, and the Truth Initiative along with some individual pediatricians, this year in March had filed a Law suit against the FDA for not taking appropriate measures against the e-cigarette products promptly.The FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib on 12th September did announce their course of action and this just led the shares of cigarette makers up. ALA called this as “even more inaction from FDA.” This new step from FDA includes 1,300 warnings, letters and fines however. Gottlieb said commercials will run on YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Facebook and Instagram and concluded, “No youth should be using any nicotine-containing product.” By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDSep 23 2018The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed concerns about rising incidence of vaping or smoking e-cigarettes among underage students and teenagers.The FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb has said in a statement that use of the devices like Juul brand e-cigarettes have reached “epidemic” proportions. He said that these devices that were targeted initially for people wishing to quit traditional smoking are now being sold to teenagers who have never smoked.There are tempting flavours of these e-cigs that are created to lure in youngsters, he said. Some of these include fruit medley, birthday cake, and 7,000 more. These pods of flavours are available at gas stations and in most cases no ID is sought for. The FDA conducted an undercover operation and found that retailers are selling these to underage buyers. It has issued warning letters and Juul and other manufacturers have been given 60 days to develop strategies to prevent teens from smoking.last_img read more

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Soaring MERS Cases Cause Pandemic Jitters but Causes Are Unclear

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 A sharp increase in infections with a deadly new virus in the Middle East is alarming public health officials around the world. The rising numbers have raised fresh fears that the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus has adapted and is becoming more easily transmissible between humans, which could result in global spread. But preliminary research has not shown any evidence of genetic changes, and the government of Saudi Arabia, where most of the new cases occur, says the sudden upswing is mostly the result of more widespread testing.The MERS virus is related to the SARS virus, which spread around the world in 2003 and killed almost 800 people. Since MERS was discovered in 2012, there has been a steady trickle of cases, the vast majority of them in Saudi Arabia. By late March, the World Health Organization (WHO) had counted 199 cases worldwide, including 84 deaths. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country But in the past few weeks, the numbers have shot up. Saudi Arabia is announcing new cases almost every day, most of them in Jeddah, a city in the western part of the country. Yesterday alone, the kingdom reported 24 new cases; another 12 were reported today. (WHO is waiting for official reporting of the cases, but the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control now says the total is 333 cases, including 107 deaths.) Amid increasing worries in the public and intensifying media coverage, Saudi Arabia’s minister of health was replaced on Monday. WHO issued a press release yesterday saying it was “concerned about the rising number of cases.” “WHO urges all Member States to remain vigilant and enhance surveillance to detect any early sign that the virus has changed and has attained the possibilities of causing sustained person-to-person transmission,” the statement read.”It is really important to understand now what is going on in Jeddah,” says Marion Koopmans of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. One possible explanation, she says, is that the lab doing the tests has a contamination problem, leading to false positives.Saudi Deputy Minister of Health Ziad Memish, an infectious disease specialist, says the explanation is quite simple. Until recently, in accordance with WHO recommendations, only patients with pneumonia who needed intensive care were tested for the MERS virus, he says. But as anxiety about MERS increased, patients with milder symptoms like fever or a cough started demanding to be tested, he says, and doctors in Jeddah have complied. “In the last 2 years we tested 20,000 people,” Memish says. “Just in the last weeks, we tested 5000 people.” As a result, more mild cases are being picked up, he says, but that does not mean MERS is about to go global.Nonetheless, studies are under way to test whether the virus has undergone genetic changes. On Friday, virologist Christian Drosten of the University of Bonn in Germany, who is collaborating with Memish, received 31 fresh samples from patients in Jeddah. The scientists isolated MERS virus RNA from all but one of the samples they received, suggesting that contamination isn’t the problem.Drosten has sequenced part of the gene for the so-called spike protein, which sits on the viral surface, from all 30 viruses. They appear to be identical to each other and to several older MERS viruses that have been sequenced. “There seems to be nothing special about this virus, at least in this region of the genome,” he says. The researchers are now sequencing the whole genome for some of the viruses and they may still find significant changes, although Drosten doubts that they will.The variety found between the 30 genomes may also give clues about what is going on. If the viral genomes from different patients are more or less identical, that suggests a new, more successful strain is breaking out; if the genomes are more diverse, the increase is more likely to be an artifact due to more testing. The fragment sequenced so far does not give a clear answer, because a number of different MERS strains are identical in that part of the genome. “But hopefully we will know in a few days,” Drosten says.Meanwhile, Drosten says a seasonal effect may also explain part of the current rise in cases. In breeding facilities across the Middle East, camels, an important reservoir for MERS, have given birth the past 2 months; scientists believe their young may become infected very early on, causing virus levels to explode and increasing the risk for humans to become exposed.Memish agrees that there seems to be some seasonality in how MERS strikes humans: The first known human cases were from a cluster in Jordan in April 2012, he says, last year in April an outbreak struck four hospitals in the Al Hasa area in Saudi Arabia, and now there is a cluster of cases in Jeddah. “It certainly seems that April and May are bad months for MERS.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email read more

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How Birds Survived the Dinosaur Apocalypse

