Special Election ResultsVienna is the K P Q Pet of the WeekFreezing

first_imgVoters deciding the fate of two annexations in Wenatchee have rejected the proposition of joining the City by overwhelming margins.Voters are easily passing school levies in the Cascade, Manson, Almira and Odessa School Districts. Levies require a 50% majority threshold for passage.Bond issues before voters to build or expand school facilities are getting mixed results with voters.  Bridgeport is passing its bond at 63% approval and Moses Lake’s $135-million school construction bond is at 59 point 7 percent approval, just shy of the required 60% approval. Bonds are falling well short of passage in Tonasket and Okanogan school districts.Click on the link below for the results posted by each county elections office;Chelan County Special Election ResultsDouglas County Special Election ResultsOkanogan County Special Election ResultsGrant County Special Election Resultslast_img read more

Over 100 CorvettesRock Island Pond Drowning Survivor Set to Leave HospitalChelan County

first_imgOver one hundred Corvettes from all over the west will gather at Ricky Reach Dam this Saturday … “I have a 2014 Stingray, saw a picture of it and I ordered it in August of 2013 wasn’t even gonna get it until May of 2014, and so all the others like the Grand Sport and all the others weren’t even in the market, so I wanted to have one of the new Corvettes so I gambled, sight unseen, and it’s gotta be good, and when I looked that day at Cascade Auto there it was sitting there idling with the running lights on – and I went “wow!” … that’s mine??” …  Wenatchee Valley Corvette Club member, Bill Haugen, still has his black Stingray which you can see Saturday, 9A-3P at at Rocky Reach – all proceeds benefit the Wenatchee Valley Humane Societylast_img read more

May Marks 10 years Since The First Green House Homes Opened Their

first_imgby, Rachel Scher, The Green House ProjectTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesIt has been 10 years since Mississippi Methodist Senior Services in Tupelo, Miss., opened the first Green House project in the country. Throughout May, The Green House Project will celebrate this pioneering organization, and the revolution that they sparked. On Sunday, May 5, there will be a block party to celebrate this milestone, with Green House team members and Dr. Bill Thomas in attendance. Follow us on twitter at #Tupelo10 and join the conversation. Steve McAlilly, the visionary leader who believed in The Green House model and brought it to his organization tells a story about its impact:There was a retired methodist preacher who had Alzheimer’s. He lived in our Alzheimer’s unit in the old ward. He had an eight-year-old grandson who refused to come see him in that environment. His parents couldn’t get him to go see his grandaddy. His disease was so advanced he wasn’t awake but 4 hours a day. But he was one of the first people in the world to move into green house. People would ask what is he going to get out of it? He’s barely awake, has to be fed. But we believed that bringing him to the hearth, to the supper table, something would get through and it would make a difference.So every day the Shahbazim would get him dressed and bring him to the table. Before too long he was awake again, and his grandson would come back to see him. He came to see his grandaddy so much he knew the name of every elder and every Shahbaz in the house. If that’s the only thing we did we can say it’s worth it. Whatever sweat and tears we had it was worth it.Related PostsTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: Dr Bill Thomas THE GREEN HOUSE Project Tupelolast_img read more

Schizophrenics blood samples feature genetic material from more types of microorganisms

first_img Source:http://oregonstate.edu/ May 22 2018The blood of schizophrenia patients features genetic material from more types of microorganisms than that of people without the debilitating mental illness, research at Oregon State University has found.What’s not known is whether that’s a cause or effect of the severe, chronic condition that strikes about one person in 100.”It’s a common assumption that healthy blood is sterile so some may find it surprising that we even found bacterial genetic material in the bloodstream,” said David Koslicki, a mathematical biologist in the OSU College of Science.Koslicki and collaborators performed whole-blood transcriptome analyses on 192 people. Subjects included healthy controls as well as those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.Related StoriesNew study identifies eight genetic variants associated with anorexia nervosaGene modulation goes wireless hacking the “boss gene”Don’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersTranscriptome analysis refers to the sequencing of ribonucleic acid, or RNA. RNA works with DNA, the other nucleic acid – so named because they were first discovered in the cell nuclei of living things – to produce the proteins needed throughout an organism.Studying the blood samples, researchers detected RNA from a range of bacteria and archaea – with the range wider for schizophrenics than for the other three groups.”More and more we know the human microbiome plays a huge role in health and disease,” Koslicki said. “Gut bacteria account for most of the trillions of microbial cells in the human body, and this study shows that microbiota in the blood are similar to ones in the mouth and gut. It appears there’s some sort of permeability there into the bloodstream. Down the road, microscopy, culturing or direct measures of permeability may be able to shed light on that.”Researchers found schizophrenics’ blood samples were more likely to contain two phyla in particular – Planctomycetes and Thermotogae – but the overall results suggest it’s not likely those are the sole reason for the elevated microbial diversity.Scientists also found fewer of the immunity-enhancing CD8+ memory T cells in the blood of schizophrenics.”That could suggest a mechanism for why we see increased microbial diversity in the blood, and it’s also possibly affected by lifestyle or health status differences between schizophrenia patients and the other groups,” Koslicki said. “In addition, it’s interesting that bipolar disorder, which is genetically and clinically correlated to schizophrenia, didn’t show a similar increased microbial diversity.”Koslicki also notes that the RNA sequencing can’t detect if microbes are actually living in the blood, only that their genetic material is there; it could have gotten there from somewhere else in the body.Scientists at UCLA, the University of California-Davis, the University of California-San Francisco, University Medical Center Utrecht, and Wageningen University collaborated on this study, the first to use unmapped non-human reads to assess the microbiome from whole blood.last_img read more

