“At least 38 states already allow patients to try new drugs at this point. Almost always, drugs in clinical trials are free, whereas, in the new law, patients may need to sell their house to pay for the experimental drug. These drugs are already available now 99% of the time through a humanitarian request, which the FDA grants within 24 hours.” “Although it sounds attractive from perspectives of patients’ rights and Libertarianism, even a superficial analysis reveals many problems with the Right to Try Act.” May 26 2018Gregory Pence, Ph.D., professor and Chair of Philosophy, teaches bioethics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.Pence studied applied ethics with famous ethicist Peter Singer at NYU and helped found the new field of bioethics.He is known for bioethics for his best-selling textbook “Medical Ethics: Accounts of Ground-Breaking Cases,” which is in its 8th edition, and his defense of humane biotechnology, such as cloning and genetically modified crops. In 2000, he testified against bills to criminalize cloning before Congress and before the California Senate.Pence’s comments on the Right to Try Act: “We have recently seen an explosion of medical hucksterism targeting desperate, vulnerable patients for their money. More than 600 stem cell clinics operate now in America, most promising unproven treatments and cures. Because stem cells are neither a drug, food or device, the FDA has had trouble finding legislative authority to regulate these clinics. On a recent visit to Colorado, I saw more ads for stem cell clinics than for marijuana shops.” Related StoriesNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear’NANOLIVE‘s novel CX-A defines a new standard for live cell imaging in 96 well plates for continuous organelle monitoring in cell populationsAlternate cell growth pathway could open door to new treatments for metastatic cancers “Despite what some businesses argue, federal regulation is not a bad thing: it keeps our meat safe from bad E. coli, our drugs sterile and uniform, and keeps vulnerable people from becoming victims.” “I suspect that the real goal behind the bill is to weaken the FDA’s oversight of drugs.” Pence is available for print, television and radio interviews.The UAB News Studio is available for live or recorded HD video interviews with UAB experts worldwide through LTN Global Networks. The studio is equipped with an ISDN line for digital radio interviews.Source: https://www.uab.edu/
Jun 4 2018In just a few short months, hospitals across the country will start their annual push to make sure their workers get vaccinated against influenza, to protect themselves and others. Memories of the last flu season – one of the worst in years – still linger.A new study shows a rapid rise in the percentage of hospitals that require the vaccine – except among those that focus on treating the nation’s military veterans.In two surveys taken four years apart, the percentage of Veterans Affairs hospitals that have a flu vaccine mandate rose only slightly, from 1 percent in 2013 to 4 percent in 2017, the study shows.But at the same time, the percentage of non-VA hospitals requiring flu shots rose from 44 percent to nearly 70 percent.The study, by a team from the University of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, is published in JAMA Network Open, a new open-access journal from the publishers of the Journal of the American Medical Association.”In just four years, the non-VA hospitals have really stepped up on requiring the vaccine, rather than just encouraging it,” says Todd Greene, Ph.D., M.P.H., the U-M and VA researcher who led the study. “Studies have shown that vaccination mandates, coupled with an option of declining vaccination in favor of wearing a mask, are most effective in reaching high percentages of vaccination.”Short of a mandate, all VA hospitals have a general goal of increasing flu vaccination among their health care workers, and a national VA directive last fall set an expectation that employees would get vaccinated or wear a mask when caring for patients during flu season.While the flu vaccine does not offer total protection against getting the flu, it can also reduce the severity of symptoms among those who do get infected. Each year, the flu leads to tens of thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and millions of outpatient visits and lost work and school days.Flu prevention: a mixed recordAmong all hospitals without a mandate, efforts to prevent the flu virus from spreading among patients and workers were mixed, the study shows. Only 41 percent of non-mandate hospitals required unvaccinated workers to wear a mask during patient interactions in flu season, and only 21 percent had penalties for non-compliance with the hospital’s policy. In all, two-thirds of non-mandate hospitals did have a formal policy outlining how workers could officially decline to get vaccinated.All hospitals with vaccination mandates, on the other hand, had formal declination policies in 2017. The vast majority of hospitals with mandates allowed medical contraindications and/or religious reasons as allowable reasons to decline vaccination. Just under 13 percent allowed workers to give any reason for declining. Nearly 83 percent of hospitals with mandates required unvaccinated healthcare workers to wear masks during patient interactions. And for those who neither got vaccinated nor signed a declination form, nearly three-quarters of hospitals with a mandate had penalties in place for non-compliance.Related StoriesScientists ‘on the right track’ toward universal flu vaccineComputer-generated flu vaccine enters clinical trials in the USLow humidity could be flu virus’ best friendThe researchers also looked at differences by hospital-level characteristics. For instance, nonprofit hospitals were much more likely to mandate flu vaccination. One-third of the non-VA hospitals were teaching hospitals, meaning that they train new doctors through residency programs, but they were no more likely than non-teaching hospitals to require flu vaccination by 2017. Nearly 80 percent of the VA hospitals were teaching institutions.About the studyThe new study is based on the latest two waves of a hospital infection prevention survey that Greene and his colleagues in the U-M/VA Patient Safety Enhancement Program have conducted since 2005.In 2015, they published data from the 2013 survey, which