Tiny Homes An Interdisciplinary Residential Universal Design Project

first_imgTweetShare34ShareEmail34 SharesThe tiny home movement has been sweeping the United States and is often discussed in conversations about sustainable living, affordable housing, multigenerational living, and downsizing in retirement. However, moveable tiny homes typically do not address the needs of people living with different abilities. With this blog post, we hope to spark conversation and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration in the industry of moveable tiny homes, and join the innovation happening with ADUs (accessory dwelling units) such as FabCab and Minka.Our interdisciplinary collaboration was a 4-week project at Colorado State University which included 20 interior design and architecture senior level students from their CIDA-accredited program, a local tiny home specialist, and myself. With an educational background in occupational therapy and gerontology and professional specialization in residential universal design and livable communities, I was able to bring research and stories that the interior design students might not have been exposed to before.The results were simply delightful as the universally designed tiny homes were conceptualized. I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Laura Malinin, Assistant Professor and Director of the Nancy Richardson Design Center, for her vision and encouragement during this experience. We hope that this interdisciplinary project can be an inspiration for other universities to create similar learning opportunities for their students. Here is how it worked, including lessons learned, with Dr. Malinin’s class of interior architecture and design seniors at Colorado State University in Fall 2018.The students were given two requirements when designing their tiny home: It must be moveable.It must be universal.WEEK 1Focus on the WHYThe first week with the students was a lecture Q&A, with a focus on WHY it is essential to design homes for all users. Without being able to bring user experts into the classroom, I utilized videos such as Desires for the Design of Homes from The Universal Design Project. The presentation was image-focused and reviewed disability and aging statistics, principles of universal design (using residential examples), accessible vs universal design, and guidelines for dimensions. I also included tiny home and small space considerations for inclusion. The students were very interested in examples from my experiences in the homes of elders and from my work as a homecare/hospice occupational therapist. WEEK 2Design pin-up & special guestOne week from the initial lecture, the students presented concept ideas and renderings for discussion. Additionally, we invited special guest Brandi Powell to join us from WeeCasa (a Colorado tiny home resort community in Lyons, CO). Brandi and her husband have built a tiny home, they currently live in a tiny home, and Brandi helps to manage the tiny home resort community of WeeCasa. Her insights into tiny home living, zoning, and transportation were incredibly insightful and helped to guide the reality of these plans. Myself, Brandi, and Dr. Malinin comprised the review panel for pin-up presentations and provided group feedback.WEEK 3Individual feedbackThis class was dedicated to open studio time and individualized feedback. The students could sign up to meet with me and/or Dr. Malinin for personalized design review and suggestions. Creating an equitable entry into the home (eliminating steps) did not prove to be much of a challenge. However, many students requested help problem solving the interior space and storage needs for their designs.WEEK 4Final presentationsAfter a week off, to give the students more time to complete their designs, I was back in the classroom for their final presentations. The concept universally designed tiny homes ranged in size between 120 sf – 600 sf. The students took the requirement of “mobile” in many different directions including modular/prefabricated, RV, flatbed trailer, and even a houseboat.“Proud” doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings. It was evident that the students became invested in the idea of residential universal design, and the beautiful concepts they created exceeded my expectations. It is my great pleasure to share some of them with you now.Related PostsMinka MAGIC Homes and CommunitiesNationally renowned aging expert Dr. Bill Thomas unveiled today the first-of-its-kind robotic prefabricated Minka house built on the University of Southern Indiana (USI) campus in less than a week featuring universal design accessibility and advanced manufacturing technology.Minka the AirBnBNestled into the shore of Lake Cayuga in Upstate New York sits the very first Minka. The Minka prototype was created for Haleigh Jane Thomas. Haleigh is now graciously sharing her Minka through Airbnb. Any Tribes of Eden fans out there? This is your chance to be hosted by the…I Believe in MAGICOur goal is to bring people together and look at ways to inspire and sustain a genuine human community.TweetShare34ShareEmail34 SharesTags: CSU inclusivity Minka tiny homes universal designlast_img read more

Scientists develop natural nontoxic hair dye from blackcurrant skins

first_imgMay 30 2018Whether they’re trying to hide some gray or embrace a new or quirky color, people adore hair dyes. But some of these dyes may be harmful to humans and the environment. Now in a study appearing in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists report that they have developed a natural, non-toxic hair dye derived from blackcurrant skins that is as durable as conventional dyes and capable of sustaining hair color through multiple washings.More than 5,000 substances are used to make hair dyes, according to the National Cancer Institute. Although human studies are inconclusive, findings suggest that some of these ingredients may promote cancer in animals. In some cases, these dyes can also trigger allergic reactions in humans. And, research suggests a large percentage of these colorants simply go down the drain, eventually ending up in rivers, lakes and streams where may pose an environmental hazard. To address these concerns, Richard S. Blackburn, Christopher Rayner and colleagues at the University of Leeds sought to create a natural, sustainable hair dye made from blackcurrant skins, which manufacturers usually discard after juicing.The researchers extracted and purified a group of pigments from the skins called anthocyanins, which commonly produce colors ranging from pink to violet in fruit, vegetables and flowers. The team used these pigments in a dye paste and applied it to bleached human hair, producing a vivid blue color, and they could produce reds and violets by modifying the dye formulation. There were no significant changes in these new hair colors after 12 shampoos. After analyzing how these natural compounds fix to the hair, they concluded that anthocyanin-based blackcurrant dyes are comparable to conventional colorants and could become an important component in dye mixtures used to produce a variety of hair colors and shades. Source:https://www.acs.orglast_img read more

Scientists discover key aspect in the development of multiple sclerosis

first_img Source:https://ki.se/en/news/new-explanation-for-the-cause-of-ms Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 7 2018In multiple sclerosis (MS), not only the T cells of the immune system, but also its B cells, play an important role. This is shown by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the University of Zurich in a study published in the journal Cell. The findings explain how a new class of MS drugs works, and can open up for more precise ways of treating the disease.MS is a chronic disease where the body’s immune cells attack and damage its own nerve tissue. The disease affects around 2.5 million people worldwide, with a higher risk among women.Now, a key aspect in the development of the disease has been found by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the University of Zurich. The results are published in the journal Cell. Faiez Al Nimer, researcher at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at KI, is co-first author of the study.Attack the nerve cellsRelated StoriesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskUntil recently, MS research has mainly focused on a type of immune cells called T cells. They normally help protecting the body against intruders. In some people, however, they attack the protective layer surrounding the nerve cells – marking the onset of MS. The new study shows that not only T cells, but also B cells of the immune system, play a role in the development of the disease, by activating the T cells.By analyzing blood samples, the researchers saw that blood from people with MS contained increased numbers and activation status of T cells known to be important for MS disease activity. When the B cells were eliminated, the activation status of these disease-driving T cells returned to normal, suggesting that B cells play a crucial role in the activation of autoimmune T cells in MS.Migrate to the brainThe team also discovered that these activated T cells detectable in the blood notably included those that also occur in the brain in MS patients during flare-ups of the disease. These T cells were shown to recognize the structures of a protein that is produced by the B cells as well as nerve cells in the brain. The researchers conclude that after being activated in the blood by B cells, the T-cells migrate to the brain, where they destroy the nerve tissue.The study explains the previously unclear mechanism of a new class of MS drugs (rituximab and ocrelizumab) and can, according to researchers, pave the way for more precise ways of treating MS in the future.last_img read more