Genes associated with autism interact to modulate variable symptoms of disease

first_img Source:https://www.psu.edu/ Jun 29 2018Genes located in a large chromosomal aberration associated with autism interact with each other to modulate the variable symptoms of the disease, according to new research. A collaborative team led by Penn State researchers tested the role of these genes individually and in tandem by reducing the amount of the genes expressed in a fruit fly model. The research, which appears June 29, 2018 in the journal Nature Communications, demonstrates the utility of the fly as an experimental model for understanding the complex causation of human neurodevelopmental disorders and identifies potential targets for therapeutic treatment.”As opposed to diseases that are caused by mutations in single genes, autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders have a complex etiology that can be the result of many interacting genes,” said Santhosh Girirajan, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and of anthropology at Penn State and the lead author of the paper. “The tools available in flies for genetic manipulation allowed us to quickly test many individual and pairs of genes, so that we can begin to piece together the complexity of their interactions and how that can impact disease symptoms.”Many neurodevelopmental disorders–including autism, schizophrenia, and intellectual disability–are associated with deletions or duplications of relatively large regions of chromosomes that contain many genes. These deletions and duplications result in individuals having a different number of copies of the genes contained with them. This ‘copy number variation’ can result in developmental defects and neurodevelopmental disorders because an individual may have too much or too little of a particular gene.The researchers focused on a large deletion on chromosome 16 that spans over 500,000 base pairs–pairs of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs that make up double-stranded DNA–and was first discovered in individuals with autism. This deletion encompasses 25 individual genes and has subsequently been associated with epilepsy, intellectual disability, and obesity.”We can sometimes identify a single gene within a large deletion that causes the disease associated with the deletion, but this is rare and usually associated with a specific set of symptoms,” said Girirajan. “The deletion on chromosome 16 is associated with many different symptoms that are present to varying degrees–or sometimes not at all–depending on the individual. This led us to believe that there is not a single causative gene, but many that interact in complex ways.”To try to identify how the deletion on chromosome 16 was causing these symptoms, the researchers turned to the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Flies have been classically used to discover developmental and cellular mechanisms relevant to human biology, and for studying neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders and epilepsy. There are also many established tools for genetic manipulation available in flies that allow the researchers to perform experiments much more quickly than in other model organisms, like the mouse.Related StoriesScientists make breakthrough in understanding the genetics of common syndromic autismEyes hold clues to effective treatment of severe autism, study showsBullying in children with ASD gets worse with age”Although we only tested the 14 fly counterparts of the 25 human genes, our results suggest a model that can be applied to the overall mechanism of disease caused due to this deletion,” said Janani Iyer, a postdoctoral researcher in the Girirajan lab and an author of the paper.Using a technique called RNA interference (RNAi) in which a short piece of RNA can be designed to reduce the expression of a particular gene in either the entire fly or in a particular tissue, the researchers first tested each of the individual genes in the chromosome 16 deletion that have counterparts in the fly.”When we tested reducing the expression of individual genes in the fly larva, seven were lethal and we also found other neurodevelopmental effects,” said Girirajan. “When we limited the reduction of gene expression to the developing fly eye, we noticed defects connected to cell proliferation.”The researchers then chose the four genes with the most severe effects in the individual tests and tested them in combination with each of the other 13 fly counterparts of the human genes in the chromosome 16 deletion. They also tested the interaction of these four genes with 50 other genes known to play a role in neurodevelopmental disorders from elsewhere in the genome. In the pairwise experiments, the researchers found that the symptoms that appeared in individual tests were sometimes made more severe, sometimes reduced, and sometimes unaffected. This suggested that multiple genes within the deletion likely interact with each other, potentially contributing to the variability in symptoms seen in individuals with the deletion.”Based on our results, we suggest a new model for the pathogenicity of the chromosome 16 deletion, and other large regions of copy number variation in the genome,” said Girirajan. “We must consider the interactions among many genes to understand the variable symptoms associated with these large deletions, rather than looking for single causative genes. Understanding this will help us identify appropriate targets for possible treatment of these neurodevelopmental disorders.”last_img read more

Innovative platform developed to destroy cancer cells

first_img Source:http://en.misis.ru/university/news/science/2018-08/5504/ Aug 17 2018The new treatment will serve as both diagnosis and treatment of malignant tumors. This breakthrough in the technologies of cancer diagnosis and treatment was made by an interdisciplinary Russian-German collaboration of chemists, physicists, and biologists from NUST MISIS, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University (RNRMU), and the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany).For the first time ever, scientists have shown that a hybrid nanomaterial based on magnetite-gold particles can serve as a universal platform to both detect cancer cells anywhere in the body and to complete targeted deliveries of drugs to these cells. The discovery makes it possible to create and implement a completely new generation of cancer treatments in the coming years.The results of this fundamental research conducted at the intersection of physics, chemistry, biology and medicine have been published in Scientific Reports, one of the most prestigious scientific journals.”The interdisciplinary collaboration of scientists led by Maxim Abakumov, a Candidate of Chemical Sciences and the Head of the NUST MISIS Biomedical Nanomaterials Laboratory, has managed to develop a platform for simultaneous diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The aggregation of diagnosis and therapy at the cellular level — so-called theranostics — is now considered one of the most promising areas in modern medicine. Scientists now [have] to learn how to detect pathogenic cells at the earliest stage of the disease”, said Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of NUST MISIS.If these pathogenic cells are tagged with magnetic nanoparticles, they can be diagnosed with the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and subsequently destroyed by either a drug or a magnetic field that heats and kills cancer cells.”We have managed to combine gold (Au) and magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles into a hybrid that has both magnetic properties and is capable of carrying the drug [to a tumor]. It turned out as a kind of ‘nanodumbbell’ which could become a platform — a universal base — of future theranostics, and we have shown that in our research”, said Maxim Abakumov, one of the project participants, assistant professor at RNRMU, and Head of the NUST MISIS Biomedical Nanomaterials Laboratory.Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsLiving with advanced breast cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyThis manmade nanohybrid has been tested both in vitro and in vivo. Laboratory tests on mice with grafted tumors have already been completed.”The article considers a model of a mouse breast tumor and shows the possibility to deliver the hybrid Fe3O4-Au particles to the tumor, loaded with the anti-tumor drug doxorubicin. The drug is released inside the tumor and has a therapeutic influence”, added Mariya Efremova, the project`s co-worker, junior research assistant at the Laboratory for Chemical Design of Bionanomaterials for Medical Applications at Lomonosov Moscow State University, and an engineer at the NUST MISIS Biomedical Nanomaterials Laboratory.It is possible to place almost any drug (in place of doxorubicin) into the “nanodumbbell”, and this makes this hybrid an ideal platform to detect tumor cells and deliver drugs; previously proposed methods were only suitable for certain types of drugs and only worked on certain types of cancer cells. Such versatility allows us to hope for the emergence of a new generation of treatments for malignant tumors in the coming years.According to the most optimistic researchers on the project, it will be possible to proceed to pre-clinical trials in just two to three years time, as there is a few years’ of work remaining to be completed before clinical trials on real patients. However, the concept of theranostics has still not been applied in clinical practice anywhere in the world, although Russian scientists are on the front lines of this area.”As a scientific discipline, theranostics is now developing very quickly. The proposed platform demonstrates impressive and diverse effectiveness in lab conditions, however, it still has a long way [to go before getting] to patients”, said Marina Sekacheva, Head of the Center for Personalized Oncology “OncoTarget” at Sechenov University. Sekacheva believes that doctors should provide maximum practical support to fundamental scientists and continuously work with them on potentially groundbreaking projects such as this one.last_img

Americans knowledge of evolution isnt that bad—if you ask them about elephants

first_img*For our full coverage of AAAS 2016, check out our meeting page.WASHINGTON, D.C—A new poll shows that the way you ask people about evolution can drastically change their response. For decades, it was thought that Americans had a relatively poor understanding of evolution. In 2014, a poll by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics showed that just 49% of Americans agreed with the statement: “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.” On the other hand, people living in Europe, Canada, and Japan all agreed at a rate of at least 70%. But it’s difficult to tell whether those numbers measure ignorance about science, because belief in human evolution is closely tied to religious belief, especially in the United States. Today, researchers at the annual meeting of AAAS (which publishes Science), previewed data from a recent poll showing that when the word “human” is replaced with “elephant” in the evolution question, 75% of Americans agree—about 25 percentage points higher than before. Plus, the new elephant question does a better job of predicting general science knowledge than the human question, especially among those who say they don’t believe in evolution. So it seems that America’s dismal performance on past evolution polls can be blamed at least partially on this disbelief, rather than a lack of knowledge.last_img read more

