2019 Season Countdown 58 Tyler Cochran

first_imgTyler Cochran I just finished reading Brad Thor’s Foreign Agent (LINK): Name: Tyler CochranHeight: 6’1″Weight: 201 lbs.High school: Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary’sPosition: SafetyClass: Redshirt juniorJersey number: #30Last year: I ranked Cochran #112 and said he would be a backup safety and special teamer (LINK). He played in all thirteen games and made 1 tackle.TTB Rating: N/A Cochran won the Most Improved Special Teams Player of the Year in 2018, and that includes winning over some other guys who had solid years on special teams (Will Hart, Jake McCurry, Ambry Thomas, etc.). Tags: 2019 season countdown, Tyler Cochrancenter_img Prediction: Backup safety, special teamer 1 0You need to login in order to vote Cochran, the son of Brad Cochran (who played at Michigan from 1981-1985), should see plenty of time on special teams again in 2019. At first glance it may seem like I have this walk-on safety ranked too high – and maybe I do. But I’ll start off my justification with this: his thirteen games played in 2018 is more than the guys above and below him in the countdown.last_img read more

Elephants may have best noses on Earth

Dogs, most of us think, have the best noses on the planet. But a new study reveals that this honor actually goes to elephants. The power of a mammal’s sniffer hinges on the number and type of its olfactory receptor genes. These genes are expressed in sensory cells that line the nasal cavity and are specialized for detecting odor molecules. When triggered, they set off a cascade of signals from the nose to the brain, enabling an animal to identify a particular smell. In the new study, scientists identified and examined olfactory receptor genes from 13 mammalian species. The researchers found that every species has a highly unique variety of such genes: Of the 10,000 functioning olfactory receptor genes the team studied, only three are shared among the 13 species. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the length of its trunk, the African elephant has the largest number of such genes—nearly 2000, the scientists report online today in the Genome Research. In contrast, dogs have only 1000, and humans and chimpanzees, less than 400—possibly because higher primates rely more on their vision and less on their sense of smell. The discovery fits with another recent study showing that Asian elephants are as good as mice (which have nearly 1300 olfactory receptor genes) at discriminating between odors; dogs and elephants have yet to be put to a nose-to-trunk sniffer test. Other research has also shown just how important a superior sense of smell is to the behemoths. A slight whiff is all that’s necessary, for instance, for elephants, such as those in the photo above, to distinguish between two Kenyan ethnic groups—the Maasai, who sometimes spear them, and the Kamba, who rarely pose a threat. They can also recognize as many as 30 different family members from cues in their urine. read more

LEDs Good for prizes bad for insects

first_imgLight-emitting diodes (LEDs) are getting plenty of good press today, thanks to this morning’s Nobel Prize announcement, but a new study finds that they may be bad news for insects. Moths, flies, and other insects are drawn much more strongly by the spectrum of light from LEDs than the yellow glare of sodium-vapor bulbs. New research, published in the current issue of Ecological Applications, shows that traps placed near LEDs captured 48% more insects than traps near sodium-vapor lights. In all, the researchers caught and identified more than 20,000 bugs; moths and flies were the most common. The allure can be fatal, throwing off insect navigation and exposing them to predators. The larger ecological effects could include the disruption of food webs. One particular concern: LED lights near ports could attract flying pests that are accidentally transported by ships. An example is the gypsy moth (pictured), an invasive species that has devastated forests. Unfortunately, the tests showed that simply tweaking the spectrum of LEDs did not reduce their attractiveness  to insects. It’s possible that certain filters or combinations of red, green, and blue LEDs could lessen the visual appeal, but that might raise the cost and energy consumption.last_img read more

Theres a strange treekiller on the loose in the Amazon logjams

first_imgThere’s a strange tree-killer on the loose in the Amazon: logjams The Amazon rainforest is a hotbed of biodiversity and a major absorber of the world’s carbon dioxide. But large swaths of this jungle are dying every year, more than can be explained by the traditional culprits of deforestation, logging, and farming. Now, one researcher has used more than 30 years of satellite images to show that flooding caused by logjams—large pieces of timber partially or completely obstructing river channels—may be the missing factor. Naturally occurring logjams in the Bolivian Amazon kill off almost as much rainforest as human activity—just under 1000 hectares per year in one part of Bolivia—the scientist reports in a forthcoming issue of Earth Systems Dynamics. To find out how and where logjams did their dirty work, the researcher looked at images of rainforest in western Bolivia from 1984 to 2016, searching for areas that reflected colors of infrared light that typically signify bare soil and sand. He found that 22 rivers showed repetitive flooding caused by logjams. The sometimes-massive pileups reroute water flow, erode riverbanks, and transport massive amounts of sand, eventually killing nearby trees. Each flood can destroy thousands of trees, which die after the soil surrounding their roots is washed away. Logjams can also change the balance of plant species in the Amazon: After trees die, some of the flooded areas turn into savanna, and the uptick in sunlight hitting the ground can favor quick-growing trees like mahogany, at the expense of slower-growing species like Brazil nuts. The die-offs are also bad news for the rest of us—more savanna means fewer trees are absorbing carbon dioxide, one of the major greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. By Katherine KorneiApr. 7, 2017 , 2:45 PMlast_img read more

Mosquito spit can bust blood clots in mice

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 Does your blood run thick? A bit of mosquito saliva might one day be just what the doctor ordered. That’s because scientists have found a new way to reinvigorate anticlotting factors in mosquito spit in the lab. The modified blood thinner has so far only been tested in mice; if it ever works in humans, it could help prevent—and even treat—the blood clots that can lead to hemorrhaging or thrombosis.When a mosquito bites, it injects a potent mix of proteins called anophelins into its host, allowing the blood to flow more freely. These anophelins have long been a target of researchers trying to create new classes of blood thinners for human use. But once extracted and tested in the lab, anophelins do a poor job of thinning and unclotting the blood.To revitalize tired mosquito spit, scientists added sulfate to the mix. Sulfate, which reacts with amino acids in the anophelins, strengthened the electrostatic forces between the proteins, making them better able to bind to the enzyme in blood plasma that causes clotting. Researchers injected three anaesthetized mice with the modified or original molecules and measured how much they bled from a tail wound. Mice treated with the modified proteins had much thinner blood—their anophelins were 100 times as effective in binding to the enzyme as the unmodified protein, the scientists reported last month in ACS Central Science. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Pixabay/Pexels The team also found that sulfated anophelins are more effective than hirudin, a blood-thinning molecule derived from the salivary juices of leeches, which is occasionally used in clinical settings. Given how well the modified anophelins performed—and the fact that they also stimulate a natural immune response—the researchers are planning to develop mosquito spit–based blood thinners that could eventually be used to prevent and treat blood clot formation in humans. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email By Vanessa ZainzingerApr. 10, 2018 , 4:35 PM Mosquito spit can bust blood clots in micelast_img read more

