Study explores whole-body immunity

first_imgOver the next few months, millions of people will receive vaccinations in the hope of staving off the flu — and the fever, pain, and congestion that come with it.But how can one injection trigger an immune response that protects someone from head to toe?Part of the answer, says Nicolas Chevrier, a former Bauer Fellow at the Harvard FAS Center for Systems Biology and now an assistant professor in molecular engineering at the University of Chicago, appears to lie in the way antiviral signals spread through the body within hours of a vaccination, seeding immune cells in various tissues. Chevrier’s findings are described in an Oct. 5 paper published in Cell.“The starting point for this study was the question of how do we study the immune system at the scale of the whole organism?” Chevrier said. “Immune cells are in every organ of the body — in the lungs, the heart, the skin — making it incredibly challenging to study how the immune system can operate across the entire organism. Current studies are siloed. For example, people only looked at the lungs or only looked at the blood.”To find answers, Chevrier and colleagues turned to a pair of Vaccinia viruses — one a pathogenic version of the disease and the other an inactive strain deployed for formulating vaccines similar to those used to eradicate smallpox in the early 20th century.“To test our idea, we wanted something to trigger and compare various types of immune responses from vaccination alone, to infection alone, and to a protective one [infection of vaccinated individuals],” he said. “Using this comparative approach allowed us to ask: When you immunize at the skin, does the response stay localized, or does it become systemic? And if so, how far and how fast does it spread? These are fundamental questions about the inner working of the immune system at a scale that we didn’t have any way to look at.”Researchers first immunized mice against the disease to study how their immune systems responded to the vaccine, and later exposed the same mice to the pathogenic version of the virus to study how it triggered their immune defenses.“We were very excited to see that our approach worked,” Chevrier said. “We could observe and track immune processes at the whole-body scale for the first time. Based on these findings, we uncovered two new mechanisms of immune protection critical for the host. First, we found that within hours of being vaccinated, a whole-body antiviral is created — as if the body’s defenses were anticipating its virus opponent’s next moves to win the battle.”That process, he explained, involves a molecule known as interferon, which is secreted at the point of immunization, and quickly propagates through most tissues via the bloodstream.For years, Chevrier said, scientists believed interferon was merely a local response to an immune trigger, but the new study suggests that it may actually play an important role in activating antiviral genes across many tissues, helping them fight off infection.What Chevrier dubbed the protective response, on the contrary, seems far more localized to a few organs.“It seems to be more restrained to where the virus goes,” he said. “In our tests, the infection came in through the lungs, and very quickly progressed to the liver and the spleen. But the immune defenses set by vaccination stopped the virus right there, and very efficiently. We found that memory cells are instructed to reside in those tissues and are set up to counter a potential reinfection.”That finding contradicts accepted wisdom, which had been that those cells could most effectively fight infection by circulating through the body. In recent years, however, evidence has emerged suggesting that the resident cells might be more potent and widespread than first thought.“They were seen as local protectors,” Chevrier said. “People thought that when you got immunized at the skin, for example, those cells would reside in the skin, but what we’ve found is that they’re seeded much more broadly across the body to serve as systemic protectors. So as soon as the virus arrives in the liver or the spleen, those cells are ideally placed to fight off the infection as it unfolds.”He added: “Our study is a proof of principle that the immune system can be observed and studied at the whole-body scale in mammals — as opposed to one or few tissues at a time. That being said, much effort is now needed to test this idea in other immune processes linked to health and disease.”last_img read more