Nearly onethird of Americans arent ready for the next generation of technology

Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The study was conducted by John Horrigan, an independent researcher, and released 17 June at an event sponsored by the Washington, D.C.–based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Funded by the Joyce Foundation, the study of 1600 adults measured their grasp of terms like “cookie” and “Wi-Fi.” It asked them to rate how confident they were about using a desktop or laptop or a smart phone to find information, as well as how comfortable they felt about using a computer. Of those who scored low in these areas, about half were not Internet users.Horrigan believes that policymakers have ignored the problem of digital readiness while concentrating on providing people with access to the Internet and the necessary hardware. Relatively little attention has been paid to teaching people the necessary skills to take advantage of online classes and job searches, he maintains.The researchers recommend that the technology industry needs to understand that not all users possess the same digital skill levels and that they need to make accommodations for those with less knowledge. Hargittai cites the RSS feed, which alerts its user to updates from his favorite blogs or websites, as an example of a tool that failed to address digital readiness. “There were a few years when every website had this bright orange button, ‘RSS!’ ” Hargittai says. “Web developers knew what it was, but consistently study after study showed that the average user has absolutely no clue what RSS is.”Libraries can act as hubs for online learning within a community, Horrigan says. Having young, Internet-savvy people who are willing to share their skills is another option for reducing the size of the digitally unready population.The lack of digital skills is a perennial problem, say researchers who have studied digital inequality over the years. In addition to those with few skills, someone who can function adequately today may fall behind as the technology continues to evolve. Grant Blank, a sociologist with the Oxford Internet Institute in the United Kingdom, believes that the community benefits just as much from good training programs as do the individuals themselves. “They’re more productive as citizens,” Blank says. “They’re able to participate better in social and political issues if they have effective online skills.” Thanks to a decade of programs geared toward giving people access to the necessary technology, by 2013 some 85% of Americans were surfing the World Wide Web. But how effectively are they using it?A new survey suggests that the digital divide has been replaced by a gap in digital readiness. It found that nearly 30% of Americans either aren’t digitally literate or don’t trust the Internet. That subgroup tended to be less educated, poorer, and older than the average American.In contrast, says Eszter Hargittai, a sociologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, who was not involved in the study, those with essential Web skills “tend to be the more privileged. And so the overall story … is that it’s the people who are already privileged who are reaping the benefits here.” read more

By 98 to 1 US Senate passes amendment saying climate change is

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 The U.S. Senate has voted overwhelmingly, 98 to 1, to approve an amendment affirming that climate change is real and “not a hoax.”The vote came on an amendment to legislation that aims to force approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from the Canadian oil sands to the United States.Senators opposed to the pipeline, who say it would help accelerate climate change by encouraging mining of oil sands, are using votes on the bill as an opportunity to force Republican senators to take a stand on whether climate change is real. Some Republican lawmakers have dodged the issue, saying they lack the scientific credentials to evaluate the evidence for climate change. One lawmaker, Senator James Inhofe (R–OK), has even called climate change a “hoax.” Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The amendment, from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D–RI), takes a veiled jab at Inhofe, asking simply whether it is “the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax.”In a surprise this afternoon, Inhofe rose before the vote to ask to become a co-sponsor of the Whitehouse amendment. Scattered applause greeted his remarks. “Climate is changing,” he said, “and climate has always changed.” The hoax that he has talked about, he suggested, is that there are people who think they are so “arrogant” and “powerful” that “they can change climate.”Whitehouse said he hoped the amendment would lead to greater efforts to address the impacts that climate change is having on the oceans and other ecosystems.Inhofe was one of the last senators to vote, in favor. The lone no vote came from Senator Roger Wicker (R–MS).last_img read more

Top stories The vampire squids unusual sex life 170yearold champagne and Yellowstones

first_imgThis week, a New York judge granted a pair of research chimps the right to have their day in court. The original court order allowed the animals to be covered under a writ of habeas corpus, which until now has applied only to humans. But those words were later struck from the order, suggesting that the court has made no decision on whether the chimps deserve to be treated as legal persons.Two huge magma chambers spied beneath Yellowstone National ParkGeoscientists finally have a complete picture of what’s going on under Yellowstone National Park, and they’ve found not one, but two massive magma chambers underneath the giant volcano! Scientists report that the newly discovered chamber is 4.5 times larger than the one we already knew about.What does 170-year-old champagne taste like?Thanks to a shipwreck that kept the vintage in near-perfect aging conditions, we now know what 170-year-old champagne tastes like. Tasters described the aroma of the champagne—likely the oldest ever imbibed—as spicy, smoky, and leathery.An unexpected microbe is killing organ transplant patientsA new study has implicated bacteria that normally live in the urinary tract as the culprit behind the mysterious deaths of some organ transplant patients. The bacteria cause the amount of ammonia in the blood to skyrocket, with disastrous—and often fatal—results.Physicists detect radio waves from a single electronPhysicists have long known that charged particles like electrons will spiral in a magnetic field and give off radiation. But nobody has ever detected the radio waves emanating from a single whirling electron—until now. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The unusual sex life of the vampire squidVampire squid live 500 to 3000 meters below the ocean’s surface, in a zone where there is no light and oxygen is low. To survive the choking darkness, the squid has evolved a reproductive strategy unlike any of its kin—one that has extended its time on Earth.Judge’s ruling (sort of) grants legal right to research chimpslast_img read more

Shaking grapevines disrupts pests sex lives

first_imgWhen it comes to the sex lives of insects, entomologists sure know how to kill the mood. To keep pests from making love—and little bugs—they have developed all sorts of tricks, like spraying plumes of pheromones that lead love-struck males astray. Now, scientists have developed a new way to disrupt mating: shaking the insects’ perches to disrupt the vibrations that would-be partners normally use to find each other.“This is a great new approach,” says Christoph Hoffmann, a biologist at the Institute for Plant Protection in Fruit Crops and Viticulture in Siebeldingen, Germany. These good—or bad—vibrations not only stop reproduction, but they may prevent a species of leafhopper from spreading a deadly disease through Europe’s vineyards.After the American grapevine leafhopper (Scaphoideus titanus) was accidentally imported into Europe in the mid-19th century, likely with plant material brought to combat the Great French Wine Blight, the insects picked up a bacterium that causes a grapevine disease called flavescence dorée, which causes leaves to yellow and grapes to shrivel. Since then, the leafhopper has been slowly spreading the incurable disease throughout the wine-growing regions in southern Europe. Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img To combat the pest, entomologist Valerio Mazzoni and colleagues at the Edmund Mach Foundation, an agricultural institute in Trentino, Italy, decided to use the leafhopper’s mating signals against them. Leafhopper males “sing” with their legs, vibrating the leaf on which they sit and alerting any nearby females. A female answers with her own vibration, starting a duet that helps the male locate her.To disrupt the performance, the team played a continuous stream of male singing from laboratory loudspeakers, causing a grapevine cutting with two leaves to shake. The upper leaf hosted one male, and the lower leaf one female. In almost two dozen experiments, not a single male could find the female when the song was played at a high enough volume. In an outdoor experiment, the team hung electromagnetic “shakers” on the supporting wire of a row of grapevines and put pairs of insects into cages wrapped around the shoots. After a day, they checked to see whether the caged insects had mated. In cages 5 meters from the shaker, 33 out of 36 females had not yet mated. That number dropped with increasing distance from the shaker—at 35 meters, only six out of 17 females had not mated—as the authors write in this month’s issue of the Journal of Pest Science.Hoffman welcomes the new approach to leafhopper control. Because the insects do not use pheromones for attraction, classic mating disruption is not an option. So vintners in many regions are forced to spray insecticides several times a year, Hoffmann says. “Any new approach is welcome, and I think the data here allow us to conclude that this is possible in principle.” The biggest questions for now may be practical. For instance, how do you hang electric cables in vineyards that harvest using machines with rotating knives?And, of course, there is always the question of cost. The researchers don’t give a final cost per hectare, but their proposed equipment price of 300 euros per hectare “would be great,” Hoffmann says. The team says it should be possible to reduce the price of the equipment and lower costs by turning off the shakers for the 8 hours each day that the hoppers are inactive. Indeed, several companies have shown an interest since the paper came out, Mazzoni says.“The idea is ingenious,” says Hannelore Hoch, a biologist studying planthoppers at the Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science in Berlin. Unlike insecticides, the mechanical disruption is targeted specifically at the pest insects. And because no other insects transmit the bacterium, getting rid of the leafhoppers would be enough to protect the vineyards—for now. But she cautions that the leafhoppers might adapt and start mating on other plants. And she wonders how the vibration might affect the vines in the long run. They might grow stronger, for instance, and produce lower yields in the process, Hoch says. “When you intervene in a biological system you never know exactly what will happen.” 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

