New project aims to encourage people to quit smoking

first_imgJun 5 2018SmokeFreeBrain brings together experts in toxicology, pulmonary medicine, neuroscience, and behavioral therapy, as well as health economics and health informatics. They are examining the effectiveness of anti-smoking strategies aimed at high-risk groups in high-middle-income countries, such as unemployed adults, people with chronic pulmonary disease and asthma patients – as well as the general population in lower-middle-income countries.“Smoking is the largest avoidable cause of lung diseases, morbidity and premature mortality worldwide,” says project coordinator Panagiotis Bamidis. “The purpose of our project is to deliver new knowledge regarding the cost-effectiveness of innovative smoking cessation interventions. This approach should improve the efficiency of public policy strategies aiming to reduce smoker numbers and therefore help to prevent lung diseases.”Broad approachThe project is evaluating the effectiveness of public health service announcements which seek to encourage people to quit. It is also looking into the use of electronic cigarettes, both with and without nicotine. In addition, researchers have designed a specific neuro-feedback intervention protocol to combat addiction. The use of social media, mobile apps and text messaging (collectively named So-Lo-Mo) to help people stop is also being assessed, as is the value of drug-based approaches to curb tobacco cravings.SmokeFreeBrain, which is scheduled to finish its work in October 2018, is currently piloting a number of interventions based in hospitals and laboratories in eight different countries – Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Serbia, the United Kingdom and Taiwan.Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTStudy: Less than 50% of U.S. adults exposed to court-ordered anti-smoking advertisementsResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairMore than 500 people are participating in these interventions across Europe and Taiwan. The smokers are being assessed over a year, with the aim of producing solid, quantifiable data about the effectiveness of the different approaches.For example, the So-Lo-Mo approach is being tested in Spain and Taiwan and includes the development of mobile games and applications to encourage people to stop smoking. The drug interventions are being piloted in Spain, Serbia and Greece, while the use of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid is being assessed in the United Kingdom.Meanwhile, preliminary results show that the neuro-feedback intervention protocol can cause lasting changes in the brain cortex as people try to stop smoking.Informing policy“Dissemination and exploitation activities are key to the success of SmokeFreeBrain, as they will engage stakeholders while spreading the knowledge and experience gained in the project – maximizing its benefit for the European economy and society,” explains Bamidis. “The results and the outputs of the project will target the research community as well as smoking cessation clinics and policymakers.”In addition, the project aims to transform its experiences and results into real policy actions. The goal is to shape clinical treatment and policy advice that favors scientifically evaluated and economically cost-efficient interventions.Source: http://ec.europa.eu/research/infocentre/article_en.cfm?id=/research/headlines/news/article_18_06_05_en.html?infocentre&item=Infocentre&artid=48896last_img read more

Novel smart probe may improve postsurgical outcomes for cancer patients

first_imgJun 26 2018A new Tel Aviv University study explores a novel smart probe for image-guided surgery that may dramatically improve post-surgical outcomes for cancer patients.In many kinds of cancers, it is often not the primary malignant tumor, but rather metastasis — the spread of lingering cancer cells to other parts of the body — that kills patients. A multidisciplinary team led by Prof. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine created a smart probe that, when injected into a patient a few hours prior to surgery to excise a primary tumor, may help surgeons pinpoint where the cancer is situated down to several cancer cells, permitting them to guarantee the removal of more cancer cells than ever before.”In cases of melanoma and breast cancer, for example, the surgeon may believe he/she has gotten everything — that he/she has excised the entire tumor and left the remaining tissue free of cancer. Even if only a few cells linger after surgery, too few or too small to be detected by MRI or CT, recurrence and metastasis may occur,” Prof. Satchi-Fainaro says. “Our new technology can guide the surgeon to completely excise the cancer.”The study was published in Theranostics on June 21, 2018.Making cancer cells “glow in the dark”The new technique harnesses near-infrared technology to identify the cancer cells. “The probe is a polymer that connects to a fluorescent tag by a linker. This linker is recognized by an enzyme called cathepsin that is overproduced in many cancer types,” says Prof. Satchi-Fainaro. “Cathepsin cleaves the tag from the polymer and turns on its fluorescence at a near-infrared light.”Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemEmbrace your natural skin tone to prevent skin cancer, say expertsThe smart probes may potentially be used to guide the surgeon in real time during tumor excision. The surgeon can also avoid cutting out any “non-glowing” healthy tissue.The scientists first examined the effect of the probe in the lab on regular healthy skin and mammary tissue, and then on melanoma and breast cancer cells. They subsequently used mouse models of melanoma and breast cancer to perform routine tumor excision surgeries and smart probe-guided surgeries.”The mice that underwent regular surgery experienced recurrence and metastasis much sooner and more often than those who underwent our smart probe-guided surgery,” says Prof. Satchi-Fainaro. “Most importantly, those which experienced the smart probe surgery survived much longer.”Decreasing the need for additional surgery”The probe may also reduce the need for repeated surgeries in patients with cancer cells that remain in the edges of removed tissue,” Prof. Satchi-Fainaro says. “Altogether, this may lead to the improvement of patient survival rates.””We are currently designing and developing additional unique polymeric Turn-ON probes for the purpose of image-guided surgery. They can be activated by additional analytes such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are overproduced in cancer tissues, or by using other chemiluminescent probes. We are always looking at ways to improve sensitivity and selectivity which are paramount to cancer patients’ care.” Source:https://www.aftau.org/weblog-medicine–health?&storyid4704=2398&ncs4704=3last_img read more

3Dprinted implants appear to guide regrowth of missing bone in lab animals

first_imgAug 2 2018Chemically coated, ceramic implants successfully guided the regrowth of missing bone in lab animals while “steadily dissolving,” researchers report.Surgeons and scientists at NYU School of Medicine and NYU College of Dentistry say their implanted scaffolds were naturally absorbed by the test animals’ bodies as new bone gradually replaced the devices. The research team describes its progress in a series of reports, the latest of which appears in the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine online July 25.Modeled after the bone pieces they are meant to help replace, the implants were assembled onsite using 3D robotic printing, a technology that uses a fine-point print head to push out a gel-like ink material. The material is printed onto a platform, and the printer repeats the process until 2D layers stack up into a 3D object, which is then superheated into its final ceramic form. Available for more than a decade, the technology has only of late been applied in medicine to print out replacement ears, skin, and heart valves.”Our 3D scaffold represents the best implant in development because of its ability to regenerate real bone,” says study senior investigator and biomedical engineer Paulo Coelho, DDS, PhD. “Our latest study results move us closer to clinical trials and potential bone implants for children living with skull deformations since birth, as well as for veterans seeking to repair damaged limbs,” adds Coelho, who is the Dr. Leonard I. Linkow Professor at NYU Dentistry and a professor in the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Health.The scientists say their novel ceramics more closely resemble real bone shape and composition than other experimental bone implants in which plastic elasticizers are added to make the implant flex. Although the ability to flex offers some advantages, the plastic does not have the same healing ability as NYU’s scaffold.An important feature of the ceramic devices is that they are made of beta tricalcium phosphate, a compound of the same chemicals found in natural bone that makes the implants resorbable.Related StoriesResearchers describe how prostate cancer cells develop ability to mimic osteoblastsLong-term follow-up of childhood cancer survivors is essential to maintain bone healthStudy discusses beneficial effects of antibody therapy that targets sclerostinOne of the secrets to the rapid growth of native bone with the NYU devices is a coating of dipyridamole, a blood thinner shown in other experiments to speed up bone formation by more than 50 percent. The chemical also attracts bone stem cells, which spur the formation of nourishing blood vessels and bone marrow within the newly grown bone. These soft tissues, researchers say, lend to their scaffold-grown bone the same flexibility as natural bone.”Dipyridamole has proven to be key to the implant’s success,” says study co-investigator Bruce N. Cronstein, MD, the Dr. Paul R. Esserman Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine, who perfected the drug’s use during device testing. Used for more than a half-century to prevent blood clots and treat stroke, dipyridamole has a long-standing safety record, says Cronstein, who also serves as the director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and chief of the Division of Translational Medicine at NYU Langone Health. “And because the implant is gradually resorbed, the drug is released a little at a time and locally into the bone, not into the whole body, thereby minimizing risks of abnormal bone growth, bleeding, or other side effects.”In the latest experiments, researchers used the test scaffolds to repair small holes surgically made in the skulls of mice and missing bone pieces as long as 1.2 centimeters in rabbit limbs and jaws.The scientists found that on average 77 percent of each scaffold was resorbed by the mammal’s body six months after implantation. They also found that new bone grows into the lattice-like structural supports of the scaffold, which then dissolves. Some CT scans of the implant sites showed almost no trace of beta tricalcium phosphate, the 3D-printed material of which the original implants were made.Subsequent weight-bearing tests showed that the new bone was of equivalent strength as original, undamaged bone.The investigators say their next studies will test the scaffolds, for which they have a patent pending, in larger animals. They caution that clinical trials are still several years away. Source:https://nyulangone.org/press-releases/three-dimensional-printed-implants-shown-to-help-grow-real-bonelast_img read more