CVPS asks customers to call if they can safely receive electrical service

first_imgAs road workers open up access to the most remote and damaged areas and home repairs are made in the wake of Hurricane Irene, Central Vermont Public Service is asking customers who can now take service to contact the company. ‘As we said, we have restored power to all customers that we could access and that could safely take electrical service, but as state inspectors and licensed electricians sign off on re-energizing additional homes and businesses, or as they become accessible, we are asking customers to call CVPS at 1-800-649-2877 so we can reconnect service,’ spokeswoman Christine Rivers said. Any electrical apparatus, such as electrical panels and breakers, must be replaced if they were submerged in flooding. An electrician cannot approve such equipment for reconnect by simply inspecting it, it must be replaced. CVPS is waiving all fees for temporary service connections required due to the storm.  The fee is normally $80. Some customers in the most remote areas remain inaccessible due to road washouts, but road crews are improving access for utility vehicles daily. Due to repairs made in areas where road access is still challenging, CVPS also reminds customers that there may be some delay in outage restoration going forward in those areas, until road access is permanently improved. CVPS officials continue to urge the public to take precautions around utility work. For our safety as well as your own, slow down when you see utility workers on the roads, and please consider the following: The safety of CVPS workers on the road depends on your patience and care.Follow directions given by traffic control flaggers. They are paid to keep everyone safe.Respect traffic cones and other barrier devices. They are the only thing between your vehicle and CVPS workers and equipment.Drive slowly through utility-controlled traffic areas, even if there appears to be enough space to drive at state-posted speeds.Give 100 percent of your attention to the road. Do not be distracted by cell phones, music, eating or drinking beverages while driving through a utility work area.last_img read more

Former Minnesota credit union CEO pleads guilty to fraud

first_img continue reading » Former President/CEO Margurite Mary Cofell pleaded guilty to credit union fraud in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis Wednesday.She admitted to embezzling $2.5 million from the $51 million St. Francis Campus Credit Union in Little Falls, Minn., according to court records.From June 2006 through January 2014, when she was fired, the former CEO  diverted the credit union’s funds and deposited that money into her accounts, member accounts and the accounts of family members and close friends, federal prosecutors said in court documents.Her embezzlement led to the credit union’s liquidation in February 2014. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Japan has H5N2 avian flu outbreak

first_imgJun 27, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A Japanese farm is expected to cull most of its 25,000 chickens to prevent the spread of a highly pathogenic avian influenza, identified as A H5N2, that has killed about 800 chickens, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today.The H5N2 strain has not been known to cause any human illness cases, unlike H5N1, which has infected more than 100 people and killed 54 in Southeast Asia since late 2003. But a Dow Jones Newswire story said officials were conducting health examinations of poultry workers in the affected area.The Japanese government ordered another 16 nearby farms in Ibaraki prefecture to suspend transportation of chickens and eggs, AFP reported.”We must contain the situation as swiftly as possible to be able to declare an end to it,” Ibaraki Gov. Masaru Hashimoto was quoted as saying in the AFP story.The outbreak apparently began in April, AFP reported.The H5N2 strain of avian flu has been responsible for highly pathogenic outbreaks in Pennsylvania (1983-85), Mexico (1994-95), Italy (1997), Texas (2004), and South Africa (2004), according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report “Assessing the Pandemic Threat.”Japan had four outbreaks of avian flu in 2004, all involving the H5N1 virus, Dow Jones noted.Elsewhere, Indonesia is changing tactics in its ongoing fight against the H5N1 virus, the minister for agriculture, Anton Apriyantono, told Dow Jones Newswire.The country will shift from its controversial approach of killing only visibly ill birds and vaccinating others to culling all poultry in outbreak zones, Apriyantono told Dow Jones.”I’ve asked my staff to not only do vaccinations . . . but also stamp out [H5N1 outbreaks] and strengthen bio-security,” Apriyantono told the news service. “If there’s an outbreak, to kill all the birds is better . . . within a certain radius.”Indonesia’s policy change comes soon after the country found its first human case of H5N1, in a poultry worker who was not sick but carried antibodies to the virus.The country’s response, however, may be hindered by economics. Farmers have resisted the government’s culling approach because they deem the compensation for lost birds inadequate, Dow Jones reported.”Sometimes the farmers refuse and say, ‘If you kill my birds, what am I going to do?’ The government doesn’t have enough money to compensate them,” Apriyantono said.See also:WHO report “Assessing the Pandemic Threat” read more