One of the worlds most important crop gene storehouses just got a

first_img By Erik StokstadOct. 11, 2018 , 7:00 PM 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 Svetlana Lukienko/shutterstock Rice is one of the world’s most important crops. After 6 years of effort, IRRI—a plant breeding center that has played a central role in developing modern, high-yield rice varieties—has now met those standards. For example, its gene bank can now make seeds from 90% of its 136,000 varieties available immediately on request. The new funding should make it easier for IRRI to sustain the sometimes labor-intensive process of maintaining its collections; for example, some crop varieties need to planted periodically, so that researchers can harvest fresh collections of viable seed.The trust ultimately hopes to expand its financial help to IRRI’s sister institutes in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a global nonprofit partnership for agriculture that has research centers throughout the developing world. CGIAR centers run 11 gene banks in all, and analysts estimate it will take an endowment of close to $500 million to generate the annual funds needed to ensure their long-term viability. (Safeguarding all crops stored in the world’s roughly 25 major gene banks would take an endowment of about $850 million.) So far, the Crop Trust has raised about $300 million for its seed bank endowment, with contributions mainly from the United States, Norway, and Germany. So, “We have some ways to go,” Haga says.Given that rice is one of the world’s most important crops, researchers say supporting IRRI is an obvious priority. But it will also be important to help the gene banks that conserve less well-known crops, such as teff or quinoa that are important for food security, says Irene Hoffmann, secretary of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in Rome. “There are many gene banks, especially the national ones, that don’t get enough attention, and many crops that are not as high in profile as rice or maize,” she says. Many banks lack the resources to prevent their seed collections from withering away, the commission noted in a report last year.Haga hopes the Crop Trust will eventually be able to support national and regional gene banks as well as the prominent international centers. Fundraising for long-term seed conservation has gotten more difficult, she says, and it’s always been harder to raise funds for agricultural diversity than charismatic wild animals. “We need to protect all natural biodiversity,” she says, “but let’s not forget that plants actually feed us.” One of the world’s most important crop gene storehouses just got a funding boostcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) When plant breeders want to improve crops, they turn to the diversity stored in gene banks around the world. But many of these critical storehouses, which hold seeds and other plant tissues, are in poor condition as a result of funding shortages. Now, the Crop Trust, a nonprofit based in Bonn, Germany, is aiming to help crop gene banks find firmer footing by providing a steadier source of cash. And today it announced its first award, a 5-year, renewable grant of $1.4 million annually, to the gene bank of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Philippines. “These crop collections are too important to the world to be left to uncertainty,” says Marie Haga, executive director of the Crop Trust, which was founded in 2004. “They can’t depend on budgets that go up and down.”The trust is best known for its work on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a storage facility dug into an Arctic mountain in Norway. It contains nearly 1 million samples of crop seeds gathered from gene banks over the world, kept in case disaster strikes. But the organization also has been quietly working to improve the ability of gene banks to conserve and distribute seeds, and helping the banks meet standards that qualify them for long-term funding from an endowment established by the trust. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Geneedited foods are safe Japanese panel concludes

first_img Email 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. 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.  Shiho Fukada/Bloomberg/Getty Images By Dennis NormileMar. 19, 2019 , 1:15 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_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 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. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Gene-edited foods are safe, Japanese panel concludeslast_img read more

Ebola outbreak in Congo still not an international crisis WHO decides

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Health workers at an Ebola treatment center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was attacked earlier this year by armed men JOHN WESSELS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Ebola outbreak in Congo still not an international crisis, WHO decidescenter_img By Jon CohenApr. 12, 2019 , 6:20 PM Email “We have an Ebola gas can sitting in DRC that’s just waiting for a match to hit it,” says epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, who directs the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. “It could blow substantially in this area any time soon.”The panel, however, “almost unanimously” agreed that there would be “no added benefit” to declaring a PHEIC, said its chair, epidemiologist Robert Steffen of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, at a press teleconference today. A number of organizations, including WHO, the DRC’s Ministry of Health, and nongovernmental groups, are doing “excellent work” to contain the outbreak, he said. “Although there was great concern about the rising numbers in some regions, the outbreak has not spread internationally and that’s now over many months.”The committee did, however, urge public health groups to “redouble efforts” to detect cases, prevent transmission in health care facilities, and find and vaccinate anyone who was in direct or indirect contact with a person who became ill. “We do not mean at all that we can lean back and relax,” Steffen says.Funding a point of conflictWHO will accept the committee’s advice and will not declare a PHEIC, said its director-general, who goes by Tedros. But he stressed that the response needs an additional $104 million to close a funding gap and carry out its plans through the end of July. “We’re calling on the international community to step up its commitment on ending the outbreak,” Tedros said. “We cannot intensify our efforts if we do not have enough funds. The current funding gap has meant that we have had to slow down preparedness activities in neighboring countries.”Osterholm was “surprised and disappointed” by the committee’s decision. “I have read, reread, and discussed at length what the conditions are that would” justify declaring a PHEIC, he says, and the DRC outbreak “fully meets the conditions. … The funding gap alone should tell you the world is not understanding the public health importance here and the emergency nature of this. WHO is sending a message that we’re concerned but it’s business as usual, and I don’t see anything as business as usual here.”But, Steffen said, “It would not be appropriate to declare a PHEIC just to generate funds.” And Jeremy Farrar, who runs the Wellcome Trust in London, agrees that a PHEIC should not be invoked to raise money.“Money is not hampering the response currently,” says Farrar, who visited the region in January. And declaring a PHEIC, he says, is a “really nuanced decision” that could even backfire—increasing fear and damaging badly needed trade in the region, for example. “Whether a PHEIC is called or not is a secondary issue,” he says. “What is needed is a rapid, evidenced-based evaluation of what has been working, and to enhance those responses as fast and as aggressively as possible. We must also ask what has not been working and why, and plan changes to these to increase their impact, and bring in new interventions. Without this we will not see a different result in the DRC.”Vaccine dataWHO today also released, for the first time, information about the impact of the still experimental Ebola vaccine, which is made by Merck of Kenilworth, New Jersey. Public health workers have been administering the vaccine in an attempt to create “rings” of immunity around infected individuals. So far, they’ve vaccinated 97,000 people, and a preliminary analysis shows the vaccine’s efficacy is 97.5%. During the West African epidemic, a formal study of the vaccine—which contains a gene for an Ebola surface protein stitched inside of a virus that affects farm animals but is harmless to humans—found it offered 100% protection 10 days after people received the shot. (That is how long it takes for a person to develop a robust immune response.)Vaccine teams in the DRC created vaccine rings around 776 cases. But security concerns—there are 20 armed insurgency groups in the area—and community reluctance to be vaccinated have prevented vaccine teams from creating rings around 175 cases. Of the 71 Ebola cases that occurred in vaccinated people, only 15 became ill 10 or more days after receiving the shot. None of those 15 people died.In the 56 people who became ill within 10 days of being vaccinated, there were nine deaths, far less than expected, a strong indication that they received partial protection. “This vaccine is highly effective,” said Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergency program and a participant in the teleconference. The challenge is “to get the message to communities.” No need to sound the world’s loudest public health alarm bell about the lingering Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), an expert panel convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, decided today. The controversial decision not to declare what is known as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) comes as the outbreak has sickened at least 1206 people, killing 63% of them.A recent spike in cases had prompted WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to convene the 11-member panel. It considered, for a second time, whether WHO should take the rare step of declaring the outbreak a global emergency, which can impact disease surveillance plans, travel, and trade. WHO adopted the PHEIC concept in 2005, and has invoked it just four times: for pandemic flu in 2009, polio eradication in 2014, the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014, and the Zika virus outbreak in 2016.Some public health experts believe WHO needed to take the dramatic step in order to draw greater attention—and funding—to fighting the DRC Ebola outbreak, which is centered in two conflict-ridden provinces the country’s northeast. Cases began to surface  in August 2018, and the outbreak is now second in size only to the massive Ebola epidemic that devastated three West African countries between 2014 and 2016. last_img read more