New badge course explores research around skeletal muscle as an endocrine organ

first_img Source:https://www.wichita.edu Aug 17 2018Wichita State University’s new online Skeletal Muscle as an Endocrine Organ badge course explores the growing body of research around skeletal muscle as an endocrine organ that releases metabolites that affect other organs. It is believed to be one of the only online classes nationwide teaching practical blood flow restriction, defined as BFR, using low-cost equipment. All other BFR classes train the student to use proprietary equipment that costs thousands of dollars. Because of this, BFR is not given as a home exercise program, which also makes this class unique.Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerMuscle loss in space travelers could be reduced finds studyPuzzling paralysis affecting healthy children warns CDCIn this study, students will Course instructor Chris Deck is leading the way to making the Practical Blood Flow Restriction technology available to all by incorporating the practice as a low-cost clinic intervention and regular home exercise program. He has been the CEO of three medical clinics and has successfully written major grants, including the Federally Qualified Health Center Grant.The cost is $160 with scholarships available. Enroll in a badge course by Friday, Sept. 14, to be eligible for a scholarship up to $125 to cover the application fee and tuition for one 0.5 credit hour badge course or reduce the cost of graduate badges and 1.0 credit badges.center_img Describe the physiologic effects of practical Blood Flow Restriction (pBFR) List contraindications and precautions of using pBFR with the elderly Evaluate among various BFR tourniquets and compression devices and select the appropriate method for clinic and home exercise program use Create a pBFR program for the clinic and homelast_img read more

New LSU research aims to prevent kidney failure caused by type 2

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 6 2018A National Institutes of Health grant will help LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center take the next step to better understanding how to prevent the kidney damage and failure caused by type 2 diabetes.Krisztian Stadler, PhD, director of the center’s Oxidative Stress and Disease Laboratory, won the NIH R01 grant valued at $1.75 million over four years.”Kidney disease is a major complication of obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Dr. Stadler said. “Our projects focus on discovering the mechanisms that lead to the death of proximal tubular epithelial cells.”Tubular epithelial cells play a crucial role in kidney function, and the cells require high amounts of a specific type of energy source to work correctly – lipids and fatty acids, Dr. Stadler said. Unfortunately, people with type 2 diabetes have lipid metabolism derailments. Their kidney tubular cells can’t properly burn fat or make enough of the molecule adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) to meet the cells’ energy needs. Without enough ATP, tubular epithelial cells wither and die.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairChronic kidney disease patients are excluded from clinical trials”Our hope is that by understanding these mechanisms, future interventions can be designed not only to treat but to prevent tubular cell injury and kidney failure,” Dr. Stadler said.Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic and end-stage kidney disease, according to a 2016 article published in JAMA. An estimated 26 percent of U.S. adults with diabetes, or roughly 8.2 million people, have some form of kidney disease.Kidney damage begins long before the symptoms manifest. If the damage continues, a person’s kidneys can fail, according to the National Institutes of Health. The treatment for kidney failure is dialysis or a kidney transplant. More than half of diabetics with kidney failure have type 2 diabetes.More than 30 million Americans have diabetes, and 90 percent to 95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An additional 84.1 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition that if left untreated often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.Although type 2 diabetes most frequently occurs in people over 40, increasing numbers of children, teens and young adults are developing the disease.R01 grants, or Research Project Grants, provide support for health-related research and development. The program, NIH’s original and oldest grant mechanism, is highly competitive. Less than 19 percent of applicants received funding in the 2017 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. Source:https://www.lsu.edu/last_img read more

New fiber laserbased ultrasound sensor may have potential applications in medical diagnostics

first_img Source:https://www.osa.org/en-us/about_osa/newsroom/news_releases/2018/compact_fiber_laser_may_enable_wearable_tech_and_b/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 18 2018By creating a new twist on fiber optic sensors, researchers in China have developed a smart, flexible photoacoustic imaging technique that may have potential applications in wearable devices, instrumentation and medical diagnostics.Lead researcher Long Jin from the Institute of Photonics Technology at Jinan University in Guangzhou will present the new fiber laser-based ultrasound sensor at the OSA Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science APS/DLS conference, being held 16-20 Sept., 2018 in Washington, D.C. Jin will also present the results of a study using an in vivo photoacoustic microscope.The presentation will be part of the “Advanced Microscopy” session, to be held at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, 17 September in the Jefferson West ballroom of the Washington Hilton hotel.Their new technique relies on optical fiber technology to provide new sensors for photoacoustic imaging. It uses fiber-optic ultrasound detection, exploiting the acoustic effects on laser pulses via the thermoelastic effect — temperature changes that occur as a result of the elastic strain.”Conventional fiber optic sensors detect extremely weak signals by taking advantage of their high sensitivity via phase measurement,” said Jin. These same sorts of sensors are used in military applications to detect low-frequency (kilohertz) acoustic waves. But it turns out that they don’t work so well for ultrasound waves at the megahertz frequencies used for medical purposes because ultrasound waves typically propagate as spherical waves and have a very limited interaction length with optical fibers. The new sensors were specifically developed for medical imaging, Jin said, and can provide better sensitivity than the piezoelectric transducers in use today.The group designed a special ultrasound sensor that’s essentially a compact laser built within the 8-micron-diameter core of a single-mode optical fiber. “It has a typical length of only 8 millimeters,” Jin said. “To build up the laser, two highly reflective grating mirrors are UV-written into the fiber core to provide optical feedback.”This fiber then gets doped with ytterbium and erbium to provide sufficient optical gain at 1,530 nanometers. They use a 980-nanometer semiconductor laser as the pump laser.Related StoriesNANOLIVE‘s novel CX-A defines a new standard for live cell imaging in 96 well plates for continuous organelle monitoring in cell populationsCutting-edge electron microscopy reveals first structures of a lipid-flippaseMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behavior”Such fiber lasers with a kilohertz-order linewidth — the width of the optical spectrum — can be exploited as sensors because they offer a high signal-to-noise ratio,” said research team member Yizhi Liang, an assistant professor at the Institute of Photonics Technology.The ultrasound detection benefits from the combined technique because side-incident ultrasound waves deform the fiber, modulating the lasing frequency.”By detecting the frequency shift, we can reconstruct the acoustic waveform,” Liang said.The team does not demodulate the ultrasound signal, extracting the original information, using conventional interferometry-based methods or any additive frequency locking. Rather, they use another method, called “self-heterodyning,” where the result of mixing two frequencies is detected. Here, they measure the radio frequency-domain beat note given by two orthogonal polarization modes of the fiber cavity. This demodulation also intrinsically guarantees a stable signal output.The fiber laser-based ultrasound sensors offer opportunities for use in photoacoustic microscopy. The researchers used a focused 532-nanometer nanosecond pulse laser to illuminate a sample and excite ultrasound signals. They place a sensor in a stationary position near the biological sample to detect optically induced ultrasound waves.”By raster scanning the laser spot, we can obtain a photoacoustic image of the vessels and capillaries of a mouse’s ear,” Jin said. “This method can also be used to structurally image other tissues and functionally image oxygen distribution by using other excitation wavelengths — which takes advantage of the characteristic absorption spectra of different target tissues.”Optical fibers are useful because they are tiny, lightweight, and intrinsically flexible, Jin added.”The development of our laser sensor is very encouraging because of its potential for endoscopes and wearable applications,” Jin said. “But current commercial endoscopic products are typically millimeters in dimension, which can cause pain, and they don’t work well within hollow organs with limited space.”last_img read more