Brisbane edges Sydney, Melbourne in latest home value growth results

first_imgVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:47Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:47 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenMonthly Core Index : April00:47Brisbane saw dwelling values rise 0.6 per cent in April, according to CoreLogic.BRISBANE has pulled a bigger monthly rise in capital gains than the two biggest capitals as more signs emerged of a slowdown in Sydney and Melbourne.Combined capital city dwelling values rose just 0.1 per cent in April, according to the latest CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index – the “slowest month-on-month growth conditions since December 2015”.Brisbane managed a rise of 0.6 per cent over the month, compared to 0.5 per cent out of Melbourne while Sydney flatlined. Sydney dwelling values flatlined in April but analysts expect more life out of there. Picture: Destination NSWBrisbane’s growth was strongest in areas within 20km radius of the city and “weaker in outer, more affordable areas like Logan and Ipswich even though they are much cheaper”, according to CoreLogic research head Tim Lawless.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours ago“The strongest demand is for detached houses with good access to the city. There has been a big split in the performance of units and houses. House prices have been increasing in some inner areas, but unit prices have been flat or falling.”The last time Sydney was this low was December 2015 when dwelling values fell 1.2 per cent, though not many analysts were keen to write off the past five years of Sydney’s meteoric rise (75.1 per cent) just yet.Mr Lawless was loath to call time on five years of capital growth in the two biggest capitals, preferring to wait and see if the monthly figures became a habit. CoreLogic research head Tim Lawless refuses to call time on Sydney’s meteoric capital gains just yet.“We need to be cautious in calling a peak in the market after only one month of soft results,” he said. “April, in particular, coincides with seasonal factors including Easter, school holidays and ANZAC DAY long weekend.”“The softer results should also be viewed against a backdrop of an ever evolving regulatory landscape which is firmly aimed at slowing investment and interest-only mortgage lending.”He said the highest cost of debt and stricter lending and servicing criteria had “likely dented investment demand over recent months”.“In a city like Sydney, where more than 50 per cent of new mortgage demand has been from investors, a tighter lending environment for investment purposes has the potential to impact housing demand more than other cities.”Even limping Sydney continues to sit head and shoulders above most capitals, with the three months to April seeing it pull a 4 per cent change in dwelling values, up 4 per cent, compared to Melbourne on 3.9 per cent and Brisbane on 0.5 per cent. Only Hobart had higher rise on 5.1 per cent.– With Aidan Devinelast_img read more

Sweden’s PPM fund platform needs a sheriff, says Lundbergh

A set of 30 criteria that would apply on the funds are currently being discussed, but Lundbergh said this would not be enough to deal with the underlying problems.“My recommendation is to have someone in charge of the fund platform, to ensure there is quality and good diversity there – because there should be a sheriff in town,” he said.
This sheriff should be an organisation given the assignment by the Pension Group, he said.
 Stefan LundberghThe premium pension is a retail fund platform for Swedish consumers, but neither the Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten) nor AP7, the provider of the default investment option in the PPM, has been given the mandate to act as principal of the fund platform.
Legislators must define a clear goal for the premium pension system, Lundbergh said in his report, adding that the decision should be taken at the political level because the premium pension was part of social security system.“First of all, they must create a clear goal, because then you know what you’re trying to build and only then you can evaluate the results,” he said.Because the current goals are “fuzzy”, the default investment option in the system is forced to define its own goals, Lundbergh added.
 Politicians should seek to set the default fund’s goals to help guide the offerings on the PPM platform.Even though deciding the actual goals was outside the scope of the review, Lundbergh listed a few target criteria for making that decision.
 These included:The premium pension is a compulsory social insurance for which the state has an overall responsibility;The investment strategy should prioritise a lifelong retirement income over maximising a pension pot; andThe realised return should, over time, be higher than wage inflation.The goals should be assessable so that the performance of the system can be properly evaluated in the future, Lundbergh said.“Given that it is part of the social security system, it is reasonable to assume that the risk-return tradeoff of the default in the premium pension should not be more aggressive than in the occupational pension,” he said.Lundbergh also urged the Pensions Group to bear in mind the lessons of behavioural science in their deliberations on PPM reform, in particular the fact that people have proved to be less interested in making their own choices than was originally anticipated when the system came into being in the 1990s.
“The construction of the premium pension required active and informed savers who would select the good funds and abandon the bad funds,” he said in the report. 
If this had been the case, he argued, market forces would have limited the space for sub-par funds and rogue providers. 
“The reality has been different and it has turned out that more information and transparency does not help – it is impossible to inform those who are uninterested.”“The key issue is that in order to have a successful premium pension system, it’s important that choice architecture is based on fact and what people actually do,” he concluded. Sweden’s premium pension system (PPM) needs to have an agency to act as a “sheriff” to prevent the fraud that has dogged the system and assure the quality of funds on the platform, says the architect of the latest government-commissioned review.Cardano director Stefan Lundbergh officially presented his report to the Swedish government’s cross-party Pension Group at the end of August, mapping out options for reforming the PPM. The PPM is the funded part of the first pillar state pension that allows individuals to choose their own investment provider.The fund platform currently has more than 850 funds, and Lundbergh told IPE that virtually any provider was allowed to offer funds to the public as long as they are UCITS-compliant.Lundbergh said: “Right now, there is no one looking at the investments offered on the fund platform and doing some kind of quality assurance.”last_img read more