Nations sign major deal to curb warming chemicals used for air conditioning

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country An international treaty originally created to save the ozone layer from destruction is now being enlisted to help tackle climate change.Early Saturday morning, world leaders gathered in Kigali announced an agreement to curb the use of superpotent greenhouse gases used in air conditioners and refrigerators. The chemicals, called hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs, have up to 2000 times the heat-trapping ability of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main planet warming gas. At a time when the world is poised to add 700 million air conditioners by 2030, the agreement could prevent nearly 0.5°C in temperature rise over this century.The deal “shows that we can take action to protect our planet in a way that helps all countries improve the lives and livelihoods of their citizens,” said President Barack Obama in a statement hailing the agreement.center_img “We came to take a half a degree Celsius out of future warming, and we won about 90% of our climate prize,” says Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit that has lobbied for aggressive reductions in the chemicals.The deal is arguably the most substantial advance in international climate policy since the 2015 Paris accord, in which 195 nations pledged to hold global temperature increases well below 2°C. The HFC negotiations received considerable attention from the Obama administration, which has worked to seal several climate-related agreements before a new president takes office.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged conference attendees Friday to back a strong agreement, saying it “is likely the single most important step that we could take at this moment to limit the warming of our planet.”The deal marks the latest evolution of a treaty hailed as a model of international collaboration to address a global environmental problem. Known as the Montreal Protocol, the 1987 agreement was created to stop the destruction of the ozone layer by chemicals used in everything from hair spray to refrigerators. Since then, emissions of these chemicals have plunged as they are replaced by less-damaging alternatives including HFCs. In June, scientists announced they had detected evidence the ozone layer over the Antarctic was showing signs of recovery.But the very chemicals used to help save the ozone layer come with a heavy price when it came to their warming potential. With the developing world aspiring to amenities such as air conditioning, scientists project that left unchecked, HFCs and similar chemicals would account for as much as 11% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, compared with approximately 2% today.The new deal caps 7 years of negotiations and failed attempts to find common ground. Many of the difficulties revolved around how quickly the cuts would have to come for developing countries such as India, where air conditioners are just coming within financial reach of a growing number of people.The final agreement creates a three-tiered system for different countries. India, Pakistan, and four Gulf states have the most leeway. They would freeze consumption of HFCs in 2028 and  use consumption levels between 2024 and 2026 as the baseline to set targets for future reductions. China and other developing countries would halt growth in 2024, and use levels between 2020 and 2022 for their baseline. The developed world phase down the use of HFCs starting in 2019. The overall goal is a global 80% to 85% reduction in HFC use by 2047.Under the deal, HFC emissions are expected to equal approximately 1.2 gigatons of CO2 in 2050, slightly less than double today’s levels, says David Fahey, a physicist at the U.S. government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colorado, who is attending the Kigali conference as co-chair of the scientific assessment panel for the protocol. That forecast for 2050 under the new deal is well below the 4 to 5.3 gigatons worth of CO2 projected under current regulations.Making good on this goal will take additional research to figure out which chemicals are the best replacements. Some of the most promising candidates are flammable, raising questions about how to safely use them. At the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a federal Department of Energy lab in Tennessee, scientists are preparing to use computer models to evaluate how these gases would spread in a room in case of a leak. Other labs are studying what would happen if they ignite. This is partly with an eye toward meeting safety standards, so that the new chemicals would be allowed in buildings, said Omar Abdelaziz, an engineer leading the Oak Ridge work.A switch to different refrigerants won’t be a cure-all for the climate impact of a world increasingly reaching for air conditioners. As greenhouse gases, the new chemicals are a third to a quarter as powerful as their predecessors, but still hundreds of times stronger than CO2. And, the emissions from generating the electricity needed to power all these additional machines could outpace the gains from phasing out HFCs, Fahey cautions.“That’s the gorilla in the room,” he says. “If you’re building power plants to run these 700 million air conditioners, now you look at the Paris agreement and ask ‘How are we going to deal with this energy demand?’” Emaillast_img read more

Robert Smith Eliminates Loan Debt For Morehouse Graduates

first_imgPaying it forward is nothing new to Smith. He was the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s largest private donor and has been an advocate for education and combating global poverty.SEE ALSO:Robert F. Smith, Angela Bassett To Receive Honorary Degrees From MorehouseMorehouse Receives $1.5M Gift From Black Billionaire Robert F. Smith Morehouse College seniors got a surprise Sunday when billionaire investor Robert F. Smith announced during his commencement speech that he would pay off their student loan debt https://t.co/oNsu57sS3w pic.twitter.com/eYyi8q2jpe— CNN (@CNN) May 19, 2019 David A. Thomas , Graduation , Morehouse , Morehouse College , Robert F. Smith , student loan debt , Student Loans Honoring Mothers Of The Movement For Black Lives Graduates of Morehouse College received the gift of a lifetime at their commencement ceremony on Sunday morning. According to CNN, philanthropist and billionaire Robert F. Smith pledged to pay off the student loan debt for the entire 2019 graduating class. 2016 Democratic National Convention The historically Black college awarded Smith with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for being a trailblazer in the realm of business. The entrepreneur and investor—who founded and leads the venture capital firm Vista Equity Partners—has invested in the progression of Morehouse. In January, he donated $1.5 million to the school for the creation of a scholarship fund and the addition of an outdoor study area on campus.Unbeknownst to students and faculty, Smith planned on topping that generous donation by giving graduates the gift of being student loan debt free through the establishment of a new a grant. “On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we’re going to put a little fuel in your bus. Now, I know my class will make sure they pay this forward,” he said during his speech. “I want my class to look at these (alumni) — these beautiful Morehouse brothers — and let’s make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward because we are enough to take care of our own community. We are enough to ensure we have all the opportunities of the American dream.”There were 400 seniors that were a part of the graduating class and Smith’s gift is estimated to be $40 million. The graduates were overjoyed and many of them were in disbelief. Morehouse President David A. Thomas says that the erasure of debt will be a key factor in helping the graduates thrive. Student loan debt has continued to rise within our country. According to Forbes, there is currently $1.5 trillion owed.last_img read more