sent a questionnaire to the infection prevention specialists at all U.S. general hospitals that had 50 beds or more and an intensive care unit, and to all VA hospitals.In 2017, they repeated the survey, but changed the methodology slightly, to randomly sample 900 general medical/surgical hospitals of any size that have an intensive care unit. They again surveyed all VA hospitals.While the percentage of hospitals that responded to the survey dropped from 69 percent in 2013 to 59 percent in 2017, the researchers say their results are still nationally representative. The 2013 findings are based on 386 non-VA and 77 VA hospitals; the 2017 data are from 526 non-VA and 73 VA hospitals.Greene notes that 2013 was the first year when non-VA hospitals faced the prospect of public reporting of their worker vaccination rates, if they were taking part in a national pay-for-reporting quality program run by the federal agency that oversees Medicare.Under the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program, such hospitals were required to tell the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention what percentage of their healthcare workers were vaccinated against the flu. The results were posted online starting in October 2014, and showed that 90 percent of workers at participating hospitals were vaccinated.Even if a hospital doesn’t have a mandate in place, studies have shown that having a written policy in place and making efforts to encourage vaccination can help raise vaccination rates.The researchers note that some VA hospitals have made special efforts to increase vaccination, bringing vaccine to workers on inpatient floors or even offering extra time off for workers who get vaccinated. Source:http://www.med.umich.edu/
Source:https://techlinkcenter.org/philips-acquires-air-force-technology-for-mobile-patient-monitoring/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 29 2018Philips Healthcare, a global leader in the health technology market, has signed a non-exclusive patent license agreement with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory for a mobile software application that provides integrated, real-time patient monitoring.Known as Batdok™, an acronym for Battlefield Assisted Trauma Distributed Observation Kit, the software application was developed by the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Designed as a wearable technology, it allows a medic to efficiently monitor multiple casualties in the field using a smartphone or tablet. Adaptation for civilian applications will advance telemedicine capabilities, the company said.Wireless sensors placed on the patient send vitals information to the device, providing medical personnel enhanced decision making when alerted to changes in patient condition. The application also records all vital signs and information logged by the attending staff, with seamless data transfers during patient handoff.Related StoriesSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchThe patent license agreement was completed on July 10. It contains undisclosed financial terms and allows Philips to finalize product development and begin offering solutions to government and civilian customers.”By combining exceptional mobility, user experience, and reliability, Philips will use Batdok™ to improve patient monitoring,” said Kirk Hendler, Philips’ vice-president of business development for government solutions. “This all-in-one mobile solution will enhance care delivery by bringing critical data to decision makers.”Hendler observed the technology in action during military testing last year. After expressing Philips’ interest in the technology, TechLink, the Department of Defense’s national partnership intermediary for technology transfer, assisted Hendler with the preparation of a license application and commercialization plan that included government and civilian applications.”Many of the DoD’s medical inventions have potential dual-use civilian applications,” said Joan Wu-Singel, senior technology manager at TechLink. “In this case, Batdok™ could be used in a hospital setting, ambulances, and we’re even imagining it help address opioid abuse through dosage monitoring.”Dr. Jim Kearns, technology transfer and domestic alliances manager for the 711th Human Performance Wing, said the license proves the value of the Air Force Technology Transfer Program, which ensures unclassified Air Force research is available to industry. The exchange of knowledge, expertise, equipment, and testing facilities allows the U.S. economy to benefit from the public investment in DoD research.”We’re confident Philips will deliver products with multiple levels of benefit,” said Kearns. “The Wing has brilliant people doing cutting-edge research. Collaboration with businesses, case in point, enhances their work and gets it to the warfighter.”
Astronomers have discerned the presence of a dwarf galaxy that may be made largely of dark matter, thanks to the light-bending effects of its hefty mass. The galaxy is part of a bigger cluster (shown in blue, above) that lies 4 billion light-years from Earth, between us and a more-distant galaxy dubbed SPD.81. That galaxy, in turn, lies about 12 billion light-years away from us. Its radio wave emissions (depicted in red) are warped into a ring when it passes by the intervening galaxy cluster, in a process called “gravitational lensing.” The size and shape of the ring help astronomers gauge the mass of the intervening galaxy, which weighs in at about 1 trillion solar masses. But because the ring’s size and shape don’t exactly match the warpage expected from a single galaxy, the missing stars must be located in a small, extremely faint and dark matter–dominated companion galaxy that’s orbiting the larger star mass, researchers say. According to the team’s calculations, reported online and in a forthcoming The Astrophysical Journal, the satellite galaxy has a mass about 1 billion times that of our sun. The team’s analyses also let them identify the most likely location for the otherwise invisible dwarf galaxy (the small whitish dot near the red ring, above). The fortuitous alignment of the two star masses—one distant, and one much closer to Earth—may help researchers shed light on the type of dark matter that comprises the dwarf companion, giving astronomers greater insight into what the universe, both visible and invisible, is made of.