Ken Orr: Euthanasia an attack on the dignity of the human being

first_imgStuff 8 November 2016Family First Comment: “Good medical care aims to eliminate the pain, not kill the patient.”Well said. Philip Nitschke is the founder and director of Exit International; its objective is to teach vulnerable people about suicide.His presence in New Zealand should be seen as a threat to our most vulnerable members, the aged, the disabled and the seriously ill.Euthanasia is about doctors killing their patients or assisting in their suicide, it is an attack on the dignity of the human person.Every human being has intrinsic dignity and is endowed at conception with an inalienable right to life. Being inalienable, it may not be taken from us nor may we give it up.Australian health authorities have recorded at least 51 Australians, 14 of whom were in their 20s and 30s, who have killed themselves with the lethal drug Nembutal.In 2014 the Medical Board of Australia suspended Nitschke, stating that he presented “a serious risk to public health and safety”. He was reinstated in 2015 following an appeal to the courts. In 2016 he destroyed his licence to practise, refusing to comply with the new demands of the Medical Council.Nitschke promotes a culture of death and seeks to have our laws changed to allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide.The Crimes Act prohibits aiding or assisting in suicide, it also prohibits homicide. These laws are there for the protection of the most vulnerable members of our community, we change these laws at our peril.Nitschke, who now resides in Holland, holds up Holland as an example to be emulated. Holland has, within15 years of introducing euthanasia legislation, expanded the killing to now include the depressed, those with Alzheimers, children, and an estimated 650 babies each year.The Dutch Government, made up of Greens, Labour and liberals, recently advised Parliament that the euthanasia law will be amended next year to allow the government to provide a lethal pill to the elderly who believe that they are “done with life”, but not suffering from a serious or terminal medical condition.This proposal has the support of 60 per cent of the community.How many years will it take for this right of the elderly to kill themselves to become a duty?We should learn from Oregon, where 60 per cent of those who seek doctor-assisted suicide also believe that they are a burden on family and society. It is cheaper to kill the patient than to care.Good medical care aims to eliminate the pain, not kill the patient.READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

EHS alum Curts finishes as top Maine runner in Beach to Beacon 10K

first_imgCAPE ELIZABETH — Ellsworth High School alum Dan Curts had a strong performance in Saturday’s Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race, placing first among all Maine runners in the field.Curts, a 2014 Ellsworth graduate, finished the race in 29 minutes, 26 seconds, more than a full minute ahead of the next Maine finisher, Ryan Smith of Farmington. He placed 12th of 6,414 finishers.At Ellsworth, Curts set numerous records for the school’s cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track teams. He continued his running career at the Division I level as a member of the cross-country and track teams at Iowa State University.Curts won a prize of $1,000 for finishing as the state’s top male runner in the race, which takes runners from Cape Elizabeth’s Crescent Beach State Park to the scenic Portland Head Light. A prize of the same amount also went to the state’s top female runner, Sofie Matson of Falmouth.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textOther local finishers in the race included Brendan Penfold of Deer Isle (52nd place), Josh Bloom of Bar Harbor (292nd place), Matthew Barton of Mount Desert (335th) and Sidney Beardsworth of Blue Hill (1020th). Bar Harbor had the most competitors of any Hancock County city or town with eight.Alex Korio of Eldoret, Kenya, won the race with a time of 27:34, the second-fastest finish in Beach to Beacon history. Fellow Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, holder of the current 10K, 15K and 20K and half-marathon world records, was the top female finisher with a time of 31:04 and overall place of 20th.last_img read more