Top stories hunting for new elements asymmetrical aurorae and the Mars rovers

first_img By Alex FoxFeb. 1, 2019 , 1:45 PM A storied Russian lab is trying to push the periodic table past its limits—and uncover exotic new elementsAre we at the end of the periodic table? Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian, the only living scientist to have an element named in his honor, doesn’t think so. He will soon oversee a new wing of the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Dubna, Russia, a fabled place whose six particle accelerators have produced nine new elements over the past half-century, including the five heaviest known to science. The new facility, dubbed the Superheavy Element Factory, will start its hunt for the next-heaviest elements—119 and 120—this spring.The northern and southern lights are different. Here’s why (left to right): MAX AGUILERA HELLWEG; PIXABAY; NASA/JPL/Cornell University Top stories: hunting for new elements, asymmetrical aurorae, and the Mars rover’s last gasp Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) 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 northern and southern lights, aurora borealis and aurora australis, respectively, undulate across the skies in hazy green and sometimes red ribbons near Earth’s polar regions. The two phenomena aren’t identical, however, and now researchers think they know why.Winds fail to revive NASA’s Opportunity roverThere’s little hope left for rousing NASA’s Opportunity rover, which landed on Mars 15 years ago last month. Since June 2018, the rover has sat silently and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is running out of tricks to revive it. In the next few weeks, officials at the agency’s headquarters will decide whether to continue the search.Ancient Earth rock found on the moonWhat may be the oldest-known Earth rock has turned up in a surprising place: the moon. A 2-centimeter chip embedded in a larger rock collected by Apollo astronauts is actually a 4-billion-year-old fragment of our own planet, scientists say. Sometime after the rock formed on Earth, an asteroid impact blasted it all the way to the moon, which was three times closer to Earth than it is today. The fragment was later engulfed in a lunar breccia, a motley type of rock, and returned to Earth by Apollo 14 astronauts in 1971.Fossil feathers reveal how dinosaurs took flightScientists have long known that many early dinosaurs, the ancestors of today’s birds, were covered in feathers, likely for warmth and to attract mates. But no one knows exactly when—and how—these feathered dinos took flight. Now, molecular evidence from feathered dinosaur fossils reveals how the key proteins that make up feathers became lighter and more flexible over time, as flightless dinosaurs evolved into flying ones—and later, birds.last_img read more

Indian man jailed for smuggling Indians as illegal immigrants into US

first_img Post Comment(s) Tropical Storm Barry nears New Orleans, raising flood threat With Iran deal teetering on brink, Europeans assess next steps Undercover federal agents had been watching Patel since 2013 — some posing as smugglers — and he was finally arrested on December 7, 2018 at Newark Liberty International Airport. Patel had pleaded guilty before US District Judge John Vazquez. Vazquez imposed the sentence Tuesday in Newark federal court in the State of New Jersey.According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, agents for the Department of Homeland Security Investigations received information that a smuggling operation run by Patel was attempting to find methods to bring people from India into the US. The investigation revealed that the smuggling organisation recruited Indian nationals and others to pay fees in exchange for passage to the US.From October 2013 till his arrest in Newark Liberty International Airport on December 7, 2018, federal officials alleged that Patel arranged for six Indian nationals to be brought to Thailand for smuggling into the US via the Newark airport. Beginning October 2013, an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a smuggler began meeting with Patel in Bangkok. Patel told the undercover law enforcement officer that he wanted to smuggle Indian nationals into the US.On three different occasions, Patel or his conspirator transported the Indian nationals to an airport in Thailand, at which point the undercover law enforcement officer would presumably use his contacts to smuggle them into the US via commercial airline flights. Patel agreed to wire down payments for each individual to be smuggled into the US and to pay a balance of tens of thousands of dollars for each individual once the foreign nationals arrived in America. Related News 62 US Border Agents are linked to degrading Facebook posts rann of kutch, gujarat couple convicted, bhuj districts and session court, kutch couple convicted, elderly woman murdered in gujarat, crime news, india news, Indian Express The investigation revealed that the smuggling organisation recruited Indian nationals and others to pay fees in exchange for passage to the US. (Representational Image)An Indian national was sentenced to one year and a day in prison by a US court on Tuesday for his role in an international conspiracy to smuggle people from India. Bhavin Patel, 39, operated a smuggling ring that brought foreign nationals into the US in exchange for fees. The foreign nationals would fly out of Thailand to the US. By PTI |Washington | Published: July 10, 2019 12:10:43 am Advertisinglast_img read more