Birds pay gruesome reward to alligator bodyguards

first_imgIt helps to have an alligator for a neighbor—that is, if you’re a nesting bird in the Everglades. The toothy reptiles scare off potential egg thieves like raccoons and opossums, so birds such as herons and egrets—which nest in colonies of hundreds of individuals—tend to choose nesting sites in alligator territory. But new research shows that the gators get something a bit more gruesome in return: food in the form of surplus chicks that fall from the nests. The new study, published today in PLOS ONE, shows that alligators living near wading bird colonies are fatter than those with no birds nearby, even after controlling for environmental factors like water depth. Wading birds typically lay more eggs than they can raise, and they eventually get rid of extra chicks by pushing them out of the nest. This rain of protein could be a windfall for alligators. So could the birds’ droppings, which may attract alligator prey. Alligator relatives and wading birds live together in many other wetlands, so the researchers say this grisly arrangement could be important worldwide.last_img read more

Tracking the elusive Burmese python—with DNA clues in the dirt

first_img When a Burmese python slithers out of its burrow, it leaves part of itself behind. Now, for the first time, scientists have used that part—DNA traces in the soil—to track the elusive snake in southern Florida.First, they wanted to see whether it was even possible to pick up such traces, which most animals release whenever they expel waste or shed skin. Past studies have looked at waterborne DNA to identify snakes, fish, and other aquatic animals, but few have looked at soil-based DNA. Back in the lab, the researchers placed three red corn snakes in soil-lined containers for a week and found that their DNA gradually built up in the dirt below, disappearing 4 to 7 days after they were taken out of their containers.Armed with that information, the researchers ventured into a reserve on Florida’s gulf coast to gather soil from the burrows of Burmese pythons, an invasive species that has wreaked havoc there by devouring any animal it can fit into its massive jaws. All 43 burrows in the study were monitored by cameras or other sensors. In two of the three burrows with video evidence of recent visitors, researchers found python DNA; none was present in any of the other burrows. By simply sampling the dirt, the researchers discovered whether and when a snake had been in a particular spot, they report this month in Herpetologica. The new technique, they say, could help conservationists and land managers protect Florida’s native animals by revealing where the pythons are hiding—and where they are spreading. Tracking the elusive Burmese python—with DNA clues in the dirt By Erica TennenhouseMar. 21, 2018 , 8:00 AMcenter_img Nps/ZUMA Press/Newscom last_img read more

Obama official would have led EPAs climate science debate—if all agencies took

first_img Charles Watkins/U.S. Department of Energy/Flickr “Steve, the Administrator remains very excited about conducting this exercise,” Jackson told Koonin in a May 2017 email. “He had bounced this and other ideas off others he has worked with for some time and others in the Administration. We would like to proceed further with the red-blue exercise.”Jackson added, “We have determined that the best way to process your paperwork is to compensate you as an ‘administratively determined’ position which is unique in the federal hiring process to EPA. There is no vetting other than OPM paperwork which allows us to have you on the payroll in short order.”The emails were recently released to the Sierra Club under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.It appears as though Jackson was referring to EPA’s special hiring provision offered by the Safe Drinking Water Act. That allows the EPA administrator to bring in up to 30 employees, known as “administratively determined” hires who can circumvent some of the bureaucracy involved in getting government jobs. Past administrations have used the authority, too.Pruitt’s use of the authority attracted widespread attention after The Atlantic reported in April that two aides close to Pruitt got substantial raises using the Safe Drinking Water Act provision, against the White House’s wishes.Pruitt told Fox News that he didn’t know about the raises—which were later revoked. Jackson took responsibility for signing off on the salary bumps (Greenwire, April 10).Under Pruitt, EPA has brought on at least 20 officials—including top political aides—as “administratively determined” hires, according to EPA documents (Greenwire, April 4). EPA’s inspector general is expected to release an audit of Pruitt’s special hires this summer, and congressional Democrats have introduced legislation that would force EPA bosses to notify lawmakers when they use the hiring authority (Greenwire, May 18).Jackson and EPA’s press office did not respond to requests for comment for this story.Koonin never took the job, he told E&E News yesterday in an interview, and he doesn’t expect the Trump team to launch a red team.”I decided not to do that at all,” said Koonin, who is now director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University.After meeting with Koonin last year to discuss Koonin’s Wall Street Journal op-ed about a climate red team, Pruitt called Koonin’s ideas “very exciting” in an interview with Reuters. Koonin later sent Jackson a “prospectus for a Climate Science Red-Blue Exercise,” according to an email dated May 3, 2017. Koonin declined to share a copy of the draft with E&E News, but he said he wanted to look at problems with the U.S. government’s Climate Science Special Report.Many conservatives see a red-team exercise as a vehicle for attacking EPA’s endangerment finding for greenhouse gases, the scientific determination that underpins the agency’s climate change regulations.But Koonin said yesterday that he only wanted to sign on to such an initiative if it were a governmentwide effort. “If one is going to do a good red-team exercise, it needs to involve those agencies that have strong equities in climate science, and EPA is not that,” he said.The initiative seems to have lost steam more broadly in the administration. Koonin said that he hasn’t talked to EPA officials about the effort in about six months, and he never talked to White House officials about it. Obama official would have led EPA’s climate science debate—if all agencies took part Read more… Steve Koonin “My general sense is that the executive branch at this point has just decided that they’re not going to poke at the science,” he said.Since Pruitt started speaking publicly about a red-team debate last year, top White House officials have pushed back against the red team. Pruitt—who said last year that it might start in January—hasn’t offered further updates about timing.Environmentalists, climate scientists and others have slammed the idea of a public debate or another Pruitt-led forum to critique mainstream climate science. Many say the scientific peer-review process provides a rigorous evaluation of the science and that launching a debate would unnecessarily emphasize uncertainty.”Instead of taking briefings from and respecting the knowledge of EPA scientists or NASA’s and NOAA’s scientists who are among the world’s experts on climate change, Pruitt wants to bring in a bunch of right-wing nuts to run an alternate facts process,” said David Doniger, senior strategic director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate and clean energy program.Koonin said, “I don’t think I’m being crazy.” He added, “Why wouldn’t you want to make sure that the government is properly representing the science?”And although he said he’s not concentrating his energy on the executive branch or the government at this point, he’s still pursuing the red-team idea.”It’s something I’m thinking about a lot. Stay tuned.” Pruitt’s team was planning to hire Koonin to convene a military-style “red-team” climate exercise aimed at questioning prevailing climate science. 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 Originally published by E&E NewsScott Pruitt’s top aide wanted to use special authority to hire a former Obama administration official to scrutinize climate science.The EPA administrator’s chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, suggested last year that Steven Koonin, a theoretical physicist and an Obama Energy Department appointee, could quickly get on EPA’s payroll. Pruitt and his staff have drawn criticism for using special authority to expedite the hires of political appointees, and EPA’s internal watchdog has launched a probe into the matter.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email I don’t think I’m being crazy. Why wouldn’t you want to make sure that the government is properly representing the science? Steven Koonin, New York University Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2018. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net. By Robin Bravender, E&E NewsJun. 13, 2018 , 4:05 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Violent Whites Folks Arrested With Care By Police