Cricket News Jasprit Bumrah’s key to success: Music, yoga and not talking about cricket in off time

first_imgThe 25-year-old also hailed the influence of Rohit Sharma, who was his captain in the Mumbai Indians franchise and also in the Indian cricket team. Bumrah said Rohit always backed him. “Rohit’s never been different with me. He used to back me with a lot of space then and he does it now. He’ll come, ask me what I see or believe in, set the field accordingly and then keeps backing me up all the time,” Bumrah said.The young pacer was rested for the ODIs against Australia and New Zealand and he will be hoping to make a mark against Australia in the upcoming two-match Twenty20 International series and the five-match ODI series which begins on February 24. New Delhi: When one talks about India’s success in overseas tours in 2018, Jasprit Bumrah features prominently on the list. His five-wicket haul in Johannesburg helped India achieve a consolation win against South Africa while yet another haul against England in Trent Bridge gave India their only win in a series which they lost 1-4. In the series against Australia, Bumrah’s magical spell of 6/33 in Melbourne and 21 wickets in four Tests helped India win the series for the first time Down Under. The right-arm pacer’s brilliance in the longest format of the game has made him the gun bowler in Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team as the side aims to win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.In an exclusive chat to Times of India, Bumrah revealed the secret behind his success. “Music. In my case, that helps me a lot. And yoga. Once I’m off cricket, nobody gets to know where I am, what I’m doing. Not talking about cricket is as important as talking about cricket. You need to switch off in order to switch on,” Bumrah stated.Bumrah is known as a wonderful death bowler and his ability to nail the yorker on a regular basis has earned him praise from a lot of former and current fast bowlers. The Gujarat pacer revealed the influence of tennis ball cricket in honing his yorker-bowling skills. “I played a lot of tennis ball cricket and with the tennis ball, you can bowl only one kind of a delivery. There’s length in question, no bouncers. There’s only one ball that you have to practice,” Bumrah said. Jasprit Bumrah’s first Test was AB de Villiers in the Cape Town Test.Bumrah’s five-wicket hauls were in Johannesburg, Trent Bridge and Melbourne.Bumrah’s 21 wickets in Australia gave India a 2-1 win Down Under. highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Pomeroon Oil Mill win George Alphonso Memorial 10/10 title

first_imgPOWERHOUSE Pomeroon Oil Mill drilled their way to winning the George Alphonso 10/10 memorial title last Sunday at Charity Community Centre ground.Witnessed by a large crowd, the annual tournament featured four teams. In the first match, Black Scorpions stung Teneze Ferme to win by 6 runs. After batting first, the Scorpions made 120-7 from their 10 overs with an explosive 54 (5×4, 3×6) from Kaysh Rooplall. In reply, Teneze Ferme reached 114-6 from their 10 overs and fell agonisingly short despite fluent innings of 28 (4×4) from Wayne Narine and Barry Alphonso 27 (3×4).In the other play-off Pomeroon Oil Mill comfortably won against Friendship Super Kings after registering 125-3 in their 10 overs and restricted the Kings to 97-6 when their overs expired.In the final, Pomeroon Oil Mill then posted 103-7 from their 10 overs with an attacking 42 (6×4, 2×6) from Aubrey Rodrigues and Ryan Tang making 18 (3×4). Medium fast bowler Kaysho Rooplall claimed 3-21 from 2 overs for Black Scorpions.In reply, Scorpions perished for 54 all out from 9 overs as steady bowling from Jamal Narine 3-19, Aubrey Rodrigues 2-12 and Gregory Benjamin 2-15 removed the sting from the Scorpions to record a 49-run victory for the champions.At the presentation, Aubrey Rodrigues was adjudged Man-of-the-match. The Most Valuable Prize went to Eric Gomes, while Ronald Kanhai received the best batsman prize with 71 runs in the competition, and Ronaldo Joseph the best bowler’s prize with 4 wickets.The winning trophy and $60 000 went to Pomeroon Oil Mill while Black Scorpions received $30 000. Friendship Super Kings received $10 000 for placing third.The competition is played annually in honour of the late George Alphonso who formerly represented the Pomeroon Cricket Committee as a player and later as an executive member.last_img read more