Congress pushes for multibilliondollar nuclear reactor that critics call a boondoggle

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 Congress pushes for multibillion-dollar nuclear reactor that critics call a boondoggle IDAHO NATIONAL LABORATORY Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Nuclear reactors come in two broad types: thermal and fast. A thermal reactor “burns” a fuel typically containing a few percent of the isotope uranium-235, which releases energy and neutrons in a chain reaction. To maximize the chances that each neutron will split another atom in the dilute fuel, a “moderator” must slow them. It is often the same cooling water that conveys heat energy out of the core. Nearly all commercial power reactors are water-cooled thermal reactors.In contrast, fast reactors split atoms with the raw high-energy neutrons. They must burn fuels that are enriched with more uranium-235 or that contain plutonium-239, and their coolant, often molten sodium or molten lead, does not slow the neutrons. They also come with a bonus: The fast neutrons can efficiently transmute inert uranium-238 into plutonium-239 to breed more fuel. That was attractive decades ago, when experts expected nuclear energy to supply all the world’s electricity and feared running out of uranium. Today, with no shortage of uranium, the more complex fast reactors can’t compete economically with thermal reactors—although some nuclear experts say breeders will one day be needed.In April, INL invited industry to help design a modest 300 megawatt sodium-cooled fast reactor that would burn a plutonium-based fuel made from retired nuclear weapons. The need for a research fast reactor to study materials and fuels emerged in 2015, when DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy reviewed its facilities, says Kemal Pasamehmetoglu, a nuclear engineer at INL who leads the project. “The one glaring gap was a lack of access to fast neutrons.” Russia has the world’s only fast-neutron test reactor.Others are skeptical. “I don’t see a compelling need for this facility,” says Jacopo Buongiorno, a nuclear engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. He says the test reactor would come online too late to help companies now developing novel fast-reactor designs, such as Oklo Inc., of Sunnyvale, California. Oklo Co-Founder Caroline Cochran agrees that the reactor won’t be ready in time to help the company, but says, “It will be a national resource in the decade to come.”Edwin Lyman, a physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C., argues that INL’s real goal is reviving its fast-reactor program. INL’s sodium-cooled Experimental Breeder Reactor-II shut down in 1994. Pasamehmetoglu acknowledges that one reason to build the neutron source is to maintain expertise.The debate over the test reactor mirrors a larger one over the future of nuclear energy, says Mark Hibbs, policy analyst with the Carnegie Institution for International Peace in Berlin. If nuclear energy provides a bridge to other carbon-free sources such as wind and solar, fast reactors won’t be needed, he says. But if nuclear energy will be needed for centuries—as China anticipates—then utilities must eventually switch to fuel-breeding fast reactors, Hibbs says. The debate, he says, “is dominated by theology and lobbyists.”In Congress, the reactor has bipartisan support, especially from the House science committee, where Representatives Randy Weber (R–TX) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX) both sponsored the House bill. “We felt that there is a very clear need and it’s timely,” says one committee aide. “If we wait too long, all these companies will go to Russia.”The project is already taking an usual trajectory at DOE. According to agency rules, a major project must pass a review that certifies the need for the facility before moving on to designs. But in this case, Pasamehmetoglu says his team will develop the design and costing first, and present it to DOE for a yes or no decision in 2020.That is a problem, Lyman says. “Clearly, they haven’t done their due diligence to show that this facility is needed,” he says. Before going further, Von Hippel says, DOE should ask the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to study the need for the reactor. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Plans for a controversial multibillion-dollar U.S. nuclear research reactor are coming together at lightning speed—much too fast, say some nuclear policy experts. With a push from Congress, the Department of Energy (DOE) has begun designing the Versatile Fast Neutron Source, which would be the first DOE-built reactor since the 1970s. It would generate high-energy neutrons for testing materials and fuels for so-called fast reactors. But U.S. utilities have no plans to deploy such reactors, which some nuclear proliferation analysts say pose a risk because they use plutonium, the stuff of atomic bombs.Researchers are divided on whether the reactor, which would likely be built at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) near Idaho Falls, is badly needed or a boondoggle. “Definitely, there is a lack of capability in the U.S. and a shortage of such facilities worldwide,” says Massimiliano Fratoni, a nuclear engineer at the University of California, Berkeley. But Frank von Hippel, a nuclear physicist at Princeton University, says, “It’s a pork-barrel project.”The reactor does enjoy extraordinary congressional support. In March, Congress gave the project $35 million for this year, although DOE only requested $10 million. The House of Representatives and the Senate have passed separate bills that call for completing the facility by 2025, with the House bill authorizing DOE to spend $2 billion. Von Hippel speculates that the cost could end up reaching $10 billion. A new “fast” nuclear reactor would work a bit like the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II, which ran until 1994 at what is now Idaho National Laboratory. Email By Adrian ChoJul. 3, 2018 , 2:00 PMlast_img read more

European funders detail their openaccess plan

first_img By Tania RabesandratanaNov. 26, 2018 , 7:01 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Plan S, the contentious plan that a group of European science funders hopes will end scholarly journals’ paywalls, has fleshed out its rules—and softened its tone a bit. In seven pages of implementation guidance released today, the funders explain how their grantees can abide by Plan S rules come 2020, when it goes into effect. But some critics say the document—which is up for public discussion for the next 2 months—remains too restrictive.The guidance outlines three ways researchers can comply with Plan S, which is backed by national funding agencies of countries including the United Kingdom, France, and Austria, as well as private funders including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They can publish in an open-access (OA) journal or platform. They can also publish in a subscription journal provided they also make a final, peer-reviewed version or accepted manuscript immediately available in an OA repository. Finally, contrary to earlier indications, grantees will be permitted to publish in hybrid journals, which charge subscriptions but also offer an OA option, but only if the journal has committed to flip to a fully OA model.The guidance aims to explain practicalities and “sets things straight,” said Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission’s OA envoy and one of the creators of Plan S, at a news briefing in London today. Referring to the often-acrimonious debate that has emerged since Plan S was released on 4 September, he admitted to a “lack of clear communication” from his side. iStock.com/florin1961 European funders detail their open-access plan Emailcenter_img The new guidance should quell fears about Plan S’s restrictiveness, he said. Earlier this month, an open letter, now signed by about 1400 researchers, slammed Plan S’s crackdown on “high quality” hybrid journals published by scientific societies, such as the American Chemical Society, saying it would block access to their “valuable and rigorous peer-review system.” The guidance now leaves room for hybrid journals, as long as they sign “transformative agreements” by the end of 2021, pledging to shift to full OA within 3 years.The architects also addressed the plan’s commitment that funders would pick up the bill for reasonable article-processing charges (APCs), the fees that some journals charge authors to have their papers published OA. The letter’s authors saw it as undue focus on, and a financial gift to, for-profit OA publications. But John-Arne Røttingen, chief executive of The Research Council of Norway in Oslo, who co-led the task force that developed the implementation guidance, denies this: “Plan S is not about one particular business model,” he said. “We are neutral and want a plurality of actors,” including fee-free OA journals.Linguist Gareth O’Neill, president of the Brussels-based European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers, sees the implementation guidance as a positive step: “They have listened to the research community and taken concerns on board. What you see now is moving towards a compromise.”But structural biologist Lynn Kamerlin, who wrote the open letter, says the guidance still limits researchers’ freedom to publish their work. “It’s a step in right direction,” she says, but “I’m afraid [it gives researchers] a false illusion of choice. … This is something that funders and publishers should negotiate rather than putting researchers in the crosshairs,” adds Kamerlin, who works at Uppsala University in Sweden.Røttingen said the funders will commission an analysis to find out which disciplines need more OA outlets, and then offer financial incentives to create new journals or flip existing ones to OA. Another study will focus on APCs, which Plan S pledges to standardize and cap.The guidance document, approved unanimously last week by the 16 funding bodies that have signed on to Plan S, does not say exactly how compliance will be monitored. Røttingen said sanctions will likely mean funding agencies don’t complete payment of research grants for scientists who don’t comply.The note gives funders some leeway with the implementation timeline. Starting 1 January 2020, the rules could apply to existing grants, to newly awarded grants, or “at the very least,” to new calls for research proposals.Anyone who wants to provide feedback on the implementation guidelines can do so online until 1 February 2019. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Libraries often pay the article-processing charges of some open-access journals. 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 Zimbabwelast_img read more