first_img 2. Assaulted Police And Even Chased Them… This man never compliedThis man actually hit police multiple timesThis man chased police and made them fear for safetyThis man was not killed!Pamela Turner was murdered and pregnant, she was never given the same opportunity. WHY? @KingJamespic.twitter.com/DfzdICbOy8— Gambling Refund ™ (@OffshoreRefund) May 14, 2019 1. Matthew Sloan Punched And Spit On Police… Again, if Matthew Sloan was a Black man this would be a much different story. https://t.co/K4cwb6SQ38— NewsOne (@newsone) July 12, 2019 6. Man Holds Black Man At Gunpoint And He Is Calmly Arrested… Downtown CHARLOTTESVILLE right now. F*ing white trash has a black man submitted first with a knife around his neck, then makes him kneel still threatening to stab him. Please, Twitter do your thing in the name of justice #resist @washingtonpost @MSNBC pic.twitter.com/klg7g5ac22— ℕ𝕠𝕥 𝔹𝕚𝕡𝕠𝕝𝕒𝕣 𝕥𝕠𝕕𝕒𝕪 (@tomorrowtambien) December 28, 2018 Source:Getty In June of 2015, nine churchgoers were gunned down at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The killer, Dylann Roof, was treated so kindly by police that they reportedly bought him Burger King.(Photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images) 5. Dylann Roof 8. James Holmes Today on #CrimeStories: Prosecutors have released video of #Aurora shooter #JamesHolmes’ interviews w/ a psychiatrist. Tune in now on @SiriusXM ch. 111 for insight on the evaluation of his sanity in the #Colorado theater massacre. #NancyGrace #CrimeAlert #CrimeOnline #MassKiller pic.twitter.com/DKRD2s0ay8— Crime Online (@crimeonlinenews) February 26, 2019 On July 20, Holmes killed 12 and injured 49 others at a movie theater in Colorado. He was seriously armed and dangerous but, according to USA Today, he was calmly arrested. Aurora police officer Jason Oviatt reportedly found “him outside, standing with his hands on top of his car. Oviatt said Holmes was ‘completely compliant’ when told to surrender.” Oviatt said, “He was just standing there not doing anything, not urgent about anything.” Yet, police seized a semiautomatic handgun with a laser sight, a semiautomatic shotgun and an AR-15 military assault rifle equipped with a 100-round magazine drum from the scene.center_img 7. Grady Wayne Wilkes Meet Grady Wayne Wilkes.He just shot 3 police officers. 1 died. The other 2 are in serious condition.He is white. Almost all police officers are killed by white people.He is armed and dangerous.Armed white men continue to be the biggest threat of violence in the country. pic.twitter.com/65Y0fZAXjT— Shaun King (@shaunking) May 20, 2019 Grady Wayne Wilkes in Alabama shot and killed a police officer and wounded two others. He was calmly arrested… imagine if he was Black. 3. Shot At Police At Trump Tower… Yesterday at 11:39 AM · Watch how the white cops treat a white man after he shoots at police at the Trump National Doral Miami resort pic.twitter.com/WrgD4OuBSU— Brother Tyrone X (@tyrone345345) October 27, 2018 4. Shot At Police At Walmart — And Was Let Go… It’s no secret that Black people are treated more harshly by police. We consistently see white people delicately arrested, even if they are a serious danger. On the other hand, Black folks are killed who are unarmed.See Also: Terry Crews Says Hollywood Is ‘Like A Plantation’ And ‘If This Is The End Of My Career, Just End It’For example, in one high-profile case, San Francisco police officers gunned down Mario Woods in 2015. The 26-year-old mentally ill man was suspected of stabbing someone when officers surrounded him. When Woods failed to drop the knife as ordered by the cops, they fired 26 rounds at him, even though cellphone videos showed that Woods was not directly threatening the officers as the cops claimed.In another case, Sacramento police officers fired at 51-year-old Joseph Mann 18 times in 2016 after receiving reports of a man with a knife acting erratically. Police videos show Mann walking down the street making strange gestures when the cops at first tried to run him down with their police cruiser before shooting him.In April 2018, four officers — one in uniform, three in plainclothes — killed Saheed Vassell, 34, in a hail of 10 bullets on a Brooklyn sidewalk. The officers responded to calls about a Black man with a gun. But it turned out that Vassell, who suffered from bipolar disorder, was holding a pipe. No firearm was found at the scene.Of course there is Laquan McDonald in October of 2014. Horrific video of the killing of McDonald showed Jason Van Dyke fired at him 16 times within 14 seconds. The video was released one year after McDonald’s death. The teen was seen walking away instead of confronting officers, which is what Van Dyke falsely said happened. McDonald continued to be shot at even after he fell to the ground from the initial bullets.Two police officers and one detective were acquitted of trying to cover up the shooting for Jason Van Dyke, even though that was precisely what they did. The three men all said Van Dyke, who was convicted in October, was justified in shooting the teenager 16 times within 14 seconds. Van Dyke’s partner the night of the shooting, even said: “McDonald was walking toward Van Dyke and with his arms raised when he was shot.” The video would later contradict that account, showing Walsh lied. Still, he and his co-defendants were acquitted. Van Dyke received the light sentence of 81 months in prison.However, when you are white — no matter if you gun down people at a church or even assault police officers, you can be peacefully arrested. Must be nice. See below.last_img read more