Report urges massive digitization of museum collections

first_img By Elizabeth PennisiApr. 4, 2019 , 9:00 AM Report urges massive digitization of museum collections Other, smaller digitization efforts have also paid off. Since the 1993 outbreak of the deadly mouse-transmitted hantavirus in the Four Corners region of the southwest, the Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque has been warehousing mammals used in public health studies and natural history research. From the beginning it digitized those specimens and linked them to relevant pathogen and genome data, enabling disease experts, microbiologists, and other scientists to tap into the database for their research, says Joseph Cook, the museum’s curator of mammals.The Advancing Digitization program is a stand-alone effort that ends in 2021, so NSF set up an initiative called the Biodiversity Collections Network to plan the next steps. Based on findings from surveys and workshops, it is now proposing an expanded effort that would also target smaller collections and develop a standardized, upgradable system for linking disparate databases to create an “extended specimen.” The idea is that anyone looking up a species will see not only detailed images of a specimen, but also all the research associated with it: DNA sequences, analyses of diets and climate based on isotopic studies, micro–computerized tomography scans, and even environmental information from the specimen’s collection site. “We want to pull together everything that’s known about a specimen,” says Barbara Thiers, a botanist at the New York Botanical Garden in New York City who heads the network.Cook calls the new plan “a great opportunity to build important infrastructure for the big questions that society is going to ask help with,” such as assessing environmental change and shifts in animal and disease ranges. “We need to understand our planet and how populations are changing through time.”Thiers estimates it will take up to $500 million to “get all the bells and whistles we would like” to realize this vision. For that reason, some collections experts are calling for stronger advocacy. “Somebody needs to hit the pavement and convince other agencies to support this [effort],” Hanken says. Otherwise, it risks getting ignored because “it’s another in a long line of calls to the community to imagine a new future for biological collections.” adds Scott Edwards, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University.Thiers sees it differently, calling the plan “a novel approach” that will combine “diverse data types in ways that have not been considered.” Beaman is noncommittal about its prospects. “It’s premature for me to say we would develop new programs” to support it, he says. But he acknowledges the value of expanding access to natural history collections, noting that the equivalent of billions of dollars has gone into building them. “It’s not stamp collecting,” he concludes. “The potential for use and societal impact is huge.” Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Fish expert Larry Page of the Florida Museum in Gainesville shows off a standard setup for making digital images of specimens. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The United States should launch an effort to create an all-encompassing database of the millions of stuffed, dried, and otherwise preserved plants, animals, and fossils in museums and other collections, a U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)–sponsored white paper released today urges. The report, titled Extending U.S. Biodiversity Collections to Promote Research and Education, also calls for new approaches to cataloging digitized specimens and linking them to a range of other data about each organism and where it was collected. If the plan is carried out, “There will be [a] huge potential impact for the research community to do new types of research,” says NSF biology Program Director Reed Beaman in Alexandria, Virginia.The effort could take decades and cost as much as half a billion dollars, however, and some researchers are worried the white paper will not win over policymakers. “I just wish that the report focused more on the potential benefits for noncollections communities,” says James Hanken, director of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.For the past 8 years, NSF has sponsored the $100 million, 10-year Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections program, which has paid for nearly 62 million plant and animal specimens to be digitally photographed from multiple angles for specific research studies. New technology has greatly sped up the process. Already, researchers studying natural history and how species are related are reaping the benefits of easy access to a wealth of information previous locked in museums. Kristen Grace/Florida Museum last_img read more

The Story Behind the Painting Washington Crossing the Delaware

first_imgIn the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the painting Washington Crossing the Delaware hangs in Gallery 760. It is a well-known oil on canvas painting of George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas night in 1776 to attack Hessians in Trenton, New Jersey during the American Revolution. Not only does it depict the future first President of America, but it also features the future fifth President, James Monroe. One of the most famous paintings of the American Revolution, it was painted in Düsseldorf in 1851 by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, a German who grew up in the United States but returned to Germany as an adult. Born 40 years after the Battle of Trenton, Leutze had hoped that the spirit of Revolution would motivate the European liberal Revolutionaries in 1848. He did get a few things wrong, though.Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. Photo by Adavyd CC BY SA 3.0On Purdue Today, David Parrish, a professor of art history, says the flag being held by Monroe did not exist until about a year after the battle. The boat in the painting was an incorrect type, and Washington should have been painted as a younger man. Also, while he looks especially noble, Washington knew enough not to stand up in a rowboat. We’ll just leave that one to poetic license.Many historians don’t believe Monroe crossed Delaware with Washington, but he certainly fought at Trenton and gained a bullet in his shoulder that remained for the rest of his life.James Monroe White House portrait, 1819The other occupants of the boat represent the different walks of life of the American colonists including French Canadian fur trappers, an African, a Scot, farmers, and a figure from the western part of the country. Some believe the figure in the red coat and black scarf may represent the women that fought and died for freedom.The website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art tells us that Leutze began the painting in 1849 but it was damaged by a fire in 1850. The artist repaired the damage and the painting was acquired by Bremen Kunsthalle, an art museum in Bremen, Germany. That painting was destroyed in 1942 during a World War II bombing raid by British forces.Washington Crossing the Delaware (1849–1850), original painting by Emanuel LeutzeFortunately, Leutze had created a copy of the painting shortly after the first, and David Parrish reports that painting was shipped to New York City in the autumn of 1851, where thousands flocked to its display in a New York gallery and at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington DC. The painting is now on permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.Other authorized copies are displayed at Perdue University, at Washington Crossing Historic Park, and in the White House. The Delaware crossing was also captured in other paintings by artists including George Caleb Bingham, an American frontier artist who worked in the mid-1800s and was a friend of Leutze; Thomas Sully, an American artist born in England who worked in the early 1800s, and Currier and Ives, who made a lithograph of the scene painted by Leutze. Leutze’s painting is also depicted on the New Jersey state quarter.Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze (cropped), MMA-NYCAs always, parodies have emerged. One parody shows Leutze’s painting recreated but all of the figures have chicken heads while another has Washington and his boat mates sailing on a hot dog. There are others with Homer Simpson taking the place of George Washington and the Muppets taking the place of all of the men.Emanuel Leutze, a German-American painter.Parodies aside, Washington Crossing the Delaware is an awe-inspiring painting viewed by thousands each year. The painting was also recreated for a limestone statue on the spot where Washington landed in New Jersey, the 500 acre Washington Crossing Historic Park. Frank Arena, a retired limestone worker, carved the statue, and workers set each individually carved figure into the boat.Read another story from us: The Peculiar Frenchman who Designed Washington D.C.According to Washington Crossing Historic Park, one worker also placed a small American flag, a New Jersey State quarter, and a note listing the names of the workers who helped put the statue together under one of the figures.last_img read more