Don Peebles Launches 500M Fund For Underrepresented Developers

first_img Twitter Finds Sweet Irony In Cops Complaining Arizona Starbucks Asked Them To Leave Black Entrepreneur , Developer , Don Peebles , entrepreneur , Real Estate , Real Estate Developer Peebles—who owns the real estate development firm Peebles Corp.—says he’s on a mission to level the playing field when it comes to access to capital. Through the fund he wants to work with developers from different cities throughout the country on projects that will be built on underdeveloped or vacant land. The projects will be a mix of commercial and residential buildings; some of which will have affordable housing units. According to Peebles, the fund will be supported by investors. He’s aiming to work on 60 different projects which will be between $10 million and $70 million each.“The idea is to create this business model that shows that investing in emerging developers and investing in diversity will result in higher returns with less risk,” he said while unveiling his plan at The Real Deal’s annual residential real estate event. “It’s a very positive thing to have the developments that are taking place in communities of color, to have the projects be developed by people of color. We see this as a win-win and an untapped market.”There are several entrepreneurs who are on a mission to make the real estate industry diverse. Johnetta G. Paye, Esq. and Ernestine Johnson created the first Black-owned real estate crowdfunding company to help individuals from underserved communities overcome the obstacles of gentrification by helping them make low-cost real estate investments.SEE ALSO:These Women Are Running The First Black-Owned Real Estate Crowdfunding CompanyBlack Entrepreneurs Raise $8 Million For Barbershop-Focused App Starbucks Introduces New Line Of Iced Beverages center_img Black entrepreneur Don Peebles is investing in the futures of women and people of color in the real estate industry. According to The Real Deal, he’s launching a $500 million fund to support developers from underrepresented groups in South Florida, Los Angeles, New York and other cities. The new fund is another example of how Don Peebles has been a long-time game changer in his industry. https://t.co/9bl1w6ak7j— Black Enterprise (@blackenterprise) June 29, 2019last_img read more

Trumps budget request for 2020 census raises alarms

first_imgDillingham—one of 10 Department of Commerce senior officials who replaced Ross at the witness table for the 2-hour Senate hearing—told senators, “We’re confident we can get the job done and have a complete count” with the amount requested in 2020. He said that in a test last year in Providence County in Rhode Island, all of the components of the 2020 census went so well that it “has raised our confidence level” in the reliability of the hardware, software, and human interactions that it will use to count some 330 million people living in the country on Census Day. “We’re on track, on budget, on schedule, and on mission,” he said, a mantra he repeated several times.But such statements seemed to do little to reassure anxious members on both sides of the aisle. Throughout the hearing, they questioned the basis for many of the numbers Dillingham threw out to justify the president’s 2020 budget request.The opening question from Senator Jerry Moran (R–KS), chairman of the spending panel, went to the heart of the matter by asking Dillingham why the agency’s request “falls short of what Secretary Ross told us was needed.” Dillingham’s answer revealed that the White House had used an older, lower estimate of projected costs as the basis for the president’s request.Dillingham, who has only been at the agency since January, was referring to a study that Ross ordered up shortly after becoming commerce secretary in March 2017. It pegged costs for the entire 10-year life cycle of the census at $14.1 billion, up from a 2015 estimate of $12.5 billion. But Ross wasn’t satisfied with that number, Dillingham said, and “because of his business acumen,” he asked for a third review.Released in October 2017, it generated a new life cycle estimate of $15.6 billion. That amount included $290 million for three areas of what Ross labeled “additional sensitivity”: declining self-response rates on all surveys, rising labor costs from a strong economy, and the need for additional staff because of a more mobile population with a larger number of hard-to-count residents. It also created a $1.2 billion contingency fund to handle any surprises, including coping with a natural disaster that could temporarily uproot entire communities.No thanks, we’re goodRoss had calculated that $932 million would need to be spent in 2020 to address those issues. But when Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D–NH) asked Dillingham why the president’s budget request didn’t include money for them, he said the agency doesn’t think it will need the additional resources.“We have not encountered any contingencies that cause us any concerns that cannot be handled within the president’s request,” he replied. The request already includes $1.2 billion for “new priorities and unforeseen circumstances,” he added, in effect, creating a de facto contingency fund. The U.S. Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland, prides itself on the quality of the data it collects to help paint a statistical portrait of the country. But ask it how much the 2020 census, by far its biggest and most costly responsibility, will cost, and the numbers get very squishy.Community advocates say the agency needs at least $2 billion more in the upcoming year than President Donald Trump has requested to assure a successful decennial head count on 1 April 2020. They note that the $5.3 billion request for the 2020 fiscal year that begins on 1 October clashes with a $7.4 billion estimate made in October 2017 by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department includes the Census Bureau. Advocates accuse the Trump administration of lowballing the actual cost as part of its broader goal of reducing overall federal spending on domestic programs.How much the agency needs in 2020 for the decennial census, which fuels thousands of research studies, is also enmeshed in the bitter legal battle over Ross’s decision last year to add a citizenship question to it. Civil rights groups and a half-dozen former Census directors say the question will suppress participation and that Census officials have greatly underestimated the additional costs required to track down people who do not self-respond to an initial prompting. The agency will deploy more than half-a-million enumerators to conduct such a follow-up, making it the most expensive component of any decennial census.  Filling in for the bossOn Tuesday, Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham gamely defended the president’s request for the agency during a contentious hearing before a Senate spending panel with oversight of the Department of Commerce. He was there because Ross had declined the committee’s invitation to testify, a decision that infuriated the panel’s Democratic members. (At the last minute, Ross also canceled a planned appearance yesterday before a comparable spending panel in the House of Representatives, which then held a faux hearing featuring an empty chair representing the absent commerce secretary.) Dillingham also assured Shaheen, who cited the $2 billion shortfall for 2020 in her opening comments, that the agency will be quick to ask the Trump administration for more money if the need arises. “If that [need] does occur, you will probably know as soon as we do,” he added.Shaheen was skeptical that the agency really had all its bases covered. The questionnaire used in Rhode Island didn’t ask about citizenship, she pointed out, making it impossible to determine the question’s impact on self-response rates for the 2020 census and, therefore, on overall costs. “So you haven’t planned on the need for additional funding for the citizenship question?” she asked.Dillingham was momentarily tongue-tied. “That’s a no,” he replied. After a brief pause, he reframed his answer. “That’s no to your question that we haven’t planned. And yes, we have planned.”Census advocates have also objected to the president’s including $1 billion in carryover funds from this year in his 2020 request. They say Congress explicitly directed the Census Bureau to use some of that money on public outreach and partnerships with community groups that can help spread the word about the importance of filing out the census form. Such efforts are lagging behind what was done in 2010, they complain. Instead of asking for more money, they say, the administration has folded the 2019 carryover into its 2020 spending plan.Tweeting on his paradeThe day before the Senate hearing, Dillingham presided over the kickoff to the agency’s 1-year countdown to Census Day. The gala press event in downtown Washington, D.C., gave agency officials a chance to tout their preparations for next year. It also featured heartfelt speeches from several community leaders urging Americans to do their civic duty and be counted.The event was supposed to be an unofficial coming-out party for Dillingham, who led two other, smaller, government statistical agencies under previous Republican presidents but has never operated on such a grand stage. But even that feel-good exercise was tarnished by the nation’s commander in chief.Two hours before the event, Trump had tweeted that the 2020 census “would be meaningless and a waste of the $Billions (ridiculous) that it costs to put together” if it didn’t include the “all-important” citizenship question. His tweet also politicized what is a constitutionally mandated exercise, with Trump blaming “Radical Left Democrats” for suing the federal government to block the question. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the case 23 April and is expected to rule by the end of its term in late June.Asked by reporters for his reaction, Dillingham declined to comment. “We’re here to talk about the great job we are doing, and how it will help this nation,” he said. And despite the distractions, Dillingham stayed on message. “We collect numbers, and we produce numbers,” he said, summing up the Census Bureau’s mission. “And America uses these numbers for very important purposes.”Congress has no beef with that mission, both House and Senate legislators made clear during the hearings. But they’re afraid Census officials aren’t telling them what they really need to carry it out for fear of violating the dictates of their superiors.“I hope that the secretary [Ross] understands this is not about making his life miserable,” said the chair of the House spending panel, Representative José Serrano (D–NY), before he gaveled the nonhearing to a close. “We just want to make sure that we have good [commerce] programs, and that there is a fair and accurate census count.” Michele R. Freda/U.S. Census Bureau Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Committee on Appropriations/U.S. Senate Trump’s budget request for 2020 census raises alarmscenter_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham touted the agency’s planning for the 2020 census at a press event this week. Email Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham (fifth from the left in the first row) testified before a Senate panel this week. He was one of 10 Department of Commerce officials (with placards) who appeared in lieu of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Jeffrey MervisApr. 4, 2019 , 11:55 AMlast_img read more