A new report suggests a big increase in the use of monkeys in laboratory experiments in the United States in 2017. Online News Editor David Grimm joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss which areas of research are experiencing this rise and the possible reasons behind it.Also this week, host Meagan Cantwell talks with staff writer Adrian Cho about a final push to affix the metric system’s measures to physical constants instead of physical objects. That means the perfectly formed 1-kilogram cylinder known as Le Grand K is no more; it also means that the meter, the ampere, and other units of measure are now derived using complex calculations and experiments. This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.Download a transcript (PDF)Listen to previous podcasts.About the Science Podcast[Image: Peter Nijenhuis/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook] Peter Nijenhuis/Flickr
For Black entrepreneurs Dave Salvant and Songe LaRon what started out as an app idea to help individuals who struggled to find a good barbershop has transformed into a platform that is changing the landscape of the barber experience. According to Tech Crunch, they raised $8 million for their app SQUIRE during their first round of venture capital financing. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMore12Share to EmailEmailEmail Twitter Crowns Kamala Harris Winner Of The Second Democratic Debate Both LaRon and Salvant are carving out a space in an industry that is worth billions. According to Statista, the barber industry is expected to be valued at $26 billion by next year.SEE ALSO:Black-Owned Barbershop Pays Off Debt For Students In Charlotte‘You Next’ Project Illustrates The Impact And Influence Of Black Barbershops Barbershop management platform Squire raises $8 million Series A round https://t.co/ERefXxiZke by @meganrosedickey pic.twitter.com/Hq6HAjLg49— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) June 25, 2019 Salvant and LaRon are seasoned entrepreneurs who through their own experiences discovered that the process of finding a good barber can often be inefficient. The two decided to team up and develop a solution. The app—which was founded in 2015—connects barbers and customers. Through SQUIRE, individuals can find barbershops in their area, read customer reviews, and book appointments. Customers also have the opportunity to pay for their haircuts through the app. SQUIRE goes beyond booking haircut appointments, it provides barbers throughout the country with the platform to sell products and promote their brand.There is a wide range of shops that are included in the app’s directory, including large high-end shops and small locally owned businesses. The app was launched in New York and expanded to cities like Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It now features barbershops in 28 cities. Since its inception, there have been $100 million in transactions processed through the app. The fundraising round was led by Trinity Ventures.“Millions of men need haircuts daily and are looking to find the right barbershop, but the process is usually unnecessarily hard and time consuming,” said Salvant in an interview with Forbes. “SQUIRE lets you locate a barber, schedule your appointment and pay from anywhere you are, now making the process quick and convenient.” The entrepreneurs plan on putting the money raised towards marketing and hiring engineers to work on the app’s infrastructure. “In talking to customers, we realized there was a lot of opportunity to build value in a backend management system,” LaRon said in a statement, according to TechCrunch. Barbershop , barbershops , Black Entrepreneur , entrepreneur , Squire , Squire App , VC Funding , Venture Capital
ShareTweetSharePinThe fans were presented to the Director of The Dominica Infirmary, Annie St. Luce (right) by Luke CuffyIt’s another hot day in Dominica and the residents of the Dominica Infirmary once again have good reason to be grateful to their regular benefactor, Stephanie James, who has donated seventeen (17) fans to the institution.“Living on an island that has a tropical climate has its benefits, as well as its disadvantages. Although there are not constant changes in the seasons, there is no doubt that the temperature increases especially during the summer months, ” James, who resides in New York City, stated. “I have taken the aforementioned into consideration, and decided to make a donation of 17 fans to the Dominica Infirmary.”She added, “I know how hot it gets in Dominica during the summer months, so it is the very least that I could do to help the elderly who are currently residing at the Dominica infirmary. A little cool breeze on a very hot day can let the elderly feel so much more comfortable and relaxed.”There can be no doubt that the residents of the Dominica Infirmary who are currently benefitting from the use of those fans, agree with that sentiment.James, who has made a number of donations to the Infirmary, including a television set and other much needed supplies, is appealing to the public to reach out to the Director of the Dominica Infirmary to inquire about ways that they can contribute to the Infirmary.“Every donation , big or small, goes a very long way,” she pointed out.
By L. Parsons The newly elected Winslow City Councilmembers and mayor were sworn in last night. Among them was Councilman Rickey Jackson, a 14-year resident of Winslow. Regarding his reasons for running for office heSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad June 5, 2018 Councilman Rickey Jackson addresses Winslow’s future
Many made millions when in-charge of J&K forest, see their bungalows in Delhi: Governor Malik Advertising Advertising National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, after visiting the graveyard, said Malik was “BJP’s Governor”. “He is BJP’s Governor. How can he come?” Abdullah said.A release by J&K administration on Friday had said that Governor Malik, on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day, has called for “collective efforts from all sections of the Society to secure rapid growth and development of the State on all fronts.”“Jammu and Kashmir has always been known for its glorious pluralistic ethos and harmony and emphasized the crucial importance of maintaining unity and brotherhood for ushering the State towards peace and prosperity,” the release quoted Malik as saying. Farooq Khan’s appointment as J&K Governor’s advisor gets nod Post Comment(s) Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik (Express Photo by Praveen Jain)Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik skipped the Martyrs’ Day function in Srinagar on Saturday. However, his advisor Khursheed Ahmad Ganai and other administration officials visited the graveyard that is the site of the function and laid floral wreaths. Written by Adil Akhzer | Srinagar | Published: July 14, 2019 1:55:02 am July 13 is observed as Martyrs’ Day in Kashmir, commemorating the deaths of 22 people killed when the forces of Maharaja Hari Singh opened fire on them on this day in 1931.This is the second year that the head of the state has skipped the Martyrs’ Day function. Last year, then Governor N N Vohra too had skipped the ceremony.While leaders from all mainstream political parties visited the graveyard on Saturday, the BJP, like previous years, again stayed away from the function. J&K: Former Lakshadweep administrator set to join as advisor to Governor Malik Related News
NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Advertising Turing provided the theoretical underpinnings for the modern computer. While best known for his work devising code-breaking machines during World War II, Turing played a pivotal role in the development of early computers first at the National Physical Laboratory and later at the University of Manchester.He set the foundations for work on artificial intelligence by considering the question of whether machines could think.Turing was homosexual and was posthumously pardoned by the Queen having been convicted of gross indecency for his relationship with a man. His legacy continues to have an impact on both science and society today, the BoE statement noted.The shortlisted options demonstrate the breadth of scientific achievement in the UK, from astronomy to physics, chemistry to palaeontology and mathematics to biochemistry. Cumberbatch hails genius Alan Turing in The Imitation Game In the top rung Karnataka: Supreme Court to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Post Comment(s) Bank of England Governor Mark Carney announced that Turing will appear on the new note by the end of 2021.Turing, who killed himself in 1954 at the age of 41 after he was subjected to chemical castration following his conviction under the Victorian-era homophobic laws.Carney made the announcement at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester and also revealed the imagery depicting Turing and his work that will be used for the reverse of the note. The shortlisted characters, or pairs of characters, considered were Mary Anning, Paul Dirac, Rosalind Franklin, William Herschel and Caroline Herschel, Dorothy Hodgkin, Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, Stephen Hawking, James Clerk Maxwell, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Ernest Rutherford, Frederick Sanger and Alan Turing.Ramanujan’s contributions to the theory of numbers include pioneering discoveries of the properties of the partition function. Born in Erode, Tamil Nadu, Ramanujan died at the age of 32.Sarah John, Chief Cashier of the BoE, said: “The strength of the shortlist is testament to the UK’s incredible scientific contribution. The breadth of individuals and achievements reflects the huge range of nominations we received for this note and I would to thank the public for all their suggestions of scientists we could celebrate.” Explained: The Hague rules on Kulbhushan Jadhav today By PTI |London | Published: July 16, 2019 7:29:52 am The new 50 pound note will celebrate Turing and his pioneering work with computers, the statement said. Why computing pioneer Alan Turing was prosecuted, pardoned and now will be on 50-pound notes Advertising Advertising Related News Best Of Express Explained: Kulbhushan Jadhav case file Turing was chosen following the Bank’s character selection process including advice from scientific experts, the BoE said in a statement.In 2018, the Banknote Character Advisory Committee chose to celebrate the field of science on the 50 pound note and this was followed by a six week public nomination period. The Bank received a total of 227,299 nominations, covering 989 eligible characters, it said.The Committee considered all the nominations before deciding on a shortlist of 12 options, which were put to Governor Carney for him to make the final decision.“Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today.“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far ranging and path breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand,” Carney commented on the 41-year-old computer pioneer who died in 1954. In this undated handout provided by the Band of England on Monday, July 15, 2019, a view of the concept of the new 50-pound note bearing the image of Second World War code-breaker Alan Turing. Alan Turing, a computer pioneer and World War II codebreaker will be on the new 50 pound polymer note, the Bank of England announced on Monday after it selected him from a shortlist that included famed Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. More Explained
Mobile Phones: Video and Convergence It is still doubtful that the machines will rise up against the humanmasters in 2018, but it is likely that artificial intelligence will continue to get smarter and possibly take on new roles.”Humans will feed the machines,” said Josh Crandall, principal analystat Netpop Research.”There’s no stopping artificial intelligence and machine learning,” he told TechNewsWorld.”Machine learning and artificial intelligence will penetrate furtherinto our lives and impact a lot of the processes that are currentlymanual,” said Greg Sterling, vice president of strategy and insights at the Local Search Association.”This will be especially true in online marketing and digital media,”he told TechNewsWorld.However, hype may outpace reality in terms of what exactly computers cando, and many of AI’s advances may be evident only behind the scenes.”AI is going to surpass robotics in the public’s eye when we discussautomation and work force policies,” suggested Purtilo.”That is a little artificial as a distinction, since robotics hasalways been perceived as an AI thing, but AI’s increasing power willbroaden the discussion,” he said.”In 2018, it won’t be just entry-level workers in a fast food chainlosing jobs to a burger-flipping robot,” Purtilo predicted. “It will be financial servicesadvisors and law clerks losing jobs to deep learning algorithms.”To get there, companies may need to rely on consumers to providethe raw data points that will be needed to improve such systems.”It will be a frustrating year as these assistivetechnologies, which aren’t quite helpful yet, offer suggestions andrecommendations that don’t provide the solutions we are really lookingfor,” said Crandall, “but don’t fret — the technologies will continueto improve and become more personalized.” Guesswork is often involved in predicting the “next big thing” — butwith CES just a week away, the future is almostnow. The annual international trade show, as well as other industry events following one afteranother — including ITExpo, Gitex, Mobile World Congress and Techspo — means there will be no shortage of product announcements, technologyunveilings, and proclamations about the tech of the future.However, the truth is that for every hit product or trend in years past — such as the DVDplayer, iPhone or streaming media — there have been plenty of misses. In recent years, 3D made a comeback of sorts, and it was heralded as the future of movies and TVs. Yet few viewers are donning the cumbersome glasses today. Who remembers DivX or the Zune? And whatever happened to WiMAX?To predict the future, one must not only consider what is trending now, but alsoponder what is missing. 