When nearly every dinosaur went extinct 66 million years ago, the only ones that survived were those that had shrunk—that is, the birds. Today, there are 10,000 species of these feathered fliers, making them the most diverse of all the four-limbed animals. A new study reveals why this lineage has been so successful: Birds started downsizing well before the rest of the dinosaurs disappeared.“This is a very impressive piece of work and by far the most comprehensive analysis of dinosaur body size that has been conducted,” says Stephen Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the research. “The study shows that birds didn’t just become small suddenly, but were the end product of a long-term trend of body size decline that took many tens of millions of years.”Dinosaurs were small in the beginning. About 230 million years ago, most weighed between 10 and 35 kilograms and were as big as a medium-sized dog. But many species soon soared to tractor-trailer proportions, reaching 10,000 kilograms within 30 million years. Later on, dinosaurs like the mighty Argentinosaurus, which stretched some 35 meters from nose to tail, weighed in at a staggering 90,000 kilograms. 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 Email Although many dinosaurs were getting bigger and bulkier over millions of years, one group seems to have hedged its bets on body size: the maniraptorans, feathered dinos that include Velociraptor of Jurassic Park fame and that eventually gave rise to the birds. To pin down how dinosaur size changed over time, a team led by Roger Benson, a paleontologist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, estimated the body size of 426 different species, using the thickness of their fossilized hind leg bones as a proxy for their overall weight.The team found that although all dinosaur groups rapidly changed size at the beginning of dinosaur evolution—primarily by getting bigger—that trend slowed down fairly quickly in almost all groups. For the most part, the dinos that got big stayed that way. The exception was the maniraptorans, which continued to evolve bigger and smaller species as they expanded into an ever wider variety of ecological niches over a period of 170 million years.When an asteroid hit Earth 66 million years ago, only those feathered maniraptorans that had downsized to about 1 kilogram or so—the birds—were able to survive, probably because their small size allowed them to adapt more easily to changing conditions, the team concludes online today in PLOS Biology. The researchers argue that being small made it easier for maniraptorans to adapt to a wider variety of habitats, whereas the rest of the dinosaurs, encumbered by their huge bodies and enormous food requirements, simply didn’t make it.This size reduction was essential for the evolution of flight, says Luis Chiappe, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in California, who was not involved in the study. “Flight is easier for smaller animals” because it is “a lot less energetically demanding,” he says. And during all those millions of years when maniraptorans were changing body size more quickly than other dinos, Chiappe says, “they were experimenting with various degrees of birdness.”“The really interesting story,” Brusatte adds, “isn’t so much to do with how some dinosaurs got so huge, but rather how birds and their close relatives got so small.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country read more

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Summer jobs lower violentcrime rate for urban teens

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Policymakers have tried for decades to curb the amount of teen violence that plagues many U.S. cities. Now, a new study finds lasting effects from a surprisingly simple and relatively low-cost intervention: a summer job.“It’s a great study,” says Steven Raphael, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies urban and labor economics. “It shows that a short, concentrated positive experience can have a long-lasting effect on this population.”The research, by Sara Heller of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), found that a summer jobs program significantly reduced violent crime by African-American teenagers for as long as a year after they stopped working and returned to school. However, it’s not clear why jobs can make such a difference for these high-risk students. “Something is going on,” agrees Dan Bloom, a researcher at the nonprofit MDRC in New York City who studies barriers to employment for marginalized groups. “But what exactly is the mechanism? You have a lot of things happening, so it’s hard to tease out what led to this effect.” Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Heller was a public policy graduate student at the University of Chicago when she became interested in the city’s long-running summer jobs program for disadvantaged students. Researchers typically look at the economic impacts of these programs, notably their ability to raise income levels and prepare students for the adult workforce. But Heller wondered if giving the teens jobs could also lower sky-high crime rates among a group in which one in five has an arrest record and a similar proportion has been the victim of a crime.The regular summer jobs program consists of working 25 hours a week for 8 weeks at a public sector job, such as being a camp counselor or tending a community garden. For Heller’s study, Chicago city officials agreed to modify that schedule so that half of participants would work only 15 hours and spend 10 hours being taught an approach to better manage their emotions and behavior, called cognitive behavioral therapy. Youths in both experimental groups were also given an adult mentor to discuss any work-related issues.Using administrative records to track their activities over the 13 months after the program ended, Heller found a 43% reduction in arrests for violent crimes—murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault—among the 730 youths in the two treatment groups compared with the 904 youths in the control group. (The summer jobs program receives many more eligible applicants each year than it has slots, providing Heller with an ideal control group whose demographics matched the treatment groups.) There was a negligible difference in violent-crime arrest rates between the two treatment groups. Moreover, the number of arrests for property crimes, drugs, and other nonviolent offenses was roughly the same for both the treatment and control groups, Heller reports online today in Science.“People have long had the sense that it takes a lot to move the needle,” Heller says, citing as an example the 8-month, residential, federally funded Job Corps program that she characterizes as a “lengthy, intensive, and costly intervention.” Heller was also pleasantly surprised to find that the summer jobs program had a lasting impact: The number of violent-crime arrests declined steadily over the entire 16 months that the youths were tracked. Such persistence, she says, suggests that the teenagers retained whatever it was they had learned.Heller admits she doesn’t know why the summer jobs program suppressed violent crimes so effectively. But she suspects that both the job and the social-emotional learning somehow gave the teenagers the ability to deal with interpersonal conflicts without resorting to violence. And that skill can make all the difference, she says.“Kids get shot every day over nothing—a dirty look, a curse, or a gesture of disrespect,” she notes. “Whatever the mechanism is, it’s something that both treatment elements share.” At the same time, the study found no meaningful improvement in school outcomes, including better attendance or academic performance.The study leaves plenty for other researchers to chew on: How important is the mentor? Do the jobs also provide a network of positive role models and useful contacts? Are there certain subgroups of youths who are especially receptive to such an intervention? “Now that there’s something positive we can measure, people may try to study different permutations of summer jobs,” predicts MDRC’s Bloom. An attitudinal survey of the teenagers could also shed light on the reasons for their altered behavior, he says. “And, of course, you’d like to see it replicated elsewhere.”Heller completed her Ph.D. last year and is now an assistant professor of criminology at Penn. She hopes to continue tracking these youths through and beyond high school to see how long the anticrime effects last. But having a version of her doctoral thesis published in Science, she admits, is not a bad start.*Update, 4 December, 3:24 p.m.: This article has been updated to make clear that the study included both males and females.last_img read more