International Court of Justice to deliver verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case on

first_imgBy Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 4, 2019 9:27:54 pm Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from IranHowever, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in IndiaPakistan had rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants to get the information gathered by its “spy”.However, Pakistan facilitated a meeting of Jadhav with his mother and wife in Islamabad on December 25, 2017.When asked whether the verdict in the case will be announced this month, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the date has to be announced by the ICJ.with PTI inputs Best Of Express LiveKarnataka floor test: Will Kumaraswamy’s 14-month-old govt survive? In Mumbai, Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family: Till he does not return from Pakistan, fear remains “A public sitting will take place at 3 p.m. at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, President of the Court, will read the Court’s decision,” a press release said.Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India approached the ICJ in May 2017 against Pakistan for denying consular access to Jadhav.India had also challenged the “farcical trial” by the military court of Pakistan against 48-year-old Jadhav. The ICJ on May 18, 2017 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case. Advertising Jadhav case: India calls for civilian court trial (L-R) Indian Lawyer Harish Salve, Dr. V. D. Sharma and Deepak Mittal, Joint Secretaries, Indian Ministry of External Affairs are seen at the International Court of Justice during the final hearing of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in The Hague, the Netherlands, February 18, 2019. (REUTERS File /Eva PlevierThe International Court of Justice will pronounce its judgment in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case on July 17 at 3 pm. The world court held a four-day public hearing in the case in February during which both India and Pakistan submitted their detailed pleas and responses.India based its case on two broad issues — breach of Vienna Convention on consular access and the process of resolution.India also urged the ICJ to annul Jadhav’s death sentence and order his immediate release, saying the verdict by a Pakistani military court based on a “farcical case” and it failed to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process.Pakistan on its part insisted that the Indian Navy officer was a “spy” and not a businessman.center_img Highlights of ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Key points Kulbhushan Jadhav ‘guilty of crimes’, will proceed further as per law: Imran Khan Harish Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Related News Advertising 0 Comment(s)last_img read more

Karnataka Five more rebel MLAs move SC say being threatened to support

first_img Related News By Express News Service |New Delhi | Published: July 14, 2019 1:24:17 am Karnataka crisis: SC verdict a moral victory for rebel MLAs, says Yeddyurappa Opposing this stand of the Speaker, the five legislators said the Constitution “contemplates only an inquiry to be conducted and not an enquiry and therefore there is no necessity of any elaborate hearing. The inquiry is directed only for two considerations i.e., a) whether the resignation is voluntary and b) whether it is genuine. lt is submitted that once the MLA himself states that the resignation is voluntary, there is no scope for any inquiry on this account. Even for the second ground, namely it must be ‘Genuine’ when the person concerned submits it in person under his own signature, the said ground is also answered. Both these conditions being fulfilled, elaborate enquiry is not contemplated in the present scenario”.They said there were no disqualification proceedings against them on the date of their resignation and hence there was no ground to deny them the right of the resignation on the ground of pendency of disqualification proceedings. The resignation cannot be invalidated by filing disqualification proceedings subsequently, they added.They claimed that the subsequent disqualification petition against them was filed by the Congress party stating that they had not attended the legislature party meeting held outside the House. “It is submitted that the non-attendance of the legislature party meeting outside the house does not amount to a ground for disqualification”.The MLAs claimed that the disqualification proceedings were being “used to threaten and intimidate” them. Express daily briefing: Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict out today; SC to rule on Karnataka MLAs’ plea; and more karnataka crisis, karnataka coalition crisis, karnataka congress, congress jd(s) in karnataka, congress jd(s) government, karnataka rebel mlas, karnataka congress mlas, karnataka assembly speaker, supreme court, india news, Indian Express The 10 rebels had moved the Supreme Court against the Speaker’s decision to reject their resignations. (File/PTI)The political crisis in Karnataka continued to fester as five more rebel MLAs approached the Supreme Court on Saturday, accusing Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh of sitting on their resignations. The legislators also said they were “being threatened to support the government on the threat of disqualification”. SC rules: Rebel Karnataka MLAs can’t be compelled to participate in trust vote Post Comment(s) Those who moved the court Saturday are Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraju, Roshan Baig and Munirathna.Their application, filed through advocate Shubhranshu Padhi, sought to implead in the main plea filed by 10 other MLAs. It said the resignation letters of four — Singh, Sudhakar, Nagaraju and Baig — of the five MLAs were submitted to the Speaker in person.Acting on the plea by the 10 MLAs, the Supreme Court had on July 11 asked the Speaker to decide on the resignations before the end of the day. The Speaker, however, said this was not possible, as under the Constitution, he was required to conduct an “enquiry” to ascertain whether the resignation was voluntary and genuine and that he would need more time for this.center_img Advertising Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Best Of Express Advertising “It is stated that on the one hand the Hon’ble Speaker is not acting upon the resignations and on the other hand a whip has been issued by the Governing party threatening disqualification for failure to attend the legislature proceedings starting from 12.7.19…It is submitted that despite the Applicants having resigned, the Applicants are being threatened to support the Govt. on the threat of disqualification”, their plea submitted.On July 12, the SC ordered a status quo in the matter, asking the Speaker not to decide on the disqualifications or resignations till it heard the matter again on July 16.last_img read more

Aviations dirty secret Airplane contrails are a surprisingly potent cause of global

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Katie CameroJun. 28, 2019 , 11:20 AM Aviation’s dirty secret: Airplane contrails are a surprisingly potent cause of global warming Email Plane contrails have been found to increase heat in the upper atmosphere. The aviation industry has long been criticized for its large environmental footprint, particularly its climate-warming carbon emissions. But a new study suggests that another byproduct of airplanes—the white contrails they paint across the sky—has an even bigger warming effect, one that is set to triple by 2050.  Planes create their mesmerizing contrails as they soar high in the thin, cold air. Water vapor quickly condenses around soot from the plane’s exhaust and freezes to form cirrus clouds, which can last for minutes or hours. These high-flying clouds are too thin to reflect much sunlight, but ice crystals inside them can trap heat. Unlike low-level clouds that have a net cooling effect, these contrail-formed clouds warm the climate.A 2011 study suggests that the net effect of these contrail clouds contributes more to atmospheric warming than all the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by planes since the dawn of aviation. And those effects are predicted to get worse as air traffic—and the resulting cloud coverage—increases: Some estimates suggest global air traffic will quadruple by the year 2050.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country NurPhoto/Contributor/Getty Images One of the researchers from the 2011 study wanted to explore how contrail clouds could affect the climate in the future. Along with colleagues, atmospheric physicist Ulrike Burkhardt from the German Aerospace Center’s (DLR’s) Institute for Atmospheric Physics in Wessling created a new atmospheric model that—for the first time—gave contrail clouds their own category, separate from natural clouds. That allowed them to model particular qualities of the humanmade clouds that affected everything from their formation to how they interacted with the rest of the atmosphere.The researchers modeled the effect of global contrail cloud coverage in 2006, a year for which they had accurate aviation data. Then, taking into account predictions for future air traffic and emissions, they modeled the effect of contrail clouds for 2050. They found a threefold increase in their warming effect over that time, they report this week in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.The study is one of the first to make a detailed prediction of how these special clouds affect the future climate, says DLR cloud physicist Bernd Kärcher, who was a co-author on the 2011 paper. He says the new cloud classification scheme was crucial to the model and its results.The researchers looked at another scenario for 2050, one with a 50% reduction in airplane soot emissions. They found that such a reduction could lead to a 15% decrease in the contrail clouds’ atmospheric warming effect.But little is known about the relationship between climate warming and cloud coverage, and how atmospheric warming affects temperatures on the surface. What researchers do know is that high levels of soot lead to more and longer-lived contrail cirrus clouds, which could alter weather and climate at the surface, Burkhardt says. However, she adds, even a 90% reduction in soot emissions with the help of cleaner aircraft fuels would fail to bring the cloud’s climate impact back to its 2006 levels.A more likely scenario, Burkhardt says, is that levels of soot and contrail cirrus clouds will continue to rise. That’s because most aviation regulations and pollution-reduction plans fail to consider the climate impact from anything other than CO2 emissions. A United Nations scheme, for example, requires all signatory nations to keep their CO2 emissions under a certain level, and report them annually, but says nothing about the climate impact from contrails.Burkhardt says that considering contrails in such schemes would be difficult, however, because climate impact varies based on weather, location, and time of day. One solution, Burkhardt says, is to reroute flights. However, such rerouting may force planes to burn more fuel and release more CO2. She says it would be better to find more efficient fuels that release less soot. But with the likely increase in air traffic, even that might not be enough.Andrew Gettelman, a cloud physicist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, says contrail cirrus clouds are a complex problem, but that their warming effect is still small compared with the overall amounts of CO2 belched by society. “If all we had were contrails, there wouldn’t be global warming.” But, he adds, it’s still important for the aviation industry to understand the science and “get their impact right.”last_img read more