3D didn’t take off in 2012 for the same reasons that it was a novelty in the 1950s, again the 1960s, and even in the 1980s.Technology that truly is innovative doesn’t look to solve a problem that isn’tthere. The next big thing — or things — will address the demands ofconsumers and the needs of businesses, and make life better. Tech innovation could comein many different forms. Artificial Intelligence: Even Smarter It would be easy to suggest that the years 2007 to 2017 — from thearrival of the first iPhone to the latest model — have been thedecade of the smartphone. Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system helped grow and transform the market, snatching it from previously dominant BlackBerry and Palm.The smartphone has become the ubiquitous device that is carried byalmost everyone almost everywhere. 2018 won’t be the year of thesmartphone, but it could be the year the smartphone does even more.”Video will drive the market for mobile service and devices in 2018,”said Steve Blum, principal analyst at Tellus Venture Associates.”Consumer electronics is collapsing into a two-product industry –smartphones and big screen televisions — and the balance is tippingtowards phones,” he told TechNewsWorld.”The end of Net neutrality will accelerate the shift, as the big fourU.S. mobile carriers use their control over network traffic andservice pricing to sell more content and capture more viewing time,”Blum added.It’s likely that an old buzzword could make a comeback.”That is ‘convergence,'” said University of Maryland’s Purtilo.”I base this prediction on the emergence of tools for leanmanufacturing of progressive apps, which are browser-based programsthat work seamlessly across many platforms,” he explained.”Instead of making one app for an iPhone and a second for Android, abuilder can create a single product for all, and leverage very clevercaching techniques to ensure it works fast too.”That could keep build costs low, while inviting developers to investeffort into designing products that combine the functionality of many smaller apps.”Why have dozens of inconsistent apps on your phone when one servicewith a common interface will offer better value?” Purtilo pondered.”Consumers will converge on progressive apps because of the utility,and companies will have business incentives to be the ones offeringconsumers those services.” Another trend that has long been on the cusp has been wearables — yeteven Apple has been only marginally successful with its Watch. 2018could be the year that wearable devices finally go mainstream — but to doso, they may need a redesign.”The [current] form factors are simply too limited to justify whatcontinue to be premium prices for smartwatches and high-end fitnesstrackers,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.”But healthy sales of Amazon’s Echo and Google Home [suggest] we’rereaching a tipping point for smart hubs opening the door to new homesand office services,” he told TechNewsWorld.That development could require a shift away from wired devices — such as earbudsfor smartphones — to Bluetooth-enabled headphones and speakers.”This could also portend the rise of other wireless peripherals thatleverage smartphone brains for enhanced functions and services,” Kingsuggested.Seeing — or in the case of wearable devices, not seeing — may be believing.”Wearables are going to be more present and more invisible than ever in 2018,” said Julie Sylvester, a producer at Living in Digital Times.”Longer battery life, more fashionable form factors, easier to wear, and more sustainability are going to contribute to wider adoption of wearables in 2018,” she told TechNewsWorld.Where wearables are worn likely will continue to evolve in 2018 and beyond.”More and more workplaces will be either issuing wearables to theiremployees or making accommodations for wearables,” said Robin Raskin,founder of Living in Digital Times.They could be used for training, facility access and evenpayment. Glasses may make a comeback in the workplace, for applications such as training,she told TechNewsWorld.In addition, expect “new wearables that involve other senses — haptics,environmentally responsive fabrics, brain stimulators,” she said. “We’re going tosee lots more of those.”Circuits could be woven into the bioengineered materials — thinkleatherless leather — which could be useful for retailersand consumers alike.”Imagine a tag that knows that it’s real not counterfeit, or that it’sleft inventory, or that the owner should get a coupon for shoes tomatch,” said Raskin. Digital money, also known as “cryptocurrency,” was certainly in thespotlight at the end of 2017, thanks to bitcoin’s meteoric rise. However, bitcoin is just one of the more popular alternatives to traditional cash. Cryptocurrency could be among the big trends to watch in 2018.”We now have something like 1,200 different [digital currency] productsout there, and more every day,” said Jim Purtilo, associate professorin the computer science department at the University of Maryland.”This tells me we’re in for a ‘trough of disillusionment,’ as morepeople look into this but without the perspective to figure out whenthey are getting value or even to tell when the products work,” he told TechNewsWorld.One downside could be that these technologies aren’t quite asuntraceable as people may think — but that likely won’t dissuade those intent oninvesting in cryptocurrency.”There is spectacular promise in the algorithms, but the markets have alot of shakeout to go through before the promise is realized,” Purtilosaid. “We’ll see some of that shakeout in the coming year before somesmart innovator can blend together ingredients for the right secretsauce that everyone likes.” Putting one’s best face forward could be the akin to showing a photo ID. Just as fingerprints can be matched to one individual, the characteristics of one’s face also are unique — even though people may seem to look alike. Facial recognition technology could becomefar more widespread in 2018.Apple already has taken a leap with the release of the iPhoneX, which allows users to unlock the handset by looking at it.”Apple’s products have pushed wide public adoption of a number oftechnologies, from WiFi to streaming music to virtual keyboards,”observed futurist Michael Rogers.Apple isn’t the only company to explore the possibilities.”Facial recognition is already here, behind the scenes in anincreasing number of commercial and public spaces,” Rogers told TechNewsWorld. “Soon it will show up everywhere from cash registers and ATMs to homesecurity systems and smart signs that tailor content to the viewer.”The ease of simply being scanned to be recognized maycome with a downside, however.”It will represent another significant loss of privacy — this time,public anonymity,” Rogers explained. “It may be some kind of consumerapplication that actually creates the most public concern — somethingalong the lines, perhaps, of ‘Who’s that cute girl?'” Wearables: Taking Off? Facial Recognition: The Best ID Cryptocurrency: Cash in 2018 Peter Suciu has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2012. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile phones, displays, streaming media, pay TV and autonomous vehicles. He has written and edited for numerous publications and websites, including Newsweek, Wired and FoxNews.com.Email Peter.