US mulls increasing meritbased immigration to 57

first_img Related News By PTI |Washington | Published: July 17, 2019 9:26:47 am US mulls increasing merit-based immigration to 57% At the direction of Trump, Kushner is leading the immigration reform project, which he said was now into its final stages and expects to make it public soon. (File Photo)The Trump administration is proposing a nearly five-fold increase in merit-based legal immigration and half those based on family and humanitarian system, in an effort to overhaul the outdated system. Enormous potential for growth in ties with India: US Facebook should not be trusted with ‘crazy’ cryptocurrency plan – US senators 62 US Border Agents are linked to degrading Facebook posts ‘Truth, justice have prevailed’: PM Modi on Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict Senior presidential adviser Jared Kushner, who is also the son-in-law of United States President Donald Trump, said having an immigration policy that would attract talented and meritorious people from across the world would create over USD 500 billion in tax revenues over 10 years.“It brings in a lot of people that are paying into the social safety nets. Not people who are coming in and then immediately taking from the social safety nets, which right now have to support Americans who are currently citizens,” Kushner told the cabinet during a meeting at the White House.At the direction of Trump, Kushner is leading the immigration reform project, which he said was now into its final stages and expects to make it public soon. Advertisingcenter_img Advertising Jharkhand court drops ‘donate Quran’ condition for bail to Ranchi woman over offensive post Kushner rued that America’s immigration system was a very outdated compared to some of the peer countries that it competes with for talent. He said just 12 per cent of people become legal immigrants through merit-based system right now.“Compare that to some of our peer countries like Canada. They’re at 53 per cent, New Zealand at 59 per cent, Australia 63 per cent, Japan at 52 per cent,” he said. “Under President Trump’s proposal, we’ll go to 57 per cent, which puts right in the range and it will make us competitive.”Last year 1.1 million people has become citizens. “We are keeping the number the same. But we want to change the composition of what’s that made up of,” Kushner said.The adviser said they came up with the proposal after studying the immigration system and the best practices of a lot of the other countries. He asserted that the US deserved to have the best immigration system in the world, adding that the Trump administration believed in safe, legal immigration but against illegal and random migration. Salve hails verdict, says ICJ protected Jadhav from being executed Best Of Express “We think we can have an immigration system that really is the envy of the world and also a border security system that keeps all of our citizens safe,” he said.“This bill will create a modern, merit-based immigration system that allows the best and the brightest from throughout the world to compete based on objective criteria to become American citizens.”According to Kushner, the new system will enhance social diversity. “We’ve figured out how to make sure that we follow the practice that Australia does with diversity pooling to make sure that it gives us a good cross-section of people coming in to maintain what’s great about this country,” he said.Trump described it as a common-sense proposal and acknowledged that there was a requirement of talented people in the country. “You’re going to have a really beautiful system of immigration. People are going to be able to come into our country, be proud of our country, and help our country,” Trump said.“We want them to help us. You know, it’s a two-way street; they have to help us also. And it’s met with great popularity,” he added. Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Israel will be destroyed in half an hour if America attacks Iran

first_imgBy Reuters |Geneva | Updated: July 1, 2019 6:33:03 pm 6 Comment(s) US mulls increasing merit-based immigration to 57% Advertising US House votes to set aside impeachment resolution against Trump Related News US President Donald Trump, Israel-Palestinian peace, Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran and a Nuclear Bomb, Iran and USA, Iran US relations, Iran Israel relations, Iran news, latest news, International news, World news, Latest news Weeks of tensions culminated last month in US President Donald Trump’s last-minute decision to call off planned strikes on Iran after Tehran downed a US drone.  (Source: AP)Israel will be destroyed in half an hour if the United States attacks Iran, a senior Iranian parliamentarian said on Monday, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency. Trump says ‘will take a look’ at accusations over Google, China READ | Iran says it has breached 2015 nuclear deal’s stockpile limitWeeks of tensions culminated last month in US President Donald Trump’s last-minute decision to call off planned strikes on Iran after Tehran downed a US drone. Washington also accused Iran of being behind attacks on ships in the Gulf, which Tehran denies.“If the US attacks us, only half an hour will remain of Israel’s lifespan,” Mojtaba Zolnour, the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy commission said on Monday, according to Mehr.last_img read more

Faulty brain immune cells cause Alzheimers disease

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 8 2019Scientists are studying the role of immune cell activation in Alzheimer’s diseaseMutations of the TREM2 gene can significantly increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich now shed light on the reasons why TREM2 is so important for brain health. They show that TREM2 activates brain immune cells to eliminate toxic deposits, first and foremost in the early stages of the disease. The study is published in the journal “Nature Neuroscience” and has important implications for the development of new drugs.A hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease is the formation of toxic deposits in the brain, so-called plaques. Specialized immune cells termed microglia protect the brain by clearing it from these toxic debris. TREM2 is a key factor in activating microglia and thus serves as an important target for novel therapeutic approaches. To further explore these therapeutic options, the Munich scientists undertook a detailed analysis of disease development in mice with and without a functional TREM2 gene.In mice with healthy TREM2, microglia cluster around small emerging plaques early in the disease process and prevent them from enlarging or spreading. “We were able to show that microglia are specifically attracted to amyloid plaques. They surround individual plaques and engulf them piece by piece,” explains lead investigator Christian Haass, speaker of the DZNE’s Munich site, and a professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. In contrast, in mice lacking TREM2, microglia were unable to carry out this important task. Therapeutic activation of TREM2 in an early stage of the disease could thus help counteract the formation of toxic amyloid-beta protein aggregates.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaResearchers discover new therapeutic target for treatment of Alzheimer’s diseaseWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskHowever, the study results also call for caution when implementing such a therapy. While TREM2 prevents plaque formation early in disease progression, it may have the opposite effect later on. In more advanced stages of the disease, the plaques grew faster in mice with functional TREM2 than in mice lacking the corresponding gene. The researchers discovered that this could be explained by the fact that TREM2 induces microglia to produce a substance called ApoE, which enhances aggregate formation. “Our study shows that we have to be extremely careful and investigate a new therapeutic approach thoroughly in animal models before testing it on humans,” says Haass. “According to our findings, it could have dramatic consequences if we over-activate microglia.””In the future, it will be important to treat Alzheimer’s disease in a stage-specific manner,” Haass explains. According to the present study, for example, activating microglia via TREM2 would be a strategy that should be applied early in disease progression. Haass and his colleagues are currently working on the development of antibodies that stabilize TREM2 and thereby activate microglia. The scientists are now using several animal models and different experimental approaches to test possible therapeutic strategies and combination therapies with other drugs.”All important genetic alterations that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease lead to changes in plaque formation,” Haass explains. This suggests that these protein aggregates are the cause of the disease. The current study provides hope that it is possible to counteract plaque formation by activating TREM2, and at the same time highlights potential risks that scientists need to take into account when pursuing such an approach. Source:https://www.dzne.de/en/news/public-relations/press-releases/press/detail/defective-immune-cells-in-the-brain-cause-alzheimers-disease/last_img read more

Scientists design two AI algorithms to improve early detection of cognitive impairment