Bidens earned 15 million after 2016 challenging middleclass Joe image

first_imgBy New York Times | Published: July 11, 2019 9:49:40 am Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home US needs to reach out to India, other Asian partners to strengthen ties beyond Europe: Biden In Iowa, Kamala Harris Calls Joe Biden’s Past Views on Busing ‘Wrong’ Bidens earned  million after 2016, challenging ‘middle-class Joe’ image Forme­r Vice Presi­dent Joe Biden, a Democratic presidenti­al hopeful, during a campaign event at Edisto Fork United Methodist Church in Orangeburg. (Demetrius Freeman/The New York Times)Written by Steve Eder and Katie Glueck Advertising Advertising In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief In a crowded field of Democratic rivals, many of whom are rolling out policies to address income inequality and channeling anger toward corporate America, being ranked among the millionaires amounts to an unwanted title. And for Biden, 76, it could be a particularly thorny issue.He has spent decades carefully crafting his image as a relatable figure, often referring to his hardscrabble roots in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and working-class childhood in Delaware, and seeming at home with union voters in the industrial Midwest. Now a millionaire himself, Biden is likely to face the uncomfortable claim that he is suddenly out of step with the voters he covets.Certainly, Biden is not alone: His three closest rivals in the polls — Harris, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — are all millionaires, too. The latest Democrat to enter the race, Tom Steyer, is a billionaire former hedge fund investor. And President Donald Trump openly discusses his wealth, yet he still enjoyed support from blue-collar and union workers in 2016.Since leaving office, Biden has worked with advisers to create nonprofits and academic centers while holding a paid professorship at the University of Pennsylvania. His campaign said in a statement Tuesday that Biden had worked to “generate ideas on how we can help rebuild the American middle class, strengthen global leadership and end cancer as we know it.” Joe Biden aggressively defends Obamacare Biden has also given dozens of paid speeches, including to universities and business leaders, with fees as high as $234,820. And in 2017, he and his wife signed a three-book deal with Flatiron Books, which was reported to be worth $8 million. After the announcement, they purchased a six-bedroom vacation house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for $2.7 million.The Bidens’ income increased sharply after he left office. On their 2016 tax return, the Bidens reported an adjusted gross income of $396,456. At the time, their income included Biden’s annual salary as vice president and his government pension, Jill Biden’s income as a community college professor, and Social Security benefits.Biden’s newfound wealth has not changed his message. In his first remarks during last month’s Democratic debate, Biden spoke of “enormous income inequality” and promised to eliminate Trump’s “tax cuts for the wealthy.”“Ordinary middle-class Americans built America,” Biden said. “My dad used to have an expression — he said, ‘Joe, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck; it’s about your dignity, it’s about respect, it’s being able to look your kid in the eye and say everything’s going to be OK.’ ” Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Over his long career in politics, Joe Biden established his everyman bona fides by citing his status as the poorest member of the Senate and referring to himself as “Middle-Class Joe.” But in the first two years after leaving office, Biden substantially improved his financial fortunes, earning more than $15 million, according to tax returns his campaign released Tuesday.Thanks to six-figure speaking engagements and a lucrative deal to write a set of books, Biden and his wife, Jill, reported an adjusted gross income of about $11 million in 2017 and $4.6 million in 2018 — far more than any of his major Democratic primary opponents. Sen. Kamala Harris of California and her husband reported the next-highest income, earning $3.4 million over those two years.On a separate financial disclosure report, also made public Tuesday, the Bidens reported current assets worth between $2.2 million and $8 million, up from the range of $303,000 to just more than $1 million that he reported when his second term as vice president ended in January 2017. Advertising But in contrast to some of his more progressive rivals, who have sought distance from wealthy donors — or have at least played down their reliance on them — Biden is open about his frequent high-dollar fundraising events, which are covered by the news media. He raised $21.5 million since entering the race at the end of April, his campaign said last week — less than Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, raised in the second quarter of the year, but still outpacing other top rivals.According to the campaign, which sought to emphasize Biden’s appeal to small-dollar donors, the average donation was $49.As Biden grew his personal wealth during his time away from elective office, he saw how Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid faced withering attacks over claims that she and her husband had cashed in on their public service as they made tens of millions of dollars giving speeches, consulting and writing books.Biden tried to toe the line of making money off his celebrity while also not damaging a future presidential bid.On his disclosure, Biden listed honorariums for roughly 50 public appearances beginning in late 2017, including book tour events and speaking engagements. Biden also made unpaid speaking appearances during that time, his campaign said when asked about engagements that were not listed on the disclosure. (The disclosure only included honorariums paid in 2018 or later.)In January, Biden visited the battleground state of Florida for a speaking engagement in Fort Lauderdale, where he was paid an honorarium of $134,933 from the Performing Arts Center Authority. During a November swing through the Bay Area of California, an important Super Tuesday state that is also home to Harris, Biden gave four speeches, receiving about $500,000 in fees.Most of Biden’s paid speeches have been in conjunction with a tour to promote “Promise Me, Dad,” a best-selling 2017 book about the final year of his son Beau’s life, Biden’s spokesman told The New York Times for an article this year. His campaign said that “every one of his speaking engagements was public, and more than half were also open to the press.”Jill Biden also listed more than a dozen of speaking engagements that had associated honorariums ranging from $25,367 to $66,400.In releasing his tax returns for the past three years, Biden’s campaign noted that he had now released 21 years of returns. Other Democrats in the field have also shared their recent returns, while chiding Trump, who has refused to make his taxes public.The Bidens’ effective tax rate has increased as they have earned more money — and paid more federal taxes — in recent years. In 2018, they paid an effective federal tax rate of 33%, compared with the 24% they paid in 2016. The Bidens reported charitable donations of $1 million in 2017 and $276,000 in 2018, up from $5,889 in 2016.Presidential candidates are required to file financial disclosure reports with the government, giving voters a view into their assets, income and debts. Some of Biden’s rivals have also disclosed considerable wealth, including book deals, in their filings. Best Of Express More Explained According to recent figures from the Center for Responsive Politics, Warren reported a net worth between $4.9 million and $11 million; Harris reported a range of $1.9 million to $6 million; and Sanders disclosed a range between $729,030 and $1.8 million. (Sanders also acknowledged in April that he was a millionaire.) Related News Post Comment(s)last_img read more

CPSC forms new committee to take decision whether to ban organohalogens or

first_img Source:https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2018/acs-presspac-september-26-2018/debate-on-banning-organohalogen-flame-retardants-heats-up.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 27 2018Hundreds of everyday household items, from laptop computers to babies’ high chairs, contain flame retardants to prevent the objects from catching fire. Recently, several groups petitioned a U.S. agency to ban flame retardants known as organohalogens, some of which can migrate out of household items. Others argue against blacklisting an entire class of compounds without further study, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchOrganohalogens are a group of chemicals that includes brominated or chlorinated phosphate esters, Senior Correspondent Cheryl Hogue writes. Scientists have linked some of these compounds to health concerns such as endocrine disruption, reproductive problems, cancer and developmental defects. Therefore, several health and environmental groups petitioned the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to ban four types of household goods containing organohalogens: children’s products, except car seats; residential furniture; mattresses and mattress pads; and electronics casings. Meanwhile, manufacturers of flame retardants and electronics have argued against lumping all organohalogens, which have different properties and toxicities, together as a class.To gain clarity on this issue, CPSC is turning to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine for advice. A newly formed flame retardants committee will help the agency determine whether to consider all organohalogens as a single class, or whether they should be broken into subclasses for regulation. In addition, CSPC is establishing a Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel of outside scientific experts to review the scientific data on organohalogen toxicity and exposure. The conclusions reached by these groups could have broad regulatory repercussions, Hogue writes.last_img read more