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 1 2018Physicians who specialize in a devastating and aggressive immune disorder called hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) report in a new study that extra care should be taken to ensure an HLH diagnosis doesn’t obscure possible underlying cancers.Because HLH is dangerously aggressive in its progression and attack on vital organs–often causing death–doctors frequently pursue immediate treatment for the immune disorder after a diagnosis. But researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s HLH Center of Excellence caution in the journal Pediatric Blood & Cancer that expediting HLH treatment may miss underlying malignancies that could end up being fatal to the patient.”Our study found several cases where HLH diagnoses that fulfilled current criteria obscured the diagnosis of underlying malignancies. This delayed curative therapy for the cancers,” said Ashish Kumar, MD, PhD, of the Cincinnati Children’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute. “These issues can be remedied by using alternative and improved diagnostic techniques to also look for underlying malignancy prior to administering HLH therapy.”Although earlier diagnostic technologies for cancer have required waiting for genetic testing, study authors recommend speeding up diagnosis with some newer technologies now available. One newer option highlighted by the study is flow cytometry based immunological assays–a cell-analysis technique that can provide useful diagnostic results in a couple days.Abnormal Immune ResponseHLH causes abnormally strong immune responses that attack vital organs and other healthy tissues. There are two types: primary HLH triggered by hereditary genetic defects in immune cells and secondary HLH fueled by infections, autoimmune disorders, or malignancies. About half of secondary HLH cases in adults are associated with malignancy.Although previous studies estimate that 10 percent of children with secondary HLH have an associated malignancy, Kumar and his research colleagues suggest it may be higher. Their study involved close evaluation of nine patients diagnosed with HLH between the ages of 8 days to 30 years. Seven of the patients had been referred to Cincinnati Children’s after their HLH diagnosis.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerLiving with advanced breast cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsThe diagnoses were based on the patients meeting current diagnostic criteria for the disease. Further investigations by physicians at Cincinnati Children’s revealed that all but one of the nine patients had an underlying lymphoma, or cancer of the lymphatic system, and one patient had AML (acute myeloid leukemia).By the time the malignancies were discovered, only two of the nine patients were able to receive full doses of chemotherapy because of infections and/or organ dysfunction, the researchers write. Seven of the patients died from multi-organ failure with active malignancies still present. Two patients who were able to receive full-doses of chemotherapy survive with no evidence of disease, according to the researchers.Understanding LimitationsHLH is a difficult to diagnose early and can hide behind a maze of contradictory symptoms. This often results in misdiagnosis. The only curative therapy for primary HLH is bone marrow transplant, a high-risk procedure that isn’t suitable for all patients. Standardized diagnostic criteria for HLH were adopted in 2004 by the Histiocyte Society to help enhance detection of the disease.Standard recommended treatment is the same for primary and secondary HLH, according to Kumar. Given the disease’s aggressiveness nature and impact, guidelines recommend that treatment for HLH begin before determining if the disease is primary or secondary. The current study suggests this approach could lead to a missed cancer diagnosis.”The cases in this study highlight the importance of understanding there are limitations to current HLH diagnosis criteria, especially in detecting HLH that is associated with malignancy,” said Kumar.The HLH Center of Excellence works to refine and improve diagnosis and treatment for the complex disease. The center is now considered a leading referral center for the immune disorder.Kumar said one of his goals is to spread awareness with other physicians about the new study’s findings, as well as new diagnostic and treatment methods. In the meantime, the research team continues to analyze HLH cases and obtain more data about its biology and progression.Source: https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/news/release/2018/hlh-diagnosis
Source:http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_690975_en.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 7 2018Most people living with dementia also have at least one other health condition, and health services need to adapt to optimize their health and quality of life, a new study concludes.In a study led by the University of Exeter, most people with dementia had one or more additional chronic health condition – or comorbidity- with hypertension (high blood pressure) being the most common. Diabetes, depression, tissue diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease and heart problems were also common.People with more health conditions rated their quality of life less positively than people with fewer health conditions. This was particularly so for people with five or more health conditions.The findings, published in Age and Ageing, arise from research on Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) cohort. Funded by the National Institute for Health Research and the Economic and Social Research Council, it consisted of 1,547 people diagnosed with dementia who provided information on the number and type of health conditions. Participants also provided ratings of their quality of life, both in relation to dementia and to overall health.Related StoriesA program of therapy and coping strategies works long-term for family dementia carersWhy women who work are less likely to develop dementiaCaregiver depression linked to increased emergency department visits for patients with dementiaProfessor Linda Clare, from the University of Exeter, is Principal Investigator on the IDEAL cohort studies. She said: “People with dementia living with additional health conditions are at greater risk of experiencing pain, mobility problems, anxiety and depression, and report poor quality of life. While multiple health condition are also common in older people without dementia, a diagnosis of dementia can mean that other health conditions don’t always get the attention they deserve.”With 800,000 people in the UK currently living with dementia, this study highlights the need for better care planning and support to deal with multiple conditions in a more integrated way. This will optimize quality of life for both people with dementia and their carers, and help people live independently for longer.”The researchers found that 74 per cent of people with dementia in the study had one or more additional health conditions, while 22 per cent had at least three additional conditions.Alzheimer’s Society supports IDEAL through £2 million in funding for a Centre of Excellence in Dementia Care at Exeter. and the Society will continue to support the project until at least 2022. Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society said: “This adds solid research evidence to what people with dementia tell us about how other health conditions complicate their care, and the negative impact to their lives that can result from health services not taking a holistic approach.”Dementia research isn’t all about a cure; Alzheimer’s Society is also investing in IDEAL and other vital care studies through our Centers of Excellence because we owe it to the 850,000 people in the UK currently living with dementia so that they can live better.”