Geneedited foods are safe Japanese panel concludes

first_img Now, Japan appears set to follow the U.S. example. The final report, approved yesterday, was not immediately available, but an earlier draft was posted on the ministry website. The report says no safety screening should be required provided the techniques used do not leave foreign genes or parts of genes in the target organism. In light of that objective, the panel concluded it would be reasonable to require information on the editing technique, the genes targeted for modification, and other details from developers or users that would be made public while respecting proprietary information.The recommendations leave open the possibility of requiring safety evaluations if there are insufficient details on the editing technique. The draft report does not directly tackle the issue of whether such foods should be labeled. The ministry is expected to largely follow the recommendations in finalizing a policy on gene-edited foods later this year.Consumer groups had voiced opposition to the draft recommendations, which were released for public comment in December 2018. Using the slogan “No need for genetically modified food!” the Consumers Union of Japan joined other groups circulating a petition calling for regulating the cultivation of all gene-edited crops, and safety reviews and labeling of all gene-edited foods.Whether consumers will embrace the new technology remains to be seen. Japan has approved the sale of genetically modified (GM) foods that have passed safety tests as long as they are labeled. But public wariness has limited consumption and has led most Japanese farmers to shun GM crops. The country does import sizable volumes of GM processed food and livestock feed, however. Japanese researchers are reportedly working on gene-edited potatoes, tomatoes, rice, chicken, and fish. “Thorough explanations [of the new technologies] are needed to ease public concerns,” Sone said.*Correction, 22 March, 3:25 p.m.: This story has been updated to note that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, not the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, decided not to regulate gene-edited foods. Email Japan will allow gene-edited foodstuffs to be sold to consumers without safety evaluations as long as the techniques involved meet certain criteria, if recommendations agreed on by an advisory panel yesterday are adopted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. This would open the door to using CRISPR and other techniques on plants and animals intended for human consumption in the country.“There is little difference between traditional breeding methods and gene editing in terms of safety,” Hirohito Sone, an endocrinologist at Niigata University who chaired the expert panel, told NHK, Japan’s national public broadcaster.How to regulate gene-edited food is a hotly debated issue internationally. Scientists and regulators have recognized a difference between genetic modification, which typically involves transferring a gene from one organism to another, and gene editing, in which certain genes within an organism are disabled or altered using new techniques such as CRISPR. That’s why a year ago, the U.S.Department of Agriculture concluded that most gene-edited foods would not need regulation. But the European Union’s Court of Justice ruled in July 2018 that gene-edited crops must go through the same lengthy approval process as traditional transgenic plants.  In Japan, genetically modified products have to be labeled; an advisory panel did not say whether that should apply to gene-edited food as well. 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 Dennis NormileMar. 19, 2019 , 1:15 PMcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Shiho Fukada/Bloomberg/Getty Images Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Gene-edited foods are safe, Japanese panel concludeslast_img read more

New Stem Cell Treatment Offers Dramatic BurnHealing Potential

first_imgAlternative to Skin Grafts RenovaCare’s CellMist method gets a greater yield from its harvest than mesh grafting, a more common way to treat burns. At a maximum, grafting can treat six times the size of its harvest area. CellMist can cover 100 times its harvest area.”That’s why our skin sample can be so small,” Bold told TechNewsWorld. “Depending on the size of the wounded area, we’re talking about postage-stamp-sized.” Using stem cells to treat some types of burns is a promising alternative to skin grafting, which involves removing large sheets of healthy skin from a patient and puncturing it in a grid-like pattern to form an expandable mesh that’s stitched to the wound.”The [skin-graft] procedure is extremely painful,” said Bold.What’s more, an additional wound is created in the place where the healthy skin for the graft was removed.”That often results in poor cosmetic outcomes, with scars and deformed skin,” Bold pointed out.Other drawbacks of skin grafting include restricted joint movement and the inability of the skin to grow with a patient.”For a kid,” Bold noted, “that means ongoing new surgery as the kid grows.”Mesh graft patients can require months of physical therapy. They also can face ongoing problems ranging from the psychological impact of permanent disfigurement to risk of addiction resulting from long-term pain management with pain killers. John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Patent Challenged The CellMist System hasn’t been approved yet for clinical use in the United States, although it has been used on thousands of patients on an experimental and innovative practice basis, Bold noted.The company is awaiting FDA approval of its CellMist System so that it can begin clinical trials.The FDA isn’t the only hurdle for RenovaCare to clear on its road to bringing its medtech to market, however.Avita Medical has challenged one of RenovaCare’s patents. Avita also makes a skin regeneration system that sprays a patient’s cells on a wound to heal it.Avita last month filed a challenge against RenovaCare with the U.S. Patent and Appeals Board, which will decide if the dispute between the firms should be taken to court.”We believe we have presented a very strong rationale to the PTAB,” said Avita CEO Adam Kelliher, “as to why this patent should never have been issued.” High-Cell Viability A key to the effectiveness of RenovaCare’s treatment is its high rate of cell viabililty.When dispensing cells over a wound, it’s important that they make the transition without being damaged. Damaged cells reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.Ninety-seven percent of the stem cells in RenovaCare’s SkinGun remain viable after being sprayed on a wound, according to the company.High cell viability also contributes to faster healing. When a wound heals naturally, cells migrate to it to build up the skin. That process can take weeks.”What we do is isolate the cells from a healthy area, spray them on the wound, and accelerate the healing process,” Esteban-Vives told TechNewsWorld.”With the stem cells, we create thousands of regenerative islands all over the wound and close it with an epithelial layer,” Bold explained. “Once that layer is closed, the wound is dry and considered healed.”After that, the cosmetic healing will take place naturally.Time is important for wound healing.”Our patients’ wounds could heal over time,” Esteban-Vives said. “The problem is that during that healing time, complications can occur. Infections, contractions and scar formation could happen.” A med-tech startup has developed a fast and easy way to treat certain burn wounds with stem cells.RenovaCare harvests a variety of cells, including stem cells, from a healthy area of skin on a patient. Those cells are then suspended in a water-based solution, which is loaded into the company’s SkinGun and sprayed onto the wound.”The sprayer allows us to have a generous distribution of cells on the wound,” explained Roger Esteban-Vives, director of cell sciences at RenovaCare.The procedure takes about 90 minutes.”It’s gentle, and the skin that regrows feels and functions as the original skin that it replaces,” said RenovaCare CEO Thomas Bold.last_img read more