first_img Source:http://ruvid.org/ri-world/researchers-design-mathematic-algorithms-to-improve-the-detection-of-early-cognitive-impairment/ Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 17 2019Researchers of the Pharmacy and Mathematics departments of the CEU UCH university in Valencia have collaborated in the design of two artificial intelligence algorithms that improve the screening of positive cases in the early detection of cognitive impairment in chemists. These algorithms also make it possible to identify the main risk factors of developing some type of dementia in the future. The study, published by scientific journal Frontiers of Pharmacology, lies within the framework of the research project financed with the kNOW Alzheimer grant, headed by Pharmacy Degree Vice-Dean Lucrecia Moreno in collaboration with researchers María Dolores Guerrero and Maite Climent, president of the SEFAC-CV, and professors of the Embedded Systems and Artificial Intelligence Group of the CEU UCH, Juan Pardo and Javier Muñoz.In the preliminary phase of the study, 728 people over the age of 65 were assessed in the offices of chemists through two internationally-validated tests for the detection of cognitive impairment: the Short Portable Mental State Questionnaire (SPMSQ) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), in its Spanish version. Through these two tests, conducted in 14 Valencian chemists associated with SEFAC, the Spanish Society of Family and Community Pharmacy, a total 128 cases of possible minor cognitive impairment were detected, a 17.4% of the total, who were referred to primary health care centres so they could be diagnosed and then sent to the neurologist. Furthermore, a total 167 analysis variables were registered for early detection with these tests. Among them, factors like age, sex, the educational level, the amount of daily sleeping hours, reading habits, subjective complaints of memory loss and medication.Algorithm to minimise false negativesIn the current phase of the study, which has been published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal, the results obtained in the tests conducted on 728 elderly people, have been subjected to a massive screening procedure, thanks to the designing of two mathematic algorithms or decision trees. The first is a discriminating decision tree that allows the identification of false negative test results, or cases of people who could suffer minor cognitive impairment despite the results of the test, as well as ruling out false positives. This first algorithm will therefore allow for an improved screening of the assessment conducted in chemists with the tests, in order to refer to doctors the positives detected, for a clinical diagnosis. It will also help improve the monitoring of people who, even though they admit suffering from memory loss symptoms, don’t test positive.Related StoriesLiving a healthy lifestyle may help offset genetic risk of dementiaAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyDementia patients hospitalized and involved in transitional care at higher ratesPredictive model and risk factorsThe second algorithm has been designed to define patterns and design a predictive model, detecting those of the 167 assessment variables obtained by the two tests which are the most significant for the early detection of cognitive impairment. This predictive model is the one which makes it possible to identify the most prominent risk factors in relation to minor cognitive impairment.Applied to the over 700 cases analysed, this predictive model has confirmed as risk factors for screening and, therefore, as the most significant variables for the detection of minor cognitive impairment, the following: being a woman, sleeping more than 9 hours a day, being over 79 years of age, and low amounts of reading. Furthermore, consuming psychoanaleptic, nootropic or anti-depressant medicines as well as anti-inflammatory drugs are other examples of the most relevant variables detected by the algorithm.Research teamAs professor Lucrecia Moreno highlights, “the early detection of cognitive impairment, as a preliminary phase of the development of dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease is essential in societies such as ours, where population is ageing. The offices of chemists are appropriate places for screening people with clear risk factors, especially if we provide the appropriate computer tools, such as the algorithms we have designed in this study, for the processing of the data resulting from assessing elderly people.”Doctor Lucrecia Moreno has headed the research team comprised of researchers Maite Climent, communitary pharmacist; María Dolores Guerrero, professor at the Department of Pharmacy of the CEU UCH; and professors of the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Technological Sciences of the CEU UCU, Juan Pardo Albiach, head researcher of the ESAI group, and Javier Muñoz Almaraz, member of the group.last_img read more

With moms green card on the line family forgoes autism services for

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 1 2019As U.S. immigration enforcement becomes stricter under the Trump administration, more immigrant families are cutting ties with health care services and other critical government programs, according to child advocates who work with such families.In Texas, researchers studying the issue say it’s a major reason why more children are going without health insurance.Ana, who lives in Central Texas with her husband and two children, has been increasingly hesitant to seek help from the government. In particular, she’s worried about getting help for her 9-year-old daughter, Sara, who was diagnosed with autism a few years ago.Ana entered the country without documentation about 10 years ago, which is why NPR and KHN have agreed not to use her last name. Both of her children were born in the United States and have been covered by Medicaid for years. But ever since President Donald Trump took office, Ana has been using the program only for basics — such as checkups and vaccinations for the kids.This decision to forgo care comes at a cost. Managing Sara’s behavior has been challenging, even after the autism diagnosis brought her parents some clarity. Sara acts out and has tantrums, sometimes in public places. Ana finds it difficult to soothe her daughter, and the situation has become more awkward as Sara grows.“To other people, Sara just seems spoiled or a brat,” Ana said.After the diagnosis, Ana felt unsure about her next steps. She eventually went to a nonprofit in Austin that guides and supports parents whose children have disabilities. It’s called Vela (“candle” in Spanish).At Vela, Ana learned about a range of services Sara could get access to via her Medicaid plan — including therapy to help the child communicate better.However, the thought of asking for more government services for her daughter increased Ana’s anxiety. “I am looking for groups who are not associated with the government,” Ana explained.Ana is in the middle of the long, expensive legal process of applying for permanent resident status, known informally as a “green card.” Recently, the Trump administration announced that it may tighten part of this process — the “public charge” assessment. The assessment scrutinizes how many government services a green card applicant currently uses — or might use later in life. If a person uses many government services, they could pose a net financial burden on the federal budget — or so goes the rationale. The government’s algorithms are complex, but “public charge” is part of the determination for who gets a green card and who doesn’t.The rule change proposed by the Trump administration — which might not come to pass — has already led many applicants, or would-be applicants, to be wary of all government services, even those that wouldn’t affect their applications.“I am afraid they will not give me a legal resident status,” Ana said.Her husband already has a green card, and the couple is determined to not jeopardize Ana’s ongoing application. So they have decided — just to be safe — to avoid seeking any more help from the government. That’s even though their daughter, who is a citizen, needs more therapy than she’s getting right now.“I feel bad that I have to do that,” Ana said.She says she would love to treat her daughter’s autism, but has decided that there is nothing more important than getting that green card, in order to keep the family together in the U.S.“I’m running into families that, when it’s time for re-enrollment or reapplication, they are pausing and they are questioning if they should,” said Nadine Rueb, a clinical social worker dealing with Ana’s case at Vela.Related StoriesNeuroscientists find anatomical link between cognitive and perceptual symptoms in autismScientists make breakthrough in understanding the genetics of common syndromic autismResearchers develop new technique to accurately detect ASD in childrenRueb said a range of fears are behind immigrants’ avoidance of government services. Some are staying under the radar to avoid immediate deportation. Others are more like Ana — they just want to be in the best position possible to finally get permanent legal status and move on with their lives.“The climate of fear is so pervasive at this point, and there is so much misinformation out there,” said Cheasty Anderson, a senior policy associate with the Children’s Defense Fund in Texas.Anderson said she thinks the parents’ fears have led to an uptick in children going without health coverage in Texas.A recent study from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families found that 1 in 5 uninsured kids in the U.S. lives in Texas. And a big percentage of those uninsured children are Latino.The report shows that after years of steady decline, the number (and percentage) of uninsured children in the U.S. increased in 2017, the first year of Trump’s presidency. Nationally, 5 percent of all kids are uninsured — and in Texas the rate rose to 10.7 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2016.Joan Alker, author of the Georgetown report, said the Trump administration’s effort to crack down on both legal and illegal immigration is one of many factors driving up the uninsured rates. And it’s especially perceptible in Texas, where a quarter of children have a parent who is either undocumented, or who is trying to become a legal resident.“For these mixed-status families, there is likely a heightened fear of interacting with the government, and this may be deterring them from signing up their eligible children for government-sponsored health care,” Alker said in a phone call with reporters in November, when the report was released.Anderson, of the Children’s Defense Fund in Texas, said the repercussions fall hardest on kids with disabilities — kids who need services.“Texas is proud to be Texas in so many ways, but this is one way in which we are failing ourselves,” she said.From the perspective of Rueb, a disability rights specialist, timing is an essential issue for these children.“The sooner you catch [the diagnosis or condition], the sooner you support the child [and] the sooner you support the family,” Rueb said. “I think it’s just a win-win for everybody. You are supporting the emotions of the family, and then that supports the child.”For now, said Ana, she’s relying on the services offered by her daughter’s public school — which aren’t counted in the federal government’s “public charge” assessment. And she’ll keep doing that until she gets that green card.This story is part of a partnership that includes KUT, NPR and Kaiser Health News. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.last_img read more