Source:https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/better-mouse-model-built-enable-precision-medicine-research-alzheimers Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 28 2018Incorporating genetic diversity into a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease resulted in greater overlap with the genetic, molecular and clinical features of this pervasive human disease, according to a study funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study also suggests that adding genetic diversity may be key to improving the predictive power of studies using mouse models and increasing their usability for precision medicine research for Alzheimer’s. This research comes out of the newly established Resilience-Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium (Resilience-AD) and was published online Dec. 27, 2018 in the journal Neuron.”This is the first study to show that you can replicate many of the molecular features of Alzheimer’s disease in a genetically diverse mouse model,” said NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D. “It points to a strategy for better use of mouse models for precision medicine research–both basic and translational–for Alzheimer’s disease.”Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out simple tasks. As many as 5.5 million Americans age 65 and older are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.A key tool among the multiple efforts to find a treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s, mouse models allow researchers to explore genetic, molecular and even behavioral aspects of disease that can’t be done in humans. The researchers, led by Catherine C. Kaczorowski, Ph.D., an associate professor and Evnin Family Chair in Alzheimer’s Research at the Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, and her graduate student, first author Sarah Neuner, noted that mouse models with Alzheimer’s mutations are important for defining high-risk as well as protective genes and disease mechanisms, and to efficiently test new potential interventions and therapeutics.In this study, the researchers tested the idea that including more real-world genetic variation into a mouse model of Alzheimer’s would improve the translatability of the model–meaning that findings would be more likely to parallel the many complex features of the human disease. To do this, they combined a well-established mouse model of familial Alzheimer’s (5XFAD) with a genetically diverse set of mice. All members of this family of transgenic mice therefore carry the high-risk human familial Alzheimer’s genes but otherwise have very different genetic make-up. The detailed analysis of this new panel of mice (referred collectively as AD-BXD), showed a high degree of overlap with the genetic, molecular, pathologic and cognitive features of Alzheimer’s. Moreover, in the presence of identical Alzheimer’s risk genes, the differences in genetic background led to profound differences in the onset and severity of the pathologic and cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s.Related StoriesTrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchPersonalizing Nutritional Medicine With the Power of NMRComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchThrough a series of comparative analyses, the research team also discovered that one mouse strain, C57BL/6J, commonly used to generate Alzheimer’s transgenic mouse models, harbors resilience factors that lessen the impact of Alzheimer’s risk factor genes. This new finding has two important implications. First, it suggests that Alzheimer’s mouse models with this genetic background may not be suitable for testing of novel therapeutic agents and may explain the poor predictive power of drug screening studies using the current Alzheimer’s transgenic mouse models. Second, by using the AD-BXD panel, the protective genes from the C57BL/6J strain and their mechanisms can be precisely identified leading to new candidate targets for Alzheimer’s prevention.The authors noted that the AD-BXD panel represents a new tool for better understanding the heterogeneous nature of normal aging and Alzheimer’s, and for precisely identifying molecular factors that lead to resilience to genetic and environmental disease risk factors.”The ability to model genetic diversity and its impact on multiple aspects of disease risk and resilience in transgenic mice in a robust and reproducible way will enable the research community to learn a lot more about the complex nature of Alzheimer’s a lot faster,” said Suzana Petanceska, Ph.D., program director in the NIA Division of Neuroscience, who oversees the Resilience-AD program. “This new resource adds to the series of new NIA/NIH programs generating data, analytical and research tools needed to enable more efficient and predictive drug development for Alzheimer’s.”Kaczorowski’s team is one of 10 multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research teams supported through the Resilience-AD program, one of a series of NIA-supported open-science consortia. Resilience-AD, launched in 2017, aims to address why and how some individuals remain dementia-free despite being at high genetic or biomarker risk of Alzheimer’s. The program was developed to generate deeper mechanistic understanding of how genetic and environmental factors interact and lead to cognitive resilience in individuals who are at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease and to identify novel therapeutic targets for pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic prevention strategies.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 31 2019Amiram Goldblum and his team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute for Drug Research have discovered 27 new molecules. These molecules all activate a special protein called PPAR-delta and have the potential to treat fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetic nephrotoxicity, and to heal wounds.News of these findings was published today in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal, and was made possible thanks to a new, award-winning algorithm that Goldblum’s team developed. This algorithm sifted through a database of 1.56 million molecules and picked out 27 with a strong therapeutic potential, as determined by biologists at the Novartis Genomic (GNF) Institute in San Diego.Related StoriesLiver fat biomarker levels linked with metabolic health benefits of exercise, study findsUCR biomedical professor to investigate how body’s cannabis-like molecules influence obesityNew anti-obesity drug trial set to launch at Alberta Diabetes InstituteTo date, these new molecules are undergoing pharmaceutical evaluations to treat two main health conditions. The first is Fatty Liver Disease, also known as NASH (Non-Alcoholic SteatoHeptatis). This disease currently has no cure and is a leading cause of liver cancer in the