Anticipating the Merger of Apple and Oracle

first_imgIBM is the firm that really developed the lock-in model for the tech market, but it abandoned that model after it nearly put the company out of business in the 1990s. IBM is now the poster child, along with Microsoft and most of the tech market, for adopting open source and stressing interoperability.The reason the lock-in model is so attractive is that once a customer is locked in, you really don’t have to worry about marketing or refreshing products. You just create problems with existing products and raise prices when you need more revenue.The problem with the lock-in model is that eventually the customers realize they are being taken advantage of. They move to another vendor with prejudice (with no intention of ever moving back) and become outspoken critics of the vendor they abandoned. The company, which long before has ceased to be competitive, no longer has the skills to recreate the market that crashed and burned around it.IBM was lucky and after a massive investment was able to avoid a terminal outcome, but it still is a shadow of what it once was. Both Oracle and Apple employ lock-in models with offerings that increasingly are noncompetitive, but they rely on customers being unable to move easily to competing platforms to maintain their revenues and profits. Wrapping Up Orapple or Appacle? There is probably no product Dell makes that is a better challenger to the MacBook Pro than the Dell XPS 15″ laptop, which launched at Computex but just became available last week. Like the MacBook, it is design forward and configured to appeal to visual content creators with a strong CPU from Intel, a strong GPU from Nvidia, and (when fully configured) a drop dead gorgeous 15″ OLED 4K display. While their target customers and products are very different, the approach both Apple and Oracle take to the market is very old and highly consistent.Apple has never been successful in the enterprise; its server effort and its partnerships with Cisco and IBM all apparently have failed. Oracle, on the other hand, has never been able to field a personal product, and its thin client computing effort also failed.Combined, the firms would have the breadth to encompass an enterprise buyer and perhaps create a far more credible cloud effort, resulting in a more powerful company.Jony Ive really was the last major figure in Steve Jobs’ Apple to depart. I expect the transition to what Apple now will become to be extraordinarily painful. Oracle could help with this, and together the two would be a far stronger firm, with coverage starting with the smartphone and ending with Oracle’s far stronger back end and enterprise sales team.Now I personally think both firms should learn from IBM’s example and abandon lock-in, focusing instead on innovation and making their customers into stronger advocates. However, I know that once enamored with lock-in, executives won’t change. IBM’s change came after a massive executive and employee purge.In lieu of doing the right thing, a merger between Apple and Oracle likely could keep the wolves from the door long enough for the existing senior management team to retire. Sadly, that is often how these decisions actually are made. Like a lot of you, after reading about the departure of Jony Ive, I’m trying to wrap my head around Apple without a design focus. (Tim Cook has disputed the WSJ article — remember when the WSJ and Walt Mossberg were basically Apple’s marketing arm?)Now this isn’t as hard as you might think, given the last truly successful Apple product came out around a decade ago and was called the “iPad.” It is also somewhat ironic that Apple just effectively relaunched the iPod, the product that Steve Jobs rode to Apple’s massive success last decade.If you now think of Apple as a software and service company that relies on lock-in and price increases for revenue growth and customer retention, you basically have the consumer version of Oracle. This is also ironic because Steve Jobs’ closest friend arguably was Oracle CEO and founder Larry Ellison. Given that Apple and Oracle now are pretty much operating under the same overall customer model, I started to wonder whether the two firms should merge.I’ll share some thoughts on that and close with my product of the week: the Dell XPS 15, which in many ways is a better MacBook Pro than the MacBook Pro. Maybe the title for this week’s column should be “irony cubed”… A portable workstation by any definition, this product is a piece of art in brushed metal and open weave carbon fiber. As with all products in its size class, battery life takes a hit. Still, with between six and eight hours, it still should rank toward the top of class, both in terms of battery life and sheer performance.XPS is the line that was redesigned from a gaming focus prior to Dell’s acquisition of Alienware, to one more targeted at the Apple buyer. As editing tools and those who use them moved from the macOS to Windows, it isn’t surprising that over the years, the advocates who have praised this product were virtually all creative professionals. Most also were ex-Mac users as well, if I recall correctly.I write, and I really don’t need desktop performance on the road anymore, so I personally prefer laptops that are smaller and lighter, with more battery life. If I wanted a personal powerful laptop that could do photo- and video-editing, the new Dell XPS 15″ would be on my short list to check out.As a result, the Dell XPS 15″ is my product of the week. (Also, the carbon fiber weave pretty much matches the carbon fiber on my Jaguar F-Type’s dash.) The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network. Timing It Right Dell XPS 15” Laptop The Lock-In Model Individually, either company is really an end-to-end vendor like IBM was at its peak, but together they could fully lock out vendors like HP, Dell and Lenovo. While Tim Cook would have issues understanding Oracle’s business, Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd, who came to Oracle from PC giant HP, would have a far easier path.Both vendors together would have an end-to-end capability with one big shortcoming: Neither is very credible in the cloud. Oracle’s cloud effort has been a bit of a bad industry joke until now, and Apple is kind of famous for screwing up its cloud.Still, there is a chance that if they combined their resources they could get to a critical mass of knowledgeable people and financial resources to build a credible cloud effort. It certainly would be stronger than what either of them now has, and I’m kind of surprised the two firms haven’t at least partnered.Apple also needs a plan B for its failed partnerships with IBM and Cisco, which were to open the corporate market for targeted products like the iPad Pro. The failure appears to be largely due to Apple’s historic issues regarding executing partnerships. However, if Oracle and Apple merged, they would be the same company, and whoever ran the new entity could ensure the success of the partnership. Oracle has an enterprise sales channel similar to what Cisco and IBM have.The end result of the merger would be a full services end-to-end vendor that could encompass the complete needs of the enterprise buyer better and, still using a lock-in strategy, be far more able to lock out competitors than the two firms, with their limited product coverage, are today. Both companies currently are under a lot of competitive pressure but neither is in a crisis, so the motivation to merge is light. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen quickly — it just significantly lowers the odds of it happening in the near term.The typical timing of this would be when either firm has a massive crisis that destroys its valuation, so that the other firm can buy the failing company for a song.However, that would result in a process resembling Oracle’s experience with Sun Microsystems, suggesting the effort would fail. It the two firms agreed to a merger of peers rather than an acquisition, a deal could happen far more quickly and be far more likely to succeed.If we are waiting for a crisis, then we likely are talking around mid-next decade, but if the CEOs realize they all have growth and account-protection issues that need addressing far sooner, then it could happen much more quickly. (I’m not saying it will happen — only that it is one of the possible mergers that could make the greatest strategic sense, and the respective CEOs are very pragmatic.Cook, in particular, likely realizes that with Ive gone there is an increasing chance that Apple will go through a correction as the market adjusts to its new service/software model. Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob.last_img read more

Tech Industry Reacts to Trumps Immigration Order

first_imgUber CEO Travis Kalanick on Thursday resigned from President Trump’s business advisory council amid fierce blowback against the president’s recent executive order on immigration, and in the wake of reports that several major Silicon Valley firms, including Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google, have been circulating a draft letter opposing Trump’s action.Kalanick said he no longer would participate in the council after consumers railed against Uber for continuing to operate at John F. Kennedy International Airport over the weekend. The Taxi Workers Alliance in New York had gone on strike, refusing to pick up fares at the airport, to protest Trump’s executive order on refugee resettlement and travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations.”Earlier today I spoke briefly with the President about the immigration executive order and its issues for our community,” Kalanick wrote in a memo to employees. “I also let him know that I would not be able to participate on his economic council. Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the President or his agenda, but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that.”In the memo, Kalanick said he was proud to work with Thuan Pham, Uber’s CTO, and Emil Michael, the company’s senior vice president of business, both of whom are refugees who “came here to build a better life for themselves.” David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times. Key Contributors A number of major tech players have been contemplating the publication of an open letter protesting not only Trump’s so-called Muslim ban, but also other proposed changes that they fear could damage their companies’ ability to conduct business around the world, according to published reports.The draft letter, first reported by ReCode and Bloomberg News, calls on the Trump administration to reconsider several key policies in addition to the halt in refugee resettlement into the U.S.The letter also urges the administration to reconsider its policies with regard to Dreamers — that is, children of illegal immigrants who face deportation and the breakup of their families, a group that President Obama wanted to protect.The Silicon Valley leaders’ concerns go to the heart of the ability of their firms to recruit staff and conduct business. Many of their top executives, as well as professional programmers and engineers, have been recruited from Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of the world that are impacted directly by the Trump administration’s recent and proposed executive orders.Thousands of Silicon Valley professionals work under H-1B visas that allow highly skilled foreigners to remain in the U.S. as long as they continue to work for the companies that recruited them.After Trump signed the immigration ban, it was not only foreigners attempting to reach the U.S. for the first time who were impacted. Visa holders who were traveling overseas on business also were caught up in the chaos. Secondary Strategycenter_img Policy Backlash It’s doubtful the letter tech leaders reportedly are signing would have any effect on the president’s opinion or his executive order, suggested Charles Kind, principal analyst at Pund-IT.”In the first two weeks of his administration, Trump has shown himself to be willful, combative and quick to take offense — none of which are qualities one associates with a desire to seek compromise,” he told TechNewsWorld.That said, “simply writing the letter could be as important for tech companies as finding a way to get through to the administration,” King continued.”The fact is that the impact of the executive order on Silicon Valley’s employment of foreign-born engineers is just one of the elements in play here. More important will be the effect that Trump’s unilateral actions and ‘America first’ intentions have on foreign markets, many of which are crucial to the current and future health of U.S. tech companies,” he explained.”If Mr. Trump sparks crises,” said King, “including trade wars with formerly friendly allies — and it seems likely that he will — the immigration letter signers’ willingness to confront the president could help them maintain their good standing with trusted partners and customers who are otherwise threatened by the administration’s policies.” Immigrants are twice as likely as native-born Americans to start new businesses, said Arnobio Morelix, senior research analyst and program officer in research and policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.More than half of the billion-dollar startups in the U.S. were launched by immigrants, and 70 percent of those unicorn companies have immigrants as key members of their management or product development teams, he told TechNewsWorld.More than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were launched by immigrants and their children, and Silicon Valley is the metro area with the most immigrant entrepreneurs in the country, the foundation’s data shows. Immigrants account for 41.9 percent of entrepreneurs in the San Jose metro area.It’s unlikely that the Trump administration will back down on the immigration issue, despite the concerns raised by the technology industry in the draft letter that’s been circulating, according to Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.”I doubt it,” he told TechNewsWorld, as “the president is pretty set on his plan, and it was a key campaign promise.”It such an open letter were published, it might upset Trump to the point where he would rescind his pledge to help the technology industry by cutting back on government regulations, Enderle feared. last_img read more