Greater family size reduces cancer risk

first_img Source:https://www.media.uzh.ch/en/Press-Releases/2018/Cancer-Risk.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 10 2018Families with many children have a lower risk of cancer. Greater family size reduces the risk not only in women but also in men, a global study using data from 178 countries by the University of Zurich and the Adelaide Medical School has found.Researchers from the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine of the University of Zurich and the Adelaide Medical School have analyzed data from 178 countries and found a link between family size and cancer risk. Worldwide the incidence of various types of cancer increases with smaller family size. “And this relationship is independent of income, levels of urbanization and age,” explains Professor Maciej Henneberg, academic guest at UZH and senior author of the study.Related StoriesStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerThe group of researchers including Professor Frank Rühli found that not only the size of the family nucleus – i.e. parents and children – but also the size of the household including members of the extended family seem to have a protective effect against cancer.Correlation between family size and cancer riskThe study suggests that family size, as determined by the number of children born to a mother during her lifetime, and size of household have a strong negative correlation with the incidence of all cancer types, independent of the person’s age. The larger the family, the less frequently certain types of cancer occur, including brain, bladder, lung, stomach, breast, ovarian colorectal and cervical cancers as well as melanoma. The protective effects of family size are stronger for males than for females.It has been known before that female-specific cancers such as breast or ovarian cancer depend on the number of pregnancies – the more pregnancies a woman has had, the less likely she is to develop cancer. Surprisingly, this new study shows the protective effects of family size on cancer incidence were even greater among men than among women and a large number of non-reproduction-related cancers are involved.Protective aspects of family life The fact that cancer risk among men depends on their partners’ fertility and on household size might seem remarkable, but it can be explained. Family life, though it can be stressful in some ways, creates a special emotional environment which can have a positive effect on the overall resistance to diseases – and thus also protects family members from developing cancer.Humans have been adapting to living in classical family structures, i.e. two parents and children, for some four million years. The practice of collaborative parenting, where both the father and the mother participate in child care, has been one of the first specifically human traits to evolve. The study now suggests that family members supporting each other in keeping a healthy lifestyle may also provide protection against cancer.last_img read more

FDA orders surgical mesh manufacturers to stop selling and distributing their products

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 17 2019The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today ordered the manufacturers of all remaining surgical mesh products indicated for the transvaginal repair of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) to stop selling and distributing their products in the U.S. immediately. The order is the latest in a series of escalating safety actions related to protecting the health of the thousands of women each year who undergo surgery transvaginally to repair POP.The FDA has determined that the manufacturers, Boston Scientific and Coloplast, have not demonstrated a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness for these devices, which is the premarket review standard that now applies to them since the agency reclassified them in class III (high risk) in 2016. As part of the 2016 reclassification, manufacturers were required to submit and obtain approval of premarket approval (PMA) applications, the agency’s most stringent device review pathway, in order to continue marketing their devices in the U.S. The companies will have 10 days to submit their plan to withdraw these products from the market.”In order for these mesh devices to stay on the market, we determined that we needed evidence that they worked better than surgery without the use of mesh to repair POP. That evidence was lacking in these premarket applications, and we couldn’t assure women that these devices were safe and effective long term,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Patient safety is our highest priority, and women must have access to safe medical devices that provide relief from symptoms and better management of their medical conditions. The FDA has committed to taking forceful new actions to enhance device safety and encourage innovations that lead to safer medical devices, so that patients have access to safe and effective medical devices and the information they need to make informed decisions about their care.”Surgical mesh has been used by surgeons since the 1950s to repair abdominal hernias. In the 1970s, gynecologists began implanting surgical mesh for abdominal repair of POP and, in the 1990s, for the transvaginal repair of POP. In 2002, the first mesh device for transvaginal repair of POP was cleared for use as a class II moderate-risk device. About 1 in 8 women has surgery to repair POP over her lifetime, and a subset of these surgeries are completed transvaginally with the use of surgical mesh. However, the percentage of women undergoing transvaginal POP mesh procedures has decreased in recent years after the FDA began issuing warnings about the risks associated with using transvaginal mesh used for POP repair.Two manufacturers have been marketing three surgical mesh products for transvaginal repair of POP. In reviewing the PMAs submitted by the two manufacturers, the agency determined they failed to provide an adequate assessment of the long-term safety of these devices and failed to demonstrate an acceptable long-term benefit of these devices compared to transvaginal surgical tissue repair without the use of mesh (native tissue repair). Since the FDA has not received sufficient evidence to assure that the probable benefits of these devices outweigh their probable risks, the agency has concluded that these products do not have a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness.Boston Scientific filed two PMAs for its devices, the Uphold LITE Vaginal Support System and the Xenform Soft Tissue Repair System, and Coloplast filed a PMA for its device, Restorelle DirectFix Anterior. In February 2019, the FDA convened an advisory panel to solicit input from experts on how to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP. The panel recommended that to support a favorable benefit-risk profile, the effectiveness of surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP should be superior to native tissue repair at 36 months and the safety outcomes for surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP should be comparable to native tissue repair. The FDA agreed with these recommendations, and because such data were not provided by manufacturers in their PMAs, the FDA decided not to approve them. Even though these products can no longer be used in patients moving forward, Boston Scientific and Coloplast are required to continue follow-up of the subjects already enrolled in their 522 studies.Related StoriesNew computational model explores daily pain sensitivity rhythmsStudy estimates health care costs of uncontrolled asthma in the U.S. over next 20 yearsSleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyWomen who have had transvaginal mesh placed for the surgical repair of POP should continue with their annual and other routine check-ups and follow-up care. There is no need to take additional action if they are satisfied with their surgery and are not having complications or symptoms. Patients should notify their health care professionals if they have complications or symptoms, including persistent vaginal bleeding or discharge, pelvic or groin pain or pain with sex. They should also let their health care professional know if they have surgical mesh, especially if they plan to have another surgery or other medical procedures. Women who were planning to have mesh placed transvaginally for the repair of POP should discuss other treatment options with their doctors.Over the past several years, the FDA has seen a significant increase in the number of reported adverse events associated with the use of surgical mesh for transvaginal POP repair. As a result, the agency has taken several, escalating actions for the protection of public health:July 2011: FDA issued an FDA Safety Communication, which identified concerns and issued new recommendations about the use of surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP.September 2011: FDA convened a public meeting of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel to discuss the benefits and risks of this use. Subsequently, the FDA issued 131 orders to conduct postmarket surveillance studies (“522 orders”) to 34 manufacturers of surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP. Most manufacturers elected to stop marketing surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP after receiving their 522 orders.January 2016: The FDA completed its reclassification of surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP into the highest risk class of devices (class III), which requires premarket approval (PMA) applications, the agency’s most stringent device review pathway, in order to stay on the market.July 5, 2018: This was the deadline for applications to be filed for premarket approval for any surgical mesh marketed for transvaginal POP repair. Manufacturers that did not file PMAs by this deadline were required to withdraw their products from the market. Those that did were allowed to keep their products on the market while the FDA reviewed their PMAs.February 12, 2019: The FDA convened an advisory committee meeting to share the available evidence and seek expert opinion on how to evaluate the risks and benefits of these devices. The committee was asked to provide scientific and clinical input on assessing the effectiveness, safety, and benefit-risk of mesh placed transvaginally in the anterior vaginal compartment, as well as identifying the appropriate patient population and physician training needed for these devices.The action today is part of the FDA’s overarching commitment to advance women’s health and improve access to safe and effective medical devices. This includes the issuance of a Medical Device Safety Action Plan and the agency’s work to implement a new active surveillance system to quickly detect new device safety signals and efforts to strengthen Coordinated Registry Networks (CRNs), which link different real-world data sources to generate clinical evidence about medical products used by patients. In particular, the FDA is focusing on addressing clinical questions on device therapies that are unique to women, such as the treatment of uterine fibroids and pelvic floor disorders including POP. The FDA partnered with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Urogynecologic Society, the National Library of Medicine and others on this effort, known as the Women’s Health Technologies CRN, or WHT-CRN. Providing patients with access to the safest possible medical devices on the market to meet their health care needs remains a top FDA priority. Source:https://www.fda.govlast_img read more