Australian bank sends credit card in deceaseds name widower shocked

first_img Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence Related News She added, “While the events are rare and unusual, we are currently investigating how this occurred to ensure this does not happen again. We thank him for bringing this to our attention and again offer our most sincere apologies.”However, it is yet not clear how many other widows or widowers have or will receive the same shock. The issue, meanwhile, is believed to be centred around historical accounts held in joint names. Reaching out: NAB helps visually impaired enroll for Aadhaar card Soon, a national body for regulation of auto sector By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Published: July 6, 2019 2:59:42 pm Bob Hart, who had been associated with NAB for the last 60 years, said receiving the credit card in the name of his late wife was disheartening for him. “At a time when NAB is already charging dead people, it appears they are trying to get some new business,” he told the Herald Sun.“I assume I am one of the thousands. It’s a fantastic indication that the banks have learnt nothing,” Hart added.Reacting to the incident, NAB General Manager Simone Van Veen said an internal investigation had been launched, adding that she had spoken to Hart and apologised.“It is with our utmost regret that this incident occurred and I have personally spoken to Hart today to sincerely apologise,” she said. Expressing his shock over the incident, Hart said, “It’s interesting because she (Iris) has been dead for 10 years. But to add insult to injury, its made out to her name with deceased written on it.”Hart said the accompanying documents also mentioned that Iris was no longer alive but added that the Low Fee Platinum Card could be used to withdraw up to $2000 per day.The NAB, among other institutions, has been charging deceased people since some time for services that it never provided, said the royal banking commission early this year. Touch and See center_img Advertising national australian bank, national australia bank, australian bank credit card, national australia bank credit card, royal bank commission, australian bank credit card blunder, world news, Indian Express The NAB, among other institutions, had been charging dead people since some time for the services that it never provided. (Representational Image)In a bizarre incident, the National Australia Bank has issued a credit card to a Melbourne woman who has been dead for a decade. The woman’s widower, Bob Hart, said he was shocked to receive the credit card that came in the name of his late wife, Iris, and had “deceased” written on it. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Best Of Express After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Advertising 1 Comment(s)last_img read more

Who is Your Possible Self

first_imgBy Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 26 2018 Tradeshow TalksMy Possible SelfSarah DonnellyAn interview with Sarah Donnelly from My Possible Self at the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo, discussing the story behind the My Possible Self app, and how it is helping patients with mental health conditions who are waiting for NHS counseling. How do empowered patients contribute to a better healthcare system?My Possible Self is an early intervention app that’s aimed at tackling stress, anxiety, and mild to moderate depression. The tool has been through clinical trials that have shown that it can have a real impact within just eight weeks.Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock If we can start getting people to use My Possible Self at an early stage when they are just beginning to feel stressed or anxious, they might not need to call on their employee assistance program or enter face-to-face therapy.The app might be able to help them with their problems before it becomes serious, negating the need for more complex interventions later on.The tool can also be used when a patient is seeking face-to-face counseling. They may have been to their GP and been added to an NHS waiting list, but this could mean up to six months before seeing a therapist.My Possible Self is an ideal tool to use during this time because it can teach patients how to manage their symptoms and when they do get an appointment, they may be much more receptive to the therapies proposed or able to use the techniques in a different way. Some patients may even feel that they no longer need the face-to-face therapy.Who are My Possible Self? Where did the journey start for the company?My Possible Self started life several years ago as a not-for-profit counseling service. Jo Wilkinson, our founder, set up a practice whereby people who could afford to pay for face-to-face counseling would pay, and their payments would be used to fund counseling for people who couldn’t afford it.She started this business because she herself experienced some mental health problems and face-to-face counseling absolutely transformed her life.Jo thought “Wow, this is brilliant. Everybody should do this”. But then she considered the fact that not everybody can afford counseling, so she set up the counseling practice, and it was really successful. She actually won the Forward Ladies Businesswoman of the Year award in the not-for-profit category.She then wanted to reach out further, to even more people, and that’s when she decided to turn the company into an app.In order to get the best possible content for the app, Jo scoured the world and came across the Black Dog institute in Australia. They’re an academic research institute led by a team of professors, psychiatrists, and psychologists who are leaders in their field.Part-funded by a prestigious grant from the Australian government, and with the support of the University of New South Wales, they set up a research institute to look at how mental health could be digitized. This resulted in a program called myCompass, which is an e-mental health program.They put that program through clinical trials, and found that within eight weeks, it was getting real results. When Jo found this, she decided that she a. wanted to make it available in the UK, and b. wanted to make it into an app that was more user-friendly and could be used on a smart phone.Jo’s husband, Peter Wilkinson, is a tech entrepreneur in Yorkshire. He owns Inhealthcare, another company that does a lot of healthcare innovations, and along with a team of expert developers, they created the My Possible Self app. If you could send one message to patients who may benefit from this technology, what would it be?We all experience mental health on a spectrum, and we all have good and bad days. Most of us have struggled with mental health problems at some point in our lives, and yet only 13% of us are able to talk about it. I think that’s one of the biggest barriers to getting support.If I could send one message, it would be that help is available. There is so much support out there, whether that’s through the NHS, your employer or apps like My Possible Self, and it’s okay to ask for help if you’re struggling to locate where those services are. Yes, the stigma still exists, but so much is being done to break that down.How are My Possible Self working to reduce the extreme pressure currently placed on mental health professionals in the UK?The app works from two angles. The first is that it can relieve some of the pressure off mental health services in the UK, and the second is that it could also help to support NHS staff in their day-to-day lives.Nursing is now considered to be one of the most stressful professions, with some of the highest sickness rates among all workers in the UK. This is not surprising. Looking after people every day under very pressurized circumstances often means nurses don’t get the care that they need themselves.At the end of the day, we’re all patients, and this includes nurses. If we could help people with mild-to-moderate stress, anxiety, or depression, who are waiting for an appointment, we could really reduce the strain on the NHS.Image Credit: Monkey Business Images / ShutterstockThe idea is that the app could reduce the number of counseling sessions required and also the number of people going to their GP with mental health issues.GPs are now spending at least one or two days a week supporting people with stress, anxiety, and depression, and although My Possible Self won’t be able to do away with that completely, we might be able to help.We’re not here to replace face-to-face counseling, medication or more complex care when it’s needed, but what we are here to do is to act as an early intervention tool that may reduce the risk of things escalating.Where can readers find more information?Visit MyPossibleSelf.com to find out more about how My Possible Self could help you manage stress, anxiety and low mood, or improve the wellbeing of your employees or patients.The tool is available as an app from iTunes and Google Play, or via any desktop computer. It is currently only available in the UK.About My Possible SelfMy Possible Self is a digital toolkit that empowers people to transform their mental wellbeing. It’s the first UK mental health app to use content that’s proven to reduce stress, anxiety and mild to moderate depression in eight weeks.It can also help your employees improve their communication, think more positively, sleep better and build their self-esteem.My Possible Self is an NHS Digital Apps Library trusted application. It draws upon established forms of therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), to act as an early intervention tool when life’s challenges start to cause problems.“It is exactly the sort of measure we should be looking at, supporting people who may be suffering from anxiety, stress or depression to self-manage and avoid a crisis.” Norman Lamb, MP .“It’s proving really helpful. Having used other apps it’s great to have a refresher in my pocket!” Tanya, app user.“My Possible Self stands out as a product that not only offers standalone support, but a useful complement to conventional face to face therapy.” David Smith, CEO, Hull and East Yorkshire Mind. What do the modules teach patients, and how do they improve mental wellbeing?The app consists of nine Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) modules, and there are new ones coming out each month. Each module focusses on a different topic, such as Fear and Anxiety, Stress and Overload, Loss and Change, Negative Thinking, and so on.The user starts with a questionnaire that asks them about various different aspects of their life, and based on this, the app will suggest some topics to focus on. The patient can then use those suggestions to decide which modules to do.You need to allocate around 2-3 weeks to work through each module, and that’s because applying the CBT techniques take time and the change is something that needs to happen slowly.It’s not something you can hammer through in two days, as you need to apply what you’ve learned into your day-to-day life on an ongoing basis.Image Credit: Eakachai Leesin / ShutterstockYou can do the modules in bite-sized chunks, so you can a little bit on the bus, then a bit more on your lunch break, for example.Once you’ve completed the module, you don’t get a score or anything like that, you have simply just reached the end of the 2-3 week journey. At this stage, you may feel that the program is complete for you, or you may start working through the next module.The way the other tools work is in complement to the modules. The tracking feature allows you to choose three things to track. For example, you may choose to track sleep, exercise and anxiety. The idea here is that you are able to spot correlations and patterns in your life that are linked to your mental health status.The moments diary feature is another CBT technique we use. You can record notes, put photos in there, or emojis that relate to how you’re feeling.This tool helps users track their journey through the program, so they can look back to the beginning and say “Gosh, I’d forgotten I was feeling like that back then, and wow, I’m surprised at how far I’ve come.”These tools can be used separately, but also work nicely together.last_img read more