Study examines links between workplace sexism and womens mental health job satisfaction

first_img Source:https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/journal-applied-social-psychology/workplace-sexisms-effects-womens-mental-health-and-j Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 6 2019A new Journal of Applied Social Psychology study investigates the associations between workplace sexism, sense of belonging at work, mental health, and job satisfaction for women in male-dominated industries.In the study of 190 women from a large Australian trade union that represented mainly male-dominated jobs, organizational sexism and interpersonal sexism were associated with a poorer sense of belonging in the industry, which was associated with poorer mental health. A poorer sense of belonging also explained the negative effect of organizational sexism on job satisfaction.Related StoriesCombat veterans more likely to exhibit signs of depression, anxiety in later lifeParticipation in local food projects may have positive effect on healthOnline training program helps managers to support employees’ mental health needsThe results fit a theoretical model in which workplace sexism reduces sense of belonging because it represents a form of bullying, rejection, and ostracism by men against their female co-workers. This reduced sense of belonging then impacts negatively on women’s mental health and job satisfaction due its association with feelings of loneliness and alienation.”Strategies that integrate women more thoroughly into male-dominated industries and give them a better sense of belonging may help to increase their mental health and job satisfaction” said corresponding author Associated Professor Mark Rubin, of The University of Newcastle, Australia. “However, we also need better strategies to reduce sexism in the workplace if we are to tackle this problem at its root.”last_img read more

Cancer patients and those with anemia should not be denied opioids says

first_imgBy Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Apr 11 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a letter clarifying that people suffering from severe pain caused by cancer or sickle-cell anemia should not be denied prescriptions for opioid pain-killers.The letter, which was issued on Tuesday, emphasizes that the guidelines restricting the use of opioid medications were not intended to apply to patients undergoing cancer treatment or to any patients suffering from chronic pain.David Smart | ShutterstockIn an attempt to curb the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic, some medical societies had called for physicians to limit their prescription of the potent painkillers. In 2016, the CDC released guidelines advising primary care doctors that in the majority of cases, opioids should only be prescribed as a last resort.At the time, Thomas R. Frieden, Former Director of the CDC said, “The guideline was developed to support primary care clinicians who prescribe about half of all opioid pain medications in relieving patient’s pain, preventing patient’s suffering, and promoting patient’s well-being. This guideline helps by offering a flexible tool. Not a one size fits all tool…”.Despite this, there was an unintended consequence; some insurance companies have refused to cover prescriptions for cancer patients/survivors and sickle-cell patients who are suffering with acute or chronic pain.To estimate the impact of this outcome, the American Cancer Society sponsored surveys of cancer patients and survivors across the nation.The results showed that the number of patients who were refused coverage for opioid prescriptions rose from 11% to 30% between 2016 and 2018. Furthermore, many more patients reported restrictions on how many opioid pills and refills they could have, as well as difficulty finding pharmacies prepared to fill the prescriptions.Hematology society member Dr. Deepika Darbari, who treats young patients with sickle cell anemia reports that she has experienced insurers who refuse to cover IV opioids for patients experiencing severe pain, based on the CDC guidelines.Now, the CDC has published a letter clarifying that the guidelines were never intended to deny such patients the painkillers, after three medical societies (the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology [ASCO] and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network [NCCN]) brought the problem to the agency’s attention.The new clarification was issued to the societies in the form of a letter written by the lead author of the guidelines and top CDC medical officer Deborah Dowell. Read next:Impact of legalizing cannabis on the opioid crisis. The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States today. Last year, more Americans died from drug overdoses than car crashes. And these overdoses have hit families across our entire nation.”  Sylvia Burwell, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary This clarification from the CDC is critically important because, while the agency’s guideline clearly states that it is not intended to apply to patients during active cancer and sickle-cell disease treatment, many payers have been inappropriately using it to make opioid coverage determinations for those exact populations.”Clifford Hudis, ASCO Chief Executive Officer “The guidelines [that the] CDC is releasing today will provide safer pain management while helping us reduce opioid abuse. It’s an important step in our work to combat the opioid epidemic.” The CDC also stated that pain management in sickle cell anemia is complicated and that treatment approaches and reimbursement should be planned based on the guidelines that have been developed specifically for the disease.Chief executive officer of NCCN, Robert Carlson, says the CDC’s letter will be made publicly available online and that it can be cited by physicians and patients if they experience problems with their opioid prescriptions being approved.He also announced that NCCN has published recommendations to help cancer specialists evaluate the risk of opioid abuse “while still ensuring people with cancer don’t suffer unnecessary, severe pain.”last_img read more

Ecigarettes contaminated with dangerous microbial toxins

first_imgAirborne Gram-negative bacterial endotoxin and fungal-derived glucans have been shown to cause acute and chronic respiratory effects in occupational and environmental settings. Finding these toxins in e-cigarette products adds to the growing concerns about the potential for adverse respiratory effects in users.” Contamination can occur at any stage in the manufacturing processThe authors suggest that the raw materials used to produce ‘fruity’ flavors are a potential source of microbial contamination.They also note that contamination could be introduced at any stage during the manufacture of the e-cigarette ingredients or in the production of the finished e-cigarette products themselves. One potential source, for example, is the cotton wicks used in the cartridges, since both endotoxins and glucans are known to contaminate cotton fibers.The use of e-cigarettes has gradually been in creasing over recent years, particularly among high-school age and middle-school age pupils. Estimates suggest that last year, more than three million high school students used the products, a significant increase on the 220,000 students estimated to have used the products in 2011.Mi-Sun Lee says the new findings should be considered when developing regulatory policies for e-cigarettes: In addition to inhaling harmful chemicals, e-cig users could also be exposed to biological contaminants like endotoxin and glucan.”Mi-Sun Lee, Lead Author By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Apr 24 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Harvard University researchers have discovered that many popular electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products are contaminated with microbial toxins that are known to cause a range of health problems. The research was published today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.eldar nurkovic | ShutterstockThe authors warn that the findings indicate that “some popular [e-cigarette] brands and flavors may be contaminated with microbial toxins.”The toxins identified were endotoxin − a potent toxic molecule found on the membranes of Gram-negative bacteria − and glucan, a polysaccharide that helps to form the cell walls of most species of fungi.Tobacco smoke from traditional tobacco cigarettes also contains endotoxins and glucans that that contaminate the products at some point during the manufacturing process. Exposure to such toxins is associated with respiratory health problems such as asthma, reduced lung function, and lung inflammation. Furthermore, studies conducted over many decades have demonstrated chronic lung impairment in populations exposed to airborne biological contaminants.Yet, according to the authors of the current study, no studies have ever explored whether these common microbial agents could also be present in e-cigarette products.Acute and chronic respiratory effectsNow, Professor of Environmental Genetics, David Christiani, and colleagues have tested 75 popular products from ten leading e-cigarette brands, including 37 single-use cartridges (also called “cigalikes”) and 38 e-liquids (which are used to refill cartridges). All products were purchased online, with the exception of products from one brand, which was bought at a convenience store on the university’s campus.The products were divided into four different flavors, which included tobacco, menthol, fruit, and other. All products were then tested for the presence of endotoxin and glucan.As reported today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers found that 17 (23%) of the products contained detectable levels of endotoxin and that 61 (81%) contained traces of glucan.Further analysis showed that, on average, the cartridges contained 3.2 times more glucan than the refillable e-liquid samples.On average glucan levels were ten times higher in the tobacco and menthol-flavored products, compared with in the fruit-flavored samples, while endotoxin concentrations were found to be significantly higher in the fruit-flavored products. Further research is neededLee and colleagues note that there are limitations to the study. For example, the team did not test the concertation of toxins that are aerosolized and passed on to the user.Furthermore, the team only screened for toxins in first-generation devices and not more recently developed products such as tanks, pods or pens. Pods, especially, are known to deliver a higher concentration of nicotine per puff, compared with first-generation devices, yet scientists do not know how this may impact on the degree of exposure to toxins.Many scientists believe that exposure to environmental toxins is significantly less among people who vape than among those who smoke traditional cigarettes, but that this does not necessarily mean that e-cigarettes products are not damaging to health at all.Should the government ban e-cigarettes?Currently, there is no scientific evidence that can conclusively support the hypothesis that the levels of endotoxin and glucan found in e-cigarette products is enough to raise public health concerns.However, given that exposure to high enough levels of airborne endotoxin does appear to harm the lungs and that the toxins are thought to contribute to the damage that cigarette smoking has on respiratory health, the authors think that further study is needed.Future research will look at how often the toxins are present in e-cigarette flavors and whether exposure to them through vaping poses and significant health risk, since there may be strategies that could be used to minimize the risk of contamination.last_img read more