Drug therapy for stable heart failure patients can be simplified by stopping

first_imgDr Rohde said the findings indicate that diuretics can be safely discontinued in heart failure patients meeting the trial’s eligibility criteria. “Most patients we see in the heart failure outpatient clinic fulfill the trial criteria and could benefit from this strategy,” he said.No extra follow-up is needed for patients who quit taking diuretics, noted Dr Biolo. “Patients can be followed-up in the usual way,” she said. “And, as we do now, patients should be educated to seek medical help if they become breathless, get edema, or have sudden weight gain which indicates fluid retention.” Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 27 2019Drug therapy for patients with stable heart failure can be simplified by stopping diuretics, according to late-breaking results from the ReBIC-1 trial presented today at Heart Failure 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The results show that patients with stable heart failure who stop diuretics do not have more dyspnoea than those who continue taking the drug. Withdrawal also does not lead to increased reuse of diuretics – around 20% of patients in both groups needed a top-up, presumably for symptom relief.” Patients don’t like using diuretics because they feel they have to stay at home to use the bathroom and they get cramps. Patients would welcome being able to stop this medication.”Diuretics are commonly prescribed for symptom relief in patients with heart failure. The drugs get rid of the excess fluids (congestion) which cause shortness of breath, swollen legs, coughing, and weight gain. Once the symptoms have resolved, patients are maintained on a low dose due to concerns that symptoms may return. Observational research has shown that long-term diuretic use is associated with a worse prognosis.The ReBIC-1 trial examined the safety and tolerability of withdrawing the diuretic furosemide in outpatients with stable chronic heart failure. The trial was conducted by the Brazilian Research Network in Heart Failure (ReBIC), which includes 11 tertiary care university hospitals in Brazil.Eligible criteria were: no or mild symptoms (defined as New York Heart Association functional class I to II), reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (45% or below), no heart failure-related hospital admission within the last six months, and receiving low-dose furosemide (40 to 80 mg per day) for at least six months.Related StoriesResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasSmoking triples the risk of death from cardiovascular diseaseImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsA total of 188 patients were randomly allocated to maintain or withdraw furosemide. Patients in the withdrawal group received a placebo pill. Both patients and investigators were blinded to the treatment allocation. The trial had two coprimary outcomes: 1) patient reported dyspnoea using a visual analog scale at four time points across 90 days; and 2) the proportion of patients maintained without additional diuretics during the 90-day follow-up (on top of the randomly allocated diuretic or placebo).There was no difference between groups in the self-perception of dyspnoea during the 90-day follow-up period. Also, 72 patients (75.3%) in the withdrawal group and 78 patients (83.9%) in the maintenance group were free of furosemide reuse during follow-up (p=0.16).Senior author Dr Andréia Biolo, of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, who presented the results in Athens, said:center_img Source:European Society of Cardiology Heart failure patients have many pills to take for their heart failure and for comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension. Withdrawing one drug when it is no longer necessary should make it easier to take the ones that are needed. Patients don’t like using diuretics because they feel they have to stay at home to use the bathroom and they get cramps. Patients would welcome being able to stop this medication.”Principal investigator Dr Luis E. Rohde, of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazillast_img read more

Researchers propose new model for studying agerelated cognitive decline

first_imgAlthough most older adults – around 85% – will not experience Alzheimer’s disease in their lifetimes, some level of cognitive decline is considered a normal part of aging. The majority of people in their 60s or older experience some cognitive impairment, Ryan said.This not only threatens older adults’ quality of life, it also has socioeconomic consequences, amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars in health care and caregiving costs, as well as lost productivity in the workplace, Ryan and her co-authors write.The researchers have a lofty goal: to make it possible to maintain brain health throughout the entire adult lifespan, which today in the U.S. is a little over 78 years old on average.Related StoriesDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpIn their paper, Ryan and her co-authors present a precision aging model meant to be a starting point to guide future research. It focuses primarily on three areas: broad risk categories; brain drivers; and genetic variants. An example of a risk category for age-related cognitive decline is cardiovascular health, which has been consistently linked to brain health. The broader risk category includes within it several individual risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension.The model then considers brain drivers, or the biological mechanisms through which individual risk factors in a category actually impact the brain. This is an area where existing research is particularly limited, Ryan said.Finally, the model looks at genetic variants, which can either increase or decrease a person’s risk for age-related cognitive decline. Despite people’s best efforts to live a healthy lifestyle, genes do factor into the equation and can’t be ignored, Ryan said. For example, there are genes that protect against or make it more likely that a person will get diabetes, sometimes regardless of their dietary choices.While the precision aging model is a work in progress, Ryan and her collaborators believe that considering the combination of risk categories, brain drivers and genetic variants is key to better understanding age-related cognitive decline and how to best intervene in different patients.Ryan imagines a future in which you can go to your doctor’s office and have all of your health and lifestyle information put into an app that would then help health-care professionals guide you on an individualized path for maintaining brain health across your lifespan. We may not be there yet, but it’s important for research on age-related cognitive decline to continue, as advances in health and technology have the potential to extend the lifespan even further, she said.”Kids that are born in this decade probably have a 50% chance of living to 100,” Ryan said. “Our hope is that the research community collectively stops thinking about aging as a single process and recognizes that it is complex and not one-size-fits-all. To really move the research forward you need to take an individualized approach.” Source:University of ArizonaJournal reference:Ryan, L. et al. (2019) Precision Aging: Applying Precision Medicine to the Field of Cognitive Aging. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2019.00128. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 18 2019People are living longer than ever before, but brain health isn’t keeping up. To tackle this critical problem, a team of researchers has proposed a new model for studying age-related cognitive decline – one that’s tailored to the individual.There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to aging brain health, says Lee Ryan, professor and head of the University of Arizona Department of Psychology. A number of studies have looked at individual risk factors that may contribute to cognitive decline with age, such as chronic stress and cardiovascular disease. However, those factors may affect different people in different ways depending on other variables, such as genetics and lifestyle, Ryan says.In a new paper published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Ryan and her co-authors advocate for a more personalized approach, borrowing principles of precision medicine in an effort to better understand, prevent and treat age-related cognitive decline. Aging is incredibly complex, and most of the research out there was focusing on one aspect of aging at a time. What we’re trying to do is take the basic concepts of precision medicine and apply them to understanding aging and the aging brain. Everybody is different and there are different trajectories. Everyone has different risk factors and different environmental contexts, and layered on top of that are individual differences in genetics. You have to really pull all of those things together to predict who is going to age which way. There’s not just one way of aging.”Lee Ryan, professor and head of the University of Arizona Department of Psychologylast_img read more