​Estrogens found in cows milk shown to pose no risk to adult

first_img Source:Estrogens in cows’ milk are unlikely to pose a threat to adult health. The majority of studies we reviewed concluded that the concentrations of estrogens found naturally in milk are too low to pose a risk to reproductive health or cancer development in adults. However, studies are lacking that look at any harmful effects of hormones from cows’ milk on baby and child development and health.”Professor Gregor Majdic, Co-author By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Oct 26 2018Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)A review of studies looking into the health effects of consuming estrogen-containing cows’ milk has found that the milk is likely to be safe for human consumption.Image Credit: Alexander Chaikin / ShutterstockThe review suggests that the level of estrogens that occur naturally in cows’ milk are too low to pose a risk to adults and that people do not need to be concerned.The paper, entitled “Estrogens in consumer milk – is there a risk to human reproductive health?”, was published today in the European Journal of Endocrinology.The female sex hormone estrogen is present in cows’ milk and with more than 160 million tons of the milk produced in the EU in 2016 alone, it is a common component of our diet.Intensive farming has been shown to increase the amount of estrogen in cows’ milk which has raised concerns about the safety of drinking it.Potential adverse health effects include an increased risk of hormone-related cancers, reduced fertility, and abnormal fetal development.The current study reviewed the evidence available from more than a dozen analyses of rodents and humans looking at the effects that drinking the milk may have on the risk of cancer development and on fertility.Professor Gregor Majdic and Professor Tomaz Snoj from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia found that the majority of studies where rats ingested milk or milk-derived estrogens, showed no differences in cancer risk or reproductive health.Some studies did report changes in reproductive health and other adverse health effects, but in those studies, the level of estrogen assessed far exceeded the level that people would usually ingest.Some studies have also suggested that drinking the milk can affect the level of growth hormone in children, but it is not clear whether the link is related to consuming estrogens or whether there are any other adverse health effects.last_img read more

Physicianscientists present updated efficacy data on CAR Tcell gene immunotherapy

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 5 2018Physician-scientists from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) presented updated efficacy and safety data on Kymriah(R)* (tisagenlecleucel, formerly CTL019) –the first-ever U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved personalized CAR T-cell gene immunotherapy for aggressive blood cancers at the 60th American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting, as well as first-of-its-kind research on overcoming CAR T-cell resistance.Together, the contributions further cement CHOP’s aggressive pursuit of giving patients better options in this new field of personalized, cellular medicine.An updated, longer-term analysis of ELIANA, the first pediatric global CAR-T cell therapy registration trial of Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) in children and young adult patients with relapsed or refractory (r/r) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), shows an 82% remission rate within three months after a single infusion, and 62% relapse-free survival at 24 months, as presented by Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD, Director of the Cancer Immunotherapy Program and Section Chief of Cell Therapy and Transplant at CHOP, and a Professor of Pediatrics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.The safety profiles observed for Kymriah, pioneered together with Novartis and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, remained consistent with previously reported results, with no emergence of new safety concerns.”Before this personalized, cellular gene therapy, the patients we are treating with CAR T-cells had about a ten percent chance of surviving,” said Dr. Grupp. “To see this 82 percent remission rate in our patients is beyond what I ever imagined when we treated our first patient in 2012. Hundreds of patients later, we’re able to say those children who safely achieve durable remissions have a good chance of long-term disease control, and our hope is this is the last treatment they ever need.”Chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy genetically modifies a patient’s immune cells to make them seek out and kill leukemia cells. The approach was developed by a team led by Carl June, MD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies in Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. In 2012, Penn and Novartis entered into a global collaboration to further research, develop and commercialize Kymriah. CHOP was the first institution to use the therapy in children with leukemia.Related StoriesAlternate cell growth pathway could open door to new treatments for metastatic cancersNANOLIVE‘s novel CX-A defines a new standard for live cell imaging in 96 well plates for continuous organelle monitoring in cell populationsStudy: Megakaryocytes play an important role in cell migrationIn other data presented at ASH, CHOP researchers found for some patients who do not achieve durable responses to CAR T-cell therapy due to T-cell exhaustion or cell death, which may be generated by the body’s naturally occurring brake on the immune system, adding an inhibitor against the immune checkpoint PD-1 (programmed cell death 1) to CAR T-cell therapy could extend treatment response and improve outcomes for children with r/r ALL.CHOP’s small, single-center study evaluated 14 children ranging in age from 4 to 17 years, all of whom had received CD19-directed CAR T-cell therapy, and were given pembrolizumab or nivolumab. With the addition of the PD-1 blockade, 50 percent of patients maintained either partial or complete disease responses, according to study lead Shannon Maude, MD, PhD, an oncologist and scientist in CHOP’s Cancer Immunotherapy Program.”When we give a checkpoint inhibitor, it seems to release the body’s immune brakes on theT-cell, allowing the T-cell to focus on its job of attacking cancer,” Dr. Maude said. “This combination therapy could overcome that resistance in some CAR T-cell patients. Understanding these are children who would otherwise have no other therapeutic options, maximizing the response of the therapy, and overcoming resistance, are critical.””Our unrivaled immunotherapy program treated the first patient, and now more patients than any other pediatric institution in the world, with this innovative therapy,” said Stephen Hunger, MD, Chief of the Division of Oncology and Director of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at CHOP. “Now, equally exciting, our clinical and research teams continue to move the dial, looking for ways to improve upon CAR T-cell therapy so even more young cancer patients benefit from it. Our institution remains unsurpassed in its efforts to introduce and perfect new gene therapies.”Dr. Grupp, Dr. Maude and their team will continue following these patients and exploring combination strategies to improve outcomes after CAR T-cell therapy, as more clinical research trials are underway at CHOP to further improve CAR T-cell therapy and apply it for use in more pediatric cancers. Source:https://www.chop.edu/last_img read more