Western world. The second is obesity. PPAR-delta activation has the potential to increase physical endurance and trim waistlines by getting muscle cells to burn more fat. Future evaluations will hopefully include testing treatments for improved wound healing, and to prevent kidney toxicity in diabetics.Professor Goldblum is cautiously optimistic about these findings. “With such a large group of highly active molecules, there is a high probability to find treatments for several common diseases. However, we should wait till all the experiments are done before we get our hopes up too high,” he shared.To date, there is much pharmaceutical interest in Goldblum’s new molecules. Integra Holdings, Hebrew University’s biotech company, determined that 21 of the 27 have the potential to reach pharmaceutical success, especially as a possible cure for Fatty Liver disease. Additionally, Israel’s Heller Institute of Medical Research is currently testing PPAR-delta’s physical endurance properties on mice. Goldblum predicts that in a few years we will hopefully be seeing several of these molecules in the pipeline for clinical studies on humans. Source:https://new.huji.ac.il/en
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 27 2019Arthritis is not just an ailment of old age–it can affect children too, causing lifelong pain and disability in its most severe forms. Fortunately, some kids grow out of it. Knowing which patients will develop milder forms of disease could spare them unnecessary treatment and potential medication side effects but currently doctors have no way of predicting disease course or severity.That could now change thanks to a machine learning tool developed by Quaid Morris, a professor of computer science at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research at the University of Toronto, Dr. Rae Yeung, Professor of Paediatrics, Immunology and Medical Science at the University of Toronto, and their recently-graduated, co-supervised student Simon Eng.Morris is also faculty in the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence and is an inaugural AI Chair by the Canadian Institute for Advancement of Research. Yeung is also the inaugural Hak-Ming and Deborah Chiu Chair in Paediatric Translational Research at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).Writing in the journal PLOS Medicine, the researchers describe a computational approach based on machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence in which the computer learns to recognize recurrent patterns from a sea of data. The algorithm was able to classify patients into seven distinct groups according to the patterns of swollen or painful joints in the body. Moreover, it also accurately predicted which children will go into remission faster and which ones will develop a more severe form of disease.An estimated 300,000 children are suffering from arthritis in the US alone. While its triggers still remain unclear, the disease occurs when the immune system mistakes the body’s own cells for foreign invaders, attacking the lining of the joints to cause swelling, pain and possibly long-lasting damage. There is no cure and the treatment consists of progressively more aggressive and costly medications, starting with anti-inflammatory pain relief drugs, such as ibuprofen, to stronger drugs including methotrexate (a chemotherapy agent), steroids, and biological agents (such as anti-TNF and anti-IL-1) that switch off parts of the immune system.”The final stage of treatment is very effective in some children, but also very expensive, and it’s not clear what the long-term effects are,” says Morris. “When you are inhibiting the function of the immune system, this type of treatment can be associated with potential side-effects including increased risk of infection and others””Knowing which children will benefit from which treatment at which time is really the cornerstone of personalized medicine and the question doctors and families want answered when children are first diagnosed,” says Yeung who is also a Paediatric Rheumatologist and Senior Scientist at SickKids.Related StoriesResearch team receives federal grant to study obesity in children with spina bifidaDaily intake for phosphates in infants, children can exceed health guidance valuesNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careAs a first step, the researchers set out to subtype the children who developed arthritis but had not been treated with medications yet. They analysed clinical data from 640 children, collected between 2005 and 2010 as part of the pan-Canadian study Research in Arthritis in Canadian Children, Emphasizing Outcomes (ReACCh-OUT). All children received detailed physical examinations as part of their care which included documenting the location of painful (also known as active) joints in the body.The data revealed seven major patterns of joint activity: joints in the pelvic area, fingers, wrists, toes, knees, ankles and an indistinct pattern. And while the majority of children fell into a single category, about one third of patients had active joints that belonged to more than one group. These patients with non-localized joint involvement generally had worse outcomes and took longer to go into remission than the patients whose active joints fall into a single pattern.Although unique patterns of joint involvement are recognized at the bedside, the current patient classification for childhood arthritis only takes into account the overall number of affected joints. It is clear that better descriptions of joint involvement are needed that predict disease course and disease severity. It was striking from the data that children with non-localized joint involvement are different. Physicians had already observed this before as they were treating these children with strong medications but were still not able to control the disease.”Identifying this group of children early will help us target the right treatments early and prevent unnecessary pain and disability from ongoing active disease,” says Yeung.Because of the complexity of the disease, with multiple joints affected and in a way that can change over time, as well as a relatively small number of patients available, the team had to look beyond standard statistical methods to detect patterns of joint pain.”We had to use machine learning just to detect these seven patterns of disease in the first place,” says Morris, whose team modified the technique known as multilayer non-negative matrix factorization. “And then we realized there are some children who do not fall into any of the patterns and they have a very bad version of the disease. Now we understand the disease much better we can group children into these different categories to predict response to treatment, how fast do they go into remission and whether or not we can tell they are in remission and remove therapy.” Source:https://www.utoronto.ca/