Study shows how methods limited to physics can be of great use

first_imgUnorthodoxy as a methodWhile physicians and biologists perceive cells as an ensemble of membranes, organelles, genes and other biological components, by combining sophisticated neutron scattering techniques and thermal analysis physicists are able to characterize water dynamics in the cell very precisely. Building a communication interface between these two distinct visions is now proven to be very interesting by the researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute. Their new results can open new areas of inquiry, because of the unorthodox approach. This result is expected to stimulate future collaborations between distinct scientific communities, and further incentivize the use of materials-science approaches when investigating biological matter. Source:University of CopenhagenJournal reference:Martins, M L. et al. (2019) Water dynamics in MCF-7 breast cancer cells: a neutron scattering descriptive study. Scientific Reports. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-45056-8 Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 19 2019Cancer research:A new study on the behavior of water in cancer cells shows how methods usually limited to physics can be of great use in cancer research. The researchers, Murillo Longo Martins and Heloisa N. Bordallo at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, have shown how advanced methods in materials analysis – a combination of neutron scattering and thermal analysis – can be used to map the properties of water in breast cancer cells. This pilot work shows how the mobility of water molecules confined in cancer cells changes when subjected to treatment with a chemotherapy drug. This proposed methodology holds potential for advance diseases diagnosis and might guide to the advancement of the approach used in cancer treatment, one of the biggest challenges in medical research. The result, now published in Scientific Reports, is exactly that.Comparing cancer cells before and after treatmentWhen treating cancer with chemotherapy, the drug is usually inserted into the body via the bloodstream. Afterwards the medicament spreads to the entire system, making its way to the cancer cells. The effect of the drug depends on many, many factors. For example, the properties of intra cellular water are altered by the action of the drug. However the role of water in the development or remission of tumors is likely bigger than so far considered. This new perspective will be very instrumental in mapping the precise development, when comparing analysis before and after treatment.Understanding water and its properties – a common denominator for all cancer cells – is vitalWater being the main component in the composition of the cell, understanding its properties, when undergoing treatment for cancer, is vital. Cancer cells respond differently to different kinds of treatment, so a new unorthodox analysis, using techniques from materials-sciences, of the cell’s main component, its composition and behavior, could be a common denominator in developing new treatments for individual patients.Murillo Longo Martins, who has been working in this field during his PhD and postdoc at the Niels Bohr Institute, explains: Our findings indicate that, in the future, drugs can be developed focusing on modifying the properties of cellular water to achieve specific outcomes. In a shorter term, understanding the dynamics of cellular water may provide complementary knowledge about, for example, why some types of cancers respond differently to certain treatments than others”.last_img read more

New model could help find new cancer drugs speed up traffic combat

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 26 2019A new mathematical model of the structure of networks could help find new cancer drugs, speed up traffic flow and combat sexually transmitted disease.Although the three challenges seem diverse, they all could benefit from a theory that helps to uncover unknown information about a network by analyzing its structure. The study was published in the journal Chaos, from AIP Publishing.An example of how filling in missing links could be useful is in choosing a genetic target for a cancer drug, said team member Michael Small, from the University of Western Australia. Related StoriesA Portable Solution for the On-scene Identification of KratomArtificial DNA can help release active ingredients from drugs in sequenceAntibiotic combination effective against drug-resistant PseudomonasSuccessful link prediction algorithms already exist for certain types of networks, but the researchers analyzed differently structured networks to come up with their alternative algorithm.An example of traditional link prediction might be a social network suggesting friends with which to connect. Two people who share a friend are likely to themselves be friends with a direct connection. Adding this third connection creates a triangle, which is a structure where existing algorithms focus.In contrast, the authors focused on treelike networks, which have many branches but very few cross links between branches. They studied three example datasets: the social network Twitter, a water distribution network and a sexual contact network.They found these three treelike networks could be characterized by a number of parameters, such as the average distance between branch points in the network, the size of loops and a comparison of the number of links that adjacent nodes have — a measure of the network’s regularity describing heterogeneity.The authors then developed an algorithm that suggested links that would preserve these characteristics of the network.They tested this approach by taking a known network and removing links from it and seeing if the algorithm could predict where the missing links should be.The team found the algorithm performed better (around 44% for the Twitter network, around 15% for the sexual contact network and around 4% for the water distribution network) for treelike networks than most of conventional algorithms which rely on other parameters, such as assuming highly connected individuals will attract more connections (known as preferential attachment) or building lots of triangular connections (known as clustering).Author Keke Shang attributes the team’s success to thinking about examples of real-world networks.”I hope we can make network technology serve our lives better,” he said. Source:American Institute of Physics (AIP)Journal reference:Shang, K. et al. (2019) Link prediction for tree-like networks. Chaos. doi.org/10.1063/1.5107440 Say you have a network of genes that are somehow connected, and there are some known drug targets. But if you don’t know all the genes, you would like to make guesses at information that you don’t have to work out what might be other likely targets to investigate.”Michael Small, University of Western Australialast_img read more

Blood pressure selfmonitoring can help patients with hypertension to stick with exercise