Vast majority of dementia cases may arise from spontaneous genetic errors

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 15 2018Only a small proportion of cases of dementia are thought to be inherited – the cause of the vast majority is unknown. Now, in a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, a team of scientists led by researchers at the University of Cambridge believe they may have found an explanation: spontaneous errors in our DNA that arise as cells divide and reproduce.The findings suggest that for many people with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, the roots of their condition will trace back to their time as an embryo developing in the womb.In common neurodegenerative diseases, toxic proteins build up in the brain, destroying brain cells and damaging brain regions, leading to symptoms including personality changes, memory loss and loss of control. Only around one in twenty patients has a family history, where genetic variants inherited from one or both parents contributes to disease risk. The cause of the majority of cases – which are thought to affect as many as one in ten people in the developed world – has remained a mystery.A team of researchers led by Professor Patrick Chinnery from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Mitochondrial Biology Unit and the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge hypothesised that clusters of brain cells containing spontaneous genetic errors could lead to the production of misfolded proteins with the potential to spread throughout the brain, eventually leading to neurodegenerative disease.”As the global population ages, we’re seeing increasing numbers of people affected by diseases such as Alzheimer’s, yet we still don’t understand enough about the majority of these cases,” says Professor Chinnery. “Why do some people get these diseases while others don’t? We know genetics plays a part, but why do people with no family history develop the disease?”To test their hypothesis, the researchers examined 173 tissue samples from the Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource, part of the MRC’s UK Brain Banks Network. The samples came from 54 individual brains: 14 healthy individuals, 20 patients with Alzheimer’s and 20 patients with Lewy body dementia, a common type of dementia estimated to affect more than 100,000 people in the UK.Related StoriesNew app created to help people reduce exposure to anticholinergic medicationsCommon medications can masquerade as dementia in seniorsSlug serves as ‘command central’ for determining breast stem cell healthThe team used a new technique that allowed them to sequence 102 genes in the brain cells over 5,000 times. These included genes known to cause or predispose to common neurodegenerative diseases. They found ‘somatic mutations’ (spontaneous, rather than inherited, errors in DNA) in 27 out of the 54 brains, including both healthy and diseased brains.Together, these findings suggest that the mutations would have arisen during the developmental phase – when the brain is still growing and changing – and the embryo is growing in the womb.Combining their results with mathematical modelling, their findings suggest that ‘islands’ of brain cells containing these potentially important mutations are likely to be common in the general population.”These spelling errors arise in our DNA as cells divide, and could explain why so many people develop diseases such as dementia when the individual has no family history,” says Professor Chinnery. “These mutations likely form when our brain develops before birth – in other words, they are sat there waiting to cause problems when we are older.””Our discovery may also explain why no two cases of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s are the same. Errors in the DNA in different patterns of brain cells may manifest as subtly different symptoms.”Professor Chinnery says that further research is needed to confirm whether the mutations are more common in patients with dementia. While it is too early to say whether this research will aid diagnosis or treatment this endorses the approach of pharmaceutical companies who are trying to develop new treatments for rare genetic forms of neurodegenerative diseases.”The question is: how relevant are these treatments going to be for the ‘common-or-garden’ variety without a family history? Our data suggests the same genetic mechanisms could be responsible in non-inherited forms of these diseases, so these patients may benefit from the treatments being developed for the rare genetic forms.” Source:https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/many-cases-of-dementia-may-arise-from-non-inherited-dna-spelling-mistakeslast_img read more

Podcast KHNs What the Health Reading the tea leaves in blue waves

first_imgThis week, “What the Health?” panelists discuss, among other things, how the House Democrats’ leadership battle could affect the congressional health policy agenda.The panelists are Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Alice Ollstein of Politico and Anna Edney of Bloomberg News.As the post-election dust settles on Capitol Hill, the Democrats — soon to be in control of the House of Representatives — have begun the process of choosing their leadership team. How this shakes out will have a lot to do with how health policy agenda takes shape in the lower chamber.House Democrats nominated Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to retake the speaker’s gavel, but she still needs to win over more of her colleagues to secure the speaker post in January.But all the action this week wasn’t focused on Congress. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb unveiled a proposed overhaul of the FDA’s decades-old medical device approval process, and the Trump administration announced proposals it said would reduce Medicare prescription drug costs. Critics fear those changes could mean that some people with chronic diseases like AIDS or cancer might not have access to the drugs they need.Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast: House Democrats nominated Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to retake the speaker’s gavel this week along with the rest of its leadership slate, Reps. Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. This is only the first step, though. The leadership positions will not be filled officially until January, when they are voted on by the full House. Although Pelosi is still wrangling for the support needed to earn her the required 218 votes, most insiders expect the Democrat’s leadership team to look much as it did the last time Democrats ruled the House chamber in 2010, when the Affordable Care Act became law. That means the House will likely be laser-focused on the necessary steps to protect the ACA. There may also be hearings on single-payer health insurance — a concept that is increasingly gaining interest and support within the caucus, and especially among some of its newest members. In the background, the Texas lawsuit that could overturn the ACA’s protections for people with preexisting conditions is still pending. That decision could come any day. Keep in mind, though, that whatever the court rules, it is likely to be appealed immediately and move up the legal ladder. And, in the interim, House Democrats may still move forward with legislation to strengthen those ACA safeguards. Such a measure could get some GOP support because many Republicans seeking re-election this year said they wanted to ensure that patients with preexisting medical conditions would not lose coverage. The FDA unveiled a proposed overhaul of its decades-old medical device approval system. Among its provisions, the plan includes steps to ensure that new medical devices reflect current safety and effectiveness features. Critics of the current system say it has failed to detect problems with some implants — like hip replacements that failed prematurely or surgical mesh that has been linked to pain and bleeding. The changes, if approved, could take years to implement and some might require congressional approval. The Trump administration proposed a series of changes to reduce the number of prescription drugs that all Medicare drug plans must cover. The proposal focuses on drugs in six “protected classes” and involves medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotic medicines, cancer drugs and antiretrovirals to treat HIV/AIDS. Administration officials have said the proposal could cut costs for Medicare, but patient advocacy groups say it could reduce patients’ access for much-needed treatments. The proposed changes would not occur until 2020, and Congress could intervene to stop them. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Related StoriesCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseasePopular herbal tea causes high-blood pressure emergency in patientMany thyroid cancer patients have no choice about radioactive iodine, study revealsAlso this week, Julie Rovner interviews KHN senior correspondent Jay Hancock, who investigated and wrote the latest “Bill of the Month” feature for Kaiser Health News and NPR. It’s about a single mother from Ohio who received a wrongful bill for her multiple sclerosis treatment. You can read the story here.If you have a medical bill you would like NPR and KHN to investigate, you can submit it here.Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too:Mary Agnes Carey: The New York Times’ “This City’s Overdose Deaths Have Plunged. Can Others Learn From It?” by Abby GoodnoughMargot Sanger-Katz: NPR’s “Rethinking Bed Rest for Pregnancy,” by Alison KodjakAnna Edney: The Washington Post’s “Overdoses, Bedsores, Broken Bones: What Happened When a Private-Equity Firm Sought to Care for Society’s Most Vulnerable,” by Peter Whoriskey and Dan KeatingAlice Ollstein: Wired.com’s “The Science Is Clear: Dirty Farm Water Is Making Us Sick,” by Elizabeth Shogren and Susie NeilsonTo hear all our podcasts, click here.And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunes, Stitcher or Google Play. Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 29 2018last_img read more