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Top stories A powerful new antibiotic the most Earthlike planet ever and

first_imgBowhead whales can live for 200 years, yet they show few signs of the age-related ailments that plague humans. Now, scientists have sequenced the whale’s genome—and it may help us unlock the secret to a longer life.Cancer paradox: Testosterone injections combat lethal prostate tumorsTestosterone stokes the growth of prostate cancer cells, so it seems like the last thing a man with this type of cancer needs. But a new study shows that testosterone shots can actually slow the progression of untreatable prostate tumors in some patients.Analysis of spacecraft data reveals most Earth-like planet to dateScientists analyzing data from NASA’s Kepler satellite have identified eight new potentially habitable planets, one of which is the most Earth-like planet found to date. Unpoetically known as 5737.01, the planet has an orbital period of 331 days and is 30% larger than our home.Major cancer groups call for e-cigarette research, regulation E-cigarettes, which allow users to inhale nicotine without other harmful chemicals, are becoming increasingly popular. This week, two of the largest cancer science and treatment groups in the United States called on the government to start regulating these “electronic nicotine delivery systems” and step up research on the health effects of vaping. Microbe found in grassy field contains powerful antibioticAs antibiotic resistance increases, scientists are worried that we’re going to run out of drugs to fight diseases faster than we can make new ones. Now, they’ve discovered a microbe that produces a powerful new antibiotic. What’s more, the new compound works in such a way that it’s unlikely to fall prey to the problem of antibiotic resistance.How some whales live more than 200 years 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 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 (*) Emaillast_img read more

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Insulininfused venom helps cone snails net prey

first_imgThe most venomous animal on the planet isn’t a snake, a spider, or a scorpion; it’s a snail—a cone snail, to be precise. The Conus genus boasts a large variety of marine snails that have adopted an equally diverse assortment of venoms. Online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers report an especially interesting addition to the animals’ arsenal: insulin. According to the paper, this marks the first time insulin has been discovered as a component of venom. Not all cone snails incorporate insulin into their venom cocktail, wonderfully known as nirvana cabal; the hormone was found only in a subset of the animals that hunt with a netting strategy that relies on snaring fish in their large, gaping mouthparts. Unlike the feeding tactics of some cone snails that hunt using speedy venom-tipped “harpoons,” the mouth-netting strategy is a rather slow process. For it to work, the fish either needs to be very unaware of its surroundings or chemically sedated. Scientists speculate that it’s the insulin that provides such sedation. Snails like Conus geographus (seen above) actually produce multiple variants of the hormone, some of which, like one called Con-Ins G1, are more similar to fish insulin than snail varieties. Con-Ins G1 isn’t an exact match of fish insulin though; it’s a stripped-down version that the team suspects may be missing bits that would let fish detect the overdose and respond. If they’re correct, the snail’s venom may yield insight into the nuances of how insulin is regulated that may extend to humans.last_img read more

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Colors help set bodys internal clock

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 The beautiful color of a sunset might be more than just a pretty picture. It could be a signal to our bodies that it’s time to reset our internal clock, the biological ticktock that governs everything from sleep patterns to digestion. That’s the implication of a new study in mice that shows these small rodents use light’s changing color to set their own clocks, a finding that researchers expect will hold for humans, too.“I think this work opens up how we’re just starting to scratch the surface and look at the environmental adaptations of clocks,” says Carrie Partch, a biochemist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who was not involved in the new study.Scientists have long known about the role light plays in governing circadian rhythms, which synchronize life’s ebb and flow with the 24-hour day. But they weren’t sure how different properties of light, such as color and brightness, contributed to winding up that clock. “As a sort of common sense notion people have assumed that the clock somehow measures the amount of light in the outside world,” says Tim Brown, a neuroscientist at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and an author of the new study. “Our idea was that it might be doing something more sophisticated than that.” To find out, Brown and his colleagues targeted an area in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN, a region common to all vertebrates. It’s where the body keeps time using chemical and electrical rhythms that last, on average, 24 hours. The team wanted to know if color signals sent from the eyes reached the SCN and whether that information affected the timing of the clock.Brown and his colleagues measured the electrical chatter of SCN neurons as they showed mice different intensities and colors of light. At least a quarter of the neurons they measured responded strongly to changes in color, especially to the shorter wavelength blue light that dominates skies after dusk. This meant that the signal was getting through, but it did not demonstrate a measurable effect on the mice’s internal clocks. So the team constructed an “artificial sky”—a bank of differently colored LEDs behind a diffusive screen—above caged mice and simulated day and night with and without color changes. Mice are nocturnal, with a body temperature that peaks during the night. When natural color changes were missing from the artificial sky, their clocks got confused—the peak temperature arrived about 30 minutes earlier than under more natural conditions.To be sure that this shift in temperature was indeed due to a change in the clock, the researchers examined slices from the SCN of mice involved in the artificial sky experiment. “One of the cool things about the clock,” Brown says, is that “when you take it out of an animal and put it in a dish, the cells continue to fire.” By measuring the firing rates in a particular slice, the researchers could estimate if the clock was running fast or slow. Cells from mice that didn’t see color variation lagged behind those that did, a confirmation that the shift in peak body temperature was due to the clock, the team reports today in PLOS Biology.Brown sees potential human applications in this work. “What this opens up is the possibility for enhancing existing ways of treating jet lag or things like seasonal depression disorder,” he says. One method for treating jet lag is a light box, which immerses a traveler in bright light to trick his or her clock. Adding color to that light might give better results, Brown says. The new finding may even change our understanding of why color vision evolved. The researchers suggest it may have been a better way for animals to set their clocks in a world where clouds could reduce the brightness of light but still let color shine through.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more