New research shows slightly different picture of trauma soldiers experience from war

first_imgPerforming actions that violate moral principles can involve killing an innocent person.”For example, an officer may order a person shot because it looks as if he is wearing a suicide vest. But then it turns out that he wasn’t, and a civilian ends up being killed,” he says.”Another example could be when an officer supervises and instructs an Afghan unit, and then learns that someone in that unit is abusing small children. It can be difficult to intervene in that kind of situation, but easy for a Norwegian officer to think afterwards that he should have done something,” Nordstrand explains.Far more symptomsThere is a marked difference between how danger-based and non-danger-based stressors affect the symptoms of psychological distress.The study shows that both danger-based and non-danger-based stressors lead to an increase in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can involve being hyper-alert, jumpy, sleeping poorly and reliving events after they’ve happened.”The experience that lasted a long time and burdened him afterwards was when he went out on the battlefield after a bomb had gone off and found a glittery child’s shoe spattered with blood.”Related StoriesTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careBut non-danger-based stressors are likely to trigger far more symptoms of psychological distress.”In our study, we found that depression, chronic sleep disorders and anxiety were much more linked to non-danger-based stressors than having been in fear for one’s life,” says Nordstrand.Appreciate life moreThe research results also show that exposure to personal life threats often leads to positive personal development. This type of trauma can contribute to the individual appreciating life more, getting closer to relatives and experiencing greater faith in their ability to handle situations.Non-danger-based stressors, on the other hand, usually lead to negative personal development, where the person values life less, feels more distant from others and has less faith in himself.Nordstrand said he didn’t expect there to be such a big difference.Nordstrand’s idea for the study came to him through his job as a psychologist in the Norwegian Armed Forces stress management service, where he noticed that often other issues than having been shot at were plaguing the soldiers.”A lot of soldiers told stories of how witnessing someone else’s suffering, especially of children who became victims of the war – were tough to work through,” says Nordstrand.One of the soldiers he’s followed up with had participated in lots of battles without dwelling on them.”The experience that stayed with him and burdened him afterwards was when he went out onto the battlefield after a bomb had gone off and found a child’s sparkly shoe spattered with blood,” the psychologist says.According to Nordstrand, a lot of people hide their non-danger-based trauma and don’t talk about it to their family, friends or colleagues. He thinks this relates to the fact that non-danger-based trauma is often linked to shame and guilt, and that it can be more difficult to talk about than that they were scared in an exchange of fire.”A lot of soldiers are probably afraid of feeling alienated if they would tell their family and civilian friends of all the horrors they saw and experienced. Such experiences often don’t fit very well with the world view we protected Norwegians have,” says Nordstrand.Wants to focus on the spectrumThe researcher hopes the study can help direct attention to the fact that there is a wide range of traumatic experiences. He would like to see the focus be not only on people who have been in life-threatening situations, but also on assistance personnel, police and firefighters who are exposed to non-danger-based stressors in their occupations on a daily basis.Other studies, including Swedish ones, show that firefighters are a group that is vulnerable to depression and suicide.”We tend to turn on the blue light and rush to help when someone has been in a life-threatening situation. I think we can do a much better job of helping people by acknowledging that there’s a real risk of mental illness after being exposed to non-danger-based trauma. We should develop protocols so that we can capture those who are vulnerable and figure out how we can better utilize our resources,” says Nordstrand. Source:Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyJournal reference:Nordstrand, A E. et al. (2019) Danger and Non-Danger Based Stressors and their Relations to Posttraumatic Deprecation or Growth in Norwegian Veterans Deployed to Afghanistan. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2019.1601989 Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 24 2019We usually think that trauma from war is related to the fact that soldiers have been under constant threat of death. New research shows a slightly different picture.The types of trauma that Norwegian soldiers were exposed to in Afghanistan greatly affected the psychological aftermath of their experiences.Psychologist Andreas Espetvedt Nordstrand and his research team have looked at how exposure to different types of traumatic experiences influenced Norwegian veterans who were in Afghanistan.The study shows that being exposed to life-threatening situations results in fewer post-traumatic stress symptoms for soldiers than when they experience suffering and death without being in danger themselves.Nordstrand is affiliated with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) Department of Psychology and is one of the authors of the study, published in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology.The study is part of a comprehensive survey of how veterans are faring after the war in Afghanistan.Just over 7000 Norwegian soldiers participated in the war in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2011, and 4053 of them participated in this investigation.Violation of moral principleTrauma is roughly divided into danger-based and non-danger-based stressors.Soldiers can be exposed to danger-based trauma in classic military settings, such as being shot or ambushed. It is an active threat that is linked to anxiety.Non-danger-based trauma is divided into two subgroups:Witnessing: seeing suffering or death of others, without being in danger oneself.Moral Challenges: seeing or performing an act that violates a person’s own moral beliefs. An example of witnessing might be that a suicide bomber triggers a bomb that hurts or kills children and civilians. Then our soldiers come in to clean up or secure the area after the bomb has gone off and experience the devastation.”Andreas Espetvedt Nordstrand, Psychologist, Norwegian University of Science and Technologylast_img read more