Study outlines research priorities for improving pediatric patient care and safety

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 23 2019Collaboration of the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving patient safety in children’s hospitals identifies the most important patient safety research topicsIn the first study to comprehensively evaluate research priorities for patient safety in pediatrics, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital researchers and collaborators from other children’s hospitals outlined 24 research priorities for improving pediatric patient care and safety.Using multiple research methods, investigators gathered data from parents, clinicians and hospital leaders. Topics identified as most important included how organizations use high reliability principles, create and improve their safety culture, communicate about patient care, and use early-warning systems to proactively prevent and detect patient decline.”Children, especially those with catastrophic diseases, have unique characteristics that may require different approaches to improve patient safety, and this study sets a research agenda for pediatric patient safety,” said James Hoffman, Pharm.D., St. Jude chief patient safety officer and the study’s first author.Related StoriesOlympus launches next-generation X Line objectives for clinical, research applicationsAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTSurvey results should enable health system leaders and patient safety experts to dedicate resources to areas that will improve safety and clinical outcomes in pediatric health care. Stakeholders, including parents, identified the most important research priorities that could further improve success.The study, published today in the journal Pediatrics, took place within the Solutions for Patient Safety network. The network includes more than 130 children’s hospitals with a mission to achieve a zero-harm environment for pediatric patients.”As a group, SPS network hospitals care for about half of all hospitalized children each year,” said senior author Kathleen Walsh, M.D., M.S. associate professor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Director of Research in the hospital’s James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence. “That means we are in the unique position to be able to have an immediate effect on pediatric patient safety.”Embracing high-reliability concepts and a culture of safety receive great attention within the SPS network and hospitals in general, but the research was a clear signal that more must be learned for pediatric institutions to become highly reliable in health care delivery.By defining a stakeholder-driven research agenda, the study relies on those best positioned to determine the high-priority issues unique to each facility.Parents of patients were an integral part of the research process.”Engaged parents helped us throughout the process, and their input was critical,” said Nicholas Keeling of the St. Jude Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. “What we’re left with is something pediatric health care organizations can review, decide key areas of concern, and immediately begin their research into improving pediatric patient care.”Source: https://www.stjude.org/media-resources/news-releases/2019-medicine-science-news/collaboration-offers-research-road-map-to-improve-pediatric-patient-care.htmllast_img read more

Effective toothbrushing coupled with good oral hygiene can help prevent erectile dysfunction

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 12 2019Men who suffer from periodontitis, a disease characterized by inflammation of the gums and damage to the structures that surround and support the teeth, are at greater risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction. Effective tooth-brushing, coupled with good oral hygiene, can help prevent this type of male sexual impotence.That’s the message of a study conducted by researchers from the Department of Surgery and Surgical Specialties (Urology) and the Department of Stomatology at the University of Granada (UGR), Spain.Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability of a man to achieve an erection, due physical or psychological factors or a combination of the two. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammation of the gums, which progressively destroys the alveolar bone and the connective tissues that anchor the teeth in place. If left untreated, it can ultimately lead to tooth loss. The periodontal bacteria or inflammatory cytokines that originate in the infected gums harm the vascular endothelial cells. When this endothelial dysfunction occurs in the blood vessels of the penis, blood-flow is adversely affected, leading to impotence.Related StoriesDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustInhibition of p38 protein boosts formation of blood vessels in colon cancerVirus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds studyThe UGR study was performed on a sample of 80 men, using 78 controls, among patients receiving treatment at the Urology Service of theClínico San Cecilio Hospital at Granada’s Health Sciences Technology Park. The participants provided their sociodemographic data, underwent a periodontal examination, and were tested for testosterone levels, lipid profile, C-reactive protein, blood glucose levels, and glycated hemoglobin.The researchers found that 74% of patients with ED showed signs of periodontitis. Those with the most severe ED presented the worst periodontal damage, while sufferers of periodontitis were 2.28 times more likely to present ED than patients with healthy gums. The biochemical variables associated with ED were triglycerides, C-reactive protein, and glycated hemoglobin.The study—the first of its kind to be conducted on a European population—was part of a Doctoral thesis project authored by dentist Amada Martín Amat and her thesis supervisors Francisco Mesa (Stomatology) and Miguel Arrabal (Urology).The results have been published in theJournal of Clinical Periodontology, the leading international scientific journal in periodontal research. Source:https://canal.ugr.es/noticia/effective-tooth-brushing-men-avoid-erectile-dysfunction/last_img read more

IBM demonstrates new breakthrough in AI performance

Explore further IBM has demonstrated a new breakthrough in AI performance. By using machine learning on POWER9 with NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs, IBM technology can now predict the likelihood of a user clicking online advertisements 46x faster than previous published results. In a newly published benchmark by IBM Research, we demonstrated how Snap Machine Learning (AI technology) can be used to train machine learning models for massive data sets from financial records to weather forecasting to online marketing. The result for customers is lower cloud costs and faster time to insight.The insights derived from data are where real business value is—and getting those insights is a tall order when it is time- and cost-consuming to evaluate even relatively simply datasets. Speed is critical for scaling insights, and IBM is optimizing IT infrastructure to achieve that speed. Realizing the power of AI and the cloudAt Think 2018, we’re also introducing other first-of-a-kind capabilities that address both the biggest obstacles and the biggest opportunities with enterprise AI in the cloud, including data security and a technical skills shortage. In the last 12 months, 58% of enterprises have had at least one security breach, according to Forrester. To protect data in the cloud, IBM is introducing services with mainframe-level data protection for cloud databases, containers, and developer kits for Apple devices. The services are made possible by bringing IBM Z into IBM’s global public cloud data centers, giving enterprises secure data protection as they make progress on their AI journeys.Furthermore, to bridge the gap between the right hardware and the right skills, IBM will also be offering its POWER9 servers through the IBM Cloud. This includes the option to pre-install the PowerAI machine learning and deep learning software suite that’s designed to speed training in deep learning for data scientists. The POWER9 systems are purpose-built for data-intensive AI workloads and IBM worked with innovators like NVIDIA to boost performance by nearly 10x.The results are eye-opening. Tencent, a hyperscale datacenter provider, recently purchased a number of OpenPOWER-based systems to add to its growing enterprise data center. With its adoption of OpenPOWER technology, Tencent’s overall efficiency has improved by more than 30%, with savings of 30% on rack resources and 30% on server resources.”We’re betting on breakthrough technologies that are designed for cloud and AI workloads –and so are our clients,” says Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems. “Whether it’s to accelerate customer insight and services delivery or provide data encryption across massive amounts of data, IBM Systems is uniquely differentiated for smarter businesses.” Provided by IBM Credit: IBM This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: IBM demonstrates new breakthrough in AI performance (2018, March 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-ibm-breakthrough-ai.html Making container technology work for persistent microservices read more