Image Navigation announces worlds most advanced imageguided implant dentistry system

first_img Source:https://image-navigation.com/ The last few years have seen new opportunities open up in dentistry with significant growth in the dental implant market combined with technological improvements and cost reductions.It is estimated that more than eight million dental implants were placed in patients across the world in 2018, with more than three million in the United States alone. This USA figure is expected to increase by 33 percent to four million by 2022 and the growth rate in other areas, especially in Asia Pacific, is expected to be even faster. In the UK, there were an estimated 260,000 implants in 2018 which is double the number five years ago.Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairPET/CT imaging spots cardiovascular disease risk factors in OSA patientsRecent data also indicates dramatic shifts in the usage of technology for the placement of dental implants. In the USA alone, the market for dental CT scanners (CBCT Cone Beam scanners) has increased by over 300 percent from approximately 8,000 in 2012 to over 28,000 in 2018 and is forecast to be more than 40,000 by 2022.When using the IGI system, the dental surgeon views the tip of the drill and the pre-operative plan both superimposed onto a 3 dimensional CT scan that displays the bone, adjacent teeth, nerve canal, roots and sinus area.  The IGI’s on-screen display has a unique fluent tracking system with zero latency. It adds real-time navigated digital surgery to digital imaging, digital planning, and digital restorations, thereby completing the digital puzzle. This new image-guided implant (IGI) system extends the use of CBCT scanners to include intra-surgical navigation and has real-time, speed of light, tracking with absolutely no on-screen lag. It also has sub-millimeter accuracy and a robotic auto-stop for maximum safety where the drill motor stops automatically and instantly turns off the drill if it is placed outside of the planned surgical area. Our new system seamlessly integrates the advantages of freehand surgery, including unfettered vision of the surgical site, retention of the surgeon’s tactile feel and the application of intra-surgical clinical judgment.”Mr Lawrence Obstfeld, CEO of Image Navigation, developer of the world’s leading dental navigation technology This new image-guided implant system enables dentists to undertake their procedures with reduced stress as it allows them to be totally precise in their actions and gives them the assurance that they will be able to repeat their work with consistency.”Lawrence Obstfeldcenter_img Data shows that more general dentists across the world are using the new, more affordable, technology which minimizes post-operative complications, reduce surgical treatment time and ensure greater accuracy when placing implants. The surgeon is able to monitor the drilling path on-screen and make precise adjustments to ensure the most accurate dental implant placement during surgery.”Lawrence Obstfeld Mar 11 2019Image Navigation is announcing, at the 2019 IDS in Cologne, the world’s most advanced image-guided implant dentistry system.last_img read more

Immediate HIV treatment initiation has improved but not yet universal in NYC

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 7 2019A new study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases found that immediate treatment initiation for HIV infection has improved since local and federal guidelines began to recommend universal treatment for all persons diagnosed with HIV, regardless of their disease stage.Despite notable improvements, nearly 25 percent of New York City residents with a new HIV diagnosis in 2015 had not initiated treatment within six months of their diagnosis. Another key study finding was that only 35 percent of people diagnosed with HIV had less advanced HIV disease. The study’s authors concluded that “continued efforts are needed to expand and better target HIV testing to promote earlier diagnosis and treatment initiation”.The study was conducted by a team of investigators, in collaboration with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and used population-based HIV surveillance data to understand if the timeliness of HIV diagnosis and antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiation improved since ‘universal treatment’ was first recommended. They found that, among 9,987 NYC residents diagnosed with HIV from 2012 to 2015, 35 percent were diagnosed early, and the annual proportion of persons diagnosed sooner after HIV infection did not increase appreciably. Six months after diagnosis, only 62, 67, 72, and 77 percent of persons diagnosed in 2012, 2013, 2014 or 2015 respectively had initiated ART.Voluntary HIV testing followed by immediate ART initiation is an integral part of strategies to eliminate HIV and control the HIV/AIDS epidemic because individuals with HIV have a lower risk of transmitting the virus and developing AIDS or serious illness if they start ART as soon as possible after HIV infection. In New York City, the ‘universal treatment’ recommendation, immediate treatment for all persons diagnosed with HIV, was made in late 2011.Related StoriesPrevalence of anal cancer precursors is higher in women living with HIV than previously reportedPatients with HIV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid have high risk of experiencing cognitive deficitsNovel method can help clinicians identify individuals most in need of PrEPTo understand and influence how quickly testing programs are diagnosing HIV and getting individuals on treatment, the timeliness of diagnosis and ART initiation would ideally be measurable and carefully monitored at the population level. Yet, population-based data on ART initiation are generally not systematically collected and thus unavailable in the US. And neither implementors nor researchers have adequately focused on the elapsed time from HIV infection to diagnosis and to ART initiation. The elapsed time matters because this represents time when an individual misses out on the benefits of treatment.”Although patients are increasingly receiving ART upon diagnosis, this study shows that treatment is neither universal nor immediate. To reach the monumental goal of ending the HIV epidemic, it is important to continue to expand and target HIV testing in order to achieve earlier diagnosis and treatment for people with undiagnosed HIV infection,” said McKaylee Robertson, the study’s lead author and an epidemiology doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.”A fundamental premise underlying public health implementation efforts aimed at ‘ending HIV epidemics’ around the globe is that the most effective way to reduce HIV-related deaths and onward transmission of the HIV virus is to diagnose and treat all persons with HIV as soon as possible after infection occurs. This study shows that we have made significant improvements in quickly getting people on treatment, but that we still have a long way to go”, said Dr. Denis Nash, the senior author on the study and Executive Director of the CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health. Source:http://sph.cuny.edu/2019/05/06/art-initiation-increased-not-universal/last_img read more

Indigestion remedy improves survival in people with latestage CKD

first_img Source:ERA-EDTA There are relatively few treatments that have been shown to slow progression of CKD. As nephrologist, we have used sodium bicarbonate to correct metabolic acidosis in people with CKD for some time, but definite evidence of benefit has been lacking. Our study shows that this very cost-effective treatment is safe and improves kidney and patient survival,”Lead investigator Dr Antonio Bellasi Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 17 2019Defined as serum bicarbonate less than 22 mmol/L, metabolic acidosis is common in people with CKD stages 4-5 (eGFR < 30 ml/min/1.73 m2) and is directly related to worsening kidney function. Metabolic acidosis is a problem because it is associated with complications such as bone disease, muscle wasting, high levels of blood potassium (hyperkalemia), insulin resistance, high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), and with a more rapid decline in kidney function--shown by rising blood creatinine--and increased risk of death.International guidelines recommend that, when serum bicarbonate concentration falls below 22 mmol/l, CKD patients should be treated with oral sodium bicarbonate to maintain serum bicarbonate within the normal range, unless contraindicated. However, until recently, very few studies have tested the effectiveness of bicarbonate therapy in improving metabolic acidosis or its potential benefits in patients with CKD.Related StoriesOne-fifth of U.S. surgeons still 'overusing' riskier method to create kidney dialysis access, study findsLow dose of endotoxin could have protective effect on men at risk of acute kidney injuryNew imaging probe allows earlier detection of acute kidney failureResults of the UBI trial announced for the first time during the ERA-EDTA Congress in Budapest, now provide strong evidence for the benefits of correcting metabolic acidosis with sodium bicarbonate in people with late-stage CKD.The prospective, open-label, randomized controlled trial assigned 740 patients with CKD-3b and CKD stage 4 to either sodium bicarbonate (376 patients) or standard care without sodium bicarbonate (364 patients). The patients had a mean age of 67.8 years, creatinine clearance 30 ml/min, and serum bicarbonate 21.5 mmol/l. At the end of three years, doubling of creatinine occurred in significantly fewer patients randomized to sodium bicarbonate: 6.6% versus 17.0% receiving standard care, p<0.001. This translates into a relative risk reduction of 64% in kidney disease progression (hazard ratio [HR] 0.36; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.22-0.58; p<0.001).Similarly, the likelihood of starting RRT was also significantly lower in the sodium bicarbonate group. At the end of the study, 6.9% of patients receiving sodium bicarbonate had started RRT compared to 12.3% of the standard care group--a relative risk reduction of 50% (p=0.004; HR: 0.5; 95% CI: 0.31-0.81; p=0.005). The risk of death was also significantly lower among sodium bicarbonate-treated patients at 3.1% compared to 6.8 % of the standard care group--a relative risk reduction of 57% (p=0.004; HR 0.43; 95%CI 0.22-0.87; p=0.01). Treatment with sodium bicarbonate was well tolerated, with no significant effects on blood pressure, total body weight or hospitalizations.last_img read more