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Feature Irans fragile ecosystems under pressure

first_imgIran has many hot spots where the needs of a burgeoning population are taking a toll on the fragile ecosystems of this vast, water-poor country. This story touches on four hot issues: a drought stretching into its fifth year that is having devastating consequences, especially in central Iran; a controversial plan to transform Iran’s only island in the Caspian Sea into a tourism hub; alarming declines of Iran’s forests due to wildfires, conversion to cropland, logging, and urbanization; and efforts to save the Asiatic cheetah from extinction. Iranian scientists and nongovernmental organizations are speaking out about the crises—and, in some cases, making headway toward solving them.To read the full story, see the 4 September issue of Science.last_img read more

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A cold clear view of life wins chemistry Nobel

first_img Email A cold, clear view of life wins chemistry Nobel Another significant advance came from Dubochet in the early 1980s. The problem with freezing biological samples is that ice crystals diffract the electron beam, blurring the image. Dubochet realized that if the water was frozen quickly enough—vitrified, like glass—ice crystals wouldn’t form. By cooling samples with liquid nitrogen to –196°C, Dubochet created breathtakingly sharp images. Because molecules are flash-frozen, they are caught in a variety of states, allowing researchers to assemble these pictures into movies that recreate their motion—capturing how the shape of the protein changes as it does its work in the cell.Taken together, these approaches pushed the resolution of cryo-EM to 0.5 nanometers. That still wasn’t good enough to match X-ray crystallography, which today achieves a resolution of around 0.2 nanometers, and sometimes even better. “We kind of got stuck,” Frank says. But the replacement of film-based detectors with digital ones—a development pushed by Henderson– has changed the landscape for cryo-EM, enabling resolution as low as 0.25 nanometers. “That brought us into the realm of X-ray crystallography,” he says. By Erik Stokstad, Robert F. ServiceOct. 4, 2017 , 6:00 AM The electron microscope has been around for a while—there were prototypes as early as 1931—but it had serious limitations for biologists. Samples must be contained in a vacuum, which dries out biological molecules and warps molecular structures. Then the samples are pelted by a beam of radiation that can fry sensitive biomolecules. Beginning in the 1950s, X-ray crystallography allowed biologists to create static images of the structure of proteins. But it requires obtaining copious amounts of purified protein and then coaxing all the identical copies to pack into a regular crystalline orientation—impossible for many large proteins and multi-protein complexes. In the 1980s, nuclear magnetic resonance began providing protein structures, but mostly for small proteins in solution. N. Elmehed/© Nobel Media Veronica Falconieri, Sriram Subramaniam, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health Over the past century, more than a dozen Nobel prizes have been awarded for X-raying crystals of proteins and other complex molecules to picture their atomic structure. This year, the prize went to a technique that can take similarly close snapshots of some of the large, wriggly structures that X-rays can’t see. “It has totally revolutionized structural biology,” says Venki Ramakrishnan, a structural biologist at the LMB who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his X-ray crystallography work and who now counts himself as an cryo-EM evangelist.Holger Stark, a cryo-EM expert who heads the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen, Germany, says the method’s resolution has improved dramatically in recent years, enough to not only see the outline of a protein’s backbone, but also the amino acid arms that extend to the sides as well – details that are essential for working out how the protein operates chemically, and critical for drug discovery. The award is well deserved, he says. “It was rather quick. But it wasn’t too surprising, was it?” Cryo-EM techniques are elucidating the structures of ever larger complexes including the ribosome, the cellular factory that produces proteins, and the spliceosome, the complex that trims non-coding material out of RNA. Henderson says the vast world of membrane-bound proteins and protein complexes that can’t be crystallized is now in reach. “In a few years, perhaps 5 years, we might know most of the structures, at least in humans and pathogenic bacteria,” Henderson says. “It’s really quite an exciting time.”And the revolution isn’t over yet. The National Institutes of Health and other national biomedical funding agencies are spending tens of millions of dollars to build new cryo-EM centers to expand access to the machines. One upshot, says Ramakrishnan, is that structural biologists like himself are getting out of the business of X-ray crystallography. “Nobody in my lab wanted to set up crystallization trays anymore and pray our proteins would crystallize.”The exodus could have an impact on the billion-dollar, stadium-sized synchrotrons that generate the X-ray light for crystallography experiments. With so many structural biologists turning to cryo-EM, “there might soon be too many synchrotrons around”, Stark says. “That could happen.” Some synchrotrons in Europe, he adds, are already adding cryo-EM facilities. For the moment, X-ray crystallography remains the gold standard for imaging proteins that can be crystallized. But if this week’s Nobel prize is any sign, a new standard bearer is on its way. It has totally revolutionized structural biology Major advances in the imaging of biomolecules—everything from the needles that bacteria use to attack cells to the structure of Zika virus—have garnered three scientists the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The award goes to three pioneers of a technique called cryo–electron microscopy (cryo-EM): Jacques Dubochet of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, Joachim Frank of Columbia University, and Richard Henderson of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, U.K. This composite image of the protein β-galactosidase shows the progressive resolution of cryo–electron microscopy from mere blobs several years ago (left) to ultrafine 0.22-nanometer resolution today (right).center_img A step-by-step explanation of cryo-EM Venki Ramakrishnan 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 Henderson took a major step forward out of frustration with X-ray crystallography: He couldn’t coax proteins embedded in a cell membrane to crystallize. So he placed a bacterial cell membrane containing a protein called bacteriorhodopsin into an electron microscope and covered it in a glucose solution to keep it moist. He then lowered the amount of energy in the beam, creating a low-contrast picture. Because the molecules were embedded in the membrane in an orderly fashion, Henderson got a diffraction pattern that he could turn into a higher resolution image. By 1975, he had created a 3D picture of the protein. It was, at the time, the finest ever portrait made of a protein with an electron microscope. It was a bit of a special case because of the ordered arrangement of the proteins in the cell membrane, but in principle, this approach could be used for any molecule found in cells.A challenge remained: how to use low-energy radiation to see less organized molecules. The problem is that these collections of molecules yield a confusing assortment of images, as they are oriented randomly. In work between 1975 and 1986, Frank came up with a way to make sense of the data, by using algorithms to sort the images into related groups of shapes and then averaging each group. This not only sharpened the 2D images but also allowed them to be combined into a 3D structure. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The $1.1 million Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be shared among Richard Henderson of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, U.K.; Joachim Frank of Columbia University; and Jacques Dubochet of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland (left to right). In 2015, cryo–electron microscopy enabled the mapping of the spliceosome, the large complex that trims noncoding material from RNA. Related Science papers Y. Chen et al., “Structure of the STRA6 receptor for retinol uptake,” Science 353, 6302 (26 August 2016)E. Twomey et al., “Elucidation of AMPA receptor–stargazin complexes by cryo–electron microscopy,” Science 353, 6294 (1 July 2016)W. Kühlbrandt, “The resolution revolution,” Science 343, 6178 (28 March 2014)H. Matsuo et al., “Role of LBPA and Alix in multivesicular liposome formation and endosome organization,” Science 303, 5657 (23 January 2004)M. Valle et al., “Visualizing tmRNA entry into a stalled ribosome,” Science 300, 5616 (4 April 2003)C. M. T. Spahn et al., “Hepatitis C virus IRES RNA-induced changes in the conformation of the 40S ribosomal subunit,” Science 291, 5510 (9 March 2001)R. Beckmann et al., “Alignment of conduits for the nascent polypeptide chain in the ribosome-Sec61 complex,” Science 278, 5346 (19 December 1997)R. K. Agrawal et al., “Direct visualization of A-, P-, and E-site transfer RNAs in the Escherichia coli ribosome,” Science 271, 5251 (16 February 1996) Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) C. 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Noreen John confirmed to run in Grand Bay for UWP

first_imgShareTweetSharePinNoreen John. Photo credit: Sun newspaperWhen the United Workers Party presents all of its 21 candidates for the next general election in Dominica on Sunday, Lawyer, Noreen John, will be among.UWP leader Lennox Linton confirmed publicly for the first time on his party’s radio programme, “Workers Voice” on Wednesday night that John will be representing the UWP in the Grand Bay Constituency in the next election. She will challenge Edward Registe of the Dominica Labour Party.The UWP will present its candidates to the Dominican public at a national event to be held on the Roseau Bay front on Sunday May 19, 2019.The slate of UWP candidates to be announced comprises: Rosana Emmanuel – Petite Savanne, Noreen John – Grand Bay, Dr. Sam Christian – Soufriere, Joshua Francis – Roseau South, Ronald Charles – Roseau Valley, Glenroy Cuffy – Roseau Central, Danny Lugay – Roseau North, Felix Thomas – Mahaut,  Monelle Williams – St. Joseph, Hector John – Salisbury, Nicholas George – Colihaut, Jefferson James – Portsmouth, Marcus Romain – Cottage, Clement Marcellin – Vieille Case, Davis George – Calibishie, Ezekiel Bazil – Wesley, Lennox Linton – Marigot, Dr. Worrel Sanford – Kalinago Territory, Ernie Jno Finn – Castle Bruce, Dr. Pharaoh Cuffy – Morne Jaune/Riviere Cyrique and Francisca  Joseph – La Plaine.The event will begin at 3:00 pm.last_img read more

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Who sniffs the sniffers Electronic nose takes a whiff of dogs to

first_img Who sniffs the sniffers? Electronic nose takes a whiff of dogs to spot deadly disease 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 Monica Staniek Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email By Elizabeth PennisiFeb. 21, 2019 , 2:35 PM Dogs are champs at smelling, a quality that has been harnessed to sniff out mines and may one day be used to diagnose cancer. But now it’s an electronic nose’s turn to sniff the pooches.The reason: “visceral leishmaniasis,” a disease spread by the sand fly parasite that can cause weight loss, enlarged organs, and fever in people and weight loss, diarrhea, and skin problems in dogs. The number of human cases has doubled in Brazil since 1990, causing several thousand deaths a year.Now, public health officials use a time-consuming, two-part test to identify infected dogs as part of their effort to reduce parasite populations. To see whether an “eNose” would work better, researchers collected blood and hair samples (pictured) from 16 dogs known to carry the parasite and 185 other dogs. Hair from infected dogs smells different from the hair of uninfected dogs. The handheld device contains sensors that send different electrical signals depending on the chemical compositions of odors. Water-filled bags of hair were heated and then samples of the air in the bag were blown across the eNose. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The eNose picked up leishmaniasis infections 95% of the time, the team reported last week in a preprint on bioRxiv. Further tests and a sturdier, more customized eNose are needed though before eNose takes to the streets as a tool for curbing the number of infected dogs and reducing infections in people, the researchers note. But if it can work on dogs, it can also work to quickly detect infections in humans, they predict.last_img read more

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AgustaWestland Chopper case ED moves Delhi court seeking bail cancellation of Rajiv

first_img Related News Gautam Khaitan moves fresh bail plea in money laundering case VVIP chopper scam: SC asks Rajeev Saxena if his relatives would guarantee return after ED objects agustawestland, agustawestland chopper case, chopper scam, rajiv saxena, money laundering, enforcement directorate, indian express news Special Judge Arvind Kumar issued notice to Saxena and put up the matter for hearing on July 18. (Representational Image)The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Monday moved a Delhi court seeking bail cancellation of Rajiv Saxena, a middleman-turned-approver in a money laundering case related to the AgustaWestland chopper scam, for allegedly not cooperating in the probe. Chopper scam: SC to hear Tuesday ED’s plea against Rajeev Saxena’s permission to travel abroad Advertising Special Judge Arvind Kumar issued notice to Saxena and put up the matter for hearing on July 18.The court had earlier allowed Saxena to turn approver and his plea for grant of pardon on the condition that he will fully disclose all information in the case.Saxena, director at two Dubai-based firms — UHY Saxena and Matrix Holdings, is one of the accused named in the chargesheet filed by the ED in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland scam. Post Comment(s) By PTI |New Delhi | Updated: July 15, 2019 1:42:19 pmlast_img read more

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Dilbert vs Trump Why False Facts Have Power

first_imgWe’ve been having a lot of interesting weeks since the presidential election, making more than a few of us wish for simpler times. One of the most interesting things I’ve read of late is by Dilbert creator Scott Adams, who predicted the election outcome and tied it to Trump’s brilliant use of intentional false facts, which he used to dominate the news up to the election.It is an interesting argument: Use false facts to engage the audience and drive home the bigger message. The implication is that fake facts — fake news, if you will — are potentially more powerful than the truth. This implies a very frightening future, when the truth no longer matters.I’ll share some thoughts on that and close with my product of the week: the new Echo hub from Amazon. AmazonEcho Plus Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has undergrad degrees in merchandising and manpower management, and an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. The Trick Now just any false fact won’t accomplish this. In order to work it at least needs to seem like it could be a truth, because you need people who will argue the point to give you the media coverage and control you need.For instance, if someone were to post that the sun is blue, you’d blow them off as an idiot and likely wouldn’t even bother to respond. Yet if that same person were to post that the sun is entering a cooling cycle, and that global warming is a way to save humans, then there is enough of a foundation of truth to cause folks to disagree.That wouldn’t be enough to really fire people up, though, so perhaps arguing that a mini-ice age is coming would help. Given that both of those links go to coverage that at least looks credible, why aren’t we arguing about mini-ice ages now?In part, it’s likely that other things, like a possible North Korean nuclear attack, have consumed our attention. It’s also likely due to the fact that you need someone who is charismatic to make the claim.Coincidentally, a recent article speaks to the power of charisma, and how our behavior changes when we’re faced with a charismatic speaker or leader.The article relates the experience of a researcher who viewed a talk in person by then President Obama and watched the audience basically turn into zombies (they mostly stopped showing emotion). Since most of the related research focused on leaders rather than followers, the researcher then went on to study the audience. He eventually coined the term “awestruck effect.” Personally, I like my term, “zombies,” better.I personally test as unusually resilient to influence like this, but I can recall a presentation by Steve Jobs after which my entire group, including me, raved about his amazing pitch — only to realize it was all smoke and mirrors. There was no “there” there. Jobs was off the charts when it came to charisma, and that experience showcased that even I could be vulnerable to it. I can’t speak for you, but I sure as hell don’t like being manipulated, and regardless of party affiliation or interest, this goes to the fact that we’re all being manipulated all of the time. Given the Russian influence over the last election, the folks doing it largely don’t have our best interests at heart.Here are some steps you can take to resist fake news distractions:First, you should realize that we all can be manipulated. You should start paying more attention to why things are happening and focus a bit less on the what. For instance, it is likely far more important to understand why the president claimed he was the only one who ever called Gold Star families, than to know that what he said was clearly false. Rather than falling for the distraction, you should start looking harder to see what it is covering up.Second is to realize that one of the most successful ways to trick you is to tell you what you want to hear. If you suddenly find yourself saying “yes” a lot — even to yourself — learn to put up a red flag and check to see if you are being manipulated to do or say something you otherwise wouldn’t want to do or say.It is becoming very clear that Russia used these techniques very effectively during the last election. (By the way, this is often how telemarketers trick you into signing up to buy stuff.)Third, you don’t have to be right about everything. If it isn’t important, let it go. However, if false news is being used as a distraction, you might want to point out that part, rather than just the falsehood itself.Finally, watch for charismatic behavior in the audience. If you are in a group that suddenly stops displaying emotion and is listening to a speaker in what appears to be a daze, maybe it is time to leave and cover the material a different way. I’m one of the first Echo users, and I’ve been a fan since day one. The only thing I really would like the company to fix is to allow me to change the name “Alexa” to anything else I want — currently you can change it to “Echo,” “Computer” or “Amazon” — because the Echo in my office seems to want to interrupt my phone call with comments any time she hears “Alexa.” (The other choices wouldn’t be much, if any, better.)The new Alexa Plus has three things going for it. It has better sound than the original Echo — not enough better to swap them out, but much better than the Dot or new cheaper Echo. It is reasonably priced, at around US$150, and it has a more advanced home automation hub. This last sounds better than it now is, because it is still limited, but setting up lights does seem to be easier — so think of this last as a work in progress. Wrapping Up: Fake News as Manipulation This creates an interesting line for Amazon. If you want to try out the Echo, the Echo Dot at $50 is a good entry point. If you want to give Echo as a gift, then the $100 version is good enough. If you want better sound and to start at the ground floor with home automation, then move up to the Echo Plus at $150. Finally, if you want to add video conferencing and movie watching, go for the Echo Show at $229.Oh, and if you want video but want it for a gift, then you have the Echo Spot at $129. Finally, if you really want the best sound, then go to the Sonos One with Alexa for $199.It is getting close to shopping time, and Amazon clearly wants to own your gift list if you are focused on music. The Echo Plus is a moderate update on the original Echo — not enough to force a replacement or upgrade, but enough to be competitive with what is coming from Apple, Google and Microsoft. When you are the market leader, that’s all you really need, and the Amazon Echo Plus is my product of the week. How We Are So Easily Manipulated Protection From Manipulation While I was aware that fake news was part of a manipulation scheme, it wasn’t until I read the Scott Adams piece that I considered that it isn’t just the content but the methodology of its use that is important.What is particularly scary is the level of manipulation going on today, from Russia in our elections to Isis and recruiting attackers, like the one in New York last week. We all likely should be undergoing regular training not only to prevent being manipulated ourselves, but also to help protect our kids or aging parents from being tricked and manipulated as well.We aren’t — and I’m suggesting that we should start stepping up and resisting this manipulation more aggressively ourselves. Eventually, our lives may depend on a critical mass of us not being so easily fooled.Yep, I know, we are pretty much screwed… The news cycle since President Trump was elected seems to have been a whirlwind of mistakes and errors. We seem to move from crisis to crisis, tweet to tweet. Much of what we see is tied to facts that are so obviously false that many of us are left scratching our heads.However, what happens with these false facts is that they engage the various reporters and pundits who gleefully point out that the obviously fake information is fake. They seem to relish doing it, in the belief that this makes them seem much more intelligent than the president or his staff.If it is all a con, though — in other words, intentionally done to control the news cycle — none of these folks are being smart at all. In fact, they’re all being tricked into doing exactly what they are doing.What Scott Adams argues is that our need to feel superior drives us to focus on these false facts and ignore the very real information that surrounds them. Let’s take the wall between Mexico and the U.S.It is a truly stupid idea, because much of the terrain doesn’t lend itself to a wall. Regardless of how high and deep the wall is, getting over or under it in remote areas would still be relatively trivial for folks who currently build massive tunnels under the existing walls. Arguing about the wall keeps Donald Trump in the news, though, and it implies that he is working on protecting the borders, and it confirms him as a major voice on the topic of illegal aliens.If you look at the wall less as an actual wall and more as a mechanism to control dialog, you can see that it has been very successful and instrumental in getting him elected, regardless of the fact that it is a truly stupid idea. last_img read more

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UB research provides new information on alcohol misuse among neverdeployed reservists

first_img Source:http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2018/11/038.html Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 30 2018U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers who experience greater feelings of guilt and other negative emotions about never having been deployed are more likely to misuse alcohol, according to new research from the University at Buffalo.In a study of 174 Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers who hadn’t been deployed, researchers found that more negative non-deployment emotions were associated with a range of alcohol use outcomes.”A greater degree of non-deployment emotions — such as guilt, less value, less camaraderie and less connectedness — was associated with greater frequency and amount of alcohol drinking among never-deployed Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers,” said study lead author Rachel Hoopsick, a community health and health behavior PhD candidate in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP).The study was published Oct. 31 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. It’s the first to examine the relationship between a novel measure of negative emotions related to never having been deployed — the Non-Deployment Emotions Questionnaire — and alcohol use outcomes among service members who have never been deployed.Problem alcohol use was related to non-deployment emotions among male soldiers, the study showed. “Male, but not female soldiers, experienced a greater likelihood of alcohol problems when they had highly negative non-deployment emotions,” Hoopsick said.Data for the paper came from Operation: SAFETY (Soldiers and Families Excelling Through the Years), an ongoing study of the health and well-being of U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers and their partners.The study is funded by an award (R01DA034072) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to Hoopsick’s mentor and study co-author Gregory G. Homish, PhD, associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior in SPHHP. In order to consider the longitudinal impact of non-deployment on health outcomes, the grant has been funded by NIDA for an additional five years to fully examine the complexities of soldier identity, emotions and behaviors.It is also funded through an award (UL1TR001412) to UB from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.Related StoriesRecreational marijuana users tend to drink more alcohol, medicinal users drink lessSobering up: In an alcohol-soaked nation, more seek booze-free social spacesNew research examines whether effects of alcohol/pregnancy policies vary by raceFor this study, Hoopsick — who is also a graduate research assistant for Operation: SAFETY — and her colleagues wanted to examine the potential relationship between non-deployment emotions and a range of alcohol use outcomes.Reserve service members, who number just over 1 million in the U.S., have been shown to be at high risk for problems with substance use and mental health.But less is known about the drinking patterns of soldiers who have never been deployed, Hoopsick said, noting that previous research hasn’t uncovered any significant differences between recently deployed and never-deployed soldiers in terms of alcohol use, but that never-deployed service members may be less likely to be considered for targeted screening and intervention efforts as their previously deployed counterparts.”U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers are at high risk for alcohol misuse, and our prior work demonstrated that negative emotions related to having never been deployed are prevalent among those who have never been deployed,” said Hoopsick.”Non-deployment emotions are associated with alcohol problems among men and are thus important to consider in the overall health and well-being of never-deployed service members,” Hoopsick said, adding that never-deployed service members should be included in alcohol screening and prevention efforts, especially those who experience negative non-deployment emotions.Researchers say non-deployment may affect men more so than women because of what has previously been called the “Reserve soldier identity,” of which deployment is a key component.In the current study, 77 percent of male soldiers and 70 percent of female soldiers experienced some type of negative emotions over their non-deployment. Among never-deployed soldiers, 23 percent of men and 21 percent of women reported getting drunk at least once per month, while 12 percent of men and 8 percent of women had clinically significant alcohol problems”The importance of considering all soldiers and not just those who have deployed is essential for the prevention and intervention of problematic substance use and other issues,” says Homish.last_img read more

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EHRrelated stress associated with physician burnout

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 6 2018While electronic health records (EHRs) improve communication and access to patient data, researchers found that stress from using EHRs is associated with burnout, particularly for primary care doctors such as pediatricians, family medicine physicians and general internists.Common causes of EHR-related stress include too little time for documentation, time spent at home managing records and EHR user interfaces that are not intuitive to the physicians who use them.”You don’t want your doctor to be burned out or frustrated by the technology that stands between you and them,” said Dr. Rebekah Gardner, an associate professor of medicine at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School. “In this paper, we show that EHR stress is associated with burnout, even after controlling for a lot of different demographic and practice characteristics. Quantitatively, physicians who have identified these stressors are more likely to be burned out than physicians who haven’t.”The findings were published on Wednesday, Dec. 5, in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.Many prior studies have looked into the factors that contribute to burnout in health care, said Gardner, lead author and also a senior medical scientist at Healthcentric Advisors. Besides health information technology, these factors include chaotic work environments, productivity pressures, lack of autonomy and a misalignment between the doctors’ values and the values they perceive the leaders of their organizations hold.She added that prior research has shown that patients of burned-out physicians experience more errors and unnecessary tests.EHR-related stressThe Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) surveys practicing physicians in Rhode Island every two years about how they use health information technology, as part of a legislative mandate to publicly report health care quality data. In 2017, the research team included questions about health information technology-related stress and specifically EHR-related stress.Of the almost 4,200 practicing physicians in the state, 43 percent responded, and the respondents were representative of the overall population. Almost all of the doctors used EHRs (91 percent) and of these, 70 percent reported at least one measure of EHR-related stress.Measures included agreeing that EHRs add to the frustration of their day, spending moderate to excessive amounts of time on EHRs while they were at home and reporting insufficient time for documentation while at work.The researchers found that doctors with insufficient time for documentation while at work had 2.8 times the odds of burnout symptoms compared to doctors without that pressure. The other two measures had roughly twice the odds of burnout symptoms.Related StoriesTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceUTHealth researchers investigate how to reduce stress-driven alcohol useDogs and cats relieve academic stress and lift students’ mood, according to a new studyThe researchers also found that EHR-related stress is dependent on the physician’s specialty.More than a third of primary care physicians reported all three measures of EHR-related stress — including general internists (39.5 percent), family medicine physicians (37 percent) and pediatricians (33.6 percent). Many dermatologists (36.4 percent) also reported all three measures of EHR-related stress.On the other hand, less than 10 percent of anesthesiologists, radiologists and hospital medicine specialists reported all three measures of EHR-related stress.While family medicine physicians (35.7 percent) and dermatologists (34.6 percent) reported the highest levels of burnout, in keeping with their high levels of EHR-related stress, hospital medicine specialists came in third at 30.8 percent. Gardner suspects that other factors, such as a chaotic work environment, contribute to their rates of burnout.”To me, it’s a signal to health care organizations that if they’re going to ‘fix’ burnout, one solution is not going to work for all physicians in their organization,” Gardner said. “They need to look at the physicians by specialty and make sure that if they are looking for a technology-related solution, then that’s really the problem in their group.”However, for those doctors who do have a lot of EHR-related stress, health care administrators could work to streamline the documentation expectations or adopt policies where work-related email and EHR access is discouraged during vacation, Gardner said.She also suggested that making the user interface for EHRs more intuitive could address some stress; however, when the research team analyzed the results by the three most common EHR systems in the state, none of them were associated with increased burnout.Earlier research found that using medical scribes was associated with lower rates of burnout, but this study did not confirm that association, which Gardner found surprising. In the paper, the authors suggest that perhaps medical scribes address the burden of documentation, but not other time-consuming EHR tasks such as inbox management.Since the survey was not anonymous and the RIDOH is responsible for licensing physicians in the state, the doctors likely underreported their levels of burnout and stress, Gardner said. However, she believes the associations her team found are still valid and significant. Source:https://news.brown.edu/articles/2018/12/burnoutlast_img read more

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