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 1 2019Using blood pressure self-monitoring is an effective way to empower patients with hypertension to stick with an exercise program, according to a first-of-its-kind study conducted by a multidisciplinary team of UConn researchers in collaboration with Hartford Hospital.The findings, recently published in the Journal of Hypertension, confirm a long-held but previously untested theory by the study’s principal investigator, Linda Pescatello, a distinguished professor in UConn’s Department of Kinesiology, and Dr. Paul Thompson, chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital, that blood pressure self-monitoring can and should be used as a behavioral strategy to help keep patients with hypertension engaged in an aerobic exercise training program, a proven means of addressing the chronic condition known to be a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”We know that hypertension is the most common and costly, but modifiable, chronic condition in the U.S. and world,” says Amanda Zaleski, a postdoctoral fellow in UConn’s Department of Kinesiology who works as an exercise physiologist in Hartford Hospital’s Department of Preventive Cardiology. Zaleski is the lead author of the study, which was her doctoral dissertation.”We know that regular aerobic exercise lowers blood pressure on average to the order of five to seven points,” she says, “and these reductions are even greater for those with higher baseline blood pressure.”The difficulty, Zaleski adds, is that hypertension causes no outward symptoms, and patients often become frustrated when they don’t know or understand what their blood pressure values are and don’t see results from lifestyle modifications. These frustrations can make starting and, perhaps more importantly, sticking with an exercise training program more difficult for many patients.The research team – which included experts in kinesiology, psychology, cardiology, and statistics, among other disciplines – set out to test their long-held notion that encouraging patients to monitor their own blood pressure, especially before and after exercising, would not only show the patients that exercise had an immediate, positive effect on their blood pressure, but also would help them better adhere to an exercise training program.Exercise, Zaleski says, lowers blood pressure immediately, an effect first established by Pescatello in a 1991 study which showed that, after one single bout of exercise, blood pressure drops about five to seven points and that this reduction persists for up to 22 hours after the exercise.She says these blood pressure reductions serve as an objective biomarker that people can measure and see with their own eyes. “This is really powerful for someone with hypertension because it enables them to demonstrate to themselves that their blood pressure is lower on days they exercise than on days that they do not. There are very few chronic conditions that respond this way to exercise. Imagine if an individual with overweight/obesity lost five to seven pounds after a single bout of exercise?”The researchers recruited 24 participants with hypertension and engaged them in a 12-week supervised aerobic exercise training program. Half of the study participants self-monitored their blood pressure twice a day as well as before and after exercising, and the other half did not self-monitor their blood pressure at all. Most of the participants exercised on a treadmill for 40-minute supervised sessions three times a week at moderate intensity, and they were encouraged to exercise on their own at home in addition to the training sessions.Related StoriesGenetic variants may be linked with high blood pressure among blacksScientists turn type A blood into universal type O, potentially doubling blood transfusion stocksStudy reveals how habitual smoking may contribute to development of hypertensionWhile both groups saw their blood pressure values lowered by the end of the 12 weeks, the group engaged in self-monitoring lowered their blood pressure by about double the magnitude – about 10 points – compared to the group that was not self-monitoring, which saw an average five-point reduction.But the study didn’t end there.Four weeks after the supervised training period ended, Zaleski and other kinesiology graduate and undergraduate students conducted telephone exit interviews with the study participants and asked whether they were still engaging in physical activity and, for those in the self-monitoring group, if they were still checking their own blood pressure.In total, about 75 percent of the study participants were still maintaining some level of exercise, but those who were in the blood pressure self-monitoring group were engaging at an average of 70 percent of their previous exercise training volume – compared to the other group, who were only engaging in about 30 percent as much exercise as when they were supervised.Within the self-monitoring group, 60 percent of the participants were still measuring their own blood pressure and those participants still self-monitoring were engaged in even greater physical activity – exercising for 45 minutes at least three and a half days per week. This compared to those who were not measuring their blood pressure, who were exercising for about 19 minutes one day a week. Study co-author Beth Taylor notes that blood pressure is one of the only ways to see non-invasively the effects of lifestyle modification.Taylor, director of exercise physiology research in cardiology at Hartford Hospital and an assistant professor of kinesiology at UConn, says most clinical guidelines right now call for patients to monitor their blood pressure at home; gold-standard, accurate, and easy-to-use blood pressure monitors are available for patient use at home for less than $100. But using blood pressure monitoring before and after exercise, she says, when most patients would be able to see for themselves a notable drop in their blood pressure, would represent a new behavioral health strategy for providers to employ to help increase adherence to an exercise training program.Both Taylor and Zaleski says that additional studies, with larger sample sizes, are needed to try to replicate the findings. Additionally, for reasons currently unknown, 10 to 20 percent of people do not demonstrate the same drop in blood pressure immediately following exercise, which could limit the effectiveness of self-monitoring as a behavioral modification strategy.But, says Taylor, exercise is important for a host of different reasons – including body weight management, bone density, and overall health – and blood pressure self-monitoring could have lifestyle modification implications well beyond treating hypertension.”This is a great study that shows how we might increase exercise adherence for patients with hypertension,” she says. “Could this be a ‘gateway drug’ to getting people to exercise for an abundant variety of reasons?” Source:University of ConnecticutJournal reference:Zaleski, A. et al. (2019) Using the immediate blood pressure benefits of exercise to improve exercise adherence among adults with hypertension: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Hypertension. doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002115. That was really promising to us,” Zaleski says, “demonstrating that if they’re out on their own in the free living world, with all of the other confounders that can come into play – like stress, family, vacations – that even without our team holding them accountable, the favorable effects of blood pressure self-monitoring still held true.”Amanda Zaleski, UConn’s Department of Kinesiologylast_img read more

Apple Pay comes to Costco but Walmart remains a holdout

first_img You’ll soon be able to use your iPhone to pay for CVS prescriptions with Apple Pay Apple Pay continues to gain traction in the mobile payments competition, most recently adding Costco to the retailers letting U.S. customers pay with the tech giant’s smartphone app.A notable holdout: Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer.Costco, the No. 4 retailer in the U.S. according to the National Retail Federation, recently began accepting Apple Pay at the warehouse club giant’s 520-odd stores in the U.S. Overall, Costco has 750 stores in the U.S., Canada and around the globe.The company said it is also working to make mobile payments available at its gas stations, too.Costco is the latest major partner Apple Pay has gained. Recently, CVS and 7-Eleven began accepting the mobile app.”Apple, it seems, has been really deliberate in the past couple partnerships it has announced (in that) all those retailers share the commonality of having shoppers that go there on a regular basis and those types of stores consistently,” said Rahul Chadha, an analyst with research firm eMarketer.About 22 million people use Apple Pay in the U.S., eMarketer says, with growth of 9 percent expected to push that to 24 million next year.Apple says there were “well over” 1 billion Apple Pay transactions completed during the three-month period that ended June 31—three times the number during the same period a year ago.There’s one condition of using Apple Pay at Costco: If you use a credit card, it must be a Visa because of an in-store exclusive deal the retailer has with Citigroup and Visa, according to PaymentsSource, a news site that covers the payments industry.That same condition applies should Costco customers want to use other mobile payment options Samsung Pay and Google Pay, the site says.With other retailers now accepting Apple Pay, might Walmart follow suit? Don’t hold your breath.”While we recognize that there are mobile payment options, such as Apple Pay, Walmart Pay is currently the exclusive form of mobile payment accepted at Walmart,” Walmart said in a statement.Walmart long has been a holdout, in part because the retailer collaborated with CVS, 7-Eleven and other retailers such as Target and Best Buy in developing a competing mobile payments system called CurrentC that never officially launched. JPMorgan Chase acquired the technology last year for its Chase Pay platform.When that collaboration failed, Walmart launched its own mobile payment app. The retailer began testing its Walmart Pay mobile app in December 2015 at select stores around Bentonville, Arkansas, where the company is headquartered. Since July 2016, customers at all Walmart stores have been able to use the app.To use Walmart Pay, customers open their app in the checkout line, and the clerk scans a QR code to complete the transaction. (With Apple Pay and other contactless payment systems, customers hold their smartphone next to a payment reader.) The transaction is billed to the customer’s payment card associated with the app, and a receipt is emailed to the customer.After Costco’s move, Walmart told MacRumors, the Apple news site that first reported the development: “Walmart Pay is the exclusive form of mobile payment accepted at Walmart, and we have no plans for that to change.”Along with Starbucks, Walmart has become successful with its own mobile payment platform because it incorporates a reward program in the app. “That makes the checkout (process) clear for shoppers,” Chadha said.Costco customers must still show their membership card when they checkout, Chadna says.Another reason Walmart wouldn’t quickly move to join the Apple Pay bandwagon, Chadna says, is the cut the banks get from transactions—about 0.15 percent.”When you are talking about the types of volumes Walmart does, why would you want to hand over even that slice of the transaction amount?” he says. “Just keep it all in-house.” Corrections & Clarifications: A previous version of this article misidentified who gets a cut of the transactions if Walmart joined Apple Pay. The banks used through the Apple Pay app would receive a 0.15 percent cut. 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. ©2018 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Explore further Citation: Apple Pay comes to Costco, but Walmart remains a holdout (2018, August 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-apple-costco-walmart-holdout.